I went and did that Myers-Briggs personality test. I got INFJ, the Advocate. Apparently, I’m a little bit rare and special. When I read through the profile, I saw a bit that resonated with me and a little that didn’t. I wonder if these tests take in a person’s life experiences because I never really gravitated towards charity work like the profile said. I have a lot of distrust for places that claim they are a charity. I also fit into the turbulent side more than the assertive side. My husband, on the other hand, is an ENTJ. And I feel like he is my complete opposite, but we complement each other very well.
I look at my blog posts about the first 40 days of my creative endeavours and I’m like, is that all? I’m not nearly as productive as I would like and yet I felt like I had accomplished quite a bit. It’s strange how I see things.
I always want to have more done than I have completed and I somewhat blame my cross-stitch kits. Those little bastards call to me too much. I need to complete them like I’m trying to fill a fix.
I hope by the end of the next 40 days; we’ve come out of quarantine and that I’ve at least finished The Dragon’s Mate. I want to publish it by June/July. But that is not a set date. I also want to finish one of the three cross stitches I’m doing as well 🙂
My writing is slowing down mainly because I don’t know where I’m headed. I had a decent beginning and now the sagging middle has set in. I also don’t know where and how this story will end. I’m on the fourth chapter and 14 000 words in. I still planning on this being a novella but because I don’t really have a plan, I’m not sure. Once it hits forty thousand it becomes a novel, though I don’t think it will be that long.
I watched a video for people unsure about their stories to write out a synopsis to pin down what they want to happen. Maybe I should do that. It’ll clear up the white pages in my mind.
Isolation is getting to me. I’ve been all over the place and every day I’ve felt both sadness and happiness. I’ve been trying to learn Dutch on Duolingo and I’ve plateaued halfway through the first stage 😦
Also, I stopped editing in favour of starting a new medieval fantasy novella I thought up on the second day. Since then I have completed two chapters and a total of 9100 words. I’m mostly making it up as I go with only a few future events to aim towards. Since it’s short, I might have it done in a month 🙂 Below is what I did for my story.
Nothing (thought up of a new story idea).
Wrote 3039 words.
Wrote 2328 words and created the book cover.
Wrote 742 words.
Wrote around 2500 words.
I’ve found that I work best with no music and only ambient sound around me. It makes me focus more and afternoons/evenings are when I get most of my writing done. I used to run a Youtube vid of jazz cafe music in the background because I previously found that I could hyper-focus in a noisy cafe. So I figured that I would take it home with me. It kind of worked but not as well as no sound.
And because I was struck with a new shiny idea, I also had to have a book cover made immediately. I spent a few days looking at dragon images on iStock until I came across this one. With some simple editing on Pixlr.com I went and made me a decent cover image. The trick is to keep it simple.
Today marks the one-month anniversary of my arrival to Utrecht. It is the one month mark for the coronavirus shutdown.
The day me and Chris got out of the UK was the day when everything closed. In the beginning, like 90% of everything was shut down. Thankfully supermarkets, laundromats, and that variety store Action were still open. Also, you could order food online and whatnot.
Now there are cafes and small corner restaurants open for takeaways and whenever I got out for a walk, I see plenty of people. And people are canoeing along the canals! I thought you couldn’t do that? And there are so many people out and about just lazing about. I’ve also seen that many people repairing or building things too. No better time like the present, I guess.
What am I personally doing?
Trying to learn a bit of Dutch through Duolingo. Trying to write/edit my stories. Overly bonding with my cats. Wondering why I haven’t accomplished more in my life now that I’m left with nothing but my thoughts. You know the usual.
These ten days have been all over the place. I’ve switched to another story because this one is actually complete and I didn’t want to write new stuff when I had a whole draft waiting. The Cadetship was completed in 2016 and has mostly been left untouched. It has already gone through one draft years ago, but now I’m back to finish it. It was during the editing of the first part that I’ve decided to change the name to Becoming Stardust. I was planning on releasing the first part as a free prologue/short story to get people interested and then add it to the paperback.
I’m having so much fun editing this piece 🙂 But I seem to be putting a lot of pressure on myself as well. My editing stamina has gone down and I can only do so much before I get miserable. I think it is because the edits I’m doing are a more complete overhaul and not minor sentence changes. Some entire chapters were just solid red in track changes mode 😦 But I wasn’t bothered because I know that it means that I’ve improved with my writing and don’t see it as a failure.
My arrival in Utrecht coincides with the coronavirus shutdown. The beginning of my six months of freedom should be documented to make me more accountable. I plan to make the most of this time and make up for the last year of general disappointments. I’ll be updating my progress in 10 day lots as opposed to weekly because I’m now running in a different time zone. So look out for my progress reports and see if I either fly or fall 🙂
I arrived in the Netherlands half a week ago just in time for everything to start closing down 😦 I’m in Utrecht and all restaurants and coffee shops have closed. The nearest mall is like 90% closed with only a few places still open. I’m glad for that, though I’ve noticed that there are quite a few elderly employees. The supermarkets are thankfully still open. My husband is working from home and is usually on Skype, so he’s taken the desk and chair I scored from an op-shop just a few stores away. I also turned 30 yesterday. Couldn’t really do anything because everything is closed down, but it didn’t matter.
But I’ll tell you what. Getting to the Netherlands with two cats was a nightmare. I managed to get one confirmed for the longest time but not the second one. The KLM helpline was no use because frequently I would be told that wait time would be over 30 minutes and the line would then disconnect. By now, Facebook/Twitter and WhatsApp (I had also sent more messages through there) had gone dark. Things were not boding well.
By now it was only a few days before takeoff, and I was beyond stressed. I went to the airport directly and spoke to someone. There I found out that I couldn’t get the second cat on because me and Chris were both in the same ‘cabin’ and they allowed only one animal per cabin. So I had to upgrade to business class as it was considered a separate cabin. The kind person who helped me was also on hold with their airline. (FYI, the business section of the plane was nothing special. It just had a divider between economy. Don’t waste your money). I wish I was told that before. (Forget the conversations I initially had on Facebook about cat carrier sizes and been rejected a few times. I ended up lying about the dimensions. No one ended up checking.).
Anyway, with the charge to my card I went to check-in online it didn’t show the upgrade or the extra cat. So cue more stress. The next day we get to the airport to check-in our luggage and confirm the cats (I don’t think they even looked at the pet passports even though I showed it). But it turned out all was good. And it was only after we got to our new place that I realised that they hadn’t charged us for the pets 🙂 So because of the Coronavirus, we got free pet travel.
Then days after arriving, I got a response to the messages I left in the three apps that said something about getting back to me when they could.
My original plan of having self-published 10 stories by my 30th birthday will not come to fruition. I’m a little put out, but I’ve already got seven out and I’ve got more stories. So I’m planning to change my goal to publishing two stories by December 2020. I think that’s a manageable goal for me. I’m not too sure which stories I will publish, as I’ve got a bunch semi-completed. Maybe I should complete some novellas before starting the first draft of a full-length novel, but it’ll depend on where my energy lies.
I’m due to leave Edinburgh in December, and I’m using this as an excuse to extreme declutter. I’m trying to get rid of as much as I can so that it is easier to move. But there are a few things that still have their hooks in me. A few beautiful nicknacks that I know that I might not be able to find again. Jewellery that despite never wearing, I can’t let go and a few items of clothing that I might use in the future (if I lost weight).
So far, I’ve ditched:
Notebooks that have no notes in them.
Books I’ve never or will never read again.
Clothes that won’t be worn.
Shoes that hurt my feet.
Accessories that do not accessorize.
All up it’s only been a few bags and a few boxes as I didn’t have much to begin with. I’m now in the later phase where it’s just those items left that have sentimental ties or have a hold over me that I can’t get rid off. I have this fantasy of myself just moving with only one suitcase. Though that won’t happen because we have cats and need to move them too.