Writerly Advice Required

I’ve really been struggling these past few weeks to make any progress with my book. Every time I read a page I question what I’m doing. I know first drafts are supposed to be terrible, I’ve read it hundreds of times but when you’re staring at words, that you wrote, on the screen and they sound awful how do you continue to have faith in yourself? 

Being in a transition doesn’t help, my youngest boy is starting full-time school in September, we’re about to go on holiday and I’m trying to organise my ‘office’ so that I can have somewhere organised to work. With so much going on it’s hard to find that motivation and after reading my work I feel worse. I spend half my ‘writing time’ looking at email and social networks and the rest of the time I spend editing but at the moment all I feel like doing is hitting that delete button and starting again. I don’t know if this is par for the course or if I’m doing something wrong?

I read a few writer’s blogs and they all seem to be making great progress and I wonder if there’s something more I could be doing. Could I be reading more how-to books? Should I be letting people read my awful first drafts? Is keeping it all to myself the way to go? I have no idea about this stuff but I’m afraid to ask, I’m scared that someone will say “You should let someone read your work.” - What if they do and they tell me I’m a terrible writer? OMG! I can’t believe how much that terrifies me. I’m so scared of someone seeing my work that when the hubby comes into my office for a chat I hide my screen, I make sure he can’t see anything I’ve written. Am I crazy? I think my story is good but getting it readable might be really hard. What do I do?

Any advice from writers who’ve been through this stage or general writerly advice would be very welcome at this point. I really don’t know what to do with myself!

The Special Effect of Gaming

The word ‘Gaming’ brings platforms like the iPad, Xbox and PlayStation to mind and games such as Call of Duty and Angry Birds. My house is filled with consoles and their games. The hubby has worked in the industry for years, my eldest is 8-going-on-16 and loves his games and my youngest is learning that if he pesters enough he can play games too. The hubby has been involved in making lots of games and I’ve watched them evolve from just an idea into a working playable game. It’s interesting to see ideas take shape and characters come to life before your eyes. ‘Gaming’ conjures images of teenagers sitting in front of a TV with a controller in hand and their eyes glued to the characters running around on screen. However, people with disabilities come up against many problems when trying to play games and that’s where Special Effect hopes to help.

Special Effect is a charity that aims to bring the fun of ‘Gaming’ to people with disabilities, helping them access and use mainstream games. Founded in 2007 because, as Dr Mick Donegan said, “parents of children with disabilities and people with disabilities themselves kept saying that they found it difficult or impossible to access mainstream video games and leisure technology”. In the six years since it’s inception Special Effect has helped children with cerebral palsy like ten-year-old Holly, who likes to beat her brother on the PlayStation, and wounded servicemen like Lloyd who lost both legs and some fingers on his right hand while serving in Afghanistan. Special Effect also has a database of useful information here and you can find their YouTube channel here.

On 23rd June 2013 Special Effect are holding an abseiling event at John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford. You can register for the event here. A good friend of mine, Sionice-Louise Ross, is taking part (she’s much braver than me!) and she’d be grateful for sponsorship. Her JustGiving page can be found here or you can text ROPE76 and the amount to 70070, eg. ROPE76 £3 (sending it to 70070). Let’s help Special Effect raise money to bring the fun of gaming to more people.

This isn’t a sponsored post and I haven’t received payment for it, I just think Special Effect are doing something worth while and wanted to promote them. :)