There are two types of emotions I experience every month between the 18th and 28th.
1) 18th. Dysphoria – intermigled with dread/worry/anxiety
2) 28th. Euphoria – radiating with relief/joy/anxiety
Why these two particular emotions? It’s simple. I’m a writer. Why during those particular days? Deadlines.
There is a fantastic joy I feel when I’m writing. Sitting down and putting words on the screen, moving from sentence to sentence as it all flows together like little streams feeding into a larger river. However, for some odd reason, the knowledge that I have to write puts a different spin to how I feel about writing. Hours slip by staring at the steadily rising word count, while anxiety to get the writing done eats me up and at midnight my guilt riddled conscious, frantically hammers away at the keyboard to hit at least one word count target before sleep seeps in. The only problem keeping me from finishing is the fact that on the second screen, I’m running emails, Hearthstone, Youtube, that one story I’ve been meaning to write that suddenly seems so much more viable now than the work I have to do and, I’m chatting to that one guy on Steam who seems to show up right before I’m about to start writing.
The Art of Discipline.
It’s easy; just sit down and write. Right? Of course. But each person has different forms of discipline they must enforce, and each person must figure out their discipline for themselves in order to be effective. There are plenty of articles and posts on how to be disciplined in writing so I won’t go into all of that. Instead, links:
My discipline consists of closing all game launchers (Origin. Battle.net. Steam. League of Legends etc etc), closing my web browser and using my “Research” browser which will only have tabs open related to whatever I’m writing about. Music is dimmed down to dull ambiance in the background and siblings are pre-warned that I am writing and only to disturb if necessary. Limiting distractions helps to get that writing done.
The month of June has been my most challenging month ever, writing wise. It has also been one of the most rewarding of months with a couple of amazing opportunities coming my way, one of them being another of my short stories getting published in an anthology and the other being a project I’ve been working on for Gamecca which will be in this upcoming issue published online on 02 July 2015. I will have a separate post for each of them as this post isn’t about that. But links to them anyway:
Dysphoria is defined as “a state of unease or generalized dissatisfaction with life – generalized feeling of distress” which is the emotion running through me as I see that I have 5 more previews to write in the next two hours before its 1 AM, and I still haven’t compiled and edited that other article, and don’t even get me started with the fact that I have work to do the next day so I can’t write during the day and I have that obligation after work which will run late into the evening and… you get it right?
And the last thing you want to say to your Editor is: I can’t give you that article two days before you need it for that space you reserved for it because… well I was disciplined with my time.
Euphoria is defined as “a feeling or state of intense excitement and happiness” which is that relief and joy I feel with the realization that I am “free” and can have guiltless late nights playing games, reading that book or going out. It’s like a physical relief, an almost literal weight off my shoulders and it feels great.
The Good Life
The beauty of this cycle is the fact that it happens every month and I wait for it with bated breath because I love writing. I eagerly await each new article, knowing that I get to write seriously again for another month and writing content that won’t just be lost in cyberspace. As Fall Out Boy say in one of their songs,
I’m addicted to the way I feel when I think of you
I am addicted to the dysphoric euphoria of writing.
What do you experience the most before, during and post writing?