The Circle of Shame


Dear internet: I have a confession to make. I have found myself for the past months stuck in an annoying place. I have been trapped in the Circle of Shame. You know the cycle. You promise that you are going to do something (go to the gym, write every day, blog every week). You start out strong, things are rolling great, and then you have a stumble. You miss one week. Things get a little bit busier. And then you feel self-conscious and feel bad so you duck your head to avoid it and don’t think about it because when you do you feel really bad because now it has been months and oh man oh man. Yeah. That’s the cycle I’ve been in.

Vicious Cycle
Oh image-search, you didn’t let me down.

It all started with my actuary exam in May (which, fist-pump aside, I passed). During the lead up to that exam I came home at 5, studied until 8, then vegetated numbly until I went to sleep. I studied 2+ hours every weeknight, at least one full day of the weekend. Frequently, both.

I made the choice to take that exam, knowing it would impact my writing and reading. But man did I underestimate that impact. Of course it didn’t help that I started studying for another one, but at least I realized before too long I couldn’t do 6 months of that constant studying.

The Math was actually pretty charming

So anyway blog, yes, I’ve been avoiding you. It was just embarrassing – this was the year I wanted to knuckle down and write seriously. Regular blogging, connecting with other writers, reading vigorously. And with my exams I made a choice not to blog for a bit, and then I got self-conscious I hadn’t blogged, and then avoided thinking about my blog and that’s the trap.

You fall down a hole, and all you want to do is avoid it. And as you avoid it, you fall further down the hole, until it becomes this big never-ending cycle of icky feel-bads.

The only thing to do is to suck it up and get back to it. So blog, here I am. I’m back.

What’s Next

I’m spending this week actually working on Iron Stars. It’s meant to be a relatively short project, and so I want to get the first-draft done before too much time goes by. It’s good to stretch the writing muscles again, because after even a few months they get super rusty.

On top of that, once I get that done I feel like it is time to start revising Deveroux and Fitch. There’s some structural things I still need to fix, but once I finish another draft hopefully the obvious stupid errors will have been resolved.

I am nervous still. I have another actuary exam coming up, and I worry it will be all-exclusive again. And I honestly cannot do that. For my own sanity, I cannot just completely abandon my writing for months at a time. I don’t know exactly how it is going to work, but I’ll make it work.

I also intend to be around here more frequently. I mean, I started this blog initially because everyone says “start your social media presence early,” but it’s become something else entirely. This isn’t a place for me to huck my books – hell, I don’t actually have any books yet to try and sell. This is instead a place for me to reflect on my writing and my progress, and a way for me to take stock of me. I missed that space.

And ultimately, that’s what brought me back. I’ve already walked away from my writing before out of shame and that is never happening again. And that’s how you break the cycle: eventually, you suck it up, and get back on track. Is it a little embarrassing to be coming back to the otherwise quiet blog? Yes.

But nonetheless, here I am. It’s good to be back.


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