March 11th, 2019

It’s strange how much difference two cups of coffee in the morning makes to my head. I have caffiene jitters, so I may have pushed it too far, but I think so long as I give it a while – at least until after lunch – before I have another I should be fine.

This morning though, I mean wow. Excuse my sentence fragment, but I think when you produce 714 words before even setting off for work you can justify the excitement. My routine is so solid now that providing I don’t have any gaps in my mental plan for how to play out the scene, I can produce that quota or near to on demand. That is insane.

So um, plan for today is, 286 words of Volcano. Somehow, I think that might be doable. Assuming I don’t have some kind of caffiene induced heart problems in the meantime.

March 10th, 2019

Well the habit is sticking. Another 7am start, 336 words in the bank before I blog for the day and a sense that the weekends isn’t aren’t a wilderness that I lose all productivity to twice a week. That was easy. When I imagined what it would be like to get control of my life exactly as I wanted it, of all the words I thought I’d use to describe it “Anticlimactic” wasn’t one of them. It’s not a bad feeling, I want more though.

So I’ve been telling people time and time again how I am going to “SELF PUBLISH UNREACHABLE” or “START SENDING UNREACHABLE OFF TO AGENTS” for months now, and even did the latter for a short time a while ago. The reason why I still haven’t is a bit weird. I want to find an agent, and a publisher, but I’m not driven to. I have to write each day as a physical need, but I don’t need a publisher in the same hungry way. I want one, and I want to need one, but I don’t.

I also want to stop abusing italics, but I guess we can’t have everything in life. Stay strong i, one day I will stop abusing you. Well that went darker than I meant it to.

My plan for today is another 1,000 words of Volcano. Assuming I do this before 1pm, I might go out for the afternoon – I did not go out yesterday except to my mum’s house for a few hours, so I should go do some social contact. I would like to also do something with Unreachable today. I don’t know what I want to do with it, maybe spam some agents or stick it on Wattpad or god knows what.

You know what I wish I had? This is going to sound stupid – and it is stupid so that’s why – but I wish I had an ego. I wish I felt it was my god given right to be published and that I craved the adoration that comes with fame and success. If I did, I would be sending off my work every day. Yes I’d come acorss as an unlikable ass, but I’d stand a chance of making some income off of my work. And hey, I am an unlikable ass, so what’s the harm in appearing like one.

March 9th, 2019

I slept in, and didn’t get up at 7:00…

I only got up at 7:03. I know right, shocking. In seriousness, it freaking worked, I stuck to a weekday routine on a weekend. It’s 10:30am now, I’ve done almost all my housework for the day, banked 544 words and will be finished by midday with time to spare. And those 544 words are again, all new content for Volcano. I’m trying to write the layer inspired by what would happen if you meshed general relativity with quantum mechanics with a sledgehammer, so this chapter is a lot of fun to write, if a bit brainmelting. I at least have the comfort that because the whole concept is nonsensical, I can do whatever the heck I want with the concept and not worry too much about physics. The whole point of the Physical layer is it is broken.

Today I will finish up another 456 words of Volcano, then I don’t know to be honest. I might go down the shop and spend some time there around people. I’ve been getting lonely in the flat by myself and my work is better when I’m less melancholic. Also my neighbours are doing renovations and while they’re being social about it it doesn’t make the noises themselves any less annoying, even if it can’t be helped. I’ll see how I feel in a few hours.

March 8th, 2019

Well damn, it worked.

I can’t get too ahead of myself; I’ve managed one or two-off early mornings before now. Even so, today I got up at 7, did what I described in yesterday’s post to the letter apart from one deviation to eat some leftovers for breakfast instead of toast – which in a way is even better – and sat down to write at 7:35. I wrote 469 words until about 20 past 8, and then got ready and left for work at 8:30.

I’m speechless. I knew that my ability to adhere to routine was better under 1K, but I didn’t know I’d gotten that good. What I wrote incidentally was Volcano, new content for Chapter 6 now. Yesterday I finished off my writing Manifesto. I’ll link that and my rough “Night Orb” write up at the end of this post. So today I will finish off quota with more of Chapter 6, then get an early night and see if I can keep this going into the weekend. Here’s hoping.

My Writing Manifesto (A Thousand Words)

“The Night Orb” writing exercise (Rough and unpolished)

March 7th, 2019

I managed to write some content for a story not part of The Service to Ore series yesterday! Sort of. When I was at University – a failed experiment I am not getting into here – I created a fantasy world based off my own tabletop roleplay experiences. It came out of the death of my first RP character, and not being quite ready to let go yet.

The world was a pocket-universe that pulled in souls who died on other worlds, and held them in a purgatory. The whole universe was supported by a mysterious orb – what is it with me and weird orbs? – that held great destructive force but also held the fabric of this world together, along with pulling in other souls. Think of it as a mental black hole. Incidentally, the “Night Orb” as it is called gets its name in lore as the bringer of an eternal night should its power be unleashed, but in real life, the name is an anagram of Brighton. Yeah can you tell how little affection I hold for my university town? I made it into a metaphorical black hole.

Here’s a link to what I wrote, told from the perspective of my oracle character, Brian the Brain. He is a giant brain in a jar with legs, because I make some weird-ass characters at times. If I can dig out the picture I drew of him at some point I’ll post it here.

So today I want to do two things. First, I’ve been meaning to write my writer’s manifesto for a while now. I saw an article that said having your mission statement of why you write is good for letting readers get to like you better, and I like the idea of having a manifesto that is exactly 1,000 words long in the spirit of 1K. So that sounds like a fun task for today.

In addendum, I am going to try a radical shift in my routine tonight and into tomorrow. First of all, I will be moving my coffee machine into my bedroom, and my writing desk along with it. I will then be getting an early night, then following a new routine:

Get up at 7.

Set off my coffee to brew.

Set bread to toast.

Get in shower.

Finish up and eat toast.

Brush teeth and shave.

Drink coffee at my desk.

WRITE.

Leave house at 8:30.

This is two changes to my current routine. First, I will drink a coffee before I leave the house. Second, I start an entire hour before I currently do, giving me roughly 50 minutes of time I could dedicate to writing.

I’ll feed back tomorrow how it goes.

March 6th, 2019

I didn’t end up doing any short story writing yesterday. This was in part because I went straight from work into cooking mode and then right on to roleplay, and never carved out any headspace for playing around with story ideas. I ended up just adding another 1,000 words to my Spectrum plan, which is almost done at this point.

What I’ll be doing when it’s done is printing it as cue cards, laying out the scenes and trying to make sure I avoid orphaned sections. By this I mean scenes that appear, then don’t link up in any neat way to other scenes later on or before them. One or two of these are fine in a wider story like my 14 book series, but to put it in perspective, I allowed myself one in Unreachable. That was incidentally the end of Chapter 3, and consists of three paragraphs from memory.

I would still like to do some short story writing to get the creative flow going, but I don’t know if my heart is in it today. I want to, but familiar old feelings of deflation are making it hard to focus. I think it’s just loneliness, which is to be expected, but I should as a writer be channelling those emotions into more work, not being prevented from producing any original content.

If I end up just adding to Spectrum’s plan and finishing Unreachable’s final once-over, then topping that up with some typing up of new Spectrum at home then this will still be a successful day. I’d like to write some short stories too though. I miss doing that kind of writing a lot.

March 5th, 2019

For the last three days in a row, I have written the updated spec. for The Spectrum Sings. This 3,000 word document is a scene by chapter breakdown which I will then storyboard to check I have the beat of the story right, so I know when I rip this thing to shreds that I’m glueing it back together in a way that makes at least some sense. Thing is, vital work or not, it’s not the most inspiring task in the world, and neither for that matter is the cleanup of Unreachable, which I might add is a month overdue at this point but I’m hoping to finish today.

So with that context in mind, screw it because I’m going to do some short story writing today. I haven’t done any in months and I miss it, plus I don’t feel like jumping right from gritty editing into Volcano again is the best move. I have roleplay tonight at 7, but in the meantime I have plenty of space to produce a cool little one shot. If it’s good who knows, I might even post it.

March 4th, 2019

Still no internet on my phone which is infuriating. No reason given either so my hope is they get their act together and give me my next batch of data in the next few hours. God knows I pay them enough.

Yesterday I came close to a finished outline of Spectrum, so that is going to serve me really well for my next task: working out the number of scenes needed to tell the story in that way. To do this I need to confirm an assumption that I hold about scenes: I naturally write 1,200 words per scene on average. If that is true, and I hope to confirm it with my other task today, then I need about 62 scenes in total. That seems about right when a sensible-length film needs 40~.

So that other task is I need to read Unreachable. Sounds simple right? Well it is. No really all I’m doing is reading and tweaking the cadance to get it how I like. That’s it. It’s freaky how close to done this is now. And in a way it’s not because it’s about six years overdue at this point.

March 3rd, 2019

Me for real this time! At Sainsbury’s so have access to their WiFi. Yesterday I wrote half a brief for Spectrum and I’ll finish that today. Then I’m going to crash because I’m exhausted. Internet pls come bak.

That’s all as I’ve got to leave the internet now. Noooooooo.

March 2nd, 2019

Ok, so you know how I said I would write these posts at 10am, at my desk, and then start writing? Well it’s 11pm, I’m in the pouring rain and I haven’t done anything yet. Today has not gone well.

I’ve found a flaw at last with all my writing living on Google Docs: when your data runs out at the weekend you end up reverted to hermit status. Fun fact, I couldn’t even post this myself, I had to get my friend to post it for me (Charlie I owe you BIG TIME) as I have zero internet.

Yesterday I finished Unreachable, so today I think I’ll type up some of Spectrum. Because you know, when you’re tired and soaked through and cranky nothing beats cringing at your own poorly written prose from a half decade ago. Wish me luck…