Friday 17th February 2017
Today I spent most of the day in an office learning about the features of Windows Server 2016. The traffic was terrible and I ended up 20 minutes late, which whilst nobody minded, just put me behind all day.
This week has proved a busy work week with the day job and I’ve got to the end of it feeling a bit knackered. It also means my concentration is a little all over the place.
This can usually mean one of three things:
First, it can just be a sign that my brain has been working hard and needs to chill out. Sometimes it’s better to take a weekend off and recharge. I like to imagine that my brain is a bit like a video game’s mana bar. If you keep casting spells, the mana bar will get depleted. It can be filled by consuming creative things (reading, watching a box set, playing an immersive video game, etc)
Second, it can be a sign that there’s a problem with the novel. Sometimes it’s a message from my subconscious that I’m taking things in the wrong direction. This can be a character who’s done something on the page that doesn’t ring true, or maybe even takes them away from their intended arc. Or maybe the way in which I’m writing is starting to take the book in a different direction. Some writers will follow these diversions but I’ve learned through experimentation that discovery writing just doesn’t work for me and I just get a long, rambling mess.
Finally, there are points in the process of writing the novel (usually around act changes for me) where things get ridiculously difficult. Everything feels clunky, the words don’t come easily, and I feel like the literary equivalent of wading through treacle.
Given that I’m loving what I’m writing and it wasn’t just the novel that suffered today, I have to conclude that the week at work has worn me out.
This evening, I decided to chill out a bit and play a bit more Starbound. I’m now at the quest where you have to tackle a mining facility and it’s rock hard. I’ve gone and levelled up my gear as much as I can and gone with a load of bandages and whilst I made it through the army of mobs, I just didn’t have the concentration to defeat the final boss. That was annoying as it took me a couple of hours to do it. At least there was (eventually) a save point, but when I couldn’t defeat the boss and went to get some more bandages, I wiped my progress.
And this was supposed to be relaxing. I would have been better tanking a dungeon in WoW.
So rather than write I did a bit of light planning and worked on a few pieces of admin and light writing until the early hours, with a view that I’ll have a lay in and try and get some decent work done tomorrow. The upcoming ‘car chase’ is going to be insane and I’m loving how that scene will play out in a couple of chapters’ time. I hope I can get to it by the end of the weekend.
If you want to follow more of my journey, then be sure to check me on my social channels. Likewise, if you’d like me to expand on any point mentioned above, please say so in the comments.