I’ve always been a staunch opponent to metaphors comparing people to machines. It could be because of my not exactly positive opinion of the behavioural school of psychology (the original one) but anyone telling me they’re going to X place in nature to “recharge their batteries” is asking for it. And yet I must admit there is something we share with machines. The need for downtime.

It started about ten days ago. I’d completed a first draft in record time and I could go on to bigger and better things, namely editing Sky High and publishing it here before I published it as a book. At first it went okay and then I started losing interest for no particular reason. Worse, I didn’t want to write anything else. I was out of ideas and out of joy. That went for both my fiction and my business writing.

Okay, so it’s August and it’s not a regular August because now we have the start of school year to worry about as we’ve never worried before because virus. And it’s a new, largely unknown and sneaky virus that can kill even healthy people. I’ve definitely been feeling my mortality more acutely than I normally do these past few weeks. And of course there are also my book sales or rather there aren’t my book sales. Or reviews, which I hear are the default path to more sales.

Rationally, I guess I’m having a case of negative emotion overload. All emotions are tiring but negative emotions are downright exhausting. An exhausted brain is not a happy brain. It is not a brain full of ideas. It is a brain that just wants to take a break. Unfortunately, it happens to be in the skull of a living person, so a break is pretty much out of the question.

I was at a rundown hotel and that’s pretty much everything I remember. It may have been an apocalyptic plot but the details are gone, alas. Then I was on my way to a wedding with C’s parents (his mum played the guitar like a virtuoso) and everyone and I discovered I’d lost my debit card. I called the bank and the bank, handily nearby, said they’ll have to destroy it. Which they did. While I was there. They burned the card I had supposedly lost to some sort of sand I could then take home.

This is the dream I had last night. The apocalyptic setting is typical of many of my dreams but the mid-dream disconnection is not. I often dream more than one plot in a single night. But they are usually a lot more coherent than this. Which tells me that whether I like it or not my brain is taking a break and there’s nothing I can do about it. When a machine needs downtime, the machine gets downtime and yes, I hate that I just referenced my brain as a machine. It was unavoidable because poetic I am not.

Resistance appears to be futile. I had this brilliant idea on how to end Sky High but it’s been hard to actually write the bloody thing. I had an idea about my energy blog but I didn’t have the energy to do the necessary planning. I am so out of energy to do things I want to scream only I don’t have the energy to scream so I’ll just sit quietly and whine about it in my blog.

Speaking of which I’m having second thoughts about. Why bother, these second thoughts go. Who cares about yet another blog in an enormous ocean of blogs, many of which are actually useful to their readers. Or maybe I should start venting about politics — this is bound to make a lot of people angry (if they bother to read it, of course) and maybe they’ll vengefully buy my book only to trash it later. Reverse psychology level whatever.

But I’m not doing anything like that. First, I can’t be bothered. Second, there’s no joy in making people angry, on purpose or by accident. Third, I’m kind of attached to this blog such as it is. It’s my way of shouting into the void and I’ve found this to be therapeutic. I wouldn’t go as far as to say I’m already feeling better but I’ll get there eventually.

Meanwhile, if you’ve nothing better to do, you might consider buying The Lamiastriga. Leave a review, if you feel like it, and I’ll send you an e-copy of the second book, Second Skin. This, I believe, is known as a call to action and it’s clear that I’m excellent at it on the first try. Oh well.

2 thoughts on “Downtime”

  1. Those covid dreams… This Saturday, the law changes yet again ( can even the cops keep up?) Four households will be allowed to meet This means face to face birthdays, two even on the same day, real presents essential. . In my bizarre dream, I was desperate to find a present for one visitor’s child, and knew that this child would be two. Presents were on government issue only, from those cylindrical skips used for garden waste. I was allowed only a hard plastic pig. no Peppa, just ‘royal’ blue. ( not a colour I’d ever choose) Male child, aged 3, that’s your allocated present. I tried to point out that the child would be two , then the officers in control of toys pointed to the date. 2021…
    Had I lost a whole year ? Strangely devastating…
    Quit my catonthedovrefell pseudonym – glad even my software writing husband was baffled….


    1. Argh, that’s a horribly 1984-style dream but easy to see where it came from. Would make for a chilling story. Write it, please?
      (I wouldn’t have known about The Cat on the Dovrefjell existed if you didn’t have that pseudonym, so thanks for that :))


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