February 22nd, 2020 – 514

I do not like weekends. I keep trying to pretend that I do, but restful as they might be they’re such a slog. One day I want to rent a desk in an office on weekends and go do my 9-5 there. That sounds dumb, but I cannot stress how much structure matters to me. But that is a long way off, and I have to make the here and now work for me. I have an office at home; costs me a good £100+ in rent each month but it’s hard to put a price on things like this. A room that is for my work and to a lesser extent my gaming is a godsend even if it means I have to ration every penny of my salary otherwise.

So, this is frustrating, but my wordcount for the day doesn’t even need the wordcounting feature built into Google Docs. 26 words. That is after I had a shower where I would on a normal day start writing. That helped, but my head is so out of whack it only got me to ‘less screwy’ from ‘screwy’. Coffee is helping a bit. Loud metal music is giving me a small amount of catharsis, as is Two Steps From Hell. But that wordcount speaks for itself. Today is not going well. I don’t blame ‘Clockspinning’, but it’s telling I don’t want to work on that either. It might be a ‘put it in a drawer for a bit then expand it’ deal. Or I’ll write 10K of it tomorrow. Who knows?

WHT is my focus, and I need to get my head out of the chasm it’s stuck in. Stress is the culprit more than any kind of block. I don’t seem to get block anymore, or, I never did and it was always my weakness to stress. Kinda seems immaterial which it is when you’re stuck in the rut. A nail in your tyre is no worse than a tiny puncture if you can’t repair either. I’m trying to keep the air in but it’s not going great today. It’s funny in a way: I don’t hide this blog but everyone seems to think I’m doing fine. But then again it’s not like the point of this thing is to get readers.

I have to tough it out. This book won’t write itself, and yes I have made great progress on WHT in recent days, but it isn’t there yet. And there are so many more books to come, I can’t afford to slip. Call it hubris, but I don’t think I will slip either. This is a blip. It’s annoying, but it’s Saturday. After Thursday it might be one of my least favourite days of the week and for no reason other than lack of structure. I’ll figure it out. But until then, can I say one thing: Urrrrrrrrrrrrrrrghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh…

February 21st, 2020 – 513

It’s strange how mental goalposts move. I wrote 1,600 words of Clockspinning after work yesterday, but I was too drained to do more. With WHT, that made a final word count for the day of 2,600 words, plus here and journal. So, why am I feeling underwhelmed? This, this right here is the problem with having a 10K day. This is the problem with saying I can write X amount of something else on top. I’m redefining ‘enough’ and that is a bad idea

So why am I so reitcent about that? Let’s take yesterday as a case study. It was still a big day, but I wrote a lot less than Wednesday. That was because I had a bad evening, like bad bad. It’s been a rough week for reasons I am not going to spill onto the internet in ink, but suffice to say I have bottled up a lot. That’s fine, we all do that, it’s what you do as an adult like it or not. But it cut 7,000 words off my “possible” target. That’s it, while I am doing this part time, 1K is doable, but I showed that ten times as much is also doable. And that is dangerous. 

When I was younger, burnout was my greatest weakness. I had a lot of other problems, some of which I still deal with if less intense ways. Burnout was one of those, and I do still have times I bow to it. When I was in my teens, I would go close to braindead if I pushed myself too hard. Doing that for a week could take me out for months. I’m not exaggerating, three or four months at least out of commission. I have better ways to deal with it now, but back then a week of 1K would trigger that. And you know where I’m going with this.

It took me out for less time, but I lost a month because of 1K+. That averaged 2,000 words each day, and it floored me. I’ve learned since then, and even when I write Clockspinning – which I do after main content – I tell myself 1K was enough. This is all extra. But I still feel like I should be doing more. I don’t have to though, and I have to tell myself that. But with that temptation, it’s hard to do that. Enoughism is not the easiest thing to balance with my obsessive mindset. But if I am to make this work, I need to square a web novel with 1K. But I enjoy Clockspinning, so I want to make this work.

February 20th, 2020 – 512

Keeping this one short as I do have a fair amount of work to get through today, but man, yesterday, where do I begin. So I chipped at my new story idea throughout the day. That much isn’t abnormal, but the amount I chipped off was. It’s no surprise that half term is quieter. So, I had a few more windows than usual in the gaps I needed between what meaty tasks I have. I then got home and after giving up on Magic Arena, wrote more. And, well, I wrote 8,800 words of this story. It’s already up, you can read it at clockspinning.wordpress.com.

That made yesterday a 10,000 word day. To have that happen without breaking a sweat, whilst still doing all my work and then tidying the flat to boot? I know a writer should always have the words, but I don’t. It’s like sprouting wings you only dreamed of until that moment. I could glide, but out of nowhere I flew. The words came with ease, even in the evening where they came much slower. So next chance I get, I want to do more. Clockspinning is a story I see growing in time; it might even match The Service to Ore series one day, and out-word it at this rate. To be clear, this is not set in the same universe/multiverse model. I want to explore other mechanics. I even think Clockspinners could grow into an RP system.

Oh, and yes, I did name it after the Magic card, and I am now so tempted to pick up a foil one. I mean apart from anything it’s a great card.

Clockspinning

February 19th, 2020 – 511

I wanna write a web novel. Ok back up, aren’t all my novels on the internet? Well, no, there’s at least one that is not and never will be, but besides that that’s not what a web novel is. A web novel is a serialised ongoing story. It is less concerned with traditional structure, though it contains arcs. In technical terms, my books are web novels, but their design, edits and formatting are in line with a print book. That’s rewarding, but it is quite a lot of added thought. I want to write an open ended story that I can keep adding to for a long time, with no pressure to make it printable. Also, a bit more cynacal here but may as well be honest, they’re easier to monatize. I’m talking Patreon and the like.

I have a concept that came to me out of nowhere on my walk into work today. I am going to sit down and start writing it as soon as I can. No planning, no thought of where it’ll go, this is an experiment in creativity. There is every chance this goes nowhere, as my ideas often do, but that’s ok too. I like this idea though; it’s part wish fulfilment, part horror, and just a bit of fun to top it off. I may abandon it by tomorrow or this might become a tandom to the main series. This will not replace the main stories though. Still, it might be fun. I’m not going to write any of it until I’ve written at least a thousand words of a main story each day. That’s the same restriction as my private journal and seems to work quite well.

Right, back to work.

February 18th, 2020 – 510

Ok so this has been, unpleasent. I woke up today in a hell of a lot of pain. Not as much mind you as the migraine in October last year, but enough to hurt. I have no idea why I am in pain, or what happened to my head. Best I can think is I slept wrong, but it feels like I slept on everything wrong. Even now my head is in a whirlpool and I’m falling deeper and deeper into it. I almost blacked out on the walk to work, and yes, I recognise I shouldn’t be at work at all, but I’m stubborn.

The good news is I managed to – somehow – write 1,000 words of WHT in spite of the wooziness. I got a little lucky there as the content I wrote today was all original, not from the first draft. If I’d had to focus on my god-forsaken handwriting I wouldn’t have made it. Now that’s all done I am tackling my work queue, but my vision is starting to conk out again. If I can avoid going home you better believe I am going to try. I have a sinking feeling though this resolve will last for an hour at most, if that. I hate being ill…

February 17th, 2020 – 509

Starting to get back into the correct routine. I got lucky this morning as it is quiet over half term, and was able to chip off target inbetween emails. I didn’t have to switch my attention around that much, so I got the whole thing done super early. I decided to wait until close to lunch to write this up though as I don’t like using up all my break at once. If I space it out throughout the day I end up feeling a lot less burned out by the end of the day. Ok, so granted I don’t take my breaks in the usual sense. Even when I do a pinch of writing I’m monitoring emails and the like, but hey I like to keep on top of my work.

WHT is now 7,000 words ahead of 1K a day. That means that I am only a handful of good days away from putting the 11th of March into contention as a deadline. If I go over I go over, and it doesn’t solve the 120 day defecit if I pull it off; doesn’t grow it at least. On that score, I still don’t have much of a solution for that problem. I keep see-sawing between not handwriting the Horizon series, and writing it as one book in a 100 day sprint. That latter option is an odd one. If I still have my 10K in 9 ratio by hand – not guranteed – that’s 110,000 words. I then type that into 240,000 words? See it does not make sense, and I know I can’t do that. 

So why not type the Horizon books in first draft? Because it makes the end result much worse. Retyping a whole book is the same as writing the whole thing from scratch with more of an idea of the key moments. It makes the end result much deeper, and lets you explore whole new ideas that didn’t make it into the original. It also means you strip away a lot of the chaff that came along for the ride the first time round. That means less work in the 2nd rewrite, which is the one I do as I upload the book, but that’s the problem. If I type, that’s no longer the second rewrite at all. At most it’s a skim edit if I’m that pressed for time.

So option 3, is I cut my losses and move the deadline to April 13th, 2024. That is still a milestone, and yes, I like my birthday and despise New Year with a passion. But, it also means I’m waivering on my stretch goal. That in theory is a big no-no, and if I had done that before now, I would have never bothered making the improvements I have. As much as wedding myself to an arbitary goal feels awkward, it’s the price I have to pay. But if all those options don’t work, I need to do something to get those 120,000 words on top of a thousand each day. 

February 16th, 2020 – 508

Last night¬†was a late night after all. No regrets there, but I got home late enough that even with my writing done I slept close to 2am. Grim, and preventable. But, I got up today at 8:14, walked around a bit and thus preserved that record. I then went back to sleep until about 5 minutes ago. The weather outside is frightful, but the central heating is so delightful. No morning walk today, and despite how little sense it makes at a glance no morning writing today. I am still shattered, I need to wake myself up but slowly. So I’m going back on Magic Arena for a few hours and listening to The Wandering Inn. I will try not to write¬†too late, but I need to have a bit of a release valve day to be ready for work next week.

Wish me luck.