Tag Archive | blogging

Motivation To Write?

Well, my resolution to write and blog more this year didn’t exactly come to fruition. We’re nearly at the end of February, and I haven’t done anything. It’s disappointing, but the same old excuse is there – I’m working too much to have any energy to do any writing when I get home. I have no excuse at weekends, except after a busy week, I just like to chill.

Last Saturday I went to Romantic Novelists’ Association London chapter lunch. The lovely Giselle Green did a great talk on putting magic in your story.I went thinking of ‘magic’ being that thing that makes the novel brilliant, and individual, and that, well magic, I hadn’t thought of magic, magic. Everyone there had a different idea of what magic was. It’s great being in a room with so many other writers, with great ideas. It made me think what the magic is in my novel. It made me think about MY NOVEL – The Man of My Dreams. I’m thinking about it again! I want to write! I WANT TO WRITE.

I’m determined to. I need to try not to work so late every evening. I’d really like to have one evening, not even a whole evening, just an hour or so with one evening, where I write. Maybe I should set aside one day a week. Hmmm. Food for thought.

I want to blog more too – I should just say blog, it’s  not like I could blog any less! I was talking to my new New Writers’ Scheme friend on Saturday about how I used to love blogging. It reminded me of how much I really loved it. I guess while I’ve not been writing, there’s not really much to blog about. Hopefully one will lead to the other. Both.

Here’s to a better time writing and blogging – and book reviewing, I love doing that!

Advertisements

5 Year Blogiversary

When I posted my blog yesterday, I noticed a notification telling me that 5 days ago, my blog was 5 years old. WOW! 5 years. 5. Five. FIVE.

I can’t believe it. It feels like a lifetime ago, but at the same time, it doesn’t feel like 5 years ago.

I remember starting it. I’d been made redundant from my job, and could only get a job with much lower pay, and responsibility. I’d do my hours at work and leave (on time) and not worry about anything until I got there the next day.

I decided I’d do something productive with my time, and start a correspondence writing course with The Writer’s Bureau. My boyfriend suggested I start a blog to track my progress. This was back before I knew much about blogging, twitter, or anything much online. I thought it was a geeky thing to do, not something someone like me would do. Besides, who would read it, who would be interested in what I write? More to the point, what would I write?

I decided to go for it, because, you know, it was a good idea to track my progress.

And I loved it. Almost immediately I loved it. It was like writing a diary again – something I did when I was at school, but hadn’t really since leaving university (I’m not even sure I did at uni, I do remember writing one when I had my year out in America though).

I loved just writing about what was going on. I loved that people read my blog. I loved that people commented on my blog. I loved finding other blogs,  by other people, who were like me – writers. Other than my mum, I’d never met anyone else that shares that passion. I loved getting involved in the writing community on blogs and Twitter. I loved everything about it. I made friends, discovered NaNo, and wrote – I wrote novels and short stories and random bits here and there. I even published writing on my blog (mostly unedited as part of Fiction Friday, which I was addicted to).

5 years later, I don’t have that passion for blogging, and for writing anymore, life (my job!) has got in the way, but I want them back. I love blogging, and writing, and hopefully I’m going to love editing. I remember what they’re like and I want to be that person again. My job is stressful, and takes up way more than the 35 hours a week that it should – it tires me out and I get back from work and just want to crash in front of the TV, but, I also want to be the blogger/writer that I was – no that I can be. I can be more than I was. I can do this editing thing and send my novel to agents etc. I can blog regularly. I can, and I will.

My Week Reviewed

I’m almost ashamed to post my achievements this week – there are none. I had one goal for the week, ONE and I didn’t even achieve that.

Up to now, my weekly goals have been to spend some time over 3 days, reading my novel, to blog (ROW80 check-in), to write a book review, and to do some exercise. This week, I can’t remember why, but I just set myself the goal of editing. My boyfriend was away, so I’d planned to come home and work on the novel, not turn on the TV, not do anything, but read, read, read. Not too hard eh? Uh, wrong. Lets look at my excuses… uh… reasons.

With boyfriend away from Wednesday, I planned to start on Wednesday.

London had tube strikes Wednesday and Thursday. The tubes on my normal way to work, weren’t running where I needed them to, or on my back up, or last resort way. I had to find another way there, and back. Getting there wasn’t too bad, but on Wednesday, I didn’t want to risk getting stuck, so I thought I’d walk part way home (I work about 10km from home, walkable, but not the whole way, on my own at night, and not with my laptop, or in the evening). I walked about 3/4km then got the tube. When I got home it was late. I ate and crashed in front of the TV, exhausted – no energy for editing/reading (note, had I have had exercise as a goal, that would be a win!).

On Thursday, I stayed at work until 8pm. Got home at 9.30pm, no way I was going to do anything then. Friday I had dinner plans.

Saturday, I found a novel I started reading – Undreamed by Paul Western’Pittard – and COUDLN’T PUT IT DOWN. I’m not exaggerating. I started reading it at 10am, had to get up to (poorly) clean the flat (for a viewing, but I was hung over, so it was very poor), then sat back down with it. I made food, but while I ate it, and the whole rest of the day, I read it until I finished. It was brilliant. If you’ve not heard of it, go look now here. Buy, read. You won’t regret it. I love psycholgical thrillers – this reminded me a lot of one of my favorite books – Before I Go To Sleep by SJ Watson.

Anyway, by the time I’d finished it on Saturday, it was pretty much bedtime, no time for anything else.

Today, I realised that I don’t have any paper at home, so couldn’t print off the next bit of my novel to read – classic excuse eh.

It’s not all that bad. I read 20 pages on my journeys  on Thursday and Friday, I just wanted to do more.

I have found that there’s a lot missing from the version I’ve printed off. I think I probably saved different sections as different files. I hope, because otherwise I’ve lost some. I hope it’s on my boyfriend’s external hard drive. Tomorrow, I’ll get paper, and check. Fingers crossed please.

Another reason this week wasn’t all bad, is that I nearly missed my tube stop TWICE because I was so into the novel. That’s good, right.

I need to thank Laura for sending me texts from ‘my novel.’ Had she not done this, I’m sure the week would have been a total disaster. She reminded me about it. Thanks buddy!

I still wish I’d put exercise on my goals list last week – I went for a run today, and I’ve been kind of doing my own 30 day squat challenge. Ish. It is exactly as what it sounds like, 30 days of squats (with breaks every 4/5 days for rest). I don’t know the exact number of squats you’re supposed to do, but I’ve been doing them while I clean my teeth almost daily. Not too bad. I also did a lot of walking.

Goals for this week:

2x runs, 2x 20 minute + walks, 2x 10 minute walks (getting off the tube a stop earlier)

Print off another section of The Man of My Dreams. I’ve got another 12 pages, that I know about. Maybe the missing bits are in those 12 – I think I’ve got more missing than that though.

Read said 12 pages. 

Find the missing pages of The Man of My Dreams (pray they’re on the hard drive). Print more.

Read more. 

Start with sticky notes of plot points etc. I started this way back, last year, the year before? But I’ve put them in a note book, rather than up. They’re no where near complete. I’ve got blue butterflies and hot pink squares. That’s pretty cool right – should give me a push! Hope boyfriend won’t mind me decorating the bedroom walls/mirror again!

Fast twice – at least – I also managed this last week! Up until today, I’d lost weight. I need to stop weighing myself daily!

2 book reviews, one for here, one for Novelkicks.

I think that’s very achievable. Here’s to a good week – this will be my best week this year, who am I kidding, since NaNo 2012, if I achieve everything!

Editing/Reading – Week Three

I’m on week three of project edit. Of course, as I’ve not touched the book for about a year, stage one is actually reading through, to remind myself of the story, what I’ve got and what’s missing.

Reading through means I can do it on the tube to and from work, which is great, for this stage. I’m worried about the next stage, where I actually have to sit down and make time for doing it. I have time, I know I do, but at the moment, I’m in the habit of getting home from work and chilling with the boyfriend in front of the TV, watching one of the many, many series’ we’re in the middle of.

I need to remind myself that this is what I want though. Long term it is. I really do. At the moment, it kind of feels like it’s not a priority. Work is so busy I’m not sure I have the energy for anything out of office hours. But I do want this this. I want to write, I want to publish a book, I want to be a writer. I go to RNA (Romantic Novelists’ Association) events and it’s as such a reminder that I want to be there as a full member, not a NWS (New Writers’ Scheme) member.

I’m liking my novel. Well, parts of it. Some parts I read and I think ‘Wow, editing this bit will be really easy,’ (because I’m basically going to delete it all), but on the flip side, I’ve almost missed my tube stop a couple of times because I’ve really got into it. That must be good. I’ll be reading it, and totally forget it’s my writing, and enjoy it. Yes, enjoy it. And because I’ve forgotten it’s mine, that must be good, right?

I’m up to page 60 of about 89 pages. Of the main bit. From something I read the other day (notes at the bottom of a page), I’ve got some more, somewhere (that I need to find sometime – maybe another computer or something). So I’ve maybe got another week or so of reading.

The plan is… to post-it note it. That involves putting post-it notes up on a wall in the bedroom. Hopefully the boyfriend won’t mind (and hopefully the people looking round the flat won’t mind – we’re moving in a couple of months, so will have agents showing people round looking for new renters soon). I’ve started them – I started them last time I was ‘editing’ (which didn’t last long, definitely not to page 60!). My plan is to have 2 colours of notes. One for major plot points, and one for each tiny detail. With it all up on the wall, I should be able to work out what’s missing, and what needs removing (from a plotting point). I know there’s bits missing, because I wrote sporadically, and jumped between bits, not filling in details. I also know there’s a side story I started, but didn’t continue, so needs to be added back in.

I’m looking forward to it. So much, that instead of reading tonight, I’m writing this blog (and drinking wine!).

:-/

No I am.

I am. I’ve not editing anything other than a short story, and a dissertation (10,000 word university dissertation, but non-fiction obviously). I think I am. I’m just not looking forward to finding the time. At the moment, I’m ‘editing’ (reading) three times a week. Once I get to editing, editing, I’m going to cut it down to once a week, to make it manageable. I’m going to put it in the diary, and either get the boyfriend to cook, or have something cooked the night before, so I can’t use cooking as an excuse.

I also hope I’ll start blogging more. I used to love blogging so much. And I WILL get back into it!

2014 – Here’s Beginning A Good Year

Happy New Year everyone!

It’s a new year! I don’t want to begin it with all that, ‘New year means new me’ rubbish, because if I do, anything I say will go down the drain in a week or two, a month at most. So I’m not. 

But, I’m going to take this opportunity to make some changes, just little ones, so small, they won’t impact my life, and I won’t even realise I’m doing them. Then, when they become habit, I’ll increase them, then they will become habit, and before you know it, I’ll be writing or editing every day. But forget the big stuff, I’m starting with baby steps.

My plan is still my novel, The Man of My Dreams. I still think it’s got legs. If, 2 years after I started it, I still believe in it, there must be something there, right? I hope so. It’s almost all written, I’ve got a few holes in it that need filling, then it needs to be edited. And edited. And edited. Probably edited, then edited, and maybe again, edited. 

Editing is my nemesis. Well I think it is. I don’t want to have to do it. I’m scared of doing it. Scared on two fronts. 

One – this is my novel, my baby. I don’t want to have to chop stuff out. Not if it’s good. To be honest, probably not if it’s bad. What if I make a mistake and take out the wrong thing? No one will know but me, but I’ll know. How will I know what to take out? How will I decide if I have two contradicting ideas? How…? What if…? Where…? Agh! 

Two – once I edit it, and it’s done, I have to do the next step. Submit it. Try to find an agent. AGH! That terrifies me. I think I can write, but what if I can’t? What if it’s just an illusion I’ve given myself. What if I get rejected again and again – I know I will a certain number of times, but what if the YES never comes? I don’t know if I’ve got hard enough skin, and I can take that rejection. 

Two I have to just get over. If I want this, I need to get thick skin. Each rejection will take me closer to a YES. (Hopefully!). Two, I get over.

One – that’s a bit harder. Well, it’s not. I just have to do that too! I’ve been told by several successful, printed, bestselling authors that they love editing, and I should just do it (two of my favorite authors – Lisa Jewell and Jojo Moyes). I’ve edited short stories, which are so different to a novel, how do I know I won’t love it myself? I don’t! Exactly. 

2014 is going to be the year I edit this novel. I can’t wait. 

My plan initially is to do a bit of editing once a week. No set amount of time, just some editing on either one evening after work, or one weekend day. This week, it’s going to be Saturday. I haven’t worked out yet what my plan is, I’ll work it out either tonight, tomorrow, or on Saturday. I’m doing it. 

In addition to the editing, I’m going to get back into blogging and book reviewing (reviews both on here and Novelkicks ). I love doing both so much, I know once I get into them, it won’t be a chore, but a pleasure. It’s getting back into it though. Baby steps will get me there though. I’ll do one blog a week, and one review a week – alternating the reviews on here and NK weekly. It’s going to be fun, and 2 blogs a week is nothing. 

The other morning, I woke up having had a dream I’d got an agent and a publishing deal – it was fantastic. The only way to make that happen in real life is for ME to take the steps to make it happen. It may not happen if I try, but it DEFINITELY won’t happen if I don’t! 

So, here’s to a good year. 2014 – I’m coming for you! 

Stuff I Love

Hey there. I bet you weren’t expecting a blog from me today. Neither was I, it has been a while.

I’m going to admit, I’m probably only blogging because I’ve sat down to write, so many may call it procrastination. I actually wouldn’t argue with them. Still, I’m writing a blog, and you know what they say, it’s the first step that’s the hardest, so after this they should come flowing to me and I’ll be blogging all the time!

To break me in gently to this whole blogging thing, I thought instead of a conventional blog about writing (as the title of the blog goes), or a book review (as I’m getting better at doing, but still WAY behind where I should be this year), I’d do a blog on things I’m loving at the moment. Bit random, but isn’t variety the spice of life (I’m trying for as many cliches as possible today!).

This weekend, I was loving:

Left Overs by Stella Newman.

I read it as a ‘favour’ to Laura from Novelkicks as she has so much to read, and she wanted a review on the site for when the novel is released at the beginning of May. It’s a tough job, but someone had to do it. I LOVED Newman’s first novel Pear Shaped, and this ticked all the boxes I was looking for in a follow up novel. Yay.

Left Overs

It may be because of Left Overs I didn’t do any writing this weekend. It’s possible, just possible, I stayed in bed for most of the weekend reading it 😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today, I’m loving:

The Last Time I Saw You by Eleanor Moran.

TLTISYIt was my turn to choose the book club book this month (well, send out a list of 3-4 books that the group as a whole chooses). This was top of my list, and luckily the group choose it too, woop! I started it last night and am already gripped, and have so many questions. I’m currently FORCING myself NOT to read it. Must get on with other things.

Today, I’m loving:

http://www.somethingliterary.co.uk

Oh. My. God. A website dedicated to gifts for readers and writers. Top of my Want, want, want list are a ‘Go Away I’m Writing’ cotton tote bag, and the tons and tons of post it notes, and the Utility Task Clips. Oh, oh, and the Smart Women Read Between The Lines Book Lover’s Journal. I’m glad it’s my birthday soon! I may cry if I don’t get something from on here. Also, I now need an office at home to house all the things I want to buy!

Today, I’m loving:

The 5:2 Diet/Fasting Diet.

Eat 50 calories a day, twice a week, eat what you want the rest of the week. I did this in January and lost about 5lb, then put them back on when I went on the pig out that was the course I did in Feb (cakes and biscuits at EVERY break, almost 2 main meals a day!) when I stopped doing it. I’ve been back on it 2 weeks and have lost 3lb. Very happy with that. Today is a ‘fast day’, and I’ve only eaten 450 cals, so have another 50 (weight watchers yogurt) to eat when boyfriend has his tea.

I bought my Mum Kate Atkinson’s book about the diet, so hopefully it will convince her to do it too, I hope so, will be fun to do it with someone I know (and can swap food ideas with).

Today, I’m not loving: That I have nothing else I love. Now I need to get on with this writing, reviewing and editing. Sigh.

Happy 4th Blogiversary To Me

Happy 4th Blogiversary To Me,

Happy 4th Blogiversary To Me,

Happy 4th Blogiversary Dear Meeeee,

Happy 4th Blogiversary To Me.

Guess what? My blog is 4. 4 and 2 days if we’re going to be exact. Just over 4 years ago, my boyfriend suggested I started a blog to chart my progress through my writing course. I hated the idea. I didn’t know there was this community of writers out there that had blogs. I thought if I did it, no one would read it, that people would laugh at it, and I’d hate it.

Well, they did, they didn’t, and I don’t – I love it. Blogging is great. It’s like writing a diary, only for other people to read. I write comments that come to mind, and sometimes they inspire people to read them, and sometimes write a comment back to me. It’s brilliant.

The writing course didn’t go too well. I started it, but then got into writing novels (NaNoWriMo and more) and so haven’t carried it on. I need to speak to them to check I can carry on with it, and I need to carry on with it.

The blog’s done pretty well. It’s been up and down, sometimes I write a lot, often, sometimes I go a while without writing anything.

In total, this blog has had nearly 16,000 views and nearly 1,700 comments on 615 blogs, with 820 tags (820 different things I’ve talked about?). The busiest month was April 2011, where it had 831 views! Even the quietest of months (always December when I’m so knackered after NaNo I hardly post anything), it had 122 views. 104 people subscribe to this blog, and everytime I post, my 374 twitter followers hear about it.

That’s pretty awesome.

I can’t wait to post the stats again in another 4 years – if I carry on this way, I’ll have 32,000 views by then. Wow!

Enough of this bragging (if you can’t on your blogiversary, when can you?) and on to my week – it’s going well.

This week I’m rocking my goals. Steve is on a course this week, and has ‘homework,’ so while he was studying yesterday, I was editing. Today, I had the day off work, so I spent about 2 hours on the novel. I’ve now printed off all the bits of it (who knew I had 2,000 words stored in a seperate document here, and 5,000 in another one there?), and read through everything. I next need to make notes on the last 20 pages I read, then write up my post-it notes, which should help with what I’m missing, where etc.

I hope.

So I’m feeling pretty good.

Today I’ve also been to the gym, where I did almost double what I did on Sunday. Woop! I think I’ll go again tomorrow. I know I shouldn’t push myself too much when I’m first starting, but I wanted to get 2 diet fast days in this week, and I’m only going to manage one now, so want to make it up in another way.

I still need to do a couple of book reviews (one I started today), spend an hour on my writing  course, more on my novel, and then I’m pretty much on track for my goals this week. And I’ve got 4 days to do it. Feeling pretty good!

Also today, I’ve made a cake. Or, I’m making a cake, it’s still in the oven, then I need to put it together, and marzipan it. I’m doing a Battenberg cake. With 4 layers. Yum! Photo will be coming!