Good Morning, 8th Of September 2022

Howdy, folks! How are we all doing?

Yesterday I edited 10503 words and wrote 141 words. I did the 141 while waiting for my car to be MOT’d, trying to make some use of time that is presented to me. The 10k of edited had kind of burnt my brain out though, so although I got some words down I’d like to have got closer to that 200 words in that time period.

This morning I’ve edited 6149 words and was going to start on the next episode but if I do that then I’ll not get any housekeeping done afterwards. I’ve got a number of little bits and pieces that although not urgent, do need doing.

I got up an hour and a half earlier than I was planning to, so I’m ahead of where I was expecting to be by this time. I’m trying to remap my sleep patterns, and a big part of that is getting to bed earlier. My day job tends to have a 6am start time so I’d like to get to the point where I’m getting more sleep in general at night and not have to rely on naps to keep my energy levels high. I also want to be getting better sleep. Although last night was a little interrupted a few times it did feel like a decent nights sleep.

Having a decent nights sleep helps with mental health as well. Lack of sleep, for me at least, is a big reason why I can be more susceptible to feeling down. When I’ve got a decent amount of sleep I also feel a lot more productive and able to work in the manner I want to.

I’m going to be working for another hour or so, and I’d like to get a bit more editing done as well. Let’s see how much my brain can take before it checks out for the day!

Still Struggling With Writing (and a big ol’ rant).

So, I’m still struggling to get my arse in the chair and get some writing done. I did write a little before work and during my break yesterday, which was a start, but I still feel like I’m slacking off.

The why of that is a mystery. I think it may be a side effect of mental health. I was a little down recently and when I get like that writing tends to be put on hold, but I can normally get back into the flow pretty easily.

Away from writing, life is good. There are some big changes coming at work, but nothing that I don’t think will have a negative effect at work or on myself.

There is a lot going on in the world though. We’ve got Ukraine, Covid, Brexit here in the UK. Raising cost of living, rise of Nazism (I refuse to call them white supremacist. They’re nazis. Simple as that).

Here in the UK we’ve got a parliament that is in disarray. Our Prime Minister had to resign and feels like he’d already checked out before his successor has been chosen (not by the population of the UK but by the Conservative membership by the way). The two people who are the candidates to succeed him are both not very inspiring and honestly, much of the same. The opposition party is weak. So we’ve got a weak government (that is allowing raw sewage to be pumped into our rivers and seas) and a weak opposition. That’s not good for this country. Which feels more like corporations are being allowed to dictate policy when it should be the government telling corporations what they can and can’t do and if the corporations don’t like it, they can fuck off!

Okay, rant over.

In regards to writing and my lack of, everything above is just bollocks! It’s all just bullshit fucking excuses that I’m using to justify my lack of work. And bullshit is what it is. Everything above should not stop me from writing. When I’m down, use those emotions in my writing (writing also makes me feel good about myself, so why wouldn’t I do it?). The state the planet is in, the shitshow that is Westminster at the moment, vent that frustration into fiction. Or even a blogpost like this.

I’ve spent most of my life hiding from the world. Hiding who I am, what I think, feel and so on. Suppressing my own fucking voice!

I

Have

A

Voice!

I need to use it. I need to put it into fiction, I need to stand up for what I believe in. (For the record, if i have a racist, sexist, just generally horrible nasty cunt of a character in fiction; that’s not my voice. That’s me creating a character who is FUCKING what is wrong with so much of this world).

Okay, I’m going to shut up now and do some writing work.

Be true to who you are. Even when it’s hard, thats when we have to be strong and stand our ground.

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.

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.

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 ☺️

20th June 2022

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.

Despite the slapped looking face I was enjoying myself

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!

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.

Good Afternoon, 31st of May 2022

Howdy, folks! How are we all doing?

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.

Max is waiting for me to finish so we can go play ball.

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.

Raven helping with editing this morning.

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.

I Had A Plan!!!!

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.

Good Evening, 16th of May 2022

Good evening, folks. How are we all?

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.

My Ball!

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!

Have a great evening, folks!