September 4th, 2019 – 343

I’m skirting on the edge of a second 8-hour-average-sleep week, with 7 hours 58 minutes as of today. That would have been a solid 8 or higher if I wasn’t time and again this week doing my writing right up against the wire. It’s infuriating that I keep doing it, but it’s important for me to remember that it’s a symptom. There is a lot of pressure on me at the moment and parts of my routine have to give to stop me from snapping. Even so, I hope I get that up to 8 after tonight.

The good news is so far this month I’ve written some of VOL each day. In total 2,600 words, 500 from the 1st and the full 1K quota plus from the other two. As you might infer from that, I have not written anything yet today. That’s a tad unfortunate but I’m going to channel my energies in my downtime into having 1K in some form by 5pm. I’ve said that before, and often it does not end up happening, so let’s scheme how to make it the more likely outcome.

In the past, I’ve toyed with a rationing idea for words. The principal is simple enough, divide 1K by X hours, and do that much each hour. In practice, one missed hour demoralises the whole project in a big way. So how can I make this a more robust approach to chipping away at my targets?

One idea I’ve had would be to set a higher hourly goal. Say I have to write 200 each hour. It’s 10 now, so that’s 7 hours, 200 words each for 1,400 words. Or, I can miss two hours out and skirt target. Heck, as much as I want to be done by 5 hitting 800 by then would make target easy, as that is the watershed moment for me where getting to done becomes a much easier process. It’s a shame in a way that it’s the end and not the beginning I find easy to overcome, as I could “restart” each hour and do the first 200 words of 1K as if I hadn’t written that day. But that’s convoluted even by my standards.

Chapter 33 of TUS goes live today, and it’s doing pretty well to be honest with the reception it’s getting. I fully intend to keep working on all my stories as growing organic projects, so it will get better with feedback too. It’s heartening to see it doing well in its current incomplete form though. With VOL now teased I’m hoping I can convert those who are waiting for the story to be complete to read it into serial readers for the next book. That’s tricky but it’s also how you get a book to trend, so gotta figure it out somehow.

I’m booking holiday as soon as I can, and locked my dates in that I’ll book. I’ve decided screw Boris Johnson – apparently so has Parliament, heh – if the election gets called I guess I lose more holiday, but I need to have some kind of break. So I’ll book off next Friday (13th), the Monday (16th) and of course 1Y1K (27th). Three days isn’t a huge amount to lose, and with an allowance I believe of 19 days plus enforced holiday, it still leaves me 5 days for a GE, maybe 10 depending on my mood, and a lot going spare for 3-4 day weekends throughout the year.

Having plans laid out like this makes life so much easier to get my head around. It baffles me still how rudderless I was in the past compared to now. I do not know how I ever stayed afloat. Weird that a year ago today, I sat in an empty office, all my coworkers gone, unsure about the future in all my endeavours, and hadn’t written a single word of story content in months. VOL was a write off and I knew I needed to restart it. WHT was one chapter and it was slow as could be. TUS sat in a drawer and I didn’t bother looking at it.

Turns out a lot can change in a year.