Monday Series: A Messy Middle


Hello again and welcome to another installment of "I don't know what I'm doing but come along with me while I figure it out."

Things I Did Last Week

Monday and Tuesday were devoted to fulfilling a few orders and prepping the materials I needed to submit to the virtual market I participated in yesterday. This included filming and editing a 10-minute long studio tour video. Lol, I cringe when I attempt to rewatch it. Eesh. 

In the remaining time, I was reasonably productive in a Monique kind of way: which is to say I avoided the important things until the very end in favor of far less important things that I spent too much time on. This resulted in my building an entire Society6 shop while I could have been finishing a commission. So we can safely say that I failed on the "reduce constructive avoidance" goal I wrote about last week, haha. I only get 10% of each Society6 sale but it's completely passive income once I upload everything (in a way that print sales from this site are not) because they do all the payment processing, production, and fulfillment for me so I think it's worth it. I've already made 8 sales so... hell, that's ~$19 I didn't have before. I'll take it. 

That said, I did make quite a bit of progress on 3 commissions toward the end of the week. So while the work didn't fit into a nice little package, I ended up doing most of what I set out to do and a lot of what I never intended to do. I'll call that progress.

Stuff That is (Still) Working

  • Woke up at 8 this morning. I moved my phone away from the bed so I have to stand up and walk across the room toward the hallway in order to turn the alarm off. Once I'm there, I'm closer to the bathroom than I am to the bed so I just head right in and start my day. I've done this kind of thing before. It's the only method I've used that actually gets me up without snoozing 12 times.
  • Coffee + reading is still pleasant. I don't do it every morning, but I try to.
  • Exercise is going to move up to this category. I adjusted the schedule to a configuration that I somewhat enjoy. Instead of fooling myself into thinking that I'm going to exercise every day and failing every time, I've combined running and strength training into "one workout" that I do 3x/week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. This has proven successful. I actually did all 3 of them last week. The other days are technically "rest" days but I usually go for a long walk and/or do a small yoga video whenever I can fit it in. I like moving. The point is that I don't HAVE to on those days so the pressure is off. It seems as though these MWF workouts are going to continue to happen in the 4pm-7pm range. That's ok for now. Sometimes I have GI issues if I run later in the day; but that's a thing I've dealt with for a while so I'll either adjust my food again or try to run earlier. Stay tuned.
  • Bedtime: I pulled my smaller TV out of storage and have taken to watching baking shows in bed for about 30 minutes before I go to sleep. This has been pretty effective in focusing my mind on something peaceful for long enough to become tired. Last night, I got the timing right and actually managed to get somewhere in the neighborhood of 8 hours of sleep. I can't believe how challenging this is even for someone who doesn't have kids, dogs, or morning meetings.

Stuff That (Still) Isn't Working

  • Drawing is still happening too late in the day/week. I get it done eventually but the stress I put myself through while I'm avoiding it is unnecessary. This is a habit. I've gotten into a bad one; now I have to change it to a good one. It remains a product of constructive avoidance. I'm intimidated by some of these projects because I don't want to mess them up but avoiding them only makes me feel worse. I know this and I do it anyway. This is my focus for the week—somewhat out of necessity now because I said yes to a few quick-turn commissions. After this post and some food, I'm going to start drawing.

Other Thoughts

Sometimes I feel like things aren't really changing but when I list it all out like this, I realize that they are. It's just hard to see when you're in the middle. I'm far enough in that the novelty has worn off but I'm not close enough to the "end" (whatever that is in this case) to see the light at the end of the tunnel. This is the hardest part for me, the messy middle. This is where I usually give up. 

This Week's Priorities

  1. Another Anniversary Commission
  2. Finishing the Birthday Commission from Last Week
  3. Finishing Another Birthday Commission
  4. Starting the SVS Learn September Contest Piece
  5. Starting a Personal Project
  6. Fulfilling a Few Print Orders/Gifts
  7. Maaaayyyybe Starting on Another Birthday Commission if there is time, lol. 

Did I mention I have a lot of quick-turn commissions???? Yikes. Everyone keep your messy houses away from me. The avoidance temptation is going to be huuuuge this week.


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