Existential Crisis

Time is finite. It is a universal truth that we never have enough, but I certainly don’t feel like I spend what time I have wisely.

The truth is I’m overwhelmed so much. It’s easier to ‘check out’ and while away the hours doing something mindless, than it it to dig in to something important.

It comes down to two conflicting issues
– Priorities
– Spoons

I get easily distracted and side-tracked – probably because I’m so terrified all the time – and so things I should prioritise, like my writing, often take a backseat. It’s like the thing I care about the most, and should therefore do the most, is what I don’t do due to the fear. So is it a failure of prioritising? Or is it that simply I’m not capable of doing the thing due to spoons?

I wish I knew how much was my fault, and how much is just something I can’t control. I know that it sounds stupid saying I can’t control myself but mental illness is like that. Normal people can just grit their teeth and dig deep, but I have already dug as deep as possible and there’s literally no more gas in the tank to push on. Having said that mental illness also does this trick of suggesting there is more you can do “if you just try harder” after you’ve given up as like a sick guilt-trip. It’s hard to know the truth, did I give up too early? Or was I truly incapable of doing more?

So the simple truth is I don’t know. It’s the end of January today, I had goals and I’m nowhere near them and that hurts me. I despair of myself, of life in general, I feel like things will never get better – and that’s my fault! Because I’m not trying hard enough, I know what I should do and if I want things to be better, then I need to be better and do more and actually make it better – it’s not going to get better on it’s own!

It’s just so frustrating because I can’t seem to make it work. Is that because I’m lazy? It that because I prioritise the wrong things? Or is it just that I do the best I can, with what I can manage (even if that’s not what I should be doing) because that’s all I can do? I have no idea. I don’t know if I should blame myself or not, but I kinda am and I do feel like shit which is quite self-defeating because the worse I feel, the more I’ll slip into the abyss of despair and the harder it will be to dredge up the spoons to do anything.

I’m sad, and I’m scared, and I don’t know what to do.

Another year

I’m 28 and I feel old.

Now anyone older than me would say that is ridiculous, that I’m still young etc. but the big times of year always cause introspection in me. Not so long ago, although I suppose best part of a decade now, I used to get very fired up around New Year. It was driven by desperation and self-loathing admittedly, but the point was I saw the changing of the year as this ‘magical’ moment where I could turn my life around. I bought into the hype of the ‘new year’ basically.

I’m not entirely sure when my mentality shifted, during the last few years I lost hope I guess and I came to my current belief about the new year. That there is nothing magical or special about the clock ticking over from one day to the next. That the only difference about a changing year is that I’m a year closer to death – cheery much? – but the introspection does make me feel like that. Like it’s another year gone, I’m still a failure, still useless, and as much as I want the upcoming year to be my year I have no real faith that will happen.

The truth is “being better is so much harder.”

There is a reason that most new years resolutions fail within just a couple of days. It is easy to have the idea, to know that you ‘should’ do something, it is very difficult to have the discipline to day-in, day-out, make that happen.

I woke up this morning with the same aches and pains, the same heavy weight, the same whispers in my mind – it’s the same battle, and it being 2019 doesn’t change that. Yeah I set goals, and yeah I really want them to happen. I’m going to do my best but I guess even on the 1st I’m preparing myself for disappointment.

Fighting an endless war is exhausting and a date on a calendar doesn’t change that.

New Year Retrospective and Art Update

Back in September I said that I’d had a bit of a revelation. It was probably a doh revelation but I can be quite dense. Basically I stated that “I’m an artist” whereas for years (all my life really) I’ve been saying the opposite, that I’m no good at art etc. I then did another post about Where I start and this is the follow-up to that.

It’s a lot later than I’d intended and that’s why this post is also my New Year post because September-December last year didn’t go at all according to plan. I think I said a bit about that in my NaNo post, where I confessed to writing only 11k (my lowest total ever). True I had gone back to university so I was busier than I’d been in years but time wasn’t really the problem.

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Reflections, Revelations and The Future

Knowing and feeling are two different things. I think I’ve said that before but it bears repeating. In this post I’m going to talk about some realisations I’ve had but that doesn’t mean I won’t backslide. Sometimes lessons have to be learned more than once before they stick. I might ‘know‘ some things now but whether I have truly accepted them is still something of a question mark.

I’ve spoken before about “blogging resolutions”, and how I wanted to blog at least once a week, and feeling bad about it when I failed those resolutions. There are a lot of reasons why I didn’t stick to blogging more but the one I want to talk about today is that I simply didn’t care enough. My head had made it a priority as “something I was going to do” but deep down I just didn’t view it as important.

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Status Post – Year in Review

I know it’s the 31st and this is very cliche but I didn’t blog around NaNo so I’m overdue one of these posts. In a post after Camp NaNo I said what I was intending for November, and it really didn’t work out that way and I was loathe to make a post, just to say how disappointed I was.

In 2016 I wrote 500k, or 500,180 words to be precise. Well, actually it’s not necessarily that accurate as I only started tracking properly in June but I’m reasonably certain I did half a million. That’s huge for me as it’s not that long ago that I only wrote in November and struggled to write much of anything the rest of the year. Since July I’ve done at least 50k a month, usually doing 60k+. The only slight fly in the ointment, is that it’s not been all original novels. A lot of it was fanfic, but again a lot of that fanfic can be turned original so it’s hardly wasted effort.

It’s also kept me going, kept me productive which is the biggest battle I usually face. I quite often get in spirals where I don’t do anything, I feel bad about that, and then I do even less. It’s given me a lot of ideas and so yeah generally in writing terms 2016 has been a damn good start. I’ve published two books, and a free short story/prequel. The couple of reviews I’ve had, aren’t great (well they are bad) but I’m still getting sales/borrows and I’ve had 3 people sign up to my mailing list. It’s a start and I always knew that this was going to be a long journey.

In 2017 I want to continue to average 60k+ a month. If I do that then 750k should be easily doable. In terms of projects I need to write Book Three of my Military Science Fantasy series. Before I do I need to decide whether I want to continue with Book Four straight away, or take a break and write something else, probably the related sci-fi series. I need to decide this before March as that’s when I have my next cover booked. I’m hoping to release Book Three by April at the latest. Ideally I would like to bring out something every 3-4 months but we’ll have to see how I get on.

I also want to work on my pen-name. I have the covers for three books, and I’ve half-written Book Two. I need to write all of them and decide on a strategy and what I’m doing with it marketing wise. I already know I’m going to have all three books finished and ready to go before I press publish on Book One, so I will have flexible options on what I do in terms of frequency. I might even wait and write more books, as it’s a pen-name and nobody is waiting for it, I can try and make a splash.

There’s fanfic, that isn’t a priority of course but I do have WIP’s that I want to finish, and then more stories that I want to write. I just love writing generally and I want to do a lot of it in 2017 and hopefully publish several books and maybe, just maybe, it’ll start to turn into something I might make money with. Money is after all what makes the world go round, and I could kinda do with some. That’s a bit mercenary I know but it would seriously improve my life and isn’t that a New Years goal everyone makes? For next year to be better.

Apart from writing, I want to get back to going to the gym regularly (even if lazy me disagrees) and hopefully that will mean I lose a bit of weight. Ultimately I just want to be fitter but being less fat would also be nice. I want to procrastinate less, so I can generally do more and not just productive stuff. If I actually got on with things, then I could spend my evenings watching TV or playing video games without guilt. I haven’t really played many video games this year and as backwards as it is, playing more is a goal for 2017. I enjoy it, so I should make time for it.

This is usually the point where I say that I would like to read more, but you know what, I totally give up on that one. I know that as an author that is totally backwards but I am so damn picky about what I read, plus books cost money (even more backwards seeing as I want people to buy mine) but I just can’t make it a priority right now.

So yeah that’s what happened that’s worthy of note (that isn’t really personal, as I don’t talk about that here) and a tentative plan for 2017. This year sucked for a lot of reasons but for me in terms of writing at least, it was a good start. Now I just need to build on it and try and do better, be better. Here’s to 2017!

July Update

I didn’t blog in June.

Part of that was lack of impetus with Once Upon a Time having finished until the fall. However, I was going to blog about Captain America: Civil War – the best marvel movie yet!! It’s just my arm has been playing up again and I can’t really type right now. It’s super weird dictating a blog post, even weirder than dictating my novel and that’s saying something – I really loathe dictation.

So what have I been up to? Well the answer to that is mostly getting used to dictation. I love writing, it’s my life really and so stopping until my arm is better is a non-starter. I have no idea what’s wrong with my arm or why it hurts so much, it could never get better. However, given how frustrating I find dictation, it has been slow going and the goals I set myself have had to be quietly pushed back.

It’s Camp NaNo this month. I just checked and I didn’t blog about April. Back in April I tried a redraft of Book Two of my Crime/Sci-Fi series and it went very badly. That book two was cursed from the beginning. I started the first draft April 2015 and had to stop 2/3rds of the way through because of illness. I didn’t finish it until the October and then when I went to revise it in February I found it was un-salvageable and needed to be completely rewritten. I started the redraft this April and got halfway through but I just couldn’t do it. I’ve decided to scrap the whole series I wound up hating it so much.

However, last November I wrote book one of a new Military Science Fantasy series and I love that more than anything. Again because of illness I didn’t finish it last November, instead I finished it in March. Last month (June) I was supposed to write a prequel short story but because of my arm I didn’t manage to finish it.

Therefore for Camp NaNo this month my goal is to finish the first draft of the prequel. I will also start Book Two of the series and hope that this book two, will go a lot better than the last sequel I tried to write. Given how I feel about the series generally (I love it), I’m hopeful that it will be ok but it’s still quite scary. I harbor no ambitions that I will be able to finish book two this month but I hope that I will finish it by the end of August. It’s technically possible as I’ve averaging about 2k a day with dictation (it is so much slower than typing, I miss typing so much) but we’ll have to see.

This blog is probably going to go on a hiatus for the summer. I might drop back in and say how Camp NaNo (July) went but anything else will be dependent on my arm. This is so weird dictating like this. Once Upon a Time (Season 5) premieres on the 25th of September, hopefully I’ll be able to blog about that. I’m certain I’ll have a lot to say, I nearly always do.

The 200th Edition

I had this blog 16 months before I broke 100 posts. I said at the top of that one that I had tried to keep a blog before, and that none of them had breached a dozen posts before I abandoned it and eventually took it down out of embarrassment.

34 months later and I’ve reached 200 posts. It took me just over twice as long to double the number. However, the key point is that I did double it, I am still here and still writing posts. I’ve now had this blog over four years and I’ve written about 350,000 words over those 200 posts.

I can’t prove it, without a serious time investment, but I’m pretty sure the length of my posts has increased over the years. Another thing that has changed has been what I’ve blogged about. In my post – the 100th edition – I talked about what had changed over those 100 posts. It was a mixed bag of a post and I’m going to repeat that here.

What has changed over the last 100 posts?

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General Update and Patch 6.2

This blog disappeared for a month. I took it down for a number of valid reasons but I regretted doing so, I missed being able to ramble about games and TV. The decision never felt right, putting it back up doesn’t feel right either but I have to still be me, fun can still be permitted.

With that in mind when I deleted it a month ago, I didn’t save my theme settings which is annoying. Time permitting I will likely fiddle with the look of the site. However, looks are always secondary to content. I have imported all the old posts and pages.

I debated about that, as it’s been three years since I started and I have said some very stupid contradictory things over the years. In the end I decided to leave it, as no-one really reads this and it’s what I thought at the time. The fact that I was wrong means at least I’ve learned something. I’ll probably shuffle and rewrite the pages but that’s about it, the posts and any idiocy contained will stay for now.

Right onto the point of this post – Warcraft and patch 6.2 which hit the PTR last night.

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Failed the challenge

I missed three days of updates but I do have an excuse. Monday I had a family crisis, Tuesday looked at a house and yesterday bought a house, it’s been a hell of a week.

However, small retrospective on what I learned in the last two weeks of attempting the challenge.
1) It is really hard to think of enough topics that are interesting enough to cover as blog posts. I like to say something and not just ramble, I probably did just ramble on occasion anyway but never mind.
2) It is possible barring crazy life altering days, case in point, to find time to write everyday. If I had been a little more diligent and prepared then I would have had time to write even then. I spent the vast majority of yesterday pacing up and down so much I got blisters – literally. Waiting to hear if the offer was accepted was incredibly nerve-wracking. My phone was out of battery, I didn’t have my laptop with me, I obviously wasn’t home. Concentrating would have been hard but it might have made the time go faster.
3) Miniposts or short posts are nothing to be ashamed about, so long as obviously they aren’t the only posts that ever get written. Sometimes there’s not enough time to write a full in-depth post, sometimes the brain won’t cooperate and think of a topic for a long post, sometimes that’s all I can do and that is enough. I wrote that day, it wasn’t much but I sat down and tried. Other days the posts will be on the long side of regular, so it evens out. Far better to write a small amount than nothing at all.

Looking at what I learned I don’t think the challenge was a failure, sure I failed to complete it but much like NaNo, I took something else from trying, it was a success in another way.

In other news I got a library card as intended on Tuesday, ready for my book challenge in January. Although my friend told me to sign up to GoodReads, I discovered then that I have 9 unread books on my shelves, exactly how that happened I don’t know. I should probably start with those books before I check random books out of the library. Maybe I should do a challenge warm-up, going from no reading to a book a week might be tough. Perhaps I should start reading now, and just say find time for a chapter a day. Even though my focus is going to be as much on writing as possible, that should be pretty easy, knock it out in a few minutes before I go to sleep, it’s definitely worth considering.

Another friend of mine teases me often about Warcraft. To be honest a lot of his objections in regards to how much it costs, the subscription, the long content droughts etc. I share and have ranted about on this blog more than once. It’s probably a bit like doughnuts or another sugary item, it’s bad for you but that doesn’t stop you from liking it, you may also hate yourself slightly for succumbing but do it anyway, just the way it is. Anyway, the Warlords pre-patch dropped yesterday and there’s some new things to do and explore. I decided, back when I decided I would resub and try Warlords out, that I wouldn’t do so until a week before release so I wouldn’t waste any sub time. I am tempted to resub now, I’m a very impatient person, but for a change my resolve is staying firm. I have a lot of other stuff to do, the pre-launch stuff won’t take long and plus waiting means all the bugs will be fixed, and a big patch like this brings a lot of bugs.

Agents of Shield 2.03 will now be available for me to watch, so there may be a post about that later when I get a chance to watch it. I love that show but if I get more free time later, and my brains still working, I have NaNo Prep to do.

End note – how can it only be Thursday? It feels like a month since last Friday, that’s just crazy but then it has been one hell of a week.