December 4th, 2019 – 434

Not having a great mental day today. I keep failing to get 8 hours a night and it’s draining me. I’m on top of my queue, but I’m struggling to keep my head in the moment. This is classic stress, and to be blunt it’d be a miracle if I didn’t feel like this. It’s eight days until an election, a General Election no less. Plus Christmas, non-work-non-writing projects and normal life. The world doesn’t pause when an election gets called.

I’m expecting a non-story-content writing day any day now. It may even be a good idea to write 1K as something else on the day before or day itself. I haven’t missed a day this month yet – less impressive than November given I’m 3 days in, but I’ve kept my 1,100 average. I’m not hung up on maintaining that; I was hoping for a 66% efficiancy with TSS up to New Year. That modest goal only needs a week’s worth of writing TSS in this stretch to reach. 

I’m going to get back to work now. 

December 3rd, 2019 – 433

Had a small relapse into old ways tonight by ordering in food. I did enjoy it, so it was not a waste like a lot of times I’ve done it in the past, but it was also a huge mistake. It’s a stark reminder if one was ever needed that there are still deep cracks in my mental health. On the flip side, it was my first take out order in about 7 weeks, so that counts as a minor win. One to reflect on and try to learn from, rather than get stuck dwelling about. 

I wrote 1,300 on my phone of all places yesterday. I do not like writing on my phone as much, in part because it feels weird to me to create content there. But that’s me being an old fogie. In Japan novels written on and for phones have been around for decades. Most of WattPad I’d wager is phone written content – be interesting if there was any way to test that? 

I won’t be making the switch yet, but there is an interesting advantage: it is the most portable option. Phone writing means you can plug in and crank out content anywhere and any time. Alongside AI writing I do believe it is the future of the written genre, and one to adapt to if you want to survive. The funny thing is that reading on digital platforms is in steep decline compared to print and audio. That latter option is by far the route I want to explore the most.

It’s going to be a long nine days. If I can keep my head, things will be ok no matter what happens. So far, I’m confident I will. But stranger things have happened. I’m staying on guard.

December 2nd, 2019 – 432

December touch wood is off to a good start. Work is still under control, and TSS is now at 47,000 words. If I wrote a thousand every day of December – which I am not going to bend over backwards to do – TSS will reach done by year’s end. That was the adjusted deadline, so to only have to move that benchmark once is pretty huge. I average 3-4 pushbacks, and TSS lost a lot of time to VOL’s rewrite. WHT is quite lucky not to have met a similar fate.

I’ve made my decision. The First Stroke will not be handwritten. I still feel this is a mistake, but there’s a few factors at play here. First, the time saving of typing vs full rewrite is huge. Yes, I know that the reason I do that is to get it right. But I have other reasons to pick this particular story for this little experiment. So the second reason I’m going to do it this way, is because I don’t have the story concrete yet. I lost a month rewriting the opening of WHT in April. Starting again is painful, but a lot of what I wrote in draft 1 I kept in draft 2.

Will this become the norm going forwards? Well if I were to write full time, I would switch back in a heartbeat. But in the short term this ends up making a heck of a lot more sense. Seeing as I won’t even start writing this book for over three months, I may backtrack. But if I do I’ll need to be keeping my current writing pace to justify it, ot to be blunt, a lot faster. Is this an artistic compromise? Kind of, but it’s also me trying to loosen the leach that I put on myself. It’s a step of maturity in a way, trusting myself to be objective in my editing. 

If I go ahead like this, then next year’s key days are:

  • January 1st – Switch to typing WHT regardless of progress with TSS
  • April 13th – Switch to TSS whilst uploading WHT
  • & – When TSS at 100%, switch to TFS, ideal would be April 15th
  • August 13th – Switch to The Wanderer*
  • December 13th – Switch to TWR

So what’s the asterix about? Well, I will see what my pace is like by this time in the year. If I am still on my current roll, and this is the new normal, then I will do NaNoWriMo 2020. My entry? The Wanderer. If I could get the whole thing done in a month and never have to look at it again, I’d be over the moon. So I actually write TWR from August 13th, and in 4 months excluding November I should finish it. That’d be 3 new novels plus a new typed one in WHT. It would put my library at 6 typed manuscripts, and would be all my uploads up until February 2022 good to go. If I used 2021 in a smart way, I would have all but the last three books ready. That gets me to July 2023.

And if I somehow pull that off, I finish the series by the end of 2022, a whole year ahead of deadline. I’m still handwriting The End of the Line no matter what, but damn. There’s a lot to gain this way. I need to think more, but to have it all in the can and be able to tweak all 14 books to perfection on the side in three years? That’s a pretty sweet Christmas present to myself. After that, jeez it might be time to start planning what comes next with a bit more urgency…

December 1st, 2019 – 431

Sorry guys, I’m late, short and largely free of substance tonight. I think that’s too many disperate elements to turn into a lewd innuendo so I feel I’ve failed you on that front too. But it’s been a chilled and productive day all around. Another thousand words of TSS, Christmas mostly planned and all in all, I think a strong start to the month. Let’s see if it stays that way.

November 30th, 2019 – 430

Stayed up far too late last night, as I knew I would. That kind of screwed up my plans for today a little. I wanted to write at 9-10am, nail target, then go out and see friends. Alas, I failed. Now I’m setting off at 12 instead, because I wrote 11 till just now. But that’s it, I wrote a thousand words of TSS, and with that, achieved the perfect month. Sure, it’s not NaNoWriMo 50,000, but 34,000 without breaking a sweat is pretty huge for me.

It also means if this pace keeps up – no guaranteed thing remember – then I will finish TSS before the year is out. If you’d told me that in October with how badly I stumbled I think I would have slapped you. I mean yes, I might not finish before year’s end, but I’ve put such a huge dent in the project that there won’t be a metric ton left to do by that point. Even now it’s only 30k~ off completion.

I’m keeping this short because I want to go and see my friends now, but man can I just say, I have not had a great November, or even a good one really, since like the mid 2000s. Even with the GE BS looming, and the heartbreak that I see as all but inevitable, I’m feeling empowered. This is a great feeling. And when I read an old journal entry from January this year saying “I wonder where this will end up”, I could never have dreamed of this. This, is worth so much more to me than publication ever would be.

November 29th, 2019 – 429

Today was a bit of a special case. Before work even started, I wrote target. In part a good night’s sleep helped that, but also a feeling of mellow calm. I found it from taking all the worry, all the dread, all the angst, and dropping it for more pleasent thoughts. That sounds stupid and simplistic, but it worked. I focused on some new cards for the cube I have on the way, and put the rest of the world out of mind. Doing that banked me 8 hours 47 minutes of sleep, and a thousand words before lunch. Can’t argue much with that.

This weekend will be busy, but if I can do this again – which requires an early night to do so – then I should be fine. Given I only have to do my journal entry and that I can do that on my lunch break, this should be easy to coast to. It also means I can leave work on time, which is a big deal on a Friday as I have to leave the building sooner anyway. The only question then is, do I go to the shop? The only acceptable answer to that I can see is no.

If I go to the shop, I have to pay up about £12 for travel, entry, and food. The latter is because I don’t want to be making food when I get home at like, 11pm and I’ve already talked myself into going. Damn it! Whyyyyyy? I knew writing out my thoughts was a stupid idea! Ok so that’s BS, its always a good idea but  now I have to go. Well, more I now have to accept I want to go, but you get the idea. I mean, at least I packed my bag I guess? I’ll go get it at lunch. Damn it…

November 28th, 2019 – 428

The funny part of this month is my total word count across blog, journal and TSS is going to be well over 50,000. Accidental non-traditional NaNoWriMo I guess. Well, not really, NaNoWriMo isn’t about the wordcount it’s about the draft. Even so, it shows that were I able to devote more time to writing, I could sail the challenge without breaking a sweat. That does not mean I will attempt it next year. I’m thinking about it, but as much as November has changed its tune, this is still a dicey topic.

TSS is coming out a lot better than I expected it to. I re-read the early chapters last night because I couldn’t sleep. To be honest aside from some needed extra detail and evocation, it’s good stuff. Since I started 1K my writing quality has gotten a heck of a lot better, thanks to tools like HemingwayApp. I’ve trained myself with good habits, and made a lot of progress in how I world- and character-build. There’s still polish needed in my drafts’ approach, but it’s starting to look like actual book prose.

I could not sleep because I keep getting hung up on the election. It’s sapping my energy a lot more than it looks like it is. Even when I’m not out doing campaign stuff it’s draining my health because, well it’s horrid. I will make my peace with whatever the outcome is, but the uncertainty is what messes with me. Of course I want us to win, who doesn’t want their side to? But I can deal with whatever happens. It’s the heresay and muddle of the wait that keeps me up at night. It’ll be ok, but I need to try not to overthink it.