I’ve had a good weekend with family. But I did manage to get a little writing down first thing yesterday and a little tonight. About 4500 words edited in about an hour or so altogether.
It’s been a good start to the writing month, I’m nearing 8000 words edited with around 500 new words down. Most of those are on a non-fiction piece.
I did also, finally, find a way to get my iMac up and running. It’s been out of acton for a while. What happened was the screen just up and stopped working. Well, it was like someone turned off the screen’s light. You hold a torch to it, you could still see the display. Now, I did do a little googling at the time, and here and there I’d look into it. Although I didn’t go into Apple and speak to someone I did speak to a couple of computer repair shops and they were quite clear in that it just wasn’t cost effective to repair it. The annoying thing was, it would work for a bit and then nothing for months. Eventually I just stored it, having given up on it.
Then, a few weeks ago I got thinking about it again, like could I just not connect it to another screen? Well, back to the googling, and yes. I was searching for the problem previously. This time I was searching for the solution, can I connect my iMac to another screen? After a little digging, all I needed was a thunderbolt connector plugged into a HDMI adaptor. I plugged it into my tv and boom! it worked! I planned to connect it to my old tv which had lost its sound, but the tv had completely died. So I hopped online and ordered a monitor and I’m up and running. The annoying thing is, the damn iMac screen is working perfectly well, at the moment………
Until it does, I’ll run it as a multiscreen set up. It’s strange, a lot of the changes I’ve been making the last couple of years all seem to be coming together. I’ve got better concentration, I’m more at peace in myself. I don’t have so much of the self-hatred running around my head like I used to. It feels good.
Right, I’m off to watch a bit of Orange Is The New Black. Have a good one, folks.
I had an off day from writing yesterday. Aside from a couple of notes I made for War Child I didn’t get any writing work done.
Tonight I’ve done a little work on Black Blood and earlier in the day I managed to get some work done on War Child. I’ve really bitten off a lot with War Child, but it’s a weird feeling I’ve got at the moment because I feel like I can pull it off. I’ve never really had much confidence in any aspect, so it’s strange for me to be sitting here feeling like this. Like I can do this. It’s kinda scary.
But, it needs that work done. I was thinking I’d smash that draft out and boom, get cracking with book two. But no, it’s going to take a lot of planning. This isn’t like what I’ve worked on before, there’s a lot of moving parts.
Crap, that’s the time. I need to wrap this up and get settled in for the night.
I wrote 50082 words for this years NaNoWriMo, hitting the target at about 9:40 last night.
This years NaNoWriMo got off to a slow start for me, I didn’t get caught up until the 23rd of the month, then I had a couple of days ahead of the goal, then a couple of days behind and then I brought it home on the last day.
It was a month where I was feeling like I was chasing the goal each day. My lowest word daily count was 247, while my highest was 4026.
The month started off with a busy schedule at the day job which didn’t leave me much time for wrangling the words. I’d write before work, then during my breaks and then get stuck in after I got home. Most of the time when I was writing at work I’d not really be able to get really in-depth with the work, but I did manage to get some words down. These feel more like I was thrashing out a synopsis of the scene/chapter I was working on. I’ve now got a lot of little synopsis to build from.
Other scenes I’ve managed to build a pretty solid part of the story which won’t need much tidying up when the time comes.
Where I’m at now is I’ve got a lot scenes scattered throughout the document and I’ve got to start figuring out how to connect them all. I don’t think it’s as bad as I might be fearing, but there is a bigger problem I’ve come up against. Originally I saw this as a three book arc, but was worried I wouldn’t have enough to fill three books. Now that I’ve started it, I think I’ve potentially got a lot more than three books worth of story to tell. I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me with this one.
This story, working title ‘War Child’ has been one I’ve been wanting to tell for quite some time, but have been intimidated by it. I feared I wasn’t capable yet to do it justice. But after some encouragement from friends and peers I decided to dive in head first. I’m so glad I did. This is going to be one where I think I am going to be pushed as a writer. I’ve spent so much of the last year trying to get stories finished and ready to either self-publish or submit I’ve forgotten what it’s like to begin crafting a new world.
Away from the writing part of NaNo I didn’t get much chance to host or even attend write-ins. Between the manic work schedule at the start of the month and a slow cash flow it just wasn’t on the cards. The one I did manage to host turned into a solo session. Which was okay, I got words down. It’d have been nice to get a few faces there though, hopefully next year I’ll be in a better position to be the ML I really want to be. I don’t feel like I’ve had the chance to step up how I want to. Between Covid and non-writing matters that have cropped up I’ve not really been able to dedicate the required time and effort to it that I’d have liked.
What’s next? I’m going to continue with War Child, but I also need to get The vampire book ready as I’ll be releasing that via the Welcome To My Nightmare tier on Ko-Fi. So I need to pull my finger out and get that final pass of edits done!
Today I wrote 3870 words in about seven hours. I’m not caught up, but I’m at 20503 words. I’m not trying to get caught up, I’m just trying to get some consistency, and discipline. I wrote 3870 words today doing 20 minute sprints. I NEED to sit my butt in the chair and bloody well write!
Anyway, enough kicking myself in the arse. I’ve had a slow start to NaNoWriMo this year. I’ve had a lot of work commitments as well as family ones that are obviously the priority. I’ve written every day though, and this story that I’m working on that I’ve always felt like I’m not ready to tackle is feeling like it’s coming together. I’ve realised there’s a lot more moving parts in it than I’d originally envisioned and I think this is going to turn into a bigger tale than I was expecting. It’s been hard, and it’s very disjointed but I keep telling myself that it’s all going to be sorted in edit. I’m still not a hundred percent sure I’m going to be able to pull it off, but I’m going to ignore those doubts and keep going.
Right, I’m off for the night. Have an awesome one, folks!
Today I have edited 7408 words of Black Blood, adding 87 to the overall word count. That was a little bit of a slog but I got in done in about two hours or so.
I’ve also set up a few posts to go on my Ko-Fi page, including one flash piece which has gone live today. I was feeling a little behind with this so I got a few posts set up so I don’t have to worry about it too much for the next week or two. I do offer a membership in addition to one-time tips. Here I post an original short story each month in addition to bonus content. All for £1 a month!
Something I do want to touch on is that this month is the first that I have worked everyday in a very long time. For those of you who don’t know I have anxiety and depression, amongst a few other mental health bits and pieces, but my medications dosage was recently upped and I’m very much feeling it. Two months ago if I wasn’t feeling like working, I’d not. (when I say working here I mean writing. With the day job I haven’t missed a shift in a little over two years). At the moment I am working each day even if it’s just a few words while on my day job’s break. On days when I’m not at the day job I’m getting stuck into editing and making sure I get a decent start early in the morning and am normally done by midday. I’m making sure I have breakfast on these days and am getting a lot of little bits and pieces done that I’ve been putting off.
When I’m at the day job it’s a little different but I’ve found I’ve still been coming home (after a morning shift) and getting at least a little editing done. That’s normally in addition to writing something before work while sitting in my car, and during my break.
I’m feeling much more organised as well. I’m making notes on Black Blood on things like building a chapter to a conclusion to character motivations. I’m also listing what I’ve posted to Ko-Fi because knowing me I’d end up putting up the same story twice! I’m sure most people will be okay with a slight hiccup like that but people are giving me their money so I’m trying to be as efficient as possible.
I have had a hit to my self-esteem recently (I look hideous etc.) but I know how to rebuild that. I’ve done it, with help, recently and I know I can do it again.
Life is moving in the right direction and I feel like I’m getting to the point where I can able do the things in life that I’ve always dreamt of.
This’ll likely be a quick post as I’ve had quite a busy day and I’m knackered (and it’s almost time to feed two cats and they’re both glaring at me……..).
I had no work today, so had decided to get up at about eight, but ended up waking after nine (was gaming till late). So I got cracking with the edit of Penal Earth. I got through 8557 words and was then done. After smashing out the edit on the zombie book a few weeks ago I’ve decided I’m not going to exceed 10k words during an edit a day. It’s just a little too draining on me when I have heavy edit days.
This afternoon I’ve done a lot of organising and getting my writing space how I want it. The room that was my officer has another use now but I can still use it as a space to work. I’ve spent the afternoon getting it laid out in a way that gets the most out of the space.
Now, I’m going to feed the cats (they’re still glaring at me…….) and then spend some more time sorting other bits and pieces out.
I’d definitely like more productive days like this!
How are we all doing today? I wrote about 600 words during the write in this morning. And I’ve also had a bit of a sort out of my desk this afternoon. I feel a little more organised now.
The gears are really beginning to turn at the moment and I’m getting really eager to wrap up Zombie, Penal Earth, and Black Blood. Other stories are really shouting at me and it is very much time I put these three longer term project to bed.
Right, have an awesome afternoon and evening folks. I’ve got a long day at work tomorrow so likely won’t be posting then but will be writing at some point.
Good evening, folks! NaNoWriMo 2021 is. Just a few hours away and I am pumped! Despite having a very demanding day at. Work was so busy! And I feel a little like my body needs to go. In for some repairs! But NaNo is here!
I am doing short stories this year. A little bit of lobbing ideas at the wall and see what sticks.
We’re still not allowed to have any in person write-ins, so it’s all online again this year. My region, Kent, are utilising Discord again this year. It’s not the same but it is what it is.
Most of my words will be written at home in my office, definitely so for the first two weeks as I’m off work and then after that I’ll be getting a few words written during breaks at work. I am planing on getting to a couple of coffee shops to get some words done for a change of scenery, but mostly I’ll be at home for this years NaNo.
I’m going to smash the word count this year. These first two weeks I’m going to try and get to 30k and give me a good head of steam for when I go back to work.
Right, time for a little dinner. Good luck everyone who’s about to embrace NaNo. We’ve got this!
When I moved back to my parents I asked them if I could make the spare room into an office. They were happy for me to, so I got stuck in. The room was a typical spare room and just had lots of bits and pieces put in it. It wasn’t a mess but it wasn’t anything more than somewhere to put things that didn’t have a home, and weren’t often used. So there was a little sorting out to do but not much got done until I got a desk.
I knew I wanted a desk with draws and a nice surface space. I also wanted a light wood colour, I’m I sucker for soft tones so I knew furniture wise that’s what I’d go for. The desk I found has the draws but also shelves on the other side. The desk I found at Argos I fell in love with. Not only did it have draws on one side the other side had shelves. It also had a nice surface space and I was able to get it in a light wood that I like. This was the first piece I bought and I had it built and in place against the chimney stake pretty darn quickly. Thankfully we already had a desk chair, so that wasn’t something that needed to be bought.
Getting the desk up was essential for me as I wanted to get writing on it as soon as I could.
I later had to move the desk to under the window due to a water leak.
A fresh coat of paint was desperately needed! This was my bedroom for a very long time and the last time I decorated it I thought this shade of green was a good idea…… Fortunately I still had some of the cream colour I’d painted my bedroom in a few years ago. So I got painting, and yeah. I had enough paint for two coats, which wasn’t anywhere near enough. The green was still showing through. I might have used a little adult language! Again, a little bit of luck. My parents had this awesome colour that they painted their room in last year. Three coats of this (thats five coats!) and the green was not only covered up, but this colour (I can’t remember what it’s called) looked good. I liked the deepness to it, and found the colour to be quite calming.
The shelves on the desk are a great little bit of space, but they are not enough for my library. Now, my library has shrank over the years. I’ve cleared through a lot of the books I either had no intention of reading, or had read and would never read again, or the book just didn’t leave a lasting impression. My change of taste has also changed, so I’ve got less books but still more than would fit on the desk shelves. So I got two new bookcases, again from Argos. In addition to these two bookcases my aunt gave me a wall unit. This has shelves and a cupboard at the bottom. This unit is beautiful. In addition to giving more storage it’s got a great character to it. I was going to put two of these three in the alcoves either side of the chimney stack. The problem I ran into was that there was homemade shelving in one of the alcoves. Originally I was going to get some new sheets of wood and between me and my dad we were going to cut some new shelves for that alcove (my dad is fantastic at that sort of thing). But I decided to get units to go in the spaces. Now, the problem I had was I’d left the wooden supports where there were. Yes, this is me being lazy and thinking I didn’t need to take them out. These simple wooden supports have been there for probably twenty years, and yeah. Boy did they take some work to get off the damn wall. God bless hammers! I did have to do a little touching up with paint after they were off, but you wouldn’t know it.
I ended up putting the two bookcases in the alcoves. Partly because I like the symmetry of having the matching bookcases either side of the chimney stack, and it looks natural.
I put the wall unit on the opposite wall next to my wardrobe. Again, this works for me. It compliments the flow of the room.
Storage is important. I’ve had a lot of years where I’ve had lots of stuff squeezed into wherever I could fit them. The wall unit with the cupboard has been a given me a lot more options then I’ve had before but I’ve also got three plastic storage units. One of these has four deep draws and the two have a lot of slim draws. These two I’ve got copies of my work in. From hand written drafts, to printed drafts with red notations on, through to little slips of paper with notes on.
The one with the deeper draws has everything from A4 writing pads(I have a lot of these), to old tech, to various knick knacks. It’s a lot more organised than it ever has been.
As you can see, all three are lovingly decorated!
I have a little flexibility on where I put these, and the file storage ones have moved around the room a little. They’re now settled behind the door by one of the bookcases. The deep draw one is by the wall unit, in a spot that was almost made to measure for it.
Although these don’t really match the rest of the room, they’re really useful. I am trying to steer away from having so many plastic items, partly because I’m drifting away from plastic a little, but mainly because I don’t like the aesthetic of them anymore. I like these lighter wood tones for how they look and the feel they give to a room. They give a warmth I enjoy. In a perfect world I would replace these, but I don’t have the finances and in all honesty, there’s nothing wrong with them. I’ll replace them one day, but probably when they’ve started falling apart.
There are three other pieces of furniture in the room. Firstly, my wardrobe. This is in the office because it’s just too bulky to be in my bedroom. It’ll fit, but it shrinks the space a lot. I’ve made use of it though. I’ve got a calendar on it, but I’ve also got pictures of loved ones on it. This serves as an inspiration to keep growing, and moving forward and following my dreams.
The other two are matching chest of drawers that my parents had. I’ve got clothes and a few knick knacks in them. Nothing writing related inside, but on top they’ve got my printers and ring binders. The printers here isn’t idea, but it’s not a massive imposition.
I will replace these at some point, when I have the cash. They’re old and my folks had them for a long time but they’re not the most sturdy any more. I will need space for clothes, so I think I’ll end up buy one large chest of draws, maybe two depending on size and and how much space I’ll need.
Next to the chest of draws I’ve got this cute little cloth unit that, again, a few knick knacks in. This was a super impulse purchase and I love it!
The magazine holders are a very recent edition, that I’ve got notebooks that are in use.
I would like to get some new curtains at some point. These are the old ones from my bedroom, and are okay but a little short for the window, and I’d like to get black-out ones as they’d keep the sun from hitting me of a morning. How the house is positioned means the sun smacks the front of it till about 10, 11am and if I’m working there it does feel a little like an oven. Even with the curtains I’ve got up! As the mornings are times where I work a lot (day job permitting), it’s something I’d like sorted before next summer.
I’ve spoken about the layout a few times in this post, and in all honesty I can’t really have it in too many other layouts. I’m sure with different furniture I might be able to have it set up differently, but I like it how it is. The desk should be the centre piece of the room. It’s an office, where I do most of my writing work. So it’s the centre piece. I can easily get to my printers, to where printer paper is. With a turn of my head I can see my dry/erase board. I’ve got easy access to any writing files I’ve been putting together easily enough. Even things like where I’ve got my bins is easily accessible from the desk.
I’ve got a little room to pace around if I need to think. I can look out the window when I need to give my brain a breather.
The only real space that isn’t optimised is a wall cupboard that is part of the room. At the moment it’s just full of bits and pieces, but there’s not a lot I can do as it needs air to circulate otherwise mould starts building up. Long term, I’d like to be able to use the space better, but again it’s one of those things that isn’t a priority but something I’d like to get sorted out one day. Because I can’t really use that space at the moment I’ve got my bin in front of it. If I do need access then it’s easy to move the bin.
The centre piece. The desk. As I said, this was against the chimney stack and I was quite happy with it there, but due to a leaky roof which resulted in water coming through the ceiling and down the chimney stack. Don’t worry it’s all been fixed now and is good. But I’d moved my desk as soon as the leak was discovered (thankfully nothing was damaged). That’s why it got moved to by the window. I was intending to move it back to the chimney stack, but it works better where it is. It’s the focus point of the room. I did move it back against the chimney recently, but I think I did this just to confirm that I prefer the layout as it is.
I’ve got natural light, but it’s also under the light in the room and I’ve got an LED desk lamp for when it is winter and generally darker. Believe me, even with the light above my head it is still very dark in this room.
Something I was thoughtful of when I started making the spare room into my office was making it my space, having it represent me and for me to feel super comfortable when I’m in there. I do feel lucky in that I can write pretty much anywhere but having a space that is just for that does help focus, and it makes me feel like I’m at work and I am more productive when I’m in there. Another positive I’ve discovered is if I am not feeling the work I can force myself to crack on and hit a target a lot easier than I have done in the past.
The balance that I think I might find a little difficult is having those touches of myself in it, but also keeping it semi-professional so it doesn’t turn into a space where there is too much that will distract. I think I’m going to be able to do it. It’s pretty well rammed into my head that this is a working space.
I am a big advocate for NaNoWriMo. I’m a Municipal Liaison for my region and having it represented in the office is very important to me. NaNo introduced me to writers in person for the first time, outside of my former writing partner that is, and meeting all these people have brightened both my life and my writing career massively. I have made some fantastic friends, had some amazing conversations and so much laughter!
I’ve got a few framed inspirational quotes on the walls of my office. I saw these in a supermarket and the one on the front of the pack is one that I strongly believe and thought it’ll be great seeing that each day.
I have a cork board and a dry/erase board on the chimney stack. When I placed them they were above my desk but as I’v said earlier about the leaky roof, the desk isn’t there anymore. But I left the two boards there. They are easily accessible, but I will admit I don’t check the white board often enough. I need to look at it when I walk into my office to start work each day to make sure I’m still on target. But I generally like where they are both placed.
The white board has all of the months goals on it, as well as a few little motivational words I put up when I put the goals down at the start of the month.
The cork board has a few personal notes from friends, random ideas, and a couple of random little bits and pieces on it.
I’ve also got a metal frame notice board. Like the cork board I’ve got personal notes on it, but I’ve also got some swag and decoration on it. I put this behind my door by one of the bookcases as I felt it was the best place for it, and I think it works there.
As the years go by I’m planning on adding lots of lanyards, and con tags and entrance brackets.
I do want to thank Armand Rosamilia for giving me a few little pointers, which I found really helpful. And most importantly, my folks for letting me make this space into an office.
So, there it is. My office. It’s not going to stay like this, I will tweak things. There’s furniture I want to replace. I’d love to get a nice rug for the middle of the floor. New curtains, maybe a little more art on the walls. But overall I love the space. It’s comfortable, warm, conducive to getting words wrangled.