Monday 27th March 2017
I had a very strange drive home tonight. I’d taken the video camera with me to training to get some footage of me fighting. My gorilla pod turned up today and I put the video camera on the end.
But I’m very self-conscious about filming in public and on the drive home I started asking myself what I’m doing. In truth, I think I’m just being impatient about Black As Knight. I want to have sold it or had it rejected everywhere so I can move on. I feel like I’m in this weird limbo. And whilst I’ve been mostly enjoying it, tonight in a moment of self-doubt I felt like it was never going to happen and that I was fooling myself.
In truth I’m just very tired. I’ve been working hard and running on little sleep whilst I try to build everything up plus write the next book, plus hold down a day job, plus train for swordfighting. And as a result, I found myself having a rare moment of frustration.
Patience is the biggest bit of advice I’ve been given on this journey. Things will happen when they happen and I just have to trust in myself and progress forward. But on days when I’m tired and stepping outside my comfort zone, I feel like a deluded fool.
But then I get home and find two sample videos friends have put together as trial vlogs. First, having two of them play with the footage I sent them has been very humbling. It’s nice that they have enough faith in me that that they deem it worthy of their time. But also watching the footage edited by someone else gave me just enough distance from myself to gain a bit of clarity.
It’s been a busy day today.
The day job has been hectic as we near the end of the month but the nature of the work allowed me time to have an interview with PewDiePie play in the background. It was interesting to listen to. I’m not a follower of PewDiePie. I don’t think I’ve ever watched any of his videos before, but hearing how he started out and why he believes he became the biggest Youtuber was full of all the same patterns. Be honest, put out a lot of content, don’t worry about perfection when starting out, believe in yourself.
I also listened to another short story. This one was called In the Shade of the Pixie Tree by Rodello Santos and I quite enjoyed it. I think that was because I felt it had a decent conclusion rather than something vague I only half understood. This story was all about imperfect choices and consequence. Probably the best of the ones I’ve listened to so far.
I’m toying with the idea of playing with Facebook Ads. I think this stems from curiosity rather than any set goal. The biggest challenge to this is actually working out what I’d be advertising seeing as I have no book yet to sell, and The Four Realms is now out of print. I guess it would be The Climb, but I think it needs a jumping on point, so I’m toying with the idea of a Start Here page that just summarises where everything is up to before people jump into the daily editions.
I also wonder about changing some of the images of me on the site, partly to get rid of all evidence of fat me, and partly just to make the site’s USP stand out a bit more. I say that like I know what it is, when really, I just think the current tornado Banner (hastily put up when I realised Four Realms was being advertised when it was out of print) doesn’t really tell you what the site is about.
But then I wonder if making those graphical changes are just me looking for perfection.
I didn’t have a lot of time between finishing the day job and going out, but I did manage to plan out the next chapter. I mentioned yesterday that the problem I had was matching the intimate scene with the later one. However, in planning it out, I wanted to lay seeds for future books by having a minor character do some things off screen. I basically want you to read it and think nothing of it, but return down the line and see it was always there – although if you work things out, it’s not that big a deal… I just don’t want you to think it’s a big deal.
This secondary character revelation is the glue between the two scenes I decided. The first scene will hint at the secondary character, and the second scene will now ultimately work because the hero has a piece of knowledge that they can use for leverage (although they don’t know just how sensitive a piece of information they hold).
Of course, mentioning it now in the vague way I have done here, probably makes no sense, but in two or three years time, you can read this back and have total clarity (and maybe even use it to speculate about books 3 and beyond – if the series goes that far!)
I was pleased I got the chapter planned out. I’m not sure the plan is entirely smooth. I remember having issues with the previous chapter and blaming it on the plan so I’m interested if this results in a bit of a struggle at the end of this one.
I did manage to get 500 words written after returning from swordfighting. I would have liked to get 1000 but the M4 diversions meant I didn’t even start until gone 1am and I was just so tired. Still, I tell myself, 500 words is better than no words. Again, progress over perfection.
Swordfighting went well tonight. I’ve mentioned before that I need to be more agile and that proved to be the case tonight as I wasn’t moving enough to stop myself getting hit in the head. As is always the case, my advice to myself on my writing is usually the same as with my writing: progress over perfection. I got some video of my fight with Matt at the end which will be good to review. I also got to really test the gorilla pod and love it.
I am thinking I probably do need to get a vlog camera though after seeing the sample videos. I’m just a little uncomfortable with vlogging in public (because I think I look a dick). But then I remind myself… I was self-conscious of taking selfies two months ago.
I just don’t want the vlog to drown out what little writing time I actually have. My plan is to only do one a month or so, but I want it to find its natural cadence. There’s a danger of being so busy with the marketing that I don’t do the actual work. I keep reminding myself of that to ensure I stay focused and don’t lose sight of why I’m doing this. I also have to ask that whilst my friends seemed to enjoy editing the video, how long will that last… and does it matter?
Again I think I’m looking for perfection when the only place I should be looking for perfection is in my novel edits.
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.
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