I’ve had a couple of writing off days this week but am back on it today. I think I can get this edit off Penal Earth wrapped up today, which’ll be super is I can as I’ve got Black Blood scenes that I know I need to add clawing at my brain for attention.
I’m still getting used to my new desk set up. It’s nice having that extra space to have my laptop but I need to get used to it. I do like having the space to just push my laptop backwards when I’m not using it and not off to one side so I can write with a pen etc. I still make a lot of notes by hand, and am getting back into the habit of brainstorming with pen and paper.
Speaking of brainstorming, I’ve been working on a rewrite for a short story I wrote years ago. At first I thought it would be a few elements added to fill it out a little, but now it’s growing and I think it’s more novella/novel length story. So I’m seriously considering this being my NaNoWriMo project for this year. Yeah I said it, NaNoWriMo! (You ready for it this year *Chuck?). It’s never too early for me to start preparing for NaNoWriMo. I’ve found when I’ve got a novel for NaNo I need to be prepared for it. So that’s what I’m doing. (side note, I’m out of tea!!!!!!!!!).
I am going to get some words wrangled now. I’d like to have my writing done by midday as I’ve got bits and pieces to do in the garden with my dad and then a few other non-writing bits like tidying and so forth. I do have an appointment via phone this morning so it may be more 1pm that I aim to be finished with the words for the day.
After some busy days I’ve got a lot to get done this morning. I’m going to spend half an hour editing after I’ve written this post and then it’s to work on other bits and pieces before midday.
I’ve already got a lot done, so it’s been productive so far.
This morning I have finally taken my desktop off my desk. It’s barely been working for months now and until I’ve got the money to get it looked at (which will be some time), it’s just taking up space. So I’m going to pop it into a cupboard until then. It is frustrating as its a good desktop and when it is working I use it a lot, but its not and I do still have the laptop so it’s not like it’s stopping me from working.
Right, that’s it for now. I’m going to crack on and see how much I can get done.
Good afternoon folks. The draft for Penal Earth is done!!! I wrote 1924 words on it this morning and had it wrapped up in those words. Is it done done? No. Not by a long stretch. As I mentioned in a previous post I’ve now got to go through and start the editing process. I refuse to rewrite this one, again. It’s not happening! That way doesn’t work for me. Yes, it’s taken my dumb ass a long time to realise that, but I have now. So, better late than never.
The next stage will be to leave it until the new year and then start reading through it with a pen and paper and figure out exactly what I need to do to get it to where I want it. This is going to be a much deeper dive into editing than I’ve tried before and I hope I have the patience for it. I may just read through a chapter at a time so it doesn’t get tedious like it has done in the past.
Something I want to get in the habit of in the future is writing with a notepad to make notes as I’m going. Character names, ages, location names, and so on. Anything that is relevant. My drafts are full of XXX as placeholders when I forget a detail that I have put in earlier. I’m hoping it won’t slow me up too much, but if it does I might just read through what I’ve written at the end of the day and make those notes then, and tweaked any mistakes like grammar etc. at the same time. Until I try it though, I can’t say how it’s going to work.
I really want to refine my process next year. Figure out what is the best way for me to work and then grow on it. It’s all about progress and growth. It doesn’t matter how many words I write in a year, if I never finish anything then it’s all pointless. I won’t be growing as a writer, and as a human being. I do have goals for next year, I’ve typed them up and pinned them over my desk, I might have also written a few goals for 2022 down as well. I might be pushing myself a bit too hard, but I need to know what I can take. I will have failures, but I’m also going to have victories. I need to learn from both in going forward or those same mistakes are just going to be repeated and, like writing a million words, absolutely useless if I’m not finishing anything.
I’m going to take the afternoon off and do some gaming and decide what I want to work on next. I’ll likely get back onto Black Blood but I’m always more productive when I’m not just cracking on with one project.
Thinking about the goals I wrote down yesterday something has struck me today; I need to learn how to make the most of my time. I’ve talked briefly about this before, but it really is something I need to master. The next few months I’m going to be trying to optimise my time. Between work, writing, family, friends, and downtime I need to be productive when I have the time. Something I’ve recently written on my dry/erase board above my desk is ‘Make Writing Time Sacred’. This is something I definitely need reminding of. To try and make that happen is that when I’m sprinting (writing intensely for a set period of time) not to do anything else. Just write. I’m getting better at that, especially when I don’t have much time available. Very little can’t wait twenty minutes. If its an emergency, I’ll respond but how often do we really have emergencies?
I’m exercising the same mentality with blog posts. I’ve got notifications I need to respond to, but they can wait. Don’t get me wrong, if its a private message I’ll respond between paragraphs, but I don’t want to stop mid paragraph.
Something I am good at is procrastinating. If it were an olympic sport, I’ve be wearing the fucking gold medal! I would be the world record holder and destroy all who come to take my crown, but am I like that anymore? No, I don’t think so. I’m getting my butt in the chair a lot more than I used to. Even though I’m blogging from my bed right now, with a movie on, I’m trying to do all my work from my desk in my office. That’s what it’s there for, and I write more. I write more when I’m working from my desktop (when it wants to work which isn’t often, I do need to get it checked out, but when I have the cash).
The office is a work environment. It’s got fewer distractions, and it’s set up to work. I can write anywhere, but it’s so much easier having that space to write. I can shut the door and get cracking. I’ve got all my notebooks, printer, and very little non-writing items in there.
I’ve got my wardrobe in there, which I’ve got covered with pictures of my loved ones. It’s the first thing I see when I walk into the room and it’s an instant inspiration. They help drive me but it’s not just that which is pushing me forward. I’ve had both the worst and best year of my life. Because of the worst I’ve finally addressed my mental health and the help I’ve got for that, along with great support from my loved ones and professionals has meant I’m feeling more focussed and capable now. I would never have been able to think about my goals for next year in the way that I have done without these changes in my life.
What I’ve learnt the most is that I dictate my moods. If I’m feeling down, I now know how to pull myself up. If I can’t do it myself, then I can reach out to loved ones and they help me out of it. We can’t control what happens around us, but we can control how we react to it.
This post went way off in a direction I wasn’t expecting! But I hope you enjoyed my rambling!
Wow, halfway through the month already. I’ve had a chill out day today, which I need to stop doing. I need to get up on a day off, have breakfast, get dressed, get writing. Simple as that. No thinking I’ll watch an episode of this or that (today it was The Queen’s Gambit, which was lethal as I’ve all but watched it now). I still got 2317 today, but I could have got 3000 words done, if not 3500. I know I have the ability to do that when I’ve got a day off and I should be doing it. For the speed I can write at and the time I have, it is easily doable.
I was on a Facebook live event tonight with the Mando Method Podcast folks. It was a lot of fun and in the hour before it I managed to crack out about a 1300 words to add to the 1000 or so I’d already written throughout the course of the day. We talked about NaNoWriMo at the halfway point and how we were all progressing. We touched a few other topics as well. It was a lot of fun, its been a while since I laughed that hard. It was really good to talk to these folks in real time as well. Armand Rosamilia and Chuck Buda have been very supportive to myself and many other writers. Please give it a watch 😊
I’ve got one more days leave before getting back to my normal working week, so writing time will be cut down. But I can still get all the words done I need to, and more. I’m going to set myself a target of an hour at my desk a day. That’s head down and writing/editing. I’m not going to set word count goals at the moment, I want to get in the habit of spending that hour a day at the desk. My biggest enemy is myself and in particular my lack of discipline. That is something I need to overcome.
Under The Weather is the third book I’ve been published in. With my story, The Snow, I knew roughly what I wanted to do with it but it took a few little twists and turns along the way, but it was never a difficult write. One major element did change in the story which changed the entire theme of the tale. I still think it works, and it’s one that I’m really happy with.
Well folks, that’s me wrapping it for the night. I’m gonna watch a bit of tv and then read a little before bed. I’m aiming for an early start tomorrow.
Hey folks! 772 words today and planning for NaNo, as well as tidying up my office so it’s ready for Sunday evening when I get home from work.
In other news I can reveal what the secret project I’ve mentioned a few times is. It’s an anthology called Beneath The Leaves from Burdizzo Books to celebrate the birthday (I’m not saying which birthday but it’s a milestone one) for Em Dehaney. Here’s the link:
It was a massive honour to be included in Beneath The Leaves as Em is a fantastic human being and I think the work everyone has put into this shows that.
I’ve not felt this capable for a very long time. I’ve got one element in my life which isn’t how I wish it was, but that’s not just something that I can fix with a flick of a switch.
Right, another busy day tomorrow. So I’m going to read a little of Beneath The Leaves and then bed.
I have had a good day, well aside from waking to see I had to do a forth coat of paint this morning. That green really was a bastard to paint over. If I could go back and slap myself sixteen, seventeen years ago I would do. That said, I think it looks good. I ran out of the paint I was originally using, so used some my parents had left which I actually like a lot more.
It felt good though, best part of two days of moving furniture and painting. It was nice to do something practical. The news I had Monday hit me harder than I realised and having something I was able to get physically stuck into that is something I needed. I’ve been doing something that will aide my long term goals with writing. I know how lucky I am having this space and I’m going to make the most of it.
As you can see from the pictures the original colour was very patchy after two coats. I’m okay decorating, but it’s not something I’m skilled at. That said, the fourth coat went on well this morning (sorry I forgot to take pictures), and I gave it a couple of hours to dry. I literally had just enough to do that fourth coat and two in the wall cupboard.
Once the paint had dried it was time to get the furniture in place. Although an office I need to have my wardrobe and a chest of draws in there. The wardrobe was the hardest to move just because of the weight but I got it where it’s going. Then slid the desk against the chimney stack and then a plastic unit by the chest of draws.
I had shelves in one of the alcoves which I couldn’t get to go back in, so my dad is going to get some wood and make me three more shelves to replace the ones that didn’t fit back in. After probably twenty years, they’d warped and it just wasn’t going to work. Having those shelves there will be handy, so I’m glad I’ll still have some there.
The layout was easy, one of the things I like is a nice bit of floor space. I don’t like feeling boxed in too much and how it’s laid out now I like.
I like the basics of this set up. Desk in the middle, printer to my left. You can see the brackets for the shelves on the left hand side alcove. That will pretty much stay like that. I’ll probably get a new unit for the printer to go on one day but it’s not a priority. The shelves I’m going to use for file storage.
On the right hand side in the other alcove you can see containers of paperwork. That is mainly old drafts that I almost threw out when I moved out, I’m glad I didn’t. I’ll find storage for them now I’m back here. That’s my history as a writer. I’m not going to just toss it aside. The sad part is there’s a lot more and when I was planning to toss it, a lot got mixed up. So I’ve got a lot to sort out at some point. eventually there will be a book case in that alcove.
I really like this layout. I’ve got plenty of room to move and pace when I’m stuck. Once I finished getting it all sorted (the wall cupboard is still a bit of a mess but that’ll have to be sorted properly later on), I had a shower and got a little bit of writing done. Only 487 words but good words.
This evening I’ve also edited 16357 words this evening after I ate. This gets my zombie novella done with this stage. Tomorrow I’ll print it out and red pen it in the next few days.
I’m thinking about what’s going to be handy to have in here, I think one of the first things will be a dry/erase board, which I think I’ll put on the wall above my desk. I don’t really need much, but there’s things I’ll add to the space over the next few years that’ll be both for decoration/inspiration but also practical things that’ll aide with the writing process. I’ve got a few items to decorate the space already, which are things I have in my room. I’ve just got to choose which ones.
So, it’s a been a very productive day. I’m looking forward to taking advantage of the space and upping my productivity. I know how lucky I am having this space, I really do. I’m not going to squander it.
How about you? Do you have a space to write in, or is it a case of writing wherever you can.
Woke up this morning and checked to see how the paint has dried…patchy. Very very patchy. So I’m going to have a bit of breakfast and then get that fourth coat on. I’m going to try and clear out that walk in cupboard and do it all in one go. Then it’ll be putting everything back where it needs to go, and then maybe get some words done.
Good evening folks, a quick little post tonight. I’ve been decorating what will be my office. I also had a phone call to take at midday and drop my car off and then pick it up from the garage. So not a whole lot of time today to write. But I did get 238 words done on a short story.
It was snatching words in two quick sittings, and tomorrow may be the same. The majority of the painting is done, I just need to paint a wall cupboard and then it’s done. I’ll do that once I’ve got the furniture back in and I can clear out the items in the cupboard. It’s literally a five minute job. The only reason I didn’t do it today is because I didn’t have room to put the items that are in there.
I’ll have some pictures in a post in the next couple of days. Today it’s a picture of another note book 😁
Hey folks! Over 800 words today. I did a little before work and just spent half an hour doing the rest. I think I know where I’m going with this story at the moment, and hope I’m getting the vibe of it just right.
As I said last night I’m going to be decorating what’s going to be my office over the next couple of days. I’m not going to go too mad. It doesn’t have to be perfect, just what I need it to be.
I was speaking to another writer about writing spaces and they had some great tips about how to set a home office up. This person is a established writer who has got themselves to the point where they can write full time. It’s also someone who I respect greatly so I take what they say seriously. It’s definitely given me a few things to think about that I hadn’t thought of.
So, the next couple of days are going to be busy. I’m gonna take pictures as I go and post them up here for all to see.
This is going to be good for both my writing and my soul. Its going to be something practical that I need to get stuck into and it’s groundwork for a project that’ll take some time. I’m not gonna have the office exactly how I want it but the end of the year, cash flow alone won’t allow that. But getting it cleaned and a fresh coat of paint on the walls is a good start and I can build slowly and steadily from there.
Time for me to log out now. I’m gonna drop my car off for a little maintenance first thing then straight back home to make a start.