11th February 2021

Yesterday I started the day off well. I got up early and got work done. I took a member of my household to the dentist and while they were in there I did some scouting in Gravesend town centre, in particular the Civic Centre (see video for more). Once I got home though, I took a mental health hit.

Something small triggered it, something that I see often but yesterday was the first time it knocked me like it did. I didn’t hit rock bottom, but I did fall somewhat. This made it hard to sleep, I think I had maybe two hours altogether. Maybe three at the most, and most of that was today. I was up at 8am like I planned, like I was yesterday but I knew I had to get my head back down. I finally got up at about 10ish and have felt that lack of sleep all day. I’ve tried to nap this afternoon but with no joy. So I’m going to work for a little while, not long, maybe an hour, and then a bath and reading after dinner. Try to relax into sleep.

On the plus side I did get some writing done last night. A little bit on the vampire era, and the part of it I was working on struck me that it might be a part where people may assume that I’m taking from real life experiences a little too literal. I do bleed into my work. I take what I’ve experienced and put it into characters, but how I think I do it is I put the dark moments I’ve had into the stories, but not the situations. I may get close with the odd one but I’ve not got the urge to turn my life into literature, not 100%.

My story ‘The Wank Diaries’ was one I bled into a lot. When I rewrote the ending after I was trying to get myself back it was a totally different vibe to the original ending and changes the tone of the story.

People ourselves into in our work is something that we all do, even if it’s something that’s subconscious. A lot of the time I don’t think we can help it. Writing, for me, is a great form of therapy. I can channel my emotions into my characters and I hope it makes them more real. More relatable.

Another plus side to last nights insomnia was I did look at the Vampire Era again. It’s on my to-do list but I’ve been so preoccupied with Penal Earth and Black Blood I hadn’t got around to looking at it. I’m going to start working on it, because it’s a rewrite and it’ll allow me to write while also working on editing and building worlds. I need to make sure I can find a way to be writing as well as working on the other elements of producing content.

Which is what I’m going to do now!

Good Evening, 14th January 2021

Good evening, folks!

I’ve had a few quiet days writing wise, but I’ve managed to edit about 3000 words in the last couple of days.

I do find it harder to get a lot done when I’m on early’s but it’s something I’m getting better at. It’s definitely something I need to get better at as I do a lot of early starts, but I can do that by getting to bed earlier.

I’ve got a week off early February, so I’m going to start thinking about what I’m going to achieve in those seven days. I won’t be off out anywhere as we’ll most likely still in a lockdown. I’d like to be done with this read through of Black Blood and have an idea of what I’m doing with the ending by the end of that week.

I’ve got tomorrow off, but I have work to do on a non-writing matter that could take up a fair part of the day, but I’d still like to get about 3000 words worked through. I’d really like to get some fresh words written as well. I’m getting an itch to properly write as well. It’ll be great if I could put an hour aside and just knock out some words. Music on, and write! Simple as that.

Raven exploring the space under the stairs as I was putting the Christmas decks away last week.

I am really going to try and get myself organised better in the next month. I’ve got a dry/erase board and a diary. So I should be making better use of them. I need to write weekly, monthly, and yearly goals. Adjusting as I go depending on what comes my way.

I’ll wrap this post up by pimping out my Buy Me A Coffee page, where if people have liked my work they can contribute to the costs of writing. I’m working as an independent author at the moment, and any funds I receive go straight back into the writing pot. I’m going to be searching for paying markets for short stories and I have the funds in place already to self-publish my first release. I’m waiting on the editor to be free, I’ve got formatting arranged (although I’d like to learn how to do that myself in future), and the artwork looks amazing! I do understand times are tough, and I’ll never push hard and start bugging people about this.

I meant to post these weeks ago, the Christmas lights from my hometown of Gravesend.

Right, I’m off to watch a movie and then an early night. Although no work tomorrow I’d like to get an early start for the day. I’ve a lot I’d like to get done and getting an early start will set the day up nicely.

Where Was I?

I have had a couple of rough days, nothing to drastic in the grand scale of things but I’ve had a little bit of stress to get through and a couple of nights with little sleep.  So I’ve been running on empty for the last couple of days, but I’m feeling like me again now 😀  That said I’ve not done any editing whatsoever so come tomorrow I’ll be knocking out a few pages and getting rolling again.

Me and Tracie went and saw The Sweeny on Sunday and we both really enjoyed it.  I would not say that it is the same as the original 1970’s version but it is a damn good crack at how that sort of unit would act in this day and age.  Ray Winstone never gives anything but his best in films and plays Jack Reagan very well  and Ben Drew (A.K.A Rapper Plan B) is very impressive as  George Carter.  With Hayley Atwell, Damian Lewis and Steven Macintosh we have a strong main cast and the support cast hold their own too.  This is a very good film with plenty of edge and some great dialogue.  It does have its weak points but only one really pulled me out of the film, one minute they are in Gravesend and the next they are in a caravan park on the Isle Of Sheppey.  It’s not really explained whether the car chase takes them from Gravesend to Sheppey or if it’s just the filmmakers saying there is a caravan park like that in Gravesend (I just want to point out that I was born, raised and still live in Gravesend which is a forty minute drive to Sheppey) so I know the area quite well.  That aside it’s a film that is a lot of fun 🙂

That does lead into something that needs to be thought about as a writer.  I have often heard other writers on podcasts say that the location details have to be spot on because there is always a chance that someone reading your book or watching your film lives just down the road from where you are setting your story.  That can take the person out of the story and worst case scenario put your book etc. down and never look at anything else that you do.  The part that sucks for all of us starving artists is that we can’t always afford to travel to the places that we write about.  So how do we go into learning about foreign lands without going there.  Let’s say that I am writing a story set in New York the first thing that I would do is Google New York and check out what is said on Wikipedia and follow on from there.  I would also get in touch with a couple of people who I know have been to New York and ask them what they thought of the city.  Then there is Twitter where I’m sure there is someone tweeting and blogging about everyday life in that fine city.  Then there is Google maps and street view.  Obviously not every location on earth has had the attention that New York has had but then it is just a case of digging deeper.

Something that I need to improve in myself is doing all this research.  We can never know enough about a city, or a culture or technology we may talk about, but we also have to be wary of over loading the reader.  I could clock up countless hours doing this research and only use 10% of what I have learnt but knowing all the details makes the story real.  This goes for making sure that our locations are accurate too.