November 10th, 2019 – 410

Know when you have those days where it takes your phone dying on you twice, and your Switch dying on you in between to get you to knuckle down and focus on what you should have done about three hours ago at least? Yeah well today is still one of those days because there is way more than one thing I should have done today. My weekends are not bastions of productivity at the moment and it shows man. Doesn’t help that – funnily enough – feeling down and medicating that with alcohol is a recipe for a lack of focus. It does not take much for the mind to wander, and my hope is the coffee I’m about to brew is going to set it right.

The good news is I now have over half of my Christmas shopping sorted, and only really 2-3 people who I have no concrete present ideas for yet. That’s going to take some thought, but I hope to nail down the gaps in my plan over this week. Yes I am aware it’s only double digits November as of today, I do not care. If you want a less stressful December then you do this stuff now, and then you don’t have it looming over you at the last minute. I may do top up presents at the last minute, but I want the main gifts nailed and gut-checked in the same way I would when uploading a new chapter to WattPad.

I almost said “Stress Free” December. There’s two problems with that of course. Stress free is not a concept that exists unless you have no ability to focus on any task due to a severe medical impairment, and of course even if it were possible I still have the actual specter looming over me on December 12th. I have not done one bit of leafleting so far and that really irks me. I feel like I am not taking this seriously enough, and well I kinda am not. In reality I’ve been doing the last of my recovery from the chest infection fiasco, but that feels like a weak justification.

So here’s a funny note: If I were, you know, insane, I could still turn this into a 50,000 word month without too much added effort. I have written TSS every day so far and as of today it’ll be 10.5K once I finish. If that’s my average then I’m already on track for 31.5K. That’s still 18.5K off, but I could hit that if I wrote 2,000 a day. Spoilers: screw that. I know this sounds hypocritical for a guy who bases his life around a daily writing goal picked for no other reason than “four digits”, but NaNoWriMo feels quite, arbitrary. 50K is a novella, not a novel, so it kinda feels off from the get go. But that’s not to deride people who enjoy it, and I know people find great satisfaction and joy from the challenge.

I guess plenty look at my 1K mantra in the same light, which is fair enough. I think it’s also though that I feel if you get stuck, your brain is telling you one of two things: I don’t know where to go with this, or I don’t like this. Either way it’s saying “give me a minute will ya?” I think if my brain does that, I should abide by it and write some extra nonsense to give it time to mull the main story dilemma. That said, if it weren’t for the combo of chest infection and election, I think I might have gone “ah screw it” and gone for it. My worry is by December I’d be pretty sick because of that.

On TSS itself I still have pacing concerns. I haven’t felt any kind of wall yet in my writing, which is kind of impressive as it’s about to clear 20K words. I do feel a subconscious “is this dragging its feet a bit” nag, and I think it is doing that, albeit with 2K chapters that I’ll trim down later, but this was always one of the most challenging stories in the series to get jazzed over. The other one is, joy for me, The First Stroke, or the next original story I’ll be starting in about March. But for me I think any writer worth their salt has to make potential mundane pace gripping. It’s easy to throw twist after betrayal after cliffhanger. To get the pulse racing when a character is running their fingers through their hair to abate a headache because they feel stuck, and cannot see what we as the reader do though, that’s far more engaging.

I’m shattered, and the longer I leave this, the harder it’s going to be to get the words out. All the same, I find myself thinking with full awareness of irony, that I need a serious holiday. Question is, from what?