My faithful laptop has been a loyal companion for the last five years, but the old girl finally died on me this week. Stupidly, my last two months of writing had been saved on its hard-drive and so when she died, access to plot lines, characters and work in progress died with her. It's not the end of the world - as I'm pretty sure the hard-drive itself isn't the problem - she just doesn't want to turn on any more.
While I'm waiting for the information to be extracted, it struck me that I have a window of opportunity to write something new, something completely removed from my current project (the sci-fi novel) and that is exactly what I've been doing. I'm finding writing my new project - 'The life of Inspector Williams' - a different process entirely. I would be confident in beating Clark Kent at a typing competition at the moment. I've never experienced something flowing so naturally. Inspector Williams draws from my knowledge base, he's been to many of the same places and seen many of the same faces that I have. Whereas my old girl (the laptop) is harbouring the enemy, an imagined world(s) where everything has to be invented from the ground up, a world which takes a ridiculous amount of time to explain even the simplest of things. It's been a relief to be able to write something without getting a headache!
My new set up may also be helping my new found fluency. Luckily, I have a spare net-book, before this week it's sole purpose was to make my television 'internet ready' or more accurately 'Arsenal ready' the net-book looked like it was on life support with the amount of wires sprawling from it. An audio jack, LAN line, power cord, monitor cable. But since the old girl died, it's been freed from its shackles and now proudly sits on my coffee table. It has finally been given the updates it's been desperately been crying out for.
I tried typing on the net-book at first, but it just wasn't happening. It was a little like the old Simpson's episode where Homer saves Springfield from nuclear disaster by wedging his body in the power station chimney. 'YOUR FINGERS ARE TOO FAT FOR THIS PHONE' my imaginary operator was telling me, so I bought a cheap keyboard to accompany the net-book, I zoomed my word processor in to 150% put the keyboard on my lap and began to type. The effect was that of an old type writer, I even turned the squiggly green and red lines off and my old fashioned writing experience was complete (as old fashioned as you can get typing on your lap). It's a good combination, I'm growing fond of the net-book, I don't think it'll be long before it has a name of its own, like the old girl did!
I know this may not sound like an achievement to many of you but at the weekend I also read a book! From cover to cover! Something which I rarely do. Generally, I read the first few chapters of something and end up doing something else the second my mind wanders or there is something good on the TV, but not this time, I stuck it out. I think it may have something to do with my new found self-discipline. Getting back on my bike, eating healthier and writing all day seems to be having a real positive impact and hopefully it will improve the quality of my work. Don't worry though, I haven't had a melt down or anything, I still managed to get season four of Battlestar Galactica in.
Until next week.
Originally published [URL="http://www.ryanpeterbushell.webs.com"]http://www.ryanpeterbushell.webs.com[/URL]
I am finding it very difficult to concentrate on my book, I know a little work avoidance is part and parcel of being a writer but my actions are starting to become detrimental. I want nothing more than to do a solid eight-hours a day of writing, re-writing or editing but my concentration becomes fractured at the slightest distraction.
Weekends and evenings are the worst hit. I convince myself that I do a 9-to-5 Monday to Friday and so I deserve these hours free to unwind, I don't deserve these hours. I'm not in a job where I can coast my way through the day and leave it all behind me when it turns pub-O'clock and let's be honest, aside from the lack of income it's hardly a stressful job.
I think the best thing to do would be to try and recap my week to see where I can cut out time wasting activities, so here goes nothing.
Yesterday, I was distracted by the building works taking place across the road which didn't stop all day, I could have gone to a public library or coffee shop to write, but I didn't. Instead I stayed home and tweaked my website (which is at this point doesn't really need much tweaking).
Sunday was completely ruined with junk-food, fizzy drinks and bad TV- this was entirely a consequence of the events which took place on Saturday.
Saturday consisted of a birthday party, Arsenal winning and the subsequent money won due to Arsenal's ninety-second minute victory.
Friday was ruined as I was out shopping all day for a birthday present - a frame - (an extremely hard to find frame) for a picture with oddly shaped dimensions.
Thursday was ruined because I was out all day taking pictures, the best one of which happened to be oddly shaped.
I can't remember what I did on Wednesday and Tuesday was taken up with writing my blog for last week.
Something has to give. I'm now a month in to this career and I can't afford (in every sense of the word) to get in to these bad habits. I need to organise myself and quickly. This is now my plan of attack... At the weekends I will do my marketing, website maintenance and blog (mixed in with normal weekend activities). Weekdays I will alternate between gym and swim before 10AM and then write Monday to Thursday up until 6:30PM (on Friday I will be out taking photos) and in the evenings I will either cook (or wash up) edit or have free - depending on how the schedule is running. I can have no more than four free periods per week, which are flexible.
I know it may sound a little childish but I think I have to do it, it's too easy to let time slip by and not do anything productive, before I know where I am, I'll be totally grey with a couple of kids and still no bloody book! Besides, I need to give my whiteboard something to do, it has been laying dormant since I bought it, now it can house my schedule. It's not like I'll need it for anything else, one thing that I have learnt in the last month is that I'm not a storyboard 'over-planner', I'm a 'rough outline and lets make the rest of it up' kind of guy.
Anyway, I'll still publish my blog on a Tuesday but I'll write it on a Sunday, meaning that I probably won't have much to talk about between now and the 11th March. So the next blog entry will be published on Tuesday 20th March 2012 on my website. I'll also loosen the purse strings a little with regard to content and make it an overall blog, not just one focusing on literature. Writing is one aspect of my life and whilst I am a complete unknown in the literary world I may as well talk about the other facets of my life, I'm finding it incredibly difficult to separate literature from everything else in my life, so why bother! Hopefully, you'll get a greater reading experience from it all.
Thanks for reading and see you in a fortnight. Ryan.
Originally published on [url]http://www.ryanpeterbushell.webs.com[/url]
The title of my first blog entry was "Today I write". Unfortunately, that wasn't the case. It should have been more adeptly titled "This week I will spend hours upon hours reading 'how to guides' and tutorials". If someone would have said 'Smashwords' to me last week I would have probably given them a tissue. The last seven-days have been a steep learning curve and to rectify my first mistake, allow me to introduce "Blog Entry Two".
I was always one of "those" children, my attention span was limited to about a week in anything; karate, scouts, CB radio operator, anything. It is a trait I have carried through into adulthood with me. It would appear, however, that this writing malarkey may have finally broken the pattern. It has transgressed from being a five-minute fad to something which I am actively taking proactive steps to achieve something in (for me, that is a big deal).
So what are these proactive steps? Well, 'twitter' has been a mini-revelation for me this week, before then I followed a few "famous" people and I didn't really appreciate the website. No Longer. I undertook a mass operation to follow as many people from the literary world as possible. Sinister (I may actually one day write a book and want to make some money) motives aside, it has provided me with the unexpected benefit of reading 'tweets' from people I genuinely find interesting and long may it continue.
I also purchased a whiteboard in the hope of organising my thoughts and turning them in to a decipherable plot. As you may know it is 'Valentine's Day' today, so any notions of plot organisation have been set aside and instead a big red love heart and a few kisses take up the space. I know, I know, I'm an old romantic (I just hope I didn't use a permanent marker).
I have also discovered a few new websites, notably, 'Goodreads' and 'Smashwords'. If you haven't heard of them 'Smashwords' is essentially an online store which gives readers the opportunity to buy 'EBooks' at a low cost and, in turn, gives authors the opportunity to have work distributed to their website as well as third party stores. 'Goodreads' looks and feels a little like 'Facebook' did a few years ago. It is possible to review and talk about literature in an environment where you are safe in the knowledge that you won't be pestered in to 'liking' pictures of second cousin Jimmy's new odd looking baby!
I guess it's time for me to embark on my second week as a writer. My aim this time is to actually write something down! I hope that my next blog entry will be titled "last week I wrote two chapters and finished work on my storyboard" But in reality we may be looking at "I just got 500 followers on twitter" or simply "Blog Entry Three".