Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Absently present.

I've always been a bit slow on the uptake, mainly due to having lived inside my own head for most of my life. When someone speaks to me I have to come out of whatever waking dream I'm in the middle of to be able to answer. By some miracle, I have occasionally heard the question. Recently, it has dawned on me just how annoying that must be for those around me.

Years back, I instructed my children to say "Mum!" clearly when they started speaking to me so that I knew to drag myself back into the real world and listen. Sometimes they even got an answer on the first go.

I know that as a writer I should be listening carefully to everything going on around me, but in reality I just become more and more preoccupied. Conversations become a trial because what I want to do is slip back into my head and finish the train of thought I was on. I am less sociable and much more inclined to sit and think.

Having spent a lot of time and thought mastering my work/writing/life balance, I think I now need to address how present I actually am in my day to day life.

Is this the lot of every writer? Does the struggle to reconcile writing with real life never end?

I'd love to hear how you cope!

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Just a thought

I used to be a pantster, starting a novel on little more than a few characters and a good first line. To be honest, this didn't get me far - I felt a bit lost after a while - so I have planned my current novel. I'm not saying that I'm sticking to the plan 100% and I've had a few surprises such as characters suddenly springing out from nowhere complete with a name and distinctive taste in shoes, but I feel much more confident having that plan as back-up.

Anyway, my thought was that if I'm only half pantster now, does that make me a thongster?


What are you?

Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

IWSG - May

I'm shocked that the month has gone by so quickly and that the last time I blogged was for April's IWSG!
I have been pretty much off the bloggersphere - due to there simply not being enough hours in the day! I love reading blogs and keeping up with everyone, but I just can't fit it in. I will content myself for now with doing a monthly hop around and saying hi to everyone I can!

Anyway, on to the insecure stuff!

A mini-miracle has taken place - I know not how - and I am not listening to the demon on my shoulder that tries to tell me I'm rubbish. He shouts in my ear every so often and I find that I'm just sort of thinking "Oh shut up," and ignoring him.

I'm about 20,000 words into my novel (which I'm writing painstakingly slowly at the rate of about 500 words a day) and this time have no doubt that I will finish the project. I know how the story goes, so there's no reason not to write it. I also know some other things, thanks to advice I've read or received from others...

I wish I could remember who these gems that have changed my writing life came from, but I'm afraid I can't because I didn't make a note at the time! They are from blogs I've read or comments on blogs.  If you recognise one as yours, then THANK YOU! I'm going to share them, anyway, because they have made a huge difference to my attitude to writing:

'The first draft of everything is shit.' (This is definitely a quote from a well-known published writer.)
'The first draft is really just elaborate notes.'
'You may get to the end and find that this isn't meant to be your first novel, but it's a great way to practise writing your second novel."

I also have one of my own - that old adage: SLOW AND STEADY WINS THE RACE!

These all resounded with me and I hope they can help you, too, if you feel in need of help. I've written and had published quite a lot of short stories, but a novel is a huge commitment and without the 'instant' feedback that I'm used to.

So, I'm not feeling insecure this month - I'm feeling full of 'oomph'! I hope you are, too!

See you in June! xx