Archive | July 2012

Checking in Late

I’m so confused with days at the moment. I woke up thinking it was Tuesday. Could not work out which day it was. This is because I worked last week, then straight from that, I started volunteering as a London Ambassador for the Olympics on Saturday, and have been doing that since. I’m lost.

I’m also really tired. Yesterday (I knew it was Sunday yesterday!) I totally planned to write, and to check-in. The problem was I was so crazily tired, I got home, had a quick sit down to get some energy, made and ate dinner, read a little, then fell asleep on the sofa. No writing for Helen. I’m even more tired today, I sat on the sofa after work and fell asleep straight away for nearly 3 hours!

I think it’s better falling asleep earlier, because it means I’m awake later to write this blog, and to do some writing – which I WILL do.

You may have guessed that stressing how tired I am is leading up to an admission of guilt – I’ve not been writing. I know I did some last week, late last week, but I can’t remember when. The good news is that when I’m writing, I’m generally writing more than my 150 word goal, often up to 250, 350 sometimes even. So writing isn’t a problem, getting down to it is (as always).

As I have been so tired, I’m really not going to beat myself up about it. Especially since I’m doing lots of walking. Exercise isn’t a goal this time, but I need to get back doing it, so if a few days I do lots of exercise, and don’t manage some writing, you know what, it’s fine.

I emailed The Man of My Dreams to m boyfriend the other day. He said that he’d start printing it out slowly, over a few days at work. I feel like when I’ve got a hard copy of that, I’ll get moving on it again. I want to read through it, to see how it flows, and where I need to change it to towards the end, to get it to the end.

I’ve also been feeling a want to start writing ‘Holiday’ again. And maybe to find a proper name for it! Every summer for the last 3 years, I’ve spent a few months on it, so I’m feeling a little lost this summer not. However, I’m more into TMOMD, so I think I should stick to that. Maybe I’ll do NaNo then jump into Holiday after. Like I ever do ANY writing in December!

I can’t start thinking about that now, not winter, not when SUMMER has finally come to London. I’m sat here at 10:30pm with every window in the flat open because it’s so damn hot. It’s great, except I’ve not been drinking enough water so have had a few headaches over the last few days. It’s brilliant not to be  working working (real working that is) in this weather, but to be outside in it. The last two days I’ve been down at Southbank – which if you don’t know London is this area near Waterloo station on the south bank of the Thames, with so much going on – restaurants, shops, street performers, book stands, a food market… loads. It’s brilliant year round, but in the sun – it’s just amazing. And I’ve been there, in the sun, helping tourists. Awesome!

Anyway. I need to go and do some writing before boyfriend gets home and interrupts me (doesn’t that sound like it would be his fault – rather than mine, he he!).

ROW80 Check-in 18th July

I know it was only Sunday that I ‘turned over a new leaf,’ but so far, so good.

I wrote 250+ on Sunday, 200+ on Monday and just over 150 yesterday. My goal is 150 a day, so I’m doing ok, and in some cases, much better. The last two nights I’ve been doing stuff all evening so not got round to writing, then feeling bad when I get into bed, so been writing in bed. By hand. That’s commitment isn’t it. Although 150 words isn’t the biggest commitment in the world.

If it isn’t, why are there plenty of days where I’ve not reached it?

I had an interesting conversation the other day with my boyfriend. I was having one of those ‘I can’t do anything,’ ‘I’m failing at everything’ moments (you know the one). We realised that my writing has gone further downhill than normal since I started my new job!

I always have a slump in December, which I always put down to post-Nano-anti-writing-syndrome (50,000 words in one month makes me want to not write again for a while!). But I’m sure I usually pick myself back up by the summer. Then I make a mad dash to finish ‘Holiday’ before I start on the next NaNo project in November.

Honestly, it happens every year.

Except this year. This year I’ve got a job that requires effort. I need to put myself into this. The last few years I went to work, worked, left and forgot about it. This year I have responsibility, I should leave and forget about it, but I can’t. Also, it’s exhausting. I leave work crazily tired. Not just physically, but mentally. I don’t want to have to do more work when I get home. By work I mean writing.

I keep thinking it’s just temporary, that when I get used to it, I’ll be ok again.

It’s been 5 months.

So, I think we can blame the job on everything else in my life not going well. Ok, maybe not everything,but the writing, and my lack of exercise (I think I’ve been to the gym twice in those five months. I can’t even think about the money I’m wasting on that!).

Steve (my boyfriend) suggested that if I want to get on with writing, it might be a good idea to change jobs, back to something less important, or where I’d be less important anyway, where I’d not care once I left the office, not be so drained, and be able to write. And go to the gym. He said he’d support the drop in wages.

The problem is, although it’s draining, I do really enjoy it. OK, maybe not REALLY enjoy it, but I like making a difference again. I like being in charge too. I like the job. As much as it’s wearing me out, I don’t want to give it up. Especially not to go back and do something non-important.

I know other people manage a job and writing. A serious job, with commitment and effort required. If they can, why can’t I?

I must be able to.

You know they say identifying the problem is the first step? Maybe I’m there. My problem is that I think I can’t write because I have too much work, and it drains me. Then I need to find a way of doing the job without it draining me. I think that if I catch up on my back work, that I’ll be able to get on with what comes up everyday.

Next week, I’m on holiday from work. I’m helping with the Olympics (for 4 hours a day). I’m going to be a London Ambassador! How exciting! After that though, I’m going to catch up with everything at work. Then I’m going to get my ass in gear and I’m going to fit in the 3 important things that I’m not managing to do now – writing, work and exercise.

Next week, while I’m off, I’m going to forget about work, and just write. And exercise. If I can get back into one of my novels, then when I come back to work, hopefully I’ll just want to carry on!

Ok, Start Again

I’d like to apologise to everyone who regularly reads this blog. All the posts about how I’ve not done any writing, and THIS will be the week that I start again, must be getting boring. So sorry for them in the past, and sorry that I’m having to write one again today.

I have no excuses this week either. I’ve just not thought about writing.

My boyfriend upset me the other day by saying that I didn’t want to be a writer, how could I when I’ve not written anything of any sustenance for six months? I argued, saying I’m just stuck in the novel, and don’t know where to go with it. I think about it a lot. I think I do anyway. A little at least.

I went home this weekend. When I got there on Friday, I was chatting to my mum about her writing course, the one that I’m ‘doing’ she’s also doing. I showed her a couple of my assignments, and I was really impressed with them. I actually enjoyed reading them. I’m not a bad writer at all. So really I should get on with writing.

After I’d shown her a couple of assignments, I started telling her about The Man of My Dreams (the current novel I’m writing). I got quite excited about it, and she wanted to read it. I’d not given it to anyone before, so have had no opinions. I showed her a couple of bits, which she really liked. That’s good. I’d like to think that she’d tell me if she didn’t like it. I’m sure she would. No, I know she would!

So now I’ve got it in my head again. I’ve still got this ‘I don’t know where I’m going with it’ thing in my head, but am now thinking it might not be as bad as I think. I might be able to  go forward from where I currently am. I mean I might not, I might have to go back and delete the previous 20k ish (I won’t cry, I won’t cry), but that’s fine. Well, I hope it will be.

We also got talking about the tense – I’m writing it in past, but I think it might be better to be in present. I’m writing it very much how she thinks, but I’m not sure it’s working in past tense. Having said that, when I read the bits back on Friday, I thought it sounded ok. I think I really need to read it all, or more, to see how it sounds. If I’m going to change it to present tense, do I really want to carry on writing it now?

Actually, yes I do. Like I said a while ago, I’m not going to get a printer for another maybe 6 weeks. Boyfriend has said he’ll print some of it off at work, so that’s good, but it’s well over 100 pages, and that’s single spacing. Well more double spaced, which I’d ideally like. He’s only just started the job, so I don’t want to get him in trouble for printing off a whole load of stuff that isn’t work. I should write until I can print. Or, as Emily suggested, stop moaning and go to a shop to get it printed (ok, so I said the stop moaning bit!).

Ok, I’m off. I’m going to do some writing before I decide it’s too late before bed. I’ll try my hardest to write this week. My goal is 150 words a day, it’s really not that hard. REALLY NOT THAT HARD!

My Birthday Weekend (Read: Excuses For Not Writing!)

It was my birthday on Thursday, which obviously means I’ve pretty much spent the weekend celebrating, especially since my brother and his girlfriend were in town. Thursday I worked then boyfriend cooked me dinner. Friday I had the day off, so really should have done some writing, but I went shopping instead. We then had a night out.

Saturday we entertained my bro and his girlfriend by taking them sightseeing and then for dinner. Today they went home. And I’ve watched TV and finished reading my book. It’s now 10.30pm, and I’m just getting round to writing this, then I’ll quickly do 150 words or more, then bed.

As I checked in on Wednesday, which was the last time I did some writing, that really is all I can say. I think I can find some more though! 

The words I’m going to do tonight (and I am going to do them, I’m not just saying that), are hopefully going to be on my novel The Man of My Dreams. Wednesday’s words were on it, so it’s kind of fresh in my mind.

I still want to start editing it. I guess I could just read it through while I don’t have a printer, to see how it flows, then print and edit in August when I can get a printer. I dunno. As it’s late and I’m tired, today I’ll think about the words, tomorrow I’ll think of the bigger picture.

I hope everyone’s had a more productive weekend than me – here’s to a better week.

Well It’s A Start…

It’s not a bad one, I shouldn’t be negative, I just feel like because I’ve only written 2 out of 3 days I’m not doing well. On the positive side though, I’ve written today, and yesterday. That’s pretty  good. That’s better than I’ve done for weeks, if not months. I’d better not think about how long actually.

The even better news is that the words I wrote were towards my novel. I didn’t know what to write, but I didn’t want to write yet another random thing that wouldn’t go very far. I thought about The Man of My Dreams, and the scene came to me. It may or it may not end up in the finished novel, but the good thing is I’m writing on it. Granted it is only 236 words, but that’s 236 words.

Tomorrow is going to be hard to write, because I have a breakfast date with my boyfriend (which means we’re getting up early to have a proper – croissants anyway – breakfast together), then work then dinner with the boy again. Why are we doing this all? It’s my birthday. Woop! My bio says I’m in my late twenties, but in actual fact I’ll be 32. Wow. I still feel like I should be about 25. Scary!

So I’ll try to write tomorrow, but I’m not going to beat myself up if I can’t. I should though, so I will try.

And you, how’s your writing going?

ROW80 Round Three – Again

Yeah, a new round of A Round of Words in 80 Days starts today. 80 new days with another chance to actually start kicking but with writing again.
That means I need to choose some goals. You’d think that seeing as I started thinking about them before the last round ended, I’d have some by now.
Uh, not really.
But the brilliant thing about ROW80 is that goals are flexible. You can change them as and when. So any goals I make today I don’t have to keep for the whole 80 days. But of course I’d like to.
Last round, from April to June, I made a whole load of goals (seven), a few daily ones and a few weekly ones. I think I made too many. The problem is that I want to make that many, because those are the things I want to do.
So, what I’m going to do is start low, and work my way up to lots.
Writing. Editing. Dieting. Exercise.
These are the important things.
I want to write daily. I want to edit The Man of My Dreams – my novel that I’ve nearly finished. I want to start going to the gym and exercising three times a week. I want to eat 1,200 calories a day.
I need to choose the important thing, or things today.
What I really want to choose is editing. I’m maybe ¾ of the way through writing TMOMD, but I want to start editing it. I know it’s not the way to do it, but I think editing it will get me back into it enough to push me to finish writing it. Random I know, but it’s something I want to try.
My problem is that I don’t have a printer, and I like to edit from printed matter. I could print at work, but we’ve an inkjet, and printing over 100 pages would take a lot of ink, and I’d feel bad doing that. I need to buy a printer for home before I can do this. It sounds like an excuse, but it’s really not. In September I can probably afford to buy one. So in August I’ll start editing (I can print bit by bit slowly over a month at the office – I shouldn’t feel too bad for that).
July then. Has to be writing doesn’t it?
I’m going to write 150 word a day. Every day.
Well that was easy wasn’t it? Ha!
Check ins are Wednesdays and Sundays. I’ll see you then (and hopefully lots in between too).