Good morning, folks! How are we all doing this morning? I am knackered. The short of it is I’ve not slept properly for over a week now. When I do sleep its not good sleep. I more often than not wake up feeling like I’ve been in a street fight.
With that in mind, I’ve decided to take the rest of the month off from writing. I’m not writing at the moment, so this kind of feels like one of those things where I’m making an announcement that’s not going to change anything. It is though. I will guilt trip myself till the cows come how if I don’t do any writing, which just adds to my anxiety levels (which are always worse when I’m tired).
So, the vague plan is to not do any writing work till October. I’ve got a lot on my plate at the moment and this’ll let me refocus my attention properly. It’ll give me time to try and catch up on sleep via naps, and not slamming myself for napping and not writing will help.
Sometimes we all need to take some pressure off ourselves. This is me doing that. I do have a lot going on, and the next ten days or so I’ve got a lot I need to focus on.
I have got a couple fantastic little irons in the fire at the moment with writing, so this isn’t because I’m feeling down about writing. It’s just something needed to give, and writing is the most flexible part of my DNA.
When I dit down again in October I’ve got NaNoWriMo to think about (YAY!!!!!), and a couple of short stories I’ll be looking to get drafts of done.
So, lots going on with writing. The passion is still there and strong, I just need a breather from it to focus on other areas of life. And not for nothing, when I get back to it in October I’ll be very reenergised.
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.
After work I ended up having a bit of a busy afternoon with some errands that needed to be ran that I wasn’t expecting today. They’re done and dusted and out of the way now though. It did mean I didn’t get any writing done. By the time they were done, combined with the early start and the lack of sleep that early starts treat me too, I’m wiped out.
Tomorrow I want to edit Sweet Danny. I’m pretty sure I know what changes I want to make with it to get it where it needs to be.
I would love to get some words in as well, but I’m kind of on a position where I’ve got more editing to do. Not the kind where I’m editing the same story a billion times, but short stories that I’ve written over the last few months that need a little tidying up before I shoot them off to beta readers.
I didn’t do any editing on Sweet Danny, I think I want to have a little more time while I process a few of the suggestions from beta readers and what I want to do with it.
It wasn’t a no work day though, I got 8021 words edited on a story set in the Penal Earth world after the day job. I still need to do a lot of work on it but I’ve got a good idea of what I want to do with it now and I don’t think it’s going to take too much to get it there.
I do want to get Sweet Danny and the zombie book edited this month. I just need to get myself psyched up to get stuck into the zombie one. It needs a lot of work and is rather daunting, but with the format of the book I can break it down into three parts and tackle it that way.
This little impromptu break from writing this las week or so has proved quite beneficial in that the creative gears are beginning to turn on a few stories that I’ve been struggling to get a handle on. Most of these stories are short stories and I’m aiming to have a couple of of these done, well drafts at least.
I’ve been playing a lot of GTAV online recently as part of working on my self-care. Gaming for me is an escape for me. It’s one the few things that turns my brain off from everything going on around me.
With GTAV I used to play it a lot but my anxieties would get to me. Mostly I’d just drive around robbing convenience stores, stealing and selling cars, and occasionally working for another player as bodyguard or associate. I had a Motorcycle Gang clubhouse but rarely did anything with it. When I would do the missions I’d get very frustrated when another player would thwart my efforts. And after a while it felt like it was becoming toxic to me. I was literally driving around doing nothing in the game. So I deleted it.
A few weeks ago Stefan from Stefan’s Daily Gaming mentioned playing it so I loaded it up again. Unfortunately we’ve not been able to make playing together happen, yet. But I’ve got a few plans for when it does happen.
The first few sessions I didn’t really do a lot, but then I had my day out at Broadstairs and that realisation that fear is ruining my life and I started doing more. I’ve bought a ID counterfeiting business via my motorcycle gang and have done a couple of the Survival challenges. I used to never do anything like that. The one time I did I got a little shit talking from the other players, and that put me off. Now I don’t think I’d be as delicate to it, but I also think I’m not going to be doing many of these missions with strangers. I think I just need to find my people on there. With Stefan I think it’ll be good. We’ve done a fair bit of gaming together and I think we’ll work well together.
I would like to have peeps I play with on there. You see others doing it and I think it would enhance the experience. It’ll make earning cash easier as well as some of the contacts for example need at least two people and even the ones that don’t an extra gun would be handy. You can recruit players in game to work for you, with a Motorcycle Gang they start as Prospects. I’ve had next to no luck with this, but I will persist as I want to expand that experience of the game.
At the moment I am building funds so I can expand my empire. I have something that’s beginning to look like a plan building. I’ve done a little reading online for tips etc. and I’m beginning to get an idea of where I want to put my money. I’ve just got to earn it first, and I’m not buying funds from Rockstar. I’m not necessarily against that, but its not for me. A) I don’t really have the budget to spend on games outside of my Xbox Game Pass each month and B) I want to earn my money. I don’t want shortcuts. I want to hustle and earn my wealth.
Now, other players do bother me. Some, I think they’r recalled Griefers, although I prefer trolls, are just out to ruin others enjoyment. I can understand trying to screw up someone as they’re trying to transport goods. You earn cash and RP (Respect Points) in doing that. It’s the ones who’ll do that, and then spend the next ten minutes just trying to kill you. These people normally have vehicles which are hard to destroy, like military grade fighters, when all I wanna do is get back onto another money earner. I even had one troll message me on Xbox (not even the in game messaging system) bragging about a gaming chair and calling me a noob. Firstly, I’m not sure what the chair has to do with it, secondly, I’m nearly level 100 on the game, so although I’m not a gifted gamer calling me a noob wasn’t accurate, and thirdly I’m not rising to that bait. I’m past that. I haven’t got time to get in a dick waving contest over a video game. If you’re someone that gets pleasure from ruining someone else’s enjoyment then you really need help. I’ll also not back down. I’m not quitting a session due to someone trolling me. Stuff that, I’ve given into too many bullies in my life, and I’m not going to do it anymore. Especially not on a video game.
I’ve made a few missteps cash wise but I’m on a decent road to recovery with it and am getting close to instigating my next major purchase.
I know I’m not the most gifted gamer, but some things in the game I do well. I’ve found I’m pretty damn good on a motorbike (which is shocking cause in real life I’ve never been on one), but I do feel exposed and would rather be driving my armoured sports car. Especially in a session where there’s a lot of hostility going around. I will admit that when I’m in those sessions I tend to be a little more passive and not as pro-active when running my MC (motorcycle gang), but I think I’ll change that. Loosing a payday or dying in game isn’t the end of the world. I’ve not found anything on this game that can be lost and not recovered one way or another.
I feel like I’ve made a commitment to build something in this game. To be successful in it. It’s not going to be easy and I’ve got to keep a strong nerve and not quit when it gets hard.
Since writing this post yesterday morning I have added a nightclub to my growing empire and I think this is gonna help me step up a level.
Wednesday really did open my eyes up to a lot of myself. One of which was writing my thoughts down. This is something I’ve known I’ve wanted to do for a long time but I’ve never been able to do it. I’m not really sure why but I think it might be a combination of the new medication I’m on, I’m having a little therapy, and it feels like something broke or changed in me on Wednesday.
Realising just how much fear and anxiety have ruled my life has been devastating in one degree, but freeing in another.
Fear was something we touched on in therapy on Monday, and I’m glad we did. The therapist recommended a book about fear that I listened to a big chunk of on the journey to and from the coast on Wednesday. And I think where it was something that we’d spoken about on the Monday I had realised that I was scared of everything and the therapist talked to me about it. Then going down the coast on Wednesday pushed open the door that was unlocked on Monday.
I think about the excuses I used to make. For not going to the beach it’ll be things like I don’t like getting my feet sandy, or wet, or both. Or getting sand in my car (I was a var cleaner for almost 20 years, sand is a nightmare to get out of a cars carpets), but that doesn’t matter. It’s just sand. It was fear defeating me.
Even simple things like sitting in my garden to write or read. I wouldn’t do it, it would rarely even enter my head. The last couple of mornings I’ve made a cuppa tea and then gone out and had my tea while writing my thoughts done as the dog is running around doing his business.
This morning I was sitting there in shorts, t shirt, a hoodie and my sandals. I had Max jump up on the seat next to me as I wrote. It was chilly this morning. We’re moving into autumn here in the UK (almost halloween season!!!!!), so the weather is cooling and after a while I did retreat into the house. I am going to keep going out there till the weather is too brisk for my taste.
One of the fears I’ve had the last few days is that I wouldn’t be able to sit and writer as freely inside as I have been outside, but I managed to do it okay today. I’m not sure I can write like that when I’ve got loved ones around me, simply because of the distraction but I’ll give it a go at some point.
My fear seems to be focused on failure or disaster. If I drive somewhere I could be in a crash. But that could happen driving to work. It doesn’t stop me doing that. Yes, I could crash but the odds are massive of that happening.
As for failure. Well, it’s a case ‘well what happens if my book doesn’t do well?’ that’s something I can’t control. The best thing I can do it write the next story. If I play online and join a group doing a team mission and I screw up, what’s it matter? It’s not the end of the world. Learn the lessons from it and try again.
I only fail when I don’t try. When fear stops me. I’ve lived in a state of fear my whole life.
I’m not doing it anymore.
My eyes are open, I’m realising what I can do to move forward and over come this fear.
I’m going to do what scares me. I’m not fearing the anxiety I used to.
Well, I think I did have the productive day I was aiming for.
I got up at a decent time, made tea and sat in the chilly morning air in the garden wand wrote some more thoughts down. I’ll put those in another post. After the tea and morning thoughts I ran into town for a few bits for my folks. I finally got Max a couple more balls for him to chase around the garden.
I got some writing administration work done, then I got stuck into some words. A nice 710 was written on a short story. Then I gamed, took Max for a walk, read, then gamed, dinner, washing up, and now I’m watching a movie and writing this post.
I don’t normally break my days down like this, and looking back it doesn’t feel like I’ve done a lot today but that’s because I only wrote 710 words. I keep reminding myself its not just about words. It’s about progression of the story, and I progressed the story today.
I’ve got plans tomorrow afternoon, but in the morning I’m going to try and get some words wrangled again. I was planning on getting a lot of writing done this week, but I’ve spent the week working on myself. It’s been freeing this week, and I need to keep that forward progression of myself as well as my fiction going as well.
I managed to write 417 words this afternoon. I’ve put writing on the back burner this week while I’ve been off work, and focused on a lot of self-care and improvement. it finally feels like I can start opening up about a lot of things and I’m keen to keep going with it.
I will be blogging about a lot of this stuff. Not all, obviously. There’s somethings I have no intention of sharing publicly but I’ve got a lot I think I will share. Men aren’t mean to show weakness, which is bullshit. If me opening up about the struggles I’ve had in life help others feel confident enough to speak up and ask for help then it’s all worth it.
Right, I’m just settling into a movie. I’m going to try and have a ‘get shit done’ day tomorrow. Check back here tomorrow to see how I got along.
I’ve been thinking a lot about my time at Gap House boarding school over the last few days. Especially after visiting it on Wednesday, you can read my post about the day here. Here are some thoughts about my time there. I hope you enjoy.
It’s ten past nine in the morning and I’m sitting out in my garden with a cup of tea and Max the doggo mooching about, and I’m think a little about the last few days. Wednesday in particular.
The purpose of my trip down to Broadstairs was to go down and see what had become of my old boarding school. I knew it wasn’t a school anymore but I didn’t know what had become of the building and the grounds. In short, nothing. It’s just been left. Abandoned to to let nature and time slowly break it down. It will take some doing though, because that building has a strong core.
It breaks my heart to see it like that though. It’s a pipe dream but I’d love to buy it all and make it into an artists retreat and youth centre. Somewhere people can come and create in a peaceful environment, and where youngsters can spend time and socialise and I’d have people there who could help and advise them on the adult world. I’d make a safe space for all who came there. It’s something I’d love to do in my home town as well, but it is just a pipe dream. The odds on me having the funds to do anything like that are slim. But I can dream.
The reason I’d love to include Gap House in that is my memories from there, and how safe a time in my life it was. Gap House changed my life. Apparently I was a little sod when I was a kid (hard to believe, I know!), but in the two years at gap house I feel like I learned how to communicate much better than I had been able to. My dyspraxia was considered a severe case and I think I’d act out because I did struggle to communicate so much.
I don’t really remember much of it. My childhood in general is kinda fuzzy, but I remember speech therapy being difficult. I remember having to stand outside the staff room during a break as punishment (no idea what I did twenty years later), but my dominant memories from that time are happy ones. Playing football cricket in the paddock, going into Broadstairs (both through the houses and along the beach), cinema trips. We went ice skating one time which was a lot of fun, although a house parent broke their arm. So it might not have been as much fun for them! We’d go swimming, and for days out around Thanet.
I was one of the children who would stay for two weeks at a time. There wasn’t often many of us, in the second year it was just three of us. Those weekends were when I had some of my favourite times. We’d build a fort in the gym with whatever we could find. We’d use blankets to make camps between the beds. There was a little sneaking around after lights out. We had a load of animals there, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, chinchillas and more that I just can’t remember now (my memory is like a blackhole unless someone reminds me of something!).
Something I distinctly remember doing is burring a time capsule in the sorta of overgrown bit of the garden. I say overgrown, if I remember right it was let to grow like that as a sort of nature habitat. I hope it’s still there. I hope the land doesn’t get bought by a developer and a god awful apartment building is building in its place.
We had a dining room, that looking back I want to say was a little snug when full but was nice. On a Saturday evening we’d sit and eat dinner in the TV room watching Gladiators, and I want to say a couple of other Saturday night shows. Maybe Noels House Party? I can’t remember for sure now.
One of the highlights was being chosen to play Christopher Columbus in a Christmas play which was basically Christopher Columbus, This Is Your Life. I can remember that very distinctly. We also went to the Isle of White Camping one year for a week. This was amazing! We saw The Mary Rose before we left the mainland, which was fascinating. Then on that week on The Isle of White, I just remember it being a lot of fun. Walking down to see the Needles, the actual camping in tents. Toast cooked on an open fire. We also went to France the year after for a week. We camped in the garden of one of the home of one of the staff at Gap House and if I remember right, it absolutely threw it down for the week and we ended up sleeping on the kitchen floor of this beautiful house in France.
My post the other day got comments from a couple of the fantastic people who worked there. Whether it was the teachers, the house parents, or even the cooks, they all worked to make Gap House a fantastic place to be. I spent two years there. In that time I grew in confidence (which was then snatched from me when I was a teenager, that’s another post though), and I’m only now truly beginning to appreciate just how important all at Gap House were in helping me as I learned to live with dyspraxia.
Thank you all for giving me those skills and those fantastic memories.
I’ve not done any writing today, but have been seeing to a few other bits and bobs. Spent some time in the garden as well this afternoon.
I am suffering some sunburn from yesterday! And I’ve felt quite reflective today as I process all the emotions of that day. I’m feeling good overall though. I feel like I’ve got a bit of a bounce in my step and I’m feeling more settled. And I dare say when I was in town I felt a wisp of confidence tickle itself through me. Self-confidence is something I’m eager to work on and build up more. Each day I’m feeling better in myself. I’ve not felt this calm in as long as I can remember. I feel more capable than I have in a long time as well.
I’m just feeling good! I’m a little scared this energy is going to seep away again, but I’m learning new ways each day to keep my mindset strong.
Right, that’s all for today. I hope you’ve all had an awesome day! And I’ll be back tomorrow.