I hope you’re all safe and well.
This week the infernal boredom of being stuck in has got to me more. I know other people are going through worse things during this pandemic, but it’s so important not to neglect our own mental health. For me, I’ve found it harder and harder to motivate myself to write. In ‘normal’ times when I find it difficult to write I have a few writing activity books that have exercises in and this encourages me to keep going. Presently, though, things had almost ground to a halt.
Then I remembered the Neil Gaiman book ‘Art Matters’. In this work Gaiman says that when things get you down make art. Write, draw, paint – basically just keep being creative. Re-reading this book and reminding myself of this gave me that fresh kick I needed to keep going.
I started to watch YouTube videos of Neil Gaiman: anything from interviews about his life or his top tips for writing. My favourite piece of advice he gives is to write truthfully. Truthfully about events in your life or conveying how you feel about something in fiction in a truthful way. This is more advice that has lifted my spirits to help me endeavour.
So, I’ve been able to redouble my efforts and keep the wolves of lethargy from the door. The next time I get hit this way I’ll look up more of my favourite authors to see me through. It certainly helps.
I’ve now worked my way through the grammatical and plot changes to my Ben Nevis hiking story as suggested by my editor. Now, I’m going over it again and focusing on enhancing additional themes that she suggested bringing to the fore (e.g. the mental health benefits of walking). I’m enjoying doing this as it is helping me become more reflective as a writer by making my work more deeper and personal and hopefully it’ll resonate more with people that may be interested in reading it.
I definitely feel I’m growing in my writing abilities.
As well as the ongoing editing developments, I’ve begun to look more and more at the different aspects of self-publishing. In my last update I mentioned I can only focus on one thing at a time, but self-publishing means I need to juggle a few balls. Still, I can maintain my writing as my primary focus whilst having a few satellite projects orbiting at the same time. Keeping a checklist and schedule are important.
I’ve now got a shortlist of people to do a cover design from Fiverr. I’m looking at sorting the ISBN number for cataloguing the book as well.
The one aspect that had been causing me trepidation was getting the book formatted for different ebook platforms. Whenever I’ve thought about it my expression has been the same as the face in ‘The Scream’ by Munch. The whole experience had caused a lot of procrastination.
However, I was chatting to my brother this week and he surprised me with his knowledge of the processes involved. As the techy one in our family, it’s such a relief that he’s there to rely on when I get to this stage. I just had it in my head that formatting was going to be one of the toughest parts of self-publishing. It’s a big box ticked.
PLAN FOR THIS WEEK
The main thing is to keep motivated. To keep watching videos about my favourite authors if I’m in a quagmire.
Keeping the themes consistent in my manuscript is key now.
To have a definite cover designer by the end of this week would be good.
And to finish my blurb too.
I’m putting together a blueprint for revamping this website too.
Thanks for stopping by and reading this. Reading others posts on WordPress is a source of encouragement to keep going, so I look forward to reading some of your posts as well. Remember: as Neil Gaiman suggests, if life gets on top of you make art.
Peace and love, Everybody 😊