Life Update and NaNoWriMo

Hey all,

As per normal, I should apologise for the lack of posts, more so since the last ‘update’ was me taking a break from the internet for mental health reasons!

Today is #WorldMentalHealthDay so I thought I should speak more about the time off and how I have been up to now, as well as what kind of stuff is going on and my plans for next month.

Emotionally it has been a stressful couple of months. I haven’t really felt too good in a while now, pretty much since graduating university. I was so confident that I was going to walk into a job upon finishing my degree that the reality that I am struggling to even get an interview is borderline infuriating. There is a fair amount of areas that my degree would be relevant, but I am specifically interested in educations administration, support and officer roles; or most importantly to me, Outreach and Widening Participation.

I have been applying for things every week since graduating. Checking job search sites  several times a week and asking around friends and family in case they hear of anything on the go where they work. But so far, nothing. Not even had a single interview since graduating. More annoyingly, most of the roles are taking over a month to respond to my application, and all of which are never in a position to respond to me when I ask for feedback.

The ones that bother me most are applications to my own alma mater. Granted, I don’t have a great deal of professional experience working in higher education, but I had hoped the work I had done whilst on my placement, and as a volunteer whilst I studied would have done some good for my applications. I appreciate my university is supposed to be a world leading, high profile institution and all that, but I had hoped I would at least see an interview. Especially as my references should be bang on for the role. My work at uni doing workshops, taster sessions and activities as part of outreach have all be really highly praised and I just feel like it was all relatively pointless.

Yes those experiences did give me some fantastic experiences, and it did give me some guidance as to career paths. But I would be lying if I was to say I was not trying so hard to hopefully tip a job my way. Ahh well. I am still waiting to hear back from a couple from the uni, maybe something will come up; fingers crossed.

I had drafted some other posts between the ‘Guardian of the Woods’ post and now, but deleted them for being a little ‘whingey’, mainly because I was talking a little bit about being lonely. I have talked about this a bit before (unless I also deleted those drafts, I can’t remember) but I had hoped I was going to meet someone whilst at university, but that hasn’t really happened. It is my own fault, I hadn’t really made the effort to talk to many people, to get to know them. There was some really great people I met at uni, but I never got to know anybody enough on a personal level.

“Are you todays date? Because you are 10/10!” – Stolen from Psyche’s stream [twitch.tv/psyche]

My main issue with meeting people at the minute is the fact I don’t have a job or any savings. I feel bad enough being so reliant on friends and family at the minute (and soon to be Job Seekers Allowance!), but not being to travel to places, and pay for things when trying to make a positive impression would just kill my self-esteem, more so than it already does.

Anyway, onto next month!

Like every year, I will be supporting Movember. I have decided this year that I will be clean shaven from day 1, however I will keep my current ‘tache. This is for a couple of reasons. Mainly, I am really slow growing facial hair, which is an issue, considering how you fund raise for the event! Secondly, I plan to stream every day of the month on my Twitch channel. I thought it would be better for ‘advertising’ the cause, if I have a visible ‘tache on camera.

I am also planning to partake in NaNoWriMo this year. For those that don’t know what it is, National Novel Writing Month is a writing event that began in the US as an event to boost literacy skills. It became globally popular since, but it hung onto the ‘national’ tag, and as far as acronyms go, it’s a pretty cool one.

Speaking honestly, I have limited writing experience. If you have read what I put on here, you have the bulk of my experience laid out. There was maybe one or two short stories I have written in the past, but nothing special.

I am planning to give it a good go. The longest single thing I have written was my university dissertation which was 12000 words, but that was factual and well researched. For fictional writing, I am probably looking at maybe 2000 to 3000 words. So it might be a bit of a shock to the system.

There is no specific word count to work to. I always thought novels technically needed to exceed 50,000 words, but for NaNoWriMo, it isn’t that important. Only that people are actively writing and being creative. As I have no real experience of writing something this long, I honestly don’t know what kind of word count to aim for. I would like to aim for 50000 as it would be a great achievement in my eyes.

For this month I am going to be planning out what I want to write. I highly doubt I will be able to go into it blind. At the minute I am trying to nail down a subject and possible plot points. Past that I will need to work out characters and the story and such. All stuff I am completely new with. I will probably write some of the planning here if I get the chance.

At the moment, I am torn between a robotic/AI story around what the world would be like in a future where these have become much more commonplace, looking at government changes and such; a space faring story, probably looking at a scavenger/junker trying to survive, mainly because I would like to get into the space-side of it; or something about pirates. Because pirates.

Through-out November, I was planning to stream a bit of the writing and maybe the proof reading side of the process. I am not sure how it will go in all, but I was thinking of trailing it a little in the beginning.

Also with Movember being involved in mental health charities as well and physical, I was looking to have a ‘real talk’ portion with every stream where I ask viewers to talk about their days and their feelings and such. It is a weird thing for me to really talk about. I know I am hardly the most masculine person to grace the internet, but I still struggle with talking about emotions, just because it isn’t a thing that men do around here.

Anyway, I’ll try and do more updates through this month on the writing side of things.

Thanks for reading all.

Much love,

Alex

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