January 2023 Reflections

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.

Not quite what I was hoping for, but still enjoyed it.

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.

Selfie while in Brighton

But I tell you what, it feels good.

2023 Goals

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.

2022 Reflections, and into 2023

This year has been a ‘Get Shit Done Year’. Writing wise I didn’t have a lot of focus in the early part of the year as that attention was on personal matters. Those were happily resolved and I could put a little more attention into writing.

I did set out goals, but they ended up getting lost in the churn a little. The core focus was on getting the Zombie book done. That, was essential for this last year. It’s going to be three years past when I had first wanted to get it published, but better late than never. It is done. All that needs to be done is have the artwork for the cover finished (the artist has been super patient and trust me, the cover is awesome!), and the formatting needs to be done. Once they’re done, it’ll be published. Hopefully the early part of next year, but definitely next year at some time.

Another project that had a lot of attention this year was Penal Earth. This story has been on the go since 2015 but I’ve really honed into a story, the setting, and the feel of the world in the last couple of years. This year I’ve got it to the point where I can’t take it any further, I think it’s as good as I can make it and I’m really proud with it. The next stage with this one is to have it edited and or submit to publishers. I do want to test the waters with it as I think it’s my best written tale and I think it does have appeal to it. If it doesn’t get snapped up, I’ll self-pub it.

Next up is The Vampire Era. This has a similar history to Penal Earth, in that it’s been on the go for a long time. This one even longer than Penal Earth, bit again. It’s had a lot of work on it this year, and has come as far as I can take it. Also like Penal Earth I’m very proud of it, and hope it finds a following. The main difference with this ones future is that I’m going to publish it on here. It’ll be released on Welcome To My Nightmare tier and the first post is live. It’s a nine episode first season, and will run until August if I remember right. After it’s come to the end of it’s run I’ll put it in the list to be professionally edited and then I’ll self-pub it. I won’t do that for at least twelve months after the final post has gone live.

Speaking of Ko-Fi, I don’t get a lot of income from the site, those who do support my work on here are all awesome people and I can’t tell you how much it means to me for you to give me your hard earned money. I’m barely a newborn when it comes to writing careers, and I don’t expect anything but what I do get I’m incredibly grateful for.

Although I don’t write for the money it’s nice when I am paid for my work. The way I look at it at the moment is, if it pays for my fees for my web domain each year, then I’m happy. And thankfully for the last few years it has done.

Back to the fiction, and we come to Black Blood. This story is not at the stage that say Penal Earth and The Vampire Era are. It want’s one more deep edit and then it’s going to be ready for an editor. At the moment I’m feeling like self-pub is the route for this one, but I’ll leave it open for the moment. This has been another long term project that has come a long way during 2022 and I’m very glad it’s moved in the direction it has. It’s not far off done, but isn’t quite there yet.

A project I got quite deep into this last year has been a series of serial killer stories that are like The Vampire Era in that they are set up like a TV series and will all build to a conclusion. This one isn’t anywhere near done yet though. It is a huge mess, but I’m not worried about it. It’s one where I need to focus on getting the individual stories tidy and then I can add in the little knots to tie them together. Some with be big, heavy duty knots. While others will be smaller ones. It’s a long way off, and one that isn’t a priority for this year, but I think I’ll be working on it here and there.

I was looking at starting Penal Earth 2 in the early part of 2023 but I’ve got a few hard decisions to make about plot lines and where I want to take it, so I’m not quite ready to get it off the ground just yet.

​The first part of next year will be getting a first draft of the NaNoWriMo ’22 project completed. I’ve been editing it this month, well editing is a strong word. I’ve been going through tidying it up and making a sort of bible for it as I go. Again, this one is a long way off but will be a priority for the next twelve months.

Black Blood will also be a major project in the first part of the year as well.

2023 isn’t going to be a make or break year for my writing career. It’s going to be a series of steps forward.

Crowd Sourcing Expectations

I’ve been playing catchup with podcasts, so have been bing-listening to The Mando Method Podcast by Armand Rosamilia and Chuck Buda. There was an episode, I think it was Chuck’s Mailbag #9, but don’t hold me to it. But in it there were responding to a question and the conversation got around to social media and being present. Making sure you post consistently and so on. I can’t remember the exact wording but there was mention of crowd sourcing and expectations. This kinda hit home a little. I’ve got an active Ko-Fi page and I’ve been regular in posting in my ‘Welcome To My Nightmare’ tier which is a short story/chapter from a longer story, once a month that hasn’t been been published elsewhere before.

I have zero expectations of earning money through this site. I’ve been blessed in that I have had contributors. (You know who you are and I love you!) But I didn’t set the page (or my inactive Buy Me A Coffee page) with the intention of making a nice chunk of cash each month. I set it up because once I get a few books published I will start building a fanbase, and then it’s somewhere people can come. When they do they’ll see there’s a number of posts, mainly short stories that they can check out.

I am feeling like a fraud. I talk a lot but don’t do anything to get my work out there. But, I feel I am making progress. I’m wrapping up longterm projects. I’m planning future projects. I am moving forward, just slowly. But I am getting there. Stories are ready to go, the zombie book and Penal Earth are there. Just need to get the money for the cover for zombie (this cover is awesome!). And with Penal Earth, I’m gonna start trying to find a publisher for it.

Good Morning! 24th August 2020

Just a quickie today. Yesterday I got the read through of the original draft of Penal Earth finished and this morning I’ve done some planning for it. Mainly key plot points, character storylines, and a few other details.

So a good start to the day.

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!

Good Evening, March 14th 2022

Hey Folks,

I wrote 500 words today, and I’m not overly happy with them. I was a little distracted and never really got flying. It’s not awful, but I think I can do better with a few tweaks.

I did do a short video for YouTube today. I started off talking about how my editing process is evolving and ended in me talking about imposter syndrome. That’s my brain, folks! Please have a look. (Dizzy makes a cameo).

I didn’t get quite as much done today as I’d have liked, and I still need to do a couple of bits before getting my head down. Including this blog post!

This is shorter one tonight. I really want to get those last couple of bits done, and I can hear a lemon drizzle cake my mum made calling my name!

So, have an awesome evening folks! I hope you’ve all had a good start to the week.

Good Afternoon, 12-3-22

Hey Folks,

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.

28th February 2022

Good afternoon folks, how are we all doing?

I have been really struggling to get anything writing related done the last few days. Like all of us, I have a lot going on and am feeling for those in Ukraine at the moment. But I’ve got to push on and get cracking. There’s no excuses. I can take a day, but thats it. It’s not hard for me to work on writing for half an hour five days a week. This coming weekend is going to be very busy so I doubt I’m going to get that half an hour. Because, it’s not just half an hour. I’ll have a timer going to half an hour, but I’ll be getting settled beforehand. Things like getting some music going, making sure I have a drink. I might need to see to some writing housekeeping. Then there can be a little time afterwards where I’ll do what I’m doing now and writing a blog post, or making some notes for tomorrows work.

So although I set a timer for half an hour it rarely is. That’s why when it comes to days when I’m doing a nine or ten hour shift I’m not noting down on my week planner that I’ll be word wrangling that day. Or if I’ve got work and other plans I won’t be setting a writing goal for that day. That doesn’t mean I won’t be writing. I’m going to try and make more effort to write in small gaps of time that I’ve got during the day. I’ve been doing that but some of it is writing for myself. I’ve got my struggles with mental health. I’ve talked about it here before, and I’m trying to write out the things I’m trying to figure out. I’m writing it like it’s for this blog, and some of it I will be publishing here. What I’m working on at the moment I’m not going to, but some I will.

I’ve had a little therapy and cognitive behavioural therapy and those have given me some very helpful tools in how to start looking into the whys of my struggles. It’s something I’m finding hard but also quite freeing. I’m also at the start of this journey and it’s a journey that doesn’t have a destination. And I’m really cool with that. I want to keep growing as a person for as long as I am able to.

Tonight I have a writing group to go to, it feels good saying that. Covid is still there, but I think we’re getting to the point where we’re learning to live with it.

I’m going to end this post by saying that I’ve had three people who I greatly respect telling me I’ve got the ability to be in essence a working writer. This is something I need to attach to more. I let the self-doubt dominate and cripple me at times. This last week has been a good example of that. I say I haven’t written for non-writing reasons, but nine times out of ten, no matter what is happening around me stops me writing. I’ve got past that, and I know how much being productive helps me as an individual maintaining a strong level of mental health. The more I create, the stronger and more capable I am. It’s not a false sense of ability, it’s knowing I have the ability to create and make this writing game work.

Have a good week folks!