Monday 6th March 2017

After my spate of productivity yesterday I didn’t feel I got much done today.
I did clear off a number of work-related tasks so I suppose there was that but I’m very much aware of how many things I want to be doing (finishing this novel, writing a couple of short stories, getting all these synopsises and sample chapters done).  I know I’ll get to all of them eventually, I just have to have a bit of patience.
The new diet started today.  For the sake of my sanity (and wordcount), I’ve kept the caffeine in but I’ve removed the extras  (not that I had a huge load of extras).  Of course, this would also be the week when me and a few writers decide to meet up for cake!  At least it’s at the end of the week where I can move some things around.
I got a new board game today – another result from my Kickstarter addiction.  I got so many expansions and additional items the box wouldn’t even fit in the boot of my car.  So that’s Arcadia Quest to add to my ever growing board game pile and just when I tell myself I probably need to slow down, I end up buying the add-ons for Mythic Battles.  And this is in addition to Massive Darkness and the entire Shadows of Brimstone collection I have coming.  I clearly have a problem!
At the beginning of the year I started work with a number of productive writers with a view that we’d help and support each other in the business of writing.  It’s actually been working very well as we’re all driven but come at it with loads of different experience.  They want to recreate my Year of Hard Work and so I’ve been guiding them in that.
And you know what?  Hard work pays off.
Over the last couple of days, they’ve all had some major success stories.  I’m really happy about this.  It just validates everything I’ve been thinking and convinces me that the way we’re moving forward is the right way.  There’s a pattern to success whether it be in business or the arts.  I saw it during my time in Action-Figure, and I’ve spotted it time and time again since.
What’s been very interesting is that my strategy since Four Realms has been to go away, be quiet and do a ton of work.  I’ve held myself accountable with blog post updates to the few people who read them and had the big thematic years  (Year of Hard Work, Year of Staying Hungry).  And yet, I go to business blogs, or look at the history of successful athletes or music stars and I see exactly the same pattern.  They go quiet, do the work and then emerge again once things start coming together.   They even use many of the same terms.
There are no guarantees with anything.  There’s every chance that Black as Knight could go out on submission and never get picked up, or get picked up and then only sell moderately well.  I’m not in any position to start shouting about publishing success just yet.  I (and more importantly those closest to me) are seeing the same pattern playing out as it did with Action-Figure.  And that’s fine, because I’m playing a very long game (even by publishing standards).  All I want to do is document it… because in 10 years updates such as today’s are going to be very, very interesting.  I also suspect that before we get to the end of the year, you’ll have already seen some progression.
I listened to another short story whilst I prepared dinner tonight.  I liked this one more, mainly because whilst it was largely unsaid, there was a story rather than some sort of vignette going on.  Still, the mission at the moment is just to read / listen and learn, rather than to start constructing short stories (even if it is in my own head)
As much as I wanted to get started writing the big action scene in the novel, swordfighting tonight meant I did not have the time to dedicate to it.  But I still needed to plan it out, so that’s what I did.  It was mainly writing down all the set action pieces that make up this chapter and then moving them around to establish some form of narrative.  I’ve still not finished it because there wasn’t a whole lot of time today.
Swordfighting went well tonight.  One of our guys decided to do rapier for the first time so I partnered up to help level him up.  We were doing fundamentals so I didn’t really need to do much, and his martial arts background meant that he got it really quickly.  I find explaining things to people often helps solidify technique in my head.  Plus I want as many people to succeed with rapier as possible.
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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