Whether emotion, productivity, weather, or sleep related, cycles are integral to understanding one’s self.

When I hear that others are being productive – writing 50,000 words in a day – or have streamlined moods – like not having panic attacks every few days – I start to feel…sad. Even jealous.

What I’m learning is I need a lot of recovery time from emotional drains. This past Friday I had a panic attack before heading into work. It was only a 4 hour shift because I went to a doctor’s appointment with the Boy that morning. But after such an emotional drain, the 4 hours felt like the 12 hour shifts I used to pull at my last job.

I needed all of Saturday and Sunday to fully come back to myself. Days that I had planned to finish my next draft of my novella and start editing it for readers for today.

I felt like I was floating through life. I watched the marches all over the world from the comfort of my blankets and pillows. I felt like I should be out there too, but even just the thought had my heart racing. Analyzing this weekend confirmed that I’m an introvert. I’d always tested as such, but wasn’t sure.

Because what I also realized is that I need ties to reality, physical, speaking ties if possible.

It’s not that I need people’s energy like an extrovert, I figured out. It’s that I need physical reminders that reality is there, that my inner world isn’t all there is in my life.

Part of me has always known this, but really feeling it this weekend brought it to the forefront of my mind.

Most of my interactions with people…are through messaging. Or the people? They’re not real, they’re characters in my stories.

Right now, the only person I physically (as in out loud, in reality as it is) interact with honestly is the Boy.

So, I need reality friends.

Another cycle I noticed was my writing cycle. As much as I want to be a scheduled author, I don’t think I can be. I write in spurts, whether they be big or small.

This morning, I listened to the podcast Joanna Penn did with Kristine Kathryn Rusch on The Creative Penn Podcast and they briefly talked about how draining fiction writing can be. Joanna says its because of all the decisions you have to make. Kristine leaned more toward the emotional journey you go on alongside your characters. You feel everything they go through IF you’re writing authentically.

I think both contribute to the fatigue. It’s an emotional ride for sure. Especially if you’re writing close to a specific character’s mind. Depending on their personality, they can be very exhausting. And two of my mains are extroverts. Oof. They probably steal some of my energy too just to exist.

Both of these cycles – writing and emotional – have messed up my sleep cycles too.

The only positive cycle right now is my eating habits. Which is great, really, but can I only have one positive cycle at a time? It feels like it…

A big component to bringing my inner world cycles out into reality and keeping my brain from freaking out is organizing my outer world. I think. I’m a cluttered INFP, as is the stereotype, but at work I’m very organized. The reason? I don’t have much “stuff” at work. Basically the bare minimum of supplies and a computer. The freedom of desk space is probably the only part of work I enjoy.

What’s the solution then?

Cycle normalizing checklist:

Reality friends

Less “Stuff”

Organizing drawers or baskets

Physical reminders (post-its everywhere!)

This is what I’ve come up with anyway.

If I’m going to meet my March 1st deadline for my two novellas, I feel like I need to accomplish all of these things quickly. Give myself breathing room at home.

I need to bring my inner world cycles out so that they make sense with my outer world routines. The separation isn’t working.

That’s the current goal. But also, I seriously need to get a lot of writing done. The overwhelm is real.

But deadlines are deadlines. I have to stick with them or what’s the point? If I ignore them, that’s just another instance of ignoring reality.

Gotta stop that, self.

Going to go through this checklist and see how it goes this week.

I hope everyone is having a good morning, afternoon, evening, and/or night today. I’ll talk you in the next post. Bye!

What do you think? Let me know ;)