Didn’t get as much done today as I hoped, so tomorrow I imagine is gonna be intense at work, but that’s ok as I am hopefully going to bed more or less right after I post this. Well, after getting some more Halloween furniture in Animal Crossing, on account of missing the event last year. God this game is relaxing. Got in another substantial edit for WHT today at least and up to 32/41 refined chapters, thought word count has now ballooned to 116K. Going to need to be quite ruthless when it comes to trimming this thing down.
Oh, and if you count those two thought-on-a-page posts I did in year 1, this is my 1,000th post. Editing to say it’s been a blast my imaginary readers and here’s to no one ever reading the next 1,000 to come!
Ok, we are starting to get a handle on things. This last week was, bad, but this next one doesn’t have to be. I’m going to be working tomorrow as planned and hopefully clearing a lot of my backlog that incoming emails during the week have not allowed me to. Is that ideal? Heck no, and I shouldn’t have to, but then I should have a better system of organizing my work, and it’s just taking a while for the new and improved one to settle. Also to be fair, I enjoy doing the kind of tasks I do for work, so it’s not as if I feel hard done by.
My character sheet project draws its first week to a close today, and I gotta say, it has been a resounding success. Is it in the most optimal form right now? It’s not far off. I am thinking of lifting it into Google Sheets to make marking off tasks easier and to automate the XP calculation, but the sheet itself and the goals – which I have tweaked since I posted it here but not by much – are more or less the exact things I want to be working on right now. And I’ve set my 150XP goal as the Animal Crossing DLC. Shame that’s gonna be the last content update for the game but still, there’s a lot in there at least. Brewster being back is the bit I am happiest about.
Things continue to be a bit rough, and I continue to not be back on my feet fully, but today was another small step closer. I’m hoping from Monday I will just be in the office and back to normal, but I also respect that it’s not the first time I’ve declared that intention and then found the routine next to impossible to uphold. But gotta keep trying right? If that’s where I feel more in control it’s where I gotta aim for. At least at home, I’ve only had one post 5pm target this week since Monday, and I’m looking at a relaxed Saturday with a pasta bake to look forward to in the evening. Sunday I’ll be working because my queue is starting to get a bit unwieldy, but I’ll make that enjoyable.
HOR hit 30K words today so that’s neat. I think 90K is about right for this story but could absolutely see it breaching 100K on the first draft. Starting to wonder if when I’ve done the sensory edit on the other stories they’ll all be 100K+. I’m ok with that. Trying to stick below 110K but WHT isn’t looking like I’ll manage that unless there’s a tangent in WHT my beta reader doesn’t like. 31/42 chapters edited with my intention to blitz through once I’ve done this thorough edit and tag all the areas I have not described, to go back and aim for overkill. Easier to cut than add right? Feel like I’m finally starting to figure this storycraft thing out. Probably I am nowhere close, but that’s the joy of the journey.
Ok, I think I now have enough evidence to say I have been maligning Thursday for far too long. Wednesday is the culprit, and I think I have it pinned down as to why even though I don’t have an answer as to how to fix it. Long story short, I burn out on any intensity level after 3 days. No really, I am that squishy it turns out. In fact, I would not be surprised if I analysed my data in the BuJo if I found my good streaks only lasted for 2-3 days on average, a hypothesis I will probably try to test at some point, though I am not sure how best to test the theory. Might need to do some digging on existing experiments that aren’t compromised by the subject – me – knowing what’s up.
‘Substantial edits’ being encouraged even if not mandatory under the character sheet system seems to be working well for me, as does the write by 5pm now having a tangible reward attached. There’s just one small problem: when I failed to hit target by 5pm yesterday, the evening fell apart. It’s not the fault of the character sheet, but of the ‘screw it’ effect, or whatever the actual scientific name for it is. It’s a phenomenon observed in willpower behavioural science where, when a goal becomes impossible, say, you’re meant to not eat more than a certain amount and you go over, you go ‘screw it’ and go overboard because today is already a write off. It’s one of the most infuriating parts of altering your bad behaviours because one ‘screw it’ tends to domino into more.
Still working on fixing that one, but for now, I’m just gonna take comfort that today ended up pretty good, in spite of the deck being stacked against it. I just hope post-half-term doesn’t end up ramping up to triple intensity overnight.
Man I just can’t keep a good thing together. I did everything right on Tuesday, and woke up a mess today. I didn’t come close to target by 5pm, and well, a lot of my other habits fell by the wayside too. I just don’t get it. Maybe I need a holiday, though I’m not sure I really can at the moment with my work queue’s length. I’m so tired. And yet again, I’m going into a Thursday dead on my feet. Why does this keep happening…
OK, we are starting to stabilize. Blogging a little later than I’d like but I hit target just before 5pm, so it all kinda works out. That’s the good side. The bad side is I can still feel I am not exactly ‘OK’, more, well, ‘starting to stabilize’. How far away is ‘OK’? No idea. This is the first step though, and honestly having 90% of my routine back is a heck of a start. I’m about to go for a walk to bank 8,000 steps, then wind down for the evening, so all in all, it could be a lot worse. Not raining today at least.
HOR is taking shape, but I am unsure how intense the next scene is going to be. Part of me wants an action-filled set piece and another part worries that I default to that way too often. Maybe my books will just be like that and it will be fine, but I kinda want more nuance than boom bang chase run explosion. One to think on. Which is actually why walks are so great.
So that idea I vague-posted about yesterday, it’s kinda legit. So here’s what I was talking about:
For those curious among the imaginary people out there, the sheet comes from here, and the software I am using to populate it is here. So the way it works is pretty clean: It’s just a habit tracker. The only innovation really, is that different habits earn points. You can only score them once a day, but say, writing before 5pm, earns me 3XP. And yes I did that today, and am writing this at 5pm so today went pretty darn well. You sum them at the end, and that gives you your new stats. I might look into a way to convert that XP into levels in a way that scales nicely if this takes off, but your overall level is at the top. Earn 150XP, get a reward. My reward? I have, no idea.
It’s such a simple thing but, I can kinda feel it working. It’s a bit of a dashboard of my wellness across the week too, where my BuJo and journal both give me a more granular picture on top. Note, I have not included any work activities on this, because I think, for now, I want this to be a non work thing. Could I adapt this into work CPD? Absolutely, and maybe one day I’ll be including this in a fun little extras part of work. Maybe I could start a work wellness blog. Hm. Maybe people would actually read it. But I don’t want people to read my stuff, that’s why I like that you’re all so gosh darn imaginary.
Will this stick? I have no idea, but it’s fun at the moment. I think I’ll just keep doing it for as long as the novelty lasts, and then see if it’s got legs beyond that. For now, I am grateful that it has encouraged me to write early today. WOO! 1XP for Wisdom get!
I have my latest copy of Writers’ Magazine open next to me, and I gotta start wondering, should I be trying to enter a few of these contests? I mean, I am still learning, but have I got my skill high enough that I may stand a chance? I am not sure, and there is no real way to know I guess than to get unbiast feedback, which may involve just entering and seeing what happens. If I treat these contests as writing prompts, then I could at least for the <5,000 word ones turn out some decent material for them, and build a portfolio. That’d be in addition to my 1K of story content though so gotta be careful about pushing myself.
I’ve also been having a fresh look at habit trackers, and I may have some neat stuff to post on that soon. Not much to say for now, but drwing experience from my love of EXP grinding and some neat concepts others have already developed probably tells you enough to guess. If you were real. Which you’re not because you’re a figment of my imagination but hey, whose to say every part of my mind knows what’s going on? Sure feels the opposite sometimes, a lot of late…
Today was a day where I just switched off from the world and didn’t care. And I needed that, pretty badly. Today was also the day I secured some extra tutoring sessions on character development, which I feel is gonna be huge for me in developing my stories and making the cast as memorable as they deserve to be. I just need to then make sure I incorporate those changes in my next round of edits, and I am looking square at TUS. It’s so long overdue to make book 1 into the story it deserves to be.
Ok today was rough. I just, I need to rest. That one stomach ache on Tuesday threw off a whole week of routine. That’s really not sustainable, and it’s kinda pathetic. I need to be holding up better to minor setbacks than this, if I’m gonna have any hope of figuring out normal life again.
HOR is going strong at least. Act 1 is done, and I’m editing TSS right now, which has made for a nice change. Just gonna jump between novels for a while to keep things fresh.