Churning!

There’s a lot going on at the moment.

Only there isn’t. It seems to be, but perhaps only in my mind which, it must be said, is struggling.

I feel overwhelmed but don’t know why, or rather I do, but don’t want to say because I’ve said it all before and nothing has changed, so there’s little point rehashing old stuff yet again. It doesn’t change things, not really.

The future looks bleak. Not mega bleak, as though it could all end horribly tomorrow, but that bleak, nothing is gonna change bleakness where you question if you have the stamina for it and can bear merely to exist without any light at the end of the dark tunnel.

I’m so confused about so much. My mind churns constantly with the practicality, or impracticality, of things. What do I do about work? Should I work? Can I work? Can I find the right job for me given my age and medical issues? I don’t want to do too much and feel overwhelmed but, on the other hand, I don’t want to do too little or too much in the wrong job and find boredom has set in or I’m not getting any job satisfaction and resenting it. I’m Autistic and the wrong job could destroy me, plus I’m almost 57, and we know how hard it is for people my age to find work.

My writings failing. No, not to the point where I’m going to give up, but to the extent that I’m not quite there with it. I hoped for a little more interaction but I don’t know my target audience…unless it’s just me…and I can’t buy my own books. I don’t seem to get the reviews I need to give it a boost and I’m pretty certain it’s not reaching the right people despite my best and expensive efforts.

I’m churning away. Churning in my head, churning in my writing, churning in my sleep. Feeling anxious, fed up, exasperated and at a loss to know what to do for the best. Story of my life.

But what else can I do? The world keeps on turning, and I must keep on churning.

I hate editing!

Honestly, I do.

I hate it for several reasons and first amongst them is the awful realisation that what I’m editing is pants. It is. Pants, huge bloomers with frilly bits.

Sometimes I read a page or two and then wonder what it is I’ve just read. It makes no sense at all and I must have been on something to have written such dross. What are my characters doing? What is their motivation? And who the bloody hell is Algernon? I’m sure I didn’t write a character called Algernon!

Then I realise the punctuation is worse than the writing. I am the enemy of grammar although, as my spelling isn’t that hot either, I probably meant enema of grandma! I throw in random commas, strange full stops and hyphens hyphenate where they shouldn’t. And I love exclamation marks! Seriously!!!!!

I try to sound clever when I shouldn’t and dumb it down where I should make it clever and then I invent new words just for the sheer hell of it..or is just my spelling?

I’m editing my epic. Editing 90 chapters, a quarter of a million words and x number of pages. I wish I’d never started. What possessed me to write it and then decide to edit, or basically rewrite it? Am I mad? I’m already going a bit word blind and doolally and I’ve edited 5 chapters! 5! Bloody 5! At this rate I’ll still be editing in 2025! And yes I love exclamation marks!!!

So now you know. You know why I’m a little bit loopy. I will finish it and will present something I’m proud of; promise.

Just don’t ask me when!

Who am I writing for?

I have 8 books out on Amazon and to date, I’ve sold 8 copies and 4 of the books have yet to sell a single one. So who am I writing for?

It’s easy to say that I write for me and in a way that’s exactly what I do. I have stories that I think deserve a public audience or that people will enjoy and therefore I want to get them down on paper and out there.

But it does become dispiriting when I see my sales and pages read and know that if everyone who had promised to buy one, did buy one, I’d have tripled my sales. Sure! I’m not getting rich in the process but 24 is bigger than 8.

I didn’t expect to be rich but a bit of light in the darkness wouldn’t go amiss. Even a review would be nice but either people don’t want to review, can’t be arsed to review, think it’s so bad that they want to give zero stars but can’t or the book is sitting in a ‘to be read’ pile and it might never be read and a review may never come.

I’m currently writing my 9th. If I put my mind to it and did some editing then I could have another couple out in the next month but is there any point? Am I simply fooling myself that I’m going to sell more than 1-2 of each book, if that?

I try and market when I can. I push my books on Twitter but that doesn’t increase sales, whilst Facebook means that each book gets its existence acknowledged but then nobody buys it. And I can’t live on people liking the fact it’s written because that doesn’t bring in the money.

I’m starting to become jaded about my writing. I do about 2-3K words each day but wonder why I bother. I enjoy some bits but then others feel forced and poorly written and I wince when I reread the passages, struggling with my poor word choice and generally just getting fed up with a routine that is painful.

So, who am I writing for? It’s you, but I wish you’d read the bally things!.

Reliving the past.

I’m writing my second travel book. The first didn’t do very well (if you call selling not a single copy not selling well) but I’m not deterred as it’s fun to relive past adventures and recall incidents that I’ve forgotten.

I like journaling my travels. I like to be able to look back at more than images, but also at words. How did I feel? What did I experience? Was it pleasant? Was it spectacular? Did it live up to the hype or fail miserably?

Images are a snapshot, frozen in time whilst the words add a greater depth and insight. I can see it’s a temple but what feelings did it invoke? Was I awed? Bored? Confused? Disappointed? The one thing that does stand out in my travel writing is that too often it relies on a small vocabulary to get my message across. Yes, things are often wonderful and spectacular but there’s more to them than that.

I’m not a good writer. I want to be and I do have a much larger vocabulary than some people but fibromyalgia fog and ADHD certainly impact on my ability to dredge up words that accurately describe feelings and so I retreat into well worn territory when I want to do better. At least that’s how I see my writing.

Perhaps I’m limited by how I travel? The organised tour is perhaps restricting and stifling of creativity as individual interactions and activities beyond the core group are limited by time. Perhaps in order to write well you need to be isolated and separated from the norm so that your experiences are more individual and perhaps more risky, more scary, than those of a group. Yes, there is safety in numbers but is there also a limit to imagination?

I can’t say because I prefer the sanctuary of the organised tour and things still go wrong and there is still some capacity to experience something different. Plus you have your fellow travellers to observe and like or dislike.

I don’t know how book two will go. I’m writing it, not expecting sales but because I want to write it. I would like people to see touring through my Autistic, ADHD eyes. To better understand what I get out of it all.

I’m reliving the past and wondering where it will take me.

Aligning words with music

I like to have some music on some days or when writing a specific genre or passage. I know that listening to music is not deemed conducive to writing by some as it can prove to be too much of a distraction and I do tend to agree with that but, quite recently, I have found myself resorting to music more and more by way of giving me emotional support whilst I write.

I’m writing the final book in a series and although the series is humourous (I hope!), I have found this last book more thoughtful and contemplative and sad. Sad because I have grown fond of the characters and the ending is entirely emotional and perhaps unexpected given what has gone before.

The quiet passages, the thoughtful passages have been written to the accompaniment of the ethereal delights of Enya and the extraordinary talent that is Hayley Westenra, whose first two albums are full of lovely songs and some, such as Karl Jenkin’s glorious ‘Benedictus’, which is unimaginably moving in its arrangement.

When I am writing more powerful scenes; scenes full of lively humour and my characters doing some pretty strange stuff, then I need a soundtrack to my words that is full of upbeat rhythms and, given that one of my characters is quite a warlike gentleman, something loud and heavy. It’s at those moments that I let loose the likes of Volbeat, Mono Inc, Parkway Drive and Five Finger Death Punch.

I find I can write to the rhythm of the songs and my words puncture the page slowly and thoughtfully during slow melodic numbers and then achieve a staccato beat when the music gets louder and I find my writing speeding along, keeping time as the words seem to flood the page and I can fill paragraphs and pages with an almost alarming rapidity.

And then I need silence. That time when the words aren’t quite there and I find the lyrics imposing themselves on my writing and becoming almost plagiaristic, something I strive to avoid. Influence yes but not copy.

Do you write? Do you write with music? Perhaps you listen to something more orchestral so as to avoid words in lyrics mingling with the words you wish to place on the page.

Each, as they say, to their own.

What day is it?

Every day is now blurring into one continuous day, punctuated by shopping, a bit of tv and restless sleep. The weekend seems simply to be an extension of other days and there is little to distinguish one from the other.

I’ve been writing. Three books published, a fourth completed, a fifth in idea format and other works hurtling about like dodgems in my mind, bouncing off one another and each demanding attention. So many ideas, so much time, so little…not enthusiasm for writing as such but the desire to spend a lot of time writing in an environment that isn’t conducive to comfortable writing.

I have been good though. Everyday for 2 hours or more, anything between 2-5K words, plus some research. I’m trying to be dedicated but it is so hard. I have so many ideas and I want to write them all, at the same time. I need another six arms and three computers.

My better half always asks how I’m doing. What are you writing? She will ask, hoping I’ve written a poem. She likes my writing but enjoys my funny poetry more. My other poetry, the poetry full of angst and suicidal ideation is not her cup of tea, but to know me, know my work. Even my stories have Death as the main character.

I’m making progress. My travel book is about a third of the way through and I’m enjoying reliving fond memories. I don’t know if it’s as funny as I’d like but the editing will reveal more. It’s going to be quite a big book I think but there’s a lot to cram into it. Lots of planes, strange travelling companions and disorganisation.

So that’s my update; how I’m doing etc. Now, what day is it?

That sinking feeling.

I gave up yesterday.

I gave up and threw all the holiday brochures in the bin. I don’t see any point in tormenting myself anymore. I don’t want to see pictures of places I want to see but know I will never visit. It’s all become too upsetting.

My new suitcase will find a use as a dumping ground for clothes and I needn’t renew my passport, which saves some money. And I feel terrible.

I’m so tired of hearing my other half have this plan and that plan and then give up and do nothing because they lack confidence. We have talked it through time and time and time again. I try to encourage her but it’s no good. Does she think I am confident in my books? I’m not. They are in the public domain but if somebody hates them then what can I do?

She doesn’t want to lose weight or get fitter or take any exercise. She doesn’t understand how important travel is to me yet she should because I have told her so, so often. She doesn’t want something to aim for. She doesn’t seem to care.

And I’m tired.

Living here because it’s all we can afford. Can’t have a dog, can’t travel, can’t do anything.

I’ve given up.

What’s the point in going on?

Technology is my enemy!

Started yesterday with my Chromebook playing silly buggers! This is when, because it has a life of its own, it will give an almighty shrug and close down or cause the programme you are using to stop working and then you will lose things. Like I did.

First it saved, then it didn’t. Then it tricked me into thinking it had before blowing me a raspberry and telling me I sucked because yay, it had lost it all. Really lost.

Not misplaced, not put in the wrong folder, not dropped. Lost, gone forever, to the accompanying laughter that my Chromebook likes to torture me with.

I thought I had it. I was certain I had emailed it to me before the great shrugging of 2022 but nope, not there, not anywhere. Even the programme I was using that saves stuff automatically hadn’t saved it automatically and where it should have been there was just a space, as if I’d not written it at all.

It was calling me a liar. It was telling me that those 2000 words were all in my imagination. But they weren’t. I hunted high, I hunted low, I even contacted one of the companies support desks but no, they said, you’ve screwed up totally, your work is lost. Get over it bud, suck it up, it’s gone and you can’t have it back.

So I rewrote it this morning; very cautiously and saving often, emailing myself the document after each 200 words and checking constantly that it was there. Such a waste of time. Write. Stop. Check. Email. Write. Stop. Check. Email. Bollocks!

I hate it. I hate technology. I hate not knowing why things go wrong or how to fix them. I don’t understand technology or how things work so I’m like a tiny mewling kitten the moment something throws a wobbly. Technology is my enemy and I can’t see that changing.

New Beginnings

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Today is the first day of the rest of my life. Sure, every day is the first day of the rest of your life but today I am moving on, putting the past behind me.

Work is now done and dusted. There is some paperwork to take care of; P45s and last payslips and all that jazz but once that’s all been signed off I will consider that chapter of my life over and look forward.

I don’t have any plans. I’m not itching to get back into work. I feel battered and bruised and exhausted by the last six months and I need time to recover; to recharge spent batteries. I’m not going to be idle although anything requiring effort will have to be introduced slowly as I really don’t think I can face another burnout; another meltdown.

I am going to write. Yes, it might not be to your taste (or even mine at times) but it has to be done. I want to write about hopes and dreams and moving forward and I want to continue to write my books and get them out on Amazon. They may not sell but at least they will be out there, in my own voice, telling tales that I want to tell. I don’t think they will make me rich but if you don’t try, you don’t get.

I am going to take better care of myself. I need to take better care of myself. I need to think more seriously about my diet and my diabetes and look after myself because nobody is going to do that for me. Sure I am still horribly depressed and I am still Autistic and still have ADHD and all the associated trauma but I am going to do my best.

Today is all about new beginnings. Tomorrow will be about more new beginnings.

Now let’s find out where those beginnings will take me.

The Writers Struggle

I finished my third book this morning in a series I am writing for teenagers. I had hoped it would be an easy book to write but guess what, it wasn’t. I had so many advantages going into it and then found times when I could barely move forward and plot devices I’d worked out in my head just didn’t translate well to the page.

I struggled with making parts of it funny and some parts, admittedly, don’t work very well. They are almost there but not quite and will need some reworking in the next few weeks, but the main thing is that I have got a framework that I can use to polish the turd.

I find it frustrating that I can write great scenes in my head when I’m amongst the fruit and veg section of my supermarket but then immediately forget it or have no opportunity to write it down or record it. Not that I want to be one of those people who walk about talking into a recorder. “Joe is going to murder Suzy by chopping her up in a meat grinder” becomes “Is that the police? I’ve just heard that Joe is going to put Suzy through a meat grinder! Please hurry, the man who is planning it is still in the town!”

And I don’t have the energy to simply write stuff down and carry it around with me. I don’t have that stamina to write a whole scene in my head then scribble the full 1200 words out and then try to read my writing and decipher what the hell I was on about three hours ago before I got distracted by an oddly shaped carrot!

I think we all struggle with writing. We all struggle with pacing and characters and plot lines. Some of us are lucky enough to have alpha readers and beta readers and editors to help sort the wheat from the crap but I’m not one of them. I’m just me, doing my best, getting stuff out there.

So, if you write, and write anything, you have my admiration. Well done and keep up the good work of keeping us informed and entertained.

And I’ll keep struggling along.