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12 Books in 12 Months

writing books and blogging about it

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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

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An Update

Apologies for my recent silence.

The reason behind it is mainly that I haven’t written as much of book two as I ‘should’ have – 9000 words less, to be precise – and I was a bit embarrassed to come forward and admit it.  I’ve written loads of other things, mind you – for example, I am to be relied upon if you want to read lengthy dissections of nonsensical song lyrics.  And I’ve pitched a couple of articles that have elicited vague promises of monetary gain, which is hugely exciting for me because I haven’t been paid for my work since I was 19 and wrote some arts reviews for The Perthshire Advertiser.

Other than that, I am now back in Edinburgh after the chicken sitting adventure.  Last night a group of friends rallied round to show their support of this whole nonsensical idea by buying me beer, which was very sweet of them.  Thus my enthusiasm is renewed, and cannot even be dampened by the shock revelation that there are only 28 days in February and it’s already the 6th.  Perhaps fortuitously, my temp agency hasn’t as yet offered me any work for this week, so maybe I’ll get caught up over the next day or two.  Stranger things have happened…

And now, an unedited excerpt of book two.

 

“I am never working with you amateurs again,” hissed Morag McWhirter, whose turn it was to throw a wobbly as the curtain went up for the final time.

“You always say that,” Elspeth pointed out, hastily pasting a fixed grin to her face as the audience came into view.

The company bowed once more to the lukewarm applause of about thirteen people.

“God.  This is depressing,” Hamish McWhirter said under his breath, giving the old lady who always sat in seat G15 a cheeky wink of recognition.

Then a body fell from the fly floor onto the stage in front of them with a blunt thud.

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