What I learned this month (about hymn-writing, mostly)

Note: this post contains animated gifs.

Setting out to write 30 hymns in 30 days didn’t feel like a super-ambitious goal, initially. I mean, it was a bit daunting, because I’d never written hymns specifically before, but the idea of writing something every day wasn’t scary (even if it was poetry). I figuredĀ it wouldn’t be easy, but also that I shouldn’t have any real big problems accomplishing it.

Maybe I shouldn’t have done it in a month with dental surgery?

I think, though, the recovery from surgery is only part of why I’m so behind on my hymns. I didn’t realize how much these hymns were going to take out of me. I didn’t realize how much work I was going to have to put into them.

Chuck the prophet from Supernatural saying "Writing is Hard."

It’s day 29/30, and I’ve written 11/30 hymns. I’ve gone in order*, at least, but still. I’m ridiculously behind. When I first fell behind I tried to catch up by setting out to write 3 hymns/day, which just shows that I was really not aware how much energy I need to put into these hymns.

I’m not beating myself up, though. Reading this blog post helped me with being okay with not living up to this commitment in the way I had envisioned. And as my friend Mary says, there are no unrealistic goals — just unrealistic timelines.

I’m human, and my writing style is pretty slow.

Ross Gellar tries to move a couch up stairs, screaming PIVOT!
Pictured: me.

So, I need to pivot, which is what I’m doing. I’m continuing on with the project, but I’m committing to one day a week to write hymns. I think probably Friday. I will set myself a minimum of one hymn on that day, and a maximum of 3. That means if I’m feeling the buzz of creative spiritual energy, if I feel like I should do more than one, I can, but if I’m only energetic for one, then I’m still making my goals. Of course, doing them once a week, between 1 to 3 hymns at a time, means I can’t tell when the project will be done. I’m just going to continue to do it until it is.

And, keeping in with the original project, I will post round-ups here of the hymns that have been published on the blog shrines.

On that note, here are the ones that are currently up that I haven’t linked to in a roundup post (previous roundup post here). I’ve yet to type up the last two I’ve done, so they’re not published yet.

Hymn #2: Brighid, queer lady love
Hymn #3: Brighid, protection

Hymn #12: the Morrigan, blood
Hymn #13: the Morrigan, fairy

Hymn #22: Manannan, the land of the dead
Hymn #23: Manannan, travel/passage

*Well, theoretically, as the “sex” hymn for the Morrigan ended up being more “sovereignty” related. The two are connected, so I’m not totally surprised, though it did sort of point out that maybe I’ve got more issues in that arena to work out than I originally thought. Also, now I need to decide what to do about that hymn and writing another one.


(Content note for the rest of this post: mention of mental illness & eating disorders)

I think I learned some other things this month. I learned I am terrible at building up good habits (I’m not talking about the hymns and falling behind; that’s really just a case of misjudging things). Or terrible at adulting. I mean, I guess I knew this already, but this month drove it home again. Dental surgery + recovery basically destroyed the whole month for me. Part of this is because I’m disabled, yes, and never have enough spoons, but a good chunk is also because I have zero discipline and spent way too many hours this month playing Civ 5 (which screwed up my sleep schedule, because I don’t get tired while playing Civ 5).

I keep trying to set out to have some balance in my life, to attend to my responsibilities as well as letting myself have time to play, and this works for a few weeks but inevitably it crumbles into me bingeing on something to the point of it being detrimental to my life. Maybe it’s a symptom of my depression — actually, likely it is. But I can’t help but feel that I’m better than my urges. I’ve managed, through many years of hard work and self-love, to get a handle on my Binge Eating Disorder — so why can’t I get a handle on my other binges?

And why don’t I ever binge on, I don’t know, writing, or working enough hours to pay rent, or cleaning the house? Things that would at least have a positive effect on my life?

(I know the answer to this question; I’m just frustrated.)

I have slowly gotten better over the years at self-discipline, but it’s such slow progress as to be nearly invisible — like progress in those clicker games like Cookie Clicker or Kittens Game. Except in real life, I can’t put in JavaScript into the console that will make me Adult Automatically. (Though who knows, that might be possible in the far off future.)

So this month has been another exercise in learning this same lesson that I’ve learned a bunch of times over but can’t seem to do anything about, no matter how hard I try.

I’m not saying I want to be perfect; gods know no one is. I just want to be better than what I am, which is, frankly, a hot mess.

Ralph Wiggum comes out of a room with his onesie on upside down. "I dress myself!" he proclaims.
True story.

So. On that thoroughly depressing note (sorry y’all), I’m going to log off and go do some more cleaning stints on the kitchen to try and get it ready to cook dinner tonight.