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.

23/10/2020

Hi folks!

So, I e not done a lot of writing this last week or so. I was feeling low but I’m coming out of it again now and I’m feeling pretty good and ready to do anything.

Part of what’s helped that is tidy my main living space. A big part of which is my DVD/Blu-Ray collection. Although it’s not in the exact order I want it in, I’ve at least got it broken down into the sections I want it in.

A little sign for my office door 🤓

I need another few hours to get the rest of the space tidied, so I should have that done before My plans tomorrow evening.

I am planning to write in Sunday. I do need to spend a bit of time organising and tidying the office as well but I may use time next week for that. Sunday, I want to get some words written!

Right, that’s it for now. Have a great weekend everyone!

18th October 2020

Good evening, folks! I wrote 300 something words tonight and did a little editing. I was working on the vampire stuff and I’ve got to remember I’m not just rewriting it. If I can work elements of the previous draft in, then I need to work them in. I’m going to loose some good content if I don’t do so.

I have began thinking about my NaNo project for this year. I am going to go for the novel and not another short story collection. In preparation I’ve put a list together of movies and tv shows that I think will help (with a little help from friends on Facebook).

Now, that list may seem to have a lot of variation on it but for the project I’ve got in mind I think this list, as well as some of my established influences like Alien, Aliens, Predator, and others, will aid in bringing this story together.

I’ve had a strange day. One which I did something that I need to do more of that emotionally drains me. I am going to be vague about it, but I will say it’s something that has a flip side to. It’s a driving force for me to be better. I hid mental health problems for a long time, and had them longer than I realise. Now I’m dealing with them. Some days are harder than others, but I’m learning how to recognise when I’m slipping into a downer and I’m getting better at stopping it and figuring out why I started slipping.

I will not let my mental health dictate my life.

I’m still a little reluctant to speak about this. Mental health is still a topic people don’t want to discuss but so many people have it, and it’s something that me are encouraged to ignore by society. It shouldn’t be ignored. I got help, and I’m better for it.

Don’t be scared of asking for help.

Good Morning 16th October 2020

I’ve had a strange couple of days. I’ve not had work today and yesterday but had an urgent matter to see to yesterday that was unexpected but that took up the morning. Then in the afternoon I prepped for a weekly appointment. I’ve been trying to do this the right way, which means its a couple of hours at the least I dedicate to it, and I think it’s really beginning to pay off. And yes, I’m going to be vague about it.

So after all that, I was a bit beat. So I didn’t write yesterday. The day before I didn’t write much either because I fell asleep. I did have a productive meeting via Discord with fella ML’s from the Kent region for NaNoWriMo. It was a lot of fun and I’ve not laughed that hard in a very long time. We did also get some bits and pieces sorted out for this years NaNoWriMo as well. It’s going to be a strange one as we won’t be having any write-ins at all. NaNo HQ have said that there will be none, so there will be none. It’s just not worth the risk, and I fully agree. If you’ve been reading this blog for a long time then you’ll know how much I love going to write-ins. I think they are one a great way of being reminded that even though writing is a solitary act, for the most of it, we’re not the only ones doing it. But, we don’t have them this year so we’re working on ways to make it a memorable year for people while doing it all virtually.

In other news from my little corner of the world, the paperback for Corona-Nation St is now out! I have my copy and I’m super happy with it. I’d given up on this story until after I’d moved back to my parents and started to get myself sorted. Matthew Cash, the ruler of Burdizzo Books, posted a reminder about the submission call and it spurred me to revisit my piece. I had a complete story but it just didn’t feel right. So I looked at it, and ended up rewriting the ending, which changed the entire tone of the story. I hope it works. I feel much happier with the story as it is now. I did bleed into the story, but that’s why I think it works. Although I didn’t literally do what the character does I channeled some of my feelings and emotions into it.

So pretty 😊

The pre-order for It Came From The Darkness is also available now! Like Corona-Nation St, this is a charity anthology full of flash fiction. This was an invite only and I am so proud to have been invited to it.

So, please check both of these out.

I’ve got an errand to run today before Stefan from Stefan’s Daily Gaming comes over for a few hours to game. If you haven’t checked out his stuff, please do! He’s a great guy and a very dear friend.

So I’ve got a couple of hours this afternoon to write. So I am going to try and make the most of that time.

9th of October 2020

Good evening folks, how are we all doing tonight?

I have written 889 words today, and wrote almost 500 yesterday. I think I could have pushed a bit more to get that 1k hit but at gone nine it’s time to start winding down for the night.

I wrote yesterday about failing each day, and it’s a post I stand by. I was feeling a little down, but not massively. I did feel like I wasn’t hitting targets I should be hitting, and I do still feel that. But I am winning each day as well. Every day that I write, I’m winning. Every day I’m thinking about the stories I’m working on. Figuring out where I’ve gone wrong and how to fix that, it’s a win.

I was trying to take a semi-professional selfie and got pounced on by our mini-panther.

Stepping up is something I need to do. I’ve got three short stories being released in three different anthologies by the end of the year, and at the risk of getting some grief from fellow writers, I haven’t tried that hard to find places to submit. Two of the anthologies were invite only from publishers I’ve worked with before, and the third story is from also from a publisher I’ve had the pleasure of working with before. So, I really need to step up finding places to submit too. I am where I am because I’ve written pieces that editors have liked. Now, it’s hard for me to write that because there’s still a part of me that thinks I suck, but my friends yell at me if I say that. And with some of what has gone on this year I’ve had help snapping my head out of the mindset that I am nothing.

I made the mistake in placing these blankets on my printer, which Dizzy decided was worthy of being her throne. (that’s a printer, not a throne!)

This next year I’ve got a lot planned, I hope I can pull it all off. My biggest problem is discipline. I get easily distracted and need to get better at sitting in the chair and just getting the work done.

I’ve got everything I need to progress. The only thing holding me back, is me.

Failing Each Day

I fail at writing each day. Literally, I don’t hit the goals I know I can hit. I struggle to not just pop Netflix on and fall into movies or TV series I’ve seen a hundred times before.

I fail daily.

But I endure daily as well. When I don’t write I feel guilt which then pushes me through. Some times it takes a couple of days to get over a slump but I always do.

Each day, no matter how hard the words are fighting me I will get the words out one way or another.

Keep. Fighting. For. That. Dream.

No matter how much you may feel like giving up, don’t. I’ve been writing since my early twenties. At the moment I do feel like a failure because I haven’t achieved more. But I’m learning the reasons why I haven’t gotten more done. I’m also at the point where I feel like I’m ready to take the next step.

If I was true to myself, no matter how much of a failure I can feel at times, I still haven’t quit. If I was going to, o would have done a long time ago.

And I remind myself, I’ve got stories being published in three anthologies this last quarter of the year. It’s been a year where writing has been severely on the back burner at times, and I still have three pieces being released the last part of this year.

Even if you’re just getting rejections, keep going. You will get acceptances as long as you learn your trade, grow and improve.

Never. Give. Up.

Good Morning, 8th of August 2020

It is 8:37am and I am up and have had breakfast and have a cup of tea by my side. I am tired, I have a really bad back, and I’m still feeling down. I’m not going into why I’m feeling down, although I’m generally quite honest here there are some things I just don’t want to share here.

I’m feeling down, but I’m also feeling strangely okay. I can’t let the hard parts of my life get to me, I can’t. And this morning it feels like I’ve got enough to keep my mind occupied so I’m not just sitting feeling sorry for myself.

As I said yesterday, I’ve got a story that I’ll be submitting to an anthology by the end of the month. I’m going to get back onto Penal Earth, I know I should be working on the zombie book but I don’t have the cash for cover art and editing at the moment so I’ve still got a little more time for it. This is one that will be affected by Covid, not by much but I can integrate this pandemic into it in a way that it’s there but doesn’t change the story I’m telling. I’m not going to make it about the pandemic because that’s not what it was about.

I’ve got a list of pieces that I need to work on. Unless I see a submission call for something that tickles my attention I’m going to focus on what needs doing with what is already written.

Another picture of Raven ‘helping’ me yesterday 😂

Over today and tomorrow I’m going to look at my work schedule and see what time I can commit to writing and then map out the next week of writing. See how well I can do with planning and executing it.

Have a good weekend, folks!

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***