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12 Books in 12 Months

writing books and blogging about it

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blogging

What is #blogmas and why should I care?

In the waning days of NaNoWriMo, when I should have been playing catchup like there was no tomorrow, I was of course procrastinating on Twitter. Continue reading “What is #blogmas and why should I care?”

How Blogging Can Change Your Life

I spent my last post bemoaning the fact that my printer was behaving like a total helmet, thus preventing me from printing out my latest magnum opus (or 26,000 word nonsense for 8 year olds, if you want to be pedantic).

Now, it’s quite often hard to know who is reading this blog (assuming anyone still is aside from the spam bots, who are as vocal as ever – shout out for my home boy Ben Sherman Shirts, Great Prices). Since I finished the initial ‘write 12 Books in 12 Months’ thing, the site has been a strange mixture of stuff aimed readers, stuff aimed at writers and amateurish attempts at photography. But the ‘my printer needs to stop being an arsepiece’ post provoked the most tangible response I’ve ever had, namely that one of my best pals got in touch after reading it to ask if I want a new printer for my birthday next week. What a result!

I swithered about this for approximately ten minutes before deciding that the post, rather than a childish rant, must subconsciously have been my equivalent of Amanda Palmer’s TED talk about asking for help – and replied saying YESPLEASETHANKYOU.

The upshot of this is that I have now printed out a nearly readable first draft of a bookish piece of writing I’ve been working on for more than a year, and I’ve even started scribbling edits on it (using a schmancy Parker pen gifted to me by another friend. Thinking about it, I’m pretty lucky that they all humour me in this way…).

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To explain why printing is important to me – I’m not sure if anyone does do edits onscreen, but I can’t work that way myself. I get to the point where whatever is on a computer screen seems to be written as I meant to write it, but as soon as I have a printed version the typos (and plot holes) make themselves known much more readily. And now I have such a print out, hooray!  Or boo, because it means no excuses for procrastination…

My aim now is to finish these scribbles and transcribe them back into the word doc before I head south for the Birmingham Beer Bash this Thursday. This timeframe is probably slightly over optimistic, given that this morning I put my alarm on the other side of the room to make myself get up at 7am to edit before work only to get up, switch the alarm off, and go back to bed again. Oops.

Still, last time I blogged I was despairing of even getting this far without an expensive trip to an Internet cafe, so maybe the mere act of writing this statement of intent will be enough to make it happen. After all, blogging can change your life. It says so in the header!

(If you still need some convincing, how about this story from the BBC about how starting a blog changed someone’s life in a much more dramatic way than mine..)

P.S. Thanks again Jo! x

The Make Time To Write At Any Cost Diaries (day 2)

This week I am making a concerted effort to find and protect my writing time, because life has gotten on top of me recently and all I’ve really done is make a couple of Vines. This is day two…

7.56am haul myself out of bed, late again. Tomorrow I will put my phone on the other side of the room so I can’t hit snooze.

7.58am Realise I am going to have to make a decision between coffee and removing the onion smell (if you’re not sure what I’m talking about, read yesterday’s post). Fall to knees screaming ‘noooooo!’ Choose to shower because I work in an open plan office and don’t particularly want everyone in it to spend the day sniffing the air going ‘what is that?’

8.20am wrangle with some hair related angst. When exactly are you too old to do your hair in two plaits? It is a worry.  There again, I have the stylistic tendencies of a 9 year old girl in most other respects – I probably shouldn’t fight it.

8.30am read a tweet on my way out of the door claiming that Sarah Waters redrafts things up to 34 times before sending to an agent or publisher. Nobody should live at that speed. Seriously, I’ll be dead by the time I’ve done that many redrafts.

6pm get home. Open post, drink some water, consider going for a jog.

6.40pm head out for a jog.  Just call me Haruki Murakami.

8pm congratulate self on not dying. Open up my shiny new copy of Mslexia for some ‘sit down and write’ inspiration.

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8.15pm my brother comes round for a visit (and to collect a phone charger. Multitasking). We catch up over some minstrels.

9.25pm brother heads home. I sit and finish drafting an application for a mentoring project. This involves 20 minutes of editing fiction! Result!

10.55pm write a blog post about how incredibly well I’m doing. 20 minutes in one day!  With momentum like this, who needs writing retreats…

Protect Your Writing Time At All Costs (day 1)

This week I have resolved to find and protect a little bit of creative writing time every day. I’m off to a flying start…

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7.40am realise I have slept through my alarm. Decide writing time will be in the evening.

5.45pm arrive home from work. Read a good article (via Twitter) about writing – 4 signs that you’re not writing enough and 4 things you can do about it – and resolve to crack on with things.

6.05pm wash a load of dishes

6.20pm decide that whilst I am doing said dishes I might as well research some book vloggers on the YouTube. I hear video blogs are all the rage these days and am concerned I am behind the times.

6.25pm decide to go with the Lizzie Bennett Diaries, which is apparently used by school teachers doing Pride and Prejudice these days and is generally a good and popular thing on the Internet and in the field of education.

8.50pm realise I have watched 25 episodes of the Lizzie Bennett diaries and done no writing or editing. NB – the only reason I notice this is because my other half arrives home and interrupts me.

9pm he puts on Doctor Who (The Face of Evil, if you’re curious – it’s a Tom Baker one involving lots of manly RADA thighs). I pretend to write a blog post, but am actually on Twitter catching up on feminist music to listen to this June.

11pm notice I smell very strongly of onions. Probably because at some point during the YouTube experience I made a load of onion soup.

11.05pm write blog post on my phone.

Maybe I’ll do better tomorrow…

I’ve Made A Huge Mistake

I recently read a book called Becoming A Writer (bit late, you might say, but there’s always room for improvement). There is some great and very practical advice in there, but one suggestion that momentarily made me feel a bit of a fail.

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Continue reading “I’ve Made A Huge Mistake”

How to finish something

Do you ever feel like you’ve got so much to do that you’re forever catching up with yourself?

I do.  It’s got to the stage where my whiteboard of stuff to do (yes, I have a whiteboard with stuff to do installed on a wall so it’s the first thing I see when I come home from work) looks like this:

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My super cool whiteboard.

Continue reading “How to finish something”

Weekly Photo Challenge: Perspective

This week’s photo challenge from the Daily Post is perspective. The idea is to show a close up of something and then pan out to reveal not all is as it seems. This is my one.

perspective
Because what dalek wouldn’t want to ride a bottle of Irn Bru.

Open Letter to Aspiring Writers

Patrick Rothfuss with the only motivational quote you really need
Patrick Rothfuss with the only motivational quote you really need

There are few things on the Internet more tiresome than the phrase ‘aspiring writer’.

Actually that’s not true – there are literally hundreds of things more annoying than that. But I’m not blogging about those today.

Continue reading “Open Letter to Aspiring Writers”

The Book Blogger Files #6 – Jess Haigh (aka BookElfLeeds)

Me black and white smilingThis week The Book Blogger Files features Jess Haigh, who you may know from Twitter as @BookElfLeeds.  She’s not exclusively a book blogger, but she does know her books and bookish events, so I wanted to find out more about her site.  Here goes!

Continue reading “The Book Blogger Files #6 – Jess Haigh (aka BookElfLeeds)”

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