My oh my, well it has been a long time…

My last post here was the 31st October, just getting ready for NaNoWriMo 2013. I’d had the ambitious aim of finishing in twenty four hours, but alas, I was a bit ill – quite a bit ill actually, and it waylaid me. Still, I managed a day ten win, so I’m still proud and happy.

A lot has happened in the past eight months, in November I started a new job. A very busy, stressful, demanding, and satisfying job. Lots of travel at the beginning of the year for work, (I’ve racked up something like twenty nights in hotels this year so far). In January I had to move from my home of over a decade, but I now have a two bedroom back to back all to my lonesome, and it’s nice, if a little too quiet at times. Both new and old friends have been coming and going, each bringing those indelible marks onto my life, the little changes, the memories, the lessons not to be forgotten.

This is just a synopsis though, you’ll have to wait twenty years for the biography, because all that life stuff isn’t what this blog is for. No, this is blog is for the writing. If I were to look at my life and say what label I would most like to be identified with, it would be ‘Writer’.

Of course writers write. Being published, even read, that’s irrelevant. Writers write. That’s the only thing that defines a writer. I write stories, that’s me. Despite everything going on, I’ve actually been doing that. Had a few false starts, that are now doomed to the dusty and neglected corner of my mind labeled “For future use”, but there’s one that’s fast forming a story that I’m quite proud of. It’s post apocalyptic zombie stuff, so hardly original, and somewhat dated with the zombie fetishism rapidly vanishing from fashion, but I’m enjoying writing it, and it has clever touches.

I’ve been reading a lot too, I’m practically devouring novels at the moment, but it’s helping me form my ideas for NaNoWriMo 2014. A nice big epic story to achieve my highest November word count yet, and of course another attempt at the one day 50k.

What else is happening? Well the post apocalyptic zombie novel should be finished this month. This July I’m banning myself from social media, (I don’t count blogging), no TV binges on Netflix, LoveFilm, et al, just four hours a week to watch films, healthy diet, exercise, chores being done, and the rest of my free time being taken up with writing and reading. I’m going to be highly productive this month, starting with finally updating here.

Will be pulling more interesting stuff together as well, rather than just recaps of my life, (because there’s enough replays around with this World Cup nonsense).

So watch this space.

Daily Flash Fiction Challenge: An update

For the past few years I’ve done my best to maintain a work life balance. I’ve worked hard to be fast and efficient at my job so I’m able to fit more into my working day, limiting the amount of work I have to do outside of working day.

However, this new year has been getting busier and busier at work. My to do list will soon make me look like a short arse in comparison, (and I’m six foot four). Ultimately this has led to my work-life balance going a bit out of kilter, in favour of work. Lots of hours, and when I’m not working, I’m mentally exhausted.

It’s why I’ve gotten behind on writing again, and it’s annoying. I know I’ll catch up, but it’s a blow when I’m trying really hard to write everyday. And it’s not like I don’t have time, it’s that after a long day I don’t have the words. I write what i can, and that’s usually at least something each day, so when I come to catch up, like tonight for instance, I can follow through on the idea I had.

It’s not going to get better until Spring is gone either, but I’m not surrendering the challenge, I just have to acknowledge that some days I’ll miss target, some days I’ll have to double and treble and quadruple up, and realise that’s okay.

So for those that read my blog, (hey, lovely to have you here), bear with me, eventually normal service will resume.

P.S. Yes, in the time I’ve taken to write this I could have caught up – but no one’s perfect.

P.P.S. To those that balance writing everyday with work, university, zoo keeping child rearing, and what not – you have my full respect. You do amazing things.

Here We Go Again…

I never meant for there to be so long between chapters, however, I kind of got stuck, so much going on in life.  Of course work is the biggest drain on my creativity, but as I’ve mentioned before, it pays the bills, so has to come first.

However, there is a new first, and that is my beautiful niece Phoebe, born two weeks ago today. She’s amazing – well amazing probably isn’t the most accurate description so far she’s learned to sleep, poop, and cry, but who knows what she’ll be doing this time next week.

Also, I have a pretty significant problem which interferes with my ability to write for any length of time. I started with carpal tunnel syndrome a few weeks ago, it was, and still is, really bad in my left hand, however now my right hand has all the symptoms too. I know have tubigrip covering both my arms in an effort to find release.

Carpal tunnel snydrome kind of caught me by surprise, I never thought i’d feel pain like this – even know as I type everytime I stretch to hit a key the pain is there, but ther are times when its excrutiating, especially at night. I’ve known people that suffered, and heard of plenty more – but I always figured it was constant discomfort rather than pain.

It does mean the limited time, and energy I have in my life for writing his decreased considerably, because I can literally only write during times the pain isn’t so bad.

I’m not giving in though, in a couple of chapters time, Memoirs of a Space Corsair is really going to take off, and get into the exciting adventures in space, and I fully intend to enjoy it.

Meanwhile, while the muse is with me, and I’m able to write I’m trying to get as much of chapter five done as I can, since its a day off work today, but back tomorrow.

NaNoWriMo 2009 – The Conclusion

So NaNoWriMo 2009 has come and gone, with much heartache, sleepless nights, sore hands, etc, etc…

I have a confession to make – I didn’t finish. This year was not mine for the sweet smell of success. I peaked at 25,000 words (a quarter of my original target). To say I’m disappointed in myself would be an understatement – but equally, I’m not ashamed. Indeed, in many ways I’m quite happy, and proud of myself, during the final weekend, I finally learned to accept I can’t write all the time. I want to, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes there is no way round the fact that without will, inspiration is relegated to frustration.

I really really don’t like failing, but I could have pushed in that final weekend, and pushed, but I would never have hit even the modest target of 50,000, and even if I had. Instead I took a break, having accepted defeat, let go of the pressure – I felt wonderful. So immediately following my return home, I started writing again. Nice and smoothly, and without much effort. In fact I’ve had some late nights, because the writing has being going so well, and I wasn’t aware of the time.

I’m not finishing off my NaNoWriMo project for now, I’ve put it to one side, as my imagination is caught with  a sequel to my previous NaNoWriMo attempt (the one I won last year).

Just shows you, sometimes pressure helps, and other times it hinders – I think for me it’s the accumalative pressures I found myself under with family life, work, money, and writing, it made for some unsurmountable obstacles. Until I let go, and found away to enjoy myself away from the pressure.