I’ve had a terrible revelation

Originally posted on my Tumblr.

For the past several months my writing output has been way down. At first, I was really worried but I took a small step back and reminded myself that it’s not unreasonable to slow down and recharge. So I dialed back my expectations and tried to keep writing at a slower pace. This kind of worked but I’ve had to scale back a second time as my output continued to stagnate.

Today I had a revelation as to why my writing has been suffering.

Earlier this year I was moved from the jewelry counter to the sales floor. My writing flow used to be: write story fragments, a few hundred words or so, down during slow periods at the jewelry counter, come home and type up those fragments, and use that as a springboard to write more.

Now that I am working on the sales floor, I don’t have the chance to write anything down. I’ve lost my springboard. I come home and struggle to focus to write because I don’t have that easy jumping on point of typing up what I wrote earlier.

If I could write at work between customers why don’t I just write at home? Answer: At work, the only distraction is the store music, while at home I have podcasts, tumblr, random stories, video games, facebook, email, twitter, netflix, to name a few. At work, I have no choice but to be separated from the constant noise my brain seems to want.

So in conclusion, I think my writing output has gone down because I’ve lost the time I used to have at work, free from distractions, to write bits of stories that I would then type up when I got home thus priming me for more writing. Now I have to figure out a way to fix this, which is going to be easier said than done. I fell into the habit of writing when I typed up the bits I wrote at work.

So, I need to create a new habit for writing. I need to carve out time daily to shut everything off and think about stories. I need to reprogram the (now faulty)routine I’ve been running for the last few years. I’m sure this is going to be a piece of cake.

Year End Update

This is the end of my second year writing and posting on a regular basis.  My goal for this year was to post 90 stories/poems/serials.  I posted 87.  Not a bad showing considering those missed posts were caused by a hurricane.  The last two story posts are up on Patreon and will be out next week on my site and tumblr.

Looking forward:

Next month, I am going on hiatus to work on my second ebook.  I am going to be reblogging stories from earlier in the year and last year on tumblr.  I hardly ever reblog my stories because I don’t want to flood my followers’ dashboards with repeated reblogs.

Like the last one, this e-book will be a collection of stories I posted in the last year. I plan to have completed revising, editing, and formatting it by early March.  Patrons get free copies.  Stories will resume in February on the same schedule as this past year, eight stories a month posted on Wednesdays and Saturdays (Patrons get new stories a week early).

One Year Website Anniversary

One year ago, I created my website Gillian’s Notebook, www.Gillian-Ybabez.com.  I started off reposting older stories before posting a mix of new and older stories in March.  By April I was posting three new stories a week and continued to do so through September.  October and November I cut back to three stories every other week.  And then I took a couple months off posting stories.

I’m doing things a little different this year.  I’m posting two stories a week, eight stories a month, February through December, plus a couple to round out the total to ninety stories. My first story of this new writing year has been posted for patrons on my Patreon.  It will be posted on my site a week later.

I’m still working on the anthology of revised and edited stories from 2016 that I plan to put up for sell in March.

Writer/Patreon update

Last year, I wrote and published close to 90 stories on my site. I started around March putting out three stories a week. In September, I cut back to every other week as I started to feel depressed and couldn’t keep up with my previous output. I may, also, have had mild burnout. In November, I barely made my quota and realized I would not be able to do so in December. A large factor at that time was how busy my retail job had become during the holidays. So, I took December off and planned to take January off as well and return to writing in February.

A few days ago I started thinking about revising one of my stories. And then I restarted putting together an anthology of stories from last year. Also, I took everything I learned in the last year and worked out a plan for the rest of the coming year.

Starting in February I’m going to be posting two stories a week four times a month to my Patreon. Non-patreons can read them a week later on my site. I plan to keep this schedule through December. Eleven months, eight stories a month is eighty-eight stories. Because of how irregular months are there will be a few months that will have a skip week and I’m adding a couple of stories to make it a nice round ninety stories. I’m already planning on writing ahead so I can take a break again in the fall/winter and work on a second anthology of stories to be out early 2018. Patrons also get copies of the ebooks.

I hope to have the anthology I’m working on right now out around March.

My Patreon is currently on hiatus, since December, until I resume posting in February. If I keep to my schedule, there will be only one month, January, that I don’t post anything. I’ll be asking my Patrons how they would like me to handle that month.

My Mind is a Labyrinth

My memories are a labyrinth
Winding corridors
Secret doors
Dead ends and pitfalls

These are the first lines in a recent poem I wrote called My Memories.  The poem is not very good.  I shied away from what I really wanted to say.

My mind is a Labyrinth
Winding corridors
Dead ends and pitfalls
The monster is my memories.

Lately I find my mind twisting and turning back on itself.  Linking memory to memory in a winding path that leads me back to my sister’s death.  Even this post is another trip through the labyrinth with the same destination.

The path is well worn
Leading from room to room
Each one a tableau,
A story leading me deeper.

When she died, I spiraled into depression.  The same kind of depression I feel now.  Maybe that is why I keep returning to those memories.  Maybe they resonate with the same emotional chord.  I feel closer to her death than I have in years.  I can’t claim to have completely healed from her death, I still have days that my memories reach for her only to find her gone, but the blow of remembering she is gone has lessened.

Deeper to the center
The center where the monster lives
The Monster I created from memories
The Memories I wished to forget.

I remember too much to tell in this space but mostly I remember sitting in the hallway of the hospital.  Family had gathered in the hallway because this was the last time we would be able to see her, the last chance we had to say goodbye.  It all happened so quick.  Less than a day.  I remember the end of the hallway was a big window.  I remember wanting to throw myself through that window to escape from having to wait for her to die.

I can’t forget these memories
They loom over my mind
I wish I could forget them
But if I could I wouldn’t.

My sister’s death caused me much pain.  I became more depressed than I had ever been before.  I reached the breaking point where I sought out help from my local county health services.  I was denied.  I quit my job.  I felt completely lost.

My memories are a Monster.
Not evil, Not malicious,
Just painful.
We make monsters of things we don’t want to see.

But then, things began to change.  I found some new friends.  I found a new job.  I found acceptance from the people around me.  My sister’s death didn’t directly lead me to any of these things but it was part of the journey.  My life has not been smooth sailing since then.  There are ups and downs.  Her death was a major down in my life and while I wish it had never happened; I would never want to forget that it did.

I didn’t want to write this poem and mini-memoir.  I needed to write this.  I needed to work through these feelings and to not shy away from these memories.  I’m not cured of my depression but I feel like I’ve found a new path through the labyrinth.



Site Update/Writer Update

So, I know that my depression worsens after summer.  I had hoped writing and posting stories every week would build momentum enough to carry my through to November when it gets really busy at my retail job.  I had planned on taking like half of November and December off from posting stories for the holidays.  But here I am in September(not even officially fall) and I can’t focus, I’m having trouble sleeping, I’m getting migraines at a higher rate(this is due to the weather not depression but it isn’t helping).

Basically I can’t keep up with the pace I set for myself during the summer.

So I’m going to try halving my output for September and October.  Instead of three stories every week(twelve a month), I’m going to post three stories every other week(six a month).

In November, my output might drop to zero because of the holiday rush and stay that way until January when regular posting will most likely resume.  That might be a good time devote to editing some stories into a small ebook.  I’ve been meaning to do that but writing the weekly stories has been the priority up til now.

I know it may seem like a sudden change but this is something I’ve dealt with for years.  I didn’t know how my plans for posting stories regularly would be effected by my seasonal depression.  This is still the first year of what I plan to be a life long endeavor.  This year I have to slow down in the fall and probably stop during the winter.  Next year might be the same or it might be better.

Author update

So I have been feeling depressed lately.  It’s been interfering with my ability to write so I took the last week off from posting new stories/poems.  Because Patrons get new stories a week early my week off will happen on my site next week.  The next chapter of Lisa’s Story will be posted Monday but there will be no stories on Wednesday and Friday.

I’m still kinda depressed but the week off has helped. Regular posting will resume the following week.

Working on my first ebook

The first that I’ve made personally that is.

I spent yesterday working on turning my story Love and Comets into an ebook.  I did a lot of reading about how to format the text and how to put it into xhtml.  Some of the process I read seem a little overly complicated but I think I’ve gotten the gist of how it works.  I also spent time creating a single file of the story and cleaning it up, removing spaces at the end of paragraphs, fixing typos.  I am going to have to edit the versions on my website after I’m done.

Today I’m continuing learning and hopefully starting to work on the xhtml.  I’m honestly doing this in the wrong order because I know the text needs a few more passes to be as close to 100% as I can get it.  I should be doing that before even starting on the xhtml but yesterday and today are days off so I’m using the extra time and energy to learn how to do this.


Today is the official start of my website. I’m slowly reposting older stories for now but new stories will also be coming out soon. Read the blog post for more details.

New short stories or the current serial story are posted on Mondays.  Flash fiction stories are posted on Fridays.  Blog posts will be when every I have something to say about my own life or reviews of movies, books, or tv shows.

Continue reading “Welcome”