Good evening folks. Not much to report from the last few days. I’ve been writing dribs and drabs here and there. Tomorrow I’m aiming to get stuck into the next pass through on Black Blood.
I have been working on a piece about my lack of confidence but I feel like I’ve crashed and burned with it. I feel a little like I went off in about a dozen different directions with it. I might give it a little time and see how it settles.
On Friday I went canoeing with my brother and his partner. We went to Herne Bay and stayed in a patch of water protected from the sea by a break water. We’ve been tried to do this last year but were rained off. To say I stepped out of my comfort zone is an understatement, but I stayed out for about ten minutes or so and I did enjoy it despite the anxieties it was stirring up. I didn’t go out again, instead sat and wrote my thoughts down and chatted with my brother and his partner.
I love the coast and want to get down there more often. Maybe not hopping in an inflatable canoe that often but getting down and enjoying the sea air is going to be good for the soul.
Right, I’m off to watch a movie and then bed. Have an awesome one, folks!
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.
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.
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.
Today I have edited 7408 words of Black Blood, adding 87 to the overall word count. That was a little bit of a slog but I got in done in about two hours or so.
I’ve also set up a few posts to go on my Ko-Fi page, including one flash piece which has gone live today. I was feeling a little behind with this so I got a few posts set up so I don’t have to worry about it too much for the next week or two. I do offer a membership in addition to one-time tips. Here I post an original short story each month in addition to bonus content. All for £1 a month!
Something I do want to touch on is that this month is the first that I have worked everyday in a very long time. For those of you who don’t know I have anxiety and depression, amongst a few other mental health bits and pieces, but my medications dosage was recently upped and I’m very much feeling it. Two months ago if I wasn’t feeling like working, I’d not. (when I say working here I mean writing. With the day job I haven’t missed a shift in a little over two years). At the moment I am working each day even if it’s just a few words while on my day job’s break. On days when I’m not at the day job I’m getting stuck into editing and making sure I get a decent start early in the morning and am normally done by midday. I’m making sure I have breakfast on these days and am getting a lot of little bits and pieces done that I’ve been putting off.
When I’m at the day job it’s a little different but I’ve found I’ve still been coming home (after a morning shift) and getting at least a little editing done. That’s normally in addition to writing something before work while sitting in my car, and during my break.
I’m feeling much more organised as well. I’m making notes on Black Blood on things like building a chapter to a conclusion to character motivations. I’m also listing what I’ve posted to Ko-Fi because knowing me I’d end up putting up the same story twice! I’m sure most people will be okay with a slight hiccup like that but people are giving me their money so I’m trying to be as efficient as possible.
I have had a hit to my self-esteem recently (I look hideous etc.) but I know how to rebuild that. I’ve done it, with help, recently and I know I can do it again.
Life is moving in the right direction and I feel like I’m getting to the point where I can able do the things in life that I’ve always dreamt of.
My plan was to get up at about 8am. I don’t need to be in work for an early today and I had no other reasons to get up early. So I set an alarm for 8am, which is a lay in for me, and settled in for what I was hoping would be a good nights sleep. It didn’t start well when Max did his guard dog duties and after I checked the house, garden and so forth I decided to let him sleep upstairs for the night. That did the trick and he settled down, and only tried to get on the bed once.
Then, at 5am Raven woke me up by trying to knock items out of my window (could you be any more cliched, Raven?). I removed her from the window and put her on the bed with a “really?” that she paid no attention to.
She jumped off and Max decided to it was time to play with Raven. She wasn’t interested and smacked him on the nose and jumped back in the window. Can you guess what she was doing? I repeated the earlier removal method and this time she ran off down the landing.
Flash forward to a little after 6:30am and I heard something that broke me out of my slumber to find Max with his head on my bed, he had the look that all people with a dog knows. So I let him out. It was this moment that I knew it was time to get up because I was awake.
So y’all get a blog post! 😀 It’s been an amusing morning with Dizzy being the only one of the furry family that didn’t wake me (although she tried to sit on the keyboard as I’m writing this post).
Have an absolutely awesome day, everyone! Here in my part of the UK the sun is shining and I’m going to go out and do some garden work in a bit, I might even sit out there and do some writing.
Today I’ve written 611 words on a short story I’ve recently started during my break and while I was waiting for something this afternoon. I was hoping to have got a good chunk of Penal Earth worked today but a few things came up that I had to see to and although I had time to write it was with pen and paper as I didn’t have access to my laptop.
I liked what I wrote though, and although I’ve got no idea where this story is going I’m enjoying the discovery aspect of it.
I spent an hour or so this afternoon after work in the garden. Partly to play ball with Max as he hasn’t had much playtime due to a lot going on the last few weeks (needless to say he loved it!) but I also needed to top up the bird feeders, do the poopa scooping; both of which I can do while still punting the football up the garden for Max to chase. I also done the cat litter, sorted the bins out for collection tomorrow, and got a load of washing done.
Now, I get this may not seem like much. It’s not really worth noting, everyone does these things. But considering how tired I was I could have easily just got home, let Max out and have a nap. And I feel so much better for it.
It also means once I’ve finished work tomorrow and ran a couple of errands I’ll have a nice chunk of time to get some words edited and then on Wednesday when its my day off I’ll be able to dedicate a bigger slot of time to writing.
This is a level of organisation I’ve only dreamt of for many years!
It is a gorgeous sunny day out there, and I’m at my desk because I need to get some words wrangled!
My aim for today is to do my final pass on Zombie. I’ve added in the rewritten ending and have a load of notes to work through for it and then I’ll hopefully be done with it. The notes aren’t like massive rewrites or anything like that. A lot of them are notes from my editor that’ll help build the characters and the world, and have it make more sense.
I do have a video that I need to get some more work done on and I’d love to post it today, but I’m kind of bottling it at the moment. Just that self-doubt creeping in again.
My plans for my Ko-Fi page are moving along, albeit it a little slowly. I’ve almost got the first year’s worth of content lined up. I’m just going to go simple and have it as one short story a month and then with additional bits and pieces added in as and when I can. I’ll be open with what I want to do when it comes to memberships, in time I’d like to change it up a bit but for now I’m going to keep it simple.
I had a little waiting around time yesterday while I picked up a prescription, so I walked down to St.Georges church and sat in it’s grounds for a little while. It was pretty nice and calming down there. (managed to find a plot hole fix as well). It was nice just listening to the world for twenty minutes, letting my soul absorb the space.
I can be very critical of my hometown. I think it’s one of many towns that is slowly dying and one of the things keeping it alive is its proximity to London. As I walked through town yesterday I couldn’t help but look at all the flats being built. Some into every nook and cranny going, while others are being rammed into old buildings. Gravesend feels like its become a bed for the workers who travel to London each day. I don’t like this. We’re not a B&B. This town has some amazing history and I’d love to see it bloom.
Now, I don’t keep track of the politics of the town, or the mechanics of administrating a town, but I’d like to see more done to build this town that has some amazing people in it. There are so many empty shops, so much litter on the streets (the street cleaners do a great job but it’s a never ending battle for them). We need to change the mentality of those who call Gravesend home.
Right, I’m off to get some words edited. You all have a lovely day.
I had a slightly earlier start than normal today for the day job, add in a bad nights sleep and I’m feeling quite knackered right now. But I have got some words down today. I wrote 423 on a short story that I started today, and then this afternoon I’ve written 322 on one of the short stories that I wrote earlier in the year.
I’ve also been working on a ‘day in the life’ type video that I’m going to try and cut together and post later on today. I’ve also got some writing admin to do before I wrap up for the day.
I’m getting a little short on time so I’m going to leave this here. I’ve got Sunday off so I’m planning on diving into the zombie book then.
Today I have written about 1600 words on a short story. Added the new ending to the zombie book, and done background work on Penal Earth. I’ve also spoken to a publisher about a couple of ongoing projects that unfortunately seem to be on hold at the moment, and I’m about to look up some submission calls.
I need more days like this! I easily have the time, but my own self-doubt and anxiety get in my own way. It’s not even imposter syndrome, it’s just me self-sabotaging out of fear of the unknown. I need to get out of my own way and just do it! I know I can, I know I’ve got good stuff to get out into the world. So let’s stop fucking about and do it!
Okay, rant over. I’m off to play some GTAV while I wait for a phone call.
If there’s something you’ve always wanted to do, a dream you’ve had, just go for it!
I have tea, Raven is climbing over my printers while Dizzy is sitting staring at my from besides my chair. A scrap is imminent….but I’m awake. I’ve got a late shift today so I wanted to get up and get cracking early and for once it feels like I have done. There was no ‘snoozing’ of alarms. No rolling over for ‘another five minutes’ which always turned into at least another half an hour. I have an Amaranthe playlist via YouTube playing and I’m ready to get some words cracked out. I’m even dressed!
So, what’s the day got planned for me. I’d like to knock out another thousand words of zombie. I think that is very achievable. Just plug away until about midday I think and then that gives me a little time for lunch, half an hour on GTAV and a few other bits and bobs before heading off to work.
That all sounds really straight forward. It’s not. I’ll be editing as I type of the hand written draft of zombie. So I’ll be having to think on the go and I’m going to try and read the scene before I type it up so I know what point the scene is taking the story to. I am feeling quite a bit of pressure with zombie. This will be my first release and it’s got to be right. I don’t want to be that person who puts something out into the world and it’s poorly put together. Typos, spelling mistakes, bad layout, and so on. I trust my editor, she is incredibly good at what she does and I know she won’t let me embarrass myself.
But, I’m pushing through. I’m not letting my self-doubt stop me. I’ve had far too many months where that doubt has had me dragging my heels on writing. I know the why of this, and I’ll talk about it one day but it deserves more than a few sentences in a daily post. I know I can do this. I know it’s time to step up. And I know I keep repeating this, but that is more for myself. It’s me keeping that positivity at the forefront of my consciousness.
Self doubt, imposter syndrome, what ever you want to tag it with, is a prick. It’s a horrible feeling and one that when it takes hold it can shut me down in a heartbeat. But it will not win. It may gain ground by winning small battles but I will win the war.
How are we all doing today? I wrote about 600 words during the write in this morning. And I’ve also had a bit of a sort out of my desk this afternoon. I feel a little more organised now.
The gears are really beginning to turn at the moment and I’m getting really eager to wrap up Zombie, Penal Earth, and Black Blood. Other stories are really shouting at me and it is very much time I put these three longer term project to bed.
Right, have an awesome afternoon and evening folks. I’ve got a long day at work tomorrow so likely won’t be posting then but will be writing at some point.