August 31st, 2022 – 1,435

Today is one of those days I had to stay late to write, because I wanted to before the evening but I didn’t get to take much of a ‘break’. I managed to inhale food and take painkillers, but let’s just say Lewes isn’t the most pleasant place to be at enrolment time, and enrolment itself exacerbates whatever my ‘probable POTS’ is; probably POTS. If there’s one advantage to it, it’s that I can hop over to Sussex to study after work! Except, people keep asking me to do stuff after work, and ignoring that I need to study to pass my degree. I may have to come up with a rationing system: you can ask to hang out, but you get one of those a month. Ask twice and you get one every six months. I wish I was that cruel. I don’t know if driving away people would actually be all that great for productivity though. Truth be told it’s not what I actually want.

But what I do want is to study. This needs thought…

August 30th, 2022 – 1,434

I wrote over 7 hours ago but I have been pretty busy all evening, so yet another late post. Slight u turn on yesterday, not on deleting the chapter so much as realising there was enough there as reference material and doubling back to write the missing scene, and yes this was absolutely the right decision. I honestly don’t know why I was about to skip the scene when it’s perfect for foreshadowing and building character. So um, writing tip, and a big one: write down the big change you wanna make, and sleep on it.

I hate WordPress on mobile, the box always cuts off the line of text you’re writing so you have to write blind or stop and slap your fingers on the screen like you’re drunkenly texting a loved one, you know, with care but about as much coordination as a walrus on a skateboard. Ahh, nested metaphors. That last one, made no sense. Wouldn’t the skateboard just break? Though I guess that’s ‘uncoordinated’…?

This is why I’m going to bed. Also it’s gone 11pm. Really need to wind down sooner…

August 29th, 2022 – 1,433

Sometimes I just spot typos in older titles and I have to worry. Like I just saw the August 21st entry is listed as being written in 2023. I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that’s wrong…? It’s not really a problem but it does feel, weird, going back and editing earlier entries. I try to reserve that only for catastrophic errors – like the wrong date – and when I need to just wipe my hands of something bad enough that it warrants it. I have only ever done that once. This is my compromise that I’m noting that long enough after the fact that it would be hard to spot now, but is still part of the record.

So I am halfway through chapter 23 of TEL and I have already scrolled to the heading and added a comment to say ‘just cut this in the rewrite’. It’s a bit grim, but I was talking in my journal today about the two types of bad chapters I end up having, though I think now I reflect on it there are three:

  • No, that didn’t happen.
  • It did happen, but not like this/this is so awful I just want another crack at it from scratch. (Most common)
  • We don’t need to see this.

I pride myself on the fact that third one is rarer for me, as I do write quite tight stories that flow from beat to beat, but that’s what today’s was. I realised I skipped a scene to jump to a needless if emotional one, and instead I’m gonna airlift the good stuff out of this relic, and then go back and write the earlier chapter instead. But here’s the interesting part: I am going to finish the chapter tomorrow that I am cutting. See, it all happens, we just don’t need to see it, and while you might think ‘why bother then’, it’s actually quite useful to the flow of the story. It means I can jump back, write the missing chapter, and then when I’m done, I write what happens following on from the chapter I am now going to cut. If you’re like me and you prefer to write linearly, I recommend this process. I’ve done it a few times and it makes it so much easier to stay in the flow of the story.

Only other thing of note is I bought 7 packs of pancakes and they’re all rancid. That kinda sucks.

August 28th, 2022 – 1,432

Batteries are still on the low side, but for now I think I can say with some tentative confidence I’ll be fine by Tuesday. If not, then at least it’s only a four day week, and I should have a decent shot at making it through that whether I’m knackered or not. TEL is on 72K, which means it’s absolutely at the TUS threshold now, and I’m pretty pleased with that. Lil too tired to revel in it and not done yet, but in a good place.

Studying. I’m struggling to carve out time but then it’s early days and I’m still in a very intensive bout of commitments at work and outside. With luck, that will start to ease soon. I hope so anyway.

August 27th, 2022 – 1,431

I crashed today, but kinda on purpose. Three day weekend after all and you saw how out of it I was yesterday. I was not putting that on, I could see the screen moving like it was underwater while I typed. Was grim. But I conked out for a good nine hours and spent today resting and playing some of my favourite games I haven’t in a while. Even did some deck building which I haven’t in quite some time, albeit ensuring I wouldn’t spend money doing so.

So, 70K, the big one, the TUS threshold in a way, though that’s more like 72K as that’s where book one sat for a long time. Gotta say it’s strange but gratifying, as while the books aren’t of an ultra quality yet, the ability to get the series to even this point has taken thousands of hours of work. Is a good feeling. It’s not quite sunk in, but I am expecting a lot of stuff is going to start to in about a fortnight’s time. For now, Imma keep resting, enjoying the long weekend, and getting ready for the next steps.

August 26th, 2022 – 1,430

Well well well. I don’t really have anything to well at, so I’m just welling because I’m tired, and because my brain is a mushy pile of goop, so I don’t know what I’m saying right now. I am in a state of uh oh, but not bad uh oh just, oh, uh oh, brain, no likey thing.

So part of my EDS diagnosis is probable POTS, and I think maybe brain be doing POTS in the no no to make brain, no. I swear I’m not putting this on but the weirdest part is I just finished journalling and I was fine. Actually now I am more in the flow of this I seem to be getting a little less woozy, but I feel weeeeeird. I think Imma go lie down now. But also, TEL is 69K, nice, and it hits the big 70K tomorrow. Like, all 14 books after tomorrow will be novel length. Unfinished, unpolished and a long way from showtime but, yeah it feels special you know? I’m pleased, contented even. So while I feel my brain melting like a 99 Flake in a heatwave out of my ears, life is good.

99 Flakes are expensive now, like I bought one in Brighton during Pride and it was, woof, like, £2.80? I think? Anyway it was, alarming. I bet it’s normally cheaper but still. I wanna get an ice cream machine. Ok I’m going to sleep now before I make this blog any more cringey than it already is.

August 25th, 2022 – 1,429

All’s good. I managed to conk out, and yes I am still skirting the edge of burnout, I think recognising I wasn’t wallowing, and that I wanted to climb out. That’s hard to do and it’s not a magic pill if you do, but it does at least for me mean I don’t get locked into a ‘woe is me’ mindset. And I managed to write a super cute scene in TEL today, which only affirms that what I want to write is cute LGBT melancholy sci fi. And it only took me writing fifteen books over the space of a decade to figure that out. Who knew?

Me, the entire time. Also I really should watch the Netflix adaptation of Sandman shouldn’t I? Then again I don’t even have Netflix…

August 24th, 2022 – 1,428

Stub post, bad day, brain melty, stressed, tired, couldn’t write for almost the whole day and I am not doing great right now. Well, what can you do? I wrote, 1K of TEL, a tiny edit to MAL, a journal entry, and this. Funny thing about 1K, outside of the eponymous target and filling one page of journal entry, I can do whatever the heck I want. Well, this is what I wanted to do as a blog post apparantly.

No it isn’t. I want to write about stuff that’s interesting on here. I want to spitball ideas. I wanna get excited about projects and feel optimistic about the future. And well, I’m not getting enough sleep, so I don’t feel I can do any of that.

It sucks. Sorry about the sub-par content imaginary readers. Will try to do better.

August 23rd, 2022 – 1,427

Slowly I seem to be finding a place of peace in my head. Life is still needlessly intense, and I am drained as all hell at the moment on too little sleep, but I can at least say that I am getting by, still writing, still have structure in my life. I messed up a little this evening by getting in a milkshake, which is pushing it budget wise, but at the same time eh. You just have to power past the lows, and to be fair I think I’m past the worst of this one as the temperatures are going down, making sleep much easier.

TEL is looking at coming in for about 88K, and usually I lowball those estimates so 90K is within possibility, meaning all my worries over that appear unfounded. But also, I’m just enjoying writing this one. I think if I’ve learned one thing these past four years, it’s whatever habit you build your life around, make it a comfort. At least if you’re like me in personality I guess. I know right, hyper scientific conclusion there. Even more so when you consider it’s a data set of one.

August 22nd, 2022 – 1,426

I am not in the best of ways tonight. I’m shattered from a long and stressful night, and yes, I do mean since I blogged, which as that was at 23:23 I am sure you can imagine I got loads of sleep. I’m cranky, I feel stressed, and I am worried I haven’t been able to keep that inside enough to be nice company tonight for other people. Just not the best feeling right now all in all. I’m putting the Secret of Monkey Island on my phone and I’m going to zone out for a while to try and bounce back from it.

TEL is however looking pretty good, but for one teeny tiny snag. I have this horrible feeling I am going to come in for a final wordcount of 83K. And well funnily enough that’d make it the shortest book in the series. To be fair, in the dedication for this one it’s going to say “this one’s for me”, and the whole series is in a way so who cares right? Well, I kinda do because if I am putting this out there I want the stories to feel substantive enough, and one being 10% shorter than all the others feels a bit off. Or maybe it doesn’t matter and I’m being a hypocrite, given I’m the one usually telling other writers ‘your story is as long as your story is.’