Update: 4 October 2015

When I woke up on Monday last week, I was looking at my life and thinking how great it was that things were finally starting to come under control.

I’m pretty sure that whenever I think that, the universe turns into Barney Stinson.

Challenge Accepted

Last week started out pretty brilliantly. I got through a heap of work, felt motivated, and was starting to get plans into place to move forward in several different projects. It was great.

Then I nearly died.

That might be a bit of an exaggeration, and at the same time, it’s actually not. You see, because I was so well organized, I decided I could take some time out to help a mate with a renovation he’s working on. Which involved lifting a ridiculously heavy steel beam into the ceiling above his kitchen.

Except that, while we were trying to get it into the house, I slipped – and not just a little slip, either. We’re talking the full-on slip with feet coming out from under me, flying in the air, banana peel style slip like this guy.

Epic Slip Penguin

And while I’m horizontal, I happen to catch site of the beam just floating there, with my friend struggling to hold onto it. For a moment, my mind entertained the thought of I’d better catch that, before survival instinct kicked in and told me to get the hell out of the way. So I did. I hit the ground and commando rolled as far from where everything else was potentially going to collapse as possible. The whole movement was actually pretty epic.

I didn’t die, obviously, but that’s pretty much how the rest of my week turned out. Nothing went quite to plan, and pretty much everything just ended up taking longer than expected, meaning that hours went places I didn’t really want them to go, and sadly, time is one thing that, once you lose it, you can’t get it back.

I did, though, get some progress made on Seven Peaks! In that process, I discovered that Paige is a vegan – much to my chagrin – and once again asked the question that I think most authors probably ask pretty regularly. “Why do I let you people make your own decisions again?”

Why?

To be honest, I think God probably asks that question of us humans at times, too.

Characters are interesting. As an author, you come up with this concept of a person, but they basically end up deciding who they are independently of what you might want for them. It can be frustrating at times.

So yes, everything turned out unexpectedly last week, even my main character. Which is also why I’m writing this on Monday morning instead of Sunday when I was meant to – although that’s partly also because of the distraction caused by the NRL Grand Final last night.

Have a great week folks. I’ll do better this time. I just have to start working my way through the list of tasks that Asana is reminding me that I didn’t do yet.

Update: 27 September 2015

So in a great process of procrastination, I’ve actually finally gotten around to updating this website and putting together some strategies for it. That’s one box ticked off the list of things I can do instead of writing a novel.

To counter this, though, I have also made a decision. Every Sunday, my aim is to provide an update on the work I’ve done during the week on any novels that I’ve been working on.

This blog will have more than that, of course, but it’s one part.

This week has actually been a pretty good one. I’ve finished my first independently-sourced project as a freelance writer, which is hugely exciting, and at the same time, kind of scary because now I have to go out and find more work to pay other bills coming in. So just a reminder, if you have anything that needs to be written, particularly in the area of web content, blogs or other online marketing work, head over to Midnight Quills and send through a message.

Novel wise, there’s been a bit of a lull again lately as I’ve worked on getting some more freelance work. Sadly, novels don’t start paying bills until they’re written, and so it’s hard to balance writing what you love with writing what will pay the bills. Still, though, I’ve recently adopted Scrivener, and I must say that so far, I’m loving it.

Generally, I tend to be a Seat-of-the-Pants writer, rather than an Outliner. Which meant that I tended to avoid the idea of using Scrivener or yWriter or other software, because I just thought they would prove to be too restrictive. What I’ve found with Scrivener, though, is that it’s fairly well balanced between the two. I know where each of my stories are going, and have a pretty good idea of how I’m going to get there (most of the time – I’m still traumatised by the unexpected death of a character in… Spoilers!). What Scrivener allows me to do is set out that skeletal structure that I have in mind, which gives me a broad template to work to, and then the rest of my writing can still be pantsed.

Yes. Pantsed is a word. Usually reserved for the pool room, but it works here as well – I think most writers probably do at least some of their work sans-pants at some stage.

Back on track, though, since downloading Scrivener, I’ve loaded both Prophecy Girl, which is the first novel in The Darkness saga, and Seven Peaks, and have done probably equal amounts of work on both in the meantime. There’ll be a bit more of a reference point for these coming up as I create the actual pages to go with each project. One step at a time, friends.

On a totally unrelated note, I just watched The Help tonight. Great movie. I tend to love films like that, which have some depth and real meaning to them. Seen it? What did you think?