Tag Archive | writing

My Poor, Poor Blog

Hi there everyone, if there’s still anyone out there. I’ve just looked at my page, and I haven’t posted since 1st May. That was a book review. I haven’t written a proper post since April. It’s now July. Almost half way though. My poor blog. It must feel so alone. I must change that.

I have a few reasons why I haven’t blogged. All pretty good excuses, but excuses all the same.

I got a promotion *happy dance* It’s to a similar position, but I’m responsible for more and bigger buildings. It’s more money, more work, more enjoyment – I was getting stale in my last position. I’m loving it. But it’s hard work. I’m not really getting lunch breaks so no blogging during them (you remember, once I went through a month of blogging at lunch, yeah, not quite enough to be a habit).

I also have been crazy busy in June. My mum had an operation – hip replacement – so I went up there – a lot. I also had courses, and of course the new job. I was busy.

At the beginning of July we also went away for my birthday (Dusseldorf, Germany – lovely).

For some reason, blogging and writing and editing haven’t been on my radar. If I think about it, I massively still want to write, and get published etc, but this year, something’s stopping me.

I have an idea what it might be too.

This year I’m a member of the New Writers’ Scheme at the Romantic Novelists’ Association. Because of this, I get to send a manuscript in to them, and a published author will critique it. How incredibly awesome is that.

Wait…

How incredibly SCARY is that?? That’s a MASSIVE step. My friend Laura that runs Novelkicks.co.uk (who I also haven’t reviewed for, for MONTHS), was a member last year and was really shaken by the critique she got back last year. I’m scared of that. And I think that’s why I’m not editing. It’s just so scary.

Part of me is thinking ‘What if she says I’m terrible and I can’t write and I should give up?’ That part of my brain is almost silenced by another part that says ‘You’ve already sent work into your writing course tutor (remember THAT?), and she didn’t say you were rubbish – she said some quite good things.’ I like that part of my brain.

I am thinking though, what if this idea for a novel isn’t any good? What if my characters aren’t any good? What if there’s no story arc? What if it’s too predictable? What if it’s too unrealistic? What if…? What if…? What if…? See, it’s easier to bury my head in the sand than face up to these thoughts, and the realistic fact that any of those could be true.

Plus, so send the novel off, I need to finish the massive holes in it, and edit the silly thing. AGH!

I’m scared. But I know I’m not going to get anywhere if I’m scared. But that’s not forcing me to do this. I NEED to do this. I have to do this. I WANT to do this.

I just can’t do this.

No, I can. I will. I WILL.

Even if it’s just to prove the boy wrong who said I shouldn’t join the RNA cause I’ve not done any writing recently. HAVE to prove him wrong ūüėČ

Incredibly Busy, If Only It Was With Writing

I can’t remember the last time I wrote a blog, and I’m too ashamed to look. I know I’ve done a few book reviews in the last few weeks, but nothing really writing about me.

I’ve been busy though, so busy.

I’m in the middle of a course called NEBOSH, if you’ve not heard of it, it’s a workplace health and safety course. It’s thrilling. And long. We did a whole 9-5 week there a couple of weeks ago, then a week back in the office, and now we’re back for another week. I am shattered. Today was our last learning, tomorrow is a revision day, then next Friday we have 2, 2 hour exams. And then there’s a practical report section too.

Sigh.

If this wasn’t enough, I started working for another company last Monday. I’m still managing the same buildings, but now have a different company I’m reporting to. Not what I need in the week between NEBOSH weeks.

On top of this, I applied for a job with my old company, which I really wanted, and didn’t get it.

All in all, I’m pretty exhausted. Mentally and physically (because I’ve been to the gym tonight). I’ve got a glass of wine in front of me, and totally see myself going to bed in an hour or so (is 9.30pm too early to go to bed? I probably won’t sleep will I?).

So, because of all this, I haven’t done any writing or editing. It’s fine though, because I decided before it all started that I was going to give myself these 4 weeks off. As soon as we get to 23rd, I’m back on it. Well, probably 24th, I’m totally going to go out and celebrate it’s all over on 22nd, so probably won’t do anything on 23rd!

You know what I’ve done though? I’ve only gone and forgotten about Belinda Jones’ Sunlounger Short Story Competition. Closing date is 31st March. Eek. I need to think about that. I haven’t even got an idea yet, or characters. AGH!

Also, I found another competition I want to enter. National Express (yes, coaches) have a short story competition, with the subject travel. It closes 28th April. The winner gets their story published in Jenny Colgan’s new book The Good, The Bad and The Dumped in August. Exciting.

When I’ve posted this blog, I’m going to have a QUICK play on Twitter and Facebook, print off some stuff for tomorrow, and then think more about these stories.

I’ve got a couple of plans for April. I can’t decide which to do, or if I should do both. I’d really like to take part in the A-Z Blogging Challenge. Post a blog a day for 26 out of the 30 days in April, with each day’s blog being based on a letter of the alphabet. That would get me back into blogging for sure. So far 1058 people have signed up, I really wouldn’t be alone on this one. Also, if I do it, I’d want to add a¬†category, but would I chose Writing or Books. Of course it would be writing, but I like the idea of writing about books too. You can’t have two¬†categories. Damn.

My other idea is Camp NaNoWriMo. They’ve changed the rules this year, only for camp, it doesn’t have to be 50,000 words. That would suit me, because if I did it, I wouldn’t want to write 50,000 words. I wouldn’t want to write any actually. I’d want to edit. I was originally thinking of editing for 50 hours. But now the blogging challenge is a maybe, I might go for 25 hours. Or maybe 12.5 hours. Half an hour a day. 12.5 isn’t much though. I’ll have to think about it. Maybe once I’ve done the Sunlounger story!

Ooh, my second review of You Had Me At Hello by Mhairi McFarlane (first being the one I posted on this blog), is live on Novelkicks today, check it out here.

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!

Another Week Gone – And We’re In February Kids

My end of/beginning of month blogs must be so boring, they’re so repetitive. But still, how is it February already?

January started off really well, with me reading through the first 84 pages of The Man of My Dreams in the first week, but then I failed, and did no more for the rest of the month. I have no excuses.

I’m hoping February is going to go better, and it’s starting pretty ok – I’ve just done the next 10 pages (30 minutes). It’s not a whole lot, and I got totally into it, so felt like I could have carried on going, but I want to do a blog, and I need to do some ironing, and want to watch another NCIS: Los Angeles.

One of the Sky channels is showing the first few series of it during the day. I made the mistake of series linking it, because I’d never seen or heard of it, and I love the original NCIS, so wanted to see what it’s about. What I didn’t realise was that they were showing 2 episodes a day – so the sky box got pretty full pretty quickly. And I didn’t notice.

It got to the point it was full and wouldn’t record any more. So we started watching it. And must admit got massively into it. Which is my very long way of saying this is what’s coming between me and this first read through of my novel.

Well, that and in the last week I’ve read 2 really, really good books (Deliruim by Lauren Oliver and Sister by Rosamund Lupton), and when I’m reading a good published book, it’s hard to make myself put that down and read my, rough, first draft novel. Very hard.

So, instead of picking up another novel, I’m not going to, and I’m going to crack on with reading mine. Of course it’s harder to read on the tube going to work, because it’s A4, it’s not stapled togetehr, and Im trying to make notes on it, but tough.

I had some goals for RWO80¬†this week, this is what they are and how I did, and why not throw in what I’m doing this week for a goal on each one too:

Edit TMOMD for 7 Hours: I’ve done half an hour today. It’s bad, but it’s better than nothing, which I’d done the last few weeks. Next week:¬†15 minutes editing a day. I’m reducing it to try to get me working on it.¬†15 minutes is so little, I could just start it and be done before I know. Hopefully though, starting 15 minutes will make me do more. It’s my test mile…

Writing course – 2 hours: None. Oops. Next week: Same, 2 hours over the whole week. Hoping one day I’ll hit this.

2 Book revies: Done. One on here – You Had Me At Hello by Mhairi McFarlene, and The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes for Novelkicks.co.uk. I’m not sure if the review of¬†TGYLB is suitable for NK, it’s got a lot of me in it, so maybe it should be on here. I’ll let Laura decide. Next week: I’m still behind on reviews from last year, so lets say 2 again.

2 ROW80 Check-ins: Today, check, but missed Wednesday because I was out at my bookclub. Yes, I could have done it when I got in, but didn’t. I’ll try harder next week. And, Next week’s goal: 2 check ins.

Burn 1,500 calories (on top of normal walking to work etc): I haven’ t worked this out yet. It won’t be 1,500 calories though. Maybe just below 1,000? Don’t know. Next week: 1,500 calories again, including 1x visit to the gym.

3 fasting days for diet: I only managed one. Next week, just 2 days.

And one additional goal for next week:

Social Media: Visit other ROW80 blogs, and reply to my comments on here.

My ROW80 buddy Laura tried to push me to write on Friday, but I was out in the pub. This week, I’m going to get in the habit of checking in with her, someone to be responsible¬†to each day helps me to write, or in this case, hopefully edit.

Last Week

It’s the end of January this week. The beginning of Feb. I can’t believe it. We’re now 28 days into the year. 28. How has that happened? Time is going so fast.

Which is a brilliant excuse for not doing much this week. So little.

No editing. No writing course. No completed book¬†reviews (although I started 2 which is good, not as good as completing, but still good). I managed to get in 2 check-ins for ROW80 (this counts as yesterday’s check in!), 2 fasting days for my 5:2 Diet AND burn 600 calories. Not everything is bad then.

What I did do, is read a book. I actually read it yesterday, as in that’s pretty much all I did yesterday. Oops. It was Lauren Oliver’s Delirium, it was brilliant, totally gripping.

It means that things really can only get better. To get better than this week, I’m keeping my goals the same:

7 hours editing my novel (granted I’m not as far as editing, I’m at reading draft 1 stage)

2 hours on my writing course

2 book reviews

2 ROW80 Check-ins

Burn 1500Kcal in addition to normal walking to work etc.

2 fasting days for my diet

That’s it. And this week, this week, I’m going to do better. I’ve got a really busy week, but I’m going to make time to the things I need to be diong. With January pretty much down, I’ve got a month less before I have to get my novel to the RNA for review. I can’t¬†do¬†what I usually do and leave things till the last minute with this, this¬†is too¬†important to¬†me. So this week, will be my week.

Midweek Check-in

Oh dear, I’m not having a good week. I only set my goals Monday night (late Monday night, well after I had time to do anything that night), so I don’t feel too bad. Yesterday I could have, and should have done stuff, but I didn’t. I came home from work early (contact lenses felt like they were cutting into my eyes – ouch. Came home to take them out and work from home for the afternoon). I felt like I should have done more in the evening because of it, especially since dinner should have just been a heating up dinner from the night before.

Oh well, I didn’t and I need to move on.

Today I’ve been busy at work and in a training session, then I went out for dinner (one of my dear friends is moving to Portugal for a year. Happy for her, but sad too. Tonight as her going away meal), so the fact I’m even writing this blog is good.¬†

Tomorrow I’ll do some editing. My buddy Laura has promised she’ll start pushing me, I think it’s what I need!

When I started my new job, I asked if there was a chance I could work 4 1/2 days a week, or from home once a week, they said in principle fine. Great. I said I’d spend 3 months settling into the job, then see. We’re now at¬†the end of the 3 months.¬†The pay wasn’t what I hoped it would be, and not enough to let me drop down to 4 1/2 days, but WFH once a week is a possibility. Unfortuntely stuff is happening at work, and I’m going to have to TUPE over to another company (a much bigger company, so should be a good thing… maybe), in 6 weeks. Because of this, I’m not going to be able to change my working conditions etc now, but maybe when I move.

Point I’m getting to here? I’d like to work from home once a week, so that I’m here, and ready to start writing or editing or whatever as soon as I’ve finished work.¬†(You know, like I didn’t do yeasterday!). I think I’d also stop for a lunch break and¬†get stuff¬†done then¬†if I was at home for a day (I pretty much never do now).

I can probably do it unofficially for the next 6 weeks and see how it goes with the new company after that.

Sorry, went off the subject there.

This weeks goals. I’m not going to go through them, because there’s not that much. But, I have achieved some things:¬†this is one of my blogs for this week; I’ve started a book review; I’ve done 1 fasting day. So all is not lost, yet. No, all is not lost yet. No comma. Comma not needed!

Hope everyone is having a good week!

Week Round Up

I can’t believe it’s Sunday already. This week has gone so quickly. Too Quickly, I didn’t get as much done as I wanted. On Monday I had a migraine, it lasted all evening, so cut off any chance of doing anything that night. On Tuesday I had a headache all day, I always do the day after a migraine. Wednesday I stayed at work till about 7pm. Then today, I’ve had a headache all day again. So really, I haven’t had that much time to write, edit etc. Also, I’ve had to do some work, so again, that took away time from doing stuff for me.

Here’s my goals and¬†what I achieved:

Week 1

Editing: My goal was 7 hours. I did 4 hours. I did an additional hour prepping for a short story (more later), so 5 altogether. Considering I’ve never done any novel editing before, and I’ve been putting this off for about a year, I’m really happy with it.

Writing course: Ah. Well. Um… So I totally have an excuse for not doing this. My next assignment (I vaguely remember) is to write the plot to a novel. I’m going to use The Man of My Dreams, cause I think it would be good to have a tutor give comments on it. But, seeing as I wrote¬†most of it well over a year ago, I can’t really remember it, so I need to go through and write up¬†what¬†happens.¬†Oh, and work out an ending.¬†That’s what I’m doing at the moment in editing, so need to finish that before I can do the assignment. He he.

Book Reviews: I planned to do one for my blog, and one (my first) for Novel Kicks. I did the one for here – The Headhunters by Jo Nesbo. I’ve drafted the one for Novel Kicks, but I’m taking my time, because it’s someone else’s website, so I want it to be perfect. I’ve written up the bio I’ll send over with it. Massively excited about it.

ROW80 Check Ins: 2. Wednesday and Sunday. Done.

Reading challenge Blogs: 2, done. The TBR Pile Challenge blog and the Mystery/Crime Challenge blog.

Burn 1500Kcal¬†on top of normal excercise: 800 done. It’s the fault of the migraines and headaches, I couldn’t exercise with them. Next week!

Fasting Days: 1 of 2. I planned to have my second one today, but because I’ve got this headache, I thought¬†I should feed my body properly. I’ll do 3 next week to make up for it – starting tomorrow.

During the week, I found out about the Belinda Jones Travel Club’s Sunlounger Short Story Competition. You can enter a¬†rom-com¬†short story on the subject of holidays, with the¬†prize being having the story printed in the Sunlounger¬†anthology, along side Belinda Jones, Kate Harrison, Talli¬†Roland, Chrissie Manby, and many, many more. I don’t have an exact idea for a story, but I’ve got a character idea and a situation idea. Closing date is the end of March, so I’ve got time to think about it.

Goals for this week:

7 hours editing

2 hours on my writing course

2 book reviews (one for here, and the completed one for Novel Kicks)

Burn 1,500 Kcal in addition to normal daily walking to work etc.

3 fasting days.

As long as I can shake this headache that’s been plaguing me all week, I should be OK.