I’ve been working hard in 2021 and I’ve shared some of what I’ve been up to on Instagram but I thought I’d give a little bit more information here. Mostly I’ve been writing and clearing things out but overall it’s been a productive year both for work and in my personal life.
I’ve been writing loads this year and actually trying to keep count of it and find a good work/life balance that means I don’t burn out. I’ve been doing this by keeping tabs of how much I write each week and uploading my #weeklywordcount on Instagram (here if you want to follow me). This has helped me find out that on average I can write about 3,000 words per (working) day and not completely burn out so I’ve been using that as my target for writing. Prior to this experiment I would often write between 6,000+ and 9,000 words (sometimes even 11,000 or 12,000) on one day and then completely cripple myself for the rest of the week. While it’s nice getting a big chunk of writing done like that, it’s not nice feeling completely burnt out. This has fallen by the wayside a bit in the last few months as things have been happening at home which have meant that a writing routine has been hard to stick to. This has been a real shame work-wise but considering these changes are (we hope) going to lead towards good things for the house I don’t mind too much.
I’ve also been sorting a lot of things out. Generally over the last few years I’ve been decluttering, minimizing and reassessing my things and only keeping what I really like. It’s a slow but enjoyable process as I really find a lot of clutter stresses me out.
So far I’ve gone through my books (a lot of books), clothes (didn’t have a lot there), DVDs (a moderate amount went), models (plastic and metal miniatures) and general house stuff. It’s looking good! Well, our house is looking good, our little cupboard was full of stuff for several months because we’re now miles from any charity shop (because at first they were all closed because of Covid and now they’ve shut down our local one). Eventually it was several trips on the bus to go and donate stuff in the town centre. Hopefully they’ll find new homes. For the things we couldn’t donate, of rubbish (e.g. old mattress and bed) we had to pay an awful lot to have someone come and pick them up because our local council has just made things a lot harder to get rid of. Sure you can pay them to pick them up but they’ll come basically when they feel like it and, if it’s waterlogged they can decide not to take it (after you’ve paid). But you can also get fined for littering/fly tipping. So what if they decide not to pick it up? Are you fly tipping then? We found no answers so we just paid a guy but it was a lot! Oh and another reason we went for paying a man in a van was because on the council website we couldn’t find any links for a how to pay…. Yeah… But I’m sure there’s not a trash issue at all. (It’s not like they could have just had a date once a month for people to put out large things for collection maybe… No… That’d be too simple.” Anyway, that minor annoyance aside our house is looking good for the few pieces of new furniture we’ve got. Also in August I knew that the time for digital decluttering had come. I went through my photos and got rid of quite a few, keeping on the ones that make me happiest. I am still going through all my music (my tastes have changed over the years but I’ve never had a clear out). And finally I tackled the big one: my art folders (both digital and hardcopies). I’d taken quite a lot of photos of my art and even taken photos of some of the hardcopies I didn’t want to keep but wanted some memory of. That on top of trying to take photos of my art to share or practice digital art pieces on art programs and it meant I had a lot of digital art. I honestly think I got rid several thousand photos and art pictures! I also organised all my art folders so it should be a lot more usable now. Hopefully I’ll be able to share some of it soon.
I also had a bit of a sit down and a think about what I was going to share and what I wasn’t. I’d always thought about only sharing my work but after my diagnosis (more in the personal section below) I realised that a lot more of me, my personality and my brain is tied up in my work than I ever thought so I decided to start sharing more about myself as it affects my work and hopefully might be interesting to you.
August was hard though. I absolutely hate August. July is bad enough but August is the worst. I always feel uninspired, so creatively there’s nothing going on. The days are long with nothing to do. People act like idiots and it’s just generally not that pleasant. Of course I tried to make myself continue working and only realised how rubbish I felt halfway through so I stopped, deciding to just let it go and switch to other things. I think I’m going to start trying to plan around this drought period in future years.
However it’s autumn now so I’m back to writing and I’m slowly feeling more inspired again.
It’s been quite the year for me health-wise! Some good and some bad but overall progress has been made.
The main thing for me was that in July I got my Autism diagnosis! It was a strange process and I talk more about it here but I’m glad I got it as it’s helped explain an awful lot to us. It also meant we can understand some of my ‘oddities’ and find work-arounds and solutions or avoid triggers when possible and when not at least we have an explanation. One thing we’re trying is a set of earplugs for when I’m out and about in public, so far they seem to be helping (I’ll probably review them soon, check back here to see when I do).
I also got put on two different types of therapy because apparently you get no help for years and then you get given two courses to follow at once! That was a bit much but basically I had one group therapy (which was completely wrong for me and I might talk about a bit at some point, I’m not sure) and one online course to complete which was a CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) course. The CBT one was really confusingly laid out but it’s principles were much better so I’ve been working my way through that in my own way. It’s been more helpful even though I’ve really boiled it down to its basics. And finally I started back at the gym after two years of not being able to go during Covid. The gym actually opened up a while ago but with all the different measures in place I didn’t feel able to really go, I was worried it would be too confusing or inaccessible. A lot of things were booking only which doesn’t work too well with my ADHD (e.g. running late, losing track of time etc.).
All in all it’s been a productive if busy year and I’m hoping the next few months will be just as good so we can go into 2022 in a good way.
Anyway, that’s my little update for now,
Bye for now,
P.s. If you want to follow me on my other platforms you can find me on: