I haven’t been blogging as much lately, (but who am I kidding, it is unfortunately usually one of the last things on my to do list). Instead, I have been spending my time writing other things. In June I attended a Writing Memoir workshop and since then, more opportunities have been popping up for me to write. At the workshop there was a lady who was keen to start a monthly writing group, she also told me about a writing competition in Trentham. I then was asked to write a fortnightly blog for The Organic Place, and noticed that a friend was following young adult fiction writer Allison Tait and participating in #writeabookwithal. All this has compounded in inspiring me to finally write the novel I have always wanted to write and to send in my picture book manuscript to a publisher, (not holding my breath there but we’ll see).
Since then I have been on a roll, writing anywhere from 400 to 1800 words a day for short story and poetry competitions and for my novel. I can’t seem to stop. I don’t want to stop, but I’m also scared that at some point my inspiration will end! Hopefully not. Here are six things that are keeping me writing at the moment, (I haven’t included coffee, wine or chocolate, but they are a given).
- Inspirational people: at the moment I feel like I am surrounded by so many inspirational people, and no, I’m not talking about mega-celebrities. They are: the mum at school who is expanding her from-home business; the lady I follow on Instagram who changed careers to become a wedding celebrant; the teacher of my online blogging course who always writes amazingly honest and readable blogs; and my friend who is reusing old materials to create gorgeous new things to sell, just to name a few. Most of these inspirational people for me at the moment are other mums, because I see them making time to do the things they love, while balancing work and family life. They are pretty awesome.
- Writey people: I have also been surrounding myself with other people who love writing. As I mentioned above, I joined a writing group after the memoir workshop and we meet once a month for a few hours to share news, some of our work, laughs and tea and cake. It is the best. I am also loving following other bloggers and writers on social media. Write A Book With Al, through Allison Tait Writer’s Facebook page inspired me to have a crack at writing my novel because every day followers share how many words they wrote and give each other encouragement. I think this has been one of the reasons I have had much more success in my writing this time around. I’m currently at 29 000 words which I am stoked about.
- ‘Your person’: I have a go-to person. Okay, it’s my sister and my best friend. (Click here to read my blog about knowing who ‘your person’ is). She does so well to put up with me nagging her about reading my work, asking her questions about structure and plot lines and all the rest. She is amazing. You need someone who you can ring and sook to, brag to, and annoy about writing stuff. Luckily she enjoys writing too so I’m fully prepared to give back when she asks. I also have my amazing mum who is even more of a grammar stickler than me; who I guarantee will find any mistakes in my work before I send it off to a competition. (How am I doing here, Mum? Was ‘than me’ correct?)
- Competitions: When I started looking, I found that there were so many competitions for writing that are happening in the next few months. I am still unsure of whether it is more sensible to enter as many as possible (within reason) or just focus on one at a time. Nevertheless, these smaller writing tasks and goals are more opportunities to work on my writing, so I take them at a run. The lady who took the memoir workshop said to keep entering until you win something, so that is the eventual goal.
- Big dreams and goals: I always wanted to be a writer as a child and never stopped writing poems and stories. Unfortunately, while I have always been writing something at some point, I have let my dream slip away at times. Maybe it’s naive or silly but maybe that kind of talk is what stops dreams in the first place! So, little by little, I am writing, I am doing. My goal is to have the rough draft of my 70 000 word manuscript completed by December, and I’d like to have it ready to enter it into a memoir competition for next year. Regardless of whether it happens or not, I am still loving writing at the moment. And I guess that is the gist of this blog if you are not a writer, do what makes you happy!
Here’s some other writey stuff I’ve done recently if you’d like to read: