Tag Archives: argh

‘Research’ vs ‘Doing Nothing On The Internet’

As I haven’t been feeling well this week, I’ve been aimlessly scrolling on the internet for a larger chunk of it than I normally would. I usually try to stop myself, because I don’t feel it’s productive…I mean, it’s not actual work, is it? It’s just consuming other people’s tantrums and dramas, seeing what someone ate for breakfast (why should I care?) and catching up on what the Kardashians are doing (although all I know about them is that Kim has a famous ass). Social media isn’t beneficial and definitely isn’t work, if you follow the cliches of society. I really should be doing something more productive and creative.

And then I actually thought about that line of reasoning.

My last two story ideas came from something I saw on Rejected Princesses, and a story on Twitter. I know I’m picking up bits and pieces of information as I scroll – archaeology, history, modern places, people’s reactions, photographs. Yes, there’s a lot that’s not immediately useful, and I think I do still need to limit the time I spend ‘doing nothing’.

But actually, this is research. This is stepping back, and letting the world come in – and it is the world! It’s the voices from outside my quiet streets, outside the slice of life I interact with every day. I need this to pop my bubble and remind me there are a multitude of ways of thinking, speaking, talking, living. Admittedly it’s often hard to read and there’s a lot of shit, but I’m lucky that I follow and know some enthusiastic, passionate and interesting people, and every day they teach me something new.

It’s not creation, but it is connection. It’s not doing the jigsaw but it’s collecting the tiles that will one day make one. It’s not talking to ‘real’ people – but it’s connecting to strangers on the far side of the world who become friends, and sharing passions across huge divides. It’s not getting out in the fresh air, but it is seeing pictures of places that I can never hope to visit – ancient, futuristic, or just on the far side of the world.

So I’m just scrolling through the pages, yes. But I’m also researching.

All change…again

I would say that life seems to be going out of its way to screw me over this year, but most of it is my own doing! So, the short version of “What Kate Is Up To THIS Time” – I am…

  • Quitting my current job;
  • Moving house in October;
  • Taking over a typesetting business (BookPolishers.com – more info on that when we’ve got more of the details sorted!)
  • Still doing editing and proofreading – they’ll be included in the above;
  • Causing general havoc!

This was all meant to be happening sometime later when I’d gotten settled a bit more, but the typesetting came up, and I figured it’s worth a go. I’m going to be doing it as an official business, so I’m currently in the midst of setting up a company, bank accounts, software, hardware, all that sort of thing….

I’m part scared, part excited, part just struggling as usual. I had an interesting talk to my friend Sophie when I told her; she was ridiculously excited (although if you haven’t met Sophie, this is her usual state of being) and thought it was brilliant that I was chasing my dream. I just feel like I’ve failed at yet another thing, as I’m quitting a job I wanted to be stable and successful in. The new business is exciting, yes, but it’s really hard for me to see it as a good step. But as usual, my brain’s being a complete moron. It’s a big step, yes, but it is a good one – I was so excited when I found out I’d got the business, and even stupidly complicated tasks like setting up the bank account have been worthwhile. It’s going to be hard and it’s going to be stressful, but it’s going to be both of those in a good way! I’ve got so much to learn, but at the same time, I’ve been realising how much I know already. So it is going to be good 🙂

I’m still around this month (September), planning and packing, but I’ve got the moving van booked and dug the boxes out of the store room, so I will be moving in the second week of October. If anyone’s got any advice, helpful hints, doomsday warnings or bad jokes to brighten the tedium of packing, send ’em over!

I’m still writing and all of that, so everything else is still going. Also, I’ve still got a few more random plans in the works, so I’m afraid I can’t promise that the chaos is over quite yet… *happy Kate dance*

Motivation and Getting On With It

I was trying to work out today what motivates me to write. I’m in a bit of a slump at the moment – I’m not feeling inspired and struggling to motivate myself, despite having time to actually write (and read, and research…)

It’s not finishing something. That’s great, but it doesn’t give me a satisfaction, doesn’t give me a buzz; it’s just another step, because I know that even if I’ve finished something, then I’ve gotta send it to a reader and then edit and then re-edit and then…it’s just another step in the process.

Wordcount doesn’t motivate me, either. It always feels too close to the NaNo 50k or bust thing; it doesn’t matter if they’re good words, just words. And frankly, that just annoys me, because if I write shit words then I’ll just end up rewriting, so what’s the point? I can appreciate that it’s good at some stages of a writing journey, but for me, I’d rather not write than write shit that I’m just going to have to redo later.

Ideas? Sure, I have a few things that I think “hey, that’d make a great story”…but unless it’s there, it’s got the inspiration behind it, then it just sits. I’ve got quite a lot of snippets and odd fragments of story that have never got further than that “hey, that’s a cool idea” stage.

So what does motivate me? I guess, as far as I can work out, it’s getting the voices out of my head. It’s writing a story that needs to be told. I can have a great idea, but it needs to live. I need the characters in my head. I have no idea what the process is that puts them there, but it’s something I try to make sure I have it when I write.

So…at this stage, I guess the best I can do is just keep going. I’m re-reading my work in progress(es), trying to see if I can continue with any of them even with my current slump. I think there’s one that I can continue, so…

This freakin’ sucks. But hey, such is a writer’s life with a screwey brain. Some days, I have everyone shouting in my head – other days, I just get tumbleweed.

Reminder: pub, reading & Peter Newman

Bristol Con FringeA reminder that I’ll be at the The Famous Royal Navy Volunteer (aka. The Volley) in Bristol on Monday, supporting Peter Newman. He’s reading from one of his short stories, and I’m reading an excerpt from the next GreenSky book, plus you get to ask random questions.

 

Hope to see you there!*

*My anxiety brain isn’t sure if lots of people or no people is the better scenario, so…come along anyway and help me fangirl.

Anxiety, getting it wrong and being scared

I’m scared.

I keep seeing posts on my Facebook from LGBTQ* feeds – which I like having, as they give me a different POV, a different worldview, which I seriously need. But every time I see one, I get a little knot of nerves in my stomach. It’s usually a complaint about how someone’s got it wrong, a lecture on how to do it right, a PSA on what words to use.

If I’m struggling with anxiety – which I am today – I just want to cry.

I’m going to get it wrong. I’m going to be in so much trouble. Everyone’s going to yell at me.

I write a trans* character in No Man’s Land. Ghost was born with male genitals, but doesn’t want surgery, and she uses female pronouns. One lovely friend gave me the words that fit; trans-feminine non-binary.

I’ve basically gone with what felt right for the character. Ghost is her own person, her own personality; she doesn’t want to fit in to a mold. She’s outside the rules of her particular society anyway thanks to her talent (being able to see invisible things is gonna make your worldview a little weird) and her sarcasm, general no-shit attitude and snarky personality make her stand out already. It doesn’t feel off to me to have her non-conforming to gender attitudes; she is what she is. She doesn’t want female genitals or attributes – not that she likes the male ones, but eh, it’s a body – but prefers female pronouns. She doesn’t really consider herself anything other than herself.

And I’m scared that I’ve Got It Wrong.

I have tried to research. I have, over the years, read a lot of different perspectives, and I try to keep up to date now. But when everything I read is telling me off, lecturing me, telling me I’m wrong…but there’s so many different perspectives anyway, and everyone’s got different ideas…

*curls into a ball*

I’m going to keep writing anyway, damnit. But it’s fucking hard.

I’m also scared in a wider sense. Again, I’m going to get yelled at – I’m constantly told that I’m privileged, that I’m not allowed to be scared, that other people are worse off than me, that because I’m white and living in a relatively stable country, I’m not permitted to feel scared. But the world, and life, is fucking terrifying me right now.

I don’t know if I want to live in this country. I don’t know how to help, how to change things, how to make my voice heard. I vote. I try to support causes that I believe in. I try to add my voice. But I’m not naturally an outgoing person, and – as you may have guessed from this post – I hate putting my voice out in case I Get It Wrong. I always have. I’ve gotten better over the years, but it’s still a major part of my personality. And I’m feeling lost for what I can do that will make a difference.

I don’t like this country. I don’t like this government. I hate that people all over the world are being abandoned, their health is being compromised, their rights removed – for, it seems, money, or religious beliefs. It just seems insane to me that you’d let something like the NHS fail. It seems insane to me that universal healthcare is so hated in the US. It seems insane to me that someone could be hated simply because of who they love or what religion they subscribe to. I hate the idea of control of ideas, of restricted access to information, of banning websites and using tracking and censorship in the name of protection. I hate that so much money is wasted on defense systems when those with disabilities are being told they’re scroungers and made to fight for a basic survival need. I hate that immigrants are being turned away simply because they’re Not From Here, greenfield sites are being turned into housing when older buildings are being left to rot, teachers and healthcare professionals are ridiculously underpaid when those making more money than they could ever spend are allowed to hide it. The world feels like it’s going mad; I know it could be far, far worse, but it’s still scary right now.

Apparently I’m in a minority for thinking all of that.

And I’m scared. My personal life is a mass of shifting sands and uncertain decisions; I’ve had a shitty two years on a personal level, and I’m now looking into the face of another year of hard work and hard choices, and I’ve got no idea where I’m going or if I’m doing the right thing. My country feels like it’s slowly going mad. My writing feels like it’s treading a path between offending everyone and trying to give representation and support to people who don’t get it. It’s feeling pretty overwhelming.

If you want to comment, you’re welcome – just keep it civil, please. If you want to contact me privately for any reason my Twitter is the best way.

I don’t often talk politics or gender on here and I’m not likely to continue – so if you’ve got this far then thank you for reading. Normal schedule will resume once my stupid brain stops over-worrying about everything!