1st of April, 2021

Good morning! It is very, very morning here in the UK, about 5:30am when I start writing this post.

A couple of hundred words yesterday before work. I’d planned more but got sidetracked. I’d like to say I’m going to get a nice chunk of words done today, but I don’t think I will. After work I think I’m going to have a nap! I’m about 2 weeks into very bad sleep patterns and it’s really beginning to take a toll on me now. I’m okay, I will prevail! But a few more hours of sleep would be nice.

I’ve got to think about my goals for this month. I think finishing this draft of Black Blood should be one of them, probably the priority. I can feel it’s endgame building and I think I can bring it home.

Something I’ve been doing this last few weeks is listening to First and Only by Dan Abnett. This is the first book in the Gaunts Ghosts series, which is probably my favourite book series. It’s great catching up with the story and characters who are long dead. But it’s also a reminder of how other people write. I’ve not read much the last eighteen months and most of what I have is done in different ways to that of how Abnett writes these books. I’m loving the depth he’s putting into this story but also realising that I’m not that writer. Yes, I need to put mire depth into my work but I don’t think I’m the type of writer (at the moment anyway) that will build background for a setting that is a smaller scene in the scale of the book.

Obviously I don’t find anything wrong with this, it’s just different styles. With my work I’m a little more direct, I think is the best way to put it. I like a story that gives plenty to the reader but it’s not my style at the moment. I’d like to put more of that in. I look at something like Black Blood and I can see ways for me to fit those details in, and I want to. It just won’t be world building to the extent I’m seeing in Abnett’s work. That said, the Gaunts Ghosts books are Warhammer 40k novels and there’s a lot of world building to be done.

Right, i feel like I’m beginning to ramble, and I’ve got to think about getting into work.

So, have a great day folks! Go for that dream and stuff anyone who tries to take it away from you.

29th of March 2021

Goooooooooooooooooooooood Morning, Internet! (channeling Robin Williams right there).

How are we all doing today? My week of crappy sleep continued into last night, but despite that I’m okay! I have a purring Dizzy on my lap, a cup of tea, and a few hours at work to think this pm and then a day off tomorrow! Oh yeah!

I thought this last week had been crap writing wise. I feel like I’d not got anywhere with it, but when I look at my numbers I can see it wasn’t. I’ve had productive days, even if they’re only a few words written and nothing edited I can look at what I worked on those days and its set me up so I’m thinking through what I’ve written and where to go with the story the next time I work on it.

I thought I hadn’t hit many targets this month. Word count is definitely one I haven’t hit, but as I look at my board I can see that I’ve not only hit three of the six goals, I’ve surpassed them. I need to get my head out of the word count is the only goal that matters, it doesn’t. I know I can write 200k plus words a year, what I don’t know is if I can produce a finished story. Yes, I’ve had stories published but I need something where I’m standing on my own two feet. That’s what the zombie book is going to be. Me, out there on my own. No other writers to be amongst, just my words. Yeah, scary. But I’m not scared of the world anymore, yeah I might have a moment where I reach out to my closets friends and have them shout at me to hit that big ‘ol PUBLISH button, but it will be published.

Not taking today, but sums up Dizzy this morning ☺️

Right Folks, I’ve got to be at work soon. Today I likely won’t get anything written, but the gears are always turning.

Good Morning, 22nd of March 2021

Howdy folks, how are we all doing today?

I’m feeling better than I did last night. Despite one very strange dream I slept well and this morning have written 372 on Black Blood and 826 on a story set in the Penal Earth world.

I’d hope to knock out a nice 1000 words on Black Blood today, but I really wasn’t feeling it. I can’t get my head in the right place to write the ending how I want it to play out. But instead of sitting and stewing about it I got stuck into another story. One that I’ve rewritten the opening for and am a lot happier about it now. I’m still not sure where I’m going to take it but I hope I’ve got a good footing to build from and have opened up another element of that world.

This always helps pull me from a creative funk.

I didn’t watch Day Watch like I was planning to last night. I was exhausted and the thought of watching something new, with subtitles (i don’t mind subtitles but I need to be more awake than I was last night), was a little too much. So I dived into some YouTube and then got my head down.

This week I’m going to get back in the flow of things. I’ve got lates for most of the week, so I’m hoping with some earlier nights I can get some energy built up again.

21st of March 2021

Hey folks, I’ve not written today but have transferred the vampire 1st draft over to Scrivener.

Short post today, I’m wiped out. I’ve posted a video on my YouTube today which is embedded into this post where I talk more about how the last few days have gone and why I’m so tired.

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 Morning! 12th January 2021

Hey folks! A nice early one today.

I edited yesterday, but can’t remember how many words I did. It was over a 1000 but less than 2000.

Something that struck me yesterday was that maybe I need to try and have a schedule so that when I’m at work I do one light day writing, and then one heavy day writing. Especially when I’m doing early shifts and I’m not getting as much sleep as I’d like this is something that’s worth a try.

Sitting here writing that and I can’t help but think that none of these little things I’m doing are going to really change the way I work. Even though I’m trying not to sit on my bed and work while watching this or that, I’m still doing it. Mostly on work days, which are more often then not an early shift, and I do get work done. Yesterday I would have got more done if I’d started earlier in the afternoon after work. But I was wiped out so I laid down with a movie on in the hope I’d drift off and have a nap, which didn’t happen. But I find I need that downtime after work sometimes. I just need to let my brain wind down from the day job and slide into a mental space that’s a little more favourable to some form of creativity.

Right, time for me to get into work and think about getting cracking.

Let’s make today a good one, folks!

Spot the hunting kitty!

Good Afternoon, 3rd of January 2021

Hey folks!

So today has been a slow one in starting. I dragged myself outta bed at 10am and I’ve felt tired, I’ve only just warmed up but am still feeling dead tired. I slept but I slept really badly, I think it was a very unsettled night for me. I’m trying to pinpoint why I didn’t sleep well, but haven’t been able to.

Needless to say, I’ve not got any writing done today. I’m set up to get cracking, but have looked at the next scene to look at and it’s one that’ll pretty much be the start of an entire sequence that will need all but a whole rewrite. So, I’m bloody grateful I’m not navigating that today. It’s just a read through and note taking. I’ll make edits, even though I’m not going to keep these scenes I think it’s a good idea to keep this editing mind on and it’s all experience at the end of the day.

Today’s work space.

I have written a few words today. Just a few though, for a project for a publisher that I’m looking forward to participating in. I’m still not sure how I’m going to get this story done just yet. I’ve got a good idea of the feel of the story, but it’s executing it and I haven’t really figured out the story yet either. This is the story I was talking about recently where I was saying I need to sit down and do some brainstorming.

I’m sure Raven will try and sit on my notes when I start working

Something I did forget to mention the other day was that I have submitted a couple of stories to an anthology. I had a mild panic when I thought I’d screwed up by not adhering to the submission guidelines, but after emailing the editor they clarified that I haven’t. So I’m relieved by that and I’m now eagerly waiting to find out how they’ve done.

Right, I’m going to crack on with this Black Blood read through!

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!

Tuesday, 8th of December 2020 Roundup

Yep, another early roundup post as I likely won’t be blogging when I get home tonight.

I have written 1896 words this morning, in about two hours. Which I am super chuffed with! I got up in good time, and made the most of my time. When I have the time to write I have to make it almost sacred. This I am getting better at. I’m to getting distracted, (with the exception of the cats) and I’m getting on with writing. I’m setting up sprints in my NaNo regions Discord and even though I’ve been sprinting alone today, it seems to be firing me on.

Dizzy chilling in the warmest place in the room!

This all reinforces to me that I can do this. That the only person holding me back is, can you guess it? Me. I said yesterday (I think), that aside from one element of my life, the most important, that I am in probably the best place I’ve been in for years. I think that is started to bear fruit.

I’ve always had self-doubt, a lack of confidence in all aspects of my life. After this year and hitting rock bottom and with the help I’ve had and addressing my problems it feels like it’s beginning to come together. Not perfect, but I am a better me than I was just a few months ago and people are noticing which is great.

Right, I’m pretty sure I just repeated a lot of what I wrote yesterday, but hey, a little repetition never hurts!

I’m off to get ready for work. I know I’ve got a challenge there today, which I’m looking forward to diving into.

Day off tomorrow but I’ve got a few things to do so writing time will be limited, but if I can get almost two thousand words down in two hours today, I can find time to try for that again tomorrow!

Have a great one, folks! And remember, be kind. It’s not hard.