Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Thanks to Jason Miller/Self Improvement May Lead to Sleeplessness

Firstly, I want to thank Jason for writing Sorcerer's Secrets, because it is thanks to him I'm sleeping again. Now that sounds like some kind of backhanded bitchy compliment, but it's not. It's v. v. sincere. His book lays out theory and tech in an orderly manner that makes me feel like I can accomplish what he suggests to do, that even a half ass dilettante like myself is capable of not just complicated workings, but using his ideas and funneling them into Deb-Speak and making them my own and making a frightening towering cake of a working covered in pink glittering sparkles and layers upon layers of magical fondant. So I can read a chapter, feel good about my place in the world and my capability and just. go. to. sleep. Herbal compendiums are good for this too.

Of course, up until like three days ago, I wasn't doing this. I was reading life improvement books before bed. They are really, really good and really well written and really useful and will help me build my hello kitty themed empire. But it just makes me all crazy-like and unable to sleep when reading them before bed. I finished Rules of the Game and Entre-Vous. I tried 4HWW but that just made me angry versus feeling inadequate. I’m reading Linchpin currently and will be reading Crush It after. But it makes it so I have trouble sleeping because I worry I will never live my life properly and/or better.

It’s moments like those when you are staring at the ceiling thinking about how hard you’re failing in life because you haven’t done anything particularly awesome as yet and haven’t written a book outline yet even though you were supposed to asap during your unemployment, haven't written a damn thing really yet though you've hardcore re-org'ed your house and yes I'm projecting all over you and you'll just have to deal here, and often have doubts and difficulties even saying hello to strangers let alone cold reading them and then charming them and still have doubts about your wardrobe and your body because this time of year every commercial on television wants to remind you what a naughty terrible unforgivable slag you’ve been so you need to start their diet/exercise program/liposuction immediately and your house isn’t full of charming objects from antique shops and is more cluttered than artfully disheveled and maybe you’re not sure you even have what it takes to be an artist or linchpin or special ponyprincessfirefighterfarmer and maybe you’re just going to be a cog forever.

A cog who never will open a conversation and then hook and seed it, a cog who hasn’t listened to NPR in over a month but who has never missed an episode of Toddlers and Tiaras, a cog who sometimes just likes to be told what to do at work and collect a paycheck and go about her business, a cog who will need to go to the gym eventually even though its tedious and not enjoyable because there’s no Metro to dash to in heels and she’s not v. good in them anyway, a cog who blathers about her life to all comers on the internet and gossips incessantly, a cog who has yet to put together her spinning wheel or start churning out artisan crafts, a cog whose desk is still in the CRV in pieces so she hasn’t written a damn thing yet since starting her month sabbatical, a cog who may still be terminally shy around strangers at Arisia this year, despite running a whole track for it.

All of these doubts plague me before bed, making it so even my elephant tranq level of evening pills I take to smooth out doubts and fibromyalgia that used to, when I had a day job, made it so I drifted effortlessly to sleep every night but now they barely make a dent so that I’m starting to dread going to bed again like I used to pre-medication because I know what will happen, me and all my doubts staring at the ceiling, thinking about all the things I haven’t done.

And when it hits its peak, when you feel completely awful and powerless and useless, take a breath and remember all the people in your life who love you. Right now. As is. Craziness and all. Even if you’re a cog who never starts a conversation with a stranger or gets the hang of buying two good sweaters instead of ten that you’ll toss in a year and you never become an artiste and just collect a pay check and you never lose any weight and keep watching crappy tv, you are still loved and worthy of love. Right now, as is, and never *ever* let anyone tell you otherwise.


Gordon said...

Oh Gods... Career books when you're off the work train. It's an absolute recipe for sleeplessness.

I have been exactly there quite recently. With some of the titles you have already mentioned, in fact. (Couldn't finish Linchpin till I was gainfully employed again.)

Speaking of titles... Check the cover of Jason's book. I think maybe you made the same slip-up I did. :)

Gordon said...


Huuuugs.... Down time is used how you use it. If you set your desk up you'd be more crazy than if you didn't because you still wouldn't be in the right head space to write. And then there'd be this desk judging you in the corner of the room.

That was my big revelation. Crazy takes as long as it's going to take. Thinking about it makes it yukkier.

If I got ONE thing accomplished per day when I was out of work it was a success. And that thing was usually dinner.

Rufus Opus said...

I just sat in my office and wrote a terrible book on Goetia. Bleh.

So my advice is don't conjure all 72 spirits of the Lemegeton's Goetia while unemployed. At least, it didn't help me out much.

Things will get better, I promise you in words. You'll sit down soon and have a thousand words up on the screen that get things flowing again, and it will be like a muscle relaxing that you'd forgotten was cramped cause it had hurt so long.

Lavanah said...

Hugs, from me, too. And, a word of "thanks" from possibly the only member of the magical community with NO desire to write a book. There are far too many crappy collections of word diarrhea out there already, so take your time! That way, when you do write it, it will be worthy of the limited shelf space that all magicians live with.

Oh, and the whole "cog" thing? Pick a machine and at random, take one cog (or the electronic equivalent) out-see how fast the machine breaks down. Try not to let someone elses ego driven, superstar needy mindset create any more issues for you.

Unknown said...

I know exactly what you mean, which is probably why I've given up the habit of trying to sleep entirely. Right now it's more of a "sleep where you pass out" sort of deal; I'll let you know how that ends.

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