March Wrap-Up

What’s up everyone,

Lots of stuff to update you with so this is going to be a little bit of a longer post. It was pretty a hectic month honestly and not my most focused month, but I still managed to get some work done. Mainly this month was about five things:

1. UNTITLED CYBERPUNK NOVEL

I continued working on Issue #5 and Issue #6 of my untitled cyberpunk novel. Generally, I’m happy with the progress so far. I may have to alter some of my scene list because I may have pushed too far away from what made the original story so appealing to me. One of the challenges as a writer is maintaining a consistent tone throughout the entire story. When I first started my project, it was a hard-boiled noir, but I’ve gone a little further away from that as I added details to the story. It’s a little lighter in tone and those crime/noir elements need to be brought back in.

But more importantly, I’m kind of at a critical crossroads right now. One reason is that I haven’t found an artist/illustrator that I really connect with in terms of what I want to convey. So now, the project could go one of two ways, novel or comic, and I’m still considering both — so I may need to take a moment to figure out my next route.

2. MY SCRIPT “FOOTPRINTS IN THE SNOW”

I did a table read with the director and some actors. It was a pleasure working with actors again. The energy and insight that they brought to the read was phenomenal. I got a lot of great notes, but now we need to figure out the direction for the next draft.

3. I WORKED ON SHORTS

I opened back up some short stories. I mainly did this to practice the act of writing words on the page again. It’s been a while since writing prose, so I wanted to make sure I didn’t get super rusty.

On the plus side, I think I may have found some styles that I can run with — it’s the most natural style for me, and the one where it just feels like my voice.

I’m tempted to jump into shorts again to finish what was left unfinished last year. (Last year, I wanted to complete 10 shorts, but failed) If only to prove to myself that I can do it. But ultimately, I think I need to stay focused on my main projects and not get sidetracked with too many side projects.

4. DEALT WITH PERSONAL LIFE

Being a writer, it’s really easy to become so engrossed in your writing that you let everything else fall by the wayside. This simply isn’t a sustainable approach to writing, you’ve gotta work on maintaining a healthy work/life balance.

That being said, I can’t do my best work when my personal life isn’t in order.

I had one too many late nights this month, and I need to remind myself that what I’m trying to achieve is more important than going out and having a drink. I’m very mindful that what I do outside of writing directly affects the quality of my work. This writing thing is such a relentless game and so many people want it — you can’t let distractions sideline you.

I’m going to continue working on myself — keep pursuing a good schedule, a healthy diet and mindset, and good relationships with people. Am I going to stick to my routine perfectly and never make any mistakes? Of course not. But I don’t ever give up. Ever.

5. STARTED SOCIAL MEDIA AGAIN

I started posting/sharing my work on social media again.

I originally quit because I was getting way too distracted with it and it was taking me away from writing.

But I realize I have friends and real people who are curious about me and they genuinely are curious to see what I’m up to, so I wanna post in order to keep people up to date. I’m not going to push myself.

I will try to post/share more of what I’m working on. Sorry for the wait!

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT MONTH?

Alright, so now that I wrote everything down, there is simply way too much on my plate at the moment. I’m juggling way too many things and I need to minimize my approach. Next month, going into April, I need to calm down a bit and focus on only one or two projects.

Lastly, I’ll leave with a quote that I recently read. Maybe you can tell me what it means to you:

“Go with the choice that scares you the most, because that’s the one that’s going to help you grow.”

I Took a Week Off from Writing

What’s up everybody,

Back to work after taking a week off. I started the break because I think I was burning out from work. I was starting to have some anxiety and stress. I started losing focus and energy toward my main writing project. Actually, I started losing my direction in terms of project focus: I abandoned my main project, and started doing other “work” that seemed to catch my interest. I stopped by A project to work on my B project, but then abandoned that for a C project, and the cycle just continued. I started thinking about social media and marketing and all these other things that I needed to do and it became overwhelming. I started to feel anxious. So, I decided to take a week off for mental health, where I broke free from my normal routine and didn’t put any expectations on myself.

What happened:
Mostly, I wasted time lol. Honestly, I didn’t schedule anything for my break, so the time wasn’t structured, and I didn’t fill it with fun activities like camping or visiting museums or anything like that. Basically, the break was more focused on what I DIDN’T do. I didn’t do any writing or any gym for the week. Mostly I just stayed at the house, had dinner with my neighborhood friends, drank a few beers after work, and mostly just chilled. Oh, I ordered lots of delivery! My food of choice was pizza. As a result, I gained weight. About 2kg.

Did my stress go away?
In a way, taking the break was good. Perhaps doing the same thing over and over again can lead to boredom. Or perhaps limiting your fun by staying in the neighborhood can be difficult. So relaxing and not putting any standards on myself for once kind of felt like a load off. However, I’m not entirely sure my nervousness was due to overwork. I still don’t know the cause of my loss of focus and subsequent stress/anxiety. My best guess is that writing lead to overthinking, which lead to loss of focus, which then lead to anxiety and stress.

Lessons:

  1. I can’t get distracted with other projects. Even though they may seem easier or like a pleasant distraction, I need to think of them as what they are: another form of distraction and a symptom that I’m losing my mental focus. The next time I start losing my focus, I need to be aware of it and then take steps to correct it.
  2. Structure my break time. I need to factor in rest and recovery more. Especially recovery for mental health. Instead of just staying at home and eating pizza, I should engage in healthier activities.
  3. This just reaffirms my belief that I need to take a holistic approach to writing. I can’t write to the best of my abilities when my health is in decline. I can’t concentrate on story when I’m having an argument with someone. I need to stay focused on being a good human first, then I can be a good writer.

Overall, I really needed a break this week to recover. Honestly, my mental health wasn’t good. I needed to do some healing on my mind and body, and just try to figure out what was wrong. I needed to lower my stress and anxiety levels and regain my focus. You know, this writing thing that I’m doing isn’t easy, and it’s not always beneficial to your health. I need to be mindful of that.

Now it’s the new week and I’m back to work. My goal is to stay focused on my main writing project, and also keep a healthy life outside of writing by staying active, surrounding myself with the right people, and prioritizing rest and recovery. I’m still extremely excited to share this new project with you, and I can’t wait to start putting some materials out. There’s a long road of working in silence ahead of me, but I know that it’s going to be worth it.

Oh, and if you’re reading this, I honestly hope some of this stuff helps you. We can all lose our way at times and, even if you’re not a writer, I hope some of this can help you in your daily life as well.