July 1st, 2020 – 644 – Day one-hundred-and-seven

I’m writing this close to 10pm but actually I wrote on my lunch break some 9 hours ago. I’m gradually getting better at writing earlier in the day again, even if I’m a trek off from my glory days of 10am target. That’s where I want to get back to; 7/8am target was kinda nice but what I gained in day I lost in fatigue. Turns out getting up early is not for me. Better to know and accept that.

The plot of WAN is fairly robust, but as much as I despise this book – have I mentioned that? – I do owe it to myself to iron out it’s kinks. One big area I have to improve a lot on are scenes where not much happens to excite the reader. I shouldn’t be writing scenes with nothing of interest, but it can be hard in the moment to rationalise what is and isn’t interesting. Ergo, as much as I hate to say it, WAN will need a rewrite. As a compromise, I’m not uploading it to WattPad. If I have to work more on this wretched book then at least I can stop anyone reading it. Yeah this book and I have a hate-hate relationship.

Oh one more thing, when I’m back at the flat I think I’m going to start casually streaming Arena. Doubt anything will come of it but why not.

June 30th, 2020 – 643 – Day one-hundred-and-six

Today was intense from the word go. My PC tower sputtered and died first thing, a source of more than a little panic as it is my main entertainment centre, but also because I was meant to be joining our team meeting and it’s by far the best machine for that. My work laptop comes a close second, but fell on its face when it turned out to have uninstalled the Microsoft Teams application. I still made it on time thanks to the mobile app, but that was a stress I did not need all told. Thankfully as always the meeting itself was pleasant; I really am lucky to be part of such a good team, even if I have a pinch of impostor syndrome.

I got through a lot of tasks, had Liquid’s stream on in the background which helped keep my spirits up, and then as it’s payday and I’ve decided I need a money leeching tradition for payday I decided to get take out, even though it’s Tuesday. Why not celebrate Tuesday? Was a good Tuesday, and heck it’s not as if I crave the weekends all that much, I enjoy what I do for work. So I kicked back, chucked the Simpsons Movie on Disney+ and put all thought of still needing to write the Wanderer out of mind.

And then I wrote the Wanderer and my mood took a dive. I’m not sure if it’s better to write early and have the cloud of smog over my head the whole day, or do it late and then struggle to sleep. What’s funny is nothing remotely bad has happened in the last three days of writing, but the foreshadowing is enough to get my head going. Doesn’t help that I am a bit groggy at the moment from poor sleep as it is. Pretty sure I need my ears syringed when this clustercluck is over, and I’m not sure besides olive oil in my ear what to really do in the meantime.

See, ^ that’s how little I want to talk about this book; I can’t even stay on topic for one paragraph and started rambling about earwax in a desperate bid to change the darn subject. The more I write, the more I think I should make it a ‘read on request’ story, and then just be really slow about getting back to people. I’m also a little anxious having written this book will be enough to close more than a few doors down the line. It’s going to – if it gains any attention – be one of those ‘this book shouldn’t be stocked/is messed up/has no merit/means you should boycott the author’ kind of works. And yet, I think I’d be being dishonest as a writer if I didn’t share it.

I need to write a happy book after this. Perhaps my ‘AmExit 2016’ idea will at last get a chance to shine. Guess we’ll see.

June 29th, 2020 – 642 – Day one-hundred-and-five

A super productive day! I wrote a bit later than I would have liked, but for the most part that was because I didn’t take a break at work, and got through a ton of stuff in that rush. I will never complain about getting into mind like water, so I am feeling pretty good this evening. What’s even better is as a background thing, I finally got back into watching streams on Twitch! I haven’t been in a LiquidWifi stream for almost two years because I was ashamed I wouldn’t be able to donate as much, but no one cared and it was nice to get such an ecstatic welcome back from Liquid.

Today is a good day, even if I had to write more of The Wanderer. And to cap it all off, it’s payday tomorrow, and I’m getting The Spice Garden’s take out. Things are looking up.

June 28th, 2020 – 641 – Day one-hundred-and-four

Productive weekend; did some work, did 1,600 words of this wretched book, and got to meet up with both my parents which was a nice touch I wasn’t expecting. To cap it all off target being in the bag at half eight means an early night, and I do need one of those quite bad right now. It’s going to be a busy week ahead and I’ll need my wits about me, especially as we’re launching the new grading system for Teacher Assessed Grades and I am sure to receive a lot of requests around that. I’m actually kind of looking forward to it, as that’s the kind of support role I like doing.

The next few chapters of WAN are less intense – or intense in the way only the Wanderer makes things – so I don’t feel quite as rough writing them. It’s kind of pathetic how it gets to me when people have written monsters and psychos for years without batting an eye. I guess for me, this is a psycho that I feel a level of affinity with, and that makes me uncomfortable on levels I do not want to go into. But then, this is one of the reasons I’m writing the story in the first place. Another writer asked me ‘are you worried people might not find it scary?’

My response was that no, I don’t worry about that. I’m worried they’ll read it.

June 27th, 2020 – 640 – Day one-hundred-and-three

Bit of a drawn out day today. Not a bad day per say, and one where I managed to work off a bit of stress by playing some Arena, doing some drawing, kicking back. I did some work today too, but I only just wrote. I’m not sure if today was a good day or a bad day; good because I rested, bad because I avoided writing. Active avoidance of writing is bad writing fodder. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that tomorrow is going to end up much the same. It’s fine to do this today, but to be up this late on Sunday is unacceptable.

On which note I’m going to go to bed. I need to keep resting and hope for the best tomorrow. Maybe I’ll get in a take out. WAN is at 15,000 words now. Lockdown, and this book won’t be forever.

June 26th, 2020 – 639 – Day one-hundred-and-two

Is that even how you’re meant to write numbers +100? I don’t know. In the bullet journal I’ve been counting the days up in roman numerals, and I forgot about L, so I don’t have the best reputation for correct numbering. That’s not even including the debacle at one point over how to increment the number of days of 1K on the blog. For the record, that’s the number right after the date, and before the number of days of quarantine. I guess that’d be a but confusing to an outsider, so it’s a good thing I don’t have any pesky outsiders to worry about besides my lovely imaginary readers.

It’s almost the weekend, and I have to say can someone please turn down the sun kthx? I hate heat with a passion. Half the reason I like the UK is it’s always raining. Well I mean, at least it did at 4am? Enough to wake me and everyone else up. That was fun. Also dramatic. Also thank god I closed my window due to some muppets cackling at 11pm like drunken jackals. That and the sweltering night led to not the best night’s sleep I’ve had in a while, and more than a few work tasks I’ll have to finish up on Saturday as I wasn’t firing on all cylinders today. Curse you integrity.

Speaking of integrity, it’s rich me claiming to have any 13,600 words into The Wanderer. I swear this book makes me more uncomfortable every time I open its tab, let alone write any of the wretched thing. Even so, I wrote just shy of 2,000 words today. Any other book and I’d write the 50~ words to hit 2K, but this one I do not want to spend any longer on it than I need to. The only reason I hit that total earlier was losing myself in the story, and that is not a point of pride. So I’m going to do a few more emails, and then at 5pm I’m going to switch off for the evening and try to forget about it. All I can do really.

June 25th, 2020 – 638 – Day one-hundred-and-one

I swear June only started a week ago. The last week has had so many rough patches it’s more like that’s felt like a month, rather than the whole month feeling like a week. I can’t remember most of early June – again, a good thing I have this, my journal and my BuJo to see what I’ve been up to and know I didn’t sleep through it. I’ll be glad I have this record one day, and while I wish I’d started sooner I have to say, I picked a good time to start Bullet Journalling. It’s not the be-all-and-end-all of methods, but it’s worked pretty well for me.

WAN continues to be unpleasant, but tomorrow I do at least get to write a scene it doesn’t enjoy. Well kind of anyway. It’s not as simple as saying that character ‘enjoys’ or ‘doesn’t enjoy’ something, so much as it doesn’t get quite what it planned to. That’s about as close as I can get in this damn novel. Still if I can I’ll make the damn thing have a rough time, it’s the least I can do for all the nastiness it whips up in my head on a daily basis. I’m hoping that finishing this particular work will ease its influence in my mind a little bit. Also hoping I get to write more happy-go-lucky stories again soon.

Well it’s getting late and I want to grab a bourbon and kick back with some random snooker videos. Chess I planned on, rowing I’ve wanted to for years but not had a good window to do so, but snooker videos? That’s not an interest I imagined at the outset of this clustercluck.

June 24th, 2020 – 637 – Day one-hundred

Well here we are. I’m glad today at least seems to be shaping up a lot better than the last few have. I’m getting on top of my work queue, and should close some important jobs today. I’m building my 5 minute rows routine up well, I’ve got a stable diet – 12 points instead of 14 on my reduced exercise sees me break even – and my foot is healing. I wrote 1,550 words of WAN today taking it over the 10K mark, and though I still hate the story, the thought that I am potentially 1/8th of the way there makes me feel at least a tiny bit better. Now I’m going to have some lunch and get back to work. That’s the best cure for my head woes of the early week.

I can’t remember day one all that well. I can still picture leaving at 4pm that day, the feeling of that last walk back and anxious wondering of when I’d ever go back. I remember that click at the front door closed, and my worries that my mental health would decline in ways I could not even imagine. But here we are, and though my head is not in the best place of my life it’s still on my shoulders for the time being. I managed some good stuff in this time, and had to concede some regression in other places. It won’t be forever. Closer to the end hopefully than the beginning, or if not to the end, then perhaps to an acceptable plateau. One can only hope.

June 23rd, 2020 – 636 – Day ninety-nine

I’m starting to realise WAN is a cursed book. It seems like my general good fortune took a horrid nose dive when I embarked on realising this macabre monstrosity, and now I am a little tied into writing what is a dead weight on my mental health at a less than opportune time to have any more reason for that to plummet. It’s funny that for a long time I tried to conceal my mental health on here as if it were something I should be ashamed of. Then again I have never been the best at practicing what I preach when it comes to being open.

Tomorrow will mark my 100th day in quarantine, having started out about a week ahead of most people, and a couple behind those in the more vulnerable demographics. On the whole, as far as 100 days go, this was a productive time. I got a lot of work done, gained then lost a lot of weight, took up new hobbies – chess & rowing – and finished one book, wrote another start to finish, and will hit 10K of a third by the close of play tomorrow. So yeah, I do feel that despite my head not being that great of a friend at the moment I’ve made the best of things.

I picture The Wanderer being about 80K long, but there is a chance it’ll end up as much as 90K. That’s a good length, but I’m praying for the 80 so that it can be over sooner. The one shining light for me right now – besides the rowing machine turning out to be a great stress-burner – is if I can write this book at this time in my life, I don’t see what I can’t achieve anymore. Perseverance emerges as my greatest strength. Now, if only I could leverage that into doing the needed work to build a readership base…

June 22nd, 2020 – 635 – Day ninety-eight

So walks are out of the question for a while. That sounds dramatic, but at first it doesn’t look that way: I’m resting off my blisters. My infected blisters. My infected blisters after tearing off a chunk of flesh from stress today. Yeah it’s pretty dramatic. I mean, I probably won’t get sepsis. I hope. This debarcle about sums up where my head is at right now. I am a mess, I am exhausted, and my mood is in the gutter. If I’m saying all this here, you can only imagine what I’m not. In short, I am not doing so good.

WAN continues to be the most wretched project I’ve had in a decade. 7,800 words is about 10% of the soft-way through, achieved in less than a week. With a little wind at my sails I can finish this book mid August rather than late, though that does not feel soon enough to be shot of it. About the only saving grace of the book is it takes my mind off of the foul smell from my foot at the moment. Yeah, that’s about all I have. Gives you some idea how much fun I’m having. I’m going to bed…