Good Evening folks! How are we doing tonight? I hope everyone has had productive and fun weeks.
I’ve written 640 today, I didn’t have much time and I’m quite happy with that. Overall this week has been pretty good, I’m about 4000 words in with two days to go. Even though the words petered out in this mid to end part of the week I’ve kept a bit of momentum but writing each day going. Even if it’s only a couple of hundred words. I’m trying to build a mentality of consistency. Whether its a few words a day or a thousand. It’s all words. At the start of the year I set a goal of writing for at least half an hour a day, for at least twenty-five days a month. So far this month I’ve had two days where I’ve not done any writing work.
I know my biggest enemy is myself. My sheer lack of confidence and self-esteem torpedos me, I get some oomph going and I have a bad day which takes a chunk out of my confidence and or self-esteem and I retreat into my shell. My aim is to keep my momentum going even when I take a mental health hit. This is something I feel like I’m improving on. I feel more capable of sitting in the chair and getting words done when I’m looking for an excuse not to get any writing done.
I’m not discounting the fear element either. Once I’ve got a story done, as in something I’m either going to self-publish or submit to a publisher, then once it’s out there it’s out there. It’s something that can be judged, and I know I have to have a hard skin for it and that’ll come with time and more I get out there, but there’s still that potential rejection from the reader. I know anything I publish will blow up, but it’ll still have some readers.
These are things I know I’ve got to overcome, and I think I’m doing it bit by bit. Being consistent with being productive is going to help. Doing so always leaves me in a better headspace. So its a win-win.
Right, I’ve rambled enough (need to stop doing that. Rambled makes it sound like what I say has no weight or direction. Its a form of self-deprecation and although us Brits can be experts at that it doesn’t help someone like me), so I’m gonna watch a movie and call it a night.
Howdy folks, I hope everyones week has started well. I had a good start with work and when I got home I got some words wrangled and did some gaming before dinner.
I managed to scrap a few words during my break as well on a short story but not many. All in all I wrote about 1300 words today give or take. I’m particularly happy with one section where I took a scene that was kind of filler and gave it some depth while building up a subplot for the early part of the book.
I’ve tried to map out what I want to achieve this week on a desk planner. This is something I’ve tried and failed at before but I’m hoping with the changes in life I’ve made and what I’ve learnt will help me make the most of it.
So far this month I’ve 7137 words, I’m trying to figure out what my targets should be and make sure they’re realistic. At the moment I’m working off a rough target of twenty thousand words a month, but I think I should be pushing to have that a minimum goal rather than a target to aim for.
I know writing before work, during my break, and when I get home works for me. So why not push and make that my routine and try and focus on building from that? I’ve looked at my work rota for this week, as well as non-writing bits and pieces I need to be doing. As well as time with family etcetera. I’ve worked out my daily targets from looking at what else I have each day. Thursday for example; I’m working 11am through till 6pm. A somewhat unusual shift for me which doesn’t leave much time before work (unless I actually get up at a decent time!) to write. So I think my words will be written during my break and a few after. I do feel like I’m low-balling that number, but I’m also looking responsibly. If I hit target for the other five days of the week (I’ve got my little one at the weekend so I won’t be writing then) then I’ll have 4500 words for the week.
The problem I’ve had in the past is when life throws a curveball I have a habit of loosing momentum with writing, when that’s the time I need to be writing the most. Not only is it good for my mental health to be writing but keeping that habit of writing each day will keep some structure in life. Even if it’s just writing during a break or when I have a spare moment, it’s still writing.
Good evening folks, I’ve written a total of 1120 words today on two different projects. 758 on War Child, and 362 on a new short story.
I wish I could tap this energy I’ve got at the moment better. over 3500 words in two days? That should be a regular occurrence, not just when I’ve got butt in gear. It needs to become a habit, but defeating my own brain is a war that is still ongoing. I’m winning battles, using the lessons from each one to better fight the next.
I was lurking on Armand Rosamilia’s Twitch livestream yesterday and he was working on a short story and it struck me that I have worked on one short story in the last few months. An idea popped into my head and I started it last night and am currently at 510 words on it. I’m not expecting it to be a long story, and I already know how it’s going to end. I am a little worried the ending will be a bit predictable but I’ll see how it goes.
It’s a good start to the month, I’m going to try and keep it up.
I have written 2241 words today. I started about 9am and finished a little after midday. A damn good start to the month.
I didn’t deliberately take a break from blogging the last week or so, it’s just been busy away from writing. I had other areas of life where i had to prioritise so writing at those times takes a step back. Today, very much back on track though. I’ve generally been working towards getting back in the habit of writing before work and during my break, which I’ll be focussing some energy on continuing. This has worked well for me in the past and I’d like to build on that, mainly getting more consistent with it. Then the plan his to come home and knock out more words. I know I can do it, but I need to get that consistency. That, I think, is the difference between someone just playing around and someone who wants to make something of their passion.
One of my big faults when it comes to writing is how I’ll back off when other areas of my life are taking more energy than normal. There are times when I don’t write and I’m happy not to be writing, when I have my little for example. Then my focus is on her and it’s one of the few times when I don’t think about writing at all. But those times aren’t like when I’ve got a lot on my plate. Last week for example my Dad was in hospital (he’s home now), so that’s where I put my attention. But even around visiting etcetera I still had plenty of time where I could have written more than I did. I’ve got myself into a mindset where I think I haven’t got the energy, but that’s bollocks quite simply. It’s giving my self-doubt an out. Which I hate because it’s letting doubt win. And bollocks to that as well.
Writing is therapy for me. It helps my mental health in all the good ways, and my self-doubts know that. So it’s trying to stop me from helping myself in more than just making fiction. I need to get that reaffirmed in my head and get back on track again. Today is the start I needed. Tomorrow I’m at work, but I’ll have time after work. I set myself a goal at the start of the year of writing no less than twenty-five days a month, and for at least half an hour. I should be doing that easily! So Peter, you doughnut, get it done!
It’s the night before my first overnight trip on my own. Yes, I’m a forty year old man who’s never really got anywhere. More on that later though. I’m a touch anxious about it, but also looking forward to it. I’ve spent a little too much time gaming today, which is an indication of my anxiety. It’s not been a crippling anxiety like it has been in the past. I’m not packed yet. There’s not a lot to pack to be honest, it’s only two nights. Side note, I’m struggling with writing with a pen tonight, I cut my finger the other day, and I’ve got a cat demanding attention, and I should really get my head down as it’s well past midnight. But my anxiety is a little up so I need to try and relax a little.
Well, I’ve been here about half an hour. I’ve unpacked and got myself sorted out. The is nice, but looks out onto the small carpark, but it also looks out onto playing fields across the road. The room is a nice size and the bed feels comfy. I think I’m going to write for a little while and them take a stroll into town for something to eat. Then back to my room for a little more writing and then flaking out. My anxiety is a little high at the moment but I kind of expect that.
I’ve decided to eat in the hotel as my anxiety is a little higher than I was ready for, and I didn’t feel like going and looking for somewhere to eat. Although I am looking forward to exploring the town tomorrow I don’t fancy doing it in the dark. And not for nothing, I like being in of an evening. I like my feet up and watching TV, or gaming, or doing a little writing work. I don’t mind the odd night out, but it’s not a big part of my life. This evening I’m looking forward to something like a burger, a shower. Then feet up and a movie. Maybe a little writing work as well. Sounds good to me.
The food at the hotel was good, a damn tasty bacon and cheese burger with chips. It went down well and filled me up nicely.
I’m just about to settle in for the night. I’ve got a fair bit of work for last years NaNoWriMo project (War Child) done. I’ve tried to do a little work on a Penal Earth story but I can’t get it rolling. I’ve not got a hook for it and I’ve tried a fair few times to get it off the ground. So I think this might be an idea that has nowhere to go.
I didn’t sleep too well, which I was kinda expecting. When my anxiety spikes sleep tends to be something that suffers. But I didn’t have to get up so early, so I rolled out of bed at a little after 9am. My plan for the day is the Sea Life centre and a wonder around the sea front and the lanes. Grab something to eat, and get writing. Then dive into a couple of movies.
I’ve taken a steady stroll down to Brighton sea front. It’s pretty much a straight shot from my hotel, and damn I saw some groovy looking buildings.
I tell you what, the moment that salty sea air hits, the sound of the waves crashing in. It hits and damn I can’t stop smiling.
I’ve had a little stroll along the sea front before coming into the Sea Life Centre. That’s where I am now, sitting and just writing a few thoughts down. Just kind of taking it all in.
You forget how big some fish are, well I had anyway. I think the staff are about to feed the tank where the dog fish are. I love dog fish, I remember learning a lot about them when I was at boarding school. I think they were the start of my fascination with sharks. Nah, it looks like they’re just putting in live plants. Very interesting though, it’s a little insight into the way it’s all run.
The rays are cool, I love the way they move. And damn, those doggies are super awesome. None of the fish seem at all bothered by the dude walking around the tank in the waders.
I’m currently just sitting down for something to eat. I continued walking through the aquarium but when I got to the tunnel I was knocked off my feet. There are Giant Groupers, at least two Sea Turtles, and Black Tip Reef Sharks!!! This blew my mind big time, I didn’t know they had the turtles or the sharks here. I think I probably sat and watched them for a good twenty minutes before it really hit home that I was looking at such majestic creatures. Sharks have been on this planet so long and have evolved into a nigh on perfect example of an apex predator. I never expected to see Black Tips with my own eyes, let alone be so close to them. The way they move through the water is almost hypnotic. It looks so effortless, which I know it isn’t. It’s like breathing, they just do it. It was mesmerising.
Watching the turtles gliding through the water is pretty calming as well. I thought there was only one, but the second swam over my head as I was watching the first. Yes, I ducked! It scared the crap outta me! Like the sharks they move effortlessly, but unlike the Black Tips they seem to glide freely. With no care in the world. You know the sharks are hunting.
The rest of the centre was good and after a little time in the gift shop I headed back out to the sea front.
I strolled along the pier, being battered in the wind, stopping occasionally to lean on the railings and watch the waves rolling to a crash on the pebble-covered beach. I can’t remember the last time I was on a pier. I love the concept of them, being away from the shore, without getting wet or being on a boat. It’s soothing looking at the waves running in. The sea is really rough today, and it is beautiful.
After the pier I strolled along the sea front towards the old pier. I had a little wonder why the council had never torn it down. Okay, the logistics of doing it, with it being out at sea is probably a headache, but I’d reckon it’s also a sweet spot for wildlife. From where I was on the sea front I could see a number of birds hanging out on it. I want to say there was seagulls, with some cormorants. As well as a few that I couldn’t take a guess at, but I don’t want to say for sure. I’m curious to know what’s happening beneath the waves. I’m glad I did walk along the sea front to see the old pier. It should be an eyesore, but the skeletal remains are strangely beautiful.
I walked a bit further before turning and doubling back. That was when the rain hit. As I’ve said, it’s the middle of winter here in the UK, so seasonal weather is to be expected. The was strong throughout my stay but the rain didn’t come in till early afternoon on that second day. The wind had began to give me a touch of a headache and I was very nearly ready to make my way back to the hotel, but I wanted to eat out so I had a look at a few restaurants but being out of season there wasn’t many open, and those that were didn’t get my tastebuds going. Eventually I went to the Harvester above the Sea Life Centre. I went for gammon steak and an ice cream sundae for dessert. I’m not a huge fan of gammon, but do enjoy it once in a while and this piece of gammon was perfectly cooked.
After eating I made my way back to the hotel. I did want to explore The Lanes, but more rain was forecast so I decided to call it a day.
I did get overwhelmed a few times, a little anger crept in as well. Anger at letting fear and anxiety destroy me for so many years. It’s taken a bit of time to get myself to the point where I can get away for a few days. I’m so glad I’ve done it. I’m working on breaking out of the safe path I’ve kept to, and this is just another step off that safe path.
I’m just about to hop in the shower. Then I’m going to watch a movie or two to dive into. Checkout is at 12pm tomorrow but I’m planning on leaving about 11am.
I rolled out of bed at about 9:30 after another night of bad sleep. It’s just a case of not being in my bed. Considering how tired I was yesterday and I didn’t just nod off shows how being in a different environment affects my anxiety levels. Hopefully as I do this more that will ease. Looking out the window the rain is hammering it down, the wind is howling one minute and then easing off another. I love driving in this sort of weather conditions. I love the challenge it provides.
After being home for a few hours and sorting my stuff out I haven’t really had time to process the feelings that I’ve had over the last couple of days. I’m feeling good overall about it. Escaping this cage I’ve built for myself is going to take some time to break free from. These few days away, may not seem like much but it took a lot for me to book it and have those days on my own. It was a big step for me.
There are a lot of things I need to unpack, and I’m not just talking about luggage. Lots of things I didn’t really think about before hand. I ate in a restaurant, not a fast food place by myself and I didn’t feel self-conscious about it. I walked around a town I barely know, well the seafront really. But I just wondered. I love the seaside, it feels natural. I think that’s why I spent most of the day on the seafront.
There’s a lot of things that I have been working through since I had those few days away. I should of written this post up weeks ago, but lots going on. But, it’s given me time to work some of it all out. Some still needs work, but the one that really sits hard is that I’ve lost so much time. Well over twenty years I let my fear and anxiety keep me locked inside my head. No more.
I’ve had a good weekend with family. But I did manage to get a little writing down first thing yesterday and a little tonight. About 4500 words edited in about an hour or so altogether.
It’s been a good start to the writing month, I’m nearing 8000 words edited with around 500 new words down. Most of those are on a non-fiction piece.
I did also, finally, find a way to get my iMac up and running. It’s been out of acton for a while. What happened was the screen just up and stopped working. Well, it was like someone turned off the screen’s light. You hold a torch to it, you could still see the display. Now, I did do a little googling at the time, and here and there I’d look into it. Although I didn’t go into Apple and speak to someone I did speak to a couple of computer repair shops and they were quite clear in that it just wasn’t cost effective to repair it. The annoying thing was, it would work for a bit and then nothing for months. Eventually I just stored it, having given up on it.
Then, a few weeks ago I got thinking about it again, like could I just not connect it to another screen? Well, back to the googling, and yes. I was searching for the problem previously. This time I was searching for the solution, can I connect my iMac to another screen? After a little digging, all I needed was a thunderbolt connector plugged into a HDMI adaptor. I plugged it into my tv and boom! it worked! I planned to connect it to my old tv which had lost its sound, but the tv had completely died. So I hopped online and ordered a monitor and I’m up and running. The annoying thing is, the damn iMac screen is working perfectly well, at the moment………
Until it does, I’ll run it as a multiscreen set up. It’s strange, a lot of the changes I’ve been making the last couple of years all seem to be coming together. I’ve got better concentration, I’m more at peace in myself. I don’t have so much of the self-hatred running around my head like I used to. It feels good.
Right, I’m off to watch a bit of Orange Is The New Black. Have a good one, folks.
January wasn’t a bad month, I wrote 5448 words, and edited 51758 words.
I realised I needed a lot more background work on War Child before I can move forward with it. So I decided to go back to Black Blood while I start building what I need to progress on War Child. Because I’ve had a somewhat busy and interesting month I’ve not done as much on War Child, or writing work in general, as I’d have liked. But it’s not been disappointing though, it’s given me time to let War Child simmer nicely, let ideas grow naturally. I think that element has been very helpful in that I haven’t just rushed through it and made a pigs ear out of it all.
The edit on Black Blood is not overly taxing. For the most part it is just going through and taking out any little spelling and grammar errors. This will be my final pass on Black Blood before it’s shelved until I have the money to get it edited. It’s behind Penal Earth in that queue.
On a personal note, I had some good news which came near the end of the month. I broke out of my fear-built cocoon and got away for a couple of days, I’ll have a post about that soon. I feel like I’ve had some good mental and emotional growth, and have made some interesting self-realised revelations about myself. Which, honestly, I’m still working on figuring out.
I had an off day from writing yesterday. Aside from a couple of notes I made for War Child I didn’t get any writing work done.
Tonight I’ve done a little work on Black Blood and earlier in the day I managed to get some work done on War Child. I’ve really bitten off a lot with War Child, but it’s a weird feeling I’ve got at the moment because I feel like I can pull it off. I’ve never really had much confidence in any aspect, so it’s strange for me to be sitting here feeling like this. Like I can do this. It’s kinda scary.
But, it needs that work done. I was thinking I’d smash that draft out and boom, get cracking with book two. But no, it’s going to take a lot of planning. This isn’t like what I’ve worked on before, there’s a lot of moving parts.
Crap, that’s the time. I need to wrap this up and get settled in for the night.
So, here we are, 2023. I feel like the last few times I’ve tried getting goals scribbled down I end up loosing track of where I am on them. This time I’m hoping to be able to stick to them much better. I feel more focused, more capable at the moment and like I can actually follow through with these plans.
1 – Publish my zombie novella
2 – Publish one vampire era story to my ko-fi a month (this covers me till august)
3 – Continue writing War Child (2022’s NaNoWriMo project)
4 – Find publishers to submit Penal Earth to
5 – Complete Black Blood (just need to do the final edit)
6 – Continue planning for Penal Earth 2
7 – Spend no less than half an hour a day, for at least twenty-five days of the month working on writing projects
8 – Blog on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays
9 – Continue serial killer story
10 – Find anthologies to submit to
This feels like a big list, like there’s a lot I’ve lined up for myself. I do feel like I can do it though, I don’t feel like I’m fooling myself with what I want to achieve in this calendar year. A lot does rest on me continuing working on my life in general. I’m going to try and map out some personal growth goals as well, but I’m not sure where I want to start with that one.
Howdy, folks! How are we all doing? Are people having a good festive period? Mine has been pretty darn good, but it’s back to work tomorrow. Which I am looking forward to, I enjoy my day job a lot and I like the routine (if shift-work has such a thing), and as most of my shifts are early’s I tend to have the rest of the day to get stuck into what I need to.
In the week before Christmas I had very little time to focus on writing, but I did manage to squeeze writing time in. This years NaNo project is still in process and I didn’t want to go too many days without working on it. I’ve had seven days this month where I haven’t done any writing at all, and likely a few days where I haven’t worked on NaNo ’22, but I’ve not let too many days in a row where I’ve not worked on it. Something I’ve talked about a lot on here is momentum, and I think it’s something that’s very important. I’ve lost momentum before and it’s very hard to get it back. I’m worried it’s going to happen again, so I’m hoping I’ve done enough so far with this story to stop me from hitting a roadblock that stops me dead like has happened in the past.
I don’t want this year to end with a bang, and I definitely don’t want it to end with a whimper. I want it to end with a nice steady pace, similar to where I am at the moment which rolls right into 2023 and continues.
I haven’t spoken much about my mental health publicly of late, that’s simply because I’m feeling better than I have done in a long time. Okay, then I’ve ever felt. Yes, there’s a long way to go. There are still things which really eat away at me, and as I kinda tick one thing off another three crop up. But I’m working on it all. I have less bad days now then I used to and the good ones are more frequent. I don’t believe it’s one or the other. I think some days are a mix of both, while others are neither. Those are the days I have most of, but even those days tend to be more towards the positive side of life.
The biggest lesson I feel I’ve learnt of late is to get a decent amount of sleep. Life is a lot more settled when I’m more rested.