23/ Stretched thin and moving forward

Photo by Ivan Bandura on Unsplash
Photo by Ivan Bandura on Unsplash

Hello there,

March has come and gone, and I'm another year older. I celebrated my second lockdown birthday last Sunday, but I can't complain. I wrote, walked, ran, worked out, and ate some delicious cake.

I have a few things to share about the month, so let's dig in.

Stretched Thin

Whenever I write about my general mood, I always feel silly. Many people are in a similar spot or are facing far more significant challenges than me, so my updates often seem inconsequential. But since some of you ask me to share, I'll give an update. Hopefully, it'll help a few of you feel a little more connected in some small way.

This past month has made me feel stretched thin. I've been teaching, writing, and handling family stuff, while also trying to include a little time to keep myself healthy and balanced.

Unfortunately, over the past few weeks, I've been feeling the effects.

A good indicator of this is the blog. In February, I wrote nineteen posts, but in March, that number dropped down to three. Sure, I've had some ideas, but I never had the time to focus and do the work and flesh them out. Similarly, the whole blog looks a little unfinished at the moment as I test things out but then get pulled away by more critical tasks. Hopefully, the entire website will improve as I find more time.

My way through this isn't far off. The end of the semester is just around the corner and will likely coincide with finishing our book's first draft. Once those two things happen, I'll definitely be able to finish up old tasks and begin new ones.

Digital Mess

This past month, I've been occupied with a side project of organizing my emails and photos. As I mentioned in my last newsletter, I set up a new account through Fastmail, which I've been pleased with. This led me to consolidate all my different email services into a more unified system, allowing me to clean up 20,000+ emails that I've been holding onto.

I also tackled the almost 70,000 photos and videos that I've stored, many of which are doubles (or triples!) and are in different sizes and file types. To solve this problem, I switched back to Adobe Lightroom, a photo app I used in my photography days. It allows me to see more information about each file and offers more ways to sort and filter them to find duplicates and flag them for deletion.

Now that the first stage of transferring things over is mostly complete, I can now begin the second stage of culling through them. I hope to work on it slowly over the year.

Writing Projects

Back at the start of March, I had big plans, hoping to start work on a new project. I wasn't quite sure what it would be, but I wanted to explore my own writing. As I worked on it, I hoped to share my progress through a paid newsletter and give early access benefits.

Of course, this never happened. As I said, I've felt stretched thin the past several weeks, and the ability to add one more story is well beyond my means. (Presently, we have a long-overdue book and the projects of twelve students on my mind.)

However, this doesn't mean I'm giving up. Once the book and the class are done, I will return to this plan—although it may change somewhat. I've been playing with the idea of doing flash fiction or longer stories but in bite-sized chunks.

If you've read my other stuff, you know this isn't much of a stretch for me. Most of our chapters are only a few pages long, which amounts to about the same amount of words. This style undoubtedly comes from my scriptwriting background, but I've always loved the succinct book with stripped-down prose. I also think that many readers appreciate the more easily digestible bite-sized writing in this age of distraction.

So that's the plan. I figure it will happen when it happens, and I'm not planning on any specific deadlines anymore, but I promise to let you know when it does.

That's about it

My other jobs call. I've got a fictional finale to write and student meetings to make via video call.

See you next month.