17th September 2021

Good evening, folks!

I edited 9694 words today on a story called Robert. Yes, I’m still holding off editing on Sweet Danny. Just need to get my head around it more.

I like Robert. I think it’s a good story and is part of a bigger universe that I’m enjoying working on.

At the moment I feel like my head is being pulled in twenty different directions when it comes to writing. And I don’t feel like I’m getting anywhere at the moment. I know I am, but it feels like I’m not.

I need to change that, I’m making progress but it’s just not as quick as I’ve convinced myself it needs to be.

6/9/21

Good evening folks!

How are we all today?

I wrote 852 in a story that’s got a working title of Deep End today. The words on that flowed really easily after a slow start. It was one of those mornings where I almost gave up a couple of times but thankfully I kept my butt in the chair and persisted.

The rest of the day was filled with other bits and bobs. Tomorrow I’ve got an appointment in the afternoon but before that I’m going to scratch off some of the little bits and pieces off my to do list that have been hiding there.

Overall a decent day and a good start to the week!

As soon as I’m at my desk, Dizzy is on my lap!

Good Afternoon, 16th of August 2021

Howdy Folks, how are we all doing today?

I have written 582 words today. I’ve had a few non-writing bits and pieces to do, as well as mapping out this coming week. So not lots written but still a productive day.

Last week I set myself a goal of 6000 words and ended up with 5809. So close! but a damn good weeks work! So this coming week I’m aiming for the 6000 again. I think I’ll hit it.

Right, I’m going to do a few more non-writing bits and pieces. So rock on, folks! I hope you all have a good week!

The Evolution Of My Office

When I moved back to my parents I asked them if I could make the spare room into an office. They were happy for me to, so I got stuck in. The room was a typical spare room and just had lots of bits and pieces put in it. It wasn’t a mess but it wasn’t anything more than somewhere to put things that didn’t have a home, and weren’t often used. So there was a little sorting out to do but not much got done until I got a desk.

I knew I wanted a desk with draws and a nice surface space. I also wanted a light wood colour, I’m I sucker for soft tones so I knew furniture wise that’s what I’d go for. The desk I found has the draws but also shelves on the other side. The desk I found at Argos I fell in love with. Not only did it have draws on one side the other side had shelves. It also had a nice surface space and I was able to get it in a light wood that I like. This was the first piece I bought and I had it built and in place against the chimney stake pretty darn quickly. Thankfully we already had a desk chair, so that wasn’t something that needed to be bought.

Getting the desk up was essential for me as I wanted to get writing on it as soon as I could.

I later had to move the desk to under the window due to a water leak.

A fresh coat of paint was desperately needed! This was my bedroom for a very long time and the last time I decorated it I thought this shade of green was a good idea…… Fortunately I still had some of the cream colour I’d painted my bedroom in a few years ago. So I got painting, and yeah. I had enough paint for two coats, which wasn’t anywhere near enough. The green was still showing through. I might have used a little adult language! Again, a little bit of luck. My parents had this awesome colour that they painted their room in last year. Three coats of this (thats five coats!) and the green was not only covered up, but this colour (I can’t remember what it’s called) looked good. I liked the deepness to it, and found the colour to be quite calming.

The shelves on the desk are a great little bit of space, but they are not enough for my library. Now, my library has shrank over the years. I’ve cleared through a lot of the books I either had no intention of reading, or had read and would never read again, or the book just didn’t leave a lasting impression. My change of taste has also changed, so I’ve got less books but still more than would fit on the desk shelves. So I got two new bookcases, again from Argos. In addition to these two bookcases my aunt gave me a wall unit. This has shelves and a cupboard at the bottom. This unit is beautiful. In addition to giving more storage it’s got a great character to it. I was going to put two of these three in the alcoves either side of the chimney stack. The problem I ran into was that there was homemade shelving in one of the alcoves. Originally I was going to get some new sheets of wood and between me and my dad we were going to cut some new shelves for that alcove (my dad is fantastic at that sort of thing). But I decided to get units to go in the spaces. Now, the problem I had was I’d left the wooden supports where there were. Yes, this is me being lazy and thinking I didn’t need to take them out. These simple wooden supports have been there for probably twenty years, and yeah. Boy did they take some work to get off the damn wall. God bless hammers! I did have to do a little touching up with paint after they were off, but you wouldn’t know it.

I ended up putting the two bookcases in the alcoves. Partly because I like the symmetry of having the matching bookcases either side of the chimney stack, and it looks natural.

I put the wall unit on the opposite wall next to my wardrobe. Again, this works for me. It compliments the flow of the room.

Storage is important. I’ve had a lot of years where I’ve had lots of stuff squeezed into wherever I could fit them. The wall unit with the cupboard has been a given me a lot more options then I’ve had before but I’ve also got three plastic storage units. One of these has four deep draws and the two have a lot of slim draws. These two I’ve got copies of my work in. From hand written drafts, to printed drafts with red notations on, through to little slips of paper with notes on.

The one with the deeper draws has everything from A4 writing pads(I have a lot of these), to old tech, to various knick knacks. It’s a lot more organised than it ever has been.

As you can see, all three are lovingly decorated!

You can see the random items in the wall cupboard.

I have a little flexibility on where I put these, and the file storage ones have moved around the room a little. They’re now settled behind the door by one of the bookcases. The deep draw one is by the wall unit, in a spot that was almost made to measure for it.

Although these don’t really match the rest of the room, they’re really useful. I am trying to steer away from having so many plastic items, partly because I’m drifting away from plastic a little, but mainly because I don’t like the aesthetic of them anymore. I like these lighter wood tones for how they look and the feel they give to a room. They give a warmth I enjoy. In a perfect world I would replace these, but I don’t have the finances and in all honesty, there’s nothing wrong with them. I’ll replace them one day, but probably when they’ve started falling apart.

There are three other pieces of furniture in the room. Firstly, my wardrobe. This is in the office because it’s just too bulky to be in my bedroom. It’ll fit, but it shrinks the space a lot. I’ve made use of it though. I’ve got a calendar on it, but I’ve also got pictures of loved ones on it. This serves as an inspiration to keep growing, and moving forward and following my dreams.

The other two are matching chest of drawers that my parents had. I’ve got clothes and a few knick knacks in them. Nothing writing related inside, but on top they’ve got my printers and ring binders. The printers here isn’t idea, but it’s not a massive imposition.

I will replace these at some point, when I have the cash. They’re old and my folks had them for a long time but they’re not the most sturdy any more. I will need space for clothes, so I think I’ll end up buy one large chest of draws, maybe two depending on size and and how much space I’ll need.

Next to the chest of draws I’ve got this cute little cloth unit that, again, a few knick knacks in. This was a super impulse purchase and I love it!

The magazine holders are a very recent edition, that I’ve got notebooks that are in use.

I would like to get some new curtains at some point. These are the old ones from my bedroom, and are okay but a little short for the window, and I’d like to get black-out ones as they’d keep the sun from hitting me of a morning. How the house is positioned means the sun smacks the front of it till about 10, 11am and if I’m working there it does feel a little like an oven. Even with the curtains I’ve got up! As the mornings are times where I work a lot (day job permitting), it’s something I’d like sorted before next summer.

I’ve spoken about the layout a few times in this post, and in all honesty I can’t really have it in too many other layouts. I’m sure with different furniture I might be able to have it set up differently, but I like it how it is. The desk should be the centre piece of the room. It’s an office, where I do most of my writing work. So it’s the centre piece. I can easily get to my printers, to where printer paper is. With a turn of my head I can see my dry/erase board. I’ve got easy access to any writing files I’ve been putting together easily enough. Even things like where I’ve got my bins is easily accessible from the desk.

I’ve got a little room to pace around if I need to think. I can look out the window when I need to give my brain a breather.

The only real space that isn’t optimised is a wall cupboard that is part of the room. At the moment it’s just full of bits and pieces, but there’s not a lot I can do as it needs air to circulate otherwise mould starts building up. Long term, I’d like to be able to use the space better, but again it’s one of those things that isn’t a priority but something I’d like to get sorted out one day. Because I can’t really use that space at the moment I’ve got my bin in front of it. If I do need access then it’s easy to move the bin.

The centre piece. The desk. As I said, this was against the chimney stack and I was quite happy with it there, but due to a leaky roof which resulted in water coming through the ceiling and down the chimney stack. Don’t worry it’s all been fixed now and is good. But I’d moved my desk as soon as the leak was discovered (thankfully nothing was damaged). That’s why it got moved to by the window. I was intending to move it back to the chimney stack, but it works better where it is. It’s the focus point of the room. I did move it back against the chimney recently, but I think I did this just to confirm that I prefer the layout as it is.

I’ve got natural light, but it’s also under the light in the room and I’ve got an LED desk lamp for when it is winter and generally darker. Believe me, even with the light above my head it is still very dark in this room.

Something I was thoughtful of when I started making the spare room into my office was making it my space, having it represent me and for me to feel super comfortable when I’m in there. I do feel lucky in that I can write pretty much anywhere but having a space that is just for that does help focus, and it makes me feel like I’m at work and I am more productive when I’m in there. Another positive I’ve discovered is if I am not feeling the work I can force myself to crack on and hit a target a lot easier than I have done in the past.

The balance that I think I might find a little difficult is having those touches of myself in it, but also keeping it semi-professional so it doesn’t turn into a space where there is too much that will distract. I think I’m going to be able to do it. It’s pretty well rammed into my head that this is a working space.

I am a big advocate for NaNoWriMo. I’m a Municipal Liaison for my region and having it represented in the office is very important to me. NaNo introduced me to writers in person for the first time, outside of my former writing partner that is, and meeting all these people have brightened both my life and my writing career massively. I have made some fantastic friends, had some amazing conversations and so much laughter!

I’ve got a few framed inspirational quotes on the walls of my office. I saw these in a supermarket and the one on the front of the pack is one that I strongly believe and thought it’ll be great seeing that each day.

I have a cork board and a dry/erase board on the chimney stack. When I placed them they were above my desk but as I’v said earlier about the leaky roof, the desk isn’t there anymore. But I left the two boards there. They are easily accessible, but I will admit I don’t check the white board often enough. I need to look at it when I walk into my office to start work each day to make sure I’m still on target. But I generally like where they are both placed.

The white board has all of the months goals on it, as well as a few little motivational words I put up when I put the goals down at the start of the month.

The cork board has a few personal notes from friends, random ideas, and a couple of random little bits and pieces on it.

I’ve also got a metal frame notice board. Like the cork board I’ve got personal notes on it, but I’ve also got some swag and decoration on it. I put this behind my door by one of the bookcases as I felt it was the best place for it, and I think it works there.

As the years go by I’m planning on adding lots of lanyards, and con tags and entrance brackets.

I do want to thank Armand Rosamilia for giving me a few little pointers, which I found really helpful. And most importantly, my folks for letting me make this space into an office.

So, there it is. My office. It’s not going to stay like this, I will tweak things. There’s furniture I want to replace. I’d love to get a nice rug for the middle of the floor. New curtains, maybe a little more art on the walls. But overall I love the space. It’s comfortable, warm, conducive to getting words wrangled.

Good Afternoon, 15th July 2021

Hey folks, I ended up writing 1038 words today, and I dived into research for a book I’m preparing for.

After listening to this weeks Mando Method podcast and hearing Armand and Chuck discussing my half year progress, I’ve realised that I am editing too much. It’s time to send my stuff out to beta readers and then editors. I keep striving for perfection but I’m probably too close to it now.

I’ve been editing a lot recently because my brain just isn’t putting the words together. I don’t believe in writers block, professional writers rarely get that from what I’ve heard so I’m not going to spurt it out.

Not at desk, but still doing some work, just not at the same pace! 😁

As I have been struggling with new words I’ve thrown myself into editing and aiming for perfection which will never be achieved, and I can’t improve if others aren’t reading it.

This weeks Mando Method really rammed home I need to get my arse back into the reading. I am struggling with it but I just need to force myself to.

Really hard typing around a cat!

I’m going to do one more pass on Penal Earth, simply because I want to add a couple of little world building details. Black Blood, I’m going to say its done. And not edit it again. With the vamp book, I want to do one more pass through with it. This one was the most messy of the three and I want to make sure I’ve got my continuity right in the story, but also in the writing. This book started off being told from a 1st person point of view and I want to make sure there aren’t any POV tags I’ve missed.

Black Blood will be off to Beta Readers now, and I’ll go from there.

Right, I’m off to do a little more work as I chill out before dinner! Have fun folks!

Good Morning, 15th July 2021

Howdy folks, yesterday I wrote 534 words on the vampire book and the rest of the day I chilled out a little. A lot of early starts recently and I was feeling more than a little drained.

Today I’ve got a few things I’d like to do. One of which is reading through the notes from my editor on the zombie book. I’m not ready to start making changes yet, but I am going to be making my own notes as I go. I’d like to get some words written today on one of the short stories I’m working on as well. I’m tempted to do that first as that’ll give me plenty of time to read through the notes for zombie and I can get it (hopefully) read through today.

A video I did a couple of weeks ago 🙂

I’m doing pretty well on my goals for the month. Two have been ticked off now, and I feel confident that I can achieve each one. Even the video one!

Right, I’m going to get started now. I hope you all have a fantastic day!

13th July 2021

8550 edited on the vampire book today, plus added 111 words to it. Which brings that edit to an end. What I’ll do now is continue rewriting the section I started the other day and see how it comes together.

After that I called it a day with the writing. I had a few bits and pieces to do so I cracked on with those and come tomorrow I’ll be writing again.

In addition to the vampire piece rewrite I’ve got the story from NaNoWriMo 2019 to work on. I think those two will be my focus for a few days and the. I’ll likely do a read through of the editors notes for zombie.

Raven deciding I was a seat, and can you tell I’d not had tea when this picture was taken?

For now, I’m gonna watch a movie and then get to bed.

Have an awesome evening all!

11th July 2021

Hey folks, I managed to punch through some of my recent difficulties with writing by cracking out a thousand words today. It’s not a new story, but a rewrite of one of the vampire ones. I’ve had a rough couple of days and tried to channel some of that into the story. It’s one that I think needs something a little more personal to tell the story I want to tell.

Writing wise that’s all I’ve done today. It was a long shift at work, not a bad shift though. It went quickly but due to a lot of problems sleeping I’ve not done a lot tonight aside from a little work on a coming blog post.

Tomorrow is a new day, a new week. So let’s make it a good one.

Even though I wasn’t working long tonight, Raven still decided to sit on what I needed.

Good Morning! 6th of July 2021

It’s the sixth day of July, so here in Great Britain it is blustery, drizzly, and very grey and overcast. On the plus side it’ll give people something to talk about all day!

But that’s enough of me moaning about people moaning. Let’s talk words!

Yesterday I edited about 2000-2500 words on the vampire book. I also worked on some non-fiction for both this blog and my Buy Me A Coffee (link in the sidebar, free to view content). So it was quite a low impact day. I didn’t want to go heavy as the way my work rota is this week I don’t want to burn out too early in the week.

This is a little of how I’m trying to manage my time better. With the shifts I’ve got this week, especially the earlier part, I think I could easily burn myself out. That is a big no from me. I’d like to do a little each day, and then go for a big day on my day(s) off.

I need to be able to do small steps and not think ‘right, I can edit this whole 10k words today’ I’ve got to get better at time management and pacing myself.

Right, time to wrap this up. I hope y’all have fantastic days and keep plugging away!

Dizzy enjoying the breeze yesterday ☺️

Good Morning! 5th of July 2021

Howdy Folks! How are we all doing today?

After I blogged yesterday I was going to get a little work done on an upcoming blog post but I had a nap instead. I was hoping to get it done so I could get it typed up and at least scheduled today, but I don’t think that’s going to be the case.

I am planning on getting the vampire edit done this week. It’s less than 60k so I think I can. I am being flexible in things like this though. I’m taking into consideration the day job as well as other non-writing elements of life (like the little ball of black chaos that is known as Raven!).

I’ve been brainstorming a lot recently and I’ve got to set about transferring all those handwritten notes to the appropriate project files. I think some of what I’m getting from brainstorming is installing an element of a story in my head and when it comes to writing the story that element won’t be forgotten (hopefully!). But I don’t want to rely on my brain solely, I’ve got so many notes on the mermaid book now that I can’t guarantee I’m going to be able to recall them when it comes time to write the story (this’ll likely be my NaNoWriMo story for this year!).

A busy week ahead, and I’m determined to hit the ground running!

And here’s the ball of chaos being cute ☺️