Feeling Like A Fraud

I’ve not blogged much recently because I’ve been feeling like I’m talking and talking and not getting anywhere. I felt disillusioned as I haven’t got anything published for a while. Despite the fact that what I’ve been doing is getting projects cleaned up and ready to be submitted or self-published, I was still feeling like a fraud.

But I have been working fairly consistently.

I’ve only had four days this month where I haven’t done some form of writing work. I’ve written 1908 words but have edited 76368 words.

I am making progress, I’m just frustrated because I know my zombie novella won’t be out this year now. It’s ready to be formatted and the cover art is all but done, but cash flow will stop it from being out this year. I’m gutted about this. I’m really happy with how it’s come out, but I’ve got to accept the situation.

Penal Earth is done. I’m just waiting to pitch it to a publisher early next year, but if they turn it down I’ll get it submitted elsewhere and if I have no luck I’ll get it edited and self-published.

The vampire book is all but done. I’ve got my hard copy with a few little red-pen notes and then it’s ready to be serialised on my Ko-Fi page next year, in my Welcome To my Nightmare tier. I’ve not sure if I’ve shared that, but that’s where it’s going to start its life. I’ve tried to set it up so that it’s episodical, so I hope I’ve done it in a way that it works.

Black Blood is tidier than I thought it was. I think it’s not far off being done. Once I’ve done my current pass I’ll be printing it off and doing that final red-pen pass and then that too will be ready for submitting or self-publishing.

Once I am done with those I’ll be done with all of them. These four projects have dominated my writing path for far too long and it’s time I wrapped them up and sent them off into the world.

Then, maybe I won’t feel like the pretender I don’t want to be.

EGX 2022 (Thursday)

Today I went to EGX with Stefan and Steph from Stefan’s Daily Gaming.

This was my third EGX, but my first at ExCel in London. The other two were at the NEC in Birmingham. So a much shorter drive this time.

The first thing you notice when you walk in is the vibe. Even while standing in the queue to get through security and get our lanyards there’s an electricity in the air. The three of us are adding to it, especially when Stefan sees some of the PlayStation Access team.

We got our lanyards, much better than having just a wristband. They’ve an advert for House Flipper 2, which Steph got rather excited about, and we went into the event room itself.

There’s a lot to take in when you first walk in. There are a few folks handing out leaflets. Cosplayers moving around, not as many as I was expecting, but it’s Thursday and I’d imagine the weekend will ramp it up a bit. There’s a lot of folks in some amazing outfits. While not cosplay there is a lot that are themed as well as those that are just awesome. There’s all the gaming setups right there and they go throughout the space. Off to the left and towards the rear quarter of the floor is the vender stores. This is where we go first.

Now, my cash flow like many of us is shite at the moment so I only had a small budget but I couple of little bits went for a Mystery bag that was £25. Now, what I got in it I wouldn’t necessarily have bought, but I’m really happy with what was in there and it was definitely worth the money I paid for it.

Mystery bag contents

I find I really enjoy looking around the vendors. As it’s a gaming convention most of them are gaming related in one way or another. There was a lot of anime as well, and strangely enough I noticed a lot of vendors selling pop culture themed swords at this con.

There’s a lot of people selling artwork based on video games and pop culture in general. Some of it I found mind blowing. The skill that goes into producing these pieces is amazing and I could have spent quite a chunk of money on those alone. There was a couple of DOOM ones that really caught my eye.

We explored the retro gaming section. This got the nostalgia going big time. The one that really got me was one called Dizzy Egg. Now I can’t remember if this was the exact game me and my brother had on the Sinclair Spectrum ZX as the one I saw today was on a different system. But I had a quick go, and died like four times! But it brought a big smile to my face.

We even had that joystick!

I saw StarFox, Micro Machines, Halo 2, various Super Mario Brothers and Sonic The Hedgehog games. There was a few Batman ones, one of which Stefan dived into (he’s a big Batman fan) and so many more. Aside from Dizzy Egg I didn’t really play any as others were playing them while I was circulating, and honestly my anxiety was rising.

Arcade Cabinet

Steph did wait to play House Flipper 2 and she spoke to one of the developers of the game. I’d imagine seeing people queueing up to play and talk of how much they love the game you’ve worked your arse off must be good.

Now, my anxieties did get to me a little but not like they would have done before. I didn’t have to take a moment and regulate my nerves at any point, although a couple of times I did feel a little overwhelmed.

I’m told I look happy here ☺️

It was such a good day though. I was with two of my dearest friends, and seeing how much they loved it as well made the day even better.

9th September 2022

This morning I have edited 14745 words on the Vampire book, and that edit is done! One last pass for me. It’s printing out as we speak and I’m going to go through with a red pen and make sure there are no silly grammar, spelling, or plot hole I’ve missed.

Needless to say it feels good having this one this close to being wrapped up. That makes it three that are almost ready for publishing. Zombie, Penal Earth, and Vampire Era. Very close is Black Blood.

I’m making this call now, but I don’t think Zombie will be out this year. It’s a financial situation in that it’s money for the cover art (which looks fantastic by the way), thankfully I have a really awesome cover artist who is very understanding.

Although I don’t think it’ll be out this year, I’m still gonna try for it to be.

Now I’ve got to think about NaNoWriMo, Because it’s gonna be here bloody soon! Feel free to add me on nanowrimo.org just search my name. I’ve got no idea what I’m going to be writing for it, but I’m sure I’ll come up with something.

Right, my brain is a little frazzled now. So, I’m going to chill out a bit.

Have a great day, folks!

HRH Queen Elizabeth II, Rest In Peace

Yesterday, the only monarch as a Brit I’ve known passed away at 96 years old. After 70 years as our monarch Queen Elizabeth breathed her last and for the first time I heard the words ‘The King’.

The public out pouring of grief has been beyond anything I’ve ever known. I think where she was the first really visible monarch who travelled the world extensively helped put her in many people’s hearts. I’m not historian, but I’ve not really heard of any other Royal, or head of state that did as much as she did in terms of engaging with the people of the Britain and the Commonwealth.

Something that I feel has really stood out about Elizabeth II was how she presented herself to the world. She had a dignity, a calmness, a sense of duty that I think many of us could learn from. For someone who was never meant to be monarch she took the role on seeming to view it not only as a duty but a privilege. I don’t think we’ll ever see a head of state with such determination and selflessness. Even if King Charles III carries on his mothers ways (which I’ve seen commentators mention that was how her father ruled as well) I don’t think he’s going to be able to. I think she was one of a kind and one we’re going to miss.

Queen Elizabeth wasn’t perfect, and she’s had her critics and many of them are spewing a lot of hatred online. I respect honest, constructive criticism, but some of what I’ve seen is just nasty and vicious for the sake of being nasty and vicious. Yes, she was the ruler of an empire built on rape, murder and theft. Colonisation was horrific and I don’t think it’s something we should be proud of.

I don’t know what her thoughts on that were, from what I’ve seen people say over the past day I doubt she ever shared them publicly. From what I can make out she never shared anything like that publicly. Even to the point of clapping for the same length of time at the Royal Variety Performance so’s not to upset anyone if she clapped less for them.

I think people wanted to hear from her regarding the recent allegations made against Prince Andrew. One person I saw online took particular issue with the fact that Prince Andrew walked by her side as she attended Prince Philip’s funeral. The shock of a mother wanting her son by her son as they laid to rest a husband and father.

There’s been so many controversies just in my life time alone, but I don’t think they will be what Queen Elizabeth II will be remembered for. I think it’ll be the woman who served during the Second World War. It’ll be the woman who lost her beloved father when he was still in his fifties and she was twenty-five, and then being crowed Queen while still grieving his loss. But her determination, her sense of duty, her dignity, and so much more made her a monarch that I think will go down in history as one of the greatest. I heard a few commentators referring to her as Elizabeth the Great yesterday, and I think that is fair. How many of us would have wanted to be in her shoes? Okay, she had wealth and power beyond the wildest dreams of many but would we want the worlds eyes on us every step we made? When I think about my family (mainly extended family) and what some members of it have done I’m not gonna be too hard of the late queen for not saying or doing this in regards to scandals. And don’t forget, we don’t know what she said behind closed doors.

I’m going to remember Queen Elizabeth II for the smile she had when she realised one of the royal guards was actually Prince Phillip dressed up to make her smile. I’m going to remember a woman who looked like she put her duty as Queen above anything she could have wished for herself.

On a side note, I hope I’m half as active as she was. Especially in those years when most people are settling into retirement.

Thank you for your service, you can rest now.

Good Morning, 8th Of September 2022

Howdy, folks! How are we all doing?

Yesterday I edited 10503 words and wrote 141 words. I did the 141 while waiting for my car to be MOT’d, trying to make some use of time that is presented to me. The 10k of edited had kind of burnt my brain out though, so although I got some words down I’d like to have got closer to that 200 words in that time period.

This morning I’ve edited 6149 words and was going to start on the next episode but if I do that then I’ll not get any housekeeping done afterwards. I’ve got a number of little bits and pieces that although not urgent, do need doing.

I got up an hour and a half earlier than I was planning to, so I’m ahead of where I was expecting to be by this time. I’m trying to remap my sleep patterns, and a big part of that is getting to bed earlier. My day job tends to have a 6am start time so I’d like to get to the point where I’m getting more sleep in general at night and not have to rely on naps to keep my energy levels high. I also want to be getting better sleep. Although last night was a little interrupted a few times it did feel like a decent nights sleep.

Having a decent nights sleep helps with mental health as well. Lack of sleep, for me at least, is a big reason why I can be more susceptible to feeling down. When I’ve got a decent amount of sleep I also feel a lot more productive and able to work in the manner I want to.

I’m going to be working for another hour or so, and I’d like to get a bit more editing done as well. Let’s see how much my brain can take before it checks out for the day!

6/9/22

Howdy Folks!

Today I’ve edited 6671 words on the vampire book.

I have got some words written in a short story so far this month, but not many.

I’m slowly getting back into the flow, making forward progress. As I’ve said previously this edit of the vampire draft is focused on making sure the continuity is right after recent changes. I’ve found the odd sentence that needed a little tweaking as well but I’m generally very happy with what I’ve got.

Speaking of the vampire book. I will be serialising it on my Ko-Fi page next year. I think it’ll fit nicely and I can’t wait for folks to read it.

Right, I’m off to bed. Tomorrow’s a new day.

Good Morning, 25th of August 2022

Howdy folks, how are we all doing today?

This morning I’ve worked through the first episode of the vampire book. That’s 13368 words I’ve read through. This wasn’t a deep edit by any means. This story is almost done and this final read through is just to try and find any little grammar and spelling mistakes, plot holes I’ve missed and to make sure the continuity is okay after the recent changes I made to two of the episodes. These changes did bind a certain plot line up beautifully.

Now, when editing I tend to hit about 10k and my brain checks out, which it has. I pushed myself for those last 3368 words I think so now I’m longing out to do some bits and bobs around the house and chill out a little.

Have an awesome day, folks!

It’s coming…….

Good Morning! 24th August 2020

Just a quickie today. Yesterday I got the read through of the original draft of Penal Earth finished and this morning I’ve done some planning for it. Mainly key plot points, character storylines, and a few other details.

So a good start to the day.

Still Struggling With Writing (and a big ol’ rant).

So, I’m still struggling to get my arse in the chair and get some writing done. I did write a little before work and during my break yesterday, which was a start, but I still feel like I’m slacking off.

The why of that is a mystery. I think it may be a side effect of mental health. I was a little down recently and when I get like that writing tends to be put on hold, but I can normally get back into the flow pretty easily.

Away from writing, life is good. There are some big changes coming at work, but nothing that I don’t think will have a negative effect at work or on myself.

There is a lot going on in the world though. We’ve got Ukraine, Covid, Brexit here in the UK. Raising cost of living, rise of Nazism (I refuse to call them white supremacist. They’re nazis. Simple as that).

Here in the UK we’ve got a parliament that is in disarray. Our Prime Minister had to resign and feels like he’d already checked out before his successor has been chosen (not by the population of the UK but by the Conservative membership by the way). The two people who are the candidates to succeed him are both not very inspiring and honestly, much of the same. The opposition party is weak. So we’ve got a weak government (that is allowing raw sewage to be pumped into our rivers and seas) and a weak opposition. That’s not good for this country. Which feels more like corporations are being allowed to dictate policy when it should be the government telling corporations what they can and can’t do and if the corporations don’t like it, they can fuck off!

Okay, rant over.

In regards to writing and my lack of, everything above is just bollocks! It’s all just bullshit fucking excuses that I’m using to justify my lack of work. And bullshit is what it is. Everything above should not stop me from writing. When I’m down, use those emotions in my writing (writing also makes me feel good about myself, so why wouldn’t I do it?). The state the planet is in, the shitshow that is Westminster at the moment, vent that frustration into fiction. Or even a blogpost like this.

I’ve spent most of my life hiding from the world. Hiding who I am, what I think, feel and so on. Suppressing my own fucking voice!

I

Have

A

Voice!

I need to use it. I need to put it into fiction, I need to stand up for what I believe in. (For the record, if i have a racist, sexist, just generally horrible nasty cunt of a character in fiction; that’s not my voice. That’s me creating a character who is FUCKING what is wrong with so much of this world).

Okay, I’m going to shut up now and do some writing work.

Be true to who you are. Even when it’s hard, thats when we have to be strong and stand our ground.

Laying It Out

I have not written much for the last couple of weeks. Partly because I’ve not been sleeping well and that led to a drop in my mental health. Nothing major, but writing was sacrificed so I could put more energy into family, friends, myself, and my day job. This isn’t to say I haven’t been thinking about it. I’ve solved a couple of problems I was having and I made sure to note them down.

One of the problems I’ve been fighting this last few weeks is imposter syndrome. That has hit me like a freight train. I haven’t felt this insecure about my writing in quite some time. A big part of it was finding a solution for a problem with the vampire series I’m working on. I’ve been fearing that it’ll need another huge rewrite and that dented my confidence. I don’t have the will to try and rewrite this series which has been in the works for well over a decade. I’d started working through it again last month, and got to two of the episodes and both need a lot fo work to fit into what I want to do. This led to a feeling that I would have to do that big fucking rewrite, and I’ve not looked at it since. I was torn between putting it to bed and moving onto other things. I was done. I don’t have the will to rewrite it again. A writer who is someone I have a lot of respect for keeps telling me to stop editing, and he’s right. I need to stop going over and over this shit time and time again.

But I now know how to fix it by making a few adjustments to those two stories which I felt wasn’t working. I’m a little mad at myself for not realising how to fix it sooner, because it’s such a simple fucking solution! Once those few tweaks are done I just need to go over the rest of it quickly to make sure the continuity works. Then it’ll be all but done! I do have a plan for what I want to do with this series, and not for nothing I want to move on.

Moving on includes Black Blood. This is another one that has been on and off the burner for a while. It’s one of those things where I know I can do better. To give you an example I’ve got a character who I Tell the reader is an arsehole. I know I need to show that more then telling it, and I can do it. I’ve just got to get out of my head that I’m a no good wannabe, and I can’t say I’m not until I put my work out there.

I know I can do it. I fucking know it! I NEED to get out of my own way. I’ve got to stop overthinking every single word I put down. It’s never going to be perfect, I’m never going to be happy with it. But I’m at the point where some projects I know I can’t go any further with. Like Penal Earth. Aside form one dinky little thing I need to add (literally one sentence) I’m done with it. I can’t make it any better. I need another pair of eyes on it. That’s an editor. I know who I want to send it too, but I don’t have the funds and I know they’re super busy at the moment. So I need to save the funds and send it to them when they’ve got the time of send it to another editor.

I’m gonna wrap it there, because I want to get cracking. I know what I need to do with the vampire book, so I’m gonna get it done.