Sunday, 27 September 2015

Punch Your Way Through

Autumn - Image Credit -  Pixabay

Last Monday I started doing my writing first thing in the morning. How did I do? What I learnt is that it is possible to get the words down, my mind wasn't busy as my day hadn't begun, and there were no interruptions.

You definitely have to go to your bed earlier to make up for the sleep you've lost, because as the week goes on you feel more exhausted, and by the fourth day, I was shattered by teatime, even though I'd been going to sleep a whole hour earlier, and only getting up fifteen minutes earlier. It may just be a shock to the system, and I'm hoping my body clock will reset itself this coming week.

There is a great sense of achievement that the writing is all done and out of the way, so I don't feel stressed and worried about how I'm going to fit it in after a hectic day. I feel happier.

I started out on Monday morning with ten minutes journalling, thinking, I needed a warm-up, but after Wednesday I ditched the idea as I wanted to get straight onto the new short story I'm writing. My output ranged from fifteen to forty minute sessions, depending on the other things I had on my timetable for the day. If I needed to hit the road early for work, then it was a short session.

The point of it all is that my writing has moved priority, it is now the first thing on my list each weekday, instead of the last. As for the quality, I have to admit it's not been my best work this week. It started well, the characters came to me easily, I knew their problem, and what to do about them, but I haven't been able to make it work!

Usually, whilst I'm going about my day, the solution comes to me, but it hasn't happened with this story, not yet anyway. So, I'll have to punch my way through, look at the whole thing this week, and find a solution.

The beginning is fine, but the middle is a mess, it's sagging and I need to brainstorm it. I know the end of the story after all, so why is the middle such a problem? If anyone has any tips, shout them out, I'm open to any ideas.

It was busy last week, but I was able to get some stuff done for myself too. I've changed the colour of my hair for Autumn, gone are the blonde highlights, replaced with shades of red and blonde lowlights, which I really like. I've lost two and a half pounds at Slimming World, and have started to notice the difference around my waist, so that is positively encouraging. Even more encouraging is I'm loving the food!

I cooked a fabulous new recipe in the last week too, Mac and Cheese, which is a variation on the traditional macaroni cheese, made with grated courgettes,  red onion and cottage cheese. Very tasty indeed.

What does the week ahead hold? More of the same, I shall continue with my early morning words, and I'll try and sort this story out too!

What are you up to?

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Change Your Morning Habits

Hands up if you start your day with writing?  I've tried before and once I get going, it works well. However, I've got out of the habit over the summer so it's time to try again.

Why do it?

  • It's quiet, so there won't be any interruptions. 
  • Work hasn't begun. Need I say more?
  • Real life hasn't got underway, and writing hasn't got pushed to the back of an ever growing list of things to be done. No matter how well you plan, if your writing time is in the evening, you may find it gets shelved due to real life stuff over running. 
  • Once done, you can rest easy that you've done your daily writing. 

  • Wake up earlier, but do it in stages. Start slow by setting the alarm back in fifteen minute increments until you feel you have enough time. Thirty minutes of writing can be very productive when there are no distractions. 
  • Know what you're going to write the night before. Otherwise you'll waste time.
  • Resist the urge to check Twitter, FaceBook or emails! 
  • Go to bed earlier. 

The hardest thing is starting (isn't it always!) It won't feel natural at first, they'll be that early morning confusion, so it might help to start with ten minutes journal writing. After the second week it should start to become a habit.

What do you think? Will you give early mornings a try? 

In other news, last week went off the rails and Plan B days were required on more than one occasion. I'm refusing to stress about it though...I had a busy working week, which is another reason to do my writing early each day. 

Sunday, 13 September 2015

New Beginnings

Original Image - Pixabay
Lots to report since my last post, some much needed 'me' time, some days away, and lots of catching up. It's been wonderful. What a difference a bit of downtime makes to everything. Managed a lovely day relaxing with my friends at the spa, and went off to London with hubby for some general sightseeing too.

Have done a little editing, writing and planning on my own stuff as well as some edits for a buddy, which I've really enjoyed doing.

In my last post, I talked about small wins, so I've been deliberately looking out for them over the last few weeks. Here they are...

  • The smell of freshly laundered washing blowing dry on the line.
  • A good cup of coffee, a quiet cafe, a pen and my writers notebook.
  • Lying in bed till after 8am
  • Listening to an audio book and getting the chores done too!
  • Losing one and a half pounds at Slimming World 
  • Gin O' Clock
  • Walking briskly through the park
  • Discovering new places
  • Carrot cake at Tate Modern
  • A hot bath with lots of lovely bubbles
I hope you've had lots of wins too?

In other news, me and hubby took Dear Daughter, to University today, along with the contents of her bedroom! I've lost a daughter and gained a bathroom, someone at work pointed out. It wasn't traumatic for either of us.  No wailing, no hanging onto each other, no drama at all, but there were hugs and kisses.

We're both independent, I had to be from an early age, and I wanted her to be able to manage herself, and feel confident. Today reminded me of her first day at school. Gosh! Where have those years gone?

All the other children were clinging onto their mummies in the playground, and there was my DD trotting in without a backward glance. Bold as brass. Off she went to her new adventure.  I will admit to having a lump in my throat. There wasn't a phone call from the school for me to come and collect her, she just got on with it. Settled in and made the most of her situation.

It's a massive change for everyone, everything is new and alien to her at the moment, but I'm sure she'll manage once she's found her way around, in fact as I type this, she has probably met her new flat mates, and between them I imagine they've planned a party, or started one! Or at least put the world to rights. A new life begins for her, so it's fitting that I take this opportunity to make a few changes too.

There will be writing, there will be healthy eating, and there will be some new habits, because these are all things I want to do. Blimey, I can do things I want to do now? I can't quite remember life before offspring.

Mid September can be a little odd, neither summer nor autumn. Sandals or boots? Salad or hotpot? We know the darker evenings are just ahead of us, when we'll close the curtains at five o'clock, and put the clocks forward soon, but  we're not quite there yet. We're in-between.

The week ahead then?

Well, the Phoenix Writers Subs Club has been out of action July and August, so I'll be breathing new life into it again at the weekend, so I have to prepare. Gather all the latest competition news, and details of any writing opportunities etc. Contact the members and then get myself up and running too.

Today, I've made myself a timetable, and I shall try and fall in with my plans. It's Plan A, but I've also thought about Plan B, because life has a habit of happening and changing the best laid plans doesn't it?

Enjoy the week ahead, and do let me know what you're up to...

Making Things Happen

Bluebells in the grounds of Chatsworth, Derbyshire - Maria A Smith Nearly two months ago I made this list of goals - See how I've g...