Working on new things

It’s been nearly a month since there’s any new content posted and I feel obligated to provide an update of sort.

I have recently got myself into a new habit of waking up at 5.15am in the morning to go for a 30 minutes run around my neighbourhood. It has been going on for the past three weeks now and there are multiple reasons. One, I promised myself that I need to be healthy and reduce my stress level. And since I do enjoy running, it’s the best kind of exercise for me. Second, my working hours, especially that of the evening, is unpredictable given my recent change to a new project. And usually by then, I will be too exhausted to exercise. So, a morning run is the best.

I have also signed up for a short Udemy course on Creative Writing and is currently undergoing the lessons.

Next, I also decided to do commercial writing. And no, no money involved just yet. What I meant is that I write for companies, using my technical skills and experience. It’s also a good place for me to start if I need to do writing as a career.

Finally, I’m still working on my novel; still trying to work out the kinks of the first chapter. And I’ll be honest. I’m having a writers block of sort because I recently find myself not feeling passionate about this particular storyline set in the Intertwined Fate universe. Initially I started the project because I felt like I need to do a slightly bigger fiction project before I go to the next level. I’ve tried writing space opera a few years ago and my skills then didn’t allow me to do a good job. That’s why I would be stupid for me to attempt it again.

The sci-fi LGBT-themed short story I wrote previously for the Intertwined Fate universe was a good starting point. You can read the first chapter here. That story was small enough and manageable for me. Furthermore, I felt the passion for it and enjoyed writing it. Now, it’s just really hard for me to find that passion back.

Dealing with burnout

I don’t want to treat this blog as my personal diary. I needed it to be the place where readers will only find useful and good content.

But I feel compelled to share with the world my current situation.

Two weeks ago, I worked a 60 hour-week instead of the usual 44 hour and I went four days surviving only on 6 hours of sleep total, relying on caffeine so that I could code and fix bugs.

And last week, it was a 50 hour-week and I didn’t pay off my sleep debt.

And the kicker was, the company doesn’t give time-off to us for burning our weekends and nights just because they deemed our jobs to be “professional” and doesn’t care how we deliver the results.

I was thinking maybe I should throw in some more physical activities to help contribute to my energy levels and reduce my stress levels. It helped a little.

Then my boss told me I have to quickly take over the product development because the main developer for it was leaving by the end of the month while my current project has multiple deliverables also by the end of the month.

So I suspect this coming week will be another 60 hour-week, possibly even 70 hour-week, depending on how things turn out. I also have a medical appointment for some conditions that I’m suffering from and needed some relief.

With all that, I thought I could write my novel during whatever free time I have. I’m pushing hard to write my novel because I intend to get it out before my next birthday in a few months time. The novel will be at least 70,000 words long, meaning I need to be churning out 23,000 words each month.

And for the month of June, I only managed 10,000 words instead of 23,000 with the month coming to an end. Most of the time, I had to deal with wasted hours of staring at the blank canvas, not sure what to write. Words don’t come out. Even if they did, they felt forced. They lack life.

In addition to that, I have had literal nightmares for several days, continue to suffer from insufficient sleep due to anxiety. The hatred for my day job continues to grow. Even my attempts to see it “working in service of my writing” didn’t do me much good. Mind you, I am already at this stage where I am no longer interested in building software. I really just want to do something else for a living and is just forcing myself to go to work so that I can pay off my credit card debt, my bills and generally live a decent life in this expensive country.

Right now, I’m frustrated and disillusioned. My gastric issue and body pain came back, requiring me to survive on antacid, painkillers and muscle relaxant. And as a writer, I don’t even have the time to read so that I can be inspired and learn new stuff…

I just don’t know how long I can keep this up.

Writing Break – Playing With LEGO Day #2

I will be continuing my process of building up the LEGO set. You can read about Day 1 here.

Spiderman Building – Fourth Bag/Second Floor

The fourth bag contains parts for Spiderman and the second floor of his building.

First up is Spiderman himself with Iron Spider Armor.

Laying the foundation bricks for the second floor…

Construction in progress…

After twenty-minutes, the level is completed. Don’t judge me for the slowness. After all why should anyone rush through building LEGO? It’s not your day job with a looming deadline.

Time for a break

I took a quick break to make myself a small jug of green tea.

As I took sips of green tea, I continued with my LEGO construction. Thus far, I am really enjoying myself. Deep down, I really want another LEGO set.

Spiderman Building – Fifth Bag/Third Floor

Then I continued with building up the third floor, which is Spiderman/Peter Parker’s bedroom. I just can’t believe that he’s so unhygienic with pizza on the floor beside the bed. How could anyone sleep in a room like this? =P

After the third floor is done…

After the third floor is done, it’s time to do up the roof of the building.

Spiderman Building – Sixth Bag/Roof

The roof of Spiderman’s building is relatively easy to build.

Laying the foundational bricks. It was during this time I realized that I do have some issue identifying pieces in the pile of bricks.

Once the Spiderman Building is done, it’s time to move on to the third floor of Sanctum Sanctorum. So far, I’m loving how the set is turning out.

Sanctum Sanctorum – Seventh Bag/Third floor

Before I went with building this level, I stood up to do some stretching. After all, I took a break from writing because I didn’t want to use the computer after work to let my body recover. I didn’t want to let LEGO be another contributing factor to my pain.

After laying down the foundational bricks and build up the so call library of books and ritualistic items

Adding the rest of the structure.

And it is time to introduce Iron Man…it does look like he’s giving us the middle finger. Hahaha.

Spiderman Building/Sanctum Sanctorum – Eight Bag/ Everything else

It’s time for the last numbered bag. I got up and did some stretching again. Then, I sat back down and poured out the content inside onto the ground in front of me.

Final Touches/ The End

With the last bag done, it’s time to arrange the heroes and villains in the way I want to present them.

My apologies for the overexposure because I activated flash on my camera.

I put the completed set into a display cabinet and cleared out existing toys that I no longer want. Once in the cabinet, I rearranged parts and the characters.

Poem – Wet as rain

Ominous clouds rolling across the white canvas, coming to a halt above.

Unsuspecting bipedals moved beneath, going about their lives.

A roar, a flash, an inverted tsunami follows, as though gods are crying, turning everything into slippery glisters.

Bipedals, wet as rain, run for their lives, seeking the nearest shelters, waiting for drier days.