Downtime Thoughts and New Ideas

Happy Halloween, friends and neighbors!

I hope you spend tonight safely, spookily, and loaded up with enough pumpkin and chocolate that you can’t possibly forget to VOTE.

This blog post is coming to you from my rocking chair, where it is about noon and I am still in my pajamas. This is because I have had a hell of a week, and I am getting an aggressive masterclass in How To Just Chill The Hell Out- because the five holes in my torso need to heal, and will not be denied.

As such, I have been sleeping a lot, listening to a lot of music and podcasts, and even awoke the Dread Owl from its slumber… so here’s what’s been on my mind.

So What Happened?

Remember back in July when I landed in the hospital, and got a stent put in me? Well, that was a stopgap measure to keep me from going to hell until a more permanent fix could be made. At 7am Monday morning, I went in for that fix.

After getting knocked out, I was set up under a series of robotic arms and, through 4 incisions in my gut, my surgeon severed and rerouted the ureter that was causing the pain and frustration I’d been dealing with since January. I woke up some hours later with a catheter, a drain, 4 holes super-glued shut, and a firm belief that I would never beat my surgeons top score in Galaga.

I came home on Tuesday afternoon with a sore gut, sluggish bowels, and my energy levels so depleted as to be reversed. Healing takes energy and nutrients. Fortunately, I wasn’t in incredible pain, but I almost wished I was. The pain meds they gave me make me dozy and dopey, and I almost wished I was in enough pain to justify them, simply so I could justify to my brain that I needed to be as potato-like as possible.

Healing, however, does not stop Anxiety Feedback Loops from forming. For the first few days, I couldn’t endure the fact that I slept for 14 hours, or that simply standing up while eating breakfast was enough exertion to merit a nap in my rocking chair- and Anxiety is really good at filling my head with unwelcome/untrue/unhelpful thoughts. Thoughts like, “You’re tougher than this, you should be able to soak this, you’re just being lazy/wasting time, there’s something wrong with you, others are tougher than this.

I know that it’s bullshit- but fighting off those thoughts is, itself, exhausting- so between my healing body and sick mind, I have had to push a lot of my “goals” for this time to the wayside- because the only goal I should have had was “rest and heal.”

With Silence Comes Clarity

In the last few days, I have been healing steadily though. My energy levels are increasing, though weirdly inverted- leaving a traditional “morning person” with the will to write and create at around 8 pm.

I’ve managed to use some of that energy to do a couple constructive things though- you might have noticed the newly-updated Writing Services page on the menu. Given that my recovery will take me out of the bakery for sometime (and likely hamper my work for a while after I return. Transabdominal incisions tend to suck) and leaves Emily and I with some beefy hospital bills, I already started wondering about what I could do to make some money that would- ideally- involve not leaving the house.

The idea of being a freelance editor/writer is definitely not a new one- I’ve floated articles to magazines on and off for some time, and I’m always eager to help my fellow writers edit and clarify their work. I first considered getting actually paid for the effort July of two years ago. Now though, with time on my hands and a “safety net” in the shape of returning to the kitchen if it fails, I can focus on that part of my career with the patience and clarity it deserves.

I’m all for stories of heroic, bootstrapping freelancers- but a good chunk of that story that goes untold either involves a working spouse, “nothing left to lose,” or the safety net of a profitable career elsewhere if it fails. Risks are only fun if you know you’ll be okay in the end.

So if you or someone you know needs writing services- click that link and drop me an email at blackhatwritingservice(at)gmail(dot)com. My rates are pretty reasonable, and- right now- I’ve got plenty of time on my hands, so you can expect a quick turnaround.

That’s all I’ve got for today, I think. I’m off all next week too, so I expect I’ll have something a bit for thoughtful next Saturday.
Thanks for indulging me, thanks for reading, thanks for your support, and thanks for

Staying Classy,


If you would like to help support Emily and I right now, but don’t have any writing work for me, my Patreon is still up! It’s a great way to support this blog for as little as $1/month, and you’ll get great perks in return! This isn’t a GoFundMe, there’s no “end date”, but you can change or cancel your pledge at any time. Thank you! – BHB

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