February 28th, 2022 – 1,251

New kettle! So I moved to the new office last Wednesday, and it’s a lovely space: beautiful view from the window, team desks are all together now, bigger desk that’s a bit more structurally sound, and I had an excuse to have a clear out of my old draws. There was just one, teeny problem: the water cooler here does ‘cold’ and ‘room temperature’ water. Now, I’m not one to judge, some people like room temperature water. I’m not sure why or who raised them but they do, but, and here’s a hot take – get it? – cold water goes to room temperature when left out. You know what else does, and cannot otherwise be replicated on this device? Hot water

It’s fine, I just took a £45 hit to my bank account and bought a Breville VKJ142 HotCup, which I mean, I’d like to not have to do that on the same day as I take a £150 hit for the Fairphone, but I gotta say I can see why these things were out of stock everywhere at one point. This is a legit and fantastic kettle, that, doesn’t fit under our water filter…

IT’S FINE, I’ll just buy a jug, everything is, fine, just, fine.

Just, fine.

It’s fine, really.

(It actually is fine, I just had no idea how to end this post. Except by showing you the kettle, but I boxed myself into a smh corner so, here’s the kettle.)

February 27th, 2022 – 1,250

I think I finally figured out how to keep routine in my weekends: just write in bed. No seriously, I just keep my Ubuntu laptop by the bed, with all its limited capabilities to do much more than write and browse the web, and say to myself ‘yeah you can read a bunch of news articles if you want, but you can’t get up until you write’. And, yeah it kinda seems to work. I’ve done it a few times now without thinking, but today I made that conscious decision, and while yes this is a post-5pm target that has more to do with waking up at 3pm than anything else. And yes I know that sounds dramatic, but when your partner is an eight hour time difference away, needs must.

HOF is starting to take good shape, but I am seeing a fresh problem on the horizon*: I am not sure how the third act should go. I have some idea, but I haven’t given the actual structure of it all that much thought. I think in part that was because I found the second act far shakier than I thought I would, and focused all my energies on that. I also think, that this is the damning ‘I’m a planner’ evidence I needed. Yes, I like to just write and see where it goes, but having some of the paving stones laid out and a few even without cracks does go a long way. TWR and HOF also suffered from this, and I feel it shows. TWO, MAL and TBS did not. TBS was the least planned of those three and it still flowed with so much more ease. Now, are those books good? God no I haven’t edited them yet, but getting a first draft in the can is all I care about for now, and there’s no two ways about it: I find that easier with a plan.

Time to start making one I guess.

*yes that was intentional.

February 26th, 2022 – 1,249

I’m pretty sure that I’m just not allowed to have a healthy sleep schedule. I just, I went to bed and could not sleep. Been using that time to follow the events in Ukraine and just, marvelling at how tenuous peace really is. I’ve been poking people to say the book Prisoners of Geography is a great resource on this topic, with the first chapter focused on Russia’s existential crisis with Ukraine which, I mean at least it helps you understand their blinkers even if it doesn’t justify what they’re doing in the slightest. I just hope people are finding ways to stay safe. And I’m praying my government does more to help. This stuff, events like this are why a stronger Europe is better. Don’t usually like to get political here but, hard to bottle that sentiment up. Of course, in a depressing ironic twist, Putin might have done this even with Ukraine in NATO. If that happened, or Ukraine joins now, that’s a world war. MAD should dissuade it but listen to Putin’s rhetoric. I’m not sure he’s functioning right now.

Obviously I’m still writing and that’s still this blog’s focus, but I just needed to get my thoughts straight.

February 25th, 2022 – 1,248

I wrote hours ago, but I decided to go to the shop right after work so sorry for the late post. Getting out and socialising helped a lot. I feel good, at peace, and in control. It’s all gonna be ok. I’m going to be just fine. And what’s more, I doubled the Wiki in size. Feeling good tonight.

February 24th, 2022 – 1,247

I made it into the office today, and it’s amazing what a difference that makes for my mental health. I felt focused, I got a lot of tasks done and most of all, I felt a relaxed control of having a nice new, clean desk. The new setup is much the same as the old, but there are a few key differences. For one, I have more legroom at the moment. My mini-fridge is across the room, currently without a home but I would like to arrange it one soon. In addition, the desk is a little larger, just enough that I was able to make the space work much better for me. It’s about the size of the Million Desk, maybe a little wider still, and it works super well for me.

When I took my lunch break to write for the day, I had one of those epiphanies that makes a book suddenly work. I had the beginnings of it yesterday, but I realized what the twist was going to be today, and now it feels like I was always setting up for this reveal. Maybe I was on some level. In either case, this is a game changer, and I am so excited to rework the Horizon trilogy to make it work. The best part is, there’s barely any tweaks I have to actually make – it works within the boundaries I already set up, I just want to make sure there’s foreshadowing. And that’s where I am right now, finally feeling I have the hand of this arc one-and-a-half books in. Glad it happened eventually; even moreso that it happened before I finished another draft.

February 23rd, 2022 – 1,246

Yeah in case you didn’t pick up on it I was not exactly ok yesterday. Pretty sure that came across by the short length and the evasiveness, not to mention almost brushing off that it was Twosday. Like, no, I was super hyped about that, I am a dates nerd big time and that was super big for me. The day itself, absolutely awful. Well today was as busy but less intense. The Fairphone is working out really well and I also feel good about the new role the Pixel 3 is playing, not just being shelved.

I’ve managed to find a track at long last that syncs with the mood and feel I want HOF to have. Sybrid’s cover of Believer ft. Plexxaglass hits the nail on the head of dystopian cult of personality right where I wanted it, and it’s helping me write. Tomorrow, HOF hits 60K, so we’re in rapid approach of All is Lost. Ironically, I think I’ve finally found the story.

February 21st, 2022 – 1,244

A great start to the week on multiple counts. I’ve managed to finish writing up a new draft Data Sharing Agreement for work, which is one of those nice pieces of work that feel like they’re going to make a significant impact. I wrote early on my lunch break, and with relative ease. And, perhaps what I’m most proud of, I did some substantial editing of TFS. Now yes, my focus is meant to be TUS not TFS, but a 200+ word edit is still a big leap forwards, and my first such substantial one in a long while. I’m under no illusions that this probably isn’t going to be the norm just yet, but it shows I’m starting to climb out of burnout. The only real issue today was I still managed not to sleep properly.

Sleep is such a pain right now. When I first started writing up my insights into why 1K works for me so well, it was understanding that I could make anything my absolute bedrock if I really wanted. However, even if I can make one absolute below all else, it doesn’t change that sleep is a must for at least the penultimate block of my pyramid of needs. And while I can bank target no matter what, if I want to do more than ‘survive’, sleep is non-negotiable. My average has slipped by about an hour in the last few months, and I am only really functional when I’m on above 8 hours. There have been weeks of late where getting above 7 proved easier said than done.

So how do I fix that? I have to right, if I don’t want to just pass out or turn into a presenteeism zombie. Well, I have options, but they are all costly in their own ways. Probably the easiest option is a curfew, with a provision to say I have to drop everything for target at a certain time. That’s easy, on paper. In practice, willpower comes at least in part from rest, if only so the body has a fighting chance to get my metabolism in order. In other words, if I mess up, it’s very hard to break back into tough routines where the willpower was self sustaining. The biggest, and most depressing example of this, is my rowing. I was doing 10 minutes a day, and then I got ill. Now I haven’t rowed in weeks. Not even once. Habits are fragile.

I could just try napping more, but that has its own issues. For one thing I don’t know how much I like sleeping through my evenings. The 8 hour night is actually more of a product of capitalism than any real boon, and, like the rich, the world would be better off if it went away at some point. That might be my spiciest political hot take on this blog I’ve ever done. Can you see why I don’t do them now? Moving on, the only other major option I have is to take stronger sleep medication, and, well I don’t want to. That stuff scares me, a lot. I also do not think drugging myself up is going to be a great long-term solution. But, at least tonight, I can go to bed early. Kind of. Still have to do volunteering after work.

Man I’m tired.

EDIT: Oh hey, 1,111 days of blogging, nice!

February 20th, 2022 – 1,243

Today was a good day. I slept in because it turns out I was a lot more tired than I realised, but I made the best of it, and indeed yesterday too. And between the two, I did something kinda cool: bought a new phone. And yes, for once, I mean bought. No contract, no expensive bill going forwards, and for that matter, fingers crossed, not for a while. I didn’t just buy any phone: I bought a Fairphone.

I’ve wanted to make the leap for some time, ever since seeing LTT review it well, and even more so as more people in my family invested in them. The Fairphone is everything I am looking for right now: affordable, good performance, sturdy, good/replaceable battery that doesn’t involve almost breaking the damn thing to remove, and most of all? Functional. The Pixel 3 would meet those requirements sans-battery, but Google is dropping support for the 3. See, this is why – as much as I use their products – I don’t like Google. Granted you shouldn’t ‘like’ any company, but a three year support window for a flagship product is abysmal. So I’ve decided not to deal with that. Yes the Pixel 6 has the same guarantee as the Fairphone, but why bother with Google when I could, not?

February 19th, 2022 – 1,242

What’s this? An early blog post? A morning blog post no less? Yes, I managed an early target for the first time in what feels like years, but I don’t think has actually been a month since the last. That goes to show how long this last month has felt for me, and how not-ok I really am, but I’ll take an AM target any day – every day if possible. But I have something even cooler to share with you that I am super proud of. See last night, after I blogged I decided to dabble a bit with my graphics tablet. There’s a series of drawings I’ve wanted to do for a very long time, but only last night did I fight past the fear and just do it, and well…

…I am pretty darn happy with how it came out. I love the sketch-style, and it sucks I find it hard to do on paper what with the texture problem, so finding out it feels just as natural on a tablet is wonderful. So yeah, here’s Kim Sharp, exactly how I picture her looking. This is a more serious/determined expression because I’d love to adapt this for the cover of TFS, but I do also wanna do more fun/happy pictures of her, and indeed other characters too. It’s just nice to know I can.