Surviving lockdown and self-isolation

The last seven weeks have been incredibly difficult for people around the world. The emergence of Covid-19, it’s fast spread and devastating effect on people, countries and economies are well-documented.

Different approaches have been adopted by everyone, from world leaders to families, and it’s clear the effects they have.

On a personal level, though, I spent the start of lockdown (here in New Zealand) wondering what to do. I was fortunate to be able to continue working – although I’m not going to lie, I was a bit envious of those who had some free time to do things – but if I was going to be stuck inside for however many weeks, I wanted to do some, to achieve something.

The goals of lockdown

First of all, getting through lockdown is the goal. I’m aware it’s ended here (for now, at least) but others around the world are in a different situation. Before reading any further, I want to stress to you that I took this approach because it’s what was best for me.

If the best thing for you is to binge Netflix, spend time with the family, sleep a lot, go to work, learn a new language or any other idea – then do that. Sure, try something new but no one has the right to take aim at how you get through this. We should be supporting each other, and I’m glad I had friends who gave me the support I needed to get through lockdown in my own way.

So, I set two goals. The first was to work on my current novel-length project. I had started in January 2020, and while that month had been busy with a new job, February and March proved more productive. I was about two-thirds of the way through when lockdown started, and I hoped to get another third done.

The second goal was to start working on the content for Innate Wanderings since it’s little reboot. I’d stopped the updates due to the global situation, but there’s a lot I want to cover over there.

Completing the project

Of these two goals, I completed one – and then some. Even while working full-time, I worked to get three chapters a week done, and after the first four weeks of lockdown, I had met the original target. I could have stopped there, or reduced how much work I did on it to meet my other goal, but I felt like I was on a role.

Over the next three weeks (and if I’m being truthful, the first few days after lockdown ended, too), I finished the first draft of the project. Is it perfect? Not at all, but it’s a good foundation to start from as the editing process begins later this year. It’s a bigger achievement than I expected to have by this point in the year – the original plan was to finish this draft in the last quarter of 2020 – and it’s given me a huge sense of satisfaction.

Having this goal made lockdown and self-isolation easier. Without the distractions of life, it felt like a good use of time and stopped me focusing or dwelling on the negatives the situation brought.

As a result, the content for Innate Wanderings didn’t come to fruition but there’s time for that later.

So, what next?

Well, as is my custom, I’ll take a bit of a break from writing. I had other plans, and I may dip into them after a while but whether it’s more blogging or short stories, I’m not sure yet.

With lockdown coming to an end in New Zealand, I’ll have time to do some exploring again. There’s a lot to see, and an economy to support. We’re coming into winter, so there are time and weather restrictions to figure out. On top of that, I have friends to see and a couple of games I neglected over the last couple of months.

That means plenty of things to keep me occupied while I’m taking this break and letting my mind recover.

Until then, my friends. Take care!

The rollercoaster of 2020, and what’s coming next

Hello! Hi! Hey! Hiya!

I’m still here, but as I mentioned last time out (last year, geez) I needed a break. I finished the first draft of the second book of my current trilogy project, and it got a little intense towards the end as I pushed to get it done amongst two jobs.

It got a bit too much and while I wanted to do more short stories and other projects in the meantime, changes in location, lifestyle, working commitments and more made that a bit harder. In short, in November, I packed up and said goodbye to Australia (temporarily, I hope) and started a new adventure in New Zealand.

It’s been five months since then, the job I came for started well but a better opportunity came up that will keep me here until November, so I can enjoy a bit more of a stable life outside of a hostel. It’s meant a lot of change, and whenever I get used to a situation it changes!

That being said, since 2020 began, I’ve managed to dive headfirst into book number three, so that’s positive.

Picking up the pen (figuratively speaking)

I’ve harked on about this time off since finishing the first draft of book two for a while now, and normally I wouldn’t take so long away from writing but I’m also not one to force something that isn’t ready to be done.

In an ideal world, I’d be able to work on projects every day, but jobs take priority, and I like to go on adventures, too. Balancing that is a challenge but one I’ve got better at handling now that things have become a bit more regular.

I’ve also set myself a more realistic goal. I aim for one chapter a week. That means progress will be slow, but I’ll still get to enjoy my time in New Zealand and work/writing won’t suffer. In some cases, I’ll do more when it strikes but this is definitely doable.

Covid-19, holidays and isolation

As we’re all aware, Covid-19 has thrown us into turmoil so far in 2020. It’s a big issue and I was lucky to get back from a two-and-a-half-week holiday in Southeast Asia just before things go worse. I was in self isolation from the office, got three days back and then started to work from home again before a four-week national lockdown began.

I’ll still be working but I also can’t go anywhere. This means I have a chance to get more work done on my book than I thought.

January was a slow month, but February proved much more productive even with this great holiday I enjoyed! March has been a little bit of catching up but I’m almost back to my target just in time for the end of the month.

I’m hoping to get at least two chapters done a week during this isolation period, which will speed things up immensely – and if it goes on longer, then I can get even more done.

I’m trying to stay positive, you see!

Getting through the lock-down

And here we are. In lock down.

Well, I am. I know many other countries are, too, but plenty are not. Wherever you are, I implore you to be safe and keep the vulnerable in mind in whatever you do.

I’ve been thinking of ways to get through this. I have a book to write but other ideas and tasks can mix things up a bit, keep it fresh and interesting. The idea I have is to collate some of the writing tasks I’ve found and use(d) over the years and post them here.

Writing isn’t for everyone, I know, but it’s something that someone, somewhere, might find useful and that makes it worthwhile. This will start next week and if you have any ideas, please get in touch to let me know and I’ll do my best to fit them in.

Until next week, folks, keep safe!