September 23rd, 2019 – 362

So here’s where we are. By my estimation, I have 14,000 words of VOL to go. On my board at home, I have 7,500. This disparity comes from the extra content that I’ve added as I went through the rewrite. That’s ok, but I need to take a moment, even this far up against the wire, and find the story I want to tell. Yes, I can pull this out in further rewrites, but in the same vain as “measure twice, cut once”, I’d rather not have to rip it apart. 

If it’s not clear from my fractured sentences, the office is full of noise today, so my focus is a bit fractured. It’s a good thing I have the Epic Rap Battles of History to block it all out. I have a hige workload to get through and I don’t know how I’d do it otherwise. This is going to be one of those weeks that I apply the rule of “What phone? Oh sorry I missed your call…”, though if I had things my way that would be every week.

The other reason this is reading a bit too much like stream of consiousness is I slept pretty darn bad. I’m taking ‘clearing 6 hours by a few minutes’ bad. On my second coffee, but I guess we’ll see if that’s enough. Given I want to plough through a lot of words as well as my paid work and, well a lot of other stuff, this is a coin flip. Heads I fall short. Tails I fall short. Edge, then I may have a shot.

September 22nd, 2019 – 361

So ‘1K+’ hasn’t been the worst thing ever. I’m a bit drained, but I’ve gotten a lot done. That all said, there’s a bit of a problem, and that’s I don’t think I should rush these chapters I’m writing now. There’s bits and pieces that I keep finding and going “Oh, so I have to cut that now?” My gut says they’re a bad idea to get rid of.

Well, the crux of it is I have 7,500 words to go by the breakdown on my whiteboard. But it’s more like 14,000. Maybe 13,000 if I’m generous. I can get it to nearer 10,000, but as I said above, that cuts quality content I like. So I’m gonna say it now: I don’t care about the deadline, I care about doing the story right. Therefore, screw the deadline.

Almost. See I’m going to work as if I need to hit it, but focus on reading the first draft more and try to be smarter in what I save. And on the 27th I can write a bit more if I need to. It’s a day to celebrate writing, I doubt I was ever gonna just write 1Ks worth. I wrote 1.5K tonight so I’ll need at least another 500 somewhere.

I think deadlines are great, but they can mitigate the whole point of a total rewrite. So I’m going to prioritise getting this right over starting TSS on time. On that note, if TSS has to have its deadline moved to December 31st then so be it. I want to work fast, but if a book’s worth rewriting it’s worth rewriting well.

September 21st, 2019 – 360

Super tired, long long day. I would like to start doing actual posts and at a reasonable time on here on the weekends, but considering I slept till 1pm it’s not that surprising that I didn’t kick that off today. Is what it is. Here’s hoping I get a better night’s sleep tonight.

I’ll do a bit more writing now first though. With luck, should get pretty close to having 1K of VOL for every day left soon enough, and bring this project in for a smooth landing as a result. I’ll try and update more tomorrow.

September 20th, 2019 – 359

I didn’t write the extra 1,500 words yesterday that I have on other days this week. That was because I could not do that, and get to sleep at a reasonable time. I was preparing to write it anyway, and then it hit me that I was letting my former bad habits get the better of me. That I used to rush as many words as I could and then burn out is not a reality I want to return to. Sleep must always come before any extra words.

The good news is that I have 13,300 words left and 8 days to do so if I want to stick to the 27th as my deadline. I should manage that if I manage a handful of plus-days. If I don’t hit that deadline, I will still be more than close enough to finish before the end of the month. Having a whole other novel ready to go, or at least ready to prune rather than build is a great feeling. I love tinkering and improving a lot more than the actual act of writing.

Funny thing is, that love is a relic of one of my other old bad habits, the other side of the coin. I’d rush thousands of words in a short space of time, then pick and prune those words for months, at times even longer. It would give me some level of satisfaction, but no real progress. But I’ll be able to indulge this a little once VOL is ready. I will need to focus on TSS, but tweaking VOL will be a nice downtime action.

I’m pretty busy at work, so I’m going to focus back on that now. Wish me luck. Man do I need the weekend.

September 19th, 2019 – 358

Today has been a day of people asking the wrong people. The wrong people in this instance, is me. Given the sheer levels of chaos all around at the moment, this is both inevitable, and hard to untangle. So all in all, today is one of the most stressful days this week and it’s only 10:22. That’s a good start.

Today is going to be a test on all fronts long beyond the working hours of the day itself. I have yet to start 1K for the day, and we’re still in ‘1K+’, the little experiment to see if I can still finish VOL by the 27th. Again, have to stress, that deadline is not set in stone. If I miss it I miss it, and the current chapters do not get uploaded for months yet. All the same, it would be a huge weight lifted if I did get this banked long in advance.

So why is today any different? I hit at least 2,500 words each day so far this week beginning Monday, and I’ve found a good rythem: start at 9PM~, go till 11. Well, tonight I’m at dads, and there is at least a reasonable chance I’ll only be at home at 9:40, and may not jump into writing. It might be 11PM before I even start. That’s, a problem. All that adds up to a two hour delay to sleeping, and I was asleep at gone-Midnight last night. So, 2AM…

I’m not sure what to do. I’m not bound to ‘1K+’, so today could be an exception. That’s all well and good, but there’s no gurantee I’d have the motivation to start again on Friday. I could write after 5PM as I’m not at dads until 6:30, but my willpower will have depleted to unusable levels at that point. Getting to a thousand words in that timeslot is hard enough, and then motivating myself to do it again? At 10 it will be like doing the whole thing again from scratch. 

This isn’t helped by the fact I’m hungry and tired as it is. I’ll have a small thing for breakfast after I finish this, but man do I wish I burned enough calories to have a proper one. But raw economics nips that, eating in the evening is much cheaper than eating in the morning, simple as. I may need to reevaluate this though to find a better solution, as working hungry saps a lot more willpower. Of course if I were more aggresive in finding a path to paid writing, this whole problem becomes moot. But that’s a whole other problem to get to later.

September 18th, 2019 – 357

So far the ‘1K+’ week is going, spectacular. Like, beyond my wildest expectations. Even if the last two days stood alone and I now went back to only 1K, I’ve given myself a huge boost on where I was. 5,650 is a great word total for the last two days, and when you add the 1,000 I banked on Sunday, that’s close to a weeks total. Not shabby at all. That said, I’m not content with patting myself on the back. There is no reason I cannot do it again tonight.

In a funny way, having this arch goal to focus on is making this week – one I expected to be painful – much less so. I’m not fixated on all the work that I have to get done in such a small space of time. That’s, also funny as my response to that situation was to pack more work into that small space. Never let it be said that I am a creature of logic. Either way I don’t care all that much, if it works it works. Making sense is far from a priority.

I’m close to writing up the easiest scene in the entire book soon too as a bonus. While I’m tracking as if I have 16,800 words left, it is in fact only 15,800. When you read the book my imaginary reader you will see why as soon as you reach it. A little bit of fun with perspective, but also indicative of how important one of the characters is. Anyway that’s enough being cryptic, but suffice to say 2K will be easy when that day comes. As the scene is within my grasp, I may be doing so today.

Right that’s enough daudling. Now back to work. May take a break later and see how many extra words I can crunch out, but only if it won’t add to the stress of the day. We’re on top of this.

September 17th, 2019 – 356

One of the skills I have managed to hold onto to my credit is my tolerence for monotonous and repetitive work. This week is that in a nutshell at work; today will be all VLE imports, and then the rest of the week all Markbook building. I’m ignoring my phone and only responding to urgent emails. That’s a good step, but it hasn’t blocked out all the noise. After all, everybody’s priorities are the most important things in the world ever to them. To me, 5% might be above ‘this isn’t even me, why are you asking me about it…?’

But hey, nature of the job. I’m doing my blog entry today as a bit of headspace to break it all up. I’m also listening to The Knife of Never Letting Go by Partick Ness to get away from it all. The narrative devices and use of unreliable narration is a real work of art. I still haven’t listened to the 2nd or 3rd book because the first one, well it kinda messed me up when I first listened. But I need to stop letting books do that, and I like the book so I’m giving it another try.

On VOL, I managed to write 2,450 words yesterday. If I do manage a week of so called ‘1K+’ then I’ll finish on time, and I should be able to. All the same I do need to be careful about burnout. I do have a plan to break it up though, and it involves the job. By about 3pm I should have all the VLE imports done, and at that point I’m going to the library and do a bit of typing. I’m hoping it will prove theraputic.

On VOL itself, I’m toying with the idea of breaking the story up into Parts above Chapters. In specific I’ve added them at the end of this post. This could count as a spoiler so don’t scroll down if you don’t want to know.

For now, I’m going to get back to work. Wish me luck.











Proposed story parts for VOL:

  • Part 1 – Outer
  • Part 2 – Inner
  • Part 3 – Meaningful
  • Part 4 – Visual
  • Part 5 – Physical
  • Part 6 – Fundamental
  • Part 7 – Heart
  • Part 8 – Home