Cleaning Volcanoes

Ebenezer: I suppose you’ll be wanting the whole day off?
Bob Cratchit: Yes, Mr. Scrooge. If it’s quite convenient, Sir.

I’ve been doing twelve to fifteen hour days at the computer, writing and editing, learning the ropes of SEO and Google and keywords and site design, researching marketing schemes and feeling my way through the strange and wondrous worlds of various social media platforms.

This morning, I feel close to burn-out, and as I admit that to myself I feel tears well up in my eyes. As Sally said yesterday, there’s a real cost to my Aspie tendency to obsessively dive into my “special interests” and follow my “fascinations.” Balance suffers, and other things go missing or ignored or forgotten, and I fail to notice, until there are leaks springing, that the pressure has grown to such tremendous levels.

It was like this for What a Way to Go, where I spent so many long hours editing video that my eyes still suffer from the experience. It was like this for All of the Above. It was like this for the first drafting of Rumi’s Field. And it’s like this now, as I make my way from Author and Publisher to Entrepreneur. Long, long hours, each time, with my head so caught up in the project at hand that everything else feels like a distraction, and nothing else feels as enlivening and real as what I’m doing.

Truth be told, I’m not at all sure that this is a bad thing. I might complain about my Muse’s tendency to manacle me to my desk, but when she’s not pushing me, I miss her. I love my fascinations, you see. It’s why I follow them. And much that “goes missing” is stuff that I don’t particularly care so much about. They’re just “things that need doing,” the volcanoes I have to clean on a daily basis, before, like the Little Prince, I fly off with my “migration of wild birds” and visit the strange lands that call to me.

But “fascinating” or not, those volcanoes must be cleaned, or they’ll create havoc when they finally blow. So I’m going to spend some time cleaning them today, and then I’m going to pull my head out of this fascinating matter of writing and editing and “finding my readers,” and do something else.

Saying that is quite terrifying to me, you understand. Because it’s difficult for me to find things in “the real world” that are as compelling as my “special interests.” But I need to change it up for a day, or most of a day, and see if I can relieve the pressures that have caused me to spring a leak. If that means nothing more than taking an extra beach walk, or reading a novel, playing a game or three, or just cooking an interesting new recipe, so be it. But if there’s something out there, some other flock of “wild geese” that might call to me and help me find “my place in the family of things,” I’m open to that as well.

It’s at times like this that I have to most loudly remind myself that Everything is Research.

Maybe Sally will have some ideas.

2 Comments for “Cleaning Volcanoes”

Sally Erickson


My ideas are that unfortunately the computer is a magnificent awful tool to pursue your special interests. I don’t think it’s good for anyone to spend so much time in front of the screen. And yet, I totally understand how exciting and compelling it is to go with what’s interesting and exciting and to do it to excess at times. So of my own special loves involve cans of paint and brushes, pieces of fabric and a sewing machine, seeds and shovels and raised beds, and sitting face to face or on the phone with other people. Of course I too have been spending way too much time doing computer research regarding our healthscapades, but I notice more easily when my brain is fried and I need to get my hands on something real. Maybe you could find a special interest that doesn’t involve the computer? I’ll send you some new recipes…..

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