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Sunday, 27 April 2014

Goal List Week Commencing 27th April 2014

Photo Credit, David Niblack, Imagebase.net

I expect you've heard the quote, 'The best laid plans of mice and men often go astray' and you'll probabably know it means, that no matter how well you plan something, always expect the unexpected. Just because you think you've done all you can, there is always that chance that something will happen and mess it up! That is what happened to me this last week.

 Remember I said I wanted to do more walking? Well, my intentions were good, Wednesday I had the opportunity for the first of my two planned walks. Albeit, it a brisk urban walk around the outskirts of the city centre. There I was, sun shining down, striding along, feeling happy, when disaster struck. I fell, crashing hard onto the pavement. A long story short, I ended up in Accident and Emergency, to be told that I'd wrecked the ligaments in my ankle, my foot had doubled in size. I could not stand. The Leicester Royal Infirmary were brilliant, the care I received was fantastic, and yes I did have to wait, but I was just glad they were there to help me. Eventually, when I got home, the severity of what had happened earlier dawned on me. There I was, in excruciating pain, unable to walk or do much anything for myself.

Since then, life has been different, I've been almost totally reliant on family and friends. I work full-time, so appointments had to be cancelled, as well as stuff I'd planned to do outside of work, like a theatre trip I've been looking forward to for a while.

Anyway, I did one walk, and it had been good whilst it lasted. My goal of walking more has to be put on hold though, as I'll be off my feet for a while.

My writing plan went well, I continued with edits all week, but I've had problems with Word, a friend thought I might need to reformat the document, but it looks like its something else. So that has been irritating, and I need to get it sorted out. Recording my WIP after editing has really helped, its something I'm going to keep doing during this rewrite. Even after you think you've cut all the crap, once you hear it read back, you cringe, and its much easier to correct. I didn't do the writing group weekly challenge, because I didn't go to the group. I thought about doing a blog post, but the  mix of pain and tiredness got to me and I just couldn't concentrate on anything much at all.

What a week!

I'm almost frightened to set my goals this week, I feel quite vulnerable, battered and bruised in the  places that made contact with the pavement. However, I have a short list.

Writing

Crack on with chapter two rewrite, its going to be tough, because its a mess, and I'm now changing things as I go along so I have a continuity issue I need to deal with too.

Reading

I have lots to keep me occupied, including an audio book, Life After Life by Kate Atkinson a plethora of magazines, Structuring Your Novel by K.M Weiland and the Telegraph each day. I am not short of material.

Crutches

Learn to get around! Thank goodness for a friend who has kindly lent me some. The NHS don't give them out - you have to hire them, or buy them.

That is it. I said it was a short list. I have no idea how the week ahead is going to pan out. At some point I shall have to go to visit my GP, for a 'Fit' note is it?

Did your week go to plan? What do you want to achieve this week? Do let me know, I always try to reply to all comments if possible. Its good to interact, and catch up with like minded folk.

Have a good week.


Sunday, 20 April 2014

Goal List Week Commencing 20th April 2014

Beautiful Easter Flowers  

Aren't the flowers beautiful? Spotted while I was having Brunch at Christopher's in Covent Garden, London on Good Friday. I had a lovely day out with two friends, we went to see the David Bailey Exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, I really enjoyed his black and white prints of celebrities where there is nothing in the background except empty space.

Its been a while since I've posted a Goal List on the blog. I stopped at the end of last year because I wasn't sure if I needed, or wanted to do them anymore.  Feeling tired, and run down, and desperately trying to figure out a way forward with my novel, I lost my way a bit.  In March I found my mojo again, and got a new writing plan, but I do miss having my goals on the blog, so as of now I'm reinstating my weekly 'to do' list.

My Writing Plan

Continue with the rewrite of my novel, working on chapter one, printed it out, gone through it with a red pen,  slashed and added words, rewrote it again, had the critique group look it over, then after more edits, I recorded myself reading it out. Its still not as good as it could be, so my task this week is to get it sorted out.

I want to write a blog post, and also do the challenge set by my writing group, which is only three sentences long this week, which must be all about shoes!

My Personal Plan

Its time I got moving, exercise went out of the window some months ago, and I'm struggling to get myself motivated again. So this week I want to get out for at least two thirty minute walks.

I'm keeping things simple. Do you have any plans for the week ahead?

Monday, 14 April 2014

Think Positive!

Flicker Creative Commons - Lauren Lionheart


We all need a positive way forward when it comes to our writing lives. Start by replacing any negative thoughts with positive ones.


  • Make a list of all the writerly things you do each day, not just the actual writing. Add things like, spent ten minutes printing out a WIP, research for the novel, filling out a competition entry form, attending a writers group or critiquing a friends manuscript. At the end of the week you'll be amazed how much you got done. 

  • Look for the good in the writing workshops or events you attend, even if they don't live up to your expectations, there is always something positive to be found. I attended a really badly run writing workshop a couple of years ago, so bad that people were walking out! I stayed and took notes for an article I called, How Not To Run A Writing Workshop. The same goes for the writers you meet, look for the good in each and everyone of them. 

  • Have a plan of the things you want to achieve in the next 7 days. Work out what you want to do, and how you intend to get there. Fail to plan, and you're planning to fail, so make a list, and look at it often. Keep it simple, and don't forget to tick things off as you achieve them. There is something deeply satisfying about putting a line through a list. 

  • Don't forget to have fun with your writing now and again. Step outside your comfort zone, stand up and do open mic, write some flash fiction if you don't already, get a few writing buddies together and perform a one page play, script in hand. Or take your writing out on tour, visit a new locations where you can sit with a pen and a notebook and simply scribble. 

  • Spend time with positive people who write. Optimism is infectious, so share your passion for words often. Avoid anyone with a negative outlook, they will only sap your energy and destroy your motivation.

  • Start a blog! Write about your writers journey, take pictures and record all the good things that happen. As well as a few of the bad ones too. You can look back at them and reflect on how you overcame them. Share your adventure and make new friends.

  • Make contact! If you feel bad about some aspect of your writing, its probably not as bad as you think, reach out, speak to someone in person or online, there are lots of forums out there these days. If you're a member of a writers group, ask someone for advice or help. You aren't alone, so help each other, you'll feel good if you can solve a problem thats been bothering someone for a while. Who knows perhaps you can bounce ideas off each other. 

  • Start a gratitude journal. At the end of each day, write down three positive things that happened today. These can be anything form bumping into an old writing buddy, to giving someone a hand crossing the road and seeing the smile on their face, to eating a delicious meal or writing 2000 words. By recording your good things daily, you'll feel more positive.

  • Be kind to people. Have you done something nice for someone today? This has to be one of the best ways to feel happier. Give someone a book you've read, buy them a coffee, or simply just smile and stop to pass the time of day. It doesn't have to be anything huge and spectacular. 

Go now, and rewire your brain. Shout out to another writer today, boost your happiness levels, pausing to do something thoughtful for someone else often breaks the negativity bubble. If you know someone who needs a little bit of help with their writing, or just a quick motivational tweet, why not reach out.