Saturday 8th April 2017

Today has seen some glorious weather.  We’re finally into the season where you can go out in just a T-Shirt and not feel cold.  It’s a sign that summer is well on its way.
And how do I know this?  Was it because I spent all day in the sunshine?  Or was it because I spent all day inside working saving for the 30 minutes I popped down to Morrison’s to get a potato?  At least I wasn’t in the same funk as I was yesterday.
Something that surprises a lot of people about successful endeavours is the level of sacrifice.  I gave up the chance to have a day in the sun and to go out this evening because I wanted to work on the book.  I’m behind on just about every TV series, including ones I’m desperate to watch, the films I want to see at the cinema are now out on Blu-ray, and my to read pile is spilling out the doors of my little library.
Now I don’t expect sympathy.  I’ve chosen to make these sacrifices in the belief that they will pay off down the road.  It’s an investment in my future.  But that doesn’t make it easy.
Well-meaning friends will often try and encourage me to take a day off.  It won’t hurt, they say.  It’s just one dayI deserve a break.  But here’s the thing… whether you want to be a model, a writer, an award-winning physicist, you are going to have to make sacrifices.
Some friends don’t understand.  Some will say they do, but secretly think it’s an excuse.  And a few will get it.
Back when I was running Action-Figure I’d turn up to my friend’s house armed with a laptop and work in the kitchen while the rest of them played Guitar Hero in the living room.  And today, I gave up a day in the sunshine to push forward with the novel.
It’s hard.  Especially as I really wanted to go out and film some vlog content.  Today would have been perfect for it as well.  How boring my life is, sat in front of a computer making things up when I could be outside getting some vitamin D.
But I know that self-discipline is what has got me here, and it’s what’s going to take me further.  It’s 6 weeks until I go storm chasing and I will then have all the vlog content I’ve ever wanted.  Next weekend I’ll be in Birmingham and be able to film a lot of interesting stuff, but for now my focus has to be on getting this novel done.
I’ve got sparring tomorrow so that’s going to be my reward.  Instead I just worked all day and in truth it ended up being quite relaxing.
If I want to be super-productive yet chilled, I tend to choose two tasks and then alternate between them.  So I’ve been levelling up in SWTOR and then doing some writing.
The action scene is going well.  I managed to finish it and am largely happy with it.  I’m not sure about the end but like everything, that can be fixed in the next draft.   I think with a bit of polish it’s going to be really standout.  When I started on this novel I was worried about how the action would stand up to the epic end of Black as Knight.  But I think I’ve really pushed myself.
I’ve been told my action scenes are good, and in this novel I take them a step higher.  If for no other reason, I’m proud for not resting on my laurels and instead pushing myself to grow.
I am a little worried about the length.  The novel passed 100,000 words today.  At the moment I reckon that it will come in at around 130k words.  That’s big but it’s 40k less than book 1.  I have got some secondary characters I need to build up so I’m hoping that with those additions it will take me to around 150k.  But I’m also worried that those additions might affect the pace of the book and slow it down.
Gah!  Writing books is hard!  And did I tell you that it’s been sunny all day whilst I was cooped up inside.  I never even got to the gym!
On the plus side, I wrote 5000 words today across a number of sessions.  I’ve got the next two chapters 80% planned out.  I just need to work out which revelations come when, hence I’m planning out the two chapters simultaneously.  Things are definitely coming to a head now and I find I can start writing conclusions rather than just foreshadow them.
The trick is to ensure that revelations deliver the most emotional impact.  I don’t want the reveals to be wasted and so I’m juggling things around, seeing what works best in terms of pace.
I’m not going to have as much time to write tomorrow as I plan to use it as my reward day for staying indoors all day today.  My plan is to video a lot so I might get enough material to actually put out a vlog on Monday.  Of course, the downside is that Monday I will be back at the day job.  I keep imagining how much time I would have if I wrote full-time but then I look at how much I actually get done on a weekend.
Still, I’ve made good progress today and I can smell the end of the this draft.  Then it’ll be a case of doing edits on Black as Knight before going to the US and Canada.  That will take me into June.
The work, it never stops.  But I’ll keep making the sacrifices necessary to make it happen!
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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