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.

Good Morning, 26th July 2022

Good Morning, I hope everyone is well.

I’ve just read through the original draft of Penal Earth which I’m gutting for Penal Earth 2. Only thirteen pages this morning but had a few bits and pieces to do around that before I settle in for the new GTAV DLC.

I feel a little chaotic at the moment, where I’ve not done much writing this last week I’ve got bits and pieces everywhere! and I need an organise. So tomorrow I’m going to get stuck in with getting the writing bits sorted after A call I’ve got in the morning.

Right, Have an awesome day, all!

17/7/22

Good evening, folks.

I was up at 6:30am and had edited 7936 words on the vampire book by 10am, amongst a number of non-writing chores.

It’s been a very warm day here in the UK. We’ve got Red weather warnings in place from the met office for heat. There’s predictions of temperatures hitting 40 degrees C over these few days. We’re not used to this here, but we love talking and complaining about the weather. So it’s all good!

The rest of the day has been very low impact. I made sure I did as much as I could yesterday after work and this morning before the temperature rose to its peak. Even the cats have done very little. I’ve not let either out, which hasn’t bothered Dizzy but normally Raven would be trying to claw her way through the windows. She hasn’t. Most of the afternoon both cats were sleeping on my bed as I did a little gaming.

Both cats chilling out on one bed is very rare.

Tomorrow I’ve got lunch planned with a friend but I don’t think I’ll be doing a lot that requires exertion. Probably writing/editing in the morning before lunch and then after, during the hottest part of the day I’ll keep it low impact like today.

Although writing has been a little slow lately I feel I’m picking up again. I have these ups and downs. They normally happen when I’m directing more energy into another part of my life than normal. But, it’s on an upward curve at the moment.

Right, I’m off to bed.

Have an awesome week, folks.

14th July 2022

Hey folks, how are we all?

I’ve eased off writing a little the last few days due to family and work taking priority. But today I’ve got stuck into editing some short stories for Ko-Fi, which means I’ve got stories scheduled for the Welcome To My Nightmare tier through the end of the year. Then next year, I’ll have something that I’ve been working on for a long time kicking off…….

In total I’ve edited 13751 words on four different stories today.

I’ve also stepped back a bit from Black Blood. I realised I wasn’t doing the deep edit it needed and was just going through the motions a bit. This tells me I’m burnt out on this story and I’m going to put it to one side for a while. I’ve got notes keep popping up in my head for it so I’ll note those down and when I get to editing it I’ll put those where they need to be.

In the meantime I’ll be working on Vampire Era as that’s the next on the schedule. I do need to make one minor addition to Penal Earth that I think will explain something a little better. It’s not a change, it’s just a small detail that I need to do a little research on, but it’ll likely be less than a sentence when I do add it.

Speaking of Penal Earth, I am in the very early stages of planning book two.

The last few weeks I have felt off pace, so I’m going to try and step it back up to the level I know gives me a decent level of productivity.

5th Of July 2022

Howdy folks, just a quick post tonight. I’ve edited 1403 words on Black Blood and done a little planning on Penal Earth book 2. I kept thinking about scenes and plot lines, but I think diving in full steam ahead without any direction then I’m gonna end up hitting a brick wall, or seven!

So I’ve started a basic map out of what I want to do. A lot of what will end up being in book two will be taken from an original draft of the first book, including an element that I was scared I’d have to cut as it didn’t really advance the plot, but now I’ve got an idea to tie it all in nicely.

Right, I’m wrapping it up for the night, have a great one all.

4th of July 2022

Howdy folks! How are we all doing tonight?

After going out to get my tyre sorted on my car I got home and got cracking with some editing. I worked 2526 words on Black Blood, and 4045 on a story called Trapped. That one will be going up on my Ko-Fi in August on the Welcome To My Nightmare tier.

Black Blood is going to take a fair bit of work to get it where I want it. I feel like I’m slowly sussing out what works for me as a process. After years of fuck arsing about I hope I’m getting to the point where I can get a system where I’m not only writing but getting good words down, getting work completed, and most importantly published.

I have got so much work on hard drives that just need a decent edit. Stories that I was too scared to do anything more with, or not knowing what to do with them. Maybe I was too scared to search out what to do with them.

Stop rambling, Peter.

Anyway, I’d like to get this pass of Black Blood done (as I sit here watching Predator I realise Black Blood had a little bit of a love letter to this movie and Aliens in it), as Vamp Era is calling out to me. There’s one major plot point I want to change which will fix a weak plot point and then It’ll be near done. It’ll go in the ‘waiting for funds to edit’ file on my computer.

Anyway, this is me done for the night. An early tomorrow, but also a midday finish. So back into it when I get home.

Have a great one folks.

30th June 2022

Good afternoon folks, I hope we’re all well?

Today I’ve edited 3779 on Black Blood, 238 on a flash piece called Watermelon, and 171 on another flash story called Roommate Wanted. Roommate Wanted is now live on my Ko-Fi for all supporters.

I’ve been a little burnt out this last week or so, which means I haven’t written much. So I’m playing a little catchup with things like Ko-Fi and where I want to be with Black Blood. I think I might have to print Black Blood off before I go into the next stage. I’m working through the notes I made on my last pass and have a lot of work to get it where it needs to be. It’s been A slow start but I’ll build my momentum slowly and get back on target.

That’s my writing day done, I’m going to go and start unwinding a bit before an early night as I’ve got an early tomorrow.

Rock on folks!

I quite like this one ☺️

Good Evening, 15th June 2022

Howdy folks, likely just a short one tonight.

I’ve been a little burnt out lately so I’ve put writing on a back burner for a couple of days. Today I managed to get back into it somewhat. I’ve written 122 on a new short story set in the Penal Earth universe, and I’ve just finished typing up a short story I wrote earlier in the year.

There’s a new story posted on my Ko-Fi page that is available to all supporters.

Right, I’m going to wrap it here. I’m looking forward to a day off tomorrow. I’ve got a lot to do but it’ll be nice not having to be up before 5am.

Have an awesome one, folks!

Good Evening, 8th June 2022

Good evening, folks. How are we all?

I have had a productive morning. I did a wee bit of tidying and rearranging before getting stuck into writing today. I managed 1023 words on typing up a short story that I wrote a few months ago. This afternoon I had a nap. I’ve got an early tomorrow and I never sleep well when I’ve got an early, so I’ve found that nap during the afternoon to be essential.

I posted a new flash fiction piece to my Ko-Fi tonight, please support and check it out if you’d like to.

There’s been a lot changing in my life recently, one of which is that my mental health medication was increased. I’ve been on medication for anxiety and depression for a couple of years now and with this adjustment it feels like the dosage is right.

That’s not the only element that has helped, I’ve been working on listening to my body. Whether it’s about how I feel after eating certain foods, or how something makes me feel. What the increased dosage of my medication has done is shut down the anxiety better than anything I’ve ever tried before. I was working out in our garden a few weeks ago, taking down an old shed that has long been past its use. We’re hoping to repurpose some of the sides of it, but it needed to come down. Half of the roof had collapsed and it needed to come down. As I was taking it down though I was feeling good about the task. I wasn’t hesitating in how to take it down, I was even thinking about how to make use of the space. After a good few hours of work I took a break, sat down, had a drink. I was also texting a dear friend who I was talking to about what I’d done that morning, when it struck me that I wasn’t anxious. I wasn’t questioning myself in any way. I actually broke down, began crying and text my friend ‘Is this what life is meant to be like?’ she called me and said, quite simply ‘Yes’. We then talked about it, as I cried. So many fucking years living scared of the world. Some days I was fine and did enjoy life, but these were few and far between. Most days I was anxious to leave the house, mainly doing so because I had a job (that I told myself I loved, but in truth I hated it). There was so much I wanted to see and do in the world, but I was too scared too. Twenty, twenty-five years of my life gone. That day as I was sitting in my back garden talking to my friend I cried with a sort of relief at finally feeling free of the prison that my mind had put me in, but also at anger of having let myself be in that prison for most of my life.

Raven investigating my work

Male suicide rates are significantly higher than that of women. Here’s some numbers from the Samaritans. And yes, I was suicidal on a couple of occasions (Not anymore though). There is so much more to what I put myself through over my life, but I’m not going into it here, not now. Partly because I haven’t figured it all out yet. When I mention non-fiction that’s what I’m talking about. Trying to break down the why of this all. I’m slowly getting there, I’ve had some counselling and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy that has helped immensely. I’ve also opened up with my loved ones. Instead of hiding my problems, thinking it’s better not to worry them, that’s bollocks as well. Being open and honest with what I’m going through has made it easier to work through all of this. Having that support, that I’ve always known is there, has been priceless.

Ask for help, Mental Health in this country needs a major overhaul and we as a society need better education on the subject. But there are resources out there. Speak to your GP, Google mental health hotlines, there are plenty of organisations, charities, out there who are able to help. Yes there are waiting times, yes it is hard to admit to needing help. Trust me though, it’s worth it.

I still have bad days (I took a big self-esteem hit recently), but they don’t last as long and I’m able to manage my moods so much better. I listen to my body, mind, and soul. Trust me, it’s paying off. I’m happier now than I have ever been, shit, I can’t ever remember feeling this settled and capable. There’s a lot playing into that, but we need to be open to seeing it. To appreciating what we have, to loving what we have.

A self-esteem hit knocked me hard but it doesn’t now last long because I know how to rebuild myself with the help of loved ones and all that I’ve learnt.

Okay, this became a much heavier post than I was expecting it to. But too many people out there are struggling with mental health. And the amount of men who are struggling that don’t seek help because it is not what ‘men do’ is costing too many lives.

Life is amazing when we get out of our own way. From a writing point of view, I’ve been more productive in the last few months than I feel I have ever been. See, brought it back to writing.