Good Morning, Sunday 18th April 2021

Hey folks, I hope we’re all well today? I have had an epically bad nights sleep, so had a lay in to try and catch up on the lost sleep. I got a little but the extended time in bed has given me back aches, so, yeah.

But anyway, onto the words. As I didn’t get up early I’m behind where I was hoping to be but I’ve still got a nice few hours to work. It’ll likely be all editing today. I’ve got a little prep work to see to before I start editing but once that’s done it’s going to make things much easier with the story later on.

I’ve also got to prep for the next week’s writing as well. I’m going to have to be somewhat fluid with this though as if I have a couple of really good days editing I could be done with Penal Earth before the week ends, but that said I’m also kind of tempted to just stick to a daily target and not exceed that too much. That way I’m not blowing through my energy too early on in the week.

I’m realising I’m feeling very scatter-brained this morning. My thoughts are a little all over the shop, which is going to make editing fun! But I’m going to try. Even if it’s just a chapter I get done.

Right, I’m going to get started with the work for the day. I hope you all have a fantastic day!

Raven watching the world

Good Afternoon, 16th April 2021

Gooooooooood afternoon, folks! How are we all doing?

Yesterday I edited 10379 words on Penal Earth, and today I’ve got 9728 words edited.

I was going to hold off till next month to start on this edit and focus on three unfinished short stories the rest of this month, but when I started struggling to write I knew I had to do something to get myself back on track. I made a small start on Wednesday with 563 words edited. If I can do 10k or so a day, I’ll be done a week today. I’m not gonna bust my guts to get it done by then, I’m going to aim to have it done by the end of the month.

I did get in a situation where I was stuck on what to write. I couldn’t get my head around any of the three short stories that I wanted to work on and the story that is talking to me I’m not sure if I’m ready to work on it yet. I don’t want to just dive in and hope it works out, I think I’ve got a decent tale to tell in a setting that I think is going to be one I can play in for a few stories. So I want to think things out a little more before I just dive in.

Right, I’m going to wrap it up there. Good day’s process. I’m working a lot of making changes in my life so I’m happier in myself, and I think the changes are going to be a good start in moving forward.

Have a good one, folks!

Good Morning, 15th April, 2021

Good Morning! How are we all doing today?

Yesterday was not a good writing day. I felt a little down and normally writing can snap me outta it, but nada. I looked at three different short stories that I’m working on and nothing. I tried writing something new, but nothing came forth. So after about half an hour of trying I gave up. So I napped and watched The Simpsons.

After I’d showered and eaten though, a scene came to mind for a short story that I wrote years ago and am planning on rewriting. It was a piece of dialogue between two characters and it just kept growing. So I grabbed my laptop and wrote it out, 609 words. Then, although it was getting a little late I wanted to get some editing done on Penal Earth. I was going to wait till May to get started on this but that urge to do something was still there. I also think there was a little guilt as well at not being able to get anything done earlier in the day.

I always feel better when I’ve got work done. Okay, I still slept crappy but that’s just my life at the moment. But I woke up feeling ready to get a shit tonne done today. I’m not gonna go mad, and I’m gonna try something later that I haven’t done in ages and see how that goes but I do feel good right now. So I’m gonna work till about 10am and then get a few pieces around the house done and then I’ll see about doing a bit more with the words.

Raven watching the dust particles in the sunlight (and yes, she’s been bouncing around trying to catch them!)

Right, I’m going to start with some editing. I’m not sure what I want to write that’s new this morning, so I’ll start with editing and see how I go.

Have a great day, folks!

Good Morning 14th April, 2021 (Make Art Uncomfortable)

Hey folks, how are we all doing today?

Yesterday I wrote 336 words on a short story but also did a lot of research for the same short story, and I’ve come to the decision that I’m just gonna go balls to the walls and yet loose. I’m not going to worry about grounding it in reality. I’m just gonna try and make it batshit crazy.

I’m having trouble letting go when I write recently. Stephen King said in On Writing that you have to write like an orphan, or words to that effect. I was reminded of this when watching the film M.F.A. recently. At the end of the film there’s a line where it basically says art shouldn’t just preserve the beauty of life, but also the brutality. Make art uncomfortable. I love this message. So many of us grow up listening to music about good love, or films where everyone lives happily ever after.

Art is different for everyone. Some people thrive on the uncomfortable while others thrive on a good old romcom. Everyone is different and we embrace different things. For me, what I write, people will find uncomfortable. But some will find it fun. I can watch Saw movies with barely a flinch at the content, but watched The VVitch and The Ritual, made me squirm in my seat. But there are different degrees of being uncomfortable. Listening to the audiobooks of The Girl Next Door by Jack Ketchum and What Good Girls Do by Jonathan Butcher made me very uncomfortable. Even to the point where I had to stop listening to them. M.F.A. falls into that grouping. Although not as extreme as I Spit On Your Grave, it’s still a content matter that is not pleasant and when done wrong, without the respect the topic deserves it just makes a whole other level of horrific.

For films like The Vvitch and The Ritual, these made me uncomfortable because there’s a witchcraft/cult elements to them. An unknown factor that made me uncomfortable in a way I’d yet to experience. It’s something I’m still trying to put my finger on exactly why I find it uncomfortable.

Another book that made me uncomfortable is The Silence by Tim Lebbon. This one I had to stop listening to three times. It’s got a quiet brutality to it, one which I can see happening. There’s three distinct moments in The Silence which I could see myself being in that situation. Having to make an uncomfortable decision.

Not being scared to write things which people will be uncomfortable with or offended by is something I need to be better with. I’m not going to write something just because it’s shocking. I don’t think that works and people tend to see through things like that. I’ll strive to write what the story is asking for.

Right, speaking of writing it’s time to get a few hours done.

Rock on folks, never give up on that dream. Never let someone take it away or belittle it or you. Just keep going.

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!