Taking a Break: The Power of Rest

Word Count (What I’m Writing); Updated every 2-3 Days (mostly)

  • Project Ship of Shadows (Graphic Novel) Page Count: 12
  • Whale Song Revision (Fantasy Short Story) (2nd Draft)

Goal = 5 Pages a week.  Working on Rough Draft for the next 5 pages on Fridays/Over the Weekend.
Actual = I didn’t get all 3 pages done last week and I managed 2 out of 3, but I did Rough Draft 5 pages last week with the hope of writing all five pages this week.  If I get them all done, that should put me right at 19-20 pages (the amount that the publication wants to see before deciding on a project).  

Currently Reading (What I’m Reading); Updated Weekly (mostly)

  • For Fun:
    Transhuman edited by Mark L. Van Name and T. F. K. Weisskopf
    Just started this anthology – it was given to me at a LibertyCon some years ago, but I’ve just now gotten around to reading it. I may not finish it/read all the stories, but so far, I’ve read the first story and liked it.
    Traveller RPG: I’m about 3/4ths of the way finished with this book–currently in the “ship combat” section.  I started this a while ago as a book that I was reading just before bedtime, but I didn’t really make much headway.  I restarted it and I’ve just finished the introductory character generation section and I’m now moving on to the skills section and will be soon moving into the “lore” section.  This is a revamp (rules 2.0) of an old school British RPG from the 1980s.  Updated for modern times, this fairly short book still gives a great set of rules, game system, and lore that I hope will serve as inspiration for new sci-fi works in my own writing life.
  • For School:
    Afrofuturism (by Ytasha Womack): This book describes the academic genre of Afrofuturism (essentially African American Science Fiction that deals with social issues in culture).  I just finished Chapter 3 today and I’m at the beginning of Chapter 4 (this book has 10 chapters).
    Here is a summary from Amazon: “In this hip, accessible primer to the music, literature, and art of Afrofuturism, author Ytasha Womack introduces readers to the burgeoning community of artists creating Afrofuturist works, the innovators from the past, and the wide range of subjects they explore. From the sci-fi literature of Samuel Delany, Octavia Butler, and N. K. Jemisin to the musical cosmos of Sun Ra, George Clinton, and the Black Eyed Peas’ will.i.am, to the visual and multimedia artists inspired by African Dogon myths and Egyptian deities, the book’s topics range from the “alien” experience of blacks in America to the “wake up” cry that peppers sci-fi literature, sermons, and activism. With a twofold aim to entertain and enlighten, Afrofuturists strive to break down racial, ethnic, and social limitations to empower and free individuals to be themselves.”
  • For Research/Personal Development:
    Great Aircraft of WWII by Alfred Price and Mike Spick (for Project Skye)
    Great Aircraft of WWII is a book that I’ve had in my collection for sometime–I’ve glanced at it periodically, but never read it cover-to-cover.  Now, with Project Skye, I intend to do just that.

Break Time

So, considering that I missed a day of blogging, you’d think that this particular blog entry would be an explanation for “taking a break.”  However, this really isn’t the case; the two aren’t really linked.  I missed yesterday’s blog post because I was “dog-tired” and simply needed to rest.  Today’s blog is actually covering something that I noticed on Saturday when I was gaming.  When they say take a break from your project before revising–I have to admit, what I saw on Saturday, really seems to bear out this advice.

Resting the mind = Increase in problem-solving

Quickly, let me lay out the scene: I had gotten stuck on two games and couldn’t progress as I couldn’t find the correct “path” or “action” to do next.  I put them away and played through other games.  On Saturday, happenstance occurred and I pulled both of these games and played them, and HOLY COW, I found exactly what I was supposed to do IMMEDIATELY upon loading in the game and getting started.  I was shocked!  It was if my brain had gone into “overdrive” and each of the problems that I’d run into were dealt with both quickly and efficiently.  In one game, I’d gotten stuck because I couldn’t figure out where to go next, but when I logged on, I saw how the “path” that the designers had recessed into a grotto wall.  Similarly, in the second game, I discovered the “path” that I knew had to be there, but also inferred the place where the path had to be where I couldn’t do that when I got stuck.

Tired = Inefficient

Even as I write this blog, I feel the effects of lack of sleep.  I didn’t actually sleep all that well last night and got up fairly early this morning.  I’ve had less than my preferred 8 hours of sleep and I can feel it even as I type these words.  What I’ve come to realize is that I’m simply going to have to 1) put projects away and let my subconscious work on it and 2) stop working when I’m tired (and try to get some real rest).  My brain needs both rest AND time away to be at my best.


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