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!

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!

ROW80 Begins Again – 2013 Round One

Howdie fellow ROW80ers, and everyone else *waves*

I made some goals at the beginning of the year, and although I haven’t started them yet, it is only the 7th. And when I say I haven’t started them, what I really mean is I haven’t done much. Because yesterday, I took a really big step, and PRINTED The Man of My Dreams. All 160 pages of it (in addition to the 10 I already had printed.). Woop. My plan now is to read through it (12 pages done yesterday) and make notes of what happens as it goes along. Then when I’ve done that I should (I hope) be able to see which path makes the most sense – the way I took it originally, or the way I veered off to.

I’ve got a push to do it and edit it this year, the biggest push I’ve had so far. I got into the Romantic Novelists’ Association, New Writer’s Scheme. Double, (no triple, cause it’s that exciting) woop. I’ve been trying for 2 years before this, and always applied too late to get a place, so I’m so so happy I’ve got in. As well as going to their events (with speakers, novelists, publishers, agents, and new writers like me), I get to send them a manuscript where a published author will comment on it. Eek!

So I have to finish, and edit, and get The Man of My Dreams as good as I can by August.

Eek!

Keris Stainton (author or the *heart* series [Jessie *heart* NYC, Emma *heart* LA]) sent me a link to a page on Holly Lisle’s site – One-Pass Manuscript Revision: From First Draft to Last in One Cycle’. I’ve read about half of it, and it gives some good advice. I need to read further as I go along the process, but I think it’s going to be really helpful once I get there. Once I’ve read it, and decided which way to take it.

This round, I’ve decided to make weekly goals like I did in a previous round, because they seemed to work really well for me. Here we go then, for this week, Monday 7th – Sunday 13th January

– 7 hours working on The Man of My Dreams. I know this week it will mostly be reading, with some note taking, and I’m fine with that. I’m sure I’m not going to make an hour every single day, but if I can do the equivalent of an hour a day I’ll be really happy.

– 7 hours on my writing course. Writing course. Wow, remember that? I hardly do. I’ve not done it for so long, I need to call them and find out if I’m still ok to carry on, or if I need to re pay for it. I signed up about 4 years ago, so I think I’ll be fine. I’m sure I signed up before they put a time limit on it. Fingers crossed. I figure with the revision of the novel it will be good to work on this in conjunction. It will remind me of what I need in it, but also, the next assignment is to plot a novel, I think plotting TMOMD would be a good idea. OK, so the novel is mostly written, but it can’t help to get comments, and advice on it can it?

– Write 1 book review for here and one (my first) for my friend Laura’s website Novel Kicks. I’ve already read one book this year, and have 20 still to write-up from last year for my reading challenges last year. I’m late, but better late than never (some of them are likely to be never, but some of them I should, and want to review).

– 2x check in blogs (in addtion to this). As it says on the tin.

– Decide on reading challenges for the year, and write a blog about them. I’d like to do Room Beam Reader’s TBR Pile Challenge again – I failed it last year, so feel I need to redeam myself this year. Last year I took books of my shelf, this year I think I’ll take other books that I’ve been meaning to read for a while, but which aren’t necessarily on my actual physical shelf.

– Burn 1500 kcal through exercise on top of normal walking to work etc. I’ve joined the gym again this year, and am determined to use it more than last year. Plus I’m going to sign up to a 10k run in May/June so need to get back into training. On top of this, I now work between two buildings which are about 15 minutes walk (100 cals) between each other. If the last week is anything to go by, I’ll be burning about 600 just walking between them.

– 2x fasting days. I’ve started the 5:2 diet, where you ‘fast’ (eat 500 calories) 2 days of the week. So far it’s going well. Week one went well anyway. I’m slightly worried that some people said it can cause headaches, and I got a migraine earlier, but I’m sure headaches and migraines are actually caused by and totally different things, so probably not related. I’m going to keep an eye on it though.

That’s it then. It’s quite a lot, but it’s doable, I know I can. As long as I work a little each day, and take each day as it comes, I should be fine.

Laura has agreed to be my buddy again this round. We have a brilliant way of pushing each other, through Twitter, texts, Facebook and emails. Whatever it takes. It’s really good to have someone I know is going to push me, and it’s a good feeling knowing I’m making a difference by pushing her too.

I hope everyone has a good week.

Hello 2013, and A New Me?

Happy New Year everyone. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas (or otherwise) break and new year. I know I certainly did.

I don’t really want a new me, I’m happy with the old me, but there are definitely some improvements I can make to make this year better than 2012. Not that it was a bad year, it was a great year, there were just a few negatives though.

Writing/editing – that really went down the drain. January – October and December I hardly wrote anything. I say that. When I say hardly anything, I probably mean about 30,000 words. Not a small amount, but not what I was hoping for. Not when you consider I wrote 50,000 in the 30 days of November alone. Writing in those 11 months was a struggle. I want to get back into it this year, and also do some editing. I know, that scary word that I haven’t had the guts to try on anything other than short stories in the past.

I’m going to be joining ROW80 again this month. I’ve been doing it for a few years, and really enjoying it. It means I HAVE to blog at least twice a week for the check-ins. I also love the community feel, and the help and encouragement I get from others. This year I’ll get better at giving it, as well as receiving it. I’m also going to think about becoming a sponsor for one of the later rounds this year.

I currently have a few projects on the go:

Italian Infatuation – my 2009 NaNo novel. Finished but needs editing. A lot. This was a Mills and Boon style novel which I’ve kind of moved away from, so not top of my list.

‘Holiday’ – my (untitled) novel I’ve been on/off/on/off since early 2009. It’s maybe 2/3 done. I’d like to finish it. I think it’s got legs, but it’s my second priority.

The Dating Project – my 2010 NaNo novel. 1/3 written. Good idea, but what’s written I think is terrible. At the bottom of my list, because it needs rewriting. Not so interested in it any more.

The Man of My Dreams – My 2011 NaNo novel. Almost finished the first draft. Top of my list to be worked on. I think I’m going to jump in to starting the read/edit then finish the last few bits as I go along with it this year. Now I’ve got into the RNA – NWS this year (more later) this will be the novel I submit.

Love Authority – My 2012 NaNo novel. I like the idea, but I didn’t do enough prep. I’d like to go back to it one day, but not right now, and probably not this year.

Last night, I tried to join the Romantic Novelists’ Association – New Writer’s Scheme. Each year they take the first 250 new writers to apply. I’ve tried the last 2 years but not got in. This year I made it. I’m massively excited!!!  I now get to go to events, and also send a manuscript in for comment by a real live author. Woop!

Writing/Blogging – I also want to get back into blogging. I feel like I’ve been a bad blogger this year (although I still wrote 103 blogs, it doesn’t feel like it). I really enjoy writing blogs, and visiting other blogs, so am going to pick this back up.

Writing/Blogging/Book Reviews – I’ve always planned to review some of the books I read as I finish them, but in 2012 totally fell behind with this. In 2013, I want to get back into doing it again. I’m not massively confident doing it, so need to push myself on this. Also my friend Laura who runs Novelkicks.co.uk has asked me to do reviews on her site. Woop! How exciting. I’m don’t know how often Laura would like me to review books, but I’d like to do them regularly, at least once a month.

Health/weight – I’m reasonably healthy, but over the last few years I’ve put on quite a lot of weight. I need to lose it to feel better about myself, happier when I look in the mirror and to reduce my chances of getting nasty diseases in later life. I’m also going to think about having the C word in a couple of years (children), and know it’s easier to get pregnant when you’re not overweight.

I’ve been thinking a lot the last few days about how I’m going to do it. My usual diet method is calorie counting, but I’ve been trying that and at the moment I just don’t have the will power to stick to 1,000 calories a day. A couple of years ago I joined Slimming World and lost a bit, but then Christmas hit and I put it back on, and never got back on it. I thought that was going to be the answer.

Then I started reading I Can Make You Thin by Paul McKenna. It was amazing, with just 4 rules for changing the way you eat forever, not even a diet. But again, it takes a lot of will power, which I’m not sure I have. For example, eat only when hungry and stop when you feel full. Great plan, but in reality… I think if I carry on reading it, there will be more exercises to help. And I will, but I’m going to use it in conjunction with the diet I’ve decided on – the 5:2 Diet.

If you read my blog, you may have read when I talked about this last year. I heard about it, where for 1 or 2 days of the week you ‘fast’ (eat 500 calories) then eat whatever you want on the other 5/6 days. I tried it on one day, and it was ok. I failed a little and got 600 calories, but still it inspired me. Then Christmas and all the parties hit, and I just didn’t have the days to try it.

Yesterday I found a book (by women’s lit author Kate Harrison), and this morning I’ve watched a BBC ‘Horizons’ documentary on it, and I’m totally sold. Not only does it help you lose weight, the health benefits are amazing. It’s not been officially tested on humans too much, so they kind of recommend not doing it, but the presenter was going to carry on with it, and so many other people do it, I’m going to give it a go.

You may wonder why, when I’m saying I have no will power to stick to a 1,000 calorie diet, I’m able to be sure I can do a 500 calorie one? 2 reasons. First is it’s only 2 days a week. If I want something on a fast day, I can tell myself I’ll have it the next day instead (the ‘feast’ day). If I want something bad on a 1,000 calorie a day diet, I can tell myself I can have it… when? When I lose all the weight I want to? When I break the diet for a day? The second reason is that on a 1,000 calorie day, I tend to just make things I know will be low calorie and tot up when I’m done. It can mean over eating, and quite often if I go over 1,000 calories, I think sod it, I’ll just eat more and start again tomorrow. Then ditto the next day. When I know I only have 500 calories to play with, I plan ahead.

I’m excited about starting it. In fact,yesterday was my first day fast day, and I ate just below 500 calories. In that I had a really nice homemade curry. Woop.

Health/Exercise – Last year I was really bad with exercise. I hardly went to the gym, I walked home occasionally from work, but not often, and I didn’t do much running – and certainly no challenges.

This year that’s going to change. I’ve rejoined the gym this year, through work again. I’m basically paying just under £60 a month. I need to make that worth it, because I could do so much more with £60 a month than throw it away on a membership I don’t use.

I’m also going to do at least one running challenge. There are a couple of 10km runs in May/June, so I’m going to sign up for one of those. If I have a goal, I work much better than doing it just for me. I’ve also done a 10km run before, so I know it’s not THAT hard, well, I know I can do it.

House – I must admit, I don’t clean and tidy as much as I should. We’ve decided to stay where we’re living until the summer, and I want to make it a nice few months. We live in a tiny flat so the housework really isn’t a massive job.

So that’s it. While it feels like a lot, it also doesn’t feel like all this is unachievable. I guess we’ll see in 12 months.

What are your plans for this year?

2012 Blogging in Review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 3,200 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 5 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.