Every year I say “I’ll do less next year“. “I need the downtime“, I say. “I can’t keep on living like this” (or, others say to me “You can’t keep on living like this”) Every damn year.
And then every year stuff starts happening from October where I go “Oooh, I’ll book that“. And suddenly I discover/realise that I’ve already got at least one thing booked in per month through to this time next year.
Plays, shows, activities, exhibitions, travel. It’s all in there already.
There really is just no hope for me.
At the moment, I’m waiting for some new tech stuff to arrive, that will (hopefully) enable me to do more writing while I’m out and about.
All my current easily-portable tech is either too big (laptop-sized) or has a shitty on-screen keyboard, which is OK for small amounts of typing (email etc.) but bloody hateful when it comes to writing larger amounts of text.
Weirdly, two are keyboard/typing alternatives, and the other is a new device that I’m pretty excited about, and hopeful for.
The first of the keyboards is the WayBlade – what looks like a really nice keyboard, and I’d like to finally get my hands on it. However, as I ordered it three fucking years ago, I’m not holding my breath for it to finally arrive.
The second one is a typing device, rather than a keyboard. It’s the Tap, a wearable device that appears to use chording as a typing method. It’ll take a bit of learning, but I had a device back in the 80s (the Microwriter AgendA) that also used a chording keyboard, so it shouldn’t be too unfamiliar.
Both of those will be useful to have (assuming they actually arrive) regardless – well, it’d be nice to have one or the other, but knowing my luck, both will turn up within a couple of days of each other. But whichever one works best will stay, and be useful with the phone at least.
The final device though is a bit different. Way back when I wrote about writing tools before, I waxed lyrical about the old Psion devices, the 3a/mx, the Revo and the Siena, that were tiny devices with brilliant keyboards – and how it was surprising that there weren’t any similar things around currently.
And now, there’s a new device coming, the Gemini. They’ve obviously worked from the same kind of viewpoint I had, including partnering with the people who designed the Psion devices. They look really promising, and I hope it’ll be as good as it appears to be.
So hopefully, going on the evidence of preview reviews and so on, the Gemini might just turn out to be a decent replacement for most of the stuff I currently use the phone for. It’ll be interesting to find out, anyway.
At the moment, I’ve got several writing plans/projects in my head, but two that are really standing out, and that I want to work on. And already that’s a fair dollop of progress.
For now though, I’m trying something a bit different – I don’t yet know if it’ll work out, but so far it appears to be doing OK.
Basically, rather than just writing and seeing how things develop, I’m taking some time first to outline it all, so I know what the plan is, where characters will go, and how everything interacts. It’s also interesting, from the perspective of figuring out more about how my brain processes these things.
The only thing that concerns me currently about this process is that I know how I am, that once I’ve written something down or otherwise got it out of my head I’ll forget all about the details, and there’ll be something else to grab my attention instead. Oooh, shiny.
So it may be that doing these outlines is as far as I go on these ideas. Or it may be that the outlines gel everything together so that I know what I’m doing, and then just want to get it done.
And only time will tell which of those options will happen. Which is kind of cool, and kind of frustrating…
One of my aims/hopes for 2017 is to write more stuff here. It slackened off massively for a while, and I’ve never really got back to the same levels as back in the first few years. I’m not necessarily aiming to go back to those levels either, but it’d be nice to write more here, and it’ll be related to other stuff that’s planned, so it kind of makes sense.
As part of that though, I did wonder about my annual post counts, so through the wonders of databases, I came up with the following…
- 2002 – 411 posts
- 2003 – 987 posts – the busiest year
- 2004 – 882 posts
- 2005 – 950 posts
- 2006 – 823 posts
- 2007 – 666 posts – the year of the beast, obviously
- 2008 – 491 posts
- 2009 – 535 posts
- 2010 – 362 posts
- 2011 – 43 – all time low, for reasons known to regular readers
- 2012 – 141 posts
- 2013 – 245 posts
- 2014 – 233 posts
- 2015 – 179 posts
- 2016 – 151 posts
I’m not disheartened by that – I know I’ve had other things going on in the last couple of years, and that 2016 in particular has been madly busy with stuff that I haven’t written a lot about, so it all works out somewhat. And even then it still works out as about three posts a week, which isn’t abysmal.
We’ll see, come the end of the year, how things have gone. But for now, the plan is to write more here, as well as elsewhere.
And here we are, at the start of 2017. Didn’t that come round quickly?
As with previous years, I don’t really make resolutions. It’s all pretty arbitrary, the whole resolutions thing, so I usually choose to make plans from one birthday to the next, rather than the whole “January 1st is for new starts” cobblers.
This year, I’ve got some plans for 2017 as a whole though – although they’re not much different to what I’d laid out back in November. However, in my head, I’ve laid some of these down as being “this year” instead. I don’t quite know why, but it’ll work for me.
So – what are they? Well, in no particular order…
- Add a significant amount into the savings
- Figure out what comes next after the current contract (I’m sure that’ll happen at some point in the coming year)
- Learn some new stuff, because why not?
- Launch at least one of the projects that’ve been in my head for way too long
- Complete at least one of the screenplay ideas I’ve started in 2016
- and then figure out what the hell to do with it/them
- Complete a book idea I’ve got, and publish it (for Kindle)
- Lose weight (I’ve put some on over the Festering Season, and want to lose that, plus a bit more)
- Do some training/practice walks for that walking marathon in September
- and then complete it on the day
And really that’s it. There might be a couple of other projects along the way, but that’s the main objectives, all in one place.
Whether or not they happen, I don’t know. (Obviously, as we’re only on Day One) But I’m going to give it a damn good go.
Somehow, we’re already nearly in the final quarter of 2016. A lot has gone on this year, but yet again we’ve a dichotomy when it comes to time. The year seems to have raced past, and there’s a feeling of not having done much. But if I list all the stuff I’ve actually done already, it’s hard to believe I’ve managed to fit all of it into that seemingly-tiny timescale.
In short, it’s all very odd. I’m not complaining, but it’s still strange.
There’s a lot lined up for the remaining three months, but equally, there’s a bit more free time. I actually (currently) have a couple of free weekends! (And a weekend away by myself, which should be good) I’ve still got some bookings to put in for December, but they can’t happen ’til the first week of October anyway.
What I’m hoping is that in this last section, I get to do some stuff that’s been lined up for a while, if only so I can get it all out of my head. Of those bits, the largest thing is my writing projects. I’ve started them, but I want to make more progress, take some time out and braindump things a bit – that’s the main goal of the away weekend next month, almost like a writing retreat for a couple of days.
There’s also the ongoing projects and interests of this year – finishing the year’s Solo Dining project and seeing more plays. I’ve got three or four lined up already, I’m not going to book any more – well, unless something spectacular comes up!
So yeah, plenty to do, but a bit of time to myself. Seems like a plan to me.