Sunday 22nd January 2017
I wasted a lot of time today and although it was nobody’s fault it left me feeling a bit salty. After not getting home from boardgaming until 2am, the 7:30am alarm was a bit brutal. Whilst my mind can survive on 4 hours sleep, I’ve learned that my body needs at least 7.
But a good breakfast put me in the right frame of mind for a couple of hour drive to go sparring with some friends. It was a cold but sunny day so the roads were pretty clear and I made good progress.
As always I put the drive to good use. I put on some music and worked my way through the scene I’m currently writing. Without giving anything away, it’s a bit of mob justice, so I want it to be shocking but not clichéd. Sexual assault is a lazy way to do that sort of threat and I think I’m better than that. So I mulled a few ideas in my mind and tried to figure out if they were shocking enough to support the story I wanted to tell without just being shocking for shocks sake.
I arrived early so I sat in the car… and sat in the car. I had a few Facebook messages from friends saying they couldn’t make it. I knew a few of the regulars were away at competition or skiing but I personally didn’t care if just one recently passed student turned up. I just wanted to fight.
But it soon became clear that people weren’t just late, they weren’t coming, which is frustrating when you’ve driven 2 hours to get there. I decided not to let it get to me and popped into see my folks who live close-by. I had a quick cup of tea and then hit the road home.
I used the return journey to think about The Climb. Was it too pretentious? Was I just scared because I’m trying to do a few new things?
I got home about 3pm and then decided to put the rest of the day to good use.
I spent a ridiculous amount of time designing a logo for The Climb. This really wasn’t necessary and was just a procrastination activity from doing any real work.
I got started by updating my Writing Spreadsheet for 2017. In 2015, I used this to measure my writing productivity but in 2016, because I was editing and rewriting, I kinda fell out of the habit of updating it. Now I’m working on book 2 I wanted to update it again.
The chapter I’ve been working on has been slow going. Last week I was having days when I was only turning out a couple of hundred words. However, I worked out on my drive home that I’m around a third of the way into the novel, where it changes from the setup of act 1 to developing the conflict in act 2. I always find those stages of a novel hard. And strangely once I accept that, it becomes a lot easier.
As a result I wrote my scene. It’s a bit gruesome but then I’ve always been good at writing a bit of gore. I’ll probably tone it down a little when I come to revisions.
The other thing I’m worrying about is how the POV voice changes based on our hero’s current persona. It’s semi-subconscious and revising the book through multiple drafts I’ve never noticed anything that seems mismatched but I did find myself wondering if I’ve missed anything and it’ll be picked up in my forthcoming agent notes.
I also drafted the blog post announcing The Climb and wrote a first draft of an article I’m going to be putting on Medium. The Medium article seemed to wander a bit off topic and I’m cursing myself that I’m not using the tools I developed to enable me to write quickly. It’s got good content so I just need to redraft it, but still… if I was a bit more stringent with myself I could have got it done and up.
As a break between projects I did a blog post as webmaster of my swordfighting school and did a bit of social media work on Instagram. I think I’m starting to get the hang of it finally.
I found a bit of time to watch episode 3 of Taboo on catch-up. Mainly I’m looking at the visuals and seeing if they inspire any ideas for future settings for my books.
Total for the day is around 4000 words, which isn’t bad given how late I started, my mood at the wasted journey and it being a Sunday.
My take-aways for the day are, first, that The Climb is a good idea and worth trying for a couple of weeks to see if it finds an audience. Secondly, I’ve noticed that I’m woolly around the edges. I’m eating healthy but I’m not monitoring it as closely as I did last year. Likewise, I’m writing but not using my processes to improve efficiency or logging my sessions. That needs to change from tomorrow. It’s easy to get lazy, I intend to stay sharp.
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 below.