I’ll keep this short and somewhat to the point – the draft of Cold Streets is ready for test readers!
As I work on Godslayer, outlining and possibly doing a world/character bible, I’ll be interested to hear what people have to say about my next novella. I want to hit as broad an audience as possible. I have a few people interested already, but if you would like to read the manuscript over and have a hand in changing it before I go into the production cycle, please let me know.
Don’t get me wrong. I know a lot of people out there are getting right into NaNoWriMo as I write this. I support the endeavor 100%, and I think it’s a great idea. 1000 words a day for 30 days is a daunting prospect, but it can be done. Arguably, it should be done, because words unwritten for a story in one’s head never really go anywhere.
I just can’t do it this year.
I’m continuing to struggle with things like energy and focus. While this past week was a touch more forgiving, it still saw me spending a lot of time and energy during a compressed eight hour period rather than conserving anything for the evening or the following morning. There was progress on Cold Streets, but nowhere near as much as I’d like. I’m still not sure if I’m putting too much pressure on myself or if my struggles are in vain. I’m not really getting the sort of feedback that helps in that regard. I know the situation is temporary, and one way or another will not last forever, but right in the middle of it, it kind of sucks really hard.
I’ll keep trying to find ways to mitigate things, to make them better, to carve out more time and conserve more energy to make the headway I need to make. I know that I can’t change anything if I don’t make the effort, and I definitely seek that change. Things can and will be better for me.
It is my sincerest hope that this week was an aberration, and not the template for what’s to come between now and January (or even February depending on how busy things become). Weekend work combined with long days requiring intense focus have left me somewhat drained. I also hope I’m not sounding too much like a broken record, making posts like this.
It is cruelly true that in my position, I must prioritize doing what pays the bills over doing what I want, what I enjoy, or what interests me. The editing and rewriting of Cold Streets doesn’t pay bills. Writing articles about games and storytelling don’t, either. And the last week or two have been demanding enough that I have not been able to nail down a change in schedule that will allow me to pursue those things to put me in a better position for a greater change in my life.
So we’ll try again next week, and hope that the hours and days aren’t quite as long.
This is… a bit more complex than I thought it’d be.
I’m working over Cold Streets the way Jack Bauer works over someone who knows where the bomb is on Air Force One. Two of the opening scenes have been entirely swapped, and I’m rewriting a major section and introduction of a new character to make more sense and be more interesting. The more I work it over, the more I realize there’s more to do. Other things to add and change. Lines of logic I need to keep untangled. That sort of thing.
And then you have realizations along the lines of “Wait. If I change X, then why wouldn’t Y happen?” So I’m working to incorporate those new ideas, as well. Suffice it to say, the rewrite’s going to take a bit longer than I initially estimated.
Much like some malevolent giant peering over the wall of a nearly defenseless settlement, the dreaded Q4 is upon me at the dayjob. Expectations are high. Work is sure to come fast and furious (and without the benefits of Michelle Rodriguez or Jordana Brewster). I’m going to have to take extra steps to stay on top of things. Bills need to be paid, which means I need this employment, which means I can’t lose it.
This means I need to rearrange my schedule.
The last couple weeks I’ve been catching my breath. Picking at Cold Streets instead of tearing into it. Thinking about Godslayer more than I write about it. Blogging when I feel like it instead of on a schedule. I’ve taken a leisurely pace to things, in an attempt to get my head and heart together. It’s time to put that aside and focus on getting through the next few months intact.
I’ve been losing weight, and I plan to keep doing that. A focus on my physical imperfections and progress will help me focus, in turn, on the imperfections and progress in front of me. That’s the idea, at least. I’ll have to make sacrifices, be it less time for games, or relaxation, or friends. I’ll still make time for those things, and watching things like Agents of SHIELD or Attack on Titan, but these are rewards, not goals in and of themselves. I hope I don’t offend anybody if I disappear for hours at a time from people’s radar. While I do still need the support of friends and family – there’s no way I could have made it this far without them – there’s a large portion of what’s in front of me that I have to face alone.
Surviving to see 2014 in a prosperous and meaningful way means living up to my potential, owning my mistakes (which I am bound to make), writing the stories only I can write, doing everything I can for those around me, and never ever giving up, even if the odds seem stacked in favor of the house.
I know there’s help, and I’m grateful for it. I know there’s ground that’s been tread before, and I’m willing to learn from it. But in the end, when the reports and the edits and the demands come in, it’s all on me.