Prepped

They say that the key to success is planning. If that’s the case, I’m about to have a very successful week. After a solid week of nothing written in my agenda, this coming week is totally booked up. I’ve even colour-coded everything to make it easier to follow along. Plus, I added some stickers and washi tape so I’ll be excited to open it up, or something like that.

What does my week look like?

Well, I’m still typing stuff up, but I’m coming to an end on that. According to my planning, it looks like I have about eight more people or places to write up. For the most part, they’re things that I actually need to create. I have a few notes written down for these things, but it’s probably going to take me a while to get through them because it’s not just straight copying from my notebook to my computer. What I tried to do, though, was pair up two items per day, one that needs very little work, and one that I need to spend a lot of time with. In one case, there’s something that I just really don’t want to work on, mostly because I don’t know very much about the character I have to write about, so I paired it with one of my characters that I’m more excited to write about. It’s these little things that keep me going.

I’ve also put in a lot of review for this week. Well I put down reviewing the book plot every day, because I feel like I’m missing stuff out for it. Then I have a few other things I want to look at before I read through everything. If it all works out, at the end of the week, I think I’ll be in great shape. If I’m happy with the way the plot for the first book is going, I’ll move on to the second book next week and I should be able to figure out if I’m still going for a trilogy or not. By the end of the month, I could very well be on to writing. And that’s exciting and also nerve-wracking because it’s been so long since I’ve just sat down and gone to town on the keyboard. I feel good, though. And I feel prepared, and I think that’s what’s helping me be calm.

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My Brain Is Weird

I think I’m going crazy.

All day I’ve been in this weird sort of mood where I varied between overly hyper and passing out. Granted, I think I’m coming down with a cold, so that could be partially to blame. I’m going to go with that until further notice.

I think I’ve napped twice today. Naps are great. I need to get into the daily nap thing.

Wow, my scattered brain it not working well for that whole thinking thing. I’ve been flailing my arms around for the last five minutes because I think it’s funny.

It is funny.

This is not working. I’m going to go to sleep now. No writing progress today, but I’m still hopeful for getting everything sorted tomorrow so I can set myself up to have a productive week.

Wow, my brain is going a mile a minute. I can feel it thinking. Is this what it’s like to be on drugs?

I Need To Stop

I think there are a lot of things I need to stop. The first of those is my incredible ability to procrastinate by doing anything but working. My ability to waste away the hours is really quite incredible. I’d be impressed if it wasn’t so detrimental to my successes. Hey, let’s be honest, I still find it impressive. Though probably not in a positive way. But at least I know the solution to this problem, and it’s so easy that only my amazing procrastination stops me from setting up the steps for the solution. Honestly, it’s one step. Write it down in my agenda. I literally only have to do one thing to get everything else done. I’ve got mad skills in not doing it, though. I’ve set a mental deadline for Sunday evening to get my agenda at least sorted out for the week. Because I’ve been away from writing for a while, I’ll definitely have to sit down with my notebooks and figure out where I’m at. It shouldn’t take me too long. I’ve actually been slowly starting to write out a little piece of the story here and there, and I’m grateful for that. I’ve been doing so much planning for so long that I was getting a little concerned that I wasn’t going to feel comfortable writing, but fortunately that’s not the case.

I definitely rambled on for a little while there, but that was not the thing that I came here to talk about wanting to stop. That think would be staying up until the wee hours of the evening. The problem with this is that it’s actually what I prefer to do, as I’ve mentioned so many times before. I think that as I move into more writing, I’ll just have to be more nocturnal, because it’s when I feel the most comfortable. I think it would be fine, though, because I could have several hours of uninterrupted writing between, say 10pm and 6am, and just sleep from then until 1pm. I think I like this idea. But, until then, I should try to be more active during the day and less active at night. Which brings us to the fact that it’s past 1:30 in the morning. Sleep time now.

Still No Progress

Honestly, I feel as if I should have just written this week off from the start. I mean, it’s Thursday night and I’ve only just caught up on my vlogs, or will be at some point tomorrow. And, while I’ve unpacked my suitcase, I haven’t unpacked any of my make-up or toiletry bags that were in it. Even worse, my notebooks are still packed away in my backpack. How am I supposed to write with them in there!?

Another factor in my lack of productivity has been the holiday that started this week. Unless I am nose to the grindstone in my writing, I try not to write when other people are around, because being social is important, too. However, this will likely change when I get into full-blown, writing the story. Right now, I’m still in the planning phases, so it’s a little bit easier to step away. From past experience, though, I know that once I’m really into writing, it’s hard to pull me away. I often neglect food and hygiene, sustaining myself on whatever is easy to grab and consume or sometimes nothing at all. I can’t wait to get into that phase again because then it will mean that all this planning was worth something.

I’m generally pretty remiss when it comes to planning. I prefer to just write and hope for the best. Granted, I definitely ended up with continuity issues and the lot, but I always said I could just go back and fix them. I never did. And that was the problem. So planning.

If I recall correctly, I only have 10-15 more people and places to type up/create. Then I can get back into the plot. I’m still trying to decide if it’s a trilogy or just two books. When I first conceived of the idea, it was one book. But then something like seven years passed and the story became much more complex. From that point on, I always kind of saw it as three books. Now, however, I’m wondering if there’s enough, specifically for the final book. If I’m being realistic, the plot point that drives the third book is the weakest. I think it’s partially because I don’t know the character that comes to prominence in the third book that well. While he’s existed for at least a year, he only got a name recently and my knowledge of his life barely goes beyond that. You see, I’m a firm believer in creating, or discovering your characters and letting them lead you. Is it weird that I’ve sat in a car with one of my main characters, discussing his life as he drove to work? This was all in my head, granted, but it gave me a better understanding of him. Memorably, during one fast paced writing session, I started yelling at my character for doing the one thing I didn’t want her to do, as I was typing out her actions and choices. As a writer, you can only do so much before you just have to sit back and see what unfolds from what you started. I guess I’m waiting for my characters to tell me how long the story is.

I Have Returned!

It has been so strange not blogging every day (or almost every day), but alas, the last week has been stupid busy. And also those nails. Yikes! But I mostly chopped and filed them off last night, so at least there’s that going for me. So I’m back, and hopefully back to some sense of normalcy (or as much as I can ever have), and will again be posting consistently.

In all fairness, when I was in Vancouver, my first two nights were spent on a boat and the wifi was terrible. Probably couldn’t have posted even if I had bothered to write something. My excuse for the next three days are wedding events. It’s amazing how much time those things take up! And then Sunday-Tuesday was nails. Granted, nails could be the reason for not posting at all. I mean, it was almost impossible to type. Even using my phone was a struggle.

Okay, but enough about all that. I am back, my nails are significantly shorter, and I am ready to get back into things. I’ve spent the majority of the week since I got back trying to organize my life, which I think is kind of working out, but I really want to get back into actual writing here soon. I shared my story with a few friends while I was in Vancouver and it’s lit a fire under me. I need to get the story written. Really and truly. The weird dreams I’ve been having haven’t been helping either. By the time I wake up, I can never really grasp them, but they leave me with this sense of oddity. I wish I could remember them, but oh well.

What I really wish is that I had more nightmares. Weird, I know, but nothing external really scares me. The only time I tend to get freaked out is when I let my overactive imagination go to town, because it’s really good at that. Movies and stuff don’t tend to get me. However, the few nightmares I’ve had have been downright terrifying. Is it weird that I want that? I guess it’s the same as people watching scary movies or going into haunted houses, I just don’t get that feeling from those things. Interestingly, the first time that I ever read in a dream was in a nightmare. I remember it distinctly. A dead body fell in my path and there was a note pinned to its chest that read “Now that your screams have awoken your housemates, be prepared to die.” Well, fortunately, even in dreams, jump scares don’t get me, so I didn’t scream and had a little more time to figure out what to do before everything evil in the house started coming for me.

I also love adventure dreams. Dreams where I get to save the world, or get shot trying. I guess I just love dreams that have meaning or emotion. I think that’s what those recent dreams have been, which is why I’m remembering that they were strange. Well, I’m remembering the feeling of strange in the very least.

I remember having one dream where I was a secret agent, and a man, and I was tracking my nemesis, or equivalent, in an airport. He had a briefcase on him that had access to something like 27 million dollars. I think it had a laptop in it. But it was geo-encrypted, so it had to be unlocked somewhere in Italy. I think my plan was to switch out the briefcase and then get it back to my superiors or something. Well, things didn’t go as planned. I managed to get the briefcase, but a flight attendant had spotted me. She confronted me a little ways away from the guy, down some random corridor, and before I could explain anything to her, these mafia guys came along. Turned out they wanted the briefcase, too, and I had just made their job a little easier. Somehow they had managed to get their guns into the airport, so away this flight attendant and I went with them to a private hanger and on to a private plane bound for Italy. I guess they thought that one of us might know how to log in to the laptop, and I was not going to tell them otherwise. We never made it all the way to Italy. I woke somewhere over the Atlantic. But this is a prime example of why I love to write. I can finish this story any day. And while it would be great to just go to sleep one day and press continue on the dream, it’s not necessary.

I feel like I’ve been rambling forever now, and I’m not sure if anything made sense. It’s not even midnight, and I’m usually up well past the witching hour, but I think I’m going to turn in early for the night and maybe wake up early and have a stellar and productive day.

Vacation Time

I’m glad to say that, on days where I’m productive, I actually get stuff done, because the days where I don’t buckle down, I’m absolutely useless. Also, I got fake nails put for an upcoming wedding, and I definitely forgot how difficult it is to do things with them on, especially typing. This short passage has taken me forever and has been filled with a million spelling errors.

I don’t really have much to say today, as I was running around for most of the day and then had a nice dinner with family tonight. Plus, I leave in the morning for a short trip to the mainland for a wedding. I’m almost fully packed, except for things that I’m still using, so that’s good. I’ll be gone for almost a week, and I’m not sure what my time and my internet access will be like, so I’m not sure if I’ll be able to post consistently or not for the course of my trip. But we shall see.

Exhaustion

It wasn’t until 4pm today that I realized I hadn’t posted a blog yesterday. I’m not going to lie, I was feeling a bit under the weather again, and I’ve got a bunch of stuff coming up this week, so I need to take care of myself. Mostly, though, I just passed out at the end of the night and was dead to the world for a solid nine hours.

When I was in the workforce full-time, I was working ten hour days, five days a week. If you add my commute time, I basically spent a solid 12 hours a day at work, or traveling to or from I hated it. I hated how, after I accounted for work and sleep, I only had four hours to myself on any given work day. Let’s just say that it was usually the sleep and social life that suffered. There was no work-life balance, which is part of the reason that I was very adamant about leaving. The job was also very physical. I was on my feet for the majority of those ten hours. When I would get off, my feet would be killing me, I’d often be limping, and I didn’t want to do anything where I had to move. For the most part, though, it wasn’t very mentally draining. In my opinion, I felt like a glorified babysitter; as long as no one died and the store didn’t burn down, I was doing my job right. Yes, that is oversimplifying it, but I definitely didn’t have to employ all parts of my brain to do the job. Now that I’ve switch gears, things are different. When I work casually, it’s usually mostly physical, but also the shifts are short, so it doesn’t generally bother me or make me hurt. However, when I spend the day, or even several hours writing, I find that my brain is hurting. I think part of it is because I’m not used to writing or delving into my world as much as I have been lately, but also it’s because my world is so huge and complex. Sure, I’m only working on one story right now, but there are so many moving pieces in it, and then in tying it to Elyria proper. Plus, because I’m someone that likes to know what happens to the characters outside of the story, as I mentioned before, I’m expending extra brainpower on something that I may not even ever use. I’m okay with it, but it’s just killing me a little. Which is why I just crashed last night.

That’s the great thing about focusing on my writing though, and working for myself. When I get exhausted, or when I am having a bad mental health day, I can take it off. I don’t need to feel guilty, or lie, or try to explain to someone why I don’t feel like I can come into work today. I know myself well enough by now to know when I’m falling off the edge and when I need to focus on myself and my well-being. And it’s great that I’m the only one to answer to, because I’m the best boss and I’ll always let me take time off. Granted, I’ll let myself take time off even when I’m not crashing. Ironically, the one thing that has always helped me pull out of downward spirals, or get me out of a funk, is writing, so I really shouldn’t be taking time off. But that’s besides the point.

In good news, I think I am really starting to get into a groove, now that I’ve actually decided to sit down and write regularly. I managed to get quite a bit typed up yesterday as well as add to some older stuff. I’m really feeling like I’m in the zone with this story now. Whereas before I was trying to figure out what I could do to not actually work on my writing, now I’m annoyed that people want to hang out or eat food, because I just want to keep writing. That’s not quite right, because I do want that work-life balance, but it sucks when I just really want to get down to writing and people want to do fun stuff and they invite me out, because I’ll never say no. Still, I’m feeling great about the progress I’ve been making. Soon, I’ll have all the characters and places typed up, and then I’ll be able to move on to shoring up the plot and making sure everything works out. I guess taking that mental health crash last night was a good thing. Who would’ve thought.