January – Your Future Author Bio

So last year I managed a sum total of 2 blog topics for WriYe (January and December). I am aiming to do a little better this year. I probably won’t write all of them because some of them don’t speak to me, but I have made a note of the ones I think I could write a post on, and I intend to do a post for all of those.

Anyway the topic this week is to “write your future author bio / FAQ page” and I honestly laughed when I read that. Back in the day I had one of those pages, during my first attempt at publication. I got somebody on Fiverr to write it because I found it so awkward. Now I could cheat and just look in the depths of my hard drive and post that one, but I think I will make an honest attempt myself. It’s been… well lets not think how long its been, but a while, and I’m older and maybe want to say different things I don’t know.

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Goals for 2024

Look I’m actually making the post! I’m not sure I have done this ‘properly’ in a few years so let’s do this. What do I want from this year?

Now goals need to be SMART because when it’s intangible, how do you know when it’s been achieved? I can want inner peace, contentment, some amount of happiness etc. but that’s a feeling and an end result. Maybe I will get it one day, maybe I won’t, but I need to target things I can actually do something about.

This is the time of year I usually get an infusion of hope/optimism – wishful thinking – and I hope, hope with all my heart that the upcoming year will be different. I want it to be better, I want to feel better, so badly and then it never works out. It’s always a disappointment and I hate getting to my recap posts and going “well that was another sucky year”. It always seems like there’s some kind of external reason, but a lot of that is just excuses. I have depression, I have intense anxiety. I am autistic. I have physical symptoms even if I am unsure if I have actual physical issues (the mind likes to screw with the body). Life can be hard but I need to make choices that serve me.

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Art 2023: Year in Review

In my WriYe 2023: Year in Review I quoted a couple of times from my 2022 review post, and I think there’s something important to quote from the Art 2022 post.

I just want to be good at things. I want to be good enough. I don’t feel like I ever will be, with writing or with art, and so it’s a constant crisis of faith everyday. I try and persist even as I ask why. I have dreams, of art supplementing writing – two careers in a sense. Which is perhaps why I am struggling to balance them as I want to work both of them full time, but I am incapable of doing anything full time due to my disability.

Art 2022, Year in Review

As basically that’s probably accurate. It’s a struggle.

This year I did not go through courses how I would have liked. I did not implement a regular habit. I did not act with discipline when it came to learning and improving at all. It was another year that I did not do those things. But I did make some pieces of art (posted about some of them):

First two are digital. Done in Clip Studio Paint and Procreate respectively.

Next three are markers and coloured pencils.

Final four are watercolour/watercolour pencils, plus maybe a little regular coloured pencil or gauche for cleaning up.

I think I learned some things and at least I kept my hand in. There is still so much to learn, and I am so far from where I would like to go, but I did something. I could have made nothing. There are 9 pieces in and I remember when I used to set a goal for “a big piece per month” and so in that light, I’m doing ok.

Plus there’s always next year. As always I have hopes and dreams. Hopefully next year I will have a lot more to show off – key word, hopefully.

WriYe 2023: Year in Review

So here we are again.

To be honest I could copy and past a lot of last years ‘year in review’ and it would apply. I’ve got to the end of another year and I feel like I’m no further forward towards my dream.

I started the (2022 goal post) by saying that in my review of 2021 I had put “that I really didn’t want to get to the end of the year and be disappointed again – but I was.” – that is the dream and it is yet to be obtained.

2022, Year in Review

And as I said – here I am again. Another year, another disappointment.

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OMG 😱🫣 my usual “open tumblr in incognito mode” to send anons for gift exchange doesn’t work anymore! It says I have to login. Oh man. The paranoia is going to be so real 😬

What’s your game?

I’ve never been as good at blogging here as I hoped. In the beginning this was my Warcraft blog, and then I expanded it to Swtor and Marvel Heroes (and not bothered changing the header since). I now ramble about all kinds of things. I mean let’s not pretend otherwise, these are rambles. I pretend like there’s a difference as I separate out my copied over tumblr rambles from the ‘real’ blog posts, but really they are much the same stylistically. In the beginning I think I tried to make them more legit – just as I tried to keep a blog theme – but this is what it’s become. As this is basically my private ramble spot, as I don’t think anyone reads these even if they are technically publicly accessible, I guess it doesn’t matter.

Anyway, I’m not too sure why that was on my mind as an intro but it feels related somewhat because this is a blog post about Warcraft, and about approach I guess.

I have made a number of posts about Warcraft over the years. If you track back through them you’ll see I change my opinions about some things. I’ve been playing this game on/off for a long time (since January 2010) and as I have changed, the game has changed. There have been times I’ve felt the game has become incompatible with me, and that was the case recently.

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Victory Number Ten! (of a sort)

So I ‘won’ NaNo.

The inverted quotes are because I got the 50k (and for the 10th time in November) but if I look back at my intentions post, I didn’t really get what I wanted.

“my primary motivation this November is to try and find my joy again.”

“I wanted to feel excited to write it, I wanted to obsess over it, to have my mind wander to that world – like it used to years ago.”

That’s what I wrote. That’s what I wanted. That is NOT what happened.

NaNo usually follows a pattern of sorts. I have zero days, and then I have high word count days to make up for it. While there was some of that this month the graph was actually more stable than I think I have ever seen it – consistently a little below par. Usually when I approach the end I get a real whoosh and my final day is a downward hurtle to the finish line. I’m pretty sure on almost all NaNo’s I finish before Day Thirty due to that headlong whoosh. Well it was Day Thirty and it was a double day (3k) because that’s what I needed to scrape the 50k and so that’s what I did.

It was a total slog, and the only thing similar to the downward whoosh is when I got a “fuck it” mentality and just embraced the crap. There wasn’t any moments of joy, there weren’t any moments where I felt it flowed well. I had one brief moment where I felt I might have captured one characters voice, but that lasted for a single writing session and hasn’t repeated.

The only moments where I felt any kind of ‘magic’ were when I had to plan. I did like the idea generation for the episodes. Starting with nothing and then coming up with the episode plot and I think I came up with some cool stuff. It’s implemented very badly but there’s some cool ideas there I think.

I ended up with basically discovery drafts of the first three episodes, plus the first couple of scenes and half an outline for episode four. So I have something to build on I guess.

I knew going into this that joy was a state of mind, and that my lack of it isn’t really related to the writing – it’s me. So I know I shouldn’t be surprised at this result, and I’m not I mean I flat out said in the intentions post that I doubted it was possible to find the joy, but that doesn’t mean I’m not disappointed. I really would have liked to enjoy this month. I really, really, REALLY, wanted to remember why I do this writing thing, to feel some smidgeon of hope again.

I wish I had something more positive to say in this NaNo wrap-up but right now this is how I feel. In December obviously I need to think about my goals for 2024. Finding joy is likely to be my top priority but I really don’t know how to do that. It’s not about what I write, it is about me, and I don’t know how to change me. I really wish I did.

The NaNo Report: Day Twenty-Nine and Thirty

So yesterday I didn’t get any words as I had to come up with an idea for Episode 4. I needed to know what I was writing before I could write, and like Episode 3 before it, it took all day to wrangle an idea into enough form to move forward.

Which left just today to get the last 3k to win.

So I did win. And by win I mean I hit the 50k.

When I won it told me it was my 10th NaNo win and I didn’t think that was correct. I mean I’ve been taking part on/off since 2007 so it was definitely possible but I knew I’d failed quite a few times, and so ten? But I just went through and it’s right. I got the 50k in 08, 09, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 (quite a run there), 2020, 2022 and then finally this year 2023.

But did I win really?

What I wanted more than anything this month was to rediscover my love of writing and from that perspective it was an epic failure. I didn’t hate every single minute of it. I do love the idea, and coming up with the various episode plots was alternately frustrating but then satisfying (as idea generation is apt to be). But the actual writing just did not flow well. I felt like every word was shit. I know the old “can’t fix a blank page” but it’s demoralising to not feel any kind of rush. To just be like drek. I didn’t capture the spirit I wanted at all.

Anyway what I ended up with is the first three episodes of a serial drafted, with the first three scenes of Episode 4 also drafted and part of an outline for the rest of the episode. I have character notes, some notes on the general arc of the season and what the villain wants etc. but that’s about it. So basically it’s a start and as always there’s a long way to go.

I did like attempting to write the serial. I definitely fell down mechanically in a few places as it was hard to capture on paper what I was imagining – as if a novel = a movie, then this is like watching TV episodes in my head. Now obviously TV can do cool things like have characters on the phone and flash back and forth between them. I am unsure if it’s even remotely possible to do that on paper. It was fun coming up with the various episode plots and I think it has the seeds of something. I’m not sure I have the skill to pull it off but maybe one day I’ll get there.

Words today: 3,257

Final NaNo total: 50,455

The NaNo Report: Day Twenty-Seven and Day Twenty-Eight

So I didn’t do the report yesterday because I was in a bad headspace. I did get some words but I felt so wretched about them and everything. While I think it’s important to be honest about this process, which means not pretending it’s all sunshine and rainbows when it’s not, I don’t wish to spread negativity either.

Yesterday words: 1,082

Today I had a “just fuck it” moment and rambled a whole bunch of words. Yes they suck but I caught up to NaNo par. I also finished Episode Three of the serial which is terrible. Why? Because yet again I have nothing more planned and I am about 3k short of the NaNo 50k.

The obvious answer is to start Episode 4 but there’s the additional problem that tomorrow is Wednesday. That is chore day. I have to get groceries and that usually messes me up. I only have tomorrow and Thursday to both think of an idea and write 3k on it.

You know I don’t believe I have been both simultaneously so close, and yet so far, at this point in the month. What usually happens is that downward whoosh I have mentioned. So my final day is usually a huge word count. I would need to check past stats but I don’t believe I have ever been so consistently behind pace either. Although honestly I don’t really remember I have taken part in so many NaNo’s I might have had one like this before.

Anyway hopefully I will at least work out what to type the 3k on tomorrow, even if I have to try and hammer it out on the last day.

Words today: 3,319
Current total: 47,198

The NaNo Report: Day Twenty-Six

Progress honestly feels glacial. I haven’t hit the whoosh headwind downward slope I expected. I think this is part of not feeling the joy that I wanted. I mean I do have a lot of love for my story, but I am battling the usual “this sucks” and it really does. I’m not sure my writing has ever been this bad. I don’t know how it keeps getting worse especially after I took all those craft notes to try and improve 😭

I am around 550 words behind NaNo pace. I am feeling the story out. Yes it will need totally rewriting but deep breath and all, trying not to let it bother me. It’s the devil on my shoulder talking, wondering why the 50k matters as it’s 50k of crap. The old “why am I bothering?” demon. I’m learning things, writing stuff and going “thats dumb”. Maybe that’s just my process. It’s not fun but I am not writing as regularly as I should so I guess it’s to be expected. I hope one day I will get in a groove again, it’s been years :/

Words today: 2,508
Current total: 42,797