I’ve been in need of some motivation lately. I have a lot of projects sitting barely started or half-finished (and I mean a lot), and I desperately need a push to get a few of them completed. So when I saw about JuNoWriMo a couple of days ago, I… not so much leapt at the chance as I dipped a toe in its vague direction. I don’t historically have a lot of luck with extracurricular NaNo experiences (and I’m increasingly struggling with the main NaNoWriMo event due to the complete absence of uninterrupted writing time I get) so I’m a little wary of this.
But at the same time, a kick up the backside to get Singer/Songwriter finished (and maybe even titled, who knows? certainly not me) would be a great help. It’s not like Blake and Marcus aren’t trying to progress through the plot without me or anything… (No, really. They’re getting further through the book than I am. This might help? But it probably won’t.)
So here I am, announcing with a certain degree of trepidation that I’m taking part in JuNoWriMo. Feel free to ask me how my writing is going (my comments are always open; empty – seriously, even the spam bots have given up – but open), and feel equally free to yell at me if I’m not making progress.
Somehow February has already started to feel long, and that’s before we get to the extra day. The RSI of doom has returned, and appears to be carpal tunnel instead (numbness in fingers and I keep dropping things and getting angry with myself). Wrist braces everywhere. I found an old blog post where I talked about the symptoms I’d had before; I’d actually forgotten it’d become so bad, to the point where my thumb was going numb and I had pain all the way up to the elbow.
Wrist braces are a pain in the backside to wear, but I don’t want things to become that bad again, so I’ve had to go back to wearing one all the time as well as changing the way I sit when I’m working. Hopefully I can get things as fixed as they’re likely to get soon…
At least it’s the incessant click-click-click since my day job is very mouse-heavy, and it’s not writing that’s the problem… Now it’d just be nice to get some time to actually do some.
Finish chapter 3 of Singer/Songwriter for real this week. (Work allowing.)
Start chapter 4?
Really could do with a few more titles, before the only one I have sticks by mistake.
Start the Twitter hashtag games I want to play for the month. This month they’re: #LGBTWIP, #aNovelRomance, #LGBTQwrites and #SmoreWords. I have a hell of a time keeping up with even one or two, so this should be interesting…
44 hours of work this week. (Already starting 4 hours above the cap…)
Find the time to reboot the Virgin Media hub, since we’re getting the fantastic download speed of 10mbs right now. But it’s Virgin Media, so you can’t expect your expensive fibre internet to actually work properly, can you?
So it’s a week heavy-ish on the writing, but we’ll see what happens with the work hours.
Remember kids, it’s only finger-wagging over your work-life balance if you’re choosing your hours, not your employers!
It’s only taken a month, but I finally grabbed the Easy Content Template plugin for WordPress. Previously I was opening up old posts and copying the stuff across… then I remembered it’d be much, much easier to just, y’know… set up a template.
Hey, sometimes I can be efficient.
Just… not often.
Finish chapter 3 of Singer/Songwriter.
Start chapter 4 of Singer/Songwriter.
Try to come up with a couple more potential names for Singer/Songwriter… I struggle with naming things, can you tell?
Actually finish this damn book!
Day job: working 40.5 hours a week. Check for the total on Sunday!
Maybe get the PC booted up this week? Fingers crossed.
Finish setting up my bullet journal for February. Yes I know I missed the entirety of January, shhh. It’s planned in pencil, it just needs inking in.
Tidy desk. It’s looked like a bomb’s hit it for weeks now and it’s irritating me… but I only really sit here to work, so I’m usually distracted.
Try to manage a couple more sketches. I miss drawing.
Again, it’s not a list of goals that’ll set the world alight, and I’m already starting to get stressed by the Singer/Songwriter story – not because I don’t know what to write but because, thanks to my home life and variable working hours, I don’t have the time to sit and write.
I got a finger-wagging month or so ago because I wasn’t Writing Every Day and Publishing Every Month and did I really Want To Be A Writer? And I’m really happy for them that they aren’t a full-time carer in full-time employment with all the fun of their own full-time disabilities as well, but some of us need nice, quiet alone time to be able to think and write. I already know from NaNo that if I try to write in 5-10 minute bursts, I end up having no fucking idea what I wrote previously. Yeah, I can edit it later… but then it’s twice as much work as actually writing it properly in the first place.
So… y’know, should anyone get the random urge to go dictating ‘advice’ to people, have a little think. And if someone’s trying to work, care for someone and also has days when they can’t stand upright for longer than ten minutes without crippling hip/back pain (but still has to do all the cooking, cleaning, recycling/bins etc.), sneering at them and telling them it’s not an excuse is, possibly, not the best argument you can make.
If something works for you, great! Fantastic! I hope you keep on at it! But writing is not a one-size-fits-all gig. Don’t try to demand that it should be.
I’m actually enjoying having goals set out. It gives me that odd feeling of accomplishment when I achieve them. That’s why I tend to work towards smaller goals: if I announced big ones, I’d end up panicking and fail on everything.
I love my brain chemistry so much.
Finish the second chapter of the Singer/Songwriter story.
Start the third chapter of the Singer/Songwriter story (trying to take it steady).
Actually make an effort to try to come up with some names this time. It might be easier now the characters have started sharing some more of the plot with me.
Assemble a playlist for Singer/Songwriter. It has all of two songs on it right now. This is my favourite goal for the week, even if it does mean I’ll have to listen to some mainstream pop for Marcus’s song. For the record, the last time I listened to the radio, Panic! At The Disco’s Mona Lisa was in the charts. I stopped listening after an hour and a half, because I’d heard all the same songs at least three times by then…
Really, truly draw a sketch of Marcus this week.
44 hours of day job this week. I’m already 4 hours over the limit I’m supposed to be working through no fault of my own, so this time it better not change.
Actually manage to boot up my desktop PC. It hates Windows updates and knows how to hold a grudge. No featured images until that’s back up and running!
Fingers crossed for continuing small successes.
And by the way… the Spotify playlist for the story is right here. Here’s hoping it expands / adjusts as I (slowly) add to it and fiddle around.
The first week of this has been, unexpectedly, a success! Admittedly I didn’t write enough goals to really stretch myself, but then, writing too many for the sake of it would be a demoralising waste of time, so it’s swings and roundabouts.
It’s hard to achieve a work-life balance sometimes when work is constantly shifting goalposts and life likes to bite me in the arse, so I think I’ll stick with the narrow goals and hope one day I can stretch to expansive, demanding ones that won’t then result in a breakdown. You’d think it wouldn’t take me so long to know my limitations, but there we go. I’m not a fast learner.
This year I’m also going to try to remember to start adding content to Patreon again. It’s a bit difficult because I don’t think there’s really anything I can imagine anyone wanting to pay for, so I guess I’ll have to try to figure that out somehow. I’d say it’ll be a challenge, but it’s not one I’m willing to add to the to-do list yet!
Finish the first chapter of the Singer/Songwriter story.
Start the second chapter of the Singer/Songwriter story (see what I’m doing there?).
Try to brainstorm some potential names rather than keep calling it ‘the Singer/Songwriter story’.
Short list again for the week.
Start The Ritual by Adam Nevill. I’d wanted to see the film, since I like the actors in it, but apparently the book’s better (when isn’t it?) so I’ll read that first.
Finish felting the little strawberry Shiba Inu I started last week. I’m not good at felting, but I really enjoy stabbing things repeatedly.
Actually draw a sketch of Marcus this week.
26.5 hours of day job this week. We’ll see what that looks like by next Sunday.
I’m going to try something different this year: accountability posts for projects I’m working on. I’ll post a new one for the week each Monday, and each Sunday I’ll compare what I’ve done with what I’d hoped to achieve.
Now, this should be a fascinating experience, not just because executive dysfunction is a bitch to work with, but also because my work schedule will wander off at any given point with either no warning or next-to-no warning, which makes planning things difficult.
Still, we won’t know if we don’t try, right?
Finish a short story I’m doing for the xmas story exchange at Story-Bat. Seems a bit late, you say? I didn’t sign up to the exchange myself, but someone else hasn’t received a story so I’m trying to step in.
Finish the beat sheet for The Singer & The Songwriter, the currently lacklustre title of a Radialverse story about a ljusalfa pop-rock singer whose label introduces him to a grumpy dokkalfa songwriter — and then springs on them both that they’ve now got to pretend to be engaged, to boost both their profiles. I’m using the excellent Romancing The Beat by Gwen Hayes.
Bonus round! Write the first chapter of The Singer & The Songwriter. This one is a distinct MAYBE.
As an aside, lacklustre titles are dangerous. Any title is dangerous, because familiarity can make it hard to shift…
May as well make this its own thread. First, the Laws of Naming Things, written after many long years during which naming *anything* in the game was the most contentious thing the team could ever do. pic.twitter.com/wsezvybO9T
Just one caveat: for the love of God, don't use temp names that you don't want to risk sticking. Name it "Purple Monkey Screwball", something you CAN'T POSSIBLY use. Because if it can, it will. This is the Side-Rule of Thedas. 😉
Finish reading Into The Deep by Amara Lynn, which I’m 21% of the way through right now.
Take down xmas decorations. This has to be done today, and it took me several hours to put them up without any help at all. Taking them down, which I’ve already started (and been doing for a couple of hours; still not completed) is proving painful.
If I’m lucky, maybe I’ll find the time to sketch a picture of Ljusalfa Singer that I don’t absolutely loathe.
If I’m really lucky, I’ll get undisturbed time to play a video game! Like Death Stranding I’ve had since launch, or Anthem, or Borderlands 3. Or pretty much any of my Switch games, only one of which I’ve played, or… *sigh*
41 hours of day job this week. Possibly more later in the week, there’s no way of knowing: last night the 7th was a 1-and-a-half hour working day. This morning it’s an 8-and-a-half hour working day. See? No way of knowing. *wiggles fingers* As an aside, that could have very easily completely fucked up my food delivery also coming on the 7th — which I have to have delivered, because these regular short-notice changes to my schedule stopped me from having the time to go and do it in person.
So we will see how this week goes, and how this accountability thing goes, and how the short-notice-day-job thing goes. Even if I am a little miffed that my nice writing day tomorrow is now a less-nice but better-paid incessant-working day, here’s keeping my fingers crossed for a productive week.