November 30th, 2021 – 1,161

Prior to 1K, I used to say November was my absolute worst month. Then I managed to power through 2018’s November and it seemed those days were passed. 2019 and yes, even 2020’s Novembers ended up good. This November was worse than those at University. I am an emotional and physical mess at the end of it, and so burned out I am not sure where I go from here. I know why I feel especially bad today, from a combination of factors, not least of which being the fatigue and bottled stress of the last two years at last washing over me in a tsunami. Months are arbitary markers, so the fact that November ends in less than a minute is small comfort, but I hope things finally get easier in my life. I need them to. Time’s running out.

November 29th, 2021 – 1,160

I completed Psychonauts 2 today, and it has cemented itself as my second favourite game of all time. Double Fine of course hold the number 1 slot too so it’s pretty obvious why I spent all that money on the anniversary book. Now I’m just doing the cleanup post game and I gotta say,they did a beautiful job with this too. If you were on the fence about buying or haven’t finished this game yet, you should. As much as I’m sad my mental health kept me from finishing it for so long, I’m happy to finally have done so.

It’s going to be ok.

November 28th, 2021 – 1,159

Honestly, I slept through most of today. I feel fantastic for it though, perhaps because it’s a full night that, while yes is being followed by a late-night tonight no doubt, is fine as I am off for a week where I can fix that routine. Getting a gargantuan sleep in felt so good, and while yeah I still feel a little rough, I am finding my general willpower and sense of perspective is already on the mend. If that trend keeps up I’ll be ok. Writing aside which is still going smoothly – just not in the mornings where I would like it to be – I am still a mess. But this gives me hope I’ll be better soon.

That’s not to say my writing isn’t a mess, as it kind of still is. There is so much work left to do, and while WHT is getting very close to showtime-ready, there’s no ignoring the other nine finished novels being nowhere near that limelight treatment, including three (TUS, TWR and TBS) needing substantial revisions and/or additions made. Of late, my editing game hasn’t been on fire, and when it has only WHT has benefitted from this. I’m not one for New Years resolutions – September 27th being my New Year and my hatred of the actual New Year, as well as resolutions not working – but if I could try to see 2022 round out not only the series, but these rewrites, that would be amazing. I will not however pivot to any of these three after 27/09/2022 – the date I intend to finish TEL by. I need some space from the STO series, and to work on other large and small projects for a while as my main focus. 27/09/2023 is when I hope to have all 14 novels polished though, so I can’t sleep on it forever.

And this all assumes the world doesn’t end again.

November 27th, 2021 – 1,158

It’s amazing what a difference meeting people in person makes to my mood. Seeing my friends in person after the last few months of me isolating myself again was so important, and I hope a sign I am starting to break out of that hermit mindset. This week off is going to be as much about that I suppose as about rest, albeit the latter is the primary focus; all too easy to accidentally burn out on social contact. I think when I rewrite my novels, that element is one I want to weave more into my stories than I do at present. It kinda is there in TUS, but it should be a constant theme I return to.

Speaking of writing, I am pretty certain that September and October will work out as sub-1,100 average word count per day months, which is sad but at the same time was never a core focus. It’s nice to smash target on enough days to boost the average, but was never an essential part of the project. I do feel however that my lack of keeping my daily word count calendar up to date since August has played a role in my diminished turnout. I guess for those of my imaginary readers looking for tips, keeping a wall calendar word count tally is a good motivator, though one I would advise caution in using if you can get a little obsessive.

Right, imma go pass out. 4 hours of sleep was, not a lot for everything I did today. Not even close to enough…

November 26th, 2021 – 1,157

Nine days of leave, and I need them so bad. I’m so tired. But, here is my chance to rebuild. I’m going to get back on my feet one way or another. Books are going well, budget is less so. But I did manage to get my streaming kit working at last, letting me stream Paper Mario to my partner. That was nice. Gotta focus on the positives.

November 25th, 2021 – 1,156

I am just about holding on. One more day of work, and a few key tasks to polish off, and then I am going to sleep like it was an Olympic sport. It’s going to be my one focus, and I am not going to take no from an answer from myself. I’ve started rereading to 11/22/63 and I’m gonna take a long time to just enjoy that book again and try to let the stress flow out of my body. But today, today was a fantastic day for one reason above any other:

It feels so good to have a physical copy of this version again. I am going to lose so much time in this version, as I did during my childhood. I always used to lose the floppies, which was of course a disaster. Ironically, as a more careful adult, I’ve managed to lose my floppy disk reader. Oops.

November 23rd, 2021 – 1,154

Am I just allergic to sleep? I think I must be. Like, I can understand a four-hour night or a two-hour night, but not sleeping? Twice? Ok not consecutively or I would be in a far more dire state by now, but yeah, I need to cut that out. Super unpleasant. The good news is I think in spite of that, HOR’s quality has gone up in the last few days, and WHT is going well now I’m editing it alongside the beta reader. But all of this pales to what I did today on my lunch break.

The walk helped, as did letting go of some expensive purchases I didn’t need as it turns out. And in return, after months – years even – of bemoaning how much I miss having one, at long last I own my own Nintendo Wii once more. And yes I immediately hacked it to play Day of the Tentacle. The Wii is – no joke – the definitave way to play any adventure point and click that is available on it. Period. And thanks to ScummVM, a lot of them ARE on there. Also Wii Sports, god I missed Wii Sports.

November 22nd, 2021 – 1,153

Whoever heard of having a lousy November 22nd amirite? I’ve been rereading IT and part of me wants to reread 11/22/63 when I’m done, as I do like that book a lot. I’ve also been rereading a few Kennedy books on the side too, getting into the spirit of the occasion? I don’t even know if that’s a thing. I hope that’s not a thing. Who am I kidding, the internet exists, it’s 100% a thing…

You know in the OG plan for WHT I had him meet Kennedy, but it felt too on the nose. I do have him meet two other presidents and get seen by a third, but in the first outline I was going to have him escape a time he was worried about being caught in, land in and admire the renovations (Truman/Kennedy in its prime) and then have JFK catch him. Kennedy was going to recognise him on the spot, and after the initial ‘the heck was in Dr Feelgood’s pills this time…’ vibes they were going to have a chill heart to heart. In the end, I rolled that into the Lincoln encounter because, I mean, Kennedy is an odd focal point. You take assassination and CMC out of the picture and, well, it wasn’t exactly a showstopper presidency. But then, Taft did everything, so at least one Taft had that exact encounter.

I am, still not doing ok.