Conflicted

I’m feeling a little conflicted and I think it’s stemming back to being programmed from a young age to get up early, go to school, and later work, get stuff done, then come home and relax, only to repeat it the following day. That’s what I know and it’s kind of what I was basing my planned daily routine on. As we know, that hasn’t gone well. Now, at the end of the week I can look back and reflect over the days that I got stuff done, and the main similarity was that I slept in until I naturally woke up, and then I buckled down for an hour or so and was more productive than on days I was trying to adhere to a specific schedule. So I’m thinking that maybe I should just sleep when I want and work when I want, and then everything will work out. I mean, it doesn’t hurt to try. And the agenda is certainly helping things. If I have a set amount of things that I want to do in a day, versus set things to do at set times, I feel like I’ll be more productive. So much for being structured.

Then again, I was never good at structure and deadlines. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t miss deadlines, I just wait until the last possible moment to start something, while still leaving myself enough time to get things done. I’m starting to think that I work good under pressure and/or when I have nothing telling me what to do. Interesting. It’s almost as if I just need to chill out on what I am trying to do and it will happen naturally. I also kinda of want to move to a more nocturnal schedule. I think I mentioned it before, but I always feel more creative at night. I know that when I did NaNoWriMo, the majority of my writing happened after 7pm. It’s just better then. I don’t know why, but it just feels right, and I like when things don’t feel forced.

Today when I was writing, it didn’t feel forced at all. I was excited to be doing it, and so I started to try to think of ways that I could keep up this excitement. One of the things that I really like to do is share my world and my stories with people. It makes me so happy to be able to weave a narrative and to bring people along with me. There’s this character in the current story I am working on named Luken Wolfe. He’s been around for a while because he’s existed in various forms since the first iteration of this story. A few months ago I brainstormed his backstory and I found it very interesting. However, I can’t see how the depth of it will ever fit into the story I’m working on. The story is not about him. Yes, I would say that he’s one of the main characters, but he’s not THE main character. Still, I kind of want to share his story from before he shows up in the actual story. I’ve been thinking about maybe writing a novella about him, which would be a good way to share his story and, in turn make me more excited to write the main story so people can find out what happens to him. My only fear with that is revealing too much information about the actual story beforehand, like things that are fact to me, but that would be huge spoilers to anyone who doesn’t know the story. Regardless, it’s something that I think I’ll eventually do, because I think his path to the story is rather interesting and I would love for other people too know it.

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A Social Life?

After kind of figuring out what works for me in terms of being productive, everything was put on hold by the super social day I had today. I have done nothing in regards to my writing. The only productive things I’ll be able to add to the scoreboard today are writing this post and editing my vlog, though I feel like I may have to redo the latter. Then again, part of why I jumped on this crazy new adventure of mine was because I had no work/life balance and definitely no social life. Which means that I’m okay with having days like this. Plus, I was so amazingly productive yesterday that it makes it okay. I definitely think it’s key that I be willing to work at any time of the day.

When I first set out the terrible routine that I have still yet to adhere to, I had it set up so I would be done working around 4pm, but I just don’t think that’s realistic. I think it’s better to have a list of things I want to accomplish in the day and just make sure that I get them all done by the time the day is over. Basically, I think I need to meld the routine with using my agenda. If I can do that, I think I’ll be well on my way with a formula for success. Right now, though, I’m super excited with anything that manage to get done. I’ve only been out of the real workforce for about two months, and it’s not even fully out of the workforce, because I’ve been reluctantly picking up shifts here and there. But I think it takes a while to adjust from working for someone else, and their expectations, so working for yourself and setting your own expectations. The other day, someone told me about two of their friends who had independently quit the workforce in order to write. It took one of them over a year to get into a groove, and the other one is several months in and still not there. It’s great to hear that, because it helps put things into perspective for me, but I would definitely like to far surpass that one year mark and hopefully be putting out quality content in the next few months. I can only work as hard as I can and hope that that’s enough.

I’m The Worst

Today I woke up at 6am! I finally did it! I was conscious. I felt awake. I was ready to start the day. So naturally I went back to sleep for a few more hours. I am the worst. I was ready I had this day in the bag, and then after going back to sleep, it all kind of went downhill.

I eventually rolled out of bed around 10am. I had been up for a while, but I have my morning routine of checking emails and social media, then getting sucked into the Youtube rabbit hole for a while. Despite my late start to the day, I was determined to make it a productive one. Spoiler alert: I don’t think I was particularly successful at that. I had a quick snack in the morning, packed up my bag, and headed to the park where my plan was to sit under a tree for a few hours and get a lot of stuff done. Didn’t happen so much. Almost all the grass in the park is a lovely shade of tan because it’s summer, and it’s not enjoyable to sit on, especially when wearing shorts. I had thought about bringing a blanket or something to sit on, but I forgot, and I wasn’t going to go home and come back. That was too much effort. So I tried to make it work, but unlike the beach, the park didn’t have the same creative vibe. I got maybe eight point form notes written down about a new character I was developing and that was it. I couldn’t do it. I didn’t feel motivated, nor did I feel the urge to write. Sometimes I can get through a lack of motivation by being particularly inspired. Not today. There was nothing.

So I gave up for the time being. Sometimes you’ve just got to admit defeat. I went for a nice walk in the woods and returned home to have some lunch and also to try to reset for the working day. I would say I reached about 15% productivity after lunch, but that didn’t last long at all. Soon, all I wanted to do was nap, and as I was sitting in my bed with my work, it was likely to happen. I gave up again. I went to the grocery store and bought some stuff for dinner. When I got home, I would write, I told myself. I would do something so that this day would not be a complete write off.

You can probably guess what happened next. I went outside to the patio and sat down with my book’s acts and started to try to put them into chapters. I think I got to chapter three, maybe four, before I called it quits. It’s just not working today and I think it’s because I’ve just been overthinking everything lately. I feel like there’s so much, and so little going on in my life, if that makes any sense. I tried to implement this new routine, but it has no staying power because I have no particular desire to follow it. I know it’s a good routine, so once I get on it, I will have success, or if nothing else, I’ll force myself to start at my computer screen for four hours a day. Eventually I’ll drive myself crazy or write the book. But at the moment, I just can’t seem to be bothered, I guess. Which is weird. Like I said, I’m massively overthinking anything and everything that I can, and I think that’s the problem. Scratch that, I know that’s the problem.

Tomorrow’s another day, as I keep saying, and I can only keep trying. I actually have a commitment tomorrow that will force me to get up early, but that will also prevent me from writing for a few hours, so who knows how it’ll go. I’ve got to keep hoping that I’ll figure myself out, because if I don’t keep it up, I may as well just quit now.

Moderate Success

I was going to call this blog “Not Quite A Fail”, but decided to take the more positive side. All things considered, I think I had a fail productive and positive day today. Did I follow my schedule exactly? No. I definitely slept in for about three extra hours than I planned on doing. Oh well. Did I get stuff done? Definitely did. My daily writing/planning goal is four hours. That’s the minimum I want to get done. Did I hit that minimum today? I most certainly did not! But I was close. And for the first day of my new routine, I think it was a solid effort. More important than the time I spent writing was what I wrote, and I manage to accomplish quite a bit in terms of planning. I wrote a list of the things I have written, and a list of new things that I need to create. I still have to add to the list, but it’s a solid start.

I had two really good break throughs today, too. One was on a character. I created the character to fill this role a very long time ago, but as the story developed and evolved, he didn’t quite work anymore. Today I managed to come up with a character that is much more multi-faceted and actually makes parts of the story work better together. I still have to finish his backstory and figure out what his motivation is, though I think I’ve got the latter down to just needing a few tweaks. So I’m very excited about that and feel motivated to keep going. Next is probably even better. Last night I had a bit of an epiphany about an event in the story (probably part of the reason I couldn’t fall asleep and ended up sleeping in). Today I managed to flush it out a bit more and even tie it in to the end of the first book. The story I’m working on is a trilogy, I think, and this event comes right at the end of the first novel, unless I decide to just do two books, then I’ll have to re-space everything out. But for now, it is where it is.

Timelines! Ugh! That’s the thing that probably kills me the most. It’s not so much the timeline for any given story, it’s just working it into the over arching timeline of Elyria proper, which is where all my stories take place. Past me was actually a pretty thorough person and wrote a decently comprehensive timeline for Elyria, I just need to read through it, and probably make a giant, poster-sized version so I can follow along. I did find the notebook with the timeline in it, at least, so that’s a step in the right direction.

I even ate lunch on the beach, which is pretty neat. While I was doing so, I actually had a pretty good revelation, which I think is only going to help motivate me. I was sitting there, watching the boats sail by as the the breeze caressed me, and the water lapping on the shore soothed me, when I thought “I wish I could always do this”. And that’s when I realized that I can. There doesn’t have to be an end to eating, and working, on the beach and enjoying the world around me. If I keep on this track, there’s nothing stopping me from enjoying everything my current location has to offer and then moving on to another location to do the same. I just need to keep motivated, which I feel will be easier now, and keep my foot to the floor.

Life Updates

I missed a day of blogging, and it’s weird that it’s only been a few days and I feel terrible that I didn’t make it. I’d like to say that something exciting happened and therefore I was unable to blog – like maybe I was kidnapped and had to fight my way out and then save the princess, but that’s not it at all. I just had a super busy day after a late night and I was exhausted. Like face-plant-into-the-pillow-at-the-first-possible-moment exhausted. It wasn’t even that exciting of a day. I went out of town to do some shopping, which is a terrible thing because then I spend money, as soon as I got back into town, I went to my cousin’s playoff lacrosse game, which I was late to, and then to his house for dinner afterwards. Like I said, nothing super interesting, although I do enjoy family time, but it was just go, go, go all day. I was grateful that today was a very casual day. I slept until 11am with some crazy dreams that I will get to in a minute, and didn’t even leave the house if you don’t count going into the yard. It was definitely the type of low key day that I needed before I start my new “work” schedule. I’ve been joking that I need to make a time sheet and pay myself an hourly rate to motivate myself, but somehow I don’t think that will work.

Tomorrow is the day that I’m supposed to start my new routine to get stuff done, but we’ll see if it actually happens. I can’t remember exactly what time I’ve penciled in to get up at, but I’m pretty sure it’s some godawful time like 6am. Now, when I was working a real job, I would frequently have to be up before then to get to work on time, but it’s a lot harder to motivate yourself when there is no real repercussion for not getting up and getting going. Plus I’ve always been really bad at the reward system thing, you know, where you set a reward for doing x amount of work or whatnot? I usually just rationalize that I can avoid doing the work and just get the reward immediately. The only time I can remember being successful was during Nanowrimo one year. My reward for hitting the word count was a Nintendo 3DS. I even bought it beforehand, because I knew I would finish, but I made myself wait until I hit the 50k words. I did, about a week early, and then I got to play my 3DS. Honestly, though, that’s the only time I can remember this system actually working. In university I was able to incentivize myself with stickers, so that could actually be an option, I would write down every little thing that I had to do in an agenda, and when I completed it, I would put a sticker over it. This has some potential, and maybe when I hit a certain number of stickers I can trade them in for a prize. Am I a child? Yes, yes I am.

Speaking of, I definitely had the weirdest dreams last night. I was in a city, maybe Vancouver, when Godzilla showed up. Naturally, everyone started to evacuate. I ended up on Vancouver Island and then the earthquakes started. I’m not sure if they were related to Godzilla or if maybe my dreams just collided together. All I knew was that I had to get out of any cities with tall buildings, so I headed to the north end of the island where my grandparents live, because there’s nothing tall there. But, we also had to worry about tsunamis, so after packing stuff up, I went in search of a hill. I felt pretty confident in my ability to survive, which is more than I am say for my thoughts in real life. Is it weird that I’m always wondering what my best course of action is in a natural disaster? Maybe not when I live on a fault line. I definitely have to look at fault lines in my story world. My brother keeps mentioning how important they are, and I agree, mainly from a topography point of view, but I can work with earthquakes, too… interesting.

Anyway, I’d best be signing off for the night. Something about getting up early in the morning.