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Sunday, 10 January 2016

A Gentle Start

Beacon Hill, Leicestershire - Maria A Smith

How was your week? Mine got off to a gentle start, I returned to work, and restarted my writing. 
It all felt shiny and new, I like that, a fresh start, and a new plan. It went like this...

WRITING 

Daily words/rewrite/edits - Yes, worked on my novel, the early mornings weren't as bad as I expected, and I got in the swing of it again quite quickly. Although, more words were hacked than written. 

Joined Up Writing Podcast - Lovely to catch up with Leah and Wayne, and you can listen to what we were talking about if you click here. Lots of tips to get your writing year off to a good start. And if you don't want to listen to me, go there anyway, click here for the archive where you can listen to lots of great interviews, tricks and tips, and all for FREE. Do leave them a comment, and share the links. These guys work hard for all of us.  


Flash Fiction Challenge - This ran away with me, I had to cull a lot of words. I wrote the piece early on in the week, and should have got on and not left it to edit twenty five minutes before the group meeting, but that is what I ended up doing! 
Amazing what you can get done under pressure, so four hundred words went down to two hundred over a cup of tea at a nearby cafe. It read well, which surprised me as I changed my ending quite dramatically from the original. Note to self. Don't leave the writers group weekly challenge till the last minute. 

Critique A Fellow Writers Manuscript - Yes, managed a couple of read throughs, and made comments before the writer read it out at group. It's something new we're trialling. Usually, we don't hear a manuscript until the day of the meeting. Now we're taking it in turns to send a manuscript around the group so that if folks have time, they can see the words on the page, and read in advance. We're hopeful it might give the writer some additional feedback. 

#writingchat - Another fun meet up on Twitter. 

Phoenix Writers Meeting - I went and enjoyed listening to writers reading their manuscripts. I took along a very short section of a chapter and had some good feedback. It means a few more words will have to go, but I can live with that if it makes the novel better. 

Organise Dropbox - I need to seek a bit of help with this one, as it seems my images have filled my Dropbox, and I'm a bit stuck with how to proceed. Do any of you use any of the cloud services to store your writing? 

Blog Post - Yes, I did the previous one to this post and you can find it here

HEALTH

Sleep (Off to bed before 10.30pm at least twice) - I hit my target, I did my two nights, and I should be really happy with that, but you know what, I completely spoilt it by staying up way to late a couple of evening too! I 'm my own worst enemy.

Pilates Personal Training (one to one) session - Really enjoyed my session with the trainer, it's so much better than doing a class as you get the individual attention, and get to know exactly how you should be doing it. I'm going to treat myself to another one next month.

Pilates - Yes, done, and the class was packed to the rafters!

Slimming World - I went and lost one and a half pounds. Hurrah! Also got Slimmer of the Week so went home with a huge bag of fruit and vegetables.

Walking - Failed. I couldn't fit it in. Note to do better.

JUST FOR FUN

Something Different - Nope, just didn't have time. I did manage to get out to dinner with a girlfriend and that was nice. 

THINGS I DIDN'T LIKE ABOUT THE LAST WEEK

1. How I felt the next day after staying up far too late. 

2. The rude man who bumped into me with his supermarket trolley and then instead of apologising huffed, and walked off as though it was my fault! 

Overall, a good week, really pleased the writing is flowing again, and my efforts towards improving my health are starting to pay off. I feel much better in myself, and I'm grateful for everything. 

What about the week ahead then? It's more of the same this week to get me back into a good routine. How did your week turn out? Did you achieve all you set out to do? 

28 comments:

  1. Really enjoy reading your look back at your week. My pilates hasn't re-started from after Christmas yet and I really miss it. Oh, and I use 'OneDrive' for cloud storage (just don't ask me anything about it as that's my husband's domain!)

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    1. It was good getting back to pilates, and the additional stretch class I did too.
      I'll look into One Drive, I sort of think I've heard of it...

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  2. That's an impressive week Maria, well done you. I'm envying you your writing group, I think that must be a very helpful thing to have. I'm not sure I achieved much last week, although my bum was firmly applied to the seat for most of the time. Off to interview a local maker for an article for a small local magazine in a minute so I might get something productive done today! Wishing you a good week.

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    1. Sounds like you done good if you managed to stay at your desk. Good luck with the maker's article too.

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  3. Well done Maria - you're doing lots and the other things will find their place - it's been so wet recently ... walking has been difficult without getting soaked ... I am still getting set up to go - and must settle to clear the decks shortly .. cheers Hilary

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    1. You'll get there Hilary. We're all different in the way we do things. Don't think there is a right or a wrong way.
      The weather is turning here, we are expecting snow in the next few days so I don't expect to get very much walking done yet again.

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  4. Hi Maria,
    Re: Dropbox... are you storing hi-res images? And if so, do you need to? If you just need to be able to see them with a reasonable level of resolution (i.e. you're viewing them on screen rather than printing them) then maybe a lower resolution would be better.
    To get more (free) storage with Dropbox, find a friend who doesn't yet use it and share a folder on Dropbox with them. The folder doesn't need to have anything exciting/private/personal in it, but when the friend joins Dropbox, you'll get some extra (free) space.
    Hope that helps and glad you've had a good week! Amanda

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    1. Hello Amanda, I probably am storing hi-res images...I will have another look tomorrow. Thanks for the tips on how to get more space.

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  5. Just watch the attendance at Pilates plummet once the New Year resolve wears off. Not you, obviously.

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    1. Yes, by the first week of February it'll be back to normal.

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  6. I'm gently easing myself into the year too. I haven't done everything I'd hoped, but overall I'm moving in roughly the right direction so that'll do.

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    1. That's it, as long as you're moving in the right direction... :-) Everything else will follow.

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  7. I don't know how you fit it all in, but well done. My week sound positively sedentary compared to yours, but I've done my writing homework, made a scarf (see my blog), done some proper knitting and I'm halfway through an excellent book by Lisa Jowell. Now all the chocolates and cake have gone I'm hoping those extra couple of pounds will come off.

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    1. Thanks Maggie, I work down a list and somedays it goes to plan and sometimes it doesn't...
      You have been very busy yourself. I'll be popping over to your blog soon.

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  8. Sounds like a good start to the year. I too am trying to be healthier, back to yoga (class was bursting at the seams this week!) and spinning class (fully booked this week so can't start till next!).
    Wishing you well with the week ahead.

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    1. I don't do spinning Suzanne, (I'm no where near fit enough!) but it was the same at our club. It'll pass and numbers will drop off again.

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  9. Sounds like a good start to the year. I can't cope with late nights either. I was in bed by 9 pm the other evening!

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    1. I really need to conquer going to bed at a reasonable time.

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  10. What a great start, Maria, and well done on the slimmer of the week! I haven't used dropbox yet for storing work - still not sure about it.

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    1. Thank you Rosemary, it was a surprise and lovely to receive lots of healthy fruit and vegetables.

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  11. Good week! I was exhausted just reading it. Things have started well for me too. entered a short story into a competition, working on another one. On top of 'getting organised' - all good! Onwards and upwards.

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    1. Really pleased to hear you have entered your first short story competition - well done you!
      And for 'getting' organised.

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  12. You did fantastic! Well done! :) I had a great week last week. Went back to work after the holidays (we had 10 days - the university I work for is shut down the entire time) and I actually felt really good! I have RA and chronic fatigue syndrome, so feeling good is rather rare, so I enjoyed every minute of it. I also got back on my healthy eating plan and I can already tell the difference. Not eating a bunch of sugar makes a big difference. Unfortunately, I got hit with ill health again this week and have been home sick the past two days. No writing done, either. Blah.

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    1. Hello Melissa, sorry to hear you're under par, hope it passes quickly and you can pen more words soon.

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  13. Busy, slick and well organised Maria. Really solid start to the year - you are really moving. Thought you were good on the podcast too. Managed my blog post and some editing too, but I need to seriously shut myself away at some point this week to complete the edits and work through the agent's requirements for submission.

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    1. Hey Keith, get those agent's requirements sorted out! Thanks for the comment on the podcast. It was fun!

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  14. It sounds like a very productive week to me. Mine was far quieter, but it's back to editing the sequel to my historical romance now.

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    1. Good luck with the edits - hope it goes well.

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