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!
Howdy folks, It’s the first really blistering warm day of the year here in the UK. So obviously I’ve spent a fair chunk of it at my desk. I did spend about four hours in the garden sorting something out, and have now got a sunburnt bald spot. Lovely.
But writing wise, I’ve written 2356 words on a non-fiction piece that I needed to type up, and it’s done now. This is one of those pieces that is acting a little about self-therapy. Analysing elements of life while I try and figure myself out better. This one was about the car trade of which I spent nineteen and a half years in. I’d love to publish it, but I think I’ll hold off for a while, if ever. It’s something I’ll have to see how I feel with it.
I’ve also done one of these on confidence, well my lack of confidence. That’ll be typed up next. Before that though I’m going to start working through Black Blood again. I’ve got a lot of notes that need to be transferred into it, and hopefully this’ll be my second to last post before sending it off to beta readers.
Right, I’m off for the evening. I’ve got work tomorrow then I’m off kayaking with my brother and his partner.
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.
This morning I edited 8510 of a short story that will be posted on my Ko-Fi next month. It wasn’t something that needed a deep edit, just a once over to make sure there wasn’t anything that I’d missed and I needed to make a couple of tweaks that’ll bring it in line with something else I’m working on 😉
After that I went out and cracked on with a job in the garden that took a fair chunk of time, I was going to do a little more writing work afterwards but I had a nap!
I felt a little bad for not doing more writing, but not as bad as I used to feel when this sort of thing had happened in the past. Something I’m thinking about a lot is balance. Tomorrow I’ve got an early and I know I’m not going to sleep great tonight. So the nap this afternoon will hopefully balance out any sleep I don’t get later on.
Right, you lovely people. I’m off to watch Alien Vs. Predator while I nod off. Night 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.
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!
Today has been one of those “What The Hell” days. Nothing seriously drastic happened, but there was a lot of small things which were made to test the resolve. Some of the things were out of my control and I tried to laugh them off. Some of them were things that I could have averted and have learnt that lesson.
Like I said, it was nothing drastic. Although the one this afternoon scuppered plans I had with a friend, and involved a little running around to get it sorted. But it was sorted and after a little GTAV and something to eat I sat down to get some work done.
I’d written during my break this morning and added a few more words this evening to give me 319 words on that short story for the day. Then I got stuck into the edit of Penal Earth and did one chapter which was 2717 words.
I’m in the home straight of Penal Earth right now. I seem to have progressed quicker than I was expecting. Partly because the draft is all but done and I’ve been tidying parts of it up, but also because I’ve worked on it all but three days of this month, and I’ve not had a day where I haven’t written or edited at all. It’s nice having some momentum.
If you’d like to support my work then please visit my Ko-Fi page. My various social media links are on the right hand side of the screen if you’d like to follow me on those platforms.
Yesterday I wrote 286 words on a short story during my break and before I started work. It was a long workday and then I went out to celebrate a close friends fortieth. So little to no time to write.
Today I used my break to write 183 words on the same short story and edited 7866 in about fifty minutes this afternoon after work.
Being honest, I really wasn’t feeling it today. I’m tired after over eighteen hours of the day job in two days, yesterday of which was a non-stop day, but I told myself to do an hour. Sixty minutes. In the course of the day, that’s not a lot and I can now chill out for a little bit before thinking about something to eat. Then somewhat of an early night as I suspect tomorrows shift is going to be another busy one.
Pushing through and still getting some writing done regardless of how I’m feeling is important. With the changes I’ve made and a recent increase in my medication I feel like I’m capable of maintaining momentum I’ve built up in the past but let slip through my fingers. Obviously time will tell, there may be the need for adjustments with meds in the future but I’m going to try and make the most of it while feeling as capable as I am and hope it’s something that does last a long time.
Right, I’m off. I hope everyones week has started off well.