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a bear sits on the deck of a pirate ship writing on an old typewriter

There’s an old pirate’s proverb that says a ship in harbour is safe, but that’s not why ships are built. I was thinking about that this morning as I slowly woke up to a new day over a few cuppas and this adorbsable view from my desk.

Here’s a likkle piece of trivia about me that may be news to you: I don’t have a desk. I have beds and wheels, but wheels are pretty useless on a ship so I have a sleep bed, a cuddle bed and a work bed to see me through the day. My work bed is on the floor under Sir Bear’s desk and that’s where I spend most of my time. So now you’re in on the secret. When I say I’m at my desk, I mean my space under Sir’s workspace.

I don’t know whether pets – or pirate captains for that matter – are built to be sheltered from the storms any more than ships are. But I do know that I have spent the best part of this year clinging to my bear for fear of drowning. Every day he carries me around from sunup to sundown, moving me from bed to bed and making sure I’m close, comfortable, and well cared for. It makes me feel safe and it has helped me stay semi-functional even though I’ve been at a stage where I just can’t hoomin anymore since 2022.

As a result, my quill’s gone sluggish and my inkwell’s run dry while I’ve been busy navigating near-constant storms and endless piles of work. Now, a whole summer has gone by and I haven’t seen a single day of it. Not one. I know, it’s just one of those things. No one to blame. You grit your teeth and get on with it. Stiff upper lip, wot wot. Telling yourself, If I only make it to… and somehow falling for your own lies.

Because, the truth is that it won’t get any better “if only” and you won’t reach that elusive point in the future where, miraculously, your problems have vanished and your energy reserves are overflowing again. Very few of the holes we dig ourselves are actually self-repairing and fewer still strike gold. Or oil. Which means we’re left to shovel the dirt back in ourselves and figure out how to do better next time. Which means even more work.

It may be hard to believe, but somewhere under all the mess in my head a sliver of a once brilliant brain still resides. She wakes up every now and then to lament the lack of fags and coffee in our house. Odd behaviour given that I don’t smoke and have no idea when I last had a sip of coffee, but I digress. When she’s not pissy with cravings, she takes great pleasure in telling me I’m a massive arse wipe who needs to get my effin’ shit together. She’s a right little ray of sunshine this brain of mine. Annoyingly, she’s also right on the ball most of the time.

The last time she gave me a right bollocking was back in June, and as a result, I started to look for new ways to streamline our workflow. We did a five-week trial run using Hypefury to schedule the tweets on our joint NSFW account, @RhinehartLinn. The result made such an impact on my workload that we decided to take out a premium subscription and add @ResilienceQd and Sir Bear’s @LetoArmitage account as well. But it didn’t end there.

I re-negotiated my weekly schedule from three blocks a day to three blocks a week: Monday to Wednesday are dedicated to admin, edits, coaching and all the non-writing or social media things I do. Thursday to Saturday are my writing days, and Sunday is for social media. This means I can focus better and push work that would normally fall into the “if I only” category into the relevant block and keep working on what I am supposed to be doing right now. But it didn’t end there either.

A long hard look at what’s stifling my creativity told me I needed more focus and less by the seat of my pants work right now. So, with that in mind, I turned to Jeeves (my AI “butler” in case you are new here) and had him crunch the numbers and tell me how much time and money I spend on things, and what measurable gains I get in return. Yes, you can do this yourself with pen and paper, but I was looking for ways to reduce, simplify and streamline. The answer was themes.

For the rest of the year, I will be working in themes and within my blocks. Each day has its own theme(s) that applies to social media, our websites and our Ship’s Logs. To get that wheel in motion, I’ve taken a week off my regular duties to finish all those niggling tasks that have been circling me like sharks lately. And here’s the sweet strawb on top of the cake: After I’ve tackled this week’s workload, I’m treating myself to a full week of uninterrupted writing time and a special celebration with Sir Bear.

I’m ready to meet October with an improved plan, a new schedule and a number of themes to help me work smarter and focus more on the things I truly enjoy. I may even be able to share some news about my next release when we meet on October 19th.

A girl can hope, right?

a blue ship's door with the sign "LINNEA LUCIFER"

Linnea Lucifer is the Captain of an imaginary pirate ship, a weaver of stories, and a certified pain in the arse.

Named after a delicate little flower that grows in mossy, Swedish pine forests, and a fiery fallen angel, she takes great pleasure in everything that tickles the senses and adds a sprinkle of magic and spice to our world.

When Linnea’s not busy commanding the Resilience, or lost in one of her daydreams, she pens fantasy steeped in Norse myth and Scandi folklore as Saga Linnea Söderberg, or Sweet’n’Spicy spoonie smut as Linn Rhinehart together with her Sir Bear.


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