Category Archives: Writing

20160224_233439I finished editing the book last night. I don’t know how to feel about that.

Part of me is happy and proud because, hey, I sat down and wrote a book! Then I sat back down and pored over it, draining a red biro of its ink, making notes and tweaking words and re-writing sentences and asking questions. Another big effort, another hurdle. Another step closer to the thing being done.

It’s something I’ve wanted to do for years. I’ve tried it twice before, and it all fizzled apart, but here I am. It’s written, and now it’s edited. I’m actually doing it.

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20151006_121417Blimey. The first draft’s done.

It’s felt surreal, this whole time – I knew that I was close to finishing, especially when I was ticking off smaller tasks from my to-do list, but having the first draft completely done and then having it printed makes it a little more real. It’s a big slab of paper – about 300 pages, and around 103,000 words – and I wrote all of them. 

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7640361202_c758fda063_oI posted earlier this week about the challenges facing me in several areas of my professional life. That went a bit on a bit longer than intended – so I thought it better to update about novel progress in another post.

I’ve not done this since April. Back then, my word count stood at 66,461, and now it’s at 98,124. That’s a big jump, but the fact it’s taken so long to get there takes a bit of the sheen off. Writing a novel is never a quick process, but there we are.

My intention was to write the main chapters before editing, to avoid bogging down in tiny tweaks and ongoing revisions. That’s worked, and the main chapters are now done.

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16023731It seems odd to be able to remember exactly when you started your first proper job out of university, but I know it was November 25th 2007.

I don’t remember the date when I left, exactly, which reflects on my mental state at the time. I do know I’ve been freelancing for just over two years.

Whether freelance or on-staff, I’ve been doing the same job for nearly eight years. Only recently have I felt burnt out and disillusioned for a longer period. I don’t think it’s just because I’ve been doing this for so long – it’s the impact of changing life goals, too.

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This month feels like it’s been really busy but, when I look at my spreadsheet, it looks a little quieter – and then, when I look at my calendar, I can see why. I had a long weekend in Aberystwyth, there’s been a bank holiday and I took most of the day off for my birthday. This month’s been a little lop-sided, too. All of that stuff was in the first half of the month, which proved quite disruptive, and I feel like that half of the month was dominated by more mundane stuff – sourcing kit, running benchmarks, making notes, getting ready. It’s also been dominated by business kit. The second half of the month has been turning that lot into reviews. There’s been Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Carbon Ultrabook, which is a fantastic business laptop that faces strong competition from consumer-friendly rivals. I’ve also reviewed the Dell Latitude 12…

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IMG_0470I’ve seen a few other people do this, and I thought it’d be a good idea to collate what I’ve been working on over the past month – just to show what I’m doing, and to help myself track progress.

It’s been busy for gaming hardware. Nvidia’s monster GeForce GTX Titan X graphics card deployed the full might of the Maxwell architecture, and it’s the first time that a single-GPU card has had 12GB of RAM.

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IMG_2690Finn, Cobb, Eli and Salter hauled wooden boxes through the camp. The bottles inside clinked with every step, and their contents were far more valuable than the four carriers.

Finn, the largest man, carried two with ease; Cobb, squat and broad, insisted on a pair and lagged at the back, one box tottering on top of the other. Eli and Salter made jokes as they sauntered in the middle; tall Eli wedged a smaller box beneath his arm, while Salter swayed side-to-side thanks to the heavy box against his chest.

The sun had almost set and the camp’s huge tents, restless horses and bustling army all cast long shadows. The four friends walked along the main path through the camp, between campfires circled with men who ate and told stories and around wide, long tents that housed weapons stores and other supplies. Eventually they reached the tall fence that divided their world.

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