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12 Books in 12 Months

writing books and blogging about it

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coffee

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…

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Ode to Coffee

I have written about the relative merits of tea and coffee before, as part of the readers Q&A series.  Back in May I informed The Rogue Verbumancer that I saw tea as my staple writing drink, although I tend to kick-start the day with coffee.

It was a pretty riveting post.

Anyhoo, whilst this remains true, I tend to regard coffee as my rent-paying-job drink (journalism/writing is not my main income yet, but I’m working on it).  This is because when I am conducting assorted administrative tasks in an office environment, I need to sporadically re-kick-start myself several times a day as opposed to the once or twice required when penning glorious fictions.  I find the immediate caffeine boost of coffee sharpens my focus on envelope stuffing and email-replying better than tea – maybe because over the years I’ve imbibed tea more often and have immunised myself against its effects. 

Continue reading “Ode to Coffee”

Book Six Excerpt

This is an excerpt from what I’ve written for book six, but it’s really just background characterisation and I don’t think I’ll end up using much of it in the final draft.  Still, thought I should point out I’ve written something…

Nicola woke up with her face stuck to the cheap plastic keyboard of her work PC.  She rubbed her cheek to get rid of the indentations, but knew from experience it would take a while to return to normal.

The monitor in front of her stopped playing its screensaver, revealing a too-white document that was a mess of m’s and 8’s and ‘hn’s.

Still, at least she’d saved her story this time.

Continue reading “Book Six Excerpt”

An Age Old Question, Answered

Another question from @Glempy, aka The Rogue Verbumancer.

I think I’ve probably saved the biggest and most important question until last. It’s a divisive question that splits the opinions of many. I’ve seen it cause full on brawls; I’ve seen it ruin friendships and shake empires. There is without doubt no single question that carries such great weight, especially in the arena of writing. So:

Tea?

Or Coffee?

What is your chosen fuel when it comes to writing?

Ah, the age old question.

I have to come down on the side of tea, although I do have a coffee first thing.  And I try to drink loads of water when I’m working as well, mainly just due to a vague notion that it’s probably a good thing to do.  But plain old breakfast tea with a bit of milk is very much the beverage of choice for me.

I came across an article a while ago which I linked to in a previous post, about the different rituals of various authors.  It claims that Balzac drank between 50 and 300 cups of coffee a day, which seems incredible.  Maybe I’ll try following his example when I write my shockingly realistic book about the French Revolution…

image from http://anicecupof.com/

A Night of Writing Dangerously

For various reasons, some of which I mentioned in the second 12 Books post for Mslexia Magazine, I am very behind on book 3.  I have therefore decided to embark upon a night of writing dangerously.

Between midnight tonight and noon tomorrow I am going to write as much as I can without my brain exploding.  It’ll be exactly like what Jack Kerouac would do, except my wife won’t bring me pea soup and I don’t have a typewriter so I’ll have to make do with a laptop, a jar of coffee and half an Easter Egg.

You can follow my progress on Twitter @12books12months, if you’re up.

See you on the other side…

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