Tuesday Thoughts: Why Am I Writing This?

I think I’ve figured out why I’m struggling so much with my novel, when I have excelled previously even at the first draft stage. And I’m having a bit of an emotional crisis over it. It’s because I forgot what I was trying to sayyyy with this novel. Not literally. Not even ‘the moral of this story is X’. No, I need to ask myself:

Why am I writing this?

Earlier this evening I applied the spelling and grammar changes to “The Company Of One” and it dawned on me that I feel like I’m in the position I was before I wrote that script. And the reason I wrote it was abundantly clear once again: I need to make changes in my life in order to get my mental health under control. When I started writing the script, the change was getting over a toxic relationship. That filtered in throughout the planning stages and characters kept getting cut – in the end, Madison was brought in at the eleventh hour and became a huge part of the story. She even quoted something my ex used to say to me all the time (“You’re being unreasonable”) which I didn’t remember until the revision evening last week. That drive is ultimately, what made it a good story. I would be quite interested in seeing if the people who were in my immediate writing vicinity could tell that at the time.

But now, since moving, I’ve felt stagnant. And because I’ve been stagnant, my writing has become stagnant. (Just to clarify, this is not about Dan, I want to keep him around for a long time). To begin with, if you recall, there was all that early excitement to get things going, all the motivation and keenness to be writing the first draft. Then I got ~the job~ and with it came an almost literal shit storm, that has stopped me being excited about my new adventure in Wales and really, really homesick for Cornwall. In fact, the adventure aspect of our big move has disappeared completely. And thus, I feel like I have been writing for the sake of writing, and not for the sake of really saying something. Add that to the fact that between work and being home too tired from work and I have actually not done anything particularly new or exciting since we arrived. I’m not saying it’s awful here as a whole – and I really don’t want to moan about this amazing opportunity that we’ve been given – I think that being in such an unusual, unstable job with very little support for its staff as standard has kind of ruined our first few months here. I’m trying to find something else, as are the rest of the team it turns out, but no one wants 12 years experience and prior management training when they think I’m going to leave to pursue a different career. I mean it’s true but they don’t know that. They don’t even have access to my social media so how could they know that other than my masters qualification. I’ve rambled myself off track…

With the novel I’m trying to write about “Hey look a new adventure, yes Joelle missed her friends and her family back home but exciting and scary things are happening and she has new friends to help her get to the bottom of things” and instead I’m writing “Joelle was irritated and annoyed, she just wished that her new friends would leave her alone; she desperately wished she’d never come at all, and could spend the summer doing what she always did, hanging out with Sophie reading books and having pretend adventures. Real ones were much too scary for her”. LITERALLY ME.

That is not the book I want to write. And no eleven year old is going to be interested in that miserable rubbish.

I don’t want to write for the sake of writing. I want to write because I have something to say – something good and positive and hopeful.

Realising all this has helped me a lot. I’ve been struggling to write properly for weeks, since the work drama started to be exact (even though it’s had nothing to do with me directly, we can all see it’s had a big negative affect). And I have good days and bad days writing, and it’s still being done, I just feel like I need to figure stuff out in my own life. Again, I think it’s just work. I’m sort of stuck in a catch 22 with it, where I can’t afford to leave but staying is not really a long term option unless I transfer to the open spot in Truro and go back home. That is something I never thought I would want.

But not all hope is lost. I can figure this out and get back to it. I am really passionate about the novel overall, I just need to get my head in the game. Now I know what the problem is I can try to fix it. And hey, what else are first drafts for?

Don’t tread on the flowers.

F x

Ps. The reason Annie Lennox is the featured image is because it’s a still from her “Why” video. I was originally looking for a picture from the Miss Saigon song “Why God Why” but I thought that would be a bit of a stretch. This is more obvious. And it has the word “why” on it. My humour is only funny to me I think.

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Time Off & Back Again.

Words: I haven’t counted them in over a week…

Hey people who read my blog, welcome back. It’s been probably about two weeks since I updated you all on my progress and well, I haven’t done all that much since. Why? Because I went back to Cornwall for a few days, and had a bit of a wobbly (under exaggeration) about being in Wales. I didn’t really feel like writing because of it, and honestly blogging about it now would drag it all up again and I’ve only just really started sorting myself out about it so I’m not going to digress. I’ve written it off as growing pains and have been writing all day today, so it seems I have bounced back.

Fun things that are happening in terms of life: we have a deadline for when we want the house to be done and back on the market. I mean honestly its not really anything to do with me because I’m useless when it comes to house things, but it does mean my parents get to come visit and stay with us for a weeks as per our original agreement so yay for me!! That isn’t even sarcasm, my parents are awesome.

Fun things that are happening with writing things: I have started writing regularly again, huzzah! It has been tough. I kind of wrote myself into a hole and I couldn’t figure out how to get the characters back out of it, but I’ve sort of fixed it now and I’m back on track again. Things went awry and got confusing but there we are. These things happen. Lot’s of tears and throwing pens and notebooks and drinking (tea, not alcohol. I’m a grandma at 25) was involved. Honestly, what a loser I was one entire week ago.

Another fun thing I did the other night was revise my script from third year. The one with the fox and the lesbians. That does not describe it accurately at all but I like the way it sounds. I also wrote a really weird blog post that is really cringe and I’m so glad I decided not to post it. It’s boosted my confidence in my writing, rereading something I’m really proud of (and is actually 100% as finished as I need it to be) and not still stagnant in the first typed draft stage like everything else I’ve got. I’m sending it off in the next few weeks to people who will read it and judge it in the industry. Little old me, sitting in my makeshift office surrounded by candles and fairy lights, in my old lady jumper, might have someone in the industry be interested in doing something with something I wrote. And honestly like, they might not and nothing will change and thats fine. But they might, and thats really exciting. For me at least. And to be fair that script is the best thing I’ve yet to achieve, so having written it and got such amazing feedback from people who’ve read it and were there for its creation is all I need from it. Anything else is a bonus.

I just want to be able to quit my day job soon. And be a proper full time writer. I don’t even want people to know my name, just to read my work and get something from it.

And with that I’m being told off by Dan who says I should be writing. I’ve been procrastinating for an hour now. So I’ll speak soon. And I’ll do a proper blog post. And I still want to do one of those book blog posts (I know, I know I keep saying it but I promise at some point it will be done).

Also it’s 25 days until Christmas. Or as I like to call it, 32 days until this year is finally over.

Don’t tread on the flowers.

F x

20K: A Pre-Work Post.

Words: 20, 853

I reached the next big mile stone! I feel like it took literally all that I’ve got to get through the teen-word stage. I won’t bore you with the details, but feel free to read my previous posts if you haven’t yet seen them.

It is Saturday morning, half past seven, and the temperature outside is frightful. I have another long shift at Day Job today, and tomorrow. I can’t complain too much, I have time off next week for exciting life things, but it makes me slightly disheartened because I have accidentally added a really good sequence of events in my novel that I am just itching to write. Of course, this is all because I can’t spend my days writing when I have ~other commitments~ but I’m trying my best to fit in as much as possible. I get twenty minutes to break while I work (regardless of how many hours I’m working & it’s unpaid) in which I have to fit in lunch too, I only end up writing a couple of pages. If I’m lucky. And when I get home I start writing and I’m knackered so productivity has been down. I’m so excited to write it, I’ve got that burst of energy and motivation back that I had at the 10K mark but I just, I need more time.

But the fact that it’s back is enough to keep me going for now. I’m just so ready to have it done now. Although when I begin to type it up I think I’m going to have to chop and change some stuff around. I am already thinking of whole sections I can get rid of if necessary. But the feeling I’m getting from this new additional sequence is really strange. It’s like someone picked it up and put it on a higher step. I somehow managed to add a new character and I need to write an entire back story for him now. Which is going to be my job for Monday evening. I might even use the opportunity to write a short film first draft, do something a bit different and type it up. Sometimes I feel a bit stagnant handwriting a big project (which is probably why it’s taking me longer than anticipated).

There is so much more I want to say, to do with research I’ve been doing, and that I will be writing a “What inspired me” book blog post in a few days (maybe a bit longer). And also what I plan to do after I finish writing. All in good time my friends. I have to go to Day Job now. It’s football day, so I’m going to be EXHAUSTED when I come home.

Don’t tread on the flowers.

F x

Cosy Afternoon.

Words: 18624

Well I was productive af last night. I don’t know what happened because I didn’t feel like I was on a roll or anything. It just kind of happened. I feel better now though, 100%. I’ve been writing since lunch time too, after a bit of an outing this morning for coffee and a browse around. It’s nice trying to get that balance back, adding some quality non-pressure time into my day. Also we managed to catch the three hours of sunshine this morning before the fog and the pouring rain set in again. It’s now bloody freezing so I am in the living room under a blanket, with candles lit everywhere and listening to the Moana soundtrack. I think I’m going to try to get to twenty thousand words in the next few hours and watch a film or something this evening. Maybe even Moana.

I went through the revision cards with all the plot stuff written on it and tried to calculate how much I’ve got left to write and my prediction is that I’ll finish it on 45K words. For a first draft, I don’t think that is a bad thing. It’s not quite the 50k I was originally aiming for but what five thousand words? I know already that I need to work on making the writing fit for children anyway. But if the novel ended on 45k words in total that would make the book copy around 360 pages of solid text. That doesn’t include chapter half pages or any illustrations that might go in there. Little bit concerned that it won’t be enough but it’s nothing I should be worrying about now. I just need to get the first draft bloody finished already. One step at a time. One word after another. I could be wrong anyway, and I could end up writing a hell of a lot more words.

Another interesting thing, as I mentioned yesterday, is that I haven’t stuck to the original timeline at all. I have swapped sequences from the second and third acts, and emphasised things I don’t think were originally that necessary – somehow they have become an important part of the plot. The “Key Scenes” are still there. It’s just really bizarre watching my story evolve without me really thinking about it. I haven’t added or removed anything, but the story has become noticeably different to the one I had in mind. I’m really enjoying watching that happen.

I’m starting to really get an emotional connection to my protagonist too; last night, I wrote a scene where she spots the monster trying to get to the chickens (yes, chickens) in the middle of the night and I actually felt freaked out, like she was in the story. It helped me write a surprisingly good scene for a first draft (it will still need a lot of work in subsequent drafts of course) but I’m glad this connection is getting stronger. I think it’s been one of the downsides of trying to get through the planning stage so quickly, not getting to know my characters as well as I normally would with a script. But again, with a script I find it so much easier because I don’t have to think about their thoughts in the same way I do with a novel. It’s all action and expression. With novels it goes so much deeper than that, and it feels like the characters, so far, have been less independent than those in my scripts. Although since I thought about it yesterday, I have been absolutely itching to reopen “Our Perennials” all day. Which would be fine except I’m busy. I cannot and will not allow myself to get distracted by a different writing project while I’m busy with this one. I am self-disciplining.

I am going to get back to it so I can watch Moana later one. Not much left to write today.

Don’t tread on the flowers.

F x

I Took A Break & Now I Feel Better.

Words: 15673

Since the last time I blogged I realised I was in a bit of a writing funk. I have gotten to the stage where absolutely EVERYTHING distracts me, even though I’m doing nothing. My parents came for the weekend though and that was wicked. I wrote off last week, figuratively of course because I wrote nothing, and got back to it today. And wrote three thousand words in a couple of hours. My aim before I go to sleep is 5.5k and then if I do that tomorrow I’m back on target and THAT means that when my guests arrive on Saturday next weekend I should hopefully be back on target and can risk missing another weekend. I don’t think I’m going to be finished as soon as I’d hoped though. Sometimes novels just work that way.

I do feel much better about it though. I definitely let the fact that other writers are so good and are doing really well, producing really great things etc really get to me last week. Sometimes I feel like when that happens I do need to take a step back and forget about it. This is MY work and it’s only ME that can write it. Unless one of your favourite author writes a book almost exactly the same but more quaint, less sad and with lots of baking in it (it’s even set in Plymouth too!?) – It’s not quite exactly the same as the script that I wrote two years ago (‘The Company of One’ for those who know of it), but the basic “overcoming the creatures that represent mental health issues” part is the main part of both. I think that plus my anxiety that I explained in my last post just really got me down. I just have to brush it all off and let it go, which is easier (so. much. easier) said than done.

But I have reached that stage of writing, and that time of year, where there are muffin crumbs on my hot water bottle because I won’t get up from my desk to get a plate lest I lose my streak and get distracted again. And really, now that I’ve accepted that the story is actually starting to take on a life of its own properly, it’s much easier to keep going once I’ve got started. I am looking, as I type this blog post, at the plot structure I made just a few weeks ago and I realise that I haven’t stuck to it at all since chapter three. I am now on chapter ten. The scenes I have written are/will be in there but they are different to how I expected to write them. And obviously, they are not in the same order. It’s quite bizarre how different the two actually are. Much more so than plot structures and the scripts they become. Although with scripts I find the plot changes are usually made in the editing stages. It’s easier to do on final draft too because you can highlight scenes and drag them where ever you want them to go. I think after I finish this I might revisit “our Perennials” and give that a proper edit, get that up to the standard it deserves. That poor script, it deserved much better than what was provided for it… But that’s another conversation.

I think at this stage I’ve accepted that giving it up is stupid. Honestly even if it gets rejected by everyone who reads it, I know that giving up now means that I’m just quitting because it’s too hard. And that would be easy to do. Work is stressful, the house needs doing up, I’m not really doing anything outside of writing and work most of the time. This weekend proved that to me, there’s so many cool places around us that we just haven’t explored because every day off I’ve had I’ve spent locked away in my office trying to catch up with words. I know that one day I’ll be able to give up my day job and have more time to do that stuff, but right now it feels really strange, writing and writing and not getting there as fast as I want to, and not feeling like I’m doing anything else either. But not wanting to. I want to do this. I want to be able to finally. stop. serving. coffee.

And on that note, I have finished my tea, and I have words to write.

Don’t tread on the flowers.
F x

Wednesdays Suck. Sort Of.

Word Count: 13,374.

It’s currently 1am, and I woke up after one 90 minute sleep cycle feeling ridiculously anxiety ridden for no reason. Now, my anxiety normally has very little reason to do its’ very annoying and unwelcome thing, but normally it’s triggered by something. This time it’s not. There is nothing that I need to feel anxious about. Nothing logical that seems to have triggered it. Nothing at all. But it woke me up fully and even though I have to leave for work at seven in the morning I feel like I have to work through it in order to get back to sleep. So here is the negative side of my novel writing experience for you. Feel free to stop reading and go back to your own lovely day. I’m about to do a miserable vent. You have been warned.

First of all. My word count is not as far ahead as I wanted it to be. I wrote a little on Saturday, nothing Sunday or Monday (well get to this in a minute), barely anything on Tuesday and Wednesday I played catch up. I am frustrated with myself because until Monday I had no excuse other than not wanting to do too much and risk burning out. And Tuesday was frustrating because I had an impromptu day off work, but because I did a double shift (unplanned) on Monday, the whole day was spent in a weird sleepy state where every time I sat down to write, I would start drifting off to sleep. I struggle to write on work days (when I have a full shift). But I physically can’t not, otherwise I will never get this done. And then what’s the point in working this job at all?

Lot’s of things happened at work on Monday, none of which directly concerns me and I’m not about to share it here, but what it does mean is that the people who are left have to pick up the pieces and work twice as hard. My shifts have been rearranged and messed up, and honestly I’m a little worried I won’t wake up in time tomorrow, which is part of the reason I’m struggling to get back to sleep. Instead of the half shift I was scheduled for (which would make for a beautifully productive writing afternoon – it always does) I have been asked to come in for a full work day, and again on Friday which was supposed to be my day off again. Equally my parents are here this weekend so my word target for this week is highly unlikely to be met. By a long shot. I am not the most pleased about this (the messed up shift pattern. I’m very excited to see my parents). Which could be adding to my late night anxiety.

I do feel a lot of frustration about losing my enthusiasm from the end of last week. It could again be because I’ve woken up in the middle of the night feeling woe-betide and skittish (for no reason, brain, there is no reason for this!!) but I was looking online this morning and apparently it’s a thing. The 10k word slump. I kind-of expected it too, but not this much. Apparently this is the part where a lot of writers give up, they lose momentum and that first bit of excited flurry of words that seem to work so perfectly. They get to the big inciting incident, the aftermath of that and then suddenly the characters are in the midst of a story with no way of getting to where they need to be without the author worrying themselves into self-doubt, and thus they are disengaged from the story that literally days ago thought would be the life raft of their fledgling career. Literally me. Right now. My self-doubt as an author has been eating me up for two days and it’s been difficult to push that to one side and just get this shit written. Once I’m writing I’m fine. Dan’s been amazing at making me just get on with it in spite of these stupid thoughts.

It all started yesterday, with instagram. Actually this is a lie, this started months ago when I was writing my script and we had to do a presentation in front of the cohort (which I was fuming about anyway because it meant missing one of my best friends graduations). One of the women who was also script writing read out a piece of her writing and it was just, utterly incredible. She’s just fantastic, and if she’s reading this then just know you’re awesome and I honestly can’t wait to see your stuff on bookshelves in book shops, or your name on movie posters at the cinema because honestly pal, you’re going far and that’s amazing. But holy crap did it knock my confidence in my own work. And I keep like, bringing up the excerpt she read out in my mind and then reading my own work and being like “I’m not writing for my audience” or “but my characters don’t make sense as kids” or “why is the villains back story so cheesy” or the worst one – “why did I ever think I was any good at this?” But I saw that she was working on a new project on instagram and though I am really pleased for her and excited about it, it dragged up all these silly self-doubt thoughts that I fought so hard to push away when I was script writing.

I don’t think it helped that I kind of gave up on making the best of those scripts for hand in. I’m still chuffed to bits with the grade but when I got really ill I just wanted to do enough to pass. I normally wouldn’t have handed that in at all. The third year undergrad version of me would have been screaming in horror at the thought of it. The third year version of me didn’t spend three weeks suffering with a virus right before deadline. I don’t have any reason externally to keep going with this novel. It’s not for uni, I don’t have a literary agent yet, just me and Dan.

But to be honest, the reason I’m getting so pissed off with myself for not writing as much this week is because I still desperately want to get it done, to finish something off my own back, in the face of adversity and having to work minimum 30 hours a week at an exhausting job. This is a low, everyone goes through it. Dan keeps pushing me to just ignore the stupid self-doubt thoughts and keep working on it. Eventually it will get easier to shut up my anxiety about it and I will get that high of writing again. It’s like a relationship, I choose to work hard on it, I choose not to give up on it just because things get a bit difficult, I choose because I still care very much, and I still love this story. It’s veering off course and really that’s making it all the more enjoyable. I’m not doing it for money (a mild lie, woman’s gotta eat), or fame (NOT a lie) but I’m doing it because I am a storyteller, and quite frankly I don’t know what else to do with my life that will bring me as much happiness and satisfaction. Being a barista is great ~for now~ but in five years time I will be bitterly disappointed if I’m still doing it, even if I progress. My heart wouldn’t be in it because it would be too busy longing for the one that got away: writing.

It’s half past one and I’m getting weird now. I’m getting sleepy. I feel like blogging has worked its magic and has helped me work through what was worrying me. And I’ve done three thousand and three hundred words roughly since last we spoke, so I must be doing something right.

Here’s to not giving up, and to waking up on time tomorrow (read: in five hours). Bon nuit mes amies.

Don’t tread on the flowers.

F x

Happy Saturday.

Word Count: 10,060

Can we just take a second to see the figure above? I have somehow, somehow, managed to double my word count in two days. Not even two days, because that was reached last night, but I just obsessively wrote during a thirty hour period. I think it helped that when I turned up to work my manager told me he changed the rota and hadn’t told me. So two people turned up for the same shift but I get sent home after three hours because it was dead and because I helped out earlier in the week he wasn’t going to ask me to stay. I feel like my worry on Tuesday was rewarded, it was quiet and my other colleague stayed so I had no reason to feel bad. And I only lost an hours wage but I’ve still earned more than intended anyway. I don’t know next weeks rota yet but I’m hoping to get Wednesday before 6pm off because there’s a writing group who are meeting up in town and I’d like to be able to go. I really want to start meeting new people and making friends outside of work her, and writers are especially useful friends because they just ~get~ it. And will proof read each others work in exchange for coffee and cake. I like cake.

But now I am much further ahead than I thought I would ever get without someone else looming over me with deadlines and tutorials. Actually this is a lie. I do have someone doing that to me still and that person is Dan. Since deciding to write a novel he has been there through every stage of planning, every word count goal achievement, every hissy fit to pep talk, dig knots out of my shoulder and make me take breaks. There is absolutely no way I could have done so much without his support (and doing all the house work and cooking and not letting me do anything except my job and writing). And I’ve tried to write novels before (in my adult life. As a teen I wrote loads because instead of Dan I had my mum, and instead of work I had school, where I mostly wrote novels instead of school work) and I just couldn’t do it, because ~other things~ got in the way. So here is a public thank you to Dan, the best writing buddy on the planet, and the best partner in crime that I didn’t know I very much needed. I don’t thank you enough.

Gushy girlfriend moment over. It’s still early and I haven’t even had a cuppa yet.

I was going to take today off from writing because I’m doing seven hours of a shift that starts at twelve, and I’ve never been productive in the mornings before we moved to Wales. But now that I’m up and have three and a half hours before I need to leave, I almost want to challenge myself and see how much I can get done. I think it all comes down to who is hosting Saturday Morning Kitchen. And tonight I am doing nothing except watching strictly and going to bed. I might even watch strictly in bed, because I am that much of a party animal. I feel like writing is like exercise in the sense that the more you do it the more you want to do it. It’s not like exercise in the sense that if I push myself too hard I stop doing it for six months and then wonder what went wrong. But I’m excited to get going again already. And Saturday Morning Kitchen doesn’t start for two hours.

Sorry for the smug af post. Just a good Saturday morning so far.

Don’t tread on the flowers.

F x

Succulent Pirates & 5000 Words.

Word Count: 5094

Yesterday, as predicted, was absolutely rammed at work. We ended up running late because we needed to set up for todays’ Christmas products launch and the staff meeting. This morning I had to catch up with life stuff and I got writing after lunch. So I haven’t been writing for as long as I’d liked to, but having said that I’ve reached 5000 words!!! I am 10% of the way through my novel. Now that all the grown up stuff has been done, I’m trying to write as much as I can for the next two days (I only have a four hour shift tomorrow) and I’m hoping to double this, so hopefully before tomorrow night I’ll have 10k words. A huuuuge feat BUT that will put me at amazing advantage for the rest of writing it. I’ll be in full swing and the momentum will keep up hopefully. With Christmas coming at work, parents visiting, a trip back to Falmouth and a university postgrad open day, I’m going to be pushed for time. I’d rather get as much done as possible now so that when life gets in the way I’m that much closer to being finished. I’m really pushing myself now, it took a lot of dedication to break myself out of my writing funk that I talked about yesterday.

Also I found out yesterday that on the run up to Christmas I can wear Christmas clothes to work, which is exciting. Do you think I could go in as a dinosaur and tell everyone I’m the Christmassaurus? I don’t think anyone there will get the reference – none of them have children/are Fletcher Family Super Fans (unlike me. There is no denying it anymore).

In other news, I bought a succulent last week for my new desk, and I noticed today that someone has cut off one of the leaves – you can tell it’s cut because the stumpy bit is still there so it didn’t just fall off. I’m presuming the person who did this didn’t do it accidentally and in fact did it to stick it in some soil and grow their own succulent for free, but only because I like the idea that someone pirate copied my plant (I think I read a similar story in a tumblr post).

Anyway, my precious time is slipping away from me and I have a helluver lot of words to get down on paper. I’m handwriting too (I don’t know if I mentioned that previously) so it takes me a bit longer than typing – the quality of my first draft is just so much better that way. Also I can take it anywhere and just whip out my notebook as and when. No battery power to worry about if inspiration should strike. That comes later when I’m typing and redrafting. Then I run out of battery on the way to a place and forget my charger and have a little rant at myself for being disorganised and having to go home with a take out coffee and wasted time.

Don’t tread on the flowers.

F x

It’s Only Wednesday.

Words: 4543

Since my last blog post I have written about 1500. Which is not enough and I’m mad at myself for it. It’s been one of those weeks where everything just knackers you out. Like yesterday, for example, I was supposed to work for four hours, but the person taking over my shift was sick and no one replied to the manager when he asked for someone to come in so I stayed until five. Which should have still left me time to write when I got home. But it was match day, and Hallowe’en on half term, and we were so busy. I got home, sat on the sofa ready to write and fell asleep almost instantly.

The last time I had a decent stint writing was probably Saturday night after I watched strictly. Although having said that I wrote a fair few pages last night after my nap and the Bake Off final. I’m just getting annoyed with myself for not writing now and I start to feel guilty when I’m not doing it. I think yesterday really hit me on an emotional level, because my manager wanted to send me home at three and I couldn’t just leave. But it felt like the first big struggle between job and writing, and writing lost. I know that if my manager was not a nice person I would have gone home and not given it a second thought, but he’s lovely and has given me the weekend off when my parents visit just because. If I’d have gone home anyway yesterday I’d have moped around and got nothing done anyway. I think I’ll just have to keep going and make sure that yesterday was just a one off.

I’ve started taking my notebook into work and for the most part it’s working. My breaks are only twenty minutes though and I have to fit food into that so I only get to write one or two pages, but it’s better than nothing. Mornings are working out quite well too. I’m organised at long last, in the mornings. Everything is ready the night before including showering so all I have to do when I get up is put on my uniform and make up and go. so if I wake up at half past six, half hour waking up and getting ready (breakfast and a cuppa in there as well), then until half eight I have time to do whatever I want. Today I start at ten so I have had an extra hour. But today is a longer day than usual because we have deep clean and a team meeting after I finish so I won’t be home until late. I’m going to write as much as I can for an hour now and then leave it there for the day. Tomorrow is my day off so I have already decided to lock myself away in my office and do nothing else.

Speaking of my office, I finally bought a new desk for it. I was using this weird half desk thing that was in the wall recess but it wasn’t deep enough, so we went to Ikea on Monday and bought one. Just a cheap top and two legs but it looks much more valuable than the £16 it cost. I am however going to buy a new chair because right now I am using one of the dining room chairs and it’s not comfortable at all. I might see if I can steal Dans chair tomorrow just for a few hours if I can. I’m really excited about getting the office done. It will take time, because the house isn’t being rewired until after Christmas and after that it will be replastered so until then it’s just getting the stuff ready for it. I am hoping to get a sofa bed thing for when we have visitors but I’m struggling to find one I like, that I think looks like it’s meant to be a sofa that goes with the room, rather than just being shoved in there because it’s got nowhere else to go. I think I could make it really nice in there given enough time. I’m definitely the kind of person who needs a good working environment in order to get anything done.

Anyway enough rambling on, I have shit to do.

Don’t tread on the flowers.

F x

The First Chapter: Part Two

Words: 2989

Last night was slow going, I didn’t write nearly as much as I wanted to, so tonight I have been making the effort to catch up. I have stopped currently for some tea (homemade tomato soup made by Dan) but will be getting back to it once we’ve eaten. I’m back at work again tomorrow and I can’t remember when my next half or full day off will be (I do have it written down). So basically I need to get crackin’ or I’m going to lose motivation. I have however, finished chapter one and am halfway through chapter two already – whether thats because I need more content or not I am not sure, I’m just going to see how it plays out and hope for the best.

I’ve decided to take my notebook to work so I can write on my break, like I was going to the other day until my car tyre had a melt down (I still haven’t forgiven it), but I don’t have to buy food and really I don’t need to leave the coffee shop in order to have my break, I’ve never done it before so why would I start now? As long as I cover my uniform I’m good to sit and eat my lunch and have a great twenty minutes that I can use to it’s full potential. Or I could print off some research surrounding the novel and go through it when I have time limit, to save me going down the rabbit hole, like I did yesterday morning with project #2. I’m trying to get into the habit of waking up earlier but so far it’s not working that well. I think mostly because I got to bed too late. But an extra hour in the morning would be absolutely perfect for getting stuff done – and more importantly I would be fully awake and functioning in time to drive to work. I am now, but it usually involves a lot of coffee and by the time I get to work I’m crashing again and it all goes in a big cycle. Just want to be a functioning human really. That’s all I aim for.

I ~need~ to get back on the time management stuff, I failed miserably at that on the masters but on my undergrad I had it down to a fine art. The masters was a blip though, and I’m out the habit – but I’ve made a full schedule and stuck it on the fridge with some cool magnets I forgot I had from Wilko’s, so I can see when I’m working, when I have scheduled in time with Dan (and friends when I make some) and then I can put in my scheduled dedicated writing times, even if it’s just an hour a day that would do.

But today has been very productive and so far, no nagging thoughts have arisen about whether or not the story or its’ writer is good enough yet. That was probably helped by a pep talk from Dan this morning, totally unrelated to writing but he said I was avoiding thinking about the novel because I’m avoiding those silly thoughts, but that I know how to get rid of them, and have done it before over and over again, so I need to start obsessing over the novel instead of the other stupid thing I was moaning about. He was right, the other thing is insignificant and everything else should pale in comparison to this huge feat I have undertaken. I’m excited by it and I’m trying to write every day, it should be enough to make me think about the good things that I’m doing instead of the bad things that haven’t happened and probably won’t happen. I’m smarter than this, I just need to get over myself.

But writing this blog is helping too. I don’t know if anyone reads it regularly, or how many people read it at all, but as much as I would love and honour the support from anyone, this is a thing that I do to record my process and knowing other could read it means I really think about what I write and what I would want to read by another writer. I was thinking of maybe doing a few reviews of books that are similar to my work, but instead of my opinions on whether they were good or not (I don’t want to tread on anyones toes and my friend Lia has a fab youtube book review vlog, see link below if you haven’t checked it out already), I would write about what I learned from reading them about my own work and writing styles. I feel like I could take longer on these posts than on the normal ones I write but it might make things a bit more interesting and useful for self reflection – like I would have done at uni but off my own back and about whatever I wanted instead of having to be concise and choosey. It would be more fun and motivate me into reading whilst I write, which is something I really struggle to do. Keep ya eyes peeled friends.

And with that my dinner is ready,
Bon Nuit Mes Amis

Don’t tread on the flowers.
F x

Don’t forget to check out my pals vlog at Blossoms Book Corner:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCV8lQ3gQhMzjAgK7S-A_rLg