Okay, so, this year has been a huge bust in terms of reading and writing. Just a total and complete fail. I have talked with my therapist a little about the general non-writing and the feelings surrounding that, and really the hardest thing about it is not beating myself up over it. My therapist thinks that, after not writing a single new thing all year, expecting to do NaNo last month was just unrealistic. That sounds weird to me, since NaNo IS unrealistic in so many ways and it’s really just about pushing through that ridiculousness and doing it anyways…. But I guess he is right. I haven’t written more then 300 words of fiction since before I went in the hospital June 2017. That feels horrible to type, but I need to remind myself that getting back into writing after so long might be a slow process.
SO! That’s why my biggest, #1 New Year’s Resolution for 2019 is simply this: Write one thing every month. One thing. One poem, one 100-word drabble, anything. As long as it is fiction it counts. If I can do this, at the end of next year I will have 12 new writings. And each new writing is precious. I need to remember that, too.
My other Resolution will be reading. Not a big adventurous goal like I’ve tried-and-failed for multiple years now. In 2019 my reading goal will just be to read my 3 unread LT ER books (and post reviews). …. LibraryThing EarlyReviewers, that is. I have two books from the Early Reviewers program that I got last year and haven’t read, and I really really should because that’s the deal, you get them free in exchange for a review. The third book… Secret Shared. *sigh* I have been trying to read that book for *years*. It’s an ER book that I won years ago, 2013 I believe, and I’ve read the first two chapters like 5 times but I just can’t seem to get into it. Technically it’s valid to post a review explaining that, why I couldn’t finish it, etc, but I really enjoyed the first book in that series so I really want to give that book another shot.
Two resolutions. Writing, and reading. Neither ambitious, both totally do-able. Can I? I sure hope so.
Haven’t updated because I haven’t really had much to update about… Haven’t done much editing since last post, no actual writing. I’ve kinda-sorta decided to pants NaNo (ie, flying by the seat of your pants, ie not planning out the story first) although I do need to at least jot down a few notes to remind myself what I was thinking of before in the stories. I’ve also kinda-sorta decided to not focus on the 50,000-word goal and just use this NaNo to actually get me *writing* again regardless of word count. At this point I think 50k in one month is just too much to ask after not writing more then 100 words of fiction in a full year.
In non-writing news, I’ve been going to therapy every other week. That’s…. It’s going well, it’s kinda emotional and stuff but it’s going well. Saw my psych-med doctor today and she increased my new-ish anxiety med as well as added a med that will hopefully help the actual anxiety instead of just masking the symptoms. The anxiety has been pretty bad lately, it seems I’m getting anxious a lot easier, over a lot more things, and it escalates fast.
I finished July’s Camp NaNo with 1,226 minutes of editing, yay! That’s a little over 20 hours of editing in one month, yay! It’s also a good 700+ *more* minutes of editing then I did during April’s Camp, yay!
I finished the first editing pass of Amanda-sequel and got through 94 pages of Remy-sequel (still have 46 pages left). And I realized just how much of a mess the first part of Remy-sequel is, wow. I wrote the beginning ‘moving in’ part as part of NaNo a few years back, and apparently I really embraced the ‘write first, think later’ aspect of NaNo… The continuity is just a mess, multiple instances of the characters finishing a part of the moving and then a few paragraphs later they are finishing it again, that sort of thing. Also tons of unneeded detail, but I always do that with NaNo stories. It’s kind of fun to read back through it though, I’ve been writing Remy-universe for so long that there are actually parts I’d kind of forgotten about (like when they invite their new neighbors over for a ‘get acquainted dinner’ and end up telling them the whole backstory of how they got together and such, and one of the neighbors is way way too nosy about it… That was fun to write).
In non-writing news, my anxiety has been through the roof lately. Like, really really bad, the worst it’s been in well over a year. Some of it is circumstance-driven, like when work transportation forgot to pick me up and I had a huge attack, but it’s definitely more then *just* because of stressful things. I have a psych appointment on the 14th and I’m going to talk to her about possibly increasing the dose on my anxiety medication, I am currently taking the lower dose so that’s probably an option.
So, it’s Camp time again! I have once again set my goal for 1,000 minutes of editing, although this time on Amanda-sequel and Remy-sequel. I’ve only been focusing on Amanda-sequel so far this month, but given that it’s only the 8th and I’m already halfway through the document with this first round of editing, it’s obvious I’ll need to move to Remy-sequel eventually. It’s not even that I’ve done *that* much editing so far, it’s more that Amanda-sequel is a good 50+ pages shorter then the original Amanda-story, and about 40 pages shorter then Remy-sequel. Both because I’ve skipped around even more then usual with Amanda-sequel, so there are more gaps/holes in the storyline, and because it’s not technically done.
However! I’ve been doing pretty good with the 1,000 minute goal. As of last night I’d done 200 minutes of editing this month, which is a tad behind where I should be to keep pace for hitting 1,000 by the end of the month, but not too much behind. But then today I found a wonderful browser extension that basically forces me to edit, lol… I’ve tried multiple ‘block websites for productivity’ apps before, but they never seem to work the way I need them to (either that or I get annoyed with them and stop using them). It remains to be seen how long it will take before I get annoyed with this one, but I have done 110 minutes of editing today because of it, so yay!
It’s called Productivity Owl, I found it in Chrome’s store, and basically instead of saying ‘block this and that and this’ it blocks *everything* (though you can whitelist sites for research/working purposes)… You can hard-block sites so it won’t let you go on them at all, and then any site that isn’t in the whitelist or blacklist it will let you on it for a certain number of seconds and then automatically close the tab. And instead of going ‘okay I want you to block websites for this amount of time’, it’s a *constant* blocking, and you have to schedule ‘freetime’ where it won’t block any sites for a specified time. Which means when I’m done editing for the day I have to completely disable the extension, but it also means a lot less procrastinating and no easy loopholes. 110 minutes in one day is awesome considering I’d done 200 minutes in 7 days before that, so it seems to be working!
So yes, I did meet my expanded editing goal of 1,000 minutes on Amanda-story! I actually met that goal fairly fast, around May 19th. I’ve been continuing to edit a bit, though not keeping track of the minutes anymore. I completely finished the first full pass through Amanda-story, and half-heartedly poked at the spot in the story where I jumped over multiple weeks and eventually need to write those weeks leading up to the climax, but I haven’t actually written anything new on it.
I have, however, started poking at Remy-story-sequel again. I actually opened up the first Remy-story to fact-check something in it, and that kind of got my mind on it, and at work on Thursday I was doing my normal ‘make up stories in my head while doing boring work-tasks’ and kind of possibly hit on an idea for continuing the part of Remy-story-sequel that I’ve been stuck on. I haven’t written on it in so long because I’ve been so unsure of how to proceed, I always planned for them to stay together but after writing out Allison’s reactions/feelings about Remy’s cheating I wasn’t sure how realistic that was for her character anymore. But during my little ‘making up stories’ thought-ramblings on Thursday I may have kind of figured out how to… Well, not *fix* things between them, so much as give Allison more help with getting past it. A conversation between Avery and Allison that could have Avery giving Allison some advice based on her past experiences. At one point awhile back I’d even toyed with the idea of Avery and Allison both leaving Remy and just being a couple together, if Allison couldn’t get past this, but then that’s not realistic for Avery because she loves Remy too much (and the cheating itself was never a big deal to her). But now I may have figured out how to do things, maybe… I haven’t started writing any of the stuff I thought of, though.
In non-writing news, life has been hectic. At work, my boss of 5+ years left the company, which was really really difficult to deal with (my new boss is fine, he’s just not her, yunno?). My birthday was awesome and included a surprise visit from my stepdad, but it also included a non-baptism and freakout. My mom is having a lot of trouble with her leg, lots of pain and walking issues, she has some new doctors that might possibly help but not sure yet. And we are currently scrambling to clean/organize 8 years of belongings in our apartment because of bug issues that require a deep-spray and getting rid of a lot of stuff (including the couch I love so much that used to belong to my grandparents).
The past week was very productive! Not only did I meet my goal of 300 minutes of editing in April, I did more and ended April with 465 minutes! I feel so very very happy about that, especially after having to lower my goal and not doing anything at all the first half of the month.
I’m determined not to just totally stop, the way I often do when a NaNo-month ends. I’ve made a further goal, a total of 1,000 minutes of editing on Amanda-story (and possibly Amanda-sequel if I get too stuck/frustrated with the first one…). So with the 465 minutes I’m almost halfway to that goal.
I usually really really hate editing (most writers do!), in fact I normally don’t go back and edit my stories at all after finishing them… I’m not looking to publish, so what’s the point? There have been exceptions, though, including Remy-story (and sequel), and now Amanda-story/sequel. I’m actually having fun with it for the moment, poking at sentence structure and using the 40-year-old thesaurus that used to belong to my grandpa (it’s surprisingly still very useful!).
I think many non-writers don’t realize just how tedious editing can be and how long it can take to just fix one little sentence…. I have literally spent 15+ minutes figuring out the best way to phrase something, or if something is grammatically correct (spent 13 minutes today Googling whether ‘matter-of-factly’ was a real term, and also if it actually has hyphens or not).
Welp, my goal of 20 hours of editing this month most definitely didn’t happen, will not happen, cannot happen. I did absolutely no editing at all for the first half of the month, I just couldn’t get my mind into it. So I ended up lowering my goal considerably, to 5 hours (or 300 minutes, I’m tracking it by minutes). I’ve done a tad over 200 minutes in the past week, so that’s good.
Most of the editing is just grammar fixes and NaNo-cheat fixes, like how during NaNo some people (me included) don’t use contractions because ‘do not’ is two words while ‘don’t’ is only one word and it actually really adds up… So now I’m trying to fix the stilted speech that results from not using any contractions. It’s fine for some stuff, especially the end-scene that I just edited today where Amanda is emphasizing her words, and ‘I do not’ sounds more serious then ‘I don’t’. But stuff like ‘I can not be, I just can not be that, I do not think…’ etc, that just sounds a little awkward. So I’m fixing that kind of stuff.
I did, however, end up skipping to the last 30 pages or so because I was getting frustrated trying to edit the beginning and I knew there were actually things towards the end that needed changing. I’ve just finished editing the last few pages… So now I either have to go back to the beginning and attempt that again, or move to a different story for the remainder of my editing minutes. Since I’ve been concentrating on Amanda-story I may be able to poke at Amanda-sequel, since my mind is already on those characters.
Also, I got a bunny!! A plotbunny, that is. Well, more like a small skittish scenebunny. I haven’t actually written any of it yet, partly because I’m concentrating on editing and partly because I haven’t written anything new in so long that I’m a little hesitant about it. It’s for Amanda-sequel, and at the moment it’s just one scene idea but it brings up stuff that could definitely be fleshed out into multiple scenes… I’ve toyed with the idea of Meg having a girlfriend while living with Amanda pretty much ever since I started writing the sequel. In what I’ve written so far she doesn’t, but now I have this bunny about if she does have a girlfriend, what happens if she starts spending more time with this girlfriend and slacking on her obligations to Amanda? So it’s just a scenebunny at the moment about how they would handle that, but it could be expanded a lot because I could show the slow progression of Meg spending more and more time with the girlfriend, maybe forgetting to do something around the house, and then after they realize it’s a problem something will have to be decided… Hmmm.
So. I still have not written. At all. Nothing. Not one freaking word on any of my stories so far this year. It’s driving me nuts but every time I try nothing comes out. I’ve decided instead of trying to force myself to write new things while my muse is apparently totally on vacation, for Camp NaNo in April I’m instead going to focus on editing. My goal for April will be 20 hours of editing, on anything I can focus on… Amanda-story, Amanda-sequel, Remy-sequel… heck, maybe even Alexz-story if I can get back into that character’s head enough. My hope is that editing will get my head back into the stories and maybe I’ll end up writing a little something sooner or later.
I also have not read a book so far this year. Not one full book. I got 5 (6?) books from the library a few weeks ago and I did start reading one, and it’s actually a fairly good book (from the Dog Diaries series that I totally love) but I just never feel motivated to actually sit down and read.
My stepdad is coming to visit mid-April for a week, which will be fun, it’s always tons of fun when he visits… And the local fair is next week and hopefully I’ll be going with a group from the housing assistance program I’m a part of (I went with them last year). Got my income tax refunds and put most of it away for our San Diego trip this year, whenever that may be. Our last San Diego trip was last August and I *still* haven’t gone through and cropped/resized all the pictures… I’ve done a little over 400 of them, there are 1,450 in all. Ugh.
I’m not sure if I’ve ever talked about my love for the show Once Upon a Time on this blog… That show has been a very big part of my life for 6 years now. And recently it was announced that the current season will be it’s last. That’s been hard to deal with… On one hand I’ve been very vocal about how much I hate this season and the time-jump and half the main cast leaving and the focus shifting so much etc etc. On the other hand, as long as there were new episodes I could hope that it would get better… Only a handful of new episodes left now, forever. I’m disappointed that SwanQueen, my favorite ship, never became canon, but I’m also disappointed that I won’t be able to see these character’s adventures anymore regardless of who they are with romantically.
Easter is the anniversary of my grandpa’s death and it’s usually a very hard time for me and my mom every year. I’m feeling okay so far this year, but it’s definitely on my mind.
I seriously suck at updating this thing, oops. Actually opened WordPress about a week ago and then… Got distracted, I guess.
I’ve been annoyingly sick for over two weeks now, that kind of sick where it’s horrible and you can barely function, and then it gets better and you think you are in the clear, and then it gets horrible again… Rinse repeat about five times. I’m currently feeling better, but dunno if it’ll last.
Decided not to do any New Year’s Resolutions this year, after realizing how horribly my 2017 resolutions went. Instead I’m just going to keep making short-term to-do lists, because that seems to kinda sorta work for me. Sorta. My current major goal is to read one book by the end of the month. Technically I should read 4 books by the end of the month if I want to be on track for my LibraryThing goal of reading 50 books this year, but I really doubt that would happen and I’m not in the mood to push myself with it.
My other goals for the rest of the month are mostly computer-related… Downloading more songs from my list (I’ve got almost 15 artists on that list), read some of my friend’s Glee fanfic that I started reading forever-ago and then Life Happened, and do a few pages of dragons on DragonCave (online adoptables game I’m totally addicted to). On the game there is a semi-new feature called Groups, where you can sort your dragons into groups based on any criteria you choose. I had 27 different Groups, mostly just grouping my different ‘clans’ together, but then I decided I wanted a specific group for all my dragons with messy lineages… I have over 5,600 dragons, and I’m certainly not familiar with all their lineages, so I’m in the process of going through every single dragon to see which ones to add to that group. … It’s going to take forever.
I would really like to get back into writing… I still haven’t written a darn thing. I *want* to write that Amanda-story scenebunny, or continue Alexz-story, or figure out where the heck I’m going with Remy-story-sequel, but… I just can’t seem to get my mind into it.
Hello. So yeah, NaNoWriMo just didn’t happen for me this month. Every single day I think about writing something, anything, but I gave up on actually doing NaNo weeks ago. It’s really strange, because this is the first time I’ve *ever* not done NaNo when it hasn’t been because I’m so completely depressed and/or suicidal. Earlier this month I wondered if my dis-interest in NaNo was maybe a sign of my depression coming back, but I’ve been fairly okay the last few weeks. Had a couple anxiety attacks, but nowhere near what it used to be, and no serious depression at all. I’ve never really experienced not wanting to write without it being because of my mental state, and I’m sort of not sure what to do about it.
I still have those ideas, both the new story ideas and the ideas about continuing Amanda-story-sequel, and I still want to write those eventually. I also recently acquired a new Amanda-story scenebunny, not the sequel but the original story, because writing stories out of order means there are almost always little parts in the storyline that I skip over and may not write for a long time (… or never write). With Amanda-story I skipped the 2-3 weeks in between them getting their “normal” relationship back on track, and the ending revelation. It may even need to be a month or so in between. I wrote the first couple days of it and then just skipped to writing the ending. So this new scenebunny takes an idea that stems from the way Amanda views their relationship, and kind of adds a little acknowledgement of that from Meg into the last couple weeks of the story. I think it could add something to their dynamic, if only it being that Meg is showing Amanda that she knows and understands how Amanda feels about things. It may even make the ending better, since it will better show that Amanda’s end-revelation is a step forward from how she thought of their relationship before. So I’d like to write that… Eventually. Whenever my muse/motivation/etc comes back.
In reading news… I haven’t been, not much. Finished my two LibraryThing Early Reviewer books that I was struggling with (not struggling because they sucked, just because I wasn’t in a reading mindset) and posted reviews for them. Have one more Early Reviewer book that needs to be read/reviewed, but haven’t started it and probably won’t for another week or so.
My reading priority right now is finishing the beta of my friend’s awesome story, the beta that I really should’ve been done with by now… Originally I had wanted to be done with it by the end of October so I could concentrate on NaNo this month, but yeah that didn’t happen at all. And I’ve recently been informed that my memory seriously sucks, because a part in this story that made me *freak out* with surprise and confusion and excitement was apparently in the first draft that I read a few years ago?? Totally don’t remember that at all. Which I guess is good, in a way, since the less I remember about the old draft the better I can be about looking at this version with new eyes? *shrugs*