Real Life vs. EVE Online

I'm writing a book. It's one of the things I do for a living in Real Life. Book writing is a lot like making sausage - it's an ugly, unpleasant-looking process when you are making it, but everyone forgets that when it's finally cooked and served.

I've been neck-deep in this endeavor for about six weeks now, and I've got another two or three weeks to go. The manuscript is officially due to my publisher at the end of the month, though I suspect I'll be a bit late on delivery - my editor is OK with that, as long as it doesn't turn into another month delay.

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I've written about ten books in my career, and it's always this way. Lots of mental thrashing around trying to figure out how to structure a chapter, and then pulling all-nighters in a flurry of mad typing, followed by a day or two of editing. Then onto the next chapter, and repeat, until it is finally done. This book will have about 70,000 words in ten chapters. I'm about finished with eight of them, and the grind is starting to get to me. Now I just want it to be over. One or two more big pushes, and this thing will finally get born.

I hope so, anyway.

Why am I complaining about this, in this EVE Online blog? 

First, for some reason, I really miss playing EVE Online right now. There's a lot of interesting things going on. Rubicon is about to come out - and early reactions to features on the test server seem to be pretty good. CCP Games has started their lecture series for new players, and we in EVE University are eager to support that initiative.  I wanted to get enough LPs to purchase the new Sisters of EVE ships coming out in Rubicon, but I've had to pull back on my mission-running campaign. And there are the usual duties of being a director in a large corp, and I've not been able to attend to them with the attention they deserve.

But mostly, I miss playing EVE Online because it is a great way to unburden myself from stress. And this Real Life book project is stressing me out. A lot. 

Sometimes, when things get tough at work, I'll fire up the PC and start up the EVE client. I'll get a homebrew out of the 'fridge, undock a Mack and find a nice, quiet asteroid belt, put my feet up, and just go mine for a few hours. Usually I'll be reading a book on my iPad, looking up every so often to see how my exhumer is doing, and taking a few moments here and there to switch crystals, target a new 'roid, release drones to take out and then salvage some rats, or shuttle back to station to unload the bay. It's brainless, yet satisfying. Taking out a whole belt and and getting a few million units of refined minerals relaxes me. I guess it's how some people feel when they go fishing. But for me, fishing is boring. Mining 'roids is cool.

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For those of you who think of EVE Online only as PvP carnage and a destruction-fueled adrenaline rush, I'm sure my fond description of mining is completely perplexing. I certainly enjoy a little PvP action every once in a while, myself. But if I just want to unwind and forget Real Life for a while, I'll go mine or mission or haul some courier contracts for a while.

Yes, it's totally brainless, and requires little effort beyond clicking the mouse every so often. But that's kind of the point. It's therapy. And it feels good.

This book project has kept me away from that for over a month now. I can tell it's starting to take a toll. I'm irritable, and my wife says I'm starting to grumble a lot. My eyes are sore and bloodshot, and I've got weird muscle aches. I didn't realize how a few hours of mindless EVE Online play every so often made such a positive difference in my life, until I couldn't do it for a while.

Sometime before December, I'm going to make up for my absence from the UNI by doing a 12-hour marathon of classes and lectures. I've done that a few times before, and it's always exhausting, but a lot of fun. I'm looking forward to it. 

But first, when I finally finish this damned book and ship it off to the publisher, I'm going to take a couple days off of work. I'll get some beer, fire up the PC, start my EVE client, and go mine some 'roids.

I need the therapy.

Fly safe! o7

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