Tag Archive | editing

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.

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ROW80 Sunday Check In

Hi!

I read an article today which was rating the days of the week. Sunday was 4th out of 7. It’s good, but towards the end, you feel the life sucking out of you, as you realise you have work tomorrow. Yep, I’ve got that feeling. I had so much I wanted to do this weekend, and I feel like I’m heading into another week, with hardly any of those things done.

I have had a nice relaxing weekend, so all good.

Only I’ve not touched my novel – so BAD! BAD BAD BAD. I knew I wouldn’t yesterday as I had plans, but I really wanted to today. I don’t even have an excuse. Again.

Anyway, I had a quite a few goals for this week. This is how I got on with them:

2x runs, 2x 20 minute + walks, 2x 10 minute walks (getting off the tube a stop earlier): I’ve done 3 (THREE), runs (woo hoo), and 2x 10 minute walks. Not good, but that extra run is brilliant.

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. I found a whole load more than just those 12 pages.

Read said 12 pagesI read all 12 pages, and most of the rest I found. I’ve still got some to read through, but I’ve maybe read 30 pages this week. That’s good.

Find the missing pages of The Man of My Dreams (pray they’re on the hard drive). Print more. I’ve not done this as I had found more that were printed. I need to find the rest (still got my fingers crossed for the hard drive).

Read more. As above, I read about 30.

Start with sticky notes of plot points etc. Um. No. That was my plan for today that didn’t get fulfilled. 

Fast twice: I managed once. I started on Thursday too, but had a really long tiring day, and didn’t have the patience or anything to think about fasting, or cooking. I had half a baguette with ham for dinner. Oh dear.

2 book reviews, one for here, one for Novelkicks. I’m hanging my head in shame. Nope, neither.

I’d like to come up  with some great excuses,  but I don’t have any new ones – work was still busy, I’m still exhausted.

I hope this week I’ll finish a couple of things which should lead to a small respite in the craziness. Small.

My goals for this week are almost the same as last week:

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

Find the missing pages of The Man of My Dreams (on the hard drive??). Print them.

Read 10 pages I currently have, and ones I will hopefully find. 

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.

Fingers crossed for this week. Good luck with your goals, whether doing ROW80, or if you’re just setting yourself goals.

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!

Time Is Flying – This Week’s Goal

I can’t believe it’s February. A whole month into the year.

January was an up and down month. I printed and started re-reading my novel The Man of My Dreams. I’ve read up to around p60 (bearing in mind it’s printed in a small font on A4 paper). Most of that however was done in the first two weeks of the year. Weeks 3 and 4 were a little hit and miss. That’s a lie, miss. Completely. Work has just been crazy busy, and I’ve either worked really late, or just been exhaused when I got home and had no energy to do anything.

Weekends of course are different. I don’t have any excuse over weekends. I just keep forgetting about it. I used to be in the habit of writing in spare time. In the last two years, I have stopped having a routine and I need to get it back.

My boyfriend is going away on business tomorrow until Sunday. I’ll do a lot of work over that time, but I’m determined to also do some writing/editing. When I get home, I’m not going to turn the TV on, I’m going to have my novel and the pages ready to go. This is my plan for the week, my only goal – and I WILL stick to it.

 

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!

ROW80: Goals

It’s been a while since I took part in A Round of Words in 80 Days, but I think now is time to get back into it. 

In 2013 I did pretty much no writing. I had a couple of new (demanding) jobs, I ran a half marathon, and I had a life. I couldn’t (wouldn’t?) squeeze writing in too. I don’t want this year to be the same. At the end of November I went to a Romantic Novelists’ Association party. That evening I had to admit that I wasn’t writing, and hadn’t done any for ages, and it was horrible. That night I made the decision to turn it around. I printed of my novel The Man of My Dreams the next day. Unfortunately it sat in my bag for a while. 

This year, I’ve started reading it. I need to read it first to remember where I need to fill in bits, and finish things. I’ve started. Once I’ve filled in the blanks (and checked the story flows), I’ll start editing properly. I’m going to do it.

And ROW80 will give me a push to do it. 

I’m starting with baby steps, and when I hit them, I’ll increase. 

Goals (not just writing, but life goals):

– Spend some time at least three times a week, editing. I don’t want to be specific, I don’t want to set anything specific – baby steps. Just some time, three times a week. I was going to say once a week, but I’ve read 20 pages of the novel over the last 2 days, that I think I can confidently do it three times this week at least. I can carry on reading at this rate. 

– Exercise three times a week. If it’s walking, no less than for 20 minutes. 

– Fast 2 days a week (500 calories a day).

– Check in for ROW80 once a week, one book review blog once a week. 

I’m capable of more, but after a year of doing nothing, I want to start slow and steady. The great thing about ROW80 is you can change your goals as you go. I’ll be changing these in a week or so.

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!