September 16th, 2019 – 355

Ok, this is a hard one to write. I’ll cut to the chase right away, and say that I do not have 8,000 words to go. I have, a few more. That’s not the most awful news in the world, I wanted to have excess so I could cut the story down to 80K at most. Well, I’ve got that. Turns out VOL’s first draft wasn’t 75K or even 80K. It was 89K. I’m, I have mixed feelings about this. On one side I’m thrilled, as that means all those scenes I’ve fretted over I can just cut, and can be more ruthless cutting as I go from here too.

On the downside, good luck hitting the deadline of the 27th. I have said, time and again, that that’s a deadline I can move at will, and I’m not hung up on it. Even so, I was within grasp of it, and fell short. Or, I risk falling short. The odds of me hitting that deadline are slim to none. But there is a way I could do it. I do not like this way, but I could pull it off. That is of course, that between now and the 27th, I write 2K of VOL each day.

That’s no small task. Eleven days of sprinting is a tall order at the best of times, and I may feel in control again, but that’s got “BURNOUTwritten all over it. I do not take a notion like that lightly. I have to write a thousand words each day, but they can be whatever I like. I have resisted ever telling myself “for Y time it has to be X” because that’s going to push me to my limit, at a time where it’s not like it’s the only thing in my life doing so.

You know me by now though, I wouldn’t be writing this if I wasn’t at least considering the idea. Here’s the opposite side: If I manage somehow to pull that off, TSS ends up asĀ less of a sprint. Also, if I pull it off, I will feel more confident about my possible NaNoMineMo challenge that could be on the cards. It’s a tricky one, as I can see pros and cons to even attempting, but tonight I need to get started. I’m on 0 and need to reach 1,000 before bed either way. Question is, if it’s not too late, do I stop there?



September 15th, 2019 – 354

This weekend is a tough one to unpick. I feel a lot more rested. Then again my anger issues have had random and unfortunate spikes. Then again again, I have gotten the pressure of VOL reduced with a few days away from the project. It’s been a major mixed bag and I feel plain mixed.

I’ve not decided if I’ll write any VOL today, though I’ve used a lot of lifelines. Id rather not burn out. On that note, I know this is pretty short, but I’m going to wrap up target and get back to it.

September 12th, 2019 – 351

Today is as hectic as can be. I cannot as I would love to turn off the ability to recieve emails. I still have people who can’t read sending emails despite my out-of-office saying in a polite way: don’t. It’s a small thing, and I should close my emails and ignore them, but that’s easier said than done. One day when I control my own workflow in every sense, my out of office will send malware to repeat offenders. That will end well.

Anyway empty threats aside, as you can imagine I haven’t written anything yet. That’s fine, I wasn’t even going to blog until after work, but I needed a breather so this made sense. What is less ok is my FitBit has decided to fail. It may have gone as far as deleting all my sleep data, which is just dandy. You can bet I’ll take the gloves off for that complaint email. This is the latest in a stream of minor inconveniences that don’t stop me per say, but do add extra frustration to my day.

All this aside, I have some positives to report. As of yesterday, VOL has less than 10K words to write up. The story also feels as if the pieces are falling into place. There is a hitch that there might be a lot more than 10K words to go with all the new content in the rewrite, but that’s ok. I’ll be cutting a lot of content, and I know exactly where from: the visual and physical layers. They are the weakest parts of the story and I can still do them a lot better. So I’ll cut at least a few thousand from both.

All that is to come though. For now I will focus on getting to 100%, and then jumping into TSS. The headspace I have from the latter means I’m feeling pumped to jump into it, and excited for a whole new story to work on. I’m also rearing to go on typing up WHT right after, and may even aim for a New Years Day deadline for this. I doubt I will as that will be a living hell I kick myself for down the line, but it’s fun to think about when not dealing with it.

 So in the words of King George III, what comes next? Well I have a provisional timetable for 2020 which is, ambitious to say the least. I want to start serialising a collaborative project – one is in the works as we speak but that’s under wraps for now. Is it under wraps? I’ve only ever heard that spoken. One of my imaginary readers should correct me on that. 

VOL kicks off in October and finishes around my Birthday. WHT runs into September, and then TSS takes us into 2021. For now I want to keep things to “one story at a time” because that lets me build up a sizable buffer. This is less for content creation and more for more editing time. Aside from the above collab, I want to also make 2020 a year of a lot more short stories. And when I say short stories, I mean published short stories.

Oh and we’re going to win the 2020 Wattys but we’ll get back to that nearer the time.

On days like this, a pile of work threatening to bury me, struggling for relevance: planning helps. It helps because it gives me stretch goals. It helps me to figure out what short term things I need to work on. But most of all, it helps because it’s fun to daydream about. If 1K has taught me one thing, it’s if you enjoy daydreaming of success you should. All I have to do is make sure to write the stories as I do.

September 11th, 2019 – 350

Ok, I’m starting to feel a little less out of it, which should be a given after three weeks of 8 hour average sleep per night. What’s that you say? I said I haven’t chained two weeks in a row of that, so how can I claim three? Well funny you should ask – well, you didn’t, but I’m asking for you, and you’re imaginary anyway so who cares? On paper I haven’t chained three, but last week my average worked out as 7 hours 59 minutes. So 8 hours.

I’m starting to feel much less drained, but I am aware that my anger levels are still, well they’re not that great. I’m not angry at anything per se, but that’s not unusual for me. There’s always a background level of rage that I cannot get rid of, but I hope some level of that is normal for everyone. The issue is where it’s spiking, such as when talking to friends who I may have snapped at. Yeahhh…

So how do I fix that? Holiday, done. No really it might be that simple, I have Friday and Monday booked off work, I’m going to tidy the flat, and I’m going to relax. No “hey why don’t I push for 7,000 words today to finish VOL by the 17th!” nonsense, I do not need that. No, a nice, relaxed break, and yes 4,000 words across four days, on whatever I want them to be on. 

On that note, If I write at least 750 of 1Ks words today as VOL, then the story reaches 10,000 words left to type. It’s a bit odd. It feels like only yesterday I finished the first draft, and yet in the inbetween time I wrote a whole other novel. Goes to show how much time I used to waste not writing. The hype for VOL is building slow and steady, and I’m hoping to see people latch onto this one in a big way. Exciting start, explosive, different but familiar where it counts. VOL should tick a lot of boxes. More important, it should hit people right in the feels. 

So I’ll try to take my breaks today at work, do a few sprints, and see if I can hit target by 5 so that I get the evening to myself. Last night I  was such a wreck of rage that I would have gone to bed early if I had target in the bag. Tonight, I want that option open to me, and if I end up in that state you bet I’m going straight to bed. Yes leisure time is important, but not if it activly degrades my mental health. I’ll make up for it on Friday. You know, after I’m on top of tidying the flat.

…Oh, ok maybe I should acknowledge the elephant in the room. Today is the 350th day of 1K. In 16 days the project turns one year old. It’s funny rereading what I’ve put above. I would have killed for this work ethic and efficiancy, not to mention self control a year ago. Now it’s, well, normal. The flat needing a tidy and me wanting to make sure I kick start my next novel on time, this is still all so freaky and new. Feels like I’m not even related to the person who sat here – well, a quarter mile / that way – this time last year. That’s a happy feeling.

September 10th, 2019 – 349

This is not my week. I got well over 8 hours yet again, and on top of that got my internet at long last at home after my 8 month gap. I should feel relaxed and contented, but I do not. There is so much to do at work, and even with all my tasks logged and in hand I still feel overwhelmed. 

Ok let me cut in here to say there is a reason I blog at work, and ^ this is why. More people should do a daily work blog. So I just said I have all my tasks logged. That’s a lie. I was about to say my emails have a backlog and I have an “On the back foot” column on my Trello. That means I do not have all my stuff in hand. Jeez no wonder I’m feeling so restless. I’m going to go organise all this and will be right back.

Ok that took three hours. I was carrying that baggage around with me everywhere I went, so no wonder I was so burned out. I now have a huge queue in Trello that I will tidy after this paragraph, but I already feel so much better. Knowing I have it all managed in one place makes the world feel as it should be, even though it’s the same amount of work.

That only took 10 minutes. I chose to archive all missed calls without listening to them because too many people tried to do that. Leaving an answer machine message at a time like this is so unhelpful. If they have tasks that need doing then email them, so I can see them. Making me listen to your ums and ers is a complete waste of time.


But regardless that frustration out of the way, I have my queue set up to be much more usable tomorrow.  I also did get a lot done today on Markbook and iLearn/Moodle, so I did good. That said, I am dead right now, and feel like I’m going to pass out. Pretty sure I’m sick, but not sure with what. At least my lymph nodes have decided not to scare the life out of me this time like they did before.

So, 5 paragraphs of my “job”, you know where this is going. If you’re wondering why I didn’t write on my break then my only response is “what break?”. My head feels like I’m operating on 3-4 hours of sleep, even though I’m getting a consistant 8 hours a night. If I need any more proof that these 4 days off are a required, I almost passed out several times today. I have the rather unfortunate sense that I may end up in hospital at this rate, and I do not relish that.

All that said, I will get some writing done now. I haven’t taken my break yet, so yeah it’s 4:09pm and I’m leaving in less than an hour but I’m taking the damn break now. No idea how much I’ll be able to write, but it’s the principle of the thing.