March 21st, 2020 – 542 – Day five

Darn maths in the title. I ended up getting confused because I know the page number of my personal journal is 4 behind the total days of 1K, as I only started it on October 1st, 2018.  But I found out I duplicated the number 532 in the page numbering and only just spotted the irregularity. It’s fine but I forgot how to add 4 to a number, so was convinced this was meant to be 543. Four days away from college and I’ve already forgotten basic maths. Ok, that’s a lie, I forgot basic maths years ago.

I wrote another 1K of WHT today, bringing it to 93,000 words. To think I used to believe I’d only ever write 75K stories. I’ve learned my lesson: a novel is as long as it is. I imagine TFS will be a 75K story, in the same way that WAN – as much as I hate it – is probably a 90K story. Those are rough guesses, but they speak to the way each story only needs so many words, but does need that many too.  Moreover, I actually really like the words I’ve written these last few days, which is nice as I was in a rut of dislike for quite a while.

I just put up the two missing VOL chapters just now. I feel better now that’s done, but still knackered. I spoke to my mum and granny on the phone today, and I have got to say if you are in isolation too, call people. You will not believe the difference it makes to your mood. And also, if you have a Switch, download Animal Crossing. It’s been such a weight off my shoulders to have that world to escape into. To be frank, if you don’t have a switch but have one of the older games, dust off that. You can’t put a premium on distraction of any kind right now.

March 19th, 2020 – 540 – Day three

I think in the absence of a normal routine, I might make a switch to doing these posts in the evening. Granted I only hit target some 16 minutes ago so it kinda stands to reason I’m only doing this now, but I think as a reflection of where my mind is at during this weird time, end of day > start of day.

So what did I do today? A lot. There is still a long queue of emails I need to get to in my workload, and to be blunt, I think it’s time to accept my job is one that needs Trello. I plan on relaunching that tomorrow. Of note, all my BuJo notes for the last few days are still on there too, since Saturday. Boy how a world can change in a heartbeat. I mean, I kind of saw this coming, but only in the vague ‘I guess this could happen’ sense, and only for the last two weeks or so. At the start of March, I would have scoffed at the idea of twelve-to-sixteen weeks of isolation, which is the reality I’m now facing.

So, why so long? Granted some places will lock everyone down like that with no exceptions at this time, but not the UK. I am 27, and not deemed ‘at-risk’, so why would I isolate at all? The answer ties in why I have been so cryptic for the last few weeks about why I was feeling so down. I have an elderly family member who is potentially unwell. Not coronavirus, and they’ve been in isolation for a few weeks now. They are strong and independent, but everyone is struggling right now, and I see it as nothing short of family duty to help out. When I was asked to I didn’t give it a second thought. I imagine most people would be the same.

So, I’m in solo isolation until next Tuesday, and then I’ll be looking after them, even if it just ends up being as company. Grammarly is telling me I’m being imformative but gloomy, so let’s focus on a lighter note. I’m lucky to have a job I can do in tandem with a task like this, and that I have a new Animal Crossing game arriving in the post to help give me some escape from the world being on fire. But most of all, I’m lucky I have my writing. I do not think that the me of yesteryear would be coping right now at all.

March 18th, 2020 – 539 – Day two

This is already so weird. On the face of it, today has been a pretty normal work day. I’ve taken phone calls, completed tasks and I’m working on some Google Meet guides for the college. Incidentally, Google has made all its premium features for Meet free to support home working during the virus, so if you’re looking for a good solution I do recommend it was being one of the easier platforms to use.

I am still chipping away at my writing, but in the short term I’m doing it after work hours instead of before, if for no other reason than I’m out of my normal routine. The good news is WHT is now at 87,000 words, and I am confident I can have the novel’s second draft finished by the end of the month. Lord knows I am going to have a lot of spare time on my hands now I can’t go see friends or loved ones for a while.

Got to relax, stay positive and keep working. Work is helping give me a focus point that stops my mind wandering to the screwy parts of this whole situation. I’m sure if anyone is reading this you probably feel the same way. My guess, it’s only going to get weirder.

March 17th, 2020 – 538 – Day one

One of my later entries for sure, but the title might give you a clue as to why. I am not presenting any symptoms, nor am I at risk health-wise. If I caught the virus it would suck, but wouldn’t be a big deal. I am however going to isolate for a week, and then move in with and take care of elderly relatives for the duration of this mess. I’ve spent today making sure the office at home is all set up and tying up the loose ends.

I guess we’ll see how this plays out.

March 15th, 2020 – 536

At least I hit target before posting here this time, albeit a bit late in the day all the same. This whole weekend has been a bit out of sync when it wasn’t downright out of body. I’m not going to write a long one because I need to go and sleep, but on a positive note, I did have a +1,000 day today. In fact, I wrote 1,400 words of WHT in the end, and I think they’re some of the best I’ve done for a while. That took it over 86K, and I think on a revised estimate, I should come in for a landing on about 102,000 words. That is a length I can work with; like VOL I can trim to 90K and have a respectable book that isn’t a brick. Yes longer =/= bad, but when you’re a no-name, it does, or at least equals a gamble.

Anyway, that’s enough semi-coherent rambling for one day. Oh, and I am so out of it I can barely remember if I already said, and nobody reads this anyway but on the off chance someone does damn, if you get a chance to go see ‘The Last Temptation of Boris Johnson‘ it is well worth it, no matter what your political views. Was a great show, and my god Will Barton is note-perfect as Boris Johnson.

March 13th, 2020 – 534

Today is going to be a little strange, because by the time the day is over, I will be on my second personal bullet journal. It looks as if I will fill four to five of these a year with ease, and it is helping me a lot. My longform journal entries help me keep my eyes on my longterm goals. So, it stands to reason my bullet journal with it’s in the moment focus helps me with all the shortterm stuff. There are bits of the method that work for me, more than a few that don’t, but on the whole this has been a positive change for me.

As with many parts of my life, the weekend is the ultimate stress-test. I have to rest up a lot at the moment because my fatigue has been getting more pronounced. For quite a while, I’ve been keeping my logs on Trello, and on Monday dropping everything into the journal. That’s less than ideal, and it contradicts the other pillars of my life, which demand to be ‘done’ each day. I will carry on with the experiment as the benefits outweigh the costs, but that daily part has to join. In part, this is a reflection of how I don’t spend my weekends at a desk.

Outside of that, WHT is going well – though I wrote at 9:30pm in the end so that was less than ideal. I have a good idea of my trajectory, and though I still forsee roadbumps ahead in the plot, it’s nothing I can’t deal with. My main issue is that I am not banking much above a thousand each day at the moment. Yes “1K is Enough”, but it’s tough when I’ve been averaging 1,100 for several weeks. But if I can rest up, get past a few personal hurdles and keep my head, I’ll get back to that point. Just gotta keep writing each day.

March 12th, 2020 – 533

Have not written a word yet today. Been working on setting up distance learning resources for teachers flat out since before 9am. I’ll try and write a bit later but given a certain government announcement that might be inbound, I wanted to make sure I got this done. I’ll do a proper blog post tomorrow but don’t worry, as soon as I can, I’ll be writing as much WHT as I can. Not like a crazy amount, but I wouldn’t mind a slight increase on a thousand today.