March 31st, 2021 – 917

There’s nothing quite like a blog written with hours to spare until the end of the calendar day on the last day of the month. I know 1K isn’t bound to calendar days, opting instead for my own personal wake/sleep cycle – vital if I ever do long distance travel I realised the other day, as if I need to cram in a 2K day on jetlag – but this blog is a pre-midnight ritual. It’s always nice to bank it as such, especially when I can do so after hitting target. What makes today all the sweeter is I hit target on my lunch break. I just waited until the end of the working day to write this entry because I was in a good rhythm at work.

Now before you think it’s all sunshine and rainbows, I had a ghastly night. The saliva ducts you have on the inside of your cheeks, below the cheekbones, are a part of your mouth you might never have noticed if you’re not used to having stress-ulscers or similar ailments. I am used to them, and even bad inflammations I can shrug off because I’ve had this all my life, there comes a point you just get used to it. And yet, even I was howling in pain last night when those ducts started to flare as if I’d just attacked them with a staple gun. I’m not kidding, the mere thought is making me shudder. That cost me the possible full night of sleep I could have gotten.

That’s one reason today is so satisfying. That’s the kind of minor inconvenience that – when you’re recovering from an extreme low like I dunno, 2020/2021 – can push you right back in. But I got up today, worked hard, took phone calls and solved problems, wrote on my break, planned my day for tomorrow and now wrote this blog post all before 5pm. That’s a good feeling. Life is still stressful – always will be on some level, that’s life – but I dunno for a while now, I’ve felt I have a fighting chance of getting back to normal? That when I’ve said ‘it won’t always be like this’, I might have been right. Usual caveat, it’s too early to be sure and it’s gonna take a while to get back on my feet, but, man it’s nice to have hope.

March 30th, 2021 – 916

They restocked the Stardew Valley LPs! A dear friend even offered to get me them as a present on the understanding I would get them a present of equal value on their birthday, which in effect means I can spread the cost over a few months. I’ve just added it as a fixed cost on my monthly budget, so we’ll see when the time comes what they would like, but yeah, that’s something I’ve wanted for years. If you haven’t seen them, well, here:

Stardew Valley Complete Vinyl Soundtrack Box Set - Fangamer

I mean LOOK AT THEM. I have my record player set up in the bedroom at the moment but I may move it upstairs as I try to keep that space just for sleeping. Wherever I play them from though I have to find a nice space to display that gorgeous art, preferably where it’s easy to get to so I can, you know, play the records too. I didn’t even need a mood boost right now as I had a reasonable day, this is all bonus.

TWO is advancing well. I hit target just after 10pm which is later than I’d like but still good, and the quality of what I wrote was also reasonable. I even snipped a quote to send to a friend and it got a laugh, so that’s reassuring. It’s now 75K so we’re on the home stretch, and I’ll figure out how many words I wrote of it for the month tomorrow post target, though I can tell you now I easily managed a 1,100 word average for the month, and without needing a last minute dash to achieve it. So all in all, I am feeling pretty good right now. Motivated at work, motivated in writing, and motivated in looking after myself. I won’t say I’m out of the woods, but if nothing else I can say I’m facing the right way.

March 29th, 2021 – 915

Well, wish granted. I said yesterday I wanted to blog earlier and, well here I am. Taregt is done, 1,300 words of it to boot. Journal is completed for the day, and I’m doing some editing right after this on a seperate writing project. All told, today is a resounding success. At least, until we talk about the problem that’s still holding me back. and kinda takes the euphoria sheen off of the rest of the good. That problem, as it always has been, is my energy levels. Today is a bit of an odd case, because it was Moron’s Hour last night. I won’t even capitalise daylight savings time because the proper name is Moron’s Hour, because only morons think it’s a good idea to have it. Sadly, it’s not as easy as a majority being against it, institutions are hard to push against, even those as dumb as ‘let’s mess with everyone’s sleep schedule because farmers 200 years ago might have benefited from it and one guy wanted to hunt butterflies no I’m not kidding‘.

Sleep disruption aside however, I was running on low battery the whole day. That’s infuriating of course, but what can you do? I have no idea what the root of the problem is and even if I did, there’s so many other factors right now like lockdown that prevent me from making any meaningful change. The number of times I’ve had to write in my journals for the last year ‘this is temparary/this will pass/this isn’t forever’ might be enough to have a thousand words collectively by themselves. I need to get my head on straight as I have work to do this evening but I just, want to get that through my head again, that I won’t always be working out of my home, that I will have a boarder. Once I can go back into the office you better believe the first thing I’m doing is turning off work emails on my phone and uninstalling EVERY work app. The boundaries are what I really need, and they will come, I hope.

I’m gonna make some food and dive into editing. If nothing else, at least I’ll be getting an early night tonight. And no ancient farmers can come steal it from me.

March 28th, 2021 – 914

Late blog, but an earlier target. I’ll try and make this relatively substantial but I wanna head near enough right to bed as I have a chance at restoring my sleep. I slept in both weekend days, and today it needed to be until 12pm so I could get close to 8 hours of sleep. Even then I fell 6 minutes short. The good news is I am feeling a lot better for the last two days, even if I didn’t get as much done over the weekend as I would have liked. I still got most of the flat tidy including the backup on the washing up. Things are a bit rough still but these bumps in the road, they’re taking less and less time to fix. I would be a bit presumptious to assume there’s no more hiccups on the horizon, but I’m gonna try to be optimistic.

35 words seperate TWO from hitting 73,000 words. Funnily enough due to the most recent series of cuts to TUS, this makes it my second shortest novel if taken at its current word count, and of course we are going to overshoot by quite some way. It really makes me wonder if after I finish TEL, I should double back and for a finale rewrite TUS from scratch. I’m not sure it needs it per say but I might benefit from doing so if only because it’s the novel that still holds the most of my old writing quirks. Still that’s a problem for another day, and to be honest I’m more keen on writing A Planet Named George when I get to that point as I’ve been itching to for years now.

Getting my act together. In the end, that’s all you can ask for. Here’s hoping I post tomorrow’s blog entry earlier.

March 27th, 2021 – 913

I totally forgot that the album Power Overwhelming by Big Bad Bosses existed. I love these songs so much and it’s been years since I last got to indulge. I am a sucker for villian’s perspective in all its forms. To be honest, I always empathised with the villians growing up more anyway. My D&D alignment is more than likely Lawful Evil in my heart, but somehow I’m also Lawful Good. It’s almost as if alignment charts are a load of, well I don’t swear on this blog so, rubbish. But yeah if I were in a fantasy story and had a choice, I’d pick being the villian any day. Also yes I love Megamind, how did you guess? Though to be fair, that film is incredible.

Oh so today on an unrelated note I managed to stab myself about 40 times. At the same time time in fact. Protip, if a cacti is falling off a counter, it helps to know where the tweezers are before you swoop in to save it. Cacti thank you for saving their lives by turning your fingers into mini cacti. That, that hurt quite a lot. When I found a couple spines managed to get about half way through my thumb, I was, not pleasently surprised by that. Good thing about those spines though is it’s like an injection needle, it just comes out without too much sign anything happened. At least, the ones I could get out did. Yeah that was really not cash money.

TWO is now 70,000 words. That means even if I only managed 1K days here on out, I will easily finish the story by my birthday. That’s a lovely feeling, but it did snap me to attention on one count: I have given no thought to The Malcolm Effect. I mean I know the vague plot and, well it’s about a by-election, I’ve worked on enough of them. I’d be working on one right now if I could actually get to Hampden Park to help an old friend in his campaign, but on this foot my options are, limited. I feel, pretty damn confident that he doesn’t need my help though so all’s good. Still, I need to get into the mindset of this novel, so it might be a good idea to risk my foot and get into gear before long. It’s gonna be a fun novel, if dark as all heck in places. To be honest it’s dark all the way to The End of the Line. Literally.

March 26th, 2021 – 912

Ok, ok I am feeling, rough. IT’S NOT THAT, let’s just be crystal clear on this. I feel rough because I’ve chained so many seven hour nights that – while I’ve avoided 6 hour nights, my brain is melting anyway. The fix is to sleep, and I will, as soon as I have everything I need to get done done. The good news, is I am doing little to no work over this weekend. Outside of 1K I should be keeping to four hours at most, and within 1K that barely reaches seven of my 48 hours. Well, 47 hours because we still use a borderline-medieval clock adjustment system that was antiquated when it was conceived. Can you tell I’m bitter about this? Cos I’m bitter about this. I want my sleep and it’s gonna eat into my weekend as it is, I don’t need farmers from the 1700s running away with a chunk of my day off. Wow I really am sleep derped aren’t I?

I think I’m getting borderline obsessed about my new desk. Seriously, I made a Million Desk Discord emote. Actually that’s a lie, I made two. It’s nice to be hyped over the idea to be honest, it’s been a while since I felt real excitement like this about a new posession; interstingly enough, I have the last such example that I’ve since come to own right in front of me, and yes, I picked a colour scheme that would match the rowing machine. I really want to get back into rowing when my foot stops being unusable after mild exercise. I’m just really looking forward to one day when all this mess blows over, I’ll be able to spend hours writing at my mahogony desk, go for a few quick rows when I need to de-stress in between revision sessions, then go to the shop and socialise with human beings in person. It’s so weird that that’s a given to happen eventually and yet there’s a crazy part of me not fully convinced it’ll ever happen.

TWO is shaping up really nicely now. I had a few rocky patches along the way, mostly where I decided in draft 0.1 – paper – I rambled on too long. Yes I know it’s unthinkable to you my loyal Imaginary Readers that I would ever ramble on at length over a subject that didn’t add to the wider context of what I was meant to be talking about in sometimes the most ridiculous run on sentances that you think are about to come to an end and yet somehow keep going and manage to get even worse the longer they go on for as a deluge of really frustratingly unnesassarily appended adverbs start to cloud out all meaning that the given sentance might have once had before it fell off the tracks and plummeted into the abyss of incomprehensibility that bad sentances go to to die. No, I never do that. Ever. That sentence hurt to write.

Silliness aside though, I am hoping there ends up being enough substance to the second half of act 2. It’s such a huge leap from the start of the story, and I imagine this won’t be a popular shift for mainstream readers but, well even if I do ensure you could read TWO as your first TSTO book, I don’t see it as for those readers. This is in effect like an Avengers movie: you can watch it on its own, but you get the stylistic choices and plot elements a lot better if you’ve done your homework beforehand. Also, for reasons that will become more evident in time when my super secret project I occasionally hint at comes to fruition, it kind of won’t matter if people don’t like the design choices in the long term. I will attempt to iron them out all the same but, this may not be the issue it once was. Really want to buy a TOP SNEAKY CGPGrey stamp now.

Oh on that note, I managed to catch my first live directors commentary on one of CGPGrey’s videos today and it was the mood lifter I needed more than I realised. That signifies all the more clear that I need to relax this weekend and try to charge my batteries. I would say recharge, but there comes a point they’ve been empty so long that the ‘re’ part becomes disingenious. I think that point happened in January.

March 25th, 2021 – 911

Brain we had a deal. I ate enough, I did exercise, a lot of it. I, slept? Ok for like 6 hours but 2 out of 3 should earn me a reasonable time for target? Ok, I know that’s nonsense, I needed more than 6 hours but this has been a bit of a bad loop. I need to get back into writing on my breaks, as at 5pm when I finish work that time has started to become my UpWork hours. Don’t even get me started on how I maybe shouldn’t be working 11 hour days 5 days a week and how that might have reprocussions for my health when I also work weekends and write seperate to that every day but, oh jeez when I put it like that…

Ok, no, this is fine. It’s totally fine. The issue is the amount of sleep. I can totally do all of that if I get my 8 hours, so I just, need to do that. Starting tomorrow as there’s already no chance of it tonight. I, can’t even tell if I’m being sincere or I’m just using hyperbole. My head is not on straight right now after several half nights of sleep in a row. Why a half night is 6/7 hours when a full one is 8 I have no idea but, well it’s unnervingly true. I really need that holiday. And, well I’m gonna tell my clients that it’s holiday-holiday. If I don’t I’ll just come back more tired than I left before the holiday. Again. I can’t afford for every day of my annual leave this academic year to have made me more tired rather than less.

March 24th, 2021 – 910

I have my annual leave fast approaching. When I say “fast” I mean “in three weeks or so” but I mean, that’s closer than it was, a week ago? Can you tell my brain is melting? I’m not sure how obvious it is. I made the cataclysmic mistake I always seem to after long work days: sitting on the sofa before I’ve hit target. Dragged the day out as I more or less passed out on the sofa without actually nodding off, and well, yeah that made for a later target. It’s funny I talk about annual leave because in theory I can hot target early on any day. But the advantage of leave is I can focus on resting. Oh, and not getting ill. That’s assuming nothing horrible happens like the last time I took a week off.

TWO is steaming along at pace, and also proving a point. I do refer to my handwritten draft a lot, but more how I would refer to notes than how I’d go about typing up a verbatim handwritten draft. I think the use I get out of a handwritten version is more for structure, order and fleshing out of ideas. Those I genuinely find easier on paper, but I write much better on a PC and with more oversight of the structure too, namely being able to map beats out to the exact word. While I can do that in a journal it’s a lot more faff.

The Million Desk is entering production soon. I tried to look up what it’d cost to get a plaque to go inside the middle drawer, but for some reason that proved to be a massive faff. It’s not vital or anything, but it would be nice to commemorate it and 1K1K in style. It’s strange how that milestone is now the number of days away it used to take me to write a first draft. Weirder too that that was during 1K, and was a long, long time ago now. Time is weird.

March 23rd, 2021 – 909

Today is a bit of a special day, mathematically speaking. To understand why, you have to understand that my average daily wordcount, minus journalling, is about 1,100. This is not the exact day; that likely happened a while ago. But I’m calling it today. What do you get when you times 1,100 and 909?

One Million.

One, Million, Words.

Now, the real festivities will be in 91 days. And believe me I will find a way to celebrate that milestone. If my new desk – ordered today – arrives in 13 weeks it will be there in time to commemorate the day. I’ve already decided in my headcanon though that as I ordered the desk today, it is the Million Desk. When did I decide that? Half way through this paragraph but come on that’s a badass name. ‘Oh where am I? Oh you know just doing some story notes at the MILLION DESK. Damn right I am. In the future I mean. It deserves a cool name after emptying my non-house savings in a single hit like that. Also ouch my bank account.

Mahogany partners desk with cupboards and drawers. Green leather top.
I went for thism though mine will have a slightly smaller leg gap as it’s 1600mm wide rather than what I think in the image is the large. But yeah, look at that, look how cool it is. The Million Desk works as a name for something that awesome. I know I’m gloating about expensive furniture but hey no one who isn’t Imaginary is reading this so I’ll fawn over it if I wanna. It’s so beautiful. I can’t wait to lose hours sitting at it with horrofying migraine-inducing writers block. Ahhh, bliss.

Can you tell my mood is better? Well, it comes down to one thing: meeting the people in my single household bubble. I do not do that enough and wouldn’t you know it, I now feel mentallly refreshed. I am starved for human contact and as soon as I get it, I feel fantastic again, at least for a while. I just needed that so bad. Now I have home testing kits via the college it’s going to be a lot easier to justify going round there, and for my sanity I really need to ensure that I do.

Life could nosedive again at any moment. The lesson I learned from this messed up 12 months is you never know how long any part of your life will last. I’d learned that before, but this time was different. This time, I learned the urgent need to treasure life and all it has to offer while you can. Be grateful for the good, and in the face of the bad be grateful you had that to lose. I still hurt; I think we all still hurt. But sometimes, sometimes the hurt helps you appreciate the bigger picture.

Stay safe my Imaginary Readers.

March 22nd, 2021 – 908

I had a really good day, a very productive one which saw me get on top of a lot of tasks and clear most of my work queue. All well and good, but target is getting later and later, and that’s got me concerned. I don’t know how to recharge my batteries at this point and I don’t know why I keep ending up back here. I’m sleeping enough, I’m eating ok even if not great, and well, what can I do more than that? Exercise I guess but, I was and then I’ve slipped back again. I guess, I guess that I know exactly why but I’m still resisting sorting a therapist. I don’t know why I’m so determined to pretend my depression isn’t the one constant. I guess I’ve found it so hard to get help in the past for it that denial became the one strategy that worked. Almost worked.

I need to sort a therapist. Actually, I needed to do that in November. I should have done it sooner if it was feasable, but you know, the apocolypse. I’m sure one day I’ll look back at these posts and my journals and marvel at how long I managed to spend dancing around needing serious help and still functioned. See that’s one of the most amusing parts of 1K. It both kept me going in spite of the multitude of repressed mental health issues, but it also makes it hard for me to ignore my mental health issues forever. Nothing like rambling to make you eventually admit you’re in a dark place and need to get some damn help already. Does that mean I will? I don’t know. I still find the idea of Zoom therapy deeply unappealing, and I’m still scared of long covid if I manage to get infected out and about.

I am a little worried that I’m developing a gradual agoraphobia. I don’t know what to do. I’m isolated and I’m tired, so tired. I know, we’re all tired, I’m not so dense I don’t realise everyone is going through some version of this. I just, need to get help. I really need to. I hope I do.