To my great relief, February is over. I know March still isn’t great for a lot of people, but for myself I can feel things changing. My sleep is still not great, I’m not going out with friends as much as I normally do and my motivation is still lacking, but I feel a shifting as things start to move around in my head.

It’s little things to be sure. I went out for a walk today, for the first time in probably two weeks. I haven’t done much around the house, but I’m making plans for some things I want to do. My urge to eat sugar and fats is reducing and sometimes replaced by want of a vegetable. Inactivity is starting to make me restless. My brain is starting to come out of survival mode and look ahead a little.

My morning routine of writing hasn’t recovered, but I’ve suddenly found myself with more energy in the evenings. I’m not so tied to my routine that I’ll refuse to take what’s offered, so I’ve been getting editing done late at night in a way I’m not normally able to do after a workday.

This has helped me hit another milestone this week: I finished the first round of edits based on my alpha readers’ feedback. I’m far from finished, as I still have two more sets of notes to go through and theoretically four more to come. Just the same, I’m feeling good about this accomplishment. I was dreading the editing, and it’s gone better than expected. I’ve even managed to cut another 1000 unnecessary words out of it.

I think the next rounds will go faster, because this first time through I read the entire book, making notes and small edits as I went. For the next sets, I’m just going to go straight to the places my alpha readers marked. I’ll save a final complete read through for when all my notes are in, and I’ve figured out where full rewrites are needed.

 I’m happy to find that re-reading it now, after several months of distance, I’m still mostly pleased with it. There’s definitely some things that need cleaning up, places that need clarification and places that need trimming, but mostly I’m satisfied with what I’ve accomplished. It makes me very excited about where I get to go when I start writing book two, which I think is a good thing.

The return of motivation also means I need to remember I promised myself this was the year I start submitting short stories for publication. While it’s early in the year yet, time is passing by at a breakneck pace, and I need to get that started. I’ve got big dreams, and I’ve got to start taking some action if I want to make them a reality. I need to use my returning energy wisely.

I’m also hoping that with this shifting tide in my head, I’ll find some energy for new writing on top of my editing. I know I still have many more stories to tell , but that part of myself has been dormant for a while now.  I’m optimistic that sleeping bear of imagination is starting to stir in its cave, soon to wake and tell me the stories it’s dreamt of during hibernation.

Winter isn’t quite over yet, and neither is my seasonal de-motivation. I’m not fooling myself into thinking I’m in the clear yet. But the sun is a little warmer and some of the trees are showing buds, and ever so slowly, the world and my self are thawing.

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