September 30th, 2020 – 735

I am soooooo tired, but it’s time for a nice long rest. I was up until 5am to watch a certain thing that in hindsight I could have done without watching. That was a disaster. But despite 3 hours sleep I managed to write nice and early at like 1:30pm. I’m going to try and sleep in for a loooong time tomorrow. It’s been, an intense month.

September 29th, 2020 – 734

I’ve booked off the first 11 days of October. That’s my first real break since, 2019, so yeah I needed it. I am, so freaking tired, but I’m smiling. I had a wonderful day at work, getting through a ton of tasks and leaving an almost empty queue in time for some leave. More, I feel I got some meaningful work done in this time too, which is always a good feeling. It’s nice to feel like what I’m doing will make a real difference.

I edited the prologue of TSS today after hitting a thousand words of TSS, adding up to a total of 1,100 words. I’m not going to clock the incidentals though, so it’s just a 1K day, and that’s ok because 1K is Enough. Still, it would be nice if this holiday sees me start to rack up more impressive numbers in the 1,200 range. Not vital but I do miss that. I also have not submitted anything today, but I am ok with that. Editing each day is enough for now, and I am tracking send offs too, so I will try and get that number up.

Getting there slowly.

September 28th, 2020 – 733

Well damn, I almost missed a mini milestone but for spotting the way that the post numbers lined up before writing this. Today marks 600 consecutive days of blogging alongside 1K. On a day where I also edited all of WHT and submitted it to the Wattys, where TWR hit 40,000 words and then some, and where for the first time in quite a long time, I slept well. I had a day off, following my whole ‘XY1K is a holiday’ model for me, and I am unashamed to say I slept in until 2:30pm. I needed it.

This has been a wonderful weekend, one I think I’ll treasure for a long time to come. Even if I don’t hear back from the agent I sent Unreachable to – though I hope I do as they represent a favourite writer of mine – and even if none of my three WattPad books get a look in at the Wattys, the fact I’ve gone for it, and done so with gusto and pride makes this a memory I will cherish. It’s sad I couldn’t spend it with anyone, but then, I chatted to a lot of friends, and spoke to mum on the phone, so I wasn’t really alone. I’m starting to feel a lot less alone in general.

So what’s next? Well I’m going to need to get TSS ready for its debut on Friday – unless I do something really stupid like uploading it all at once to get 4 books in the Wattys. No I’m not doing that, that would in fact be quite dumb. But I am going to upload all the chapters to WattPad and then begin proofing them there. I don’t like the WattPad text editor for much but Chrome’s spellchecker seems to work better there than in Google Docs, and I have no idea why. But hey, I’m not complaining. And of course I’m gonna keep on working away at TWR. I’m picking up steam a bit now, and hopefully the next half of the story will come a bit easier than the first did, assuming it goes in at around 80K. That feels right for the tale at present.

Time to get some rest, and just, enjoy the feeling of having my life together. This year tested me a lot, but, touch wood, I think I’ve done ok. Time to sprint to the end of 2020 as quick as possible.

September 27th, 2020 – 732

2Y1K. I don’t think it’s normal to have your own “holiday” but I don’t care either way. Tomorrow is booked off as I’m following the Bank Holiday principle – next available day. I actually got a lot of writing done today and did it all ages ago, I’ve just been on Among Us since about 5pm.

I edited all of Volcano, which was quite a feat. It could probably still use work but it’s at the point like with Unreachable and soon Taft, where it’s up to critiques to spot the issues. That’s a good place to be, and I cannot wait to see if I can get WHT there tomorrow too. On top of that, another 1,250 words of TWR in the bag make that project feel a lot rosier.

September is going to be one of my weakest months since I started doing story content every day, but it’s been a good showing for all that. I find that like levelling up in a video game I’m gaining new small skill boosts as I go, but daily wordcount isn’t like that. The skills I gain are willpower to write sooner, to edit, to do more extra content, and to submit work. That’s worth more than an extra hundred a day ever would be.

It’s been, a horrible year. The second year of 1K almost broke me, but 1K is also the reason my sanity stayed in tact long enough to weather the storm. I do think a second wave will lock us down again, but while the toll will be horrible, I think I’m as ready as I could be for it. I just hope I’m wrong on its inevitably.

What does year 3 hold? Well, my guess is I’m going to start sending off a lot more work, and that my goal of “the year of editing” is coming to fruition already. Only time will tell, but I’m optimistic. Here’s to two years, and hopefully many, many more.

September 26th, 2020 – 731

Sorry for the late one. I actually did all aspects of target and even submitted Unreachable to the Wattys. So all in all a good day. But I’ve been playing Among Us for several hours now and lost track of time. Oops. Well here’s to two years of 1K and 2Y1K tomorrow. Feels good man.

September 25th, 2020 – 730

Three day weekend. I will be ignoring my emails and deleting any that come in on Monday which ignore my out of office message – one that says in plain English that I will be doing so. Three days just for me, one either side bookending what has ended up the most important day of the year for me. It’s been a long month, but it’s worth it to be here at last, and to know there’s even a slight chance that over this three-day weekend TWR will hit 40K words. The me of yesteryear couldn’t write half a novel in the middle of coordinating the digital strategy for three colleges in the midst of the second wave of a global pandemic on zero holiday since March. If that’s tooting my own horn, then I guess maybe I don’t do it enough.

I don’t make new year resolutions, even on actual new years – though in part that’s because I despise New Years Eve, not using that word lightly. But 2Y1K, I think it’s time I made one: Enough. Less work, I’ll do ‘enough’. Less pressure – I’ll do enough and let that be. And sending work off to publishers? Well if I want to become a published writer, I guess in this case, I need to do a little more to reach enough. You only get one life, and I don’t want to spend the rest of it here. Well, that’s only partly true; as I look out my window, I think I could stay here for the rest of my days without an ounce of regret. The rain was nice, but I appreciate a good metaphor as much as anyone, and cliched as it is, it’s nice to see the sun is out.

September 23rd, 2020 – 728

I’ve been feeling pretty fatigued of late, burned out from not really having much in the way of time off since, pretty much April, and even that is a stretch. Closer really to ‘since 2019’ if I’m honest. I was still trying to get past the general election. My personal new year is the 27th of September, so on the whole, it’s been a pretty awful year. And the 2020/2021 year looks if anything worse. But more pertinent to the topic at hand, I find it so hard to write when emotionally drained and unsure where to take the plot.

I would not be surprised if the chapter I wrote half of today ends up cut in its entirety from the finished version of TWR. The prose is, mediocre but that’s only one part; first drafts often have placeholder-prose. No it’s more the scene itself feels, redundant. I am not sure it adds anything to the story, and those are the dangling threads you have to pull or cut. Pull it to see if there’s more depth, or cut your losses and tie it off by blending anything worth saving into existing chapters. I think the latter is more likely. Still I’m liking the story, I just need to figure out how best to unfold more fun and games, which is my trio trying to trace the mysterious group causing shenanigans on the university campus.

Going to Mana Gaming tonight, first evening of Commander I’ll have gone to since February. Social distancing and masks are in full effect, so no idea what to expect, but it’s been a really, really rough day, and I just needed something to stop it from being all doom and gloom. Wish me luck.

September 22nd, 2020 – 727

So I actually managed to do some editing! It’s been a long time since I felt up to that, and I’m hoping today wasn’t a fluke. I also found I really enjoy rereading WHT, it’s just fun, but it’s more emotional moments hold up to. As I did that on top of an 8 hour work day I’m now utterly knackered, but it was worth it. Just trying to keep positive.

Let’s see if the PM’s address right now knocks that mood into the gutter…

September 21st, 2020 – 726

Work queue is behaving badly. It’s doing that thing where I knock off one task and it seems to gain about five or six new items instead of going down by one. I should still manage to get through it all, but only if I can continue to funnel incoming requests through email/tasks on our helpdesk/direct messages. Phone calls are so anti-productive it hurts. To be frank, if I had any say in the matter, I don’t think I’d even have a phone number given out. I’d hand it to people whom I felt would benefit from a clarifying call, and then change the number right after. Pity that’s about the least practical idea I’ve had all day.

Fortunately I saved my practical ideas for TWR which got a 1,400 word infusion today on my break and is starting to feel like a real story. I’m squarely in the fun and games now and it’s so fun to explore the lore that has been behind closed doors until now. In its own way, this book is both a chain of easter eggs for the rest of the series, and also the glue that brings the strands together before one of the largest confrontations of the whole arc, the next story in line. And it’s doing all that whilst featuring some pretty epic scenes and conflict itself.

Aside from my main series though, I need to start writing more short stories. I’ve looked up a few contests that look interesting, and I need to start sending off what I already can and writing a few more that I don’t already have. My short story ‘The Rope Broke’ should with a bit of polish be a good shout for a few, though might be too heavy for some. ‘A Planet Named George’ feels more like a novella than a short story but it might work better as the latter, if only to focus the plot more on the whirlwind romance. And of course, I can expand on my ‘Living Earth mythos’ for a few short horror stories, and adapt the existing ones too.

What I need most of all is a plan. A mentor wouldn’t go amiss either, but that is something I cannot afford to pay for right now, and sure as heck don’t seem to have much luck attracting one from altruism. Or you know, I could stop making excuses and get on with it…