This year’s anemic output

(This is a “blog it so I can refer folks to it later” post.)

Last year, I wrote 403,000 words. Not great, but not terrible.

So far this year, I’ve written 130,900 words. That is terrible.

I also seem to have passed an awareness threshold. In the last few months, I’ve been offered speaking and teaching opportunities at half a dozen events, including big events like LISA and MeetBSD.

I’ve had to turn them all down. Which sucks. I want to expand my readership, and conferences are a great way to do that. Especially conferences that pay my expenses.

Ditto for the fiction opportunities I’ve been offered. (Which really tonks me off.)

It turns out there’s a reason why I’m tired all the time. Why I can’t concentrate. Why my productivity is in the toilet. Why flying somewhere and returning leaves me wiped out for a week.

Why I’m not doing my usual September writing retreat in Oregon.

Why I’ve had to take bloody naps.

I’m anemic. My blood marrow has shut down, and isn’t making more red blood cells. The ones I have are old and tired, and not doing such a good job of hauling oxygen around my innards.

There’s no reason for alarm at this point. My physician said “hmmm… that should have worked” and sent me to a blood specialist. I’m on more meds. They haven’t used words like “aplastic” or “pernicious.”

If I worked for someone else, they’d just have to put up with me falling asleep at my desk. But I’m self-employed, so my boss isn’t nearly so understanding.

Why am I posting this?

  • If you’ve offered me a wonderful speaking or teaching opportunity and I turn you down, this is why. Yes, I want to expand my readership–but if I fly to Georgia and back in the space of a week, I’ll be flat on my back for a week afterwards. Add in a time zone change, and it’d be ten days.
  • If you’ve asked me to contribute to a book bundle and I say no: this is why.
  • If you’ve offered me exciting work that I’ve inexplicably turned down: ditto.

I am maintaining my existing commitments. I made those commitments already understanding my health. You’ll note that there’s only two of them. The furthest requires a three hour drive, and that’ll require rest breaks. (I’ll be fine at Ohio LinuxFest; I arrive early the day before, and I’m scheduling nine hours of sleep a night.)

My morale wobbles unpredictably between “not good” and “f— anemia.”

The bad news is: it took too damn long to find out this was going on. The anemia’s slow, stealthy progress hid the depth of the problem. It’ll take a while to recover.

The good news is: I’m expected to make a full recovery. There’s no reason at this time to think I’ll need vocabulary words like “aplastic” or “pernicious.”

More bad news is: you can’t do much to help me. The only thing I can do is wait for the meds to work, which will take a whole bunch of time. All I ask is that my readers understand why I’m slow in producing new books this year.

The great news is: I’m under medical advice to eat more cow.

6 Replies to “This year’s anemic output”

  1. So far this year, I’ve written 130,900 words. That is terrible.

    Oh, only a whole novel’s worth?? And still with 3 1/2 months to go??? Slacker!

    </sarcasm> (_Please_ don’t hit me!)

    Seriously, sorry to hear you are under the weather, and I hope the good drugs kick in soon, and you are restored to your usual roaring vitality!

  2. Ay caramba! When I said “don’t have a cow, man!” that’s not what I meant!
    Hopefully, you didn’t really eat anyone’s shorts.

    Seriously, get well soon.

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