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.

NaNoWriMo 2020: Day Twenty-One

Good evening, all. One very tired human being here. Work was good, had a good laugh, and a work out. Since coming off leave at the start of the week I’ve not really had a shop floor shift (I’m a retail worker), and today made me realise that maybe I relaxed a little too much during my time off!

Words wise, as I overlaid I didn’t get as much written as I should have done, only 480 words, but I went in a direction that I wasn’t expecting. It’s also made me realise I’ve been playing it safe a little too much. Time to get brutal and bloody! Mwahahahahahaha!

I write this blog for myself. When I started out blogging I wasn’t sure what I was doing. Over the years it’s evolved into what this is now. I share word counts not to brag, not to get one over over writers. I do it because it reminds me that some days I can’t get words out, while other days I can knock out 2k easy.

If you read this and think or see other people talking about their word counts, don’t get put off if you aren’t getting the numbers that other people do. Especially during NaNoWriMo it can be off putting seeing so many hitting big counts, but as long as you’re getting words down it doesn’t matter. A hundred words a day, you’ll have a story completed before you know it!

Just write and edit at the pace you’re comfortable with.

My next published piece was in Corona-Nation Street. My story ‘The Wank Diaries’ has an interesting journey. I wrote it with the intention of submitted it to this anthology but I wrote it and wasn’t happy with how it came out. So I dropped it. This was when I wasn’t in the best of places. Then I had a big change in my life and I was lower than I’d ever been in my life. I wasn’t writing, but I saw Burdizzo Books MC Matthew Cash putting a post online reminding people of the deadline, so I looked at it again. Scrapping the ending immediately. What I then wrote I could never have predicted and wasn’t quite sure I was capable of writing. So much of the despair I was feeling came out in the ending of this story. Brian Keene calls it ‘Bleeding on the page’ and I definitely bled on the page here. I’m very proud of this story. It gave me something to focus on and get writing again.

NaNoWriMo 2020: Day Eighteen

388 words today.

Crap day. I finished work early but after a shower and some dinner all the energy in my body fucked off.

I don’t feel like I dragged those 388 words out, I feel like I walked into a fight club and questioned their mother’s honour.

I am getting next to no sleep, I’m getting down on my words counts and yes, I’m being a whiney little brat right now.

So, I’m going to bed. (Don’t worry, I’ll be okay in the morning).

These two don’t have a problem sleeping.

NaNoWriMo 2020: Day Eleven

Wow, it’s hard to believe we’re at day eleven already. In some ways the last eleven days have flown by but in others it feels like its dragged out. I’ve been off from work as well, which I think plays a part in that weird time displacement that’s been going on the last eleven days.

One of my guest appearances on Stefan’s Daily Gaming 🙂

I’ve written 2002 words for a total of 21423 words. I was aiming for 1667 words every day, regardless of what I wrote the day before. I’ve failed at that. I’ve had three days where I got under that target, and that’s not good enough when I look at the why I haven’t written 1667 each day. I know the why, and I’ve got to figure out how to stop it from happening again. I’m looking at trying a few things in the next few weeks to see to it that it doesn’t happen again. My biggest hindrance is I’m not as disciplined as I could be. That’s what I need to get a handle of. I can’t let my wondering mind destroy my concentration. I need to focus better and make the most of the resources that I have in place to get these stories done.

Today, I feel like I did good. I wrote those 2002 words and then made some red pen edits on a short story (only a couple of thousand words), and I prepared for a Zoom appointment this evening and did a little gaming.

Dizzy wasn’t interested in gaming, but made herself comfy.

After the Zoom call I’ve put my feet up, had some dinner and am now watching Daybreak on Netflix. Tomorrow I’m going to (try) to get up at about 8am like I did today, and get some words done nice and early because you know what? I’ve had a productive day. I’ve felt more relaxed today than I have done in a few weeks. I know that’s not just the writing, but that is a good percentage of it. If I can keep being productive, I have better days.

3rd of September 2020

Hey folks, 1006 words on a new short story. This is the one I mentioned in my earlier where I had 1300 words which I scrapped. So I’ve pretty much caught up with what I scrapped.

I was at work this afternoon/evening and managed to get a blog post written, prepped for an appointment I had and wrote those 1006 words, all by midday. I’m pretty chuffed with that. Although I wasn’t as focused as I’d have liked to be, I still had a good morning getting bits and pieces done.

Tomorrow, I’ve got a lot of little bits and pieces to do so I’m not sure how much I’ll get done, but I’ll find time to get some words wrangled. I am looking at the next week for when I can get into the edits I need to do.

Have a good one, folks!

Changes

If you’ve been reading my blog at petergermany.com you’ll have seen that I mentioned that I’ve got some stuff going on in my life outside of writing, no I’m not going to talk about it here but one thing that has happened outside of writing is not only a change of jobs but an entire career change.

In April I started working at a supermarket, after almost twenty years working in the car trade. I started off at eighteen washing cars at a second hand car sales and when I left I was the sole valeter at another second hand car sales. I was pretty damn good at the job. From washing the cars lined up each I got shown how to fully valet a car. From engine bay to roof linings. Upholstery to tires. Was I the best at it? No, but I was pretty damn good. I learnt to work through most weather conditions, from baking summer days to freezing winter ones. I’ve had sunstroke, and been cold to the point where my fingers and toes were numb to the point where I couldn’t feel them. Cleaning cars with hands like that was hard and I had more than a few days where it took me hours to warm up after coming home.

I did enjoy it though. I enjoyed the work, there was something about taking a car that hadn’t had much love and making it look like it had been waxed every week. Like it had been hovered out daily.

I worked with the same core group of people over those years. They’ve become good friends who are the types of friends I could call in the middle of the night needing help and they’d be there for me.

There was more than a few arseholes I met as well. Thankfully those people rarely hung around.

It was hard work, very hard work but I always tried my best. I worked through a lot times when I shoulda probably gone home and sweated out whatever cold I had, or toothache (second worse pain I’ve ever experienced), and worst of all kidney stone.

The job came to an end the early part of this year. With how the market was moving and our way of preparing and presenting our cars not what the public wanted anymore my former employer called it a day. I wasn’t out of work straight away, and could have stayed in the same company but in the workshop. Although I’m not a mechanic I know enough that I could have been of value. I know my former employer wanted me to stay, I had an informal job offer from a former employer and I was told of a valeter’s position at another car sales. With my experience and work ethic I would have gotten both of those jobs hands down, but it was time for a change though.

Retail was calling me, and if I’m honest I would be in retail if it wasn’t for getting a job in the car trade. I had one company in mind and they were one of the first places I applied. I had someone give me a little help with getting my CV up to date and with preparing for the interview. Which I screwed up! I got my times wrong and showed up late. Thankfully I was given a second chance and I took it. Once I was through the interview process I was offered a job, which I accepted.

To say it’s been both exciting and nerve raking is accurate. I haven’t worked in retail since 1999/2000, and then it was a shoe shop. So, very different to what working in a supermarket is. But my nerves were shouted down from the excitement I was feeling. I knew in my gut I wanted this job, I knew that was the place for me.

I haven’t looked back.

I’ve had a few tough days, but most of those were early on when I was still learning the ropes. I like the physicality to the job, I like talking to the customers. The attention to details that are needed speaks to my OCD a little.

Something that I’m enjoying is that I haven’t been challenged to do better in my job for a long time. With this job its a real team effort and I do not want to be an element that let the side down. I feel like I’ve fallen on my feet because it’s such a great group of people that I’m working with, I’ve been welcomed in and am really getting to know my colleagues now.

Hopefully I’m there for a long time.

One of the plus sides is less hours, which means more time and more time to spend with family, friends, and get some writing done. I’m looking at making the most of my time and trying to maximise my time. I still need to work on my focus but it’s slowly getting better.

Things have been hard, but there are a few good things there as well.

(This post was originally posted on my Buy Me A Coffee page).