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Well, my three days of early starts and late finishes is over for this session, and I have the next three weeks to recover before it starts again!

I used to think working long hours was normal, acceptable – in some way a validation of me as a professional. My career break changed all that and made me feel much better about saying no to long working days and being available at all hours, so when I do it, I know it’s my choice.

It’s been a lovely realisation that I can have a different balance in life, and has made me a far more focussed and positive person in the workplace too.

But now I am back to the norm, so I need to get back to my writing, and although I gave myself today to work on another project I intend to get somewhere between 1000-1500 words completed tomorrow and something similar on Saturday – I have my nieces staying again so won’t guarantee Sunday’s output! I want to build up the momentum again, and have something to tell you in my extra posts!

For tonight, I’m going to rest up and get a good sleep, so I’m all ready to get back to my poor, confused heroine tomorrow!

Happy writing,
EJ
🙂

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I read a great quote that I haven’t been able o find again unfortunately, but I thought I’d share the concept anyway.

It was something along the lines of ‘if you don’t write when you’re busy, you won’t write when you’re not’.

It jolted me out of the haze that has surrounded me since I went back to work, and I sat down and moved my story on a little. From tomorrow, I’ll be using lunch breaks to make notes on the work I’ve done so far, and use any space I find in the evenings to write new sections of the novel.  I’ve even decided to change phones so I have one I can work on whenever I get a chance – sitting at the dentist, or in the car waiting for someone, or as my partner drives me to an event.

These sound like little things, and they are. But putting all my little things together will help me balance work, life, and writing – which is what I really want to do.

In other news – This week we’re on book 44 – Of Human Bondage by W Somerset Maugham which is another I haven’t read. I am interested in books that are heavily autobiographical but I don’t think I have time to fit another book into the list, so it’ll stay as a possible for the future, I think

And finally – it occurred to me today that this blog will go very quiet through November when I get married and go away for my honeymoon.  I will pre-write a few posts before I go but I’d love to fill in some of the blanks with guest posts so if you’re interested in writing a post about anything relating to writing or reading, let me know!

Until next week – happy writing,

EJ

🙂

 

 

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You know, I think it’ll take me a few days to get to grips with my return to work.

This week, I have managed to write a poem, which is great, but nothing at all for the novel. It’s not just that I’ve been at work – and my weekend was all spent setting up and supporting my friend’s fabric open day so I worked all weekend too – it’s that I am so tired when I get home that I don’t have the concentration needed to write.

I know it’ll settle down, and I’ll get used to the routine – but for now, I am too sleepy to write in the evenings; I am also too sleepy to do much tonight after two very long and energetic days in a sales room.

I will get back on the writing road, but I’ve allowed myself a pass for the last few days. It’s easy to be discouraged but I have to be a little kind to myself. I had filled my time up very well before I went back into the world of work, so trying to carry on with all my responsibilities and work full time will take a certain amount of juggling and rearrangement.

I will catch up on the novel, I will catch up on the 100 novels list, I will get to grips with the reading group, writing group, charity work and wedding planning.  I will get on top of it all, soon.

For now – I am going to bed!

Happy writing,
EJ
🙂

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Not this dog, he doesn’t do much work at all.  And if he does do something, like tell me the phone’s ringing , or say hello to visitors, it tires him out so much he has to go back to sleep!

A Dogs Life

 

I am not working like a dog either, but going back into the office environment after the last few years has been exhausting and I am really too tired to make much sense today.

I realised today that the only way I’ll get any writing done in the next couple of weeks (as I acclimatise) is to fill up gaps with words – so I’ll leaf through ideas at lunchtime, I’ll cogitate as I cook, I’ll mull over the options as I munch my tea!

Finding space to write isn’t just about quiet and calm, but about making use of the time available.

So I’ll be working hard – not like a dog, but like a writer.  Blogs will get shorter but life will get fuller, and the novel will get thicker – and that’s a tradeoff I hope you’ll understand.

Happy writing,

EJ

🙂

 

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Well, following on from last Sunday’s post, I am officially an employee once more.  I can no longer say I have given up the 9-5 to write, as such, because here I am going back to something similar.  Perhaps fewer hours per week, but the principle remains the same – it is the end of my writing life in its current form, at least for a while.

Since I gave up work I’ve studied creative writing, written a complete novel, drafted another and am bashing out a third; I run a small but successful writing group; I have performed my poetry to the public. So those are successes and show that I have made something positive of my time off.  In non-writing terms, I have become heavily involved in a local charity which is something I would never have done if I was still in my old role – this is also something that brings me a great deal of satisfaction and a sense of being part of my community.

So what changed from the start of my journey?  Well, I didn’t enjoy writing short stories so my original idea of sending them off regularly got pushed aside to make way for novels; that ended my plan of earning regularly through writing which has led me to where I am now!  I haven’t found an agent willing to take on my slightly contentious story and have not yet reached the point where I want to pursue self-publishing.

In my more confident moments I think I can carry on as I am, much as I suggested last week.   My desire to write hasn’t ended, it’s just how I use my time (and the amount of time I have) that’s shifted.

It’s another new beginning which is exciting in its own right – and after this one there will be another in November when  I get married.  In fact, life is full of them.

The reality is I’ll probably do less writing than I hope, but more than I did before my break – and that will be enough for now.  When I get into the swing of work again I can assess everything and see what I can manage.

I can’t feel too bad even if  the writing life has changed – I wouldn’t give up these four years for anything, nor the joy I have found in them.  What matters most now is that I remember I’m a writer, and keep getting those words on paper.

Happy writing,

EJ

🙂

 

 

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This week promised myself I’d write another 2000 words, and thankfully I’ve done it.  However, my writing is seriously taking a backseat in life: not only have I got charity events to help arrange and local volunteering to do, but I’ve also got my new work, plus looking for another temporary role, plus the big event I am planning all taking chunks of my time.

And now’s as good a time as any to say that the big event is my wedding, in just over 4 months! 🙂

As I’m sure you can imagine, writing is getting lost in the mix (despite huge support from people around me – my partner, mum, big sis and SC all deserve a special shout-out here alongside lots of others who have offered to help in many different ways).  It’s the one thing that I don’t have a set date to get done so from a time management point of view it’s the easiest thing to drop.

Back in the mists of time (2010) when I decided to take a career break to write, I did so because I never found the time to do any writing at all.   It wasn’t just that I didn’t have time – lots of writers have jobs and write – but that I didn’t have the capacity within myself to do it.  I don’t want to be in that position again and I think I have put enough of a framework in place to keep it going, but it is going to be at a pretty slow pace.

So from now on I’m going to start working on my time management much more stringently.  I have set myself a target to write at least 2000 words a week from now until I get to the end of the current novel, and from then I will reassess.  I will put aside those things that can wait until after the wedding – things like courses I want to take, or some of the extra books I might want to read for the challenge.  I will make sure that I log writing time again (the timesheet is embarrassingly empty of data at the moment) not to make me feel I am not doing enough, but to remind me that I am still a writer.  I will focus my writing on the third book, and just keep going until it’s done.

It has been suggested that now would be a good time to upload book 1 as an e-book, as I am not sending it out at the moment; I will make a decision on this soon and let you know!

So there we have it – life comes in waves and I’m riding a big one now!  But if I keep going I’ll get to where I want to be, even if it takes longer than expected.

And finally – I missed book 39 last week: The History of Mr Polly by HG Wells which I haven’t read and in light of everything I’ve just written, is not going on my list!  I haven’t read book 40: Zuleika Dobson by Max Beerbohm either and the same applies!

Happy writing,

EJ

🙂

 

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This week I’ve struggled to find writing time – with family events including a big birthday party for my partner, helping arrange an event for the local charity I support, and illness (my own this time!), writing has slipped down the list of priorities.

Getting ready for my partner’s party, I was looking out a list of songs that were #1 singles on this date going back as far as I could, and I found this.  I love a bit of Bowie and clearly I am an 80’s girl at heart as that’s what I nearly always share!

Back to writing – I do have a new idea for the current novel but I’m going to scope that out during my retreat when I can give full attention to it; I was inspired by one of the books I’ll be talking about on Tuesday to think about the book in a more flexible way…

I’m also preparing to contact more agents which I want to do before I go away; my target is another 2 this week.  As I am going to be in rehearsals for a play every day the week after I might not get any more done before retreat but hopefully when I come back I’ll find out I won the competition I entered and I’ll have an agent.

I may as well keep the faith, after all!!

In other news – This week we’re on book 29, Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy on the 100 novels list. This is one of those I can’t remember if I read or not, back in my studious student days; I know I’ve read some Hardy prose and am not convinced I enjoyed it but it may have been Tess.  Oh, for a better memory…

And finally – I’ve been looking into writing competitions; one I saw might be of interest to some of you guys.  It’s The Bridport Prize, and is an annual competition across various categories.  The closing date is 31 May so have a look if you’re thinking of sending work off and don’t know where to start.

Until next time, happy writing,

EJ

🙂

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