December 24th, 2019 – 454

Keeping today, tomorrow and the 26th quite short as this is going to be a busy three day stretch. I’ve had a few too many short posts this month which isn’t ideal, but given context is about what you’d expect. Even so I should try and make a few more substantial posts in the new year. I’m just glad the habit’s stayed in tact.

Have managed to stay pretty on top of everything all told today, which is impressive as I pretty much didn’t sleep. Don’t know why. You’d hope that might translate into more words of TSS at least. Well, it did, 2,600 words to be exact. So that’s pretty neat. Fingers crossed though I get more sleep tonight.

December 23rd, 2019 – 453

I’m a bit out of sorts at the moment. Call it being far too tired still, or downing a bunch of spirits and chillis and being a bit off my face because of it, but I am not feeling all together with it. I should go make myself a coffee after I finish writing this, that would help a lot I think. What will help even more is getting target done much earlier today and getting back into my good routine. I should wake at 8 and sleep at 10. I should write sooner, not later, and not at 2 in the morning. Simple.

You know by now it’s never that simple right? No one has it that simple you might think, but some of you out there will know darn well it can be simple. I’m one of them, plot twist, this oneĀ is simple. Do it a bunch of times until you do it on autopilot. You know, like every other habit ever? So why do I keep screwing it up? This paragraph is a mess of convoluted plot twists, but here’s another: I know the answer to this one too, I just don’t do anything about it.

Habits are great, except when they’re not. But all habits are fragile. I’m feeling parched, and when I feel stressed and parched, I will always reach for alcohol over anything else. That’s fine – I’m ok with being a stereotype – but it’s not all that helpful to use a depressant when trying to write cohesive prose. So I change the routine to be when I feel parched and stressed, I drink some squash. Job done, right? Nope, because if I get really stressed, I grab the gin. The old routine is still lurking in my head, and if I’m not careful, boom, back where I started.

So how do you work around fragile habits? Well, in a full circle, repetition is the answer. Keep doing the thing you want to have as the normal, and it becomes the normal. You may look at that, frown at your screen, then mutter something to the affect of “so to do the thing, just do the thing…” and well, I deserve that. It’s a bit more complex, but in essence, keep doing something, and the more you do it the less you think about it. Keep doing it when you have a certain craving, and you’ll do it on autopilot. I never said it wasn’t work, and there’s a reason I’m no expert at it yet. It takes time.

So writing TSS, that’s going pretty well even considering the above, and I should finish chapter 40 today. That’s 41 including the prologue, which has thrown my maths off a few times because it’s rare I include a prologue at all. As there is a significant time jump though I felt it was somewhat needed. It’s good prep though as WHT also has a prologue for much the same reason, with an even bigger jump for that matter. I’m pretty excited to start work on that to be honest, and wish I could have a burst of words someday over this holiday so I can hit the ground running on it before the end of the year.

Right, time to finish up and get to it. Story isn’t going to write itself, no matter what habits I give it. That, doesn’t even make sense.

December 22nd, 2019 – 452

Knackered. It’s been a busy-ish day, but not bad busy. I spent today with family and it was a nice wholesome experience. It has meant I haven’t written yet though and I feel myself still stuck in this page night cycle that I dislike.

Gonna finish up and sleep on it.

(Damn it forgot to hit upload)

December 21st, 2019 – 451

I am so knackered it hurts. No really, actual pain again. I’m praying that isn’t illness, but that’s about as much as I can do. This has been one of the most intense ends to a year I’ve ever had, and honestly even a year ago I don’t think I’d have coped anywhere near as well as I have done. Still, I feel there is more I can be doing.

Getting back into writing earlier whenever possible would be such a huge win. It’s half 9 and I still haven’t. Yes I’ve chained 55 TSS days but I’d trade that for not getting run down over Christmas. It’s a moral question in a way: I have proved that I can write main content every day, but the trade off is sleep quality. I have until now maintained the latter has to come first. Should it still?

My gut says no. I think this is a progressing step and not a regressing one. But with this potential new normal in place I have a responsibility to shift the habit. Even now after figuring out as much as I have, I don’t know I have the power to do that. But my mantra for those kind of tasks has come through worse:

Try something, and if it doesn’t work, try something else.

December 20th, 2019 – 450

What a day to finish work on. 450 days of 1K. Ok it’s getting cliche for me to go “how the @&£$ is this still going??” but come on, we’re close to half a thousand days. Well, in a way that’s not true, not the being close to a thousand but the amazement it’s lasted is, well less so now. This is the new normal. I have no way of knowing if a thousand of main story content every day is the new normal, but a thousand in general is. Sleeping, eating well, all the typical maintenance tasks of  life pale compared to 1K. I can forget each from time to time, but I never forget my thousand.

Saying that, haven’t written it yet today. This has been a sweep up day of closing what leftover tasks I have. And making sure those I need to pick up after Christmas are in Trello as well of course. Star Wars tonight, and then I’m going to try and have a restful and quiet holiday. No illness, no election, no drama or horrors. If I can avoid all that I will call it a success. TSS is in the home stretch, and who knows, when rested up I may do a huge chunk of it at once. But no pressure. This break is about recovery.

Here’s to 450 more days of this lifechanging magic.

December 19th, 2019 – 449

I ended up going to the shop yesterday. By now you know what I’m going to write next. Late night, wrote super tired, got little sleep. I do not know why I keep doing this to myself. Ok, I will admit it was worth it, and I don’t regret my choice. That said, I am now fighting uphill on the last proper workday of the year. On the flipside, it is the last proper work day of the year, at least for my paid job.

I’m seeing Star Wars tomorrow, so that’s giving me a thing to look forward to.  Keeping positive isn’t proving hard, but it’s nice to give myself an emotional buffer. It’s bizarre as I was a wreck a week after we lost Eastbourne in 2015. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sad, and no less so than the last time, but so much more stable than I’ve been in the past. I’m glad about that. My own feelings aside about the flaws with democracy – a book I keep almost writing and then deciding no, that will come back to bite me – positive is good. There needs to be a lot less hate in politics, and I want to lead by calm example.

So writing! What’s a writing amirite? This is an anything-but-writing blog. TSS is coming along so well I don’t know what to say. At the start I felt certain this project would see me suffer a huge bout of writers block. Except, well now I get what the people who say “writers block doesn’t exist” mean. I still think they word it in a stupid way that reads more like ‘ner ner ner ner ner, I’m better at this than you’. But now I understand you can craft writing as as much a habit as tooth brushing, I see how you can avoid it.

I’m going to keep harping on about my holy tritity of books that changed my life: Getting Things Done, Enough, and The Power of Habit. I used an Oxford comma there and now I’m feeling dirty, am not a fan. So that last book talks about how the more you do a task over and over, the less your brain has to work on it. When you try and think too hard about it, you end up having to do all the work in your consious mind. That is “writers block”. It does exist, but there is a cure. You have to write every day. And every day you do, you think about doing it less and less. If I ever write a book on 1K that will be the core message: writing doesn’t have to be hard, but it is if you overthink it.

That’s if I write that book. I’ll only do it if I decide there’s a need. Right now, the trio of books above, along with other books like Save the Cat do the job fine. I’m not such an egomaniac that I need to throw my own ramblings into print. But, apparantly enough of one that I have to throw them here. Go figure.

December 18th, 2019 – 448

I messed up again. This time though it’s only some minor mistakes and nothing I can’t work around. I left a bunch of stuff at home I was pretty keen to have at work today, but with one exception I should be fine without them. I wanted to put some Deep Heat into my bag, so that when my legs cramp up as they’ve threatened to do for days now, I’m prepaired. My wrist and legs are a bit of a mess, but I should still be ok without medication for it, for now at least. I’m expecting by the weekend my body is going to shut down hard.

I also managed to leave my personal journal at home. You might think that sounds crazy for me, improbable even. Well my imaginary readers, here’s a twist. My foil in this case was forgetting that the book in my bag at present is not my personal journal anymore. That’s because yesterday at 6pm, I finished the final page of that journal. The five months it covers see me pushing through some of 1Ks biggest challenges yet. I know as with Journal 1# it is going to be an invaluable resource going forwards.

But the third thing I left at home is a problem: my coffee. I have enough for maybe two cups after I finish my current one, and four cups is about the baseline of my comfort zone. Which, you know that makes my whole ‘weekends’ lack focus’ meme make a, lot more, sense. For real? That’s the reason weekends keep falling off the wagon? Oh jeez it is isn’t it. When I used to go to the cafe on Saturdays I was much less sluggish. When I used my Dualit more at home I kept things tidier and got more done. 

Well, that’s why I write this little blog. All the same damn it, how has it taken me almost 450 days to figure this nonsense out? Why am I so bad? Oh TSS is going great by the way, another thousand in the bag, story feels at the right pace, in the home stretch. And I’m getting back on the WattPad wagon today too, can’t let that drought go on any longer. Here goes nothing.

…I can’t believe my problems keep coming down to ‘coffee helps, drink more of it’ and I keep ignoring the obvious. No, no I can believe that. I am dumb.