Procrastination

    I’m overthinking cable management again. 😐💻

    Had quite a productive day. Learned that not all quotation marks are the same, cleared out DEVONThink, tidied up Notes and redownloaded Native Instruments plug-ins. 💻😐

    That’s DEVONThink emptied, with hundreds of bits of information split between Notes, Safari (Bookmarks & Reading List) and photos in the Apple ecosystem. It’s a great piece of kit, but as I use my iPhone and iPad mostly, I can’t afford to renew DEVONThink To Go. 💻📝😐

    Starting to get a little overwhelmed with everything I want to do, ending up doing absolutely nothing as a consequence. I’ve been here before, I’ll sort it all out. 😐

    Right then polytunnel, we’ll see just how much I can clear you before the play-off final starts. 🌱⚽️😐

    Posting this to try and bully myself into starting to clear what once was a beautiful vegetable patch and polytunnel. 😐🌱

    Polytunnel, infested by weeds and detritus. Raised beds outdoors, weeds growing wild. Weeds growing undisturbed in gravel.

    It’s incredible how moving junk from one place to another just puts off the inevitable need to tackle said pile of crap. 😐

    I love MicroBlog, but the coding and suchlike goes way over my head and trying to get plug-ins to work goes confuses me at times. Should plug-ins work automatically? Am I missing something?

    NaNoWriMo—Week Three.

    Just over 41,000 words written and despite running out of road, I haven’t stopped driving. Or learning, there’s been plenty of that as well.

    Things I’ve learned:-

    As Terry Pratchett so eloquently said, There’s no such thing as writer’s block. That was invented by people in California who couldn’t write.

    I actually thought this was nonsense, to be honest. The unfair ramblings of a genius writer. I imagine, now, he had days that he had to drag the words out, but writer’s block? Nah. The words may be absolute rubbish, but they’re still words. In among the poor descriptions, tedious dialogue and other nonsense is something. That something doesn’t even have to take your story anywhere, it doesn’t even have to be part of the story you’re working on. Just write; write anything. Don’t think, either (that part actually comes effortlessly to me, I have to admit. I can spend hours not thinking, I can do that in my sleep.)

    So yes, just write—don’t judge as Right Said Fred in the nineties. Possibly, I wasn’t paying attention.

    The other thing I’ve learned about my writing is this:-

    I need to plan.

    Another genius writer, Stephen King, was pretty disparaging about people who plot books and don’t just see where the story and characters take you. It works for him, the man can write. For me? No, a disaster.

    I’d planned, haphazardly, scenes for the first half of the novel. Little notes about scenes, the next scene, that kind of thing. When I ran out of markers, I ran out of story. The climax came almost half-way through, which rendered my mind blank.

    That said, it’s got me thinking about that climax. It isn’t the climax, it’s a step-up to that. I need to make the climax even more exciting, I need to write three or four more climaxes and push myself. I must give my characters three choices of road, two of which lead to paradise, passive woodland creatures and a waterfall made of chocolate (I think I’ve been beaten to that idea, so that’s probably a good thing). No, I’ll send them down the road marked ‘Danger’ with glowing eyes peering out of the tree-line, ghosts telling them to turn back and an utter disregard for common sense. That’s what I’d like to read, anyway.

    In just these situations, Eoin Colfer often writes They do something clever to escape… and moves on with the story. I like that advice.

    My book, that story that has been rattling around in the empty space I call a skull for some twenty years, won’t be completed this NaNoWriMo. And that’s OK, I’ve accepted that. I’ll have 50,000 words come the end of it, that I guarantee. Lots of story, loads of learning, and the seed, the nucleus, for the proper attempt I’ll make—planned, plotted and crafted meticulously—to take it over the line.

    NaNoWriMo.

    Like many of you on MicroBlog, I’m going to give NaNoWriMo a good go this November. Like some of you, I’ve tried before and like a few of you I’ve failed to get anywhere near the 50,000 words – or even get a decent routine going - in previous attempts.

    It’s fair to say that being a procrastinator is a barrier to achieving a lot in life. Procrastination is an extension of anxiety, anxiety is an extension of poor self-esteem and fear. There are those out there who fly through life with little more than a winning smile and an outrageous amount of bottle. I admire these people, I really do, but from a distance and without interacting with them.

    I left my career as a mental health nurse in 2018 after some twenty years. Truth be told, I wasn’t ever enthusiastic about the job. I cared, and I always treated both the service users and staff with respect, but I fell into the career as both my parents were mental health nurses, and it seemed like the right thing to do. There wasn’t any pressure, I think I lacked imagination regarding opportunities and seeking those opportunities out.

    Anyway, a few days before my final shift, I had an epiphany. I was still a staff nurse, the same grade (essentially) as the day I qualified. Nothing wrong with that, plenty of nurses stay a staff-nurse and work happily until retirement. The difference was, I was a passenger in my own decision. It wasn’t a conscious one, I had just remained a staff-nurse because I hadn’t tried to push myself any higher.

    This turned my mind on to my dream career as a writer. I’d tried, and failed, to get a routine going with my writing and always quit when things got tough (which they always do, don’t they?) Even now, I’ve got a completed story ready to send off to agents that I’m procrastinating/scared about. I’ve drafted that many times, I’m starting to go cross-eyed. Sure, it isn’t perfect – but that’s the thing; if a writer is waiting for the perfect draft, then no stories get completed. At some point, it has to be set free and, of course, better ideas and ways to improve it will inevitably come to mind.

    Which Leads me to…

    The reason for this blog. Tomorrow (31/12/22) I am going to send my story for younger children off to five agents. Chances are, no-one will be interested, but you know what? I’ll send it off to some more.

    Meanwhile, in NaNoWriMo, I will do everything I can to write a story that has been hanging around my brain for over two-decades. I’m scared stiff, to be honest. There are plots I’m stumped over, but I believe if you put the effort in, then the universe will drop the answers in your lap – as long as you keep your eyes open.

    This is my way of keeping myself accountable, and I intend to blog every Sunday to update my progress.

    Thanks for reading.

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