Writing

Prioritizing Life

Even though it sometimes feels like yesterday that I’ve returned from Africa it has been a whole lot longer than that. Without going in to much detail, living has taken the backseat, especially the last few months. Focusing too much on work and the things society demands of a human being in the 21st century to survive. Surviving is not enough.

I just returned from a great vacation on the Greek island of Crete and it reopened my eyes. Time to turn things around. One of the things I haven’t spend enough time on is this blog and the book I’m still thinking about on a daily basis. The loss of my notebook doesn’t make it any easier to kickstart creativity, but the positive vibe I brought back surely helps to nudge me in to a direction. Time will tell if it’s the right direction but at least I’m fed up with standing still and got the energy to do something about it.

After being absent from my own writing for this long the first thing I started out with was re-reading that what I already had. I hope I’m not sounding cocky, but it’s actually quite good and I’m almost ready to put down new content.

I’m currently cutting away as much negativity from my life as I can so I’ll be having more brain capacity to focus on the things that matter to me. Friends, family, travel and writing. The last two can be perfectly combined and the more I think, talk or write about it the more energy I get to make it happen.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Bumblebee is ready to take me on a grand Euro tour after the winter, but that still needs a lot of preparation. I’m transforming my two wheeled steel steed to a mobile office using Raspberry Pi’s.

For now I just have to hold on to this energy, keep crossing things off from my to-do list and slowly move to become the person I want to be.

Finally some Progress

So yeah that’s been a while…
This blogging thing is hard to maintain when you’re busy.

These past few months I got myself a job again, hooray for me. But the company decided to station me in the middle of nowhere. In Dutch perspective you might think it’s beyond the edge of the world 😉

I currently live in a vacation park about a kilometer from the world war 2 concentration camp of Westerbork.
My collegues and I have made plenty of bad jokes about this matter. Don’t be offended, we don’t mean any harm.
It feels as if you go to work on sunday afternoon and come back friday night. My social life, writing and anything else for that matter have been put on hold. It is taking its toll…

About a week ago I had my meeting with human resources, which actually worked out pretty well. Besides they giving me a raise in salary, I get a 32-hour contract. So starting next year I’ll have more time to maintain the things that matter.

Story wise nothing much happened, although I managed to get myself back in order by removing the writers block. Usually I get stuck in a state of mind and nothing good comes from it. I’ve been down that road plenty of times, so I know what NOT to do 😉 Its easier than I thought, although there might always be something that throws me of. But hey, that’s life.

I’ve been polishing some of the work I’ve already done. Since I’ve put down about 45 000 words, its quite a task to remove the kinks. Furthermore Amazon.nl launched this week, so if I ever want to market this project now would be the right time to finish it. Apart from that I also visited the old bookstore where I always went when I was a kid. Done some questioning and they’re always willing to help a starting writer.

Just a few more weeks…

The Singularity of Life

And how it forms a writer’s block.

 

The time when I could say ‘I’ve just returned from South Africa’ has come and gone. As described in my previous post, it is as if I’ve just returned and it is in the distant past. All at the same time.

Most of you probably know the feeling. You have a plan, for me writing is a big part of it, and live by it as long as you can. Then your surroundings or other conditions change and so does your own life. The big ideas you had before are sucked in an ‘endless’ void called life.

For me that’s no different story. Since my ex-former-employer took me back, life has become a rollercoaster. I just got used to the idea of spending a longer period of time with my parents. Doing the long walks with the dog, visiting friends and family. Basically enjoying the good life and chasing ‘wants’.

You can make work fit within this way of life. I’ve done something like it, before I went to South Africa, so I could do it again. There was one major difference though. I was used to go home after my shift had ended and do my own thing and start it all over the next day. Work hard, play hard.

Now, however, it feels more like ‘Lots of work, little play.’ My current job takes me far from home. Being present at the office during the day, and after work I stay at a vacation park with collegues. We have a lot of fun in the evenings so I’ll manage to get through it with a smile, however I got blown off course and need to find my bearings again.

That’s just one external factor when it comes to my writing. A ‘small’ obstacle to overcome in order to free up time for stuff that matters, like writing. Step one, do a blogpost. Step two complete the damned book 😉

The second are internal factors. Usually these are small things which add up. Stuff you promised ‘to do some time’ or your mind which just wanders to unproductive places. Staying focussed is a tricky thing. On top of all those small things you think you have to do, are the things you try to avoid but keep thinking about. It helps to put those little things down on paper and thereby filing it in your to-do pile.

Time to go to the root of the writer’s block. Its not work or the small things crossing your path every now and then. The major thing that keeps me from writing are matters of the heart. Even putting it out here on WP is a step in the right direction. Giving it perspective and gaining insight on this mysterious part of life. It is, at least for me, the main ‘issue’. The place where my head wanders the most even when it is not supposed to. The thing I need to clarify before my head can go back to the adventures of Martin and Cithea.

Time Flies

Time flies, that’s for sure. I’m already back for over 2 months but sometimes it still feels as if I’ve landed only yesterday. Life goes on though. Past week I had a job interview with my former employer and they’re happy to have me back, so income has been secured.

Not that I’ve been sitting still. Meeting up with friends and family, fixing PC’s for those people and helping out here and there if I can. All this damages my writing though. Since I came back I finished only one more chapter for my fantasy novell and started a short story which is almost finished.

Deviating from my main story is a good way to improve my writing and do something else for a change. Not that it is becomming dull or anything, but the more you write on a single story the harder it gets to keep going. That is all due to consistency. This is especially true for the little things.

The world I’m writing about is totally made up by me. That might sound easy for some, but when you take a closer look, it has to be right. All the rules regarding magic, religion politics and more have to fit the world and don’t contradict stuff I’ve written earlier. Therefore progress is slow but I’m still happy with the product.

There is thing I’ve tried for a couple of weeks now and really helps me to get stuff done, not just on the writing part. When I go to bed my mind starts to wander, and sometimes there is stuff I should’ve remembered the next day. But because I’m in a half sleep state I always forget. So… I’ve placed some notes and a pen within reach of my comfy pillow. When there’s a brainfart which should stick, I just write it down.

Is there anyone who finds tricks like this one to be helpfull? If so please put them in the comments below 🙂

End of an Era, the beginning of a new journey

Its the end of an Era for me as well as the main character in the book I’m writing.

Martin’s journey is finally taking off. After 37000 words he has left the relative safety of his new found mentors home. They’ve just embarked on their journey to get Martin back home.

 

Next Monday is my last day at work and after that I’ll be on a road trip from Johannesburg, to Kruger National Park, to the coast and then all the way to Cape Town, where we’ll be staying a couple of days before going back to Jo’Burg. There we’ll say our goodbyes to our new found friends, to fly back on April 19th.

Pool at Home

A place of serenity that will be dearly missed.

On one side I’m very much looking forward to going back to The Netherlands and see my parents, sister, friends and family again. I’ll be lived by social pleasantries and spend my time writing, driving on my motorcycle (I’ve missed that so much!), partying like crazy and job hunting…

South Africa has been good to me. I’ve met a lot of new interesting people, found my passion in writing again and skipped a winter depression 😉 So now I just have to drag myself through the last couple of days at work, throw a going away party and then hit the road.

I’ll miss my home here, but will be taking back some wonderful memories 🙂

Inspiration Struck!

So I finished David Gaughran’s book about self publishing and it got me all excited. Yesterday I zipped all the files I have on my work pc and send it home. Time to get cracking.

Home, SA

The little terras behind my shared appartment. Our own little part of paradise with palm trees and everything 🙂

After dinner, dishes and social pleasantries I had an epiphany. Perhaps the power cable of my laptop was long enough to make it all the way outside. And it was! Since my battery has kicked the bucked a while ago I always need to stay connected.

So there I was, sitting outside under the South African stars in my own backyard. Having a smoke, some lemonade and my laptop ready to go. First I did some reading and adjusting of the previous chapter and the one I was working on. This is part of my standard way of working. Re-read, adjust and then create new content.

After a while it was time to put down new stuff and so I did. Around 1500 words of it, so that’s not to bad 😉 Then I saw the time and realized I really had to go to bed. Not because I wanted, I was on a roll, but I knew I wouldn’t be able to get out the next morning if I’dd stay up writing all night.

Let’s see if I can keep up this streak before I go on my South African road trip 🙂

Welcome

Hello everyone,

It took me a while, but finally started a blog 😉 Partially about my experiences in South Africa, but mostly about me wanting to be become a writer. I hope you guys will like it 🙂

So yeah, the initial layout was build with chrome while still figuring out WP… Then I checked it on Firefox and everything was a layout-mess! Did some shuffling and I think it looks much better now.

Edited Mar 10th 2014