Just a quick little progress up date here. I’m a little behind in general but I’m rolling along at a decent pace despite that. I’ve edited a short story today. The next stage of this one is to print it out and do a red pen pass on it. I’ve done another 25 pages of corrections on the vampire book (25 yesterday as well). There are more little corrections than I was expecting, mostly grammar and spelling to be honest.
I’ve got a little planning of my NaNo project done, but I’m not nearly as far along as I’d like. I’m not too worried as I normally end up winging it during NaNo anyway.
That’s all for now. I’ve had some nice consistency this last couple of weeks and I can see the progress I’m making.
I’ve had two productive days, well the whole week has been productive to be honest. Although today got off to a later start as I had shopping and some errands to run.
I am making progress with my goals for this month. I’ve typed up the short story I recently wrote and will be looking to do the next edit pass before the end of the month.
The read through of the vampire book is moving nicely. I’m finding more little errors and continuity issues than I was expecting, but nothing major.
I’ve also started digging into the planning for Penal Earth book 2. I’m hoping to have this as a major project for 2023. I’ve got a number of stories that are either ready to go (zombie and Penal Earth) or very ready to go (vampire and Black Blood), and I really want to push to get those published or submitted one way or another in the next two years.
I still need to be writing though. Yes, I’ve got those four pieces to get out into the world, but I also want to get ready for what’s going to be published after those.
This surge of productivity, I’ve had it before and it drifts away. I’m tired of letting it wonder off when it sees fit. I’m working on figuring out what causes me to loose this drive I’ve currently got. I know it’s anxiety, self-esteem. Confidence. I’m better prepared for working it all out than I’ve ever been. It’s still not always easy, and it’s something that’ll take time. But I’m getting there.
I did a pretty solid 5 hours writing work this morning. I worked through an episode of the vampire book before getting some non-fiction done for an upcoming piece. In was a nice steady morning where it feels like I had a strong focus and was able to fend off life’s various distractions. I did stop here and there and had a slight break about 11ish but overall it was a productive morning.
This afternoon was a little more chilled then I’d planned but I’m listening to my body and that’s what it asked for.
Tomorrow I’m probably going to have a little bit more of an easy day. I’ve got some bits and pieces in GTAV Online that I want to get stuck into as I’ve not played much if it lately.
It’s been a nice steady start to this time off I have, and I’m looking forward to keeping this momentum going.
I’ve just read through the original draft of Penal Earth which I’m gutting for Penal Earth 2. Only thirteen pages this morning but had a few bits and pieces to do around that before I settle in for the new GTAV DLC.
I feel a little chaotic at the moment, where I’ve not done much writing this last week I’ve got bits and pieces everywhere! and I need an organise. So tomorrow I’m going to get stuck in with getting the writing bits sorted after A call I’ve got in the morning.
I’ve eased off writing a little the last few days due to family and work taking priority. But today I’ve got stuck into editing some short stories for Ko-Fi, which means I’ve got stories scheduled for the Welcome To My Nightmare tier through the end of the year. Then next year, I’ll have something that I’ve been working on for a long time kicking off…….
In total I’ve edited 13751 words on four different stories today.
I’ve also stepped back a bit from Black Blood. I realised I wasn’t doing the deep edit it needed and was just going through the motions a bit. This tells me I’m burnt out on this story and I’m going to put it to one side for a while. I’ve got notes keep popping up in my head for it so I’ll note those down and when I get to editing it I’ll put those where they need to be.
In the meantime I’ll be working on Vampire Era as that’s the next on the schedule. I do need to make one minor addition to Penal Earth that I think will explain something a little better. It’s not a change, it’s just a small detail that I need to do a little research on, but it’ll likely be less than a sentence when I do add it.
Speaking of Penal Earth, I am in the very early stages of planning book two.
The last few weeks I have felt off pace, so I’m going to try and step it back up to the level I know gives me a decent level of productivity.
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.
I had a later start to my working day than normal, starting at 10am and not 6am like most mornings. So I got up early and cracked out 837 words on typing up a short story I wrote a couple of months ago. I also wrote some words on a non-fiction piece during my break.
This evening I’ve updated some details on my Facebook Page and have a lot planned for tomorrow. Need to do a little spring cleaning and I really want to get a good dent in typing up this short story as well. I want to get that done before I go back to Black Blood.
Right, I’m going to watch a movie. I hope you all have a good night, folks 🙂
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.