March 21st, 2019

Whenever I have a good day, it gets followed by a bad one. I wrote words to that effect five years ago, when a good day had to be 2,000 words plus, and was often followed by multiple days of no writing at all. I still held onto that sentiment for a long time, even after I started 1K, with “good” coming to mean I hit target in a reasonable time frame. By that logic, yesterday was a good day because I hit target at 8:35.

So today I haven’t written much of anything right?

8:37. Two minutes behind, but I started ten minutes later. I am not a slave to good and bad days. I am not bound by internal entropy that forces me to fall into disorder after a taste of what could have been. I smashed my exercise targets yesterday, was in bed long before 10, kept my food intake to a healthy level and didn’t rush myself.

So you know what? That isn’t a “good” day anymore. That is my standard. I may not hit 1K before 9 every day, but I will in principle keep up the front-loaded model. I will keep the fitness routine and expand it. I will find a source of protien that doesn’t make me gag.

I can do this.

Oh and I will get published. At some point.

March 20th, 2019

I haven’t done any writing at all at work today. I haven’t needed to.

Hitting target before I even leave the house for work is a goal I’ve talked about for a while, and for a long time it’s been more joking than real; how was I going to achieve that?

I did so at 8:35 this morning. For good measure I made it to work with time to spare. And here’s the kicker: I did this after I started my intense work out routine yesterday, on top of a trip to the shop and back. Far from exhausted, when I treated all of this like a work out – on top of a proper work out routine back at the flat – I felt great.

I think I’m on to a big change here.

March 19th, 2019

Starting to get back into the swing of my morning routine, which means from the evening that disrupted it – March 15th, with some additional disruption on March 16th – it took between 3 and 4 days to almost get back to normal.

I am still kicking off ten minutes later than I would like, at 7:45 as oppose to 7:35. That sounds pedantic, but when I can write a hundred words in that ten minute gap that makes quite a lot of difference to how much work I have later in the day.

As it stands, 606 is a good place to be at for this time of day, though I’m reluctant to call it ‘Par’ as I find benchmarks like that tend to leave me in a comfort zone where I’m less inclined to push myself. The more I can make the morning productive, the more I can do with evenings down the line; if I write full-time one day, maybe I could be doing 2K, 3K or even 5K, and this will be a vital part of that.

On that note, I have slowed in my submissions. Really I’ve stopped, and that’s because I find the act sets my anxiety on edge. I have to get used to it, and it’s not like I get that anxiety when pitching to loads of people; it’s trying to pitch to an individual, when it’s so hard to get any support from those around me to check my work first that is nerve-wracking. I’m confident I have a professional product, but I can’t help but worry.

So today, I need another 400 words for target, I haven’t done any more of that commission yet and I would like to keep that to ‘in addition’ like these blog posts and my private journal, and assuming I get all that done before 7, I can relax and enjoy RP without outside pressures.

I’m hoping that once I right the ship, I can start looking at the next step I want to do better on: diet and exercise. Allow me to ramble for a bit my non-existent reader on this topic so I can get my own thoughts straight:

I am debating investing in some scales. This is probably a bad idea as I am liable to become obsessive about getting my weight down, and to be honest I’m not out of shape to start with so that could end in bad ways. However I do want to experiment whether I can push my healthy lifestyle up a notch to capture some more energy.

Some context: I have a condition known as hypermobility. It is a common condition, but for those unfamiliar among my imaginary audience it means my joints are way, way too flexible. This means I have to make a lot of conscious effort when it comes to posture, general movement and exertion.

I’m fortunate that I do not suffer dislocations like more extreme sufferers, but for me the main symptom comes from the exhaustion that I am left with from frequent tensing, and in addition muscles that are so tense that my movements are restricted. Think a body builder but without the nice body to go with it. Go me.

So my diet is reasonable; I eat three times a day, with breakfast being a new addition only becoming regular in the last month or so, and only consistent for about a week and a bit. I take my own lunch to work, and this includes an apple, low-fat crisps, and a dark chocolate Kit Kat. That much I feel is fine, though I could ween out the crisps.

Here’s where the question marks appear. So in addition to the above, I try to bring a baked bean curry to heat up. It’s a simple recipe, madras paste, baked beans (duh), potatoes, spinach and rice. The issue is I end up not making this on Sundays, and then on Monday I have to supplement with the canteen’s food. Which is poor. Which also leaves me poor.

This is unfortunate, but the real problem starts in the evening, and is a bit of a catch 22. I end up being exhausted in the evening, which is far from a rare problem, and like many people I struggle to find the willpower to cook. I do still do it, but I end up eating later, which is less than ideal. The food I cook isn’t unhealthy, but here we hit the elephant in the room.

I’m cooking for one. ONE PERSON. And if I’m honest, when I was cooking for two, I was making enough for FOUR. So my portion sizes are, well, awful. I should say that I’m being a tad hyperbolic here, and that I tend to at worst have seconds, eating maybe 1.5 times the amount a person should eat. But 1.5 is still more than I should, so I have to fix that right?

Well, yes, except remember I said it was a bit of a catch 22? Well the reason for that is the only reason I end up with energy at all is the large portion sizes. I burn a ton of calories each day, and if I try to cut back, I hit the brick wall so fast I’m more or less out like a light.

So I think what I will do is hit my 400 for today – words now, not food calories, I’m not starving myself – and then use any downtime I get afterwards to look at how to ween myself to smaller portions, whilst still retaining enough energy not to pass out. That seems like a great goal to move on to now I’m confident I am nailing the sleep routine.

Wish me luck.

March 18th, 2019

Hot-desking is one of my least favourite things to do with a PC, and a favourite without. It’s unfortunate that my job kind of requires the PC. It’s more so that there’s no PC for me to hot desk onto in Lewes.

Work woes aside today has been a good morning. I’m still struggling to recapture a 7:35 start time for writing, but I am 480 words into target and that’s pretty huge. Long may it continue, and with luck I’ll also do another thousand on a commission I’m doing for a friend later too.

I’m tired of trying to do my job off my phone, time to go beg to get let into my old office…

March 17th, 2019

Had a rough day yesterday. Forcing myself back into a 7am start worked, but it left me so shattered I couldn’t start writing until 11, and ended up only doing 475 words of Volcano. So I wrote a 1,000 word short story to get me to target and accepted it wasn’t meant to be.

I then only managed to get into bed gone 11. Bad chain, this meant I got up at 7, but was just as exhausted as yesterday. So the same thing is happening: it’s 11am now, and I’m at 560 – which is better than yesterday – but only started after 10.

I want to get to quota with Volcano, and then try to have a maximum rest day. I’m getting burned out by how busy I am right now with all my commitments, and I want to take a step back from them. 1K is the hardest to do that with but I want to try to churn out 440 words and worry about them having any merit later. That’s how I prefer to write anyway.

March 16th, 2019

I got up at 7, so I defied the risk after two hyper-active days on Thursday and Friday that I would slip back into my old ways, and I consider that a victory. But my word count is only just over a third of target, and that’s all since 10. If I’d written this an hour ago when I normally would start to, it would be zero.

I think that was me being shattered and needing to ease back into the positive routine, and 375 before midday is still impressive by my old standards, but I hope today is a one-off. I didn’t write out what I wanted to have happen yesterday in today’s writing so that didn’t help motivation.

Being able to get up and look at two paragraphs that tell me what to write makes such a huge difference. It’s why I’ve always been able to turn out writing fast if it was commissioned. I work best with structure (funny that) so having a plan helps.

Well that plan is written now and I’ll try to get close to target before midday if I can.

March 15th, 2019

My body did not take the physical strain of yesterday evening well. It’s frustrating because it’s not like I pushed it far, but for various medical reasons my body gets peeved at me for over exertion, and the open evening yesterday made it cross.

I slept through all my alarms and woke up at 8. I’m angry about that because I have been doing really well, but I have to brush it off and do better tomorrow, no point in getting annoyed.

As I had a shorter morning my total for today is much lower than the last few days. But I’m confident before 5 I can smash target. I will also try to send off another copy of Unreachable today as I didn’t manage to yesterday.

Stay the course.

March 14th, 2019

I hit 920 words before I left the house today, thanks to spending just five minutes the night before sketching out what I wanted to have happen in the next day’s thousand words. By the time all my reports were run off for the morning at work – where I have to wait for the computer to process them anyway so may as well write while I do – I hit 1,066.

To say I have conquered mornings still feels premature, but to achieve that at this point all I have to do is keep this momentum up, and at this point it is starting to feel effortless. Don’t get me wrong, I will push myself in time to aim for new heights, but for the time being I am over the moon with where I am right now.

So with my energy for the rest of today, I will write a brief summary of what I want to produce with my 1K tomorrow, which later I’ll copy onto my whiteboard at home, and then send off Unreachable to some more agents.

In less than two weeks 1K as a new lifestyle will be 6 months old. If I could at the start of this journey have seen where I’d be in such a short space of time, I would never have believed it. About the only thing that could make things perfect at this point would be getting representation. So, here’s to that.

March 13th, 2019

Not quite the same rush as yesterday, which I was disappointed about until I realised writing 535 words before I even leave for work is huge by my old standard. I mean…

Pre-September 2018: I write in bursts, but at most do a couple thousand words a month, and sometimes go months without writing anything.

October-December 2018: I write a thousand words each day, about half of it rambling thoughts.

January 2018: I start to exclude the 300 words of diary entries I do every day. I then just, stop writing the rambling brain dumps as part of it too.

February 2018: I start blogging every day on top of 1,000 words and my diary entry.

March 2018: I start getting most and sometimes all of my writing done before 11am each day.

That’s, mindblowing progress. I’m glad that it is not enough for me though. I have not felt ambition like this since my childhood. For the first time I’m thinking past tomorrow.

More Volcano today, and at least one more book submission. Let’s do this.

March 12th, 2019

I’m lost for words. Which is good as – and because – I hit target 50 minutes ago. I wrote 755 words at home, and then while my reports ran this morning at work wrote the remaining quota to hit 1,000. This is unreal.

So plan for today is, well whatever I feel like. I think this is a great opportunity for me to use any and all down time at work to start firing off letters to agents for Unreachable and to spam Twitter. I think I should start to follow and interact with more people. I should also probably start being more funny, which is a sentence that cries out for a punchline I can’t think of right now.

So, yeah. Guess I’ll go get Unreachable ready to send.