Well, the last few weeks have been demanding. Not bad, but exhausting.
On the plus side, that’s in part because I’ve received a manuscript request (based on the revised-for-self-publication version of the manuscript) following a query I sent on a whim a few weeks ago. But that added some work (integrating my latest revisions, mainly) that I didn’t expect, I ended up spending even more time than I expected at work, and so on and so forth.
On the minus side, I was exhausted, which meant I basically focused most of my energy on the Let’s Play project. In other words, I’ve been messing around on EU4 way too much and not producing a lot of actually marketable content.
Let’s be honest: I’m going to allow myself to relax on the LP a bit more, then return to writing as my main “leisure time” activity afterward. But I really need to find the correct balance of work/play/be a dad/write, and right now I’m going the easy way of ignoring writing. I needed the break, but I want it to be a break, not the new normal.
Life got fun. A week ago, I was promoted at work. Obviously, that means more responsibilities and opportunities.
Short-term, it mostly means extra work. I kinda know, in general terms, what my additional responsibilities will be. I need to figure out the specifics, and since it’s a small business, I kind of have to do it on my own.
In the meantime, I’ve fallen back to the tried-and-true “be structured, document everything you do” method of task handling. So I’m writing more, which is good I guess?
It’s also been tiring – which is not conducive to doing good creative work, but even less for reviewing. I’ve been disciplined in my editing schedule, but I know the work I’m doing isn’t as good as it could be, which means I will be spending more time going over what I’ve reviewed lately. But it’s progress.
On a more personal front, Baby #2 is on the way. Which is cool from a blogging perspective, at least.
So I decided to face reality. Given my recent health issues and some professional opportunities, I need to admit I’m never going to catch up with my backlog. So all writing of new words has been pushed back to November (that’s my NaNoWriMo project for this year, apparently)
Blog will continue. Editing will continue. Progress will continue. Novelwriting is on hiatus unfortunately as I find my footing again.
Well, I’m slowly beating my backlog into submission. With this post I’ll be up to date on blog content, I’m catching up (slowly) to where I want to be on revisions for Book the First, and I’ve completely cleared my free-time schedule so I should be able to make up some lost ground on the actual writing of books.
In addition, I have another work-light week, so I should be able to keep making progress at a good clip.
I really want to diversify my projects a bit – in particular, I want to get started on the blog redesign and theme. But that’s a reward I’ll give myself once I’m closer to being in control of my workload.
The whole “scrubbing out on the LP” was in theory a setback, but honestly, I wasn’t that happy with my blog post anyway. So it’s a mixed blessing – the content I’ll eventually produce there will be better than it would have been otherwise.
So – back to work! And by that I don’t mean (just) playing EU4. I think.
Hopefully, this post title won’t be prophetic.
So yeah… last week was a complete nightmare of work and responsibilities, leaving me little to no time to even consider doing basic tasks. The payoff is this week: I have a full day off on Tuesday (with neither girlfriend nor son at home), and really short work days besides.
Basically, all my excuses to not work are gone. So I really need to post some good progress this week.
Not much to say this week – I’ve cut down on my backlog, in anticipation of the crazy week I’m having at work this week.
Next week should be much easier, so progress will be made then. Until then, it’s all about trying to somehow prevent the to-do/overdue list from growing too much.
Ergo, a quick post for now.
Not much to report this week – lots of uninteresting work like editing, obviously done tasks like writing blog posts, and basic maintenance tasks like making sure there’s food in the fridge. In particular, writing new words has been difficult lately, so I’m focusing on everything else.
I’m starting to realize I really do need time alone, on a predictable basis, to manage to write. It takes me a while to get in the zone once I’m alone – I usually need to mess around for an hour, an hour and a half before I get in the right mindset to write. An hour and a half from my son’s bedtime would still leave me an hour or two to write every night, but I kind of want to talk to my girlfriend once in a while too.
That said, she’s going back to work in September, and I do have a day off during the week whereas she has a straight Monday-to-Friday job. Hopefully, that’ll give me some high-quality writing time.
Well, I’ve managed to get myself back into a working routine, at least, even if it’s not as efficient as I’d like. It just takes a poor night to knock off my productivity, and a heavier than expected social schedule hurt as well, but I did stuff. I re-edited the chapters I wanted to re-edit, reviewed and commented the cover artwork, managed to organize myself a bit better.
Heck, I even traded in my torture device of a computer chair for one actually suited for a human being.
So there’s been progress, although nowhere near as much as I’d like. which means I’m starting the next week with overdue tasks, which means I’ll be more likely to be overdue next week as well…
So let’s call this post done with. I want to at least get some writing in this week, and that means I need to do it ASAP.
All right, so what am I planning for the rest of the year?
1-Writing an average of 500 words a week on Book the Second. That’s not a lot, and I feel I should be able to do better than that, but let’s stick to something I’m sure I can do.
2-Get back on track for my blog schedule, my reading list, etc. I’m on track for the reading list, being almost done with Proust (and then the rest is just entertaining fiction or short.) For the blogs, I have thirty Secret Project blog posts ready to go (with more in the pipeline) so I should be able to make up for lost ground fairly easily.
3-Finish a thorough review-and-fix of Book the First and have it published online. My revisions are the main holdup, although I’m also waiting on a cover page suggestion.
4-Once I get my cover page, I’ll do the long-awaited switch-to-a-custom-look for this blog. At the same time, I’ll officially try to turn that into an “official” writing blog, complete with tip jar to beg for money and email to ask for writing jobs.
To get that to work, I’ve decided to rely on an computerized todo list – I’m using Todoist – so that I can manage my time efficiently. I still need to write down everything I need to do but at least I can do that once when I’m motivated, and then have the guilt to motivate me. We’ll see how this works out!
Well, it’s probably obvious, but my productivity has collapsed in the last few weeks. There’s no exciting explanation for it, it’s just fatigue.
So I’ve decided to allow myself a few weeks of, well, not vacation exactly, but lessened demands on my time. I’m still writing, I’m still working on getting Book the First published, I’m still working on the various projects… just without my usual impossible-to-complete task list.
So what have I accomplished lately? Well, I’m doing yet another editing pass on Book the First. I’m also working on getting someone to draw a cover image for it. I’ll probably also use said image as the basis for the visual theme of the blog, so there’s that.
As far as writing goes, I’m trying to get back in the habit of writing every day, even if it’s just a sentence or two. It’s frustrating – I’m just tired enough that getting started on writing is hard. Once I have the file open in front of me, I can keep going for a while, but getting that file open is tougher than it should be.
My various post series are… not progressing at the moment (although I’m slowly making my way through the first book of À la recherche du temps perdu, so expect a Just my Opinion post at some point.
But overall, I’m just trying to return to healthier energy levels. And it’s working, just not as fast as I’d like.
Story of my life, I guess.