Tag Archive | day job

Midweek Catch Up

I’m pleased to say this week is going well, just like last week did. Granted I haven’t written today, so I am only counting Monday and Tuesday, but I plan to write today, so that counts. In fact I’m not moving off this sofa until I’ve written 200 words. 150 is my goal, so 200 would be good. This week has gone so far:

Monday – 402

Tuesday – 236

Now considering – a) my goal is 150 per day, and b) I went out for dinner both nights and drank half a bottle of wine each night, that’s pretty good. I’m very happy with it. Tonight, I’ve been at home for dinner, and not drank anything, but still haven’t managed any words yet, go figure!

Although writing is my only goal, I’m doing well on the other things that should be goals. I’m checking in pretty regularly – definitely Sunday and today, and I think last Wednesday too. I’m also catching up on some well overdue book reviews for all my reading challenges this year (Mystery & Suspense, TBR Pile and Chick Lit). And I’m exercising.

The exercising I’m doing is only walking, but I’m doing quite a bit of it. Yesterday I took the long way to the tube home from dinner and on Monday I walked to the restaurant from my office which was quite a way. I’ve got out of the habit of walking from the tube to work in the morning, because I’ve been too late this week and have needed to get the bus, but I’d like to get back into that habit. There’s nothing like burning 100 calories on the way to work to set you up for a new day.

In completely off topic news, I had an interview today. Really long story, but half my job is going to disappear in the next few months, and my department don’t have any work to fill in that time – 1.5 days a week. Our sister department have a full-time job which I interviewed today. The interview went well, but the guy who would be my boss if I got it said he’d be worried that I’d be bored for the first few months if I got/took it. Work will pick up, but not for a while.

When I first heard this, my heart sank a bit. My boyfriend and a really good mate of mine have just started jobs where they’re quite bored, and it’s killing both of them, and zapping their energy and confidence and everything. I originally thought I didn’t want that. Then I thought back to my year and half working for a reception company, which had the potential to be really boring.

How did I stop that? Writing and blogging. Hmmmm. So, I could write and blog during the down time in the job. Could. It’s something I need to think about – it wouldn’t help my career, but it would help writing, and it would only be for a few months. But, I’m not sure what I could say to the potential boss. My second interview for the job will be with my previous role’s boss’ boss, who interviewed me for that role, and knows all about my writing. So… Maybe I could tell him… Hmmm. Like I said, I need to think about it.

I’ll do that later. Right now I need to go write.

Hope everyone’s week is going well, and all you UK-ers are getting ready for the long weekend – woop! (no idea if other countries have a bank holiday this weekend??)

Oh, one final note. Last week I invented One Thousand Thursday, where I have to write 1,000 words. Last week a couple of people joined in, which was great. I’m going to do it again tomorrow… so if you’re up for it, leave me a comment below and I’ll visit you via twitter or your blog to encourge you along. Oh, and let me know on here when you get to 1,000 words. Good luck!

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!

Something’s Better Than Nothing

Hi! I’m still alive. I don’t even want to look at the date of my last blog, it will be way too depressing. From my visitor stats (which go up massively when I blog) I can tell it’s not been for a while. A long while. Sorry!

Shall I throw out the old excuses? I’ve been so busy at work, it’s causing me to be so tired, I’m reading too much I don’t have time for blogging… Oops, how did that get in there? That’s not a good excuse. It’s an excuse, but it’s a terrible one. I shouldn’t be reading instead of blogging -or writing for that matter.

I’ve always got that old ‘to be a good writer you have to read a lot’ old nugget, but I seem to remember I used that in my last blog (wow, I can remember things really long ago!).

If I’m truthful, at the moment, blogging and writing aren’t really even in my mind. I hardly ever think about doing either. It’s bad. The good thing is though, that when I thought about writing on Sunday, I actually did some. Only 250 words, but everything large starts with something small.

My new job is taking up a whole load of my day, and if I’m honest night. I’m working way more than 7 hours a day, even if sometimes it’s just through my lunch break (I took a whole hour yesterday, I think that’s the 3rd time since I’ve been in this role – 6 weeks). Last night I was here until 7. That’s unusual, but I often do an hour more at the end of the day. I check my emails so much too, almost first thing, just before bed. It’s crazy!

I keep telling myself that this is just the ‘setting up’ and ‘getting used to’ the job. I hope it is. The Building Manager I work with (that’s my role) leaves at 5 nearly everyday, so it is possible (of course she comes in much earlier than my 9.30!).

Anyway. I will get into a better habit of things soon. Until I do, I’m not going to make any elaborate promises of writing every day, blogging all the time, and reading less. Reading is probably good for me because it’s relaxing me. I won’t make these promises because I think it’s pretty obvious to everyone that I won’t keep them! I will at some point get back on the writing and blogging train (I have a novel to finish after all), lets just hope it’s sooner, rather than later!

Ooh, before I go, I should probably mention the books I’ve read recently(if I can remember them): Before I Go To Sleep by SJ Watson – read it for my  book club and totally loved it, couldn’t get enough of it, brilliant. Although scared me a little. Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend by Matthew Green – I don’t know why this appealed to me (Cecelia Ahern If You Could See Me Now anyone?) but it did, and I’m so glad it did. I couldn’t put it down. And I’m totally adding it to my list for Mystery & Suspense Reading Challenge.

Late Thursday Blog – Writing, Reading and Running

Ok firstly – really excitingly, it’s my last day at work tomorrow. Woopie! That means today I did absolutely NOTHING. In fact I spent a whole hour reading my book this afternoon. Result. Tomorrow looks like it will be filled with the same – especially as all our computer systems go down at 16.00 (ready for a data centre to move over the weekend) and I work until 18.00. I’m well looking forward to those two hours!

Almost as exciting as that is that I got Before I Fall in the post today (thank you Amazon for offering a FREE next day delivery trial). And, due to all the reading today, I’ve finished my current novel so can start it straight away! * dances round the room in excitement *

I went through a load of emails last night to try to put together all my ‘Holiday’ documents. I think I’ve lost some of them. Possibly two bits. This is what you get for not writing a novel in order, but jumping around doing which ever bit you fancy on that day!

I discovered the loss when I was writing yesterday and what I was typing seemed familiar. I thought I’d written exactly the same thing before. In that scene. But, I couldn’t find it anywhere. Thinking more about it, I realised there was another scene I remember writing, which I can’t find. Oh dear. I’ll have another look tonight. Maybe they’re just not titled Holiday, so a search doesn’t bring them up. I need to get more organised!

I’m still doing well with NovelPI. Really well. So well, I’m thinking of unofficially upping my daily goal. I’m hitting over 300 nearly everyday without too much trouble(409 today), so think I might increase it to 500 – to myself anyway. 300 isn’t stretching me, it’s getting me into the habit of writing, but 500 would stretch me. Although do I really want to be stretched when I’ve got NaNo round the corner? I’ll think a little more about that.

I’m getting more and more ideas for my NaNo novel. It’s def going to be the YA novel I’m calling DD at the mo. One of the possible titles I’ve thought of is the same as a movie that came out maybe a year ago. Does that mean I shouldn’t use it? It’s a saying, so it’s not like it’s unusual or anything (I’m not thinking of stealing a title that’s original – this title is totally not original. Maybe that says it all.)

Off the topic of writing, I had my last practice run today before my charity 10km run on Sunday. I did 4km, in a time I’m really happy with. Considering I’ve been injured recently, if I even complete it all running I’ll be happy, if I can do it in a decent time I’ll be ecstatic. I’m running for cancer research, a really worthy cause I think. If anyone fancies sponsoring myself and my two friends (collectively known as The Three Helens) this is our fundraising page: http://www.run10ksponsorme.org/helenwilkinsonandhelenjackson

Ooh, I’ve done my Fiction Friday piece for tomorrow already. Very proud of myself. I hadn’t planned to do anything this week cause the prompt didn’t fit in at all with Holiday, but an idea came to me and I couldn’t shake it. I HAD to write it. I wonder if I’ll like it as much tomorrow!

Redundancy, Jobs and Writing

After my week starting so well with a day off yesterday, I think it’s pretty likely to fall into the gutter on Thursday. I have a terrible feeling I’m going to get my one month notice for redundancy. Agh. Eek. Damn. I might be wrong, but that might be the case. I really hope not cause that means job hunting will go to the top of my things to do list and I know writing, blogging and keeping up with the writing world I immerse myself in will get neglected. I know I’m going to have the notice at some point so have to look for a job then, but later is much better in my opinion than sooner.

I had some interesting conversations over the weekend that have made me think a lot. I spent the weekend with my family out of town, and told my aunt and cousin a lot more about this whole writing thing than I had done before. This lead to them reading some of my stories, part of Holiday and lots of chats about them both.

I told them that I decided 18 odd months ago that I was going to try to make it as a writer and do this writing course, and not worry about a ‘real’ career until I’d finished the course – giving myself the opportunity to see if I have what it takes. I sometimes forget that I made that decision. If I forget about it, or go back to working some hard job that requires more than 40 hours a week effort, I bet I’d stop working on the course, then always have that what if… hanging over me.

They likened writers to actors – do what they can to pay the bills until they get their big break! I have wondered if maybe I should go back into hotels cause then I could work shifts and I’m sure if I didn’t start work until 3pm I’d be more motivated to write in the morning. But then I remember I want a social life and discount that idea. Oh god, why can’t I have it all? Or win the lottery so give up work.

A few important decisions

My goals for September have been set for 2 days, and so far they’re going well.  Yesterday I went on Oneword.com to use their word prompt for a minute’s writing.  Then I decided I’d carry on with that bit of writing to get my goal for yesterday.  I think I made 280 or something.

Today, I had an idea for a children’s story – or collection of stories – so started on that.  500 words later I’m really liking the idea.  It’s cool. I might work on that a bit more for the next few days.  I don’t really know the exacts of what’s going to happen, but I know the set up, how it starts and basically the outline – that’s good enough to work on.

One of my friends sent me some information about a job that she thought would be perfect for me yesterday.  It’s a bit more money, but probably worse hours (I love my 10am start!) and would mean that I’d get paid to work, not get paid to work for a few hours then just look pretty (as the expression goes) on reception for the rest while I surf the net and write. 

I was really torn about whether to apply for it or not, so over dinner last night (in what will probably become our ‘local’  near his new home – awesome food!) I discussed it with my boyfriend.  He pretty much is of the same opinion as me that I’m never in my life going to be in the unique position I am of getting paid for a job where there’s so little work I can write pretty much as much as I want.  If I’m ever going to try to make it as a writer, now is my chance to try.  I’ve always thought that, but when something gets flashed in front of your eyes, it makes you think.  Especially when it would be better money – not loads better, but better non the less.

He said something really nice – that in his eyes, I wake up and want to write, and go to bed and want to write, therefore as I have an oportunity to, I should write.  I like that.  That makes me feel like maybe I am a writer.  In my head a writer is someone who makes money from selling things they’ve written, but that’s not really true.  I’ve just written a novel.  That really should make me a writer, shouldn’t it?! 

That’s the other thing.  I’ve just written a novel.  If I moved jobs now, what would the chances of it ever getting edited be?  Small?  None?  I’ve written a novel, not for my health (I would not have partaken in Nano for my health) but with the intention of trying to sell it.  That is, at the end of the day, why writers write.  I need to try.  If I fail I fail,  but at least I will have tried.  But, I might succeed.  Imagine…

Another thing we discussed last night was his mum’s love of Mills & Boon books.  I said, as an off the cuff comment, that I should give her a copy of my Mills & Boon book for Christmas – he thought it was a great idea, so after a bit of discussion I’ve decided I will.  He thinks that she will give her honest opinion of it, which is really what I need at the moment.  So, I’m going to have to get it into a state where it can be read – in the next nine days.  That means typing up the 2000+ words that are hand written.  I’ve also decided I’m going to have a quick read through just to check it all makes sense.  He he – I’ve found the excuse I’ve been looking for all month not to leave it alone until January.  Woop.

If I’m letting her read it, I feel it would only be fair to let my mum read it too, she’d be gutted if she knew someone else read it before her.  If I’m letting two people read it, I may as well let three.  One of my boyfriend’s friends has asked if he can read it.  As he’s an arty person himself – he acts in small local plays – so I feel pretty comfortable letting him read it.  He even stayed interested in it when I told him it was a Mills & Boon book.  Wow.  I’m letting three people read my, unedited, book! 

Maybe four actually, John from Bikemymoko wants to read it.  Although I think I’d like it to be in a better condition when he reads it – he’s written a novel himself that is pretty damn good I think. 

As a little non writing related add-on – It’s snowing!  In real life and on my blog.  Ahhhhh, I love snow.

Monday Monday

It’s Monday.  Another five days until the weekend (four actually as I’ve got Friday off – yay!).  How horrible.  I’m trying to think positively though, that’s four days of quite a bit of writing.  I hate my job, but how can I really when it gives me the opportunity to write and do writing related things for at least a couple of hours a day.  Today I’ve written 400+ words on ‘Holiday’, written the daily one minute on oneword.com, read lots of writing related blogs and am now doing a blog.  I shouldn’t complain. 

I’ve been doing well with NovelPI.  We’re now on day 5 and I’ve written every one of them.  Most of the days I’ve gone pretty far over my set word count (250 words).  I should do a count up of how many I’ve done total – that would be good.  I went away this weekend so thought writing would be hard.  But, we went by train and I managed to do my writing on the train.  250 words really doesn’t take that long, so it’s not that hard to do.  Much easier than I thought anyway.  I’m really impressed with myself for getting on with it.

I did a little reading this weekend.  Not much, but every little helps.

I went shopping with my boyfriend on Saturday.  When we walked past a charity shop, he suggested going in to look at books for me.  I decided that as I’ve got about 3 million books (I may exaggerate – but only slightly) on my To Read pile that I really shouldn’t.  I then had a ten minute rant about how there’s not enough hours in the day for me to do as much writing and reading as I’d like to do. 10 minutes later we walk past one of those cheap book shops and without saying a word he walks in.  15 minutes later I walk out with three books. That’s three more to add to my To Read list.  Sigh.  That’s pretty good though, I wanted five!  They’re all chick lit, so I figure it’s research for the book.  He he.

322 – the number of untitled blogs today

Damn.  Damn, Damn, Damn.  I’ve just worked out I’m not going to meet my goal number of blogs this month, unless I blog twice in one day and both days at the weekend.  Not going to happen.  Especially as I’m working the second job BOTH weekend days! Sigh.  Oh well, I’m still writing regularly and quite a lot so I’m happy.

I know I wrote the other day about my excitement about a new book that’s just come out by Sophie Kinsella.  I think I did anyway.  I really want it to come out in paperback before my holiday in September so I can take it and read it then.  Yesterday I found out that Jane Green has a new book coming out soon too.  I love Jane Green.  She’s in my top three favourite authors (Sophie Kinsella and Marian Keyes being the other two).  In fact I might go out on a limb and say she is my favourite author.  I read one of her books once that changed my life.  Not in a major way, but it made me realise something which led to something else.  So she does awesome chick lit, but I actually gained from it too.

I would love it if one day someone got excited (other than family and myself) that I was releasing a new book.  Imagine knowing someone was looking forward to reading something you wrote.  That’s my dream.

But it’s a long way away.  Short term I’ve made a decision about work that is going to screw up my writing time I have during the day.  But as I don’t seem to be doing too much at the moment it’s not too big a problem.  I just hope I’ll find time to keep blogging.

Haha, if someone had have told me six months ago I’d be a regular blogger, I would have laughed at them.  I knew pretty much nothing about blogs etc and would never have believed I’d start doing it too, let alone enjoy it.  And an avid reader of other people’s.  Funny how things happen.  Having this blog definitely inspires me to write, whether it be on here or actual creative writing. 

I wish something would inspire me to do some of my next assignment for my course.  I’m not really inspiring myself.  Maybe I need to choose another topic, maybe this one just isn’t interesting me enough and I could get on better if I choose something that will interest me more.  I need to do some brainstorming.  Sigh.

Productive day

I am having quite a productive day today (in the writing sense).  Work is ridiculously quiet.  I did most of my work for the day in the 1st half hour, then on my lunch break someone finished the rest of it.  Bad.  But really good because I have done lots of writing.  Well some writing anyway.

A few months ago I got the idea for a short story and make notes for it (the blueberry yogurt story I’ve talked about before).  I decided today would be the day to fill in the gaps.  I’m about 3/4 of the way through and I think it’s OK.  Actually I’m very happy with it.  When finished it will be the 1st short story I’ve written that I’m happy with.  In fact only the 2nd I’ve ever written as an adult.  The other was for a competition which I never heard back from.  Looking back I can see why.  It had a rubbish ending. 

I’m happy with this one though as there’s a little twist in it which makes it quite good.  I think anyway.

Also this morning I asked for some words or idea to create a story around.  The words I was given were:  ”A white dog”, ”Cheeseburger”, ”The number ‘3’ ”, ”Running” and ”half”.  From that I created a children’s story in my head, which I now have in note form.  Maybe by Christmas it will be a story.  I do have a slight problem with it.  The children do something they are not allowed to do, but don’t really get punished for it, promoting the idea that it’s ok to something you shouldn’t.  I do not want my story to give children the impression they can get away with being naughty.  I’ll have to put a bit more weight behind them getting told they can’t do it.  The other tiny problem is that they get told they can’t tell anyone something, I don’t think it’s a good thing to tell children they aren’t allowed to tell their parents.  Although it’s a policman who tells them, so maybe it’s ok?  As I say it probably won’t turn into a story for months, so I don’t need to worry.  Plus, there will probably never be any children that read it.  Positive aren’t I!

The  other day at work I decided to start writing down bits of conversations people had as they walked past my desk.  I thought it would be pretty easy, but it’s harder than I thought.  I don’t know if it’s because there’s a lot of other noises going on so hard to concentrate on one thing, or maybe because people are facing away from me half the time, but it is quite hard to do.  I think that’s probably more of an exercise for somewhere where the people around are sat sill.  I’ll persist anyway.

I’m really impressed that for the 1st time in ages, I’ve actually got something to blog about.  Maybe this is a change and I’ll start doing lots more writing.  Fingers crossed please!

July’s goals

OK.  June was terrible.  I have no idea what happened there, but it was terrible.  I don’t want to lay the blame elsewhere, but I do blame the day job.  Two reasons.  One: I hate it and am finding it very hard to get motivated to do anything because of this hate!  Two: procedures have changed and my role has so I have less time to dedicate to writing.

That said, I think if I have some set goals I’ll try a lot harder to keep to them than last month when I had none.  Fingers crossed anyway!  So here we go:

  • Write 8,000 words ( I feel like that is a realistic amount.  I managed 6,000 easily a couple of months ago, and that was in only 15 days.  I don’t want to make it too high as I’d like to spend some time editing and rewriting what I write – with a high goal I don’t seem to do that).
  • Finish reading Brown Girls by John Wesley Ireland. (I’m really enjoying this so it should be really easy to finish.)
  • Finish reading ‘How to write a novel’.  (I really shouldn’t do this, as I’m sure I’ll cover all this in my course, and I’m nowhere near that section of it yet, but I can’t help it; I really want to!)
  • Spend 10 hours on the writing course.  (That’s only 2 hours a week, that is nothing.  If I can’t do that, I have some serious problems!)
  • Review Brown Girls on here once I’ve read it.
  • Review Mercy (I should have done that in May/June – oops!)
  • 20 blogs on wordpress.

That seems fair.  Achievable. 

I’ll cross off one blog and a few words.  Yay!