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 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!

NaNoWriMo 2020: Day Six

3172 words today while watching movies all day. It’s been a while since I watched the Lord Of The Rings trilogy and it was good merging the two.

I am feeling somewhat braindead right now though. If you follow me on Instagram you’ll know I share a selfie a day to keep the black dog away. Today that damn black dog has been nipping at my heels again and writing really helped deal with that.

Seeing as my brain is mush, I’m wrapping it up here. I’m wiped and going to finish watching Beauty and the Beast (sometimes you just need Disney), and then bed.

Crash and Burn

***This post was written on the 27th of November 2019***

During NaNoWriMo this year I almost quit writing. As in I was done and never going to write a word of fiction again. I was struggling to get any words written. I was failing, and have subsequently failed as an Municipal Liaison(ML). My personal life was busy, but good. I wasn’t writing though. I was snatching words here and there and never really feeling like I was getting anywhere.

I hit a breaking point where I realised that I’d failed as an ML. I’d screwed up my own schedule and couldn’t follow through with a commitment I’d made. I’d felt lost at sea with being an ML throughout the month. Luckily my region has two experienced MLs in place so I hope my lack of skill and capability as an ML didn’t cause any major problems. But even knowing that I had two MLs with me who knew the score I still couldn’t seem to step up. I know I could have asked both of them for help (hell, one of them was my official ML mentor!), but I hesitated each time. I felt stupid and incapable of being what I wanted to be. I found limitations in myself that I hadn’t even realised I’d had. Realising all this broke me one day.

In addition to that, I wasn’t getting words written. I’ve had to push back a release to early next year at least and I was feeling lost in a way that I’ve never felt before when it comes to writing.

I hit breaking point.

I was done. I wasn’t going to write anymore. I was a nobody, I had no talent, my writing and my ideas are just re-tellings of stories that have been done to death. I was a hack.

So for a few days I was done. I’d all but decided that I’d fullfil my writing commitments (NaNoWriMo ML and a short story I’ve promised to write), but after that I was done.

Then, one random day Dave B Jeffrey tagged me on Twitter as a genre writer worthy of peoples time. I think I was already coming out of my pit of self-loafing but this yanked me out. Without knowing it Dave Jeffrey threw a rope down that deep dark hole I was trying to claw my way out of and pulled me out. I only know Dave Jeffrey on social media. He seems like a nice guy but as someone with a touch of shyness and a lot of social anxiety I’ve not really spoken to him. So this was a big surprise.

Since then I haven’t written as many words as I’d like, I won’t be hitting even 20k on NaNo, but the ideas are flowing again. I’m seeing ways to solve problems in long term projects that have not gone how I wanted them too (also contributing to the crisis of faith in my own ability), I’ve had new ideas and I’m thinking about how to make the most of the small amount of time I have in the future.

I’ve also got to make sure to remind myself that I can write. I’ve been told this by people around me, but also by peers and reviewers. I’ve had one short story compared to a Stephen King work. A reader mentioned my story as one of the best in that anthology. A second said my story in another anthology has become one of their favourite short stories. I’ve had a writer give me a blurb for that book I’ve had to put back and what he said gave me a smile the size of Australia.

I think I will always have doubts about myself as a writer. Think it’s called imposter syndrome, but I’m not the only one who feels that. I look at people who inspire me and have to remind myself that I can do this. Maybe I’m not ML material, but I can write.

***I’m not in this place anymore. I struggled to get back to where I am but at that time I was so very done. I had quit writing. I had given up. Even though it took a long time for me to get back on track, this one tweet stopped me from giving up on my dream***