Good Morning, Sunday 17th of January 2021

Good morning folks!

I was going to write an end of day post on Friday(15th) but I was working on a post for my Buy Me A Coffee page and accidentally wiped out two hours work on it! Yes, I almost cried. So I gave up for the night.

Aside from that, I had a productive day. I wrote 1176 on a new short story in my Penal Earth universe, and edited 3204 words on Black Blood.

I’m still some way off finishing this edit on Black Blood. It’s not like an epic mess, but there’s a lot of work to do on it to get it where I need it to be. The ending is still eluding me. I kinda know what I want it to be, but I think I’ve got to map it out better. Figure out the beats of it and make the pay off worth it.

I had Dizzy’s company for all of two minutes this morning!

The A4 pad I’m using has pages of notes I’ve got to put in and I’ve got a lot of details to put into the character profiles as well. I made notes for Penal Earth in the middle of last year, but I’m not sure where they are. So I’m going to need to have a search for them.

Horror Drabble Anthologies from Kevin J. Kennedy that I won in an online event ☺️

Today, is going to be productive. I’ve got today and tomorrow off and I want to make a good use of that time. I’ve a personal matter to spend time on tomorrow so I expect I’ve get more done today. I’ve had a good nights sleep, I’m in an exceptionally good place in life, aside from that one part that I don’t talk about.

Time to rock and roll!

Good Afternoon, 3rd of January 2021

Hey folks!

So today has been a slow one in starting. I dragged myself outta bed at 10am and I’ve felt tired, I’ve only just warmed up but am still feeling dead tired. I slept but I slept really badly, I think it was a very unsettled night for me. I’m trying to pinpoint why I didn’t sleep well, but haven’t been able to.

Needless to say, I’ve not got any writing done today. I’m set up to get cracking, but have looked at the next scene to look at and it’s one that’ll pretty much be the start of an entire sequence that will need all but a whole rewrite. So, I’m bloody grateful I’m not navigating that today. It’s just a read through and note taking. I’ll make edits, even though I’m not going to keep these scenes I think it’s a good idea to keep this editing mind on and it’s all experience at the end of the day.

Today’s work space.

I have written a few words today. Just a few though, for a project for a publisher that I’m looking forward to participating in. I’m still not sure how I’m going to get this story done just yet. I’ve got a good idea of the feel of the story, but it’s executing it and I haven’t really figured out the story yet either. This is the story I was talking about recently where I was saying I need to sit down and do some brainstorming.

I’m sure Raven will try and sit on my notes when I start working

Something I did forget to mention the other day was that I have submitted a couple of stories to an anthology. I had a mild panic when I thought I’d screwed up by not adhering to the submission guidelines, but after emailing the editor they clarified that I haven’t. So I’m relieved by that and I’m now eagerly waiting to find out how they’ve done.

Right, I’m going to crack on with this Black Blood read through!

January 1st, 2021…. Here We Go!

Here it is, 2021!

I can’t describe how hard 2020 was for me, and not just because of Covid. If I took Covid out of it I still had the worst year of my life, but it was also the best year. And it’s the good that is driving me forward.

The changing of a calendar isn’t going to magically make life like it was pre-2020. It really doesn’t work like that. I know a lot of people don’t want to hear that, but it’s true. The reason why I got out of 2020 in the good place I am in now is because I’ve worked my arse off to get here. To make the best of the world around me and keep my head high, and my eyes focused on the next goal.

Do I fall down? Yes, I fell down over Christmas and it took its toll on me, but I get back up and moving forward again. I don’t dust myself off until I know I’m not at risk of being sucked back into that dark little corner of my soul again. I stop that from happening by talking to friends and family, being productive with writing, going to work. I defeat the negative elements of my mind by engaging with the people I love, the communities that have embraced me, and just being me. This last six months has taught me I don’t need to be scared to show who I am to the world. Because despite what I’ve thought for most of my life, I’m not worthless.

This year will see the release of my first novella. That’s the only release that I have scheduled for this year, at the moment. I’ve got to do better at finding markets to submit to. I’m not just going to focus on word counts and look at completing more projects, submitting more, and knocking items off my to-do list.

Last year I had stories published in three anthologies, which I think might be my best in a calendar year to date, don’t hold me to that though. So, I’m aiming for at least four pieces published this year.

Okay, on to today. I kinda overlaid, like till almost midday! So I’m a little behind where I wanted to be, but I needed the sleep and I feel pretty good for it. I’ve posted my first video of the year to my YouTube channel. It’s also the first one where I’m talking to the camera. A little nerve racking, and I know it’s not the best but it’s a new venture for me where I’m stepping out of my comfort zone, and like with everything else, the more I do the better I’ll get!

I will be getting into the Black Blood read through/edit shortly as well. I’ve edited about 2000 words a day over the last few days so I’m looking at doing about 3000 today.

I doubt I’ll be writing a lot of new words today. I’ve got a short story that I need to have written and off to the publisher by April but I need to think it out a bit, get some brainstorming done on it, before I can start writing. I’ve got a good idea of a major element of it, but I need more to it. At the moment it’s a few lines and an idea. Which isn’t enough.

Enough talking, time for action! Have a good day folks! No one is going to make this year good for you, people can help, but it’s You who will make this year, and your life, good or bad.

Good Afternoon, 29th of December 2020

Good afternoon folks, I am going to dive into the edit of Black Blood this after noon. I’d love to work my way through about 10,000 words this afternoon, but I’ll see how I get along.

I’ll be starting after some lunch.

Something I’ve been thinking about doing is a reflection of the last twelve months, but I’m not sure I’m comfortable bringing a lot of that up at this point. Some of it I’ll never blog about either as it’s not fair on others. I’m also of the mindset that, although I’m learning the lessons of the last twelve, eighteen months, I want to be looking forward. I’ve got a lot to look forward to in the next twelve months, both on a personal level and a professional one.

I will just say one part of my life is not good, and potentially won’t be for a long while. It’s a driving force though, and I’ll make sure when it changes I’m in the best possible position I can be.

New hat selfie!

Right, dinner has been eaten. I’ve chilled out a little and now I’m going to get to work before my body tells me its time for a nap!

Good Morning, 28th of December 2020

I’ve kind of had a week off from writing. I was expecting to use it to get through the Christmas period but I didn’t need to in the end. Yes, it was still tough but thanks to all I’ve learnt, all the help and support I’ve had from the people I love in my life I was able to manage it better than I was expecting to.

Raven going for a majestic look 😊

I was also a little stuck with where I was taking Black Blood. I kept trying to add words but it was becoming very evident that I wasn’t prepared enough to finish this draft. So last night I began making notes. I didn’t start reading through the draft, I just copied some notes I’d scribbled down while writing the later stages of the story and did a few sketches. I’ve never really done the sketches, well not since Owen and I were working on From the Shadows a very long time ago. I found doing the couple I did last night really helpful, okay it brought a problem I hadn’t expected but I think I can find a way around that, or work it into the story.

I’m going to start the read through today, with the aim of having it done by the New Year. It’s a lick over 50k words and I think I can manage that. I’ve looked at my work rota and I definitely think it’s doable. Especially as I’m not going to be doing a full edit. This is a read through to figure out what I need to add and take away. What I need to do to get the ending how I want it, and to give it the depth and weight it deserves.

I think it’s also time to move this draft into Scrivener. It’s going to be helpful to be able to break it down into chapters and scenes and then I can insert or remove sections much easier. I can also have additional information that I’m compiling in there as well. I think that’s the way to go.

Right folks! I’ve got a little tidying before I can start working so I’m hopping off here. Have an awesome day!

Taking Positive Steps

Thinking about the goals I wrote down yesterday something has struck me today; I need to learn how to make the most of my time. I’ve talked briefly about this before, but it really is something I need to master. The next few months I’m going to be trying to optimise my time. Between work, writing, family, friends, and downtime I need to be productive when I have the time. Something I’ve recently written on my dry/erase board above my desk is ‘Make Writing Time Sacred’. This is something I definitely need reminding of. To try and make that happen is that when I’m sprinting (writing intensely for a set period of time) not to do anything else. Just write. I’m getting better at that, especially when I don’t have much time available. Very little can’t wait twenty minutes. If its an emergency, I’ll respond but how often do we really have emergencies?

My office door

I’m exercising the same mentality with blog posts. I’ve got notifications I need to respond to, but they can wait. Don’t get me wrong, if its a private message I’ll respond between paragraphs, but I don’t want to stop mid paragraph.

Something I am good at is procrastinating. If it were an olympic sport, I’ve be wearing the fucking gold medal! I would be the world record holder and destroy all who come to take my crown, but am I like that anymore? No, I don’t think so. I’m getting my butt in the chair a lot more than I used to. Even though I’m blogging from my bed right now, with a movie on, I’m trying to do all my work from my desk in my office. That’s what it’s there for, and I write more. I write more when I’m working from my desktop (when it wants to work which isn’t often, I do need to get it checked out, but when I have the cash).

The office is a work environment. It’s got fewer distractions, and it’s set up to work. I can write anywhere, but it’s so much easier having that space to write. I can shut the door and get cracking. I’ve got all my notebooks, printer, and very little non-writing items in there.

I’ll take some updated pictures of my office soon, seeing as it’s all but done when it comes to the layout and furniture.

I’ve got my wardrobe in there, which I’ve got covered with pictures of my loved ones. It’s the first thing I see when I walk into the room and it’s an instant inspiration. They help drive me but it’s not just that which is pushing me forward. I’ve had both the worst and best year of my life. Because of the worst I’ve finally addressed my mental health and the help I’ve got for that, along with great support from my loved ones and professionals has meant I’m feeling more focussed and capable now. I would never have been able to think about my goals for next year in the way that I have done without these changes in my life.

What I’ve learnt the most is that I dictate my moods. If I’m feeling down, I now know how to pull myself up. If I can’t do it myself, then I can reach out to loved ones and they help me out of it. We can’t control what happens around us, but we can control how we react to it.

The anthologies I’ve been published in.

This post went way off in a direction I wasn’t expecting! But I hope you enjoyed my rambling!

Good Morning, 15th of December 2020

Good morning, folks! I hope everyone is doing good!

Just a quick post before I start my day. I likely won’t be getting a lot of writing done today. Work later on and I’ve got an appointment to prep for that takes place tomorrow but I don’t want to be rushing the prep after work and before the appointment tomorrow. So most of my free time before work today will be on that, anything the isn’t though I’ll be getting some form of writing work done.

I’m feeling happy about my goals for next year, even if I do have a slight doubt that I’m being overly ambitious. The way I’m looking at it though, is it’s time I started pushing myself. After so many years of living with self-doubt beating the crap outta me (in every aspect of life) now I’m finding my confidence a little I feel like I can push myself that bit more. I’m not so scared of the world that I used to be, it’s still there but it’s not dominating me like it used to.

Yes, I’ve just woken up!

Right, I’m off to get cracking! Have an awesome day, everyone!

Tuesday, 8th of December 2020 Roundup

Yep, another early roundup post as I likely won’t be blogging when I get home tonight.

I have written 1896 words this morning, in about two hours. Which I am super chuffed with! I got up in good time, and made the most of my time. When I have the time to write I have to make it almost sacred. This I am getting better at. I’m to getting distracted, (with the exception of the cats) and I’m getting on with writing. I’m setting up sprints in my NaNo regions Discord and even though I’ve been sprinting alone today, it seems to be firing me on.

Dizzy chilling in the warmest place in the room!

This all reinforces to me that I can do this. That the only person holding me back is, can you guess it? Me. I said yesterday (I think), that aside from one element of my life, the most important, that I am in probably the best place I’ve been in for years. I think that is started to bear fruit.

I’ve always had self-doubt, a lack of confidence in all aspects of my life. After this year and hitting rock bottom and with the help I’ve had and addressing my problems it feels like it’s beginning to come together. Not perfect, but I am a better me than I was just a few months ago and people are noticing which is great.

Right, I’m pretty sure I just repeated a lot of what I wrote yesterday, but hey, a little repetition never hurts!

I’m off to get ready for work. I know I’ve got a challenge there today, which I’m looking forward to diving into.

Day off tomorrow but I’ve got a few things to do so writing time will be limited, but if I can get almost two thousand words down in two hours today, I can find time to try for that again tomorrow!

Have a great one, folks! And remember, be kind. It’s not hard.

7th December 2020

Two posts in one morning! I know, right! But the way I’m looking at it is I probably won’t blog after work tonight so let’s give you fine folks an update on how writing went now.

I wrote 1043 words this morning on Penal Earth and I’ve left it in a place that I can kick in and have a lot of fun with it tomorrow (there will be blood, lots and lots of blood!).

Tomorrow I’m going to aim for a thousand words, and get the zombie book edited. It’s about twenty-five thousand words, so its easily doable in a day.

I’m aiming for a couple of productive days as I have them off this week. I’m feeling good, better then I have ever done.

I’m lucky to have a writing space, and yes I do get more done when sat here 😊

I have one part of my life which isn’t good, and it’s the most important but I have to be patient with it, it’s also something that I’ll never go into details with here. I am pretty open with my life on here, there are somethings I reserve the right to be private about though. The exact part of Gravesham is one, where I work is another, and that one part of life which isn’t how I wish it was. It can be changed, but as I said, I need to be patient with it.

This year has been the best and worst year of my life, and I’m not the same person who I was at the start of it. I like who I am now, and how I am evolving.

I’ve a tough path ahead but I’m ready to walk it.

Wow, that got deeper than I was expecting!

Have a great day, all!

12th of December 2020

Good evening, folks!

I’m actually on track this evening. I worked a few extra hours at work so I didn’t get much more than words written. I got 1289 done, but I’ve been wanting to get my final alterations on my zombie book done. Especially seeing as I’ve had an update from the cover artist and damn am I excited at how it’s looking! So that’ll be started in the next few days.

Due to yesterday’s falling asleep at the keyboard and today’s extra time at work I’m not as far as I want to be this month, but I’ve got Sunday off and a couple of days next week where I can really take advantage of the time I have.

A slow start to the month but a good one.

I’m in quite a productive state of mind at the moment. I’m making notes on Black Blood as I’m working on it, I’m also thinking about some visual aides that may be able to help with both Black Blood and Penal Earth. I’m going to try and execute some of those over the next week.

Tomorrow, I’m not expecting to get much writing done as I have a long work day. I will try and get a few words written during lunch though.

I’m super excited for this story now (title and character names likely to change).

I’ve printed off a draft of a story I wrote for NaNoWriMo 2018 (Lovers), and I’m going to read through that tonight, leave it till next week and then read through with a pen and make notes. This is one where it’s done, but I’ve never been happy with it. For a start it’s a romance, which I’m not exactly familiar with or known for; and secondly I always knew it was missing something. The other day I had an idea just pop into my head which changes the entire energy of the story and I’m really eager to get stuck into it. I’m going to be patient though and not start on it until next year. I want to read it those couple of times, make notes, and then let it simmer for a few weeks. I also need to watch a movie as I’m going for a format that this particular movie does very well.

I am thinking about my goals for the next twelve months, and where I want to be this time next year. Both in writing, work, personal life, and in who I am.

The rest of my evening will be a movie or two, some reading and bed. Some time to rest the body and mind.

I’m very much in a ‘let’s do this’ mindset. I’ve got some good happening alongside the bad news I had this week. This last week has also been a great reminder of how blessed I am to have the family and friends I do.

Right, folks! Rock on and have a good weekend. If you have a dream, do something about it and turn that dream into life.