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.

Sunday, 10th of January 2021

Good Afternoon, folks!

Despite not getting outta bed much before 11am I’ve edited 6802 words on Black Blood and written 835 on a new short story set in my Penal Earth universe. That setting has been nipping away at me for a few days now, and the fact I’ve done a lot of editing so far this year meant I needed to get some new words down.

I’ve got a rough idea of the story I want to tell, but as normal, I don’t know what’s going to happen as the words are coming out. I can’t even tell you yet how long I think it’ll be as I don’t know. I’m just letting my gut go with it and see what happens. I think where I’ve not really done anything new since NaNo, and even then it wasn’t really new ground, I’m getting a little twitchy and need to get some fresh words out.

My priority is the Black Blood edit, but in the past I have found I can be very productive when working on two projects, or more, at a time. So I’m hoping to see how well I do with balancing these two this next week or so. I also have another project that is due by, April I think, that I can dive into if I need a little more variation. I think I’ll be aiming to have a first draft of that done by the end of February.

This Master Chief was a present from my dear friend Stefan (from Stefan’s Daily Gaming).

That leads into something I need to do better with, planning out the next few weeks of work. I need to consider deadlines, both self-imposed and from editors, and plan out my time. If I’ve got something written down I think it might lead to me being more organised.

I’ve got a week of earlies for the most part this next week, so I’m not sure how my writing week will be, but I’m aiming to do a little each day. Getting enough sleep is something I’m beginning to appreciate, and will be getting earlier nights, especially when I’ve got an early to contend with.

It’s the little details that make a story.

Reading is something I really need to be pulling my finger out with as well. That was the something that I stopped doing in the last eighteen months and I’m desperate to get myself back in the habit of reading. I’ve got so many great books to read and it’s time I force myself to get back onto that wagon.

Right, folks! I’m going to leave it there. Have an awesome day and good week ahead!

January 1st, 2021…Up and Running!

Good evening! 3964 words edited on Black Blood this afternoon. I think it’s going to be a slow process, but if I’d done the note taking as I was writing it in the first place then I wouldn’t have to do it now.

I am also going to try and step up in my preparation for writing a story. I mentioned the other day that I’ve sketched a little of the location in a story I’m working on. Well, today I’ve printed maps out of the area and will be making notes on them and sketching out details for the story. It takes place in the future in a real town, so that’s helped a lot.

The way I’m seeing this developing I think it’s going to pay off really well all the background work I’m doing. I’ve had a lot of these thoughts for stories 8n the past but have failed at including them because I forget about them as I’m writing. So all these notes I’m taking I’m going to add them to the scene notes tab in Scrivener and hope I don’t forget them!

Right! That’s me done for the night. I’m going to watch the end of this movie (Spirited Away), and then call it a night. I’ve got an early start tomorrow so a good nights sleep is important.

Good night, and rock on!

A cold Dizzy!

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, 28th of December 2020

I’ve kind of had a week off from writing. I was expecting to use it to get through the Christmas period but I didn’t need to in the end. Yes, it was still tough but thanks to all I’ve learnt, all the help and support I’ve had from the people I love in my life I was able to manage it better than I was expecting to.

Raven going for a majestic look 😊

I was also a little stuck with where I was taking Black Blood. I kept trying to add words but it was becoming very evident that I wasn’t prepared enough to finish this draft. So last night I began making notes. I didn’t start reading through the draft, I just copied some notes I’d scribbled down while writing the later stages of the story and did a few sketches. I’ve never really done the sketches, well not since Owen and I were working on From the Shadows a very long time ago. I found doing the couple I did last night really helpful, okay it brought a problem I hadn’t expected but I think I can find a way around that, or work it into the story.

I’m going to start the read through today, with the aim of having it done by the New Year. It’s a lick over 50k words and I think I can manage that. I’ve looked at my work rota and I definitely think it’s doable. Especially as I’m not going to be doing a full edit. This is a read through to figure out what I need to add and take away. What I need to do to get the ending how I want it, and to give it the depth and weight it deserves.

I think it’s also time to move this draft into Scrivener. It’s going to be helpful to be able to break it down into chapters and scenes and then I can insert or remove sections much easier. I can also have additional information that I’m compiling in there as well. I think that’s the way to go.

Right folks! I’ve got a little tidying before I can start working so I’m hopping off here. Have an awesome day!

18th December 2020 (Draft Done!)

Good afternoon folks. The draft for Penal Earth is done!!! I wrote 1924 words on it this morning and had it wrapped up in those words. Is it done done? No. Not by a long stretch. As I mentioned in a previous post I’ve now got to go through and start the editing process. I refuse to rewrite this one, again. It’s not happening! That way doesn’t work for me. Yes, it’s taken my dumb ass a long time to realise that, but I have now. So, better late than never.

The next stage will be to leave it until the new year and then start reading through it with a pen and paper and figure out exactly what I need to do to get it to where I want it. This is going to be a much deeper dive into editing than I’ve tried before and I hope I have the patience for it. I may just read through a chapter at a time so it doesn’t get tedious like it has done in the past.

Something I want to get in the habit of in the future is writing with a notepad to make notes as I’m going. Character names, ages, location names, and so on. Anything that is relevant. My drafts are full of XXX as placeholders when I forget a detail that I have put in earlier. I’m hoping it won’t slow me up too much, but if it does I might just read through what I’ve written at the end of the day and make those notes then, and tweaked any mistakes like grammar etc. at the same time. Until I try it though, I can’t say how it’s going to work.

Yes, I did dance around my office!

I really want to refine my process next year. Figure out what is the best way for me to work and then grow on it. It’s all about progress and growth. It doesn’t matter how many words I write in a year, if I never finish anything then it’s all pointless. I won’t be growing as a writer, and as a human being. I do have goals for next year, I’ve typed them up and pinned them over my desk, I might have also written a few goals for 2022 down as well. I might be pushing myself a bit too hard, but I need to know what I can take. I will have failures, but I’m also going to have victories. I need to learn from both in going forward or those same mistakes are just going to be repeated and, like writing a million words, absolutely useless if I’m not finishing anything.

I’m going to take the afternoon off and do some gaming and decide what I want to work on next. I’ll likely get back onto Black Blood but I’m always more productive when I’m not just cracking on with one project.

Rock on folks!

17th December 2020

Good evening, folks!

I have spent most of this afternoon reading through Lovers and making notes. I’ve got some good ideas jotted down but will spend time building it before I start the new draft. I don’t want to rush it, I’ve got a history of diving in head first and blowing myself out of steam too soon. So I’ll hold off, let the ideas run around my brain, and see what comes from it.

What helps in holding off is I have Penal Earth and Black Blood (not wild about that title) in progress. Penal Earth is in the endgame and I think I’ll be wrapping it up soon. I’m not willing to say in the next day or so, but maybe by the end of the year.

Black Blood is a little further out, and I’m slightly tempted to leave that till the next year and let it breath a little before I get it finished.

I’m getting better at keeping my focus on one thing.

I did write this afternoon as well, only 715 words but I knew I wanted to get some words down today. Hopefully it’ll lead me into a decent day’s work tomorrow.

The end of this year I’m planning on being very productive. I’ll be working a fair bit of the Christmas period, which doesn’t bother me but I’ll also have some time to get words wrangled.

Right folks, I’m off to chill out for the rest of the evening. Day off tomorrow, so aiming for a productive one.

Rock on, 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, 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!

14th of December 2020

Good evening, folks!

I’ve not written today, mainly because I was planning a heavy writing day tomorrow. I’ll be doing an afternoon shift at work now so I won’t be getting as much done as I planned, but I’m going to (try) and get up nice and early and get some words done before work.

I haven’t just been sitting on my arse all evening though. I’ve tweaked a few things here my blog and worked on my goals for next year. Mainly because I want to know what I’m working on next year, I’m feeling capable and organised, and I want my goals ready for the 2021 Mando Method listener goals episode. (I might be doing a Buda with next years goals, Armand and Chuck!). I might have also started on my goals for 2022 as well….

Had a fuss break this afternoon while working on this site 😊

I’m off to watch a movie now, maybe Dead Snow I think.

Rock on folks!