Alright. Time for a change of scenery. I updated my journal twice in 2017, good grief.
Truth is, I never left dA at all. It just probably looked like it. I know people aren't that fussed, but I would like the record of why I didn't write very much last year-and-a-bit to be visible for anyone who wishes. Partly, it's cathartic for me. It turns out there was more to it than 'dA doesn't interest me anymore', and I want that to be shown:
Autumn 2016 - February-ish 2017: I decided old chapters from Perception needed re-writing, and so I needed to work out what they should be changed to. This was surprisingly difficult. I then had a go at actually rewriting them, which also took a long time. One of the things that caused a lot of what happened this last year or so was that I hated trying to work on multiple things at once, and so planning took out any writing that could have happened in tandem.
February to Spring: After talking with my parents a bit about stress, I realised that my approach to writing was very unhealthy. I had been trying to do a bit every day, but between mounting degree work and more general everyday commitments this was becoming harder to do. There was nothing wrong with that, but I was taking it very badly because I felt it was a personal failure every day it didn't happen. On their advice I completely nixed doing any writing at all, and I have to say it did me a lot of good.
Spring to June: I wanted to ease myself back into writing - I wanted to get back into it naturally, rather than making myself do it again (which would have defeated the entire point). And so that's what I did. This being a new phenomenon for me, it was pretty slow going and for a lot of time even after I technically allowed myself to write again I didn't, simply because I didn't want to force myself. This, also, was a good idea, but it was a good idea that affected several months. Also, this was when I did manage to write two chapters of Winner Takes All. Given the nature of that series, I think I can safely say that some behind-the-scenes stuff needed adjusting for those chapters - this, of course, required some time working out what to change them to.
June to August or so: You'll likely have seen the journal for this one - this was when I decided I didn't want to write Perception anymore and wanted to replace it with a different series. So I started planning one. As mentioned, I didn't want to plan and write at the same time, so I focused on planning. I had a bunch of ideas, and I started making a new story. However...
August or so to October: I realised I was doing with my new series what I had been doing with Perception - I was including things that didn't really belong there, just because I was throwing them in. I knew that if I did so, it was going to go the way Perception did. To make sure it didn't, I dropped that story idea completely. So technically, all that time was 'wasted' with regard to producing a new story - or writing a chapter of an old one -, but it kind of had to happen that way. So I started considering ideas for a new one.
It was around here that for some reason, I decided that I wanted to produce a new plan and that I could save it up as a surprise in some way. This somehow lead to me deciding to not post anything beyond comments - not even a journal - to dA until I had the plan for the new series all sorted out. In retrospect, this turned out to not be a good idea, because I still don't have one and trying to maintain a 'radio silence of work' just made me forget partly what I was doing this for in the first place.
October to mid December: Uni work returned with a vengeance. Seriously. A lot of it was a project of the kind we've never had before, which then threw all my lecture notes and general revision out of whack. That lead, for someone like me, to a lot of doubt and self-blame for not being on top of things, and a lot of time being eaten up (though not as bad as before. Might not sound like it, but I was much better this year than I was in previous equivalent situations with work. Yeah). I also had quite a thing this semester about worrying about the 'correct' way to use my spare time - should I read a book? Should I do some planning? Should I watch Netflix? Something else? This isn't an important question to most people, but for the kind of neurotic person I am this was actually a really big deal. It lead to me feeling like I was spending a lot of time 'badly' in some unspecified way, which has a pretty big effect on your willingness to get stuff done if you feel like you've lost before you started. Even so, some planning of my new original story did make it through. Part of this as well was working out how I plan stories. It turned out that I did it best by the way I had been doing it before anyway, but it took trying various stuff out to discover this.
TL;DR version: Planning stories, and working through personal stuff.
And now here we are. My current frame of mind: It doesn't matter as much what I do with personal/leisure time, so long as I'm not doing the same thing all the time. Getting behind a bit of work is understandable as well if that was because you were keeping up with other parts of work - part of it is being able to do a solid day's work and be satisfied with that. I'm going to ditch the radio silence as well, hence this journal. I thought it would be helpful, but partly I thought I'd be able to 'burst down' this story plan and get it done really quickly. That was proving a massively counter-productive idea. So with a bit of luck, I'm going to let myself swing in and out of planning this story vs. actual writing - basically, I'm going to do more of what I want to with my writing and less of what I feel I ought/must do. I do have a lot of ideas for my new story, and a really encouraging amount of progress has been made with it - but I also want to enjoy writing more. And part of that is in not holding a gun to my head over it.
Heh. Quite a message. I am aware that a lot of this probably won't make sense if you're not me, but I just wanted to say that I have avoiding dA for a reason lately - but not a very good reason, which is why I'm letting it go and taking a more lax approach to writing. This will probably take a while and won't be gotten right on the first try, but hey, that's called being human. I look forward to seeing more people around and about.
Listening to: Just about everything on my phone
Reading: The Rithmatist
Watching: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Playing: Pokemon Moon again!