May 24th, 2020 – 606 – Day sixty-nine

Today I wrote 2,000 words. After scraping target for so many days, it’s strange that I would have such a spurt now. I wrote a chapter that had my heart in my throat and upended the whole world, giving me an anxious weight I can’t even shift now. I can’t claim it’s good writing because what auther can ever be an impartial judge of that, but it sure got an emotional response. I just hope that holds up on the other end.

I’ve been working on my next steps planning for the new phase of the lockdown today. I will likely move back into my flat in the middle of next month, and take a week and a bit of annual leave when I do so. After that, I’m going to ask if I can start working in the office again, as I find it so much easier to work like that, and I am desperate to get back to full productivity. I just hope work are ok with me doing that. If not, I’ll just have to figure something out.

There’s a route out of this fug. I will find it. This has been the hardest two months of my life, which is odd as I dodn’t really have to do much outside work. I guess, when you finally have your life together and you’re at a high point, the fall hurts even more. I do at least now know how to climb back up.

May 23rd, 2020 – 605 – Day sixty-eight

Another day, another chip. I have beenreading a lot at the moment, a mixture of literary, sci fi and non fiction made up today at various points, and on top of that I took a new walking route, decreased my calorie defecit and let myself rest. And for all that, I’m still stressed. It’s a nightmare getting the human brain to shift gears for the best of us, and I am still not anywhere near ‘best’ as a category.

I got into a detailed discussion of plot in literature with grandad today, and to what extent it is needed for good fiction if at all. Fiction as so often is its role in life has become an escape from even the quiet days, because in a perverse way it’s the quiet ones that make the most noise. Nothing seems to drown it out, even acknowledging the deafening claxon or drowning it out with reminders that those on the front line have it so much worse. All that seems to do is make me feel selfish, and wish I could be more help from here.

Rage has always been a driving force in my mind whether I like it or not. The target of said rage is most of the time irrelevant if it adds no baggage, which keeping it to myself often does. Not a lot of people seem to see that it’s what drives me, even though I don’t exactly hide the fact – I’m writing it here aren’t I? The issue right now is that I’m under so much stress and have so few outlets or controls over my routine that it attaches to everything. I don’t do well locked in, even if functionally I’m no more so than I used to be.

One day when this is all over, I don’t know how I’ll look back on myself and how I’ve coped. A foolish part of me hopes with pride, but I often regard past-mes with distain so that’s not the bookies odds. I have done that less since 1K began, but I’ve struggled a lot these last few months. If there is something I could or should be doing different though I sure as heck can’t see it.

Sorry for the self-focused post. I know it’s a blog about me, but this kind of reflection isn’t of a type I like to post a lot of the time. Guess it comes back to the lack-of-ego problem again, so I guess yay for me for this minor breakthrough. I’m going to bed.

May 22nd, 2020 – 604 – Day sixty-seven

You can be amazing
You can turn a phrase into a weapon or a drug
You can be the outcast
Or be the backlash of somebody’s lack of love
Or you can start speaking up

I have an ego problem. Unlike most writers – just about all of the ones I’ve ever known – it’s the ‘not enough’ problem I’m dealing with. Contray to what a blog like this might appear, I do not feel the need to shove my writing into people’s faces. I wrote that on my bio when I set this up fifteen months ago, and I still havent managed to overcome it. I have to change that.

‘Have’ is a tricky word. I have to write 1,000 words every day because it’s the one thing that makes me feel complete. I don’t have the empty void in my heart that can only be filled by others affirmations, and boy do I need to take an ice cream scoop and dig one. Know where I have got a void? My bank balance. If I ever want to get the career of my dreams – doing just this – I have to start selling me more.

It would make sense if I wasn’t sure I was good enough. I think I’ve been – editing permitting on VOL, WHT, TSS and TFS – publishable for a long time. I am now efficiant enough to pump out a novel every quarter. Soon it’ll be every 60 days. One day I’ll write a novel a month and have people pulling their hair out trying to figure out how I do it. But I need to minimise distractions for that. ‘Remove distractions one by one’ is a central line of my mantra. Well, my current job is one.

It’s weird, a bit tone deaf, to talk about my job like that in this current crisis. But what’s the point of this blog if I’m not honest. I love my job, but it’s not writing full time. That is my calling. I need to start forcing this world to make it a reality. It’s time to become obnoxiously pushy. Somehow…

Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave

May 21st, 2020 – 603 – Day sixty-six

Strange how values shift over time. This time last year, writing main story content 2/3rds of the time for target was a big deal. Now I’m annoyed because May in comparason to previous months has seen my average daily WC fall 20 words to 1,080 words of main content, every day. I was keeping track at one point, then stopped when it became the norm. I hope that doesn’t hold for my little quarantine tracker in the title.

The words today were awful, weak little waifs, but they got me to target. This is the part of the novel I have the least confidence in, not because ideas are harder so much as I’m risking absurdity to keep up with the pace of the story. I might have to tone down some of the events in the rewrite to make the narrative more believable.

I keep having to remind myself that first drafts are meant to be bad. If they’re not, then you haven’t explored deep enough. A first draft that is ‘ok’ by definition is shallow. And yet it still doesn’t feel great to commit weak prose. Doesn’t help that I’m tired of course. Sleep is a factor I need to fix and soon. On that note, goodnight.

May 20th, 2020 – 602 – Day sixty-five

Same shtick, different day. Trying to write earlier, sleep more and somehow get my work queue closer to single digits than the triple it’s currently threatening. My temporary mantra has been ‘remember¬†everyone is going through this, you’re not screwing up’. ‘Course that would have more weight if I hadn’t messed my budget up and bounced my phone bill by mistake. Cross with myself for that one; no phone for a couple weeks except for WiFi.

My fictional world is going a bit better, except I have to come up with a great idea for my character to have in time for tomorrow’s writing session. So no pressure. I find in seriousness that if I put myself on the spot like this, I find either the idea pops out, or I start writing something that can placeholder for it until I get an actual eureka moment. Either work, I’m going to rewrite the whole thing anyway so what’s the harm.

Coming back to finances again, I need to stop treating my mood swings with retail therapy. It’s not healthy and seeing as I have a job right now, saving is a great idea. The tricky part is that well, it has worked to keep my spirits up. So I need to find new pursuits that can do the same thing. I’m hoping that as my exercise routine grows that will perform this task. It’s either that or coming out of this mess with meagre savings.

May 19th, 2020 – 601 – Day sixty-four

I hate doing short posts. They feel cheap, as while I always do 300~ words of journal they’re not visible, so I feel less accountable. Here, yes no one reads but they could, which as I stated in my Action, Accountability and Reflection post is the point.

Well I wrote 1,000 words of TFS, and get a lot done today, but I have to fix my sleep. I’m losing between one and two hours every night, and that is not sustainable. Wish me luck…

May 18th, 2020 – 600 – Day sixty-three

I debated doing some kind of Imgur karma harvest with a feel-good post on hitting this milestone. I might before I go to bed, but it seems less likely now. That’s not because I’m not in a good mood; I’m feeling pretty great all told, even if it took a while tonight for the words to flow. I guess, it’s because I don’t need validation, even as I recognise that other perks come with such things. Enticing potential readers comes to mind.

54,800 words is TFS’s count as of tonight. I’ve noticed I only seem to get attached to wordcount as a whole past the 40,000 mark. I think that might be because of TSS’s first wordcount being that figure, so it always feels like an achievement to best it. I’ve been pretty introspective about that today though thinking back. Again, not in a low mood, but I can’t help but wonder what if I’d done all of this sooner.

I don’t think I was mature enough for a lifestyle like that of 1K back in the Autumn of 2011. I wasn’t for university that is for sure. In the closing days of the season, I finished writing ‘The Service to Ore’, polishing off the last 20,000 in a single night. That sounds impressive, but the book is not great. It’s also too painful to revisit, so much so I deleted the final 1/3rd when that trickled out in the ensuing years. I was a mess back then on a level that lockdown me isn’t even close to.

Jump forward a year, and I write 32,000 words of my first fictional novella, The Unreachable Star. Unlike the novel before it, this is a story I fall in love with, and one I’ve escaped to over the 8 and a half years since writing that first draft. But while I was more in control, university was still killing me, and I was still determined not to throw in the towel. That’s one of my largest regrets, financially and emotionally. Don’t think I ever got over it.

Jump again another two years, and I’m on the other end of university, and fresh out of a relationship that turned sour. I wrote the story I’d wanted to share with her, and even sent it to her on a USB. Never did hear back. Losing contact with her ranks up as another of those huge regrets; the relationship wasn’t right for either of us, but I never stopped wanting to be her friend. The feeling wasn’t mutual. As you’re only getting my side of that, I encourage you take my words with a pinch of salt.

Then two more years later, I double Unreachable’s length and then some. It’s such a rush, to call it a novel at last and not a novella. That is not to claim the latter is less worthy; a story is as long as it needs to be, and length is not everything, it’s what you do with it. Heh. But I was proud of it nonetheless. Still am, though the version you can read on WattPad is a vastly different one to the 2016 edit. A 2018 rewrite saw to that.

That’s maybe the earliest point a ‘1K’ could have taken root. I don’t think I was read though because my organisation skills were god awful still. I hadn’t started reading things like Getting Things Done and The Power of Habit back then, so I was on less than stable ground. I was in a new job, new relationship, but was still making mistakes that caused tension in both. That’s life.

So then we jump a final 2 years, and maybe then is the earliest 1K could have happened. In an ironic way, despite the whole point of the lifestyle being I make myself write at least 1,000 words a day no matter what, I don’t think I could or even should have forced it sooner. My life seems to work in 2s. 2012 was footing at uni but the beginning of the end, 2014 was a fresh start after falling low, and 2016 was its mirror image. 2018 saw my whole work team gone, my new relationship about to implode – and I knew it – and me feeling like I needed to break the cycle.

And then, we have 2020. I don’t need to tell you what defined this year; we all got sucked into the two-year cycle on that one, though I would hope this isn’t my fault. Every 2 years since about 2008 for me has featured a moment or period like this that changed the game, and a variety of new me’s came out of that. So I guess it’s testament to 1K, that I don’t feel corona did that. I’m bruised, my routine is shot and I’m stressed out. But business as usual continues, like it has for 600 days.

I’m not audacious enough to call 1K bulletproof, but it’s pretty darn robust. Don’t know where I’d be without it right now.