Fantasy Writers Week and handling stress

We are already three months into the new year. The weeks seem to pass at break-neck speed. And while some might argue that is a good thing, I’m not quite sure about that myself. Especially when I feel my weeks mostly consist of work for a living and recuperating from said work. To be honest I have not been putting the hours into my book I intended to. The last couple of weeks have been quite exhausting at work, which limited the time I spent working on a computer screen off work. As you can imagine this is a real issue when trying to work towards a finished book. An issue I realized I needed to address.

How to handle stress

When under stress I tend to procrastinate even more than usual, sleep longer hours and don’t feel like doing anything. Though I am aware of the steps I can take to alleviate that stress I am not fully consistent in taking all of them. The things that I tend to do consistently are taking walks and keeping up with my chores at home. The thing I am not doing consistently is writing. And I’m quite sure I mentioned in a different blog that if it is one thing which counters that feeling of stress is writing, because it gives me a sense of fulfillment and accomplishment.

Fantasy writers week

How fortunate it was I enrolled myself in Fantasy Writers Week. A lovely way to increase my knowledge in the craft and invigorate my writing. Unfortunately due to the time difference I wasn’t able to catch any of the talks live but I watched all the replays, even those I did not intend to watch in the first place. And it helped to get some new ideas flowing and gain new knowledge and insight. As expected not all talks were as useful to me, but I made quite a few notes, even on the talks that were less usefull overall. I found that the Worldbuilding Write-in was the most fun. The live viewers could participate in three writing sprints and then share via chat what they wrote. Especially the last sprint was eye-opening to me. For 10 minutes we had to “Describe the opening scene of your novel. Take the described history (created in the previous sprints) and use the five senses.” 

Just because I already have a draft of a novel didn’t mean I had to set it in that world and rewrite my existing opening scene. No, I chose to go with a different story concept I’m working on. Note that I wrote it on paper so there are a lot less words than when I would type. And while the result is not where it eventually will be, it surely does not disappoint. It showed me (again) that I can create something interesting for others to read, and that I can create it basically from scratch in a short amount of time. Especially since this world is not really fleshed out yet. This was completely new.

Taking action

Before I leave you with the words I wrote in ten minutes, I would like to talk about the actions I am taking now to get me going. Put me further on the part to complete my current book before the year ends. First, I bought a laptop so I am not as stuck behind my desk at home as I am at work.

Second, I started posting writing updates on Youtube. It will be biweekly video where I show what progress I’ve made. This serves two purposes: First to keep you informed on the book should you be interested. I also gives me the oppertunity to blog about other subjects here. Second it is a way to remind myself I need to continue working so I can finish within the earlier mentioned deadline. Doing this indirectly leads me to constantly blow off steam so I don’t feel that I do not procrastinate after my work hours while I could do something very, very cool like creating stories for other people to read.

I will see you next month.

The 10 minute opening scene

Jack pinched his nose while he waded through the crowd of bums and dressed up office workers. He did not understand why people would want to stay and watch them investigating a murder, especially in the pouring rain. He sighed and tried to catch a sniff of fresh air, but the closer he got to the crime scene the more overwhelming the scent of the dead shadowrunner became. When he stepped onto the crime scene he stopped in his tracks. He understood. This one wasn’t killed, he was mangled, broken and probably thrown off the nearby apartment complex. The remains of the once human lay all around, and the blood on the alley walls already told him this would not be an easy case.