I don’t keep a journal

That’s right, I’m a writer that does not follow one of the most important pieces of writing advice. Keeping a journal. I did try it once when I was like nine. I lost interest after the second day, maybe because I found it a waste of time. After all, outside of writing, I am quite boring. I’m serious, I don’t do many interesting things.

But how do I manage my stories? Well, I do have a bunch of notebooks that need to be filled. I occasionally use them, but I am usually writing my stories in Word so that’s where a lot of it goes. I find it easier to arrange the sequence of events that way.

 

What’s on the horizon for me

Currently, I’m going over a sci-fi mystery novella. I haven’t finished the first draft and since not touching it for over six months I have forgotten what I had written, however, I know what needs to happen etc. I’m editing as I go to get back into the story. Once finished, I’m not sure if I’m going to go back and edit that shit out of it or go onto finishing other first drafts (I have a bazillion). I don’t think I’ll be publishing another story this year, but who knows.

August is coming up in Edinburgh and that means having only one day off a week and everything being balls to the walls dealing with all the extra tourists. I doubt I’ll have time to write or edit. Afterwards, I should get back into everything.

I’ve bought myself a planner/calendar that shows the entire month so that I can visualise my time and maybe that’ll help me get back into things. I did a similar thing in uni and that helped me keep ahead of my assignments. I could just be the thing to motivate me into getting back my mojo.

Spent 10 days backpacking in Belgium and Germany

Days 1 & 2: Luxembourg City

Me and Chris flew into to Luxembourg City at around 10 am. We just mostly walked around the city sighting as we made our way to the small hotel we had booked about an hour’s walk away. I went and did a lot more sightseeing around the Grund area and the saw three museums:

  • National Museum of Art and History (Musee National d’Histoire et d’Art);
  • Musee d’Histoire de la Ville;
  • and Museum of Natural History (Le Natur Musee Au Grund).

I noticed that there was a lot of construction going on, similar to that of Tel Aviv. It seemed like they were upgrading their pipelines or something. I went on the 24-hour sightseeing bus tour as well, twice too as I wanted to get my money’s worth (it was 20 something euro). We then went and got a late Flixbus to the city of Trier.

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Days 3 & 4: Trier

Arrived late at night and was able to get into the hostel without any problems. Over the next two days, we saw much of the old Roman structures that had survived. I think the Amphitheatre was the most interesting because they even had information about the underground part. Other sights we saw were;

  • Porta Nigra;
  • Trier Saint Peter’s Cathedral;
  • and Aula Palatina.

We mostly stayed in the centre and again caught another Flixbus to Brussels.

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Days 5 to 7: Brussels 

We arrived in Brussels in the afternoon walked to our hostel. During our days here I went and saw so many old buildings. I went and saw the; Museum of the City of Brussels and the partnered attraction of the MannekenPis plus a building that had a variety of costumes for the boy called GardeRobe MannekenPis. I also saw the Museum voor Natuurwetenschappen. It had so many dinosaur skeletons 🙂 But my favourite museum was the Chocolate Museum called Choco-Story Brussels. I spent over two hours there!

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Days 8 & 9: Bruges 

We got another bus to Bruges and found it to be the most attractive place we had been to. Such pretty old buildings and canals everywhere. We should have stayed here longer. Everything looked like a medieval postcard.

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Day 10: Ghent 

We arrived here via train from Bruges. The centre of the city was like Bruges, but that soon ended when we left to head to our hotel. We went on a canal tour and that was one of the highlights of our time here. Another was seeing the red light district, it was similar to Amsterdam actually. I didn’t realise that we had come to the area until I saw the red lights lining the windows and the type of people decline in quality. But the ladies in the windows looked above average in looks. After that, we got a bus to Charleroi Airport and flew back to Edinburgh.

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Work to write and vice versa

There are some people in life who call themselves writers, though not many of them seem to produce anything. Everyone seems to have a book in them, but really they are just romanticising the idea of being a writer. Being a writer seems to be something special, I mean it is, but most people do not know how hard it is to earn that title. And I’m not talking about the actual writing.

From an early age, I like creating stories. It comes naturally to me. I don’t know how, and when looking at both sides of my family, no one else does either. I seem to have sprouted out of nowhere (I’m so totally my parents’ child though). I grew up an only child and also turned out to be a loner too. So in combination with having a somewhat decent writing ability as well, I guess I gravitated towards expressing my stories in words and not another artform.

The ultimate end goal of me self-publishing my words is to create a steady income stream that allows me to write full time. Until then, it’s hospitality work and eustress that pushes me to write around the edges of my life. This means that I forgo other things such as socialising and enjoying my time off with whatever normal people do with their time.

I think I am very fortunate that my hobby of writing is pretty much free or low cost in terms of materials needed to produce anything. But that doesn’t mean its easy. A year ago I was unstoppable in terms of writing. I could produce one to two thousand words a day and then bam! I hit burnout and everything stopped. I had all this free time, tones of irritability and a bucket of frustration at myself. I was doing so well, what happened? I had many unfinished manuscripts, knew the order of scenes, but wat r werds? I literally couldn’t spell properly for months. My facebook chat logs were an embarrassment. You’d think I never graduated primary school. 

My brain and body were tied together and while the body was capable, the brain was done. No words from me. Good thing I had a job to occupy my time and give me money or I’d be screwed. I’m not a freelancer because I don’t really want to work with people and I want to spend all my time writing for myself. I’m not going to push out a ton of stories by writing other people’s ones. Do it yourself. Make time or fail.

Endurance is the key to success

I was reading this book called ‘The Gene: An Intimate History, by Mukherjee. It’s all about genetics and on page 133 there is this quote that spoke to me the moment I read it;

‘It isn’t creativity that fades, but stamina: science is an endurance sport.’

Just swap out the word science and replace it with the phrase ‘creative writing’ or ‘being an author’. That’s what you need to be successful in the writing game. Luckily for me, I’m playing the long game. Have lots of works out before hitting it big with whatever I come up with in the future 🙂