I will pause here to explain myself. I have been diagnosed by several different psychiatrists to have bi-polar disorder. I think that in my case it is mild and mostly manageable, but it effects my work in a very unique way. My best writing comes in short intensely prolific bursts. At the very top of my high I can write 60 000wds in 4 weeks. At the very bottom of my low I can do the same. The results are entirely different. My writing swings from light to dark as easily as my mood. When I am down and in a particularly prolific period I judge everything I do as poor work, badly expressed. This isn't always true. I come back to it on a more even part of my cycle and I find the work is fine, even inspired in places as all first drafts should be. When I complete a large body of work on a high it is even better, full of humour and lightness and cheek.
This cycle means that I must take advantage of my highs and my lows when they occur. I can slog away through my ordinary days, but usually it is not this work that finds its way into the final draft. My muse is my disorder in a way and the only trouble with it is that in my lowest moments I hate everything I do and am in danger of destroying it as fast as I create it, worse, I suppose, I am in danger of destroying myself.
Sex follows me from high to low. When I am up I want it because it feels like I am on Ecstacy. All my skin revels in the touch. My whole body becomes an erogenous zone. I walk through each moment as if immersed in a bath of sex. When I am low it is only the electric shock of an orgasm that breaks me out of the numbness that has descended. I seek out the orgasm like one might seek out a drug, desperate, self-hating, aware that my demands are too much for my partner, aware also that physical contact with another is a major part of my cure.
I know myself better now, and I know how I work. When my supervisor at uni says he wonders if I understand how to sustain a project over three years I say that I do. I have written three novels each over a three year period. These are the novels that have not been published and I think that my editor's reluctance for me to publish these comes from the fact that they contain a snapshot of the low moments of my bi-polar, they are about death and fear and hate and jealousy. Better then to tap the humour that drips out of me when I am high. Better to publish a project that was completed in a joyous rush of chemically unbalanced pleasure. Still those longer works are good. I know they are, and in this 3 year PhD project there will be some work (Triptych) done in a heady rush of good will but there will also be some that takes a plunge into that dark self-hatred that is such a strong part of my psyche.
If you ask me to work on something over a three year period, then this is what you will get.