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Daniel I Russell - Writer of Horror Fiction

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Sunday, March 03, 2013

Search Me Sunday

Sundays tend to be awful quiet, so I thought it might be fun to put the call out there for 3 random questions and call it Search Me Sunday. It was either this or Frisk Me Friday...

Anyway, here's what Facebook threw out:

#1 Do you for one second regret leaving C*******?

What's with all the asterisks? 

My Bad
Well, C******* refers to the first legal firm I worked for. You have to agree, after working for a law firm, you get paranoid about being sued!

Anyhoo, to answer the question, NO, I do not regret leaving the first law firm I worked for. Nothing ever seemed good enough or delivered quick enough (and this seemed the go for everyone) and my biggest gripe was how we were all set against each other, like some awful corporate legal version of the Hunger Games.

Not that Legal Costing is all bad. I left to work at Stephensons Solicitors, who are awesome. Big love to the Stevo in Leigh.

I do miss certain people I used to work with, and if you're reading this right now then we're still in touch and yes, this is you I'm talking about!

Top bloke...and some guy with a Newcastle Brown. ;-)

I have to say that while I  never regret leaving, I don't regret the time I spent there. While work days were often harrowing, they were nothing compared to the job I had previously, and my time at C******* opened doors.

#2 Do you struggle with drinking?

Yes and no.

My closest friends would not regard me as an alcoholic...but then those friends are probably English.

See, I struggle now with drink, as I've come from a very social drinkey atmosphere (the UK) to one that isn't, contrary to popular opinion (Australia).

Come Friday night...it's the weekend! Time to take off the tie and go and have a few drinks and generally...you know...beer'o'clock! I don't get that, and I miss it. Going back to #1, we were always down The Shrimper pub come 5pm on a Friday (don't be a wimper, get down The Shrimper!). 

Every office should have one.

See, I can live without booze (now due to prices here in WA I feel guilty for having a few due to the costs and lack of fun) but simply due to my background, it's like it's part of life. I don't know if that's an excuse, but that's just how it feels.

But beer makes me sleepy and stops me writing or reading, so any length of booze free time makes me joyous, as I know the words get down. Tonight ends a clean 15 day run, in which 20K of new novel was written.

#3 Why do we bother?

I think about this...probably more often then most and more often then is deemed healthy. But I have an answer.

Because of hope, and hope is the greatest yet most frustrating of all human emotion.

**I said 3 questions, but this just came in, and it's an easy one so...**

#4 Is there one aspect of England you miss more than anything?

Chicken Pathia, chips, Pilau and naan, with pops and mango  chutney.
And my friends of course! Army Chris, Wedge and Dollin. Miss you guys (but...you know...in a tough manly Wigan way.)

So that was Search Me Sunday! Think of your three for next week. 

Posted by Daniel I. Russell :: 8:50 pm :: 1 comments

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Friday, March 01, 2013


Gratuitous advertisement!
Last year was a tough year. My teaching hours had been cut to two days due to staff reshuffling (and my awkward in  from the UK status didn't help a little bit - and I should blog about that as a warning for other teachers coming in. Dan, take a mental note) and rather than depend on Government payments, we lived mainly off our savings. My only other source of income was through my novels and short stories, and as any author who's been trying to even make a scratch in the midlists, this is no way to feed and house three children!

In December, I was offered employment with Westpac Bank (and it saved Christmas! Thank you!) and now that things have settled down and a routine has been established, I can look back on the last few months...and I realised something.

I've been more productive writing-wise now that I have full time work.

How the hell did that happen?

With the savings now trickling back into my account to replace the life support money we spent last year, I can think of manuscript words in terms of cold, hard cash.

When you start a savings account, there's nothing in there. To get something in there, you have to...you know...put something in. So in the first month, you deposit $100. Only $100? Yes, because there's nothing wrong with that AT ALL. Some people struggle to save because of their spending habits or lifestyle choices. Many people would love to put a little aside and are unable to (and that has been me for a good portion of my adult life). So if you can save any money, no matter how small that amount, good on you.

So you have $100. Not exactly enough to buy that new car you want with it though. So next month, you put in another $100. You now have $200 and probably a few cents interest. Next month, $300, then $400 and so forth.

You want to save a few grand? You will. It definitely takes time, but you WILL. 

The secret to great saving is to save the money you don't need, the money you won't miss so that it doesn't feel like you're saving. Or better yet, make a small sacrifice for the good of your wellbeing and use that money to save. For example, stick your cigarette money in an account over 6 months. Not only will you feel better but you'll have some $$$ to reward yourself with.

What has this got to do with writing? I'll tell you.

Last year, being at home so much meant distraction. Housework, videogames, hell, even reading was a distraction. I am the master of procrastination. 

At work, in particular on my lunch, there are no distractions. I have to take that time away. So, I bring in my laptop.

This isn't mine. Mine's crappier. Ditto on the mug/tankard thing.

I get 45 minutes and can usually crank out 1000 words. I continue this at the weekend: 1000 words a day, hopefully maybe 1500-2000 if I'm in the zone, or as I call it, getting my groove on.

Like the savings account, it all adds up. I've done this for two weeks now, and have a quarter of a new novel written. A quarter! I didn't even feel it slipping out this time.You know what? I still have time to do all the other things I like to like going the gym, playing games, spending time with my kids and reading, reading, reading. You may also have noticed that I can write blog posts more. ;-)

So there it is. Find a few dollars every week and stick them in a savings account. Give it time, you'll have a decent amount of cash to spend. Then, and it works for me, invest 45 minutes of writing a day (and I'm sure we can spare 45 minutes. If not, get up an hour earlier, cut out a TV show, etc) and pretty soon you'll have a novel! Don't think either of these scenarios are unreachable. If a lazy writer like me can do it, than so can you if want it enough.

Now all I need to do is find a word program that adds interest to your word count...

You know what I'm thinking...

Here's my bare-faced cheek part.

Thanks for stopping by, but if you'll really indulge me, please click a few of the covers over there on the right and buying one of my books. I beg you, keep me as a writer that works in a bank rather than a banker with a hobby. ;-)

Posted by Daniel I. Russell :: 8:27 am :: 0 comments

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