Good Morning, 24th February 2021

Hey folks, how are we all doing today?

I’m not feeling as energised as I have been, and I’m writing this much later than yesterday for example. Something I do when I’m at work when customers ask me how I am I’d say ‘I’m good thanks, I’m always good me,’ It gets some laughs and it generally is true. Even when I’m feeling down I’ll try and snap myself out of it, because it doesn’t help anybody. I know it’s easier said than done. If you’ve been following my blog for a while you’ll know I was finding things very difficult last summer, and it’s been a journey and a half to get to where I am now, and its a journey that will never have a destination. Because I learn and grow with each day, each challenge. I’m not letting myself hold me back any longer.

We have the potential to be great. Both on an individual level and as a species. Now, with the state of humanity in this day and age I think it’s going to be difficult for us to achieve that greatness, but as individuals. There’s nothing stopping us. Even when we get knocked down, we get up, and brush ourselves off.

On a recent episode of the Mando Method Armand Rosamilia said about me that I’m always moving forward, even when I’m taking steps back I’m moving forward. That’s what we all need to be trying to do. If we have to take a few steps back, its not a defeat, its a way of moving forward because we might not be quite ready for that next step. It’s like the timing of a pass in a football game. If you play it too early the recipient might not be in a prime position to take a shot. Sometimes stepping back is about being patient.

Right, I’m going to get a little writing/editing done before the day job. I hope you all have a great day, folks!

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, 31st of July 2020

It is 7:46am and I’m up and have a cup of tea and a laptop on my lap. I had planned to have a lay in but my back decided to scupper that idea, yeah….. I’m getting old!

But anyway, nothing worked on yesterday. After work I had errands to run and a couple of phone calls to make and then, and yeah I’m gonna say it, I binge watch the new Transformers series on Netflix. I needed a little downtime as well if I’m honest. I needed to shut down for a few hours, and although I didn’t get lost into the series as I’d have liked to of done I did a little, and that took a little pressure off me. Even if it was just for a few moments it helped.

I’m feeling pumped at the moment. I feel like I’m getting back into the rhythm of getting writing done. I still need some more focus and start thinking forward a little. I vaguely know what I’m going to be doing in the next few months but I need to start trying to figure out a plan going forward. What do I want from the next eighteen months? How the hell do I even figure out how to plan that out? It’s something I’ve been thinking on, and will until I have an answer.

This next few months are very vital to where I want my writing to be. I need to figure my track out and get on it and know where I want to be and what I’ve accomplished in, say eighteen months time. I need to work out what I’m capable of achieving in that time.

I have no idea how to do that, I’m taking to a few people. Seeing what guidance I can get and formulating a plan from there.

That’s a wrap, folks. I’m going to get cracking with my day. Have a good one folks.

(If you want an idea of how my mind is a little scattered at the moment, how I’m struggling to keep focus then look at the time stamp at the start of the post, and it’s now 9:28am).

Subtle Influences

It struck me recently as I was watching Terminator 2 that I put Mini Guns into pretty much anything that I can and that it was the influence of this film and the movie Predator that gave me this fascination with this weapon. This got me thinking about what else I may have picked up during my life that comes out when I write, although I suspect this may only become obvious once I’ve had my work read by a few people.

This is a thought that has been running through my head and I suppose I like to put loyal and honest characters in my writing. I like putting certain vehicles in as well.  Having worked in the second hand car trade for the last fourteen years I’ve picked up on what generally is a good car and the types of car that I like tend to be reflected in some of my protagonist’ vehicles of choice. I mention guns a lot too. In my vampire collection I mention different pistols i.e. Berreta and Glock.

From now on I know I’m going to be looking at what I’m writing and trying to pick out where I’ve put my likes and dislikes into the text, which i suppose is all part of being a writer. We let our preferences come out in our fiction.

has anyone else noticed this in their own writing?

Erratic Sleeping Pattens

I would not say that I’m an insomniac but I do have a few issues with sleep. Normally it’s a case that I just struggle to drop off when I get my head down. Some nights I’ll lay for what seems like hours before sleeping, and that is normally something I’m okay with. I’ve lived with it for so long I’m use to it. Waking up 3, 4, 5 times a night is something that I am not as used to and it’s what I’m getting at the moment, and it takes it out of me a lot.
This is a time thing though. I’ve been here before and I’m sure that either in a couple of days, a week or two at the most then I’ll be back to normal. Until then I’ll muddle through and adjust as I need to.

A little trick that I have learnt about falling asleep is that I need to relax my mind a little before I try to sleep. Normally a movie or a chapter or two of a book does the trick.


I Don’t Care

I don’t care, I’m not bothered, I don’t give a f*ck. All of those imply the same thing, the same mentality that humanity seems to be adopting at an accelerating pace. I’ve met a fair few people who say they ‘Call it as it is’ and I think I’ve only met two or three people who did so without being nasty or bitter in their honesty. Most people seem to think its a way of being nasty and getting away with it.

About two years ago I had a car crash (my fault) I had a break up around the same time and a few friendships ended. I was in a dark place and for a while I was close to becoming a ‘I don’t care’ person. That is and never will be me though, I DO CARE. I care about my family, my friends. My Girlfriend Tracie, who I love dearly. I care about my job, I care about my writing. I care about A lot of people and things and that to me is part of who I am.

I can understand people who have been hurt by life and have taken this attitude but I wonder how many people truly do not care in the way they say they do. I’d say there are few people out there who claim to not care but who actually care a lot but it’s part of our culture today. ‘I don’t care’ is part of our vocabulary. I’ll admit I say it, but when I do I normally only say it when talking to Tracie and she knows that something is wrong because she knows how much I hate that mentality.

I do care. I try my best not to say something that could offend, which I do fail sometimes but I’ll always try and put it right.

The less humanity cares, the quicker humanity dies.

Take A Breath

With each passing day it seems like the world is moving faster and faster. We want to get from one destination to another in minimal time. Whether it is getting home from work or settling down and having a family. For some people it’s the ambition to get a certain job, or its trying to force a close friendship with someone.

When I’m driving I notice how people race the red light (come on we’ve all done it) but racing it is one thing, jumping it is another. We can sit in traffic only for someone to cut into our lane at the last minute.

Standing in a que at the post office and I hear people behind me whining about how long it is taking.

Some people will start dating and within a month they are living together, within six months they have a child on the way. Whatever happened to getting settled with each other, I wonder if this explains why there are so many broken homes in this day and age.

We all want faster Internet, so we can tell the world that we’re at a supermarket…(I don’t think that I have don’t that…….)

We strive to get our dream job as quick as we can, maybe looking for corners to cut because we want to get there as quick as we can.

All this rushing, this running around to get where we’re going quicker is part of life today. It’s the world we live in and without a conscious choice the majority of us have accepted it, but once in a while just Take A Breath. Find somewhere to sit down, a coffee shop, a quiet pub, a park bench. Even a shopping centre there will be somewhere to sit down, but find somewhere quiet and watch the world go by because this constant rush of life only wears us out. Take A Breath and appreciate what you have and enjoy the world around you.

Counting Sheep

Last week I struggled to drop off to sleep which I put down to being off from work but that has rolled into this week. Monday night I got about three hours sleep, last night was about four hours. Maybe tonight I’ll get five hours……

I’m one of those people that will lay in the dark for ages before I fall into sleep, recently its been hours that I’ve been laying in the darkness. I don’t know if its because I’m too tired, or not tired enough. I thought it may be because I’ve got things on my mind, but there’s nothing that is really worrying me, nothing out of the normal everyday trials of life that is.

Yes I’ve tried counting sheep, although I got bored so I started counting electronic sheep. It didn’t work.

What’s next? I’m hoping this is just a passing phase. I am pretty sure that I have a general issue with sleeping. It’s rare that I am not struggling somewhere along the way. I’ve always been one to lay in bed for a while before falling asleep, but normally I do drop off. But then I may have a very unsettled nights sleep. I’ve woken up at the opposite end of the bed to that I started and even with my head between my bed and a unit at the end of my bed. Thinking about it I’m lucky I’ve not fallen out of bed :-/

Other nights I will wake up three or four times during the night. Thankfully most of these times I drop back off quickly.

If anyone’s got any tips about getting a better nights sleep I’d love to hear them 🙂 I’m not really feeling the effects of the lack of sleep but it would be nice to get past this.

Still Learning

I’ve been writing for a good, eight years now but it has only been in the last three years that I feel like I’ve grown as a writer. In particular the last two years and in the last year it has really hit me just how much I want the world to see what I write. Not because I want lots of people to tell me how great it is and then I may have lots of money (be nice though) but because these stories are fighting their way out of me any way that they can. Who am I to fight them? Who am I to say “nope you ain’t coming out.” What I need to do is get more self discipline, plan what I am writing a little better and have an overall game plan for my writing over the next couple of years. I briefly mentioned a rough plan in another post but I need to fine tune it. I also need to learn how to plot out a story. I consider myself a discovery writer but I find myself so often hitting roadblocks when I just start writing with little or no ending in mind. Sometimes I can pull this off, mainly in short stories but in longer fiction I crash and burn.

With Project Delphi I have a very good outline, although it has had a number of changes since Owen’s original concept for the story but hopefully the story is better for it now. I also have a very good outline of what will be my NaNoWriMo project this year. It’s a story that me and Owen have been playing with for a couple of years but we’ve never really been able to get it right but now I have a fairly decent idea of where to take the story, although I’m not sure how and where to end it at the moment. It is going to be a lot of fun starting this one with almost a clean slate. The story is generally planned out in my head (except how to end it) and I’m looking forward to getting my teeth stuck into it.

Every time that I sit down to write I seem to learn something new about my own skills. I used to think I was awful with dialogue but a lot of Project Delphi’s dialogue has been almost effortless (this is where our beta readers tear the dialogue apart lol) and I think that I have learnt a lot about developing characters in the last couple of years and with Delphi in particular there are little (and major) character traits that I have altered and spoken to with Owen about. This may sound daft but I always knew characters had to have certain driving forces etc. but now I seem to be so much more aware of these forces.

When we exercise we make our bodies stronger, the more writing we do we exercise our minds and that makes our creativity so much stronger for it.