Books, I think I just rambled, Life, On Writing, Uncategorized

how to avoid distractions and write

Disclaimer: I do not promise the following to be logical. I wrote it with an empty tea-cup beside me. Its slogan is Live, Laugh, and Love but how does one do that without tea? More importantly, how does one write a coherent blog post without this elixir?


I come home from work and survey my domain with a critical eye. I decide to tidy and then write. Neither happens. I’ve decided to give up that first step. Yes, my room suffers, but I’m sure that it’s a good move. I’ve now a more peaceful mind and more time to devote to my writing. However, distractions are many and my resistance is weak.

things i class as distractions:

  1. Reading
  2. Cleaning (mostly when I need to write) (this cleaning doesn’t extend to my own bedroom)
  3. Stoopid Things On The Internet
  4. Writing this post
  5. Work (so I’m not a starving distracted writer)

By the time Christmas week arrived, I was convinced that I – and I alone – had invented long shifts that had to be worked day after day after day. To my disgust, the pity party had to be cancelled. It turns out that this is the norm of the working world.

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My pity party rudely halted, I could at least use the situation as an excuse. It was masterful and goes as follows …

my masterful reason for not writing:

Work requires time to unwind from. At least one or three hours. By the time I am unwound, I need to sleep. To go to work again. So therefore, in no way could I possibly write a single word. There isn’t time.

I, for one, could see no logical holes in my reasoning. (I’m certain you can’t either.) However, using this logic, I am forced to face three hard choices in order for my writing to flourish:

  1. I must give up work and write in blissful hunger and happiness (sans car, savings, clothing, and books)
  2. I must drastically decrease my working hours and budget (less use of car, less savings, and fewer books)
  3. I must find a happy medium between working and writing (sans unwinding time)

Right now, I’m taking option three. Writing is a part of me. Like my tailbone or unibrow. (Ha. I kid. I don’t have a unibrow. Or do I?!!!) And I am willing to make sacrifices for it.

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cue inspirational gif.

So, my ‘unwinding’ time will cease to be and I will be an adult and write my novels and sort my bookshelves and go to work and do all sorts of responsible things.

Q: So, how DO you avoid distractions and write? (Because, honestly, the above is no answer at all. In fact, I’d say you waffled a fair bit.)

A: I’m sure that priorities and list making and Pinterest boards make up part of the answer, but – to be brief – I think the ultimate answer is thus:

Sacrifices. Must. Be. Made.

If you want to keep your unibrow writing alive and ticking, you have to make sacrifices; give up going to the cinema or haunting bookshops or reading those reviews. These things have their place. But so does your writing. So sacrifice. It will be worth it.

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side note: remember to maintain relationships with humans. those are important too.

But, what do I know? I’m just a writer writing poorly concealed non-advice advice posts to solidify good intentions. And to be a beacon of help and hope to the rest of the writing world, of course. *cough*

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happy new year, my friends!

Books, I think I just rambled, Life, On Writing

Books and Monstrosities [February’s Flutters]

I can’t spell February. It’s a really awkward word and is off my ‘what I’ll name children/pets/inanimate objects’ list. (Rejoice, Future Thingies! I’ve spared you a lifetime of misspellings!)

Also: I’m sorry, but this post is a little long. I planted the seeds and boom! the words just leapt upwards.

books read

thegoldenbraid

The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest was my least favourite read this month. I’m sorry. I just couldn’t get along with it. The writing didn’t click with me, nor did the main characters – we just didn’t get along well.

The Golden Braid was actually one of my favourite reads. Same author, different book, better reading experience. Rapunzel rocks. ’nuff said.

The Wrath and the Dawn was beautifully written. However, if you set out to kill an evil ruler – and have evidence of his evilness – then you really ought to finish the business. Even if he is handsome. And haunted.

Here’s a truth for you, my dear heroine:

Very Nice Faceiness ≠ Innocence*

*I’d like to add that haunted looks are not a sign of character depth. The Evil Bloke could just be suffering from indigestion.

The Three Musketeers the post is here. Unexpectedly funny. Made me want to don a sword, kidnap someone’s friends, and dash off for adventures.dissolution

Whose Body? The audiobook of which made me check the bath for bodies for years after hearing it. I’ve now read it. I haven’t checked the bath. Progress has been made.

The Shardlake Series are about a hunchback lawyer during Henry VIII’s time. I’ve read three, so far. Immersive writing, characters you grow to warmly like and gruesome murders. Sounds perfect (though I could do without the sprinkling of Certain Elements).

words written

It’s been bad, folks. Clearly going through a month which I can’t spell has badly affected my writing. I’ve managed a little on Our Intrepid Heroine The Third or It Could Be Two Point Five .

“Bluebells!” burst out Bob. “I’d understand it if he bunged his ears as you do sometimes. It’s perfectly understandable that some ears cannot cope with melodies-”

Your melodies,” muttered our Intrepid Heroine.

“-but this-” Bob gestured wildly about him “-is a bit of an overreaction.”

HOWEVER!

It turns out that by some strange twist of fate, my jaunt in the 1920s was placed in the top ten of the Rooglewood Press’ Five Magic Spindles contest. I give hearty thank you to the judges. Expect to hear more of this tale for I am going to a) butcher it excessively and b) read lots of Wodehouse and Thirkell (for research. Obviously.)

life lived

IT’S GETTING LIGHTER! So long, Winter! Your back never looked finer. Hello, Spring! It’s awfully nice to see you.

I’ve finished crocheting a blanket for my bed. It’s a relaxing hobby and the results tend to look far better than my attempt at knitting a scarf. ‘Wonky and holey monstrosities’ are the words that come to mind when recalling that fated attempt.

have a splendid week – nay! – a splendid month, my friends!

I think I just rambled, Life, The Many Trials of a Blacksmith

Commas and Archbishops: a ramble

I caught a bus the other day and was chatting to its driver. In the course of our conversation it was rather disconcerting to be asked ‘if there was anything coming that way’ when he was at a junction.

He was a lovely chap though, even if I did spend the rest of my ride with my metaphorical heart in my metaphorical mouth. Below is a newly discovered truth:

You don’t expect to use public transport and be requested to help drive it.

… it’s not comforting, okay?

I’m away from home at present and have gazed upon a painting of da Vinci’s and a former Archbishop in the flesh! He has ferocious eyebrows, if you’re wondering.

(The former Archbishop. Not the painting.)

(I don’t think it is her eyebrows that the Virgin Mary is famed for.)

NaNoWriMo is trotting along well enough – currently someone is making a dramatic announcement in a rain drenched street. Don’t ask me why. I didn’t plan it. It just happened.

Also: commas. I’m struggling with them. I think I add them where they aren’t wanted, purely because my brain decides that a page needs buckets more of them then it actually does.

Around The World In Thirty-Days is a good book. I should know. I’ve just read it. However, Phileas Fogg needs to stop being so maddeningly impassive. Emote a little more, dear sir!

I suppose I’d better go back to The Many Trials of a Blacksmith and determine how this chapter ends, as always, I’m not quite sure.

I’m sure I’ll get there though. In the end.

Life

For The Adventurers

I am a firm believer in adventures. Little ones, big ones – it doesn’t matter what size they are. A big one is made up of smaller ones and smaller ones add flavour to life.

I’ve been told that I’m easily pleased. But there’s something so beautiful about running home in the rain, hair dripping and shoes soaked. Eating a toffee covered, cream filled bun as I shelter beneath a shop’s awning and rain pours down and down. Going to the library and pouring over books. Listening to music, drinking a cup of tea and reading a good novel all at the same time.

Living – it’s one ginormous adventure. Sometimes sad, sometimes happy and sometimes in-between. Certainly too fast, over too soon.haveanadventure

But for the bigger adventures – when you catch a plane or hop on a train, I would humbly suggest keeping a diary. Don’t feel as if you have to write everything down. That’s stressful and a pain. Write snapshots. Draw stick figures. Capture impressions.

You don’t always need a camara. Stand still for a moment and savour the scene that touches you. For me it was sun-drenched streets and snow-capped mountains.

But really, you don’t have to go anywhere to do these things. The sight of an evening sky, with the sun sinking beneath the horizon, caressing the clouds with its red beams is beauty enough. A shared joke between a family member. An amusing interlude or a Deep Thought; write them down or simply store them up in your heart.

I’m convinced that memories can be made and taken out, to warm us on cold days.

So go on – have an adventure. A big one, a small one, it doesn’t matter. Compliment someone on their excellent beret or walk barefoot across dew soaked grass.

..because it kinda sorta fits into the theme of this post..

… and little things mean a lot.

I think I just rambled, Life, On Writing

Rambling, and other such matters.

– Reading –

I’m not sure if I can bear to read Go Set A Watchman. I enjoyed To Kill a Mockingbird and daren’t risk sullying the memory of Atticus or Scout. Some risks are just too large to take.24817626

Sequels and myself have a shoddy sort of footing. A sequel to Sherwood (‘Robin and the King’)  is sitting on my shelf right now and I’m not certain I can face it. What if they all die? I can’t have Robin Hood die. Or, or Marian.

Who would want to read about that? And even though I’ve had a bad experience with another book, I refuse to read spoilers. Which is either a very stupid thing or a thing of great wisdom.

– Writing –

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fig 1.something: held sunshine. Taken in June. June! Where hast thou gone?

After a Big Effort (publishing a book or finishing a manuscript) I often go through a period of what can be summed up with one noise: ‘eh’.

Writing dribbles and drabbles and the inclination to pull up a sheet of paper or a Word document simply cannot summoned. Last month, Our Accidental Adventure was published (yours for only 0.99, four thousand years of servitude and your firstborn child. Terms and conditions apply) and suddenly, that was that.

Writing? Pah! Stare out of the window and watch some clouds instead.

Editing, you say? So last season.

Library books? Give me. Now. Forget eating, working and other reasonable and worthy occupations. Let me at ’em!

– ‘rithmetic –

Life flows on, as it always does. Sometimes I believe it goes altogether too fast. It’s like sand trickling through your fingers and no matter how hard you grasp at it, it still flows through. Where has this year gone?

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via Pinterest