My Life

Alright, Let’s Do This

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All the way back in October (I think, it was around the for sure I guess, it had to be before November at least) I declared my intentions to attempt Nano last month.

And so I went in with the best of intentions and had all these plans and all that jazz and then like clockwork, and seriously there was a part of me that always expected this to happen, I lost all motivation.

All of it.

Any creative buzz I felt buzzing underneath my skin and settling into my bones in the months prior to that just faded away without a trace.

I got just under 6,000 words.

And they all happened within the first week.

I think.

I kind of lost track of it all to be honest.

All I know is that after about two weeks I did not look at the document once.

It was open, I cast a glance to the tab pretty much every day. I looked at the website a couple of times after that (I think). I just sort of fell all the way off the wagon.

In the past when I’ve done that I have felt super guilty because I felt like it’s just a month of my life and it’s just 50,000 words. If I got into a habit with it then really doing that many words a day isn’t really that hard. I do that usually anyway what with writing posts up for here and everything. But I just don’t do that when it comes to Nano.

I have done a couple of times, but for the most part I just go in relatively blind which is kind of pointless. And I spend a lot of time playing catch up. Which is exactly as difficult as you think it would be. Rolling word counts are a bitch. They are my enemy. We do not get along.

And we really fell out this year.

I kind of didn’t care.

I didn’t feel bad about it.

Work got stressful last month and it’s still stressful. I found myself falling into Netflix binges and YouTube vortexes, I spent a lot of time writing blog posts instead and working out and reading and all that other stuff.

And I didn’t look at the document at all after a while. And I didn’t care.

The desire has not yet returned to start writing again. I’m mainly just focusing on keeping on top of things and finishing up that reading list of mine, which I am still currently on track with and for some reason am still surprised by.

But I’m not worried about it.

I’ve realised that I’ve come to a point with things where I just accept that sometimes the desire is there and sometimes it hibernates. I’ve just got to go with it and not stress about it because that makes it all the worse and that benefits no-one, especially me.

I will look at the document at some point and I will address the fact that I currently have two different novels on the go and neither of them have fully formed plots as of yet, the middles are just kind of murky. I will get to that.

I don’t know when. But I will…

Parentheses count: 2. See you tomorrow!

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My Life, writing

Camp Nano – The Final Update

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So last week I felt full of hope that I could actually churn out 10,000 words for the month and get it done on time. I honestly felt like on some level that I could achieve that.

At this point on the 27th of the month, I am not so sure anymore.

My word count has not officially changed since last week. That’s mainly because for some unknown reason I have yet to type up everything that I have written up in a notebook so I don’t actually know the true word count. I would guess that it’s around 5,000 words.

And look, realistically speaking I could actually probably reach my word count because the words are in my head. They won’t leave me alone, but for some reason I am lacking all motivation to actually get together and type it up. And so I haven’t. They just sort of exist in my head.

I am going to try and reach my word count. I finish work tomorrow afternoon (hello half day) for two weeks and I am thinking that I am going to just sort of blitz it all that I can. That is my intention at the very least. I am definitely going to get some shit typed up from that damn notebook if I do nothing else.

So the final update is that there has been no real update from last week. I have tried to use this month as a way to kickstart myself to get back to writing and on the one hand it has because I’ve been feeling creative a lot more recently, but also it hasn’t because there is nothing really to show for it right now.

The good thing is that I’m not letting it get me down or anything, I am just taking this as something that has happened and am going to keep on going with it.

It is what it is.

Parentheses count: 1. See you tomorrow!

 

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My Life

Camp Nano – Week 2

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The title pretty much tells you all you need to know about this post (which I am currently writing while being distracted by Game of Thrones, so good to have it back). I am doing another update on Camp Nano.

It’s going well so far. Officially I have just over 3,000 words written down on the document that is currently housing this month’s attempt at this. However I have written more than that.

I’m not quite sure how much more, but it’s all scrawled in my truly awful handwriting in a notebook and I haven’t quite gotten around to typing it up and adding stuff to it, because it is mostly dialogue. That is mostly because I have been really good at procrastinating, as per and also I was finishing up Jane the Virgin (as well as starting it to be quite honest, I clicked play on ep 1 of Season 3 on Saturday and was finished on Monday) and am trying to keep on top of blogging this week.

But I was randomly inspired on Friday night while I was sat in a church and ended up with a lot of time to kill (I was at a book launch event in Piccadilly being held in a church, I didn’t just go and hang out there on a Friday night after work) and I spent about 45 minutes just writing and ended up with about 4/5 A4 pages to work with.

I am slowly getting around to typing that all up and I think that I should soon hit the halfway point with it. And luckily for me I have a couple of ideas related to what I am writing that I can embellish and so right now I feel kind of confident in the fact that I can get to my word count set for the month.

Which isn’t something that I thought I would be, but there you go.

Parentheses count: 3. See you tomorrow!

 

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My Life

Camp Nano- Week 1

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You know me, I love an update post and it’s been a week since July started which means it has now been a week since Camp Nano has started, and well I actually have words to contribute to my overall word count aim for the month.

You read them al yesterday.

That’s it.

That’s all I have written so far.

And it is just under 2,000 words.

Which means that I am 2/10’s of the way through my goal for the month. I am not gonna lie, I am surprised at myself. I know I set myself that target and all but I also know myself and so I didn’t necessarily think that I would actually get close to that. Or even really make a start with it.

My faith in myself is real high as I am sure you can see.

The fact of the matter is I’m almost scared of writing at this point. It’s gone past the point of writer’s block and just careened into outright fear. But I feel like now that I have momentum with that I can actually achieve my current target for the month, maybe even exceed it if I so dare.

I just need to remember that in the end as long as I am putting words on a page then I am at least doing something. Which is more than I have been doing for months now.

So my current word count 10 days into the month is: 1,780 and I am going to go back into it and work on this thought that plagued my head on the train journey home.

Parentheses count: 0. See you tomorrow!

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Creative Writing, writing

Snapshot 53

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Yeah, I know I went dark again, I was all prepared to get home on Friday night and finish this post up, but then I went and got a life instead and that went out the window and so here I am doing it today instead. I got randomly inspired to get back to these characters one afternoon where I pretty much lost the will to work in the heat and got distracted. And then I remembered that I don’t really know my own timeline of this thing anymore so I had to read through all my previous ones, of which there are 55 in total, and I still don’t think it 100% lines up, but it does enough. Please do not ask me where this slots in to the whole thing, because I don’t quite know specifically, it’s all very vague in my head. But there you go. 

‘What if I wanted to quit all this?’ Lizzy asked quietly as she gently closed her laptop. Ryan looked up from reading her most recent book and raised an eyebrow.

‘Quit what?’

‘This whole being an author thing? The slaving over a keyboard and hating everything that makes it onto the page thing. My job. The job I chose and backed myself 100% to achieve’ She sounded dejected and was tugging at her hair absent mindedly

‘Well what would you do instead?’ Ryan settled the now closed book on his lap and turned to face her fully.

‘Become a lady of leisure.’ She laughed humourlessly.

‘Would you be content doing that though?’ 

‘Probably not.’ She shrugged.

‘Then what would you do?’ He tried again, gently.

‘I don’t fucking know. I don’t have a plan B. I never had a plan B.’ Her voice was clipped, anger bleeding into it.

‘There’s nothing wrong with that.’ Ryan offered quietly.

‘I never said there was.’ The anger came through the forefront and winced slightly at herself as the anger hung in the air. Ryan closed his eyes and took a deep breath before he continued talking.

‘I know you didn’t, where is this coming from?’ Lizzy sighed and scrunched her eyes shut.

‘I’ve been staring at my screen for the last hour and there’s nothing. And it goes beyond just regular writer’s block. I can always work through that, this is something else. This is a deep rooted sense of nothing. I can’t pull a sentence together. I’m two chapters into this book and now there is just a black hole of nothingness where I can grab hold of nothing and have no idea where to go. It’s just darkness.’

‘Then stop.’ Ryan said simply and Lizzy opened her eyes to look at him intently.

‘And do what?’ She mirrored his earlier words.

‘I dunno, nothing. You’re burned out. It finally happened. So just stop’

‘I have a deadline, I can’t just stop.’

‘Have you talked to your agent about this?’

‘No.’

‘Then how do you know they won’t be flexible? It’s better to have a slightly awkward conversation that might actually be beneficial to you then to have you force a book out that you are not even close to being happy with.’

‘But that’s the problem. I don’t know if I will ever be happy with it. That book you’re reading right now, I have  rewritten the ending to it about seven times since I submitted it.’

‘You always do that, that doesn’t signify anything. Just take a break. A long break.’

‘What if I wanted to quit all this? Lizzy asked quietly as she gently closed her laptop. Ryan looked up from reading her most recent book and raised an eyebrow.

‘Quit what?’

‘This whole being an author thing? The slaving over a keyboard and hating everything that makes it onto the page thing. My job. The job I chose and backed myself 100% to achieve’ she sounded dejected and was tugging at her hair absent mindedly

‘Well what would you do instead?’ Ryan settled the book on his lap and turned to face her fully.

‘Become a lady of leisure.’

‘Would you be content doing that though?’

‘Probably not.’ She shrugged.

‘Then what would you do?’

‘I don’t fucking know. I don’t have a plan b. I never had a plan b.’

‘There’s nothing wrong with that.’

‘I never said there was’ she snapped, wincing slightly at herself.

‘I know you didn’t, where is this coming from?’

‘I’ve been staring at my screen for the last hour and there’s nothing. And it goes beyond just regular writer’s block. I can take a step back from that and then work through that, this is something else. This is a deep rooted sense of nothing. I can’t even pull a sentence together. I’m two chapters into this book and I’ve reached an abyss. A black hole of nothingness where I can grab hold of nothing and have no idea where to go. There is just darkness.’

‘Then stop.’ Lizzy looked at him intently.

‘And do what?’

‘I dunno, nothing. You’ve churned out a book a year almost the entire time I’ve know you, sometimes two. You’re burned out. It finally happened. So just stop.’ Lizzy groaned and titled her head up to the ceiling, closing her eyes again.

‘I have a deadline, I can’t just stop.’ Her voice was strained, but still held an element of exasperation.

‘Have you talked to your agent about this?’

‘No.’ She whispered.

‘Then how do you know there is no flexiblity? It’s better to have a slightly awkward conversation that might actually be beneficial to you then to have you force a book out that you are not even close to being happy with.’ Lizzy titled her head back up slowly and pushed her hair off her face.

‘But that’s the problem. I don’t know if I will ever be happy with it. That book you’re reading right now, I have  rewritten the ending to it about seven times since I submitted it.’ She gestured vaguely at Ryan’s lap and he threw the book on the coffee table.

‘You always do that, that doesn’t signify anything. Just take a break. A long break.’

‘It’s not that simple and you know it.’ She quirked an eyebrow.

‘No, I think it might be that simple, I think you’re just making it complicated. You’re scared.’ His voice was soft and it riled Lizzy up in an unexpected way.

‘No, I’m not.’ She snapped.

‘You don’t have to get defensive with me Liz. But you can’t ignore this.’

‘So I admit defeat?’ Her voice dropped and Ryan moved from where he was sat on the armchair to sit next to her, pulling her legs onto his lap.

‘To who? What has defeated you?’ He started tracing random patterns on her bare calf. Lizzy stared at his fingers as they moved in some kind of trance as she spoke softly, any anger she may have felt slowly seeping out of her.

‘This has. My job has. The job that I chose to do. The one that I fought tooth and nail to get into and stick at. The job that people told me I shouldn’t do for so many reasons. I just accept that those people were right?’ Ryan’s hand stilled momentarily, bringing Lizzy back into the room.

‘They’re not right though are they? People love your books. You’ve had your books turned into films. Your books have been on the New York Times Bestseller lists. You’ve done what you wanted to achieve, but sometimes even the best of us have to accept that we are not a superhero and take a break.’ His hand started moving again and Lizzy’s attention settled on it once more.

‘But this is the last  book though…’ She protested weakly.

‘So, you want it to be as good as it can be, don’t you? If you’re looking at a screen and you can’t figure out what you want the characters that you have lived with for years to do then you need to take a break.’ He said matter-of-factedly.

‘What like you are?’ She scoffed, shifting her gaze to his face momentarily.

‘If you’re referring to the fact that I have never been in the studio more then since we announced our hiatus then I see you that and raise you almost every single holiday we have ever been on where you claim that you are going to take a couple of weeks off and then don’t. We’re just not taking part in the juggernaut that was our life that threatened to ruin us and burn us out even further, I’m a song writer, writing songs is what I do, no hiatus is going to take that away from me.’

‘Yeah, and I’m a writer. If I don’t write, or can’t write, what the hell do I have?’

‘You still have that, don’t be ridiculous. It’s a break not a retirement.’

‘Of course it’s not a retirement I have people waiting to see how the fuck this thing ends, I can’t leave them hanging like that.’ She smiled.

‘And you won’t, you’ll just leave them for a little bit longer then you originally anticipated.’ His hand stilled again and the room briefly fell silent.

‘What if I never go back to it though?’ Lizzy whispered after a few moments.

‘We both know that you will. But for now, try and relax. Stop stressing about everything, which I know is easier said than done, but think about it. Dyl and Tom are gonna be dads soon and we have a nursery that needs finishing. We’ve never been off for an extended period of time, well ever, really. And before you know it you’ll go back to having about a million different ideas that you want to write and not enough time to write them all again in no time. But it’s okay to say that you need to stop.’

‘How does one even go about doing nothing?’ She laughed.

‘Well first of all you need to talk to your agent and publishers before you can entertain it is an idea. And then you just take it one step at a time. I would suggest we go on holiday, but we can do whatever. Just go off the grid.’

‘A holiday sounds good. I’ll deal with the logistics of it all and then get back to you.’

‘It’ll be fine. It may even be fun. I don’t think we’ve ever not been working the entire time we’ve known each other.’ His hand started moving again, shifting further up her leg.

‘Well that’s depressing.’

‘Let’s not dwell on it and just let it happen.’ Ryan smiled at her and stilled his hand again on her thigh.

‘My family are going to be so confused when I tell them I’m taking a break from this all.’ She joked.

‘Can’t lie, I’m surprised you’re considering it. But I’m grateful that you are.’

‘I’m gonna go deal with this before I chicken out.’ She stretched behind her and grabbed her phone, smiling at Ryan before swinging her legs off his lap and getting up to leave the room.

Parentheses count: 0. See you tomorrow!

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My Life

Camp Nano – The July Attempt

Hi, Hey, Hello!

Yeah, I’m back. I sort of just went quiet for a little bit, and I am very aware that things have been a bit more sporadic recently, but things happen and you just sort of roll with it and do what needs to be done. But as such I ended up coming up with a lot of ideas that I filed away in my head as to be posted in July just because I needed some distance from them and just wasn’t in the right headspace to write them at the time.

So for the next few weeks I actually have posts that I am excited to write as well as the inevitable book reviews that will also come as and when I have finished a book (the next one being tomorrow, surprise surprise. Expect them weekly for the most part to be honest). And I am also diving back into something that may or may be mildly dumb.

The title probably gives that away. I am attempting Camp Nano…again.

I failed rather miserably in April for a multitude of reasons and I’ve sort of continued in that vein of not actively writing anything since. And I really need to get out of the habit of that and so I have set myself a task. And that task is Camp Nano.

I just want to write 10,000 words this month. That’s it. I’m not going to do it against any one project. I just want to write 10,000 words across the whole 31 days. I have a couple of things that I am in the process of writing already that I want to finish up and then they will at some point crop up on here and I do have one other project that I am slowly hoping to make progress one as time passes. But I am opening a word document that I am going to write in regardless of what the topic is, as long as it is not blog related. I just need to write.

That’s it.

10,000 sounds insane, but I’ve written more words in a month before and I know I have it in me. And I am fed up of feeling slightly useless about it all. I need to do something about it, and so I am starting with it now.

10,000 words. July. Let’s do this.

 

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Creative Writing, My Writing

Vicissitude 6

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So, yeah I’m back again. Had a little comb through an old notebook and found some stuff that I don’t think I have done anything with yet and so now seemed like a good time to do something with them. The title indicates to which place this belongs.

‘I can talk to you right?’

‘In a general sense? Yeah, course you can. Why?’

‘I just have a couple of questions, and well Mom isn’t around anymore. So?’

‘Mia, just ask.’

‘Whendidyouknowyouwerereadytohavesex?’

‘Oh, um. right. I just did?”

‘What a very helpful answer that is.’

‘I just…there was no moment of clarity about it. It just happened.’

‘But, like, it didn’t freak you our leading up to it?’

‘I was kinda nervous about it I guess, but no it didn’t freak me out. If anything it was kind of anti-climatic.’

‘Why?’

‘Because it is never gonna be the best. The world makes it seem like the best thing in the world and it can be, but in that instant it probably won’t be.’

‘Okay. Does it take long to get good?’

‘Depends on who you’re with I guess. I was 23 when I finally got what they hype was.’

‘When did…’

’17.’

‘6 years is a long time.’

‘If you go in thinking every time is gonna be mind blowing then you’re doomed to fail before you even start. It’s not always going to be transcendental experience. It’s gonna be awkward and fumbly, especially at first as you figure out what’s good and what’s not so good. And hey, you may never understand the hype and that’s fine. You have to be relaxed about it though, or it’s never gonna be fun. And if at any point its not just stop.’

‘Right that makes sense. Did you give a shiz about who your first was?’

‘His name was Nathan and he was 18 and in m yoga class. I went o New York for my 18th birthday the following day and ended up staying out there. Never saw him again. So no, I guess I didn’t care as such.’

‘When was the last time you went to yoga?’

‘Not for a while. But I still go. It’s the only form of exercise that doesn’t make me want to gauge my eyes out.’

‘You should start going again. I can look after the kids for a couple of hours when you want.’

‘Thanks, I think I’m fine at the moment, but yeah, maybe.’

‘I know I phrased that like it was a suggestion but it was kind of a request. You cannot only live for these children. Go back to yoga. Take some time for yourself.’

‘Are we done talking about you now?’

‘Yeah, pretty much. You’re lucky I’m only going on about the yoga thing, given the subject matter I could go on about Josh if you want?’

‘I don’t want. Back to you.’

‘I thought we were done with me? You told me what I wanted to hear.’

‘Yeah, but I haven’t done the whole safe sex talk yet.’

‘I have the internet, I know most of these things.’

‘And your birth control of choice is?’

‘The pill, but condoms are important. And in my possession.’

‘Correct answer.’

‘I’m not an idiot you know that right?’

‘Yes, I do. But I always told Mom that I would have that talk with you because we both knew that you were never gonna have with her.’

‘I would have.’

‘No, you wouldn’t. There was a time when you wouldn’t have even hesitated having this conversation with me.’

‘I would’ve.’

‘No, you wouldn’t, but whatever. I’ll go to yoga. There’s a class tomorrow afternoon that I used to go to, you good to pick the kids up from school.’

‘No, but I’ll ask Josh.’

‘That’s not what I…whatever. Okay, thanks.’

‘I think you should appreciate how restrained I’m being right now because there are so many things I could say right now.’

‘You are a true saint Mia. Now, what do you want for dinner?

Parentheses count: 0. See you on Sunday!

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