As in, ‘Oh, don’t listen to her, she’s All fur coat and no knickers, that one.’
Lately, I’ve realised, ‘that one,’ is me. If you’re unfamiliar with this saying, it basically means that someone is all talk and no action. Earlier this year, I talked about Giving more, Doing more, and Being more. I have been quietly giving and doing more but being more – well, as I’ve said before, not so much. I’ve also talked about writing. I’ve not talked about my novel that much, but I have talked about it enough that you’d think I’d have got more done.
Perhaps I’m spending too much time talking, and not enough time just getting on with it. So, with this in mind, I have decided to only post one or two blogs each month from now on, so that I can shift my focus to this big project and keep it there. I’m still interested in interviewing more Ordinary People for the series if you’d like to take part/know anyone who would, and I would welcome any guest posts if you’re interested in writing one! I’m especially interested in showcasing guest posts from young writers like Natalie.
Right, now… Please excuse me while I take off this ridiculous fur coat* and get back into my jeans. 😉
* I don’t actually own a fur coat.
As the holiday season is well and truly upon us I won’t keep you… If you celebrate Christmas then I’m sure you have presents to wrap (and maybe even some still left to buy!), food to cook, friends and relatives to visit and rubbish TV to watch! If not then I’m sure you are looking forward to the break.* I just wanted to say thank you, dear readers, for your support over the past year. For your patience when I disappear and don’t blog for a few weeks, for your kind words (comments, emails and even that phone call!), and a special thanks to all you silent readers – without all of you this blog would just be me talking to myself. And I do enough of that at home (I know it’s not just me..!).
So, just for you, here’s a special card to celebrate the holiday season.
Have a great break and I’ll see you back here (I hope!) in January!
*Apologies to all those based in countries that do not have a break this coming week! Don’t work too hard and I wish you all the best for the New Year.
It’s good to be back. If you’re wondering where I’ve been… Well nowhere really, nowhere but inside my head, working on a new project.
At the end of October, I blogged about taking time out from to really get going on my novel, which I started at the beginning of October and initially, did very little about! As some of you may be aware, November was National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), and many writers have been dedicated to completing a 50,000 word novel within the 30 days. If you are one of these writers, and you managed this, I salute you! That takes some dedication and I look forward to reading your novels some day soon.
I have been using most of my blog reading/writing time to work on my novel, but have still kept up with all of my other commitments and so haven’t been able to dedicate as much time as I would have liked. However, over the course of the month, despite starting two new big work-related projects and having a very sick toddler for part of the month, I have managed to write just over 10,000 words. It’s not NaNoWriMo but it’s not bad going either!
At first, I kept wanting to go back and edit my work, which really slowed me down but I have now managed to let go of that and I haven’t even been stopping to break my work up into chapters yet. I also looked at my word count every time I sat down to begin with, and would feel annoyed if I didn’t manage to write at least 500 words each time I sat down. Once I let go of this, I found I could write much more without even realising it. I guess my biggest learning curve this month has been letting go of things. Here’s what else I’ve learned:
- Writing when I really don’t feel like it/have other things on my mind just doesn’t work for me. I’ve been told time and again that ‘good’ writers must write despite this. Well, every time I’ve tried this I’ve written badly. Very badly. It’s just not worth it. The book is in me and it comes out when it’s ready. I give it a certain amount of hours each week and if nothing comes out, then I do some research or refer back to my plot outline instead – that way I’m still working on it even if I’m not writing it
- Reading fiction on the days that I’m writing is not a good idea. I often find myself taking on the style of that particular writer. So I have been reading some interesting non-fiction this month!
- Not blogging, or reading blogs, for a month has freed up a few hours a week, which I have been able to use to focus on the novel. Now that I’ve got the momentum going I am back to blogging (I’ve missed it!), but think I will reduce the number of posts to once a fortnight to ensure I don’t slow down too much on the novel
- I’m making mistakes, but that’s ok. I can fix them later. As a friend recently said, ‘you can’t edit what you haven’t written!’
- I’m not scared any more.
So, I will post updates here from time to time but there’s no timetable for that because I’m taking the slow and steady approach to this novel and the way I see it, it takes as long as it takes. Even if I don’t post any updates, I will talk about it on twitter with the #amwriting hashtag and I’ll definitely let you know when it’s finished!
Thanks for your support!
Today I’m taking part in the My Most Beautiful Thing Blogsplash to celebrate beautiful things – inspired by Fiona Robyn’s new novel, The Most Beautiful Thing. Bloggers from all over the world are taking part and writing or posting pictures of their most beautiful things today.* I have read the book, and it really is beautiful. Fiona writes about the most raw of human emotions with such compassion and understanding. But don’t take my word for it. Read what other people have to say.
My Most Beautiful Thing
This picture is of one of three beautiful memory books my Mums’ closest friend made for me, my brother and my sister after our Mum passed away. It contains around 30 letters, poems and loving messages to our Mum, and some to us. To know that these people loved our Mum so much, enough to write such heartfelt messages in her memory and that her friend loved her enough to make these beautiful books to gift to us… Well, that’s a beautiful thing.
When I signed up to take part, I was going to say that this memory book is my Most Beautiful Thing. But then I thought: what about my son, his crazy laughter, the gentle rise and fall of his chest as he sleeps..? What about the Christmas card my sister sent me years ago, that I kept for the poem she’d written inside..? And the gift that Mr B made for me one year – that’s right, he made it. It’s still my favourite just for this very fact. What about the lovely message a friend left when I was going through a tough time, that I saved for months cause it made me smile…? I could go on and on. The more I thought about it, the more beautiful things came to mind. I enjoyed counting my blessings for all the beautiful things that I have but became really hard to pick just one thing to write about. Then I realised that there’s a theme that holds all these things together… Well, not exactly a theme, but definitely something Most Beautiful. It’s Love.
So, although at first glance it might seem like I cheated by writing about so many beautiful things, in the end there is only ever one. My Mum used to say that we’re here for each other – to love, and be loved. Life is basically all about Love. And for me, a blog post entitled ‘My Most Beautiful Thing’ couldn’t have been about anything else.
*If you’d like to read other blogs about beautiful things, head over to the list of blogsplashers to find out who else has taken part.
This post is a blatant plug for my new parenting blog and contains more links to it than is really necessary…
You may remember I had a baby last spring… I talked about him a few times but not too much, as I didn’t want this to become a ‘mummy’ blog. Well, now that he’s older I have decided that I do want to write more about him and about the experience of being a parent, so I have started a new blog, Mothering Mushroom for this purpose.
So, if you’re interested in the baby/toddler/parenting stuff, you might want to check it out. If not, thats ok. I will still post here regularly. Either way, see you back here soon!