Sorry for the wait!

Little late with these posts but my mind wasn’t really on writing this month. For the month of May, writing came to a screeching halt. Productivity on my writing slowed. My word count dropped. So did the quality. I even dropped my habit of daily writing. All in all, a really poor month for writing.

Even though this month wasn’t as productive, I’ve learned not to be too disappointed in myself. I’ve been doing this long enough to know that sometimes you have killer months and sometimes it just doesn’t flow like you want it to.

I attribute the lack of productivity mainly to life. You know, I always want to write but I don’t want my writing to stop me from living. I realize that what’s going on around me is quite important to deal with it, and you simply can’t ignore your feelings and mentality to just put your head down and write. There are some writers that can do that, put their head down and write while their house is on fire. But I like to keep a good balance. I know that when everything is balanced my writing is at its best.

So what’s been going on in my life that’s been preventing me from writing? Well frankly, I met someone who I thought was going to be a really good friend but that wasn’t the case. As a result, my emotions this month have been pretty wild. I’ve gone from being euphoric to being utterly disappointed. Sometimes you have high hopes for a person but that doesn’t always pan out how you hope. I usually take these kinds of setbacks rather hard. I’m emotional, after all. My friends are much more even-keeled than me. I always tell my friends that writing and work are stresses that people can handle. I know that if I put X amount of work into it, I can expect some kind of result. But people are unknown quantities. You don’t always get what you put into it. Sometimes, you invest a lot in someone, and you never get any results.

And that’s okay. It’s okay to take a loss. And it’s okay to be disappointed, even hurt. When you’re feeling down it’s really important to do the things that you do well. And to remember why you have value as a person. The main thing is to continue the things that give you deep satisfaction. I know when I accomplish certain things in a day, it really elevates my mood. For me, that’s working out and reading and studying. And writing. Especially writing. Writing really gives me a sense of accomplishment and is great whenever I need a boost for my self-esteem. I know I’m not the prettiest boy. I’m not the richest boy. But give me a pencil and paper and I know I can write fire. The joy I get from putting together sentences is something that I will always cherish.

Going into June, I changed my process to write slower. Instead of going for high word count 500+ words, I’m focusing more on writing quality. I’m down to about 250 words per day. I’m much happier now with my writing than before. I realize writing is a big part of my self-image. When I write trash, I feel like trash. When I write gold, I feel like a million bucks. Of course, this delays my completion date but I’m not worried about it anymore. I’m gonna focus on writing these little bits of writing and continue the daily battle. My new mantra is “write good today, feel good today.”

Sorry for the wait! I was really struggling this month with writing, so I couldn’t take any time off to write a blog post. As a recap, I’m working on my behemoth cyberpunk novel. Here’s what happened in April:

After a solid stretch of writing flow, my productivity has slowed down considerably. My daily output went down to a few hundred words per day, and the focus wasn’t really there as well. I attribute that to a few issues:

  1. Time Management. I like to take a short nap before I start writing, but this month I’ve been skipping the nap. As a result, I’ve been a little less refreshed going into each writing session. Need to work on managing my time a little better.
  2. Outline Issues. I got some things wrong with my outline, so a lot the stuff that was originally planned had to be scrapped. Starting from scratch is always tough, so there was no way I was going to be as productive as if I had a solid outline.
  3. “Life, man. Just life.” Writing isn’t my life. It’s just a part of my life. A very important one, but a part nonetheless. With that being said, my life outside of writing has taken a bit of a priority this month.

In Summary, I’m not even mad. I know them’s the breaks. I’ve been here before and I’m confident that I just need to ride out the lows. Sometimes the writing flows, and sometimes it trickles. I’m still maintaining an optimistic attitude about putting out this novel next year. I’m not thinking about the prize anymore. This is just what I do everyday and I know the results will come.

Next month I’m aiming to get back into a flowy state and finish out this segment of the novel.

One last thing. I really want to give something to anyone who reads this post, so I’ll leave with this little daily motivation, it’s a lesson that I’ve learned over the years.

Sometimes the desire just isn’t there. You know what you have to do, whatever it is you’re working on, or any goals that you have. Whether that’s completing school or starting a business. But there’s days when it’s just a grind. That’s okay. Keep going through the motions. Just do it. Because you will eventually come out of the slump, and when you do, it’s better to have a little something to show for it rather than nothing at all.

After lots of consideration, I’ve decided that my currently untitled cyberpunk project will be a novel. Throughout developing this idea, I’ve explored choosing different mediums. When I originally started writing this, I thought it would be a graphic novel. However, a combination of factors led to the decision to write a novel.

First was the overall difficulty in finding an illustrator who I thought would be able to bring this story to life. I left myself a good amount of time to find someone, but as time went on, I realized it was going to be much more challenging than anticipated. That being said, I’ve worked with some really talented concept artists and the experience was great. So stay tuned, I may drop some more concept art soon.

Secondly, and more importantly, is I think that writing a novel is the best thing to do for both myself and the readers. The words on the page will be 100% what I imagine the story to be and readers will be able to get the full immersive experience, from the world to the characters and the full range of dialogue. I’m going to be able to have full control over the experience. I’m positive this will result in a more satisfying experience.

As for me, one of the reasons why I haven’t written a novel is that I thought that I could never actually write a novel. One of the reasons why I chose to study screenwriting was because of that fear. Over the years, I’ve even attempted to write a few novels and failed. I think the failures were one reason why I was scared to actually try writing another novel. It became this big mental hurdle. But there’s a quote that says, “do what scares you, because it will give you the most growth.” I’m honestly quite terrified to write this, but I need to block out the self-doubt and embrace the passion that made me begin this journey to begin with. This will be the most rewarding choice for me.

There are lots of challenges on the road ahead. For one is managing expectations. The word count of a novel is three or four times longer than a screenplay, which I’m more accustomed to writing. I need to understand that the results won’t come fast and that I will probably be finished by sometime next year. I gotta stay focused on the daily process and not be too concerned about the results at this moment.

Next is just trying to tell the story in my own voice and with my own words. I’ll speak more on this later, but I’m just going to try to express myself the best way that I can.

Finally, for everyone who is checking in on me and dropping positive comments, I can’t begin to tell you how crucial you are. I appreciate all of it. I wanna give a special shout out to my good friend Natasha who has been so supportive of my work. Your words of encouragement are really touching and I appreciate it a lot.

And anyone who read my work: Thank You!!! Seriously, usually only friends, partners, or family members are the ones who read an up-and-coming writer’s work. This is the whole reason why I do this; to share my work with others. So if you took a chance on me and read any of my stories, thank you.

I’ll probably be posting a little bit more this month, so keep on the lookout for some more updates.

-Peter

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.”

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.

What’s up everybody. Wanted to give y’all a quick update on the progress:

The writing is going quite well. I was really struggling last year, but this year everything is coming together. Of course it’s never easy, and there are constant struggles, but I feel like I broke through a plateau that was hindering me last year. Mostly changing things up in my mindset toward writing.

I’m still on track this month. Specifically, I finished Issue #3 and am closing out Issue #4 of the science fiction project that I’m currently working on. There’s certainly another layer of refinement that it needs, but I’m liking where it’s at so far.

So when can you see some stuff? Well, that’s a tricky question. I’m currently on the fence between releasing this project as a traditional novel and releasing it as a comic book. The deadline will depend on that. If it’s a comic book, it’ll have an earlier release date. If it’s a novel, then that could take me until the end of the year to write. I don’t have to make the decision right now, but hoping to get some clarity in the following months. What would you prefer to read? Let me know!

January is coming to a close, so I’d like to update everyone on where I’m at. Here’s a quick overview of what’s been happening in a few areas:

DAILY PROCESS
I’ve been trying to prioritize the things that will give me more energy to focus on my work, and so far it’s been incredibly helpful. I’m trying to eat right and move around more, and I’m also trying to spend more time around people who are a positive impact on my life. This means some sacrifice; haven’t been going out as much, sleeping late, or indulging as much but right now I’m not missing any of those activities. The benefits have been really great and I’m in a great space.

RESULTS
The outcome of changing my daily process is that I’ve made some good headway into a six part graphic novel series that I’m working on, which is currently untitled. I’ve completed Issue #1 and Issue #2 and began working on Concept Art

NOTES
Still a long way to go, but excited about bringing this project to life and sharing it with everyone. Last year, I had bursts of productivity as well, but managed to get sidelined for a long time. I need to be wary of distractions and just try to stay consistent and disciplined enough to complete my work. Overall, despite some minor hurdles, it’s been a good first month of work.

-Peter