Thursday, 13 September 2018

Out of Step with Others

There are times when I find myself out of step. Sometimes it's just that I'm not up to date with the latest trends or slang. Sometimes it's because I haven't been watching the latest 'must see' TV show. Sometimes it's because I have chosen to stay on the outside because I don't want the stress of being on the inside!

Lately I have been struggling with reading. No, I haven't forgotten how to do it! I've been trying to plough through a book that I'm just not into because everyone who has read it is raving about it. What am I missing? I don't know but the darn thing isn't resonating with me and I'm avoiding picking it up.

I can hear my sister's voice shouting at me 'Life's too short for bad books' and I do agree with her. It's not like I've never stopped reading a book before the end in the past, as I remind myself every time I see Captain Corelli's Mandolin on a bookshelf.

So with reluctance I have decided to close the book and donate it. I'm just not getting the vibe that everyone else is and I have so many other books to read.

Bye bye unloved book and hello to all the other books on my To Read pile!

Saturday, 8 September 2018

Falling Out Of Love With A Story

Two years ago I won NaNoWriMo and wrote 50,000 words of a story in a month. After much tinkering about I found that there were some problems with it and I re-planned it to make a better story. So far, so normal.

This second version is my WIP and I've fallen out of love with it. I still believe in the characters and the world but something about the story isn't working. Writing it is like pushing a jelly uphill and that's no fun.

Now, usually I'd throw my hands up in horror, delete the darn thing and start something new, all the while berating myself and doubting my skills as a writer.
But I've grown as a writer in recent months and I'm approaching it in a different frame of mind.

This WIP will get written.
This story will get finished.
This writer will finish what she started.

Because this is where the 'work' starts. Pushing through the hard stuff, writing when it doesn't flow.
The craft of writing is out of the window and the graft of putting words on the screen begins. I will get a draft finished and I will edit the hell out of it to make it the best I can. Whether that is something I am totally happy with I don't yet know but I will make it as good as I can.

That's what it means to be a writer.

Monday, 3 September 2018

Why Bullet Journals Aren't For Me.

I'm just going to come out and say it: I can't get on with bullet journaling. I know, I know, the whole world seems to think that their lives have been transformed by using the bullet journal system. The Internet is packed with people extolling the virtues and benefits of using a bullet journal. Check out the thousands of beautiful bullet journals on Pinterest and you'll see what I mean. It seems to transform so many things for people and enable them to organise their lives.

So why don't I get it? The truth is, although I wanted it to work for me and to make me more productive, it just didn't happen. And I think it's because I don't have a mega packed life. I'm blessed that I have a relaxed life where I can do as much or as little as I like each day. I have retired from teaching and I am trying to forge a writing 'career' which I can do at any time, day or night. So a bullet journal didn't help my life at all. Most mornings I struggled to think of any meaningful tasks to put in my journal. I ended up writing 'shopping', 'washing' or 'ironing' every day. And those tasks get done (eventually) whether I journal them or not! Also, they're not significant enough to deserve journaling either.

So, despite trying three times to get into bullet journaling, it's not for me. My lifestyle doesn't need that level of micro managing, there aren't enough tasks to schedule and I only have one or two events a month to worry about so a regular calendar and diary is more than adequate for that.

So I wave goodbye to the whole bullet journal experience, re purpose another notebook and vow never to try arty decorating again (I was rubbish at it anyway!)