Monday, 1 July 2019

Lately, and Getting Back to Routine

   After six months of constant and changing work, my massive to-do list has finally come to an end, and on Thursday last week, I finally made a start writing book three of The Devoted trilogy! The cover for The Sah'niir is finished, proof covers have arrived, and I'm in a position, at last, to make its reveal later today. I've also sent out six copies of my Camp NaNo project, Hlífrún, out to beta-readers to find out once and for all if the book makes any sense on its own, or if readers will be in the dark unless they've read The Zi'veyn, and I've also made revisions to the beginning of that very book to try to improve the opening and grasp more attention. Which I then sent out to 14 literary agents. If I never mention it again, it's because it was a miserable failure.

   This is the first time I've had a regular writing/daily routine since October. Back then, I put the almost-finished Sah'niir to one side in order to keep ahead of Christmas Etsy orders. Then, when I got back to it after Christmas, it only took me two weeks to get it finished before 6 weeks of proofing and editing began, then I got to work planning out the third book. Between that, I worked on a couple of short stories for Frenone's tarot book project before making the spontaneous decision to write Hlífrún, which I did in 3.5 weeks, flat-out. That was then edited and proofed, and then I returned to planning the third book, alongside working on the cover for the second, updating The Zi'veyn, its cover and its maps, preparing new agent submissions with a fresh and far more accurate synopsis of the entire trilogy, a much improved cover letter, and gathering every detail each individual wanted. So it has been a very busy six months, indeed.
   Now, however, it's all smooth-sailing. I have no other side projects left. It's just my book, and my shop. I hadn't been stressed out by any of it because the deadlines were either months away (and still are, though I've long since completed my part), or self-imposed without repercussions, but suddenly it feels like I can breathe more easily.

I'm so proud of my digital art growth:

   I'm hoping to blog more often now that I have more manageable time, too. I've been pretty active on Instagram, but I'm certain I can bring a lot of that over here, too, and while my fitness has been pretty steady, the fact that I no longer change it up every month leaves less to talk about. But I'm still going at it with 3 months of resistance training, using the same programs as I outlined last year (v1, v2 & v3) and I've improved drastically. Case in point: when I first started in March last year, I was deadlifting 3x 10 12.5kg. A year on, I was deadlifting 3x 12 25kg. And just 3 months after that, I'm now lifting 35kg. It's one of the things I love about resistance and strength training (aside from the fact that your heart stays in your chest, not your throat, and that it's a much more manageable workout in a heatwave) - tracking your progress is so very much easier. Physical change aside, I can see myself getting stronger faster than anything else, and that is incredibly empowering.
   That said, today I'm starting Core de Force again for a month. My focus in training months is muscle gain. My focus this month is fat loss. Which means it's going to suck because I have to keep a closer eye on what I eat and eat less (muscle gain requires a calorie surplus, fat loss requires a deficit).
   Still, it's only 5 weeks, and the last time I did this I actually went for 9 weeks and stopped seeing any fat loss after 5.5, so I know that I'm running it for the optimal amount of time, then I can run back to my weights. Also, in my increasing strength *flexes casually* I finally bought a new barbell. My beginner's one, a £35 20kg Women's Health barbell, was absolutely great to start with - padded and straight-forward - but the bar itself is in three pieces and screws together, and while that's fine for the weights that come with it, I started to worry when I bought a bigger plate. I wasn't really comfortable chest pressing 25kg, knowing that the bar could break and fall on my head. So I bought a big York one, along with another 10kg plate. Which frees up my old bar for lighter weights and standing upper body moves, while opening up the possibility now to lift up to 45kg. And with a far more reliable bar, I'm much happier buying even more plates in the future.

   Hopefully I'll be back with regular posting soon. Otherwise, I'm still very much alive on twitter, and my Instagram page is full of book info! Creative info, not technical updates.


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