Wednesday, 25 January 2012


Today is a good day: a cheque in the post for a letter that Reader's Digest published- the second one.  Such tiny achievements must seem risible to writers who have got their career going, but right now, they mean the world to me.

I must start a a scrapbook with my first two 'published' letters, and my competition near-miss.  What encouragement to carry on firing out small pieces of writing over the next few difficult weeks, even though I can't wrestle with the big love!

I see now why one of the 11 tips to be a writer on my whiteboard is  'Get anything published: Create a career.' I wish I could remember whose tips they were! One of the first helpful books I read, no doubt.

Monday, 23 January 2012

Nearly missed the wood for the trees!

I can hardly believe it I finished my second draft.  I've hit my self-imposed deadline of 'before the baby arrives' - wow.

Now I just have to print it out, and then it will have to sit and 'cook' until I'm human enough again to tackle draft three.  At the rate I'm going, it might be complete in five or six years...!  However, in the meantime, I will have a go at some short story comps, or maybe begin planning my next book (I do get itchy fingers for it from time to time!) if I have chance between nesting and being a failing Supermum.

The funny thing was, I didn't realise how close I was to the end. When I sat down this morning, I had no idea I was going to finish it today.  I only had half an hour before I picked the 2 year old up from playgroup, and I then went back to it just to save, and got involved again. It was only when I decided to stop and do some cleaning that I saw  I only had five pages left, and suddenly the importance of cleaning the lounge plummeted.  The cleaning will wait, and is waiting, and will be there tomorrow, while my book is now finished! Again! Sort of!

Wednesday, 18 January 2012


Life has definitely overtaken me.  However, I had a 'gift' of sorts today, in that the 2 year old wasn't very well. Not such a great gift, as he wee'd on the leather sofa before I realised how poorly he was feeling....but then he had a three hour nap.
Lovely to see him sleeping so peacefully after crying as if his heart was sore...even better to realise I really ought not to do the vacuuming as it might wake him, so that the best use of my time was to come and work on my book.
I could be overwhelmed by my slow progress up my huge Mount Rewrite, but I'm looking on the bright side and being proud of myself today for achieving anything....even writing this blog as the 2 year old, under the influence of Calpol, is 'walking' a coaster violently up and down my arm and shouting 'boing, boing'!

Thursday, 12 January 2012

The danger of impulsivity!

In the interests of getting things published and having writing practise, even if it is unrelated to my book, I decided to try a letters and tips page this week.  It wasn't well thought out.  I gave a tip on something a little bit embarrassing, and then they said they were going to publish it, but could I send a photo of myself with my family too?
Oh, dear.  Any chance I can use a pseudonym and borrow a happy family group from shutterstock...? I must be less impulsive, I must be less impulsive...

Monday, 9 January 2012

Writing while the food burns

So much for resolve.  I think the mere fact of having announced that I would be writing today for at least ten minutes was what kept me to the plan.  It took most of the day for me to knuckle down -  I kept the intention at the front of my mind by logging on as soon as I was home from the errands, but I didn't get my bum on the seat until after I'd picked the children up. Then, as it is Monday, we have the cute but quiet children around until nearly 5 o'clock.  Today they were cute and noisy. The sound of tiny feet thudding up and down stairs, multiplied by five, all hustling to be the first to hide (it was allegedly a game of hide and seek) was so loud I thought about calling in Environmental Health to investigate the noise. There was no hope of concentrating on writing when I was so desperately listening in case one of them to slip and tumble down the stairs.
So it was really quite late when I finally sat down, and I set the timer to try to keep myself on track.  I put the children's food in the oven and off I went.  I heard the timer go off; honestly I did, and told myself that finishing another sentence wouldn't do any harm.  By the time I went to get the food from the oven, it was unrecognisable, and looked as though it had re-entered the earth's atmosphere. I'd achieved quite a lot with my book, but what a bad mother! Luckily my own mother is far better, and had left half a cottage pie in the fridge which I was able to heat in the microwave. Thank goodness for long-sighted mothers, and may I one day be a blessing to my kids.
Turns out, it's not getting any easier to do the juggling. I'm always under-achieving at something. It would help if I had the discipline to stick to a ten minute writing session, but the reason I love writing is because of the way I can lose myself in it, so I'm not going to complain.

Sunday, 8 January 2012


I'm on the cusp of a new week; the first one with any sense of normality since the Christmas chaos. The children will all be back at school and nursery tomorrow, although I have got to help my Dad out with things during my 'free' time, and also cannot ignore the Laundry Mountain much longer if I value the health and cleanliness of the family.  But I am going to make some writing time, even if it is far shorter than I would like.
The pregnancy is sapping my energy more now, and I find sitting at the laptop or Mac makes my back ache. But these are only limitations, not insurmountable difficulties, and it seems to me that this is where my resolve comes in - that will to write, not just the love of writing. Ha ha - now I shall see what unexpected happenings interfere with my plans for tomorrow.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Still climbing Mount Rewrite

Oh, no - the deadline of New Baby is getting closer, and I sat at my laptop for a very short time this Christmas.  I must get to the end of this draft, and probably only have four weeks or so to do so, as I need to then be doing serious nesting and preparation for the upheaval of a small, purple being.
There are still places where I have editorial comments in brackets, or where I have lists of questions about police procedures that I need wonder my first ever novel was so skin-crawlingly dire, as I hadn't understood the whole 'polishing' notion...but what if this one is just as bad when I'm done, despite my heightened effort?
I must type faster...