Closing Time

There comes a moment in your working week when, under the pressure of about 35 things you’d like to do but know are unrealistic, something gives. Before for me it would undoubtedly be the personal stuff that was thrown by the wayside, but this time is going to be different. I know where the finish line is, this year, because I drew it. In previous years I’ve taken work with me and combined it with relaxation. Things are going to be a little less regimented during this Summer.

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A part of it has to do with not knowing what kind of Internet access we’ll have whilst being away, but mostly this is me recognising that my biggest failing possessed by some way is an inability to know when to stop working. Therefore this month will be a process of planning what needs to be done to cover the gaps for four weeks, and if it is successful I’ll repeat this process in February. This then gives me two clear months away from the daily worries concerning writing, and to focus then on Arguto. If this all works out, Issue 2 will be available on February 20th, 2019.

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The idea of a Winter and Summer magazine pleases me, and allows other stuff to happen in the background. It also allows the vital space to insert jobs like writing poetry for contests and editing existing work. All of this is eminently doable in the time-frames assuming I’m smart enough to organise far enough in advance. Right now that means sacrificing the occasional exercise day, but after the adrenaline-fuelled evening I had yesterday with the Football, both mind and body are pretty happy for the break. It isn’t just the mental stuff that needs addressing, after all.

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Tonight’s plan is to get all of the You Tube contents from the last two and a bit months up to date, whilst simultaneously seeing if I can’t schedule the rest of July’s stuff at the same time. If all of THAT gets dealt with the weekend can begin to front load the stuff for the holiday. I’m mindful too that maybe I could do with a short story to publish whilst I’m away, as that feature has become far and away my most popular daily post via Social media. Maybe I could do something holiday-related…

Right, quite enough nattering from me. Time to write the words.

New Day Dawning

Instead of winding down proceedings ahead of my month off in August, there’s a plan afoot, starting today, to organise content to run in my absence. There’ll be a day next week when I schedule a month’s worth of poetry for the Twitter feed (hence the arrival of daily updates via social media, for which I need to make MOAR GRAPHICS) but after that it would be keep the place occupied and operational. Therefore, let it be known that the following will be taking place here during August:

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I’m currently writing this in breaks between poetry and exercise, and am three weeks ahead. The plan is to stack up enough ‘episodes’ to carry through my holiday and into September. Therefore, this will continue to be published whilst I’m away on Fridays.

Mondays and Wednesdays will have a series of interconnected poems, scheduled in advance, under the banner of SIMPLE. This will be to allow me to spend the time during August to organise my Fanzine over at arguto.net without allowing this site to go quiet.

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Everything will change in September, including the real possibility of a site redesign to accommodate the increasing amount of content. For now, enjoy this month’s content as it arrives, starting tomorrow 😀

Slow Hand

With the last month’s worth of content coming up before some much needed time off is taken, there’s a lot to think about going forward. I’ve come to really enjoy the business of having a daily schedule to work to, and it gives my mind and body the much needed sense of routine that I’ve now had confirmed is pretty much vital to keep me sane. However, there is often the feeling I’ve overreached, especially when it becomes a struggle to cope with what is promised but never makes it to fruition. However, slowly but surely, that backlog is being addressed, and by not overreaching, there is a way forward.

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The path forward is, slowly but surely, becoming clearer. I need at least until the end of the year, I think, to build a body of work as good enough of a foundation to prove this is the path to take, and then it will be time to start seriously sell myself. This will not sit well with certain people of my acquaintance, but no matter. What needs to be done will be, and those who care will support me as I move forward. There is already a friend sounded out who has the problem solving skills my brain cannot provide, as a starting point.

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Selling myself has always been a bit of a problem, but without that vital ability to do so, nothing will ever change. Therefore, August gives the opportunity to not worry about anything except planning and organisation for the journey ahead. Plus, I finally get to go to Italy, which is another of the dreams come true scratched off the list.

I have to say, the excitement is palpable.

Get a Job

It is almost time to unleash the latest of our monthly themes upon you, but part of my brain is all to well aware that there’s previous work to catch up on too. It doesn’t help that this week is kids’ Half Term, and therefore all normal pretensions of organisation get summarily kicked out of touch. NO MATTER. There are plans afoot to spread it all out across next week, which should have some free time locked within it.

This is also the moment where I announce formally that I’ll be taking August off from posting via the blog, but using the time to showcase the best of the previous thirty week’s worth of poetry. As there’s will have been sixty Haiku and Micropoems published during that period, it seems the ideal moment to allow me a bit of breathing space and the ability to showcase how my poetry has evolved since the start of the year.

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There’s FIVE Poetry, Short story and Fiction prizes currently on radar I feel are worth entering: there’s likely to be space for at least one more as time goes on. These require inserting into the game plan: two will be written whilst I’m on sabbatical, the other have to find a place my workload before. I may yet pre-programme a month’s worth of music and video in August too, but that will all depend on how things go in terms of bike rides and exercise.

The next couple of weeks are going to end up being crucial.

Something Changed

It might not look that way, but this week is the best things have been for quite some time.

The catch-up game today isn’t because there wasn’t anything to write about, or that I’ve run out of content: the truth is quite the opposite. A surfeit of organisation and planning collided with unavoidable real-life requirements, pushing me out of ability to sit by the keyboard long enough to get everything written down. This morning, blissfully, there’s a whole two hours of what might normally have been considered as ‘me’ time but isn’t necessary. Exercise has provided the relaxation plus a weekend is coming up of being outside and enjoying the Bank Holiday.

The back end stuff’s already looking more than satisfactorily covered.

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As we come close to the halfway point in the year, there is a realisation that these foundations are a lot stronger than at first supposed. Committing to a daily routine and weekly scheduling was not as difficult as imagined, and it is already providing a legacy that will allow a whole month off in August without a worry that content will have to stop. If this work-rate continues, I’ll just keep getting stronger. It is the literary equivalent of weight training, and maintains a mental flexibility that’s becoming as important as physical attainment.

Some days, therefore, it is just about the words on the screen. This week however, is very much planning how those words appear going forward, and what subjects are entailed.

Get Off

Today marks a significant line in the sand for my ability to plan. It is the first week since I started this journey that a complete seven days worth of Social media output is scheduled in advance. In the case of the short story, that’s a full ten days to end on the 31st (a week on Wednesday.) The plan today is to begin February’s story so I can get it to be beta read before next week, and if the planning for THAT works out, it should mean that 28 days worth will be up long before the month is done, thus granting me even more planning time. 

This expansion of the ability to fit my available spaces is having knock-on effects too. It should allow poetry to be scheduled tomorrow for weekend viewing once the daily ‘postings’ are complete… as will be the case with Conjoin. However, as is becoming apparent with each new day unless I write these things down, I do (and will forget) so it is especially vital to keep a running total of what needs to be done and when. My planner has expanded as a result to take in more space for daily notes and, so far, it appears to be working.

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Tonight, therefore, after cycling and domestic tomfoolery, I will throw down the first draft of February’s short story and complete timelines for both The Sayers and Contractus, so I can check I have events in the correct order. This is also the means by which I don’t just sit and stare at a screen for hours on end with no discernable work to show for that time. It is pushing both mind and body to make the most of the time available and not allowing procrastination to gain the upper hand. If that is able to happen for the rest of the week, there will be much rejoicing.

I wonder if this is what being a grown up really feels like?

Is That All There Is?

You may not know this, but I have a Facebook page.

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Let’s be honest here, it’s just a place where I retweet blog posts and my two Instagram feeds. I’ve tried interactions but honestly my heart is not in it. I also have a personal page but it is never used and I frankly refuse to acknowledge the procession of ‘friends suggestions’ I’m given. I can tell you exactly when my love affair with the platform ended. In the same 48 hour period, my dad and a woman I’d taken steps to distance myself from in the past both asked to follow me in quick succession. There’s a reason you put life in your own hands and don’t hand it to algorithms. After that, Facebook was always going to be an afterthought.

Honestly, I have no regrets at all.

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From The Guardian’s article

Now I’m told that all that Fake News in the US has wrought some mindful change in the platform… except people I trust are saying this is hollow. You can now make adverts for lost pets or to poll your community on what is the best picture from your family photo-shoot… but you’ll be asked to pay for them. There’s no way this platform can sustain itself as free without advertising somewhere, and it has to happen as a result, because there’s only so many ways your finite data resources can be sold. Mostly, any notion of change is irrelevant when it lies to its own users in order to get attention. I am consistently told I have far more notifications than is actually the case. An algorithm offering a new friend ‘suggestion’ is not a notification I asked for or wanted.

If I didn’t think there might be some redeemable part of this company, I would have deleted my presence a long time ago. As it happens, we may well be about to reach that point.

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As I approach the point where social interaction matters less and less if accompanied by any kind of deception, it is easier to simply uncouple from the drama. Not everybody has to be your friend. Just because other people follow you does not mean it is a requirement to either reciprocate or feel an urge to become overtly social. I have decided that if there is no real meaning in my relationships, it won’t matter how many followers appear after my name. Most people only turn up for two things anyway: offering free shit is always a great guarantee of grasping that passing interest, or having a notion of genuine skill. If I get good enough via writing to garner a large following, they will get my sense of humour and how I react to shit like this, OR ELSE THEY’D NOT HAVE FOLLOWED ME TO BEGIN WITH.

Social media is never truly yours to dictate until a certain level of ‘fame’ is reached.

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If I believe what I’m told, every time I use the f-word in a Tweet half the platform’s automatically censored from seeing I exist anyway. It doesn’t matter what I say, it is all being sanitised before the World can get indignant about it. The fact my follower count is in the negative this month for the first time in a while is nothing to do with people leaving in droves. I’m setting my own rules, and once they’re organised, we’ll see about turning those numbers around.

I’m not afraid of being alone. The bigger concern remains being genuine and true to what I believe. Once that’s consistent, we’ll work on everything else.