Anxiety and I are on first name basis. See, I have trouble sleeping, or I used to until I discovered that working lots of hours helps me sleep. So last year I started working 50+ hours a week every week, often working on Sundays too. The result was that I was earning a lot more money, falling to sleep far easier than I had ever been before, and just being productive. However, the anxiety hasn’t gone away as much as I hoped it would. Instead, I’ve been anxious in new ways. Ways I’m only just wrapping me head around now that I can understand how they’ve been altering my thought process. Another problem with working so many hours is that I often feel run down, and writing is an intense intellectual task. It might not put much pressure on the limbs, but the brain consumes a lot of energy writing and the level and quality of prose I’ve been producing has suffered with my increased working hours. So something in my life needs to change. Continue reading “Writer’s Diary: Anxiety Based Decisions”
Well that’s another year finished, time to move onto a new one. I have been working on my New Year’s resolutions for 2019 and my focus this year is on simple small changes that I can do each day. Things like, “update my budget each day”, “clean something up each day”, to “work on my podcast each day”. They’re small things that if done daily will snowball into significant improvements for me overall. I think this is a better strategy than having big plans that require weeks or even months of consistent attention to get done. Sure, I will be working towards goals like that still; but one day at a time.
2018 wasn’t a great year for me. I had two major relationship breakdowns and while they’re both behind me now, it’s a bit hard sometimes not to feel a bit cynical. Especially about members of the opposite sex who appear chameleon like: matching your values and beliefs one day, then a few months later espousing a completely different set of values and beliefs. Thank goodness for IT and screenshots so I can look back and verify that these people are contradicting themselves. Ever experienced that confusion when someone you trust keeps telling you you’re the crazy one? The confusion doesn’t go away until you check the facts and stop trusting them alas. But it’s an interesting phenomenon I wouldn’t mind working into my novels: how some people can have personalities like water; they take the shape of the people they’re surrounded by. Continue reading “Happy New Year, 2019”
Over the past 8 weeks I have been busy. Busy earning lots of money.
Week 1: 60 hours
Week 2: 62 hours
Week 3: 64 hours
Week 4: 41 hours
Hello readers of my writing blog. I am so sorry for the lack of updates. It isn’t because I have stopped writing or that I have had a terrible accidental. It’s actually because of some good news. In the last three months I have written a complete 78,000 word long novel. I wrote it from scratch and it started out as a short story but quickly took in a life of its own. Because I want to publish this novel I won’t be posting it up here. However, now that I am purely on the editing phase I will get back into writing other pieces and putting them up here. I actually have half a dozen short pieces that some friends have been nagging me to polish up and put up to share so I expect to see some new content in the next few weeks. Continue reading “Writer’s Diary: Novel in the Pipeline!”
Sorry for my unexpected absence. My working hours vary considerably. Sometimes I’m working sixty hours in a week and then it drops unexpectedly down to twenty five like this week. Which turns not into a productive week of writing but into a recovery week for working so many hours the previous three! That said, I have been working on my writing nonetheless. I have completed 35,000 words for a manuscript but one I won’t be sharing on here any time soon. This is one I will probably approach a publisher about in the future once the manuscript is finished. In the meantime I have been getting quite annoyed with the mainstream media and how obviously biased it is. Now, I don’t actually mind bias as such. It’s part of human nature and I view it as just something we all have to take into account whoever we are listening to. What bothers me is when people pretend to be unbiased when they’re clearly biased or who object to other people being biased as though they never are themselves. This is a hypocrisy that I want to expose! Continue reading “Writer’s Diary: Biased News Network”
So I have been running this writing blog for most of this year now. My original plans for it didn’t survive contact with reality. While it was easy in the beginning to work on several different projects at once it became increasingly difficult to do this as the stories grew more sophisticated. In the end my book “The Monk” has been the project that has inspired and captured my imagination the most.
I have published about 40,000 words of it so far, but I actually have over 71,000 words in the master file. Including additional chapters never published. My plan is to finish the Monk by the end of November and then to start a new series about historical anecdotes. Then in the new year I will reassess this whole blog and it’s structure, taking into account what I know about myself and the level of commitment that I can make while I have so many other things going on in my life.
Next month is NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Move) and my goal will be to finish The Monk. I estimate that the finished manuscript will be 90,000 words long. Therefore starting November expect to see a steady series of updates on The Monk. I am curious about what readers are thinking about my work of religious fiction so please leave a comment if you want to.
Sorry for the hiatus in diary posts. The past few weeks I’ve been working full time (YAY!) which is wonderful news for me, but adjusting to the extra hours of work each week has been difficult on my sleeping patterns. I am naturally a night owl, however, the early bird catches the money worms and I now wake up 3 hours earlier than I did when I was part time. The extra work hours haven’t meant that I don’t have time to write anymore, I still have a couple of hours allocated every day for writing. However, with the lack of quality sleep I have just not been able to write productively. When I used to write 1,000 words per hour, I have been struggling to produce 250 words per hour in my tiredness. I haven’t been meeting all of my writing goals and it has been suggested to me that I should cut back from this blog entirely and focus all my energies on other things in my life like my work. So I thought I would outline my arguments for why I write this blog and what it means for me.
It is a widely held belief that to become a master at anything one needs to sink 10,000 hours of time into practice. With a full time job one clocks up that amount of practice easily in seven years: coincidentally the time expected to complete a doctor of philosophy. There is also the phrase, once used to describe manhood, “jack of all trades, master of one,” and as therapy is my profession, I aspire to master being a therapist. To this end I practice my profession every day through my work, through reading, and research, but also through the articles I write and a book I have in the pipeline. However, while therapy work is a passion of mine, and it is my goal to be a master at therapy as a discipline, there are other things I would like to see myself accomplish in my life. Also, I would like to learn to be competent at many other things: baking, fixing cars, homesteading, home improvements, etc… Continue reading “Writer’s Diary: 10,000 hours”
I almost never write down the plans to my stories. I often find myself getting frustrated with planning to the point that I just give up writing them down so instead I keep them in my head. Spacefall for example was entirely planned out from start to finish in my head. No plans for it were ever written down. The outlines for all ten parts were produced in my head. This is part of the reason there are a number of elements which I cut out of the story half-way through or didn’t put in at all: I just forgot about them. This also why it ended up taking much longer than I anticipated, I grossly underestimated how long it would take to get through certain events in the plot. There are, however, some advantages to not writing down my plans though: I often change my mind about a story and decide there’s a better approach to it and it is easier to put those changes in if I am not committed to a particular storyline yet.
This week though I sat down and planned the next six to eight installments of Thorns. This is because I have a lot a complicated things happening in Thorns at once and it is getting confusing for me to keep track of them all. Each character in Thorns has some pretty significant developments. This alone is difficult for me remember, but details like where each character has their particular thorns are becoming a struggle for me to recall easily. Added to this that I have journal entries from Elwin that take the reading frame of the story into the past. However, these next six to eight parts I have planned are going to finish setting the stage for the major events of the book. Which is proving itself to be longer than I had intended. So far I have just shy of 17,000 words of content for Thorns and the next 8,000 words is going to bring that to 25,000 at least. Continue reading “Writer’s Diary: Planning”
Last weekend I felt inspired. So inspired that I wrote 5,500 words in one day. It wasn’t even a day off, I had work and social engagements that day. Sometimes I am like that, and I just want to write. The problem with this is always the same: a period of mental exhaustion that lasts for days afterward. I can still work, but I just can’t write creatively for up to a week. This week I have not written much at all and the thought of writing has been nauseating because I feel so mentally drained. As such, I have fallen behind on my writing this week. I expect that tomorrow I will feel much better as I will get my Sunday morning sleep in. However, the importance of pacing my writing is once again presented to me. Self-discipline is the key to making the most out of whatever one does.
I used to get quite angry with myself when I wrote too much. Not in the healthy sense of “I should have paced myself, self compassion is the best approach” but rather in the unhealthy sense of “why am I so weak that I need to take several days rest after writing a lot?” These days I am far more accepting of myself and my limitations than I once was. However, this week I was reading up on differences in IQ. I was curious about what the difference between a person with an IQ of say 100 would be to a person with an IQ of 115. There was almost nothing available to answer this question. Heaps on how to measure IQ and to test the accuracy of the test, but scant detail on how to qualitatively differentiate people of various IQ ranges. Continue reading “Writer’s Diary: Pacing”
This week’s theme was dialogue. I wrote 5,500+ words for my three stories this week and in each I worked on trying to create dramatic and captivating dialogue. I think I had varying degrees of success overall. I would like to have some more feedback for my writing, however, I have no idea how to promote my writing blog. While I have about 20+ followers I don’t know how many actually follow any of my stories. I have gotten many likes this week and that’s certainly encouraging, but it’s hard to translate likes into constructive feedback. If anyone has any advice on how to attract people who might be interested in reading my stories please let me know in a comment. For now I just want to reflect on the three sections of dialogue I wrote this week.
The first of these was The Monk and this contained the worst dialogue of the three in my opinion. Not for the content, indeed I have actually won some praise for the content, and I am pleased with that myself. Rather what I was unhappy about with this dialogue was the simplicity of style, it was just questions and answers. It had the sophistication of a public school homework assignment. There was little passion in the dialogue, although I tried to put a feeling of solemnity in it to try and spice it up emotionally. What I would like to do in future Monk updates is have more arguments, debates, and emotive speeches. I don’t like the low energy nature of these dialogues. Continue reading “Writer’s Diary: Dialogue”