09 – An Unexpected Absence

Oops!

I’m saying that for two reasons. The first is that I’ve not posted for a month despite having lots to write about, and the second is that I bought a laptop and have become thoroughly indebted to my own points system. It’s a creativity aid, so it’s not cost me as many points as it did pounds, but it’s still quite a deficit!

The good news is that, although I haven’t posted over the last month, I have been making a lot of progress with various projects. The difficulty is that one of those projects is TOP SECRET. I can reveal what it is in November, once my girlfriend’s birthday has been and gone, but my lips must remain sealed for the time being.

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Not the most exciting picture… but it’s all I can show for now!

Anyway, excuses done, I’m back and will be posting regularly again from now on. You can expect posts covering everything from music, writing, marketing (I’ve just enrolled in a CIM course), and various other topics. Speak soon, and until then…

Have a productive day.

Points Earned:

Recording with Tom +20
Super Secret Project +75
Adding ITBB Compendium Entries +75
Gig at Althorp House +15
Blog Post +2

Total Points – 68

08 – ITBB : Self-Editing

In The Black Blood has been in the works for a number of years now. The book is written from the points of view of seven different characters and I began writing as most would, chronologically, but I soon realised that this wasn’t the best way to go about it. Each time I came back around to a character, I had to re-familiarise myself with exactly what had happened in their previous chapter(s), as well as the nuances of the voice I was writing in. I instead started to write by character, finishing the story for one before going back and finishing it with the next. Once all was written, I just had to slot it together. Then I put down the black pen and picked up the red one. Editing has been fun, for the most part; even more so now that I’m nearing the end!

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The first page of the first edit

My first edit was done immediately after finishing the book, looking for inconsistencies while it was all fresh in my mind.
My second was done after leaving the book alone for a few months, giving me some much needed distance.
The third was after feedback from a few people, giving me the benefit of outside perspectives.

And I’ve just completed my fourth round of editing, during which I made notes about everything I was unsure of or unhappy with, or anything I felt needed revisiting once I’d finished reading. I now need to go back through those notes, before having a read through each character’s chapters in turn to ensure their voices and styles remain consistent throughout.

A little while ago, I stumbled upon Blurb.com, a website that lets you create small runs of books. Once my edits are done, I plan on getting a few copies made (actual books that I can hold in my ACTUAL hands!) and giving them to a few friends for a final read through before I start the potentially mammoth task of finding a literary agent. It’s super exciting! Having a physical copy of my own will be so gratifying after having put so much work into this. Have any of you used a service like Blurb to make physical copies of your novels before seeking out an agent, or even used them in your self-publishing endeavours?

Have a productive day.

 

Points earned:

Recording at Get Loud Studios +5
Gig in Nottingham +15
Super Secret Project work +20
Blog post +2
Bought a laptop -425

Total points -255

01 – The Setup

The Points Project is a motivation tool. In this hyper-connected world, where distraction and procrastination lurk behind each and every corner, The Points Project is my guide to getting things done. It’s my solution to finding balance between work and play. A way for me (and you) to increase productivity while still ensuring ample time for fun. After all, what good is hard work if you can’t enjoy the spoils?

The Points Project is split into two parts:

1) A simple points system for tracking and managing progress in various projects, as well as doling out rewards.

2) A blog to document how well it works.

So, how has The Points Project come about? Well, I’m the kind of person that loves to make music and videos, adores writing creatively, and gets a buzz from finishing a project and putting it out into the world. At any given time I’ll have at least two large projects on the go. Currently, I’m editing a novel, recording an EP, and managing a fledgling music career. The problem is that I get distracted far too easily, by everything from Facebook and Youtube to television and video games. I wanted a way to ensure I was making progress in my projects without making them a chore. I love games, I thought, so why not make it into a game? And so, The Points Project was born.

“How does it work?” I hear you cry! It’s very simple, don’t panic. I assign every part of every project a number of points that corresponds to the difficulty and time expected to do it (as a rough guide, 10 minutes = 1 point). For example, writing an email to a radio presenter might get me 1 point, while sitting down for an hour to edit a chapter of my novel would net me 6. By completing tasks I’ll rack up the points, then I can exchange them for rewards.

If I want to spend an hour watching my favourite cat videos on Youtube it’ll cost me 6 points, so I’d better make sure I have that at least that much in the kitty (pun intended) first.

I mentioned earlier that this could help you too, and I wasn’t lying. I’ll make the spreadsheet (yes, it’s a spreadsheet, sorry) available as soon as I’m happy with it. It’s not a perfect system, and it’ll need some refining before I get it right, but it’s a start, and it already seems to be working.

Points Earned:

Blog post + 2

Total Points = 2