September 25th, 2022 – 1,460

I need to start tracking my spoons. Spoon theory is a tool for visualising how much energy you have to work with throughout the day, and while it was first developed to describe living with lupus, it’s also applicable across chronic fatigue in general. I need to start doing some research into how if ever, others have tracked their spoons in a way that gives useful data, and I need to do this because my life as of tomorrow, and especially when I’m also back at work on Wednesday, is about to get a heck of a lot more complex. I need to be going into this armed for the challenge, and part of that is knowing how much energy I have to work with in the first place.

You might wonder why I would need this data? Well, here’s the rub: I am useless at reading my body’s own signals. It took a long time to even realise that the reason I often feel out of it and zone out from ‘mild pain’ is that it is very much not mild pain, but rather the highest pain out of whole body pain, and I’m just not processing it until I think about it, and realise I’m in an almost constant dissociative state to block it out. I gotta tell you figuring out that painkillers make it easier for me to concentrate has been a game changer. But I do still have the fatigue to deal with, and I need to be more conscious how much energy I’m using. I have to be smart how I ration it.

ATM is still going super well. I need to add it to the sidebar, even if this one isn’t so much a novel as an open ended character study tool, one which I can see eventually being as long if not longer than the actual series.

September 24th, 2022 – 1,459

I really wanted to write early today, but I think I managed to burn out this week. That’s ok,that’s just how this was always going to go, and why I took this stretch of time off. I’ll figure this out and balance work and life for this challenge, but in whatever way it takes, I’ll need to carve out tomorrow to kick it off. I need to get my house in order.

At least ATM is proving very therapeutic to write. Comfort is important now.

September 23rd, 2022 – 1,458

I find it funny that I love Dungeon Crawler Carl so much, that when I finish the latest book, I always just end up back on book one again within anywhere from a couple days to a couple hours. It’s the perfect mix of comfort fiction, thought provoking, and just fantastic writing. I really hope I get to meet and talk to Matt Dinniman some day. Clearly I need to be less of a coward and join the Discord. In truth the only reason I haven’t is I rely on the audiobooks – paper problem – so I wanna avoid spoilers best I can.

Utterly knackered, and today wasn’t even that long, I just didn’t get much sleep. Tonight, Imma conk out for a nice long time, and then tomorrow I’m gonna go buy a cheeseboard selection and have a fun laid back weekend. I actually meant to buy one after work today, but I did at least remember to buy ice cream. Trying to cater to comforts right now. After all I have a heck of a lot of stress in my near future and I need to keep that in check. I’m also hoping a bunch of books will arrive tomorrow, while I listen to a few more of the uni books on Audible.

Onto writing. I’ve been giving this a lot of thought, and I think all I can do in the short term is heed that I feel the need to focus story content, and to allow essays to take priority when they get set. The good news is that means I will end up finishing most if not all of my homework on the day of or after it gets set. Still need time to find the rhythm. But hey, I haven’t started yet, so I need to be considerate to myself.

September 22nd, 2022 – 1,457

Return to Monkey Island is spectacular. I finished it earlier tonight, and while I really wish in one specific scene they had gone for just a little bit more of a gut punch, it’s my only qualm with it. No it’s not the beginning, or the ending, it’s one throwaway moment and to be honest I think the longer I mull on the game the more I love it. Will probably at least tie with Tales as my favourite in time, is currently about tied with Revenge at present. Enough of that for now in any case; you might not be real readers but I care about not ruining the game for you.

Unfortunately I need to rush to bed now as I have an early start tomorrow, but I feel pretty chipper. I was super ill last night and today from fatigue and terrible leg cramps during the night – oh look, another EDS red flag, constant night time calf muscle cramping – and while the latter was particularly bad, I am contented right now. Also just ordered a bunch of uni books, so that helps.

September 21st, 2022 – 1,456

I’m so tired. Juggling everything with induction week being so busy has been tough, and I managed to crash and miss an important volunteering meeting. Not my proudest moment. Tried to make the best of low energy levels but I am going to need to just rest tomorrow. That’s ok, it’s all part of the plan. At least I finally got a nice hoodie with the uni branding.

I’ve found I just have to write story content to feel content. To be clear, I feel 1K of anything counts for 1K, but this is a bit like how you flip a coin to decide something: when the other outcome comes up and you’re not happy, you know what you have to do. But I’ve got other story projects I may then move onto. One to mull on.

September 20th, 2022 – 1,455

We may have a problem. Ok no, not exactly a problem, but I’ve found that I am far more reluctant to give up 1K as story content than I realised. I wrote over 1,300 words of lecture notes today, and after a super long day got home at half ten, and felt compelled to write 1K of A Timeless Moment. I am, undecided if this is a problem yet.

This is going to take some thought…

September 19th, 2022 – 1,454

1,336,676 words. Ten years, and three days. Fourteen stories.

When I finished writing The Service to Ore in 2011, I thought I had finally put everything to rest. My life had entered an extreme turbulence from 2008 to 2011, and the only way I could make sense of it was to make it into a story. Instead, I attempted to take my own life, and failed just as badly at that as I had at trying to bring closure with the book. Would it surprise you, my imaginary reader, if I told you I was glad on both counts? The former was cathartic but painful, and was a story best not told so as to not hurt those I cared about. And I had more to give. But one bit of advice stuck with me.

“Why don’t you just change the names?”

In 2012, on September 17th, I started writing The Unreachable Star. None of the characters are direct one-to-ones of real people, with one coming close, but not to anyone that any person reading this has ever met. And no, I am not talking about Taft. That story idea wouldn’t come to me until later, until after I finished Unreachable, and realised that there was one change I wanted to make. Even when I rewrote the whole book from the ground up, I couldn’t make that change. It would take thirteen more books of set up to justify the change I wanted to make. And tonight, I made that change. On the 19th of September, 2022, I finished writing The Service to Ore. The good one.

And this time, this time I have closure. I’ll try and edit them as soon as I can, in case anyone else wants to go on this wild ride. I think you’ll find I got it right this time.

I’m putting this below that emotive post because it would be out of place not to, but Return to Monkey Island is fantastic. Oh, and fun fact: over 1.2 million of those words were in the last four years. Thank you 1K.

September 18th, 2022 – 1,453

I am both incredibly sad that Monkey Island isn’t gonna be available to me at midnight, and yet also so thankful, because I can just lie in for an aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaage tomorrow and then wake up, and hop right on. I am so excited for it, and yes, to be clear, I am not gonna let said hype cloud me. Frankly I just care Ron got to make a Monkey Island game again, if it’s good that’s a bonus, and I’m just grateful it exists. I have a feeling it’s gonna be great, but I’m going in with no preconceptions or ideas. I did that with Psychonauts 2 and it took the #2 slot in my favourite games of all time.

And tomorrow, I finish this insane project I spent the last ten years working on. Except not, and that’s the crucial reason I decided not to sprint to the end last night. As cool as finishing the final draft on the 10 year anniversary of starting the first one would be, 1K taught me some very important lessons over the last 4 years:

  • Anniversaries suck, or more they are not guaranteed to be even average, and aiming for arbitrary benchmarks like that is a recipe for enjoying the process less.
  • That said, I had put an aim to finish by 4Y1K, and moving the goalposts back mid flight sets a bad precedent.
  • The Whispering Rail is such an unmitigated disaster of a novel at present I may just start again from scratch.
  • The Horizon Trilogy is if anything more dire, and I don’t even know if I want to include them in the canon in their current form. Like, those events happen, but I don’t know how much of it I need to show.
  • I’m having a blast writing The End of the Line, even if this is a lil rough around the edges, and having fun is the most important part.

So yeah, feeling good. Actually feeling great, as mum bought me a very special present today: a month’s worth of the bulk of my shopping. That was such a kind gesture, and it makes such a big difference in keeping my budget on track at the moment. I might be feeling run down – yesterday was super intense after all – but I’m happy.

September 17th, 2022 – 1,452

I sat in Falmer Bar, and I just started writing. I wrote about 1,500 words, and with that I kicked off a new story. That was 10 years ago today. And now, that story is 14 novels, with about 2k left to go. I debated speeding through to the end for that anniversary significance, but I think I’ve learned better since then. I’m really enjoying writing it, and I wanna savour it.

And now I look ahead, and I’ve made my mind up: Main Story Focus got me what I set out to do, my 14 drafts. And I think I’m ok retiring it in this iteration now. If I find a story I super wanna focus, I’ll treat it like main story, but three years of this rigid approach is enough for now I think. If I start to feel rudderless, I’ll bring it back, but I have so many stories I wanna tell, and some are short. So yeah, another way this is the end of a long chapter.

Also I learned how to break ribs today, so that was neat. The one hang up is it turns out EDS makes doing chest compressions hyper painful and like I’m gonna dislocate something. I mean, if it’s an actual life or death situation and no one else steps up I’ll do it, but yeah. Also found out you are meant to wait to have a specialist pop joints back in. Not looking forward to my first dislocation at all. I mean hopefully it won’t ever happen.

…did I seriously just write that?

September 16th, 2022 – 1,451

Well, today was painful. I don’t mean work, nor going to see friends after work, both of those were nice. What was painful was my head, and I am a little uneasy about that, as I am a little wary of ‘headaches’ at this time of year. They have a nasty habit of turning into very severe migraine. I am hoping this one doesn’t, but I am walking a thin line.

TEL is nearly at the end of the line, because, you get it, that’s the name of the – you know what never mind. Just the epilogue to go, which is, surreal, very, very surreal. You spend 12 years working on something like this, even if only getting my act together in the last four to make it happen and, here we are. It’s a weird, but humbling time. Not over yet of course, I have that pesky top to bottom edit to do. But I mean, yeah, wow.