June 3rd, 2020 – 616 – Day seventy-nine

Long day but I’m ok. Sorry I got a bit heavy yesterday. Yeah I know no one reads this but I do prefer not to get too low on here. I spent the evening eating curry from my favourite restaurant – who finally deliver ten years after I first decided they were my favourite – and played chess. Novel writing is going about the same as normal, but I’m keeping things simple, so I’m gonna go to bed.

June 2nd, 2020 – 615 – Day seventy-eight

This blog is great at holding me to account, but not so good at speaking my mind. The internet is written in ink my imaginary readers, and you have to be sure you want to commit something before you write it because, one day, someone could uncover it. Suffice to say, I’ve hit my lowest mental point in seven years, and I don’t know what to do. I’d go into detail, but as I’ve implied above, that’s not a great idea. I am in a dark place right now.

Which, in a way should also come across as a positive. That might sound crazy, and I guess it kinda is, but if I can feel this devoid of hope and control of my life and choices, and still power out a thousand words of content, what exactly can stop me? If I applied this kind of dedication to honing my stories for publication, making the needed edits now and not at some point when I have the time over the horizon, I’d be published by the end of the year. Or, scheduled to be anyway.

Right now getting published is the last thing on my mind. I just want to get through this with my mind in tact and regain my solitude. I got so close.

June 1st, 2020 – 614 – Day seventy-seven

Long busy day but I’m starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel. I’ve started having a whiskey or two in the evening and that’s helped my mental health quite a bit. Yes that’s not the most healthy solution to stress but I’m consuming about a unit or two at most and not every evening. Not much, but it helps take the edge off the day.

TFS is officially a novel. Once you hit 70,000 words you’re on the low end of the acceptable range. I get the impression this draft has about 10K left in it, but I might extend it on the rewrite even as I gut it. I imagine at least some of that will come out of the rewrite. We’ll see. But it’s been a fun book to write so I might extend it right away just for the heck of it. I’ve got a month.

May 31st, 2020 – 613 – Day seventy-six

There is nothing quite as satisfying after a long day of work as sitting back to write a badass action sequence for your favourite cult-busting journalist heroine. I like all my characters for different reasons – The Wanderer aside – but few are quite as fun top write for as her. No matter what gets thrown at her and how hard she falls, she always gets back up. I don’t feel as a writer I should be pushing my own wish fulfilment, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to be more like her.

I worked through the weekend on various college tasks and commitments. I’m still buried under a mile-long queue but I think I can go in – not literally – tomorrow and present the big tasks with solutions. Lockdown has seen my mental health decline to lows I’ve not faced since the darkest days at Sussex University but I feel I can hold my head up. Or I could if my exercise routine wasn’t knackering my back. I need to take a rest day.

See, that’s the thing. With my writing I don’t take rest days. I don’t think I can handle routines that aren’t ‘daily’. I either do it each and every day, or I don’t do it at all. Work is a quasi-exception except I work through work problems and elearning ideas in my mind all the time, so go figure. Problem with exercising each day is twofold. First your body gets used to it and it stops burning off the fat, switching to carbs. And the second is it kills you. Just to be clear that second one is the problem.

A week tomorrow I move back to the flat. That is a strange, kind of unnerving thought. I don’t know if I should be happy, sad, or just numb. Think a lot of folks out there are numb right now and they’re going through a lot more than I am. We’ve all had to find our own mental space to cope with covid. I’m just glad I had my stories. Stay safe my imaginary readers.

May 30th, 2020 – 612 – Day seventy-five

Busy weekend, spent it working on a lot of stuff for the college, but I did at least bank an earlier target. I’ve nailed my ‘All is lost’ beat though I do need to take it up a bit in the rewrite. I want the reader to feel as thrown as my protagonist. Audacious goal but you have to aim big right?

I need to go pass out now…

May 29th, 2020 – 611 – Day seventy-four

Another hyper busy day at work, and as I feared I’m going to need to work through the weekend in spite of the big push. In a way I’m ok with that because I do at least know what it is I need to do, it’s mere quantity that makes me feel a bit drained. I’m going to need to make sure I take my week off I have planned as chill and slow as possible. In the meantime I’m so knackered that I expect to spend that week bed-ridden. I’m not far off of that now, so it’s a good think my work desk is my bed. Not great for sleep though.

Words are sluggish today even writing this. I’m on the cusp of that bottom cut off point for a novel, the 70K mark, and to be frank I think it’s a tight 70. I need to redo some set pieces, reorder or redo some other events and scenarios and just un-£$%#-ify it a bit, and it’ll be ready to shove in a drawer for a year and not look at. I’m not kidding, that is my legitimate plan. I’m already doing it with TSS for another 5 months or so. This is why I like to stay so ahead of schedule.

On a positive note to finish, I managed to pick up the Historic Anthology III on MTGA today, and Maze’s End is such a fun card to play. So I do have some small escape. Even if I have to play that in bed as well…

May 28th, 2020 – 610 – Day seventy-three

Today was a rough one. I’m knackered, and my head has been throbbing for a good 4 and a bit hours now. I think it’s dehydration, I am not drinking enough water at the moment. I also ended up in a heated debate tonight, which was purely interlectual in nature. Problem is, I despise debate. I understand the need for free discussion of ideas but there is little that stresses me out and winds me up more. There is a reason I’m not following in my family’s political footsteps.

So yeah, two mistakes, both my own fault – it’s not hard to remember a water bottle or disengage from a discussion. Problem is now, I know I will be ill this weekend. When I get this kind of double whammy it knocks me out of commission. It’s so frustrating that it takes so little to burn me out, but what can you do. Here’s hoping I figure out a fix for it. Or you know, stop putting myself in positions where I drain myself for something pointless.

I want to down some painkillers but I have a similar policy to them as I do to alcohol – not until target. The first draft may suit being treated as mud – both in taste and sculpting potential – but there’s no reason to make it worse. I mean, drunk writing has its charm, and I would love to live stream drunk writing if I ever have an audience, but I’ll never have an audience if I don’t focus on improvement. Hard to focus on anything when you’re off on painkillers.

As implied, I’ve not finished target yet today. It’s annoying that it keeps ending up so late, but I’m so busy round the clock at the moment that it’s not really a suprise. I could force it out earlier in the day, but ‘forcing’ target at all is a bit like the problem above. It is worth saying though I can barely see through this headache and keep missing the keys, so I may still cave on that point. But forcing it where that’s avoidable defeats the point in a way.

I was thinking of doing some work on a small idea I’ve been toying with for this website, but I’ve been a mess more or less since getting back from my walk today and used what energy I had for work. No regrets there with payday tomorrow. Realistically it’s more the weekend I’m focused on now, even though I’ll likely be working through it again. Just have to remember this isn’t forever. Just feels like it.