A Strange Encounter

I realised this morning that it’s been a while since I wrote anything for the blog. I think it’s a consequence of my last post, I’ve been spending so much time working on my novels that I’ve neglected the blog. Hmmm… How do you juggle both? Especially considering that at the moment I have a few precious hours (9-11.30am) that are (almost) dedicated to my writing. Of course, that’s as long as nothing else needs doing.

I’ve found, on my writing journey, that a lot of things take priority over my writing and when I’ve had a break I find it really hard to get back into it. Last week, however, I managed to write every day! I’m so proud of myself  :) Yesterday was an especially trying day, for some reason I opened the laptop, loaded Scrivener, and… nothing. I couldn’t find the words. The page stared back at me, taunting, and I shut the laptop. I sat there staring at it for about five minutes before I decided to try again. I opened the laptop again, looked at the page and started writing. I pushed hard, struggling with words that usually come easily, and eventually I got into the swing of it. For the whole 2 hours I wrote and by the end of it I was quite pleased with what I had.

This determination reminded me of so many blogs I’ve read from other writers. They say how you should push through those hard days, write as much as you can every day, even if that’s only a few words. I’m happy I was able to do that yesterday, I felt so much better for it. The experience also reminded me of something that happened to me back in the Summer. I met my muse. 

It was a strange encounter and one I don’t think I’ll ever forget. Up until that day I didn’t really believe that there was some mythical character helping all writers along their journey. I thought all the words came from me, it’s my imagination after all. Oh how wrong I was! You see it was the middle of the night and I had words racing around my head, all scrambled. I hadn’t done any writing for weeks because of the kids being off school and I was missing it. The words didn’t make any sense but they wouldn’t go away, I tried everything I could think of to get to sleep (I do like my sleep!) but nothing worked. The next thing I knew a vision entered my mind and the words arranged into legible sentences. A woman in the dark, screaming at me. Still I didn’t listen and tried to think of other things to get to sleep but the woman persisted. She clawed and yelled until I listened and grabbed the iPad, noting down everything she was telling me. When she’d finished I put the iPad down, rested my head on the pillow and was asleep in seconds. 

The next day I read what my muse had said and it inspired me. The new story idea was brilliant and I’m so grateful to my muse for insisting. She helped me that night and although I don’t see her very often I know she is always sitting on my shoulder whispering those sweet words into my ears. 

Meeting my muse and having problems with words made me feel like I was part of something. It’s odd, this writing thing can be quite lonely, you immerse yourself in your imagination and your fingers speed across the keyboard, not once do you say a word to another human being yet you still feel part of something. So far I haven’t made many friends (apart from a select few) but I feel like I’m in a group  now, they understand and sympathise. Even though I’m on this journey on my own I don’t feel alone, if that makes any sense. I know there are people I can turn to for help and advice and I hope that I can offer that same support to others. I think we’re always learning no matter what we do and it’s nice to have a little help now and then. 

New Year, New Goals

The view out of my 'office' window

And… Breath.

The kids are back at school, routine is restored. 

Over this holiday I’ve discovered that I don’t do particularly well without routine. I tend to leave the dirty plates until the absolute last minute and then complain that there aren’t any clean plates for dinner. I wake up late in a morning and then complain about being up late and not feeling like doing anything. The house gets a mess and I get irritable. But, like I said, the kids are finally back at school and I can get back to blogging and writing (not that blogging isn’t writing!).

The canvas on my wall - inspiring?
With a new year comes new plans and resolutions. People want to lose weight, others want to get fit, others want to give up alcohol (OMG! Who are these people?!), as for me? Well, if I’m honest I can’t decide. I was already on the weight loss thing before the year started so I can’t really say that that is my New Years Resolution, having the kids back at school has kick started the diet but it’s not a new thing so that’s out.

One thing I’ve been toying with for a while is setting myself goals with my writing. Sitting here typing that scares the hell out of me! Goals? Really? You see, as I wrote more than a year ago, I’m no Supermum. I don’t even try to be. However I pride myself on being there for my kids when they need me, which means that the writing often takes a back seat. The only time I am able to concentrate on writing is when they are at school and often things pop up that mean I can’t do that, like the weekly shop. Having talked to the hubby I’ve realised something. I think I’m making excuses. I remember when I was in college, a long time ago, and I wrote stories for fun I was asked if I would ever consider sending them to a publisher, my response was always to laugh. I said I thought it was a waste of time but really I was absolutely terrified of the rejection.

Fast forward to now and that same fear still haunts me but there’s another one that sits in wait too. The fear of failing. If I set myself goals and don’t achieve them then I’ve failed and I have no one to blame but myself. I don’t have anyone to answer to but myself either but I’m a bit of a hard ass when it comes to goals. I believe if you have a plan you should stick to it. 

In the past two years I’ve drafted two novels and I don’t think I knew how hard this writing thing would be until I started. Some days the writing flows and it’s like magic as sparks fly from my fingers as they speed over the keyboard, but other days it’s difficult to even start. Those days are the worst, sitting in front of an empty page waiting for the words to come, but you have to push through it.

My little office
If I want to take this writing thing seriously then I ought to have goals right? I ought to treat it as a job and do ‘work’ every day. What have I done so far? I’ve written this blog. But, I’ve written this blog while sitting in my ‘office’ (a bedroom with a desk) and intend to move onto the novel when I’m done. After making a cup of tea, and checking if the hubby needs anything, and… oh wait, is it time to fetch little one yet?

A Tasty Start To The Year

Happy New Year!

I hope you all got what you wanted for Christmas, I know I did. I also got a surprise - a meal at Restaurant Gordon Ramsey on Royal Hospital Road in Chelsea! Having been there years ago I was quite excited when I opened my card and found that little piece of paper that said we were going. I think I might have yelped with excitement! 

Well, we went last night and I only need one word to describe it - WOW!

We walked up to the restaurant and had the door opened for us by a man standing outside. Wandering in we were instantly welcomed by someone and having taken our coats they showed us to our table. Within seconds someone else was coming over to ask if we wanted drinks. Sometimes fancy restaurants have a tendency to be too fancy, they make you uncomfortable and you feel like you have to whisper to your partner if you want to talk. Restaurant Gordon Ramsay isn’t like that at all.

The thing I noticed about this restaurant is the number of staff. There must have been ten or more constantly wandering around the dining area checking that everyone was happy. Not in the annoying way either, you know - when they come to your table, while you have a mouthful of food, to ask if everything was ok and you have to answer while covering said mouth with your hand. No, at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay the staff walk through the dining room and when you have finished a course they come over, remove the plate and ask if it was ok. Which it was.