I Will Be Blogging More Often I Promise and Other Stories…

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Okay, so I know it’s a far too long since my last post and I keep promising to get back into a regular blogging routine. But I really will this time. I pinky promise. (You can’t break a pink promise. If you do, it makes you the worst person in the world, or so I am told.)

If I had posted this a little bit closer to New Year, this would have been your standard customary reflection on 2015 and hopes for 2016 post. (I’m not making resolutions this year because I never keep them and well,if you want to change, why wait til New Years to do it?)  But as it happens, life as usual got in the way and in between spending time with friends and family during the Festive Season and attempting to be a responsible adult, (Huh? When did THAT happen?) I just never got round to it until now. As New Year was two weeks ago, my original post no longer seems like it would be relevant so now you have this (very) self-indulgent post instead.

So, what have I been doing in the months that I’ve been neglecting this blog?

Well, mostly I’ve been really busy with work (the run up to Christmas was crazy busy) and I’ve been working on my current novel as well as a short story (that I still need to finish). I also spent November completing NaNoWriMo. I actually managed to reach 50,000 words whilst having a full time job. Despite the fact that pretty much all of those 50,000 words are pretty awful and some of the worst I’ve ever written, (up there with my teenage emo poetry phase) I consider this to be my biggest achievement of 2015 (aside from not dying) because I honestly didn’t think I’d have the energy to write 50,000 words whilst working 35 hours a week. But I managed it (it made me crazier than the past NaNos I participated in) and although the words I wrote were awful, (I’m not being modest here. I honestly can’t look at it) I’ve written 50,000 words of a story that wouldn’t have been written if I hadn’t done it.

So you see whilst I went on a rather longer hiatus, (longer than I originally intended) I was still busy writing. It just meant that I spent more time on my writing projects and actually get closer to finishing something. (That’s my main goal. Not just this year but in general.) I guess it didn’t help that I had a chronic case of blog block (Yeah, yeah I know what you’re thinking. Writer’s Block is just an excuse writers use when they can’t be bothered to write.) and had far too many ideas as to what direction I wanted this blog to go in. (The fact that it never had a strong focus to begin with probably didn’t help.) But now I’ve got a pretty good idea on the sort of topics I want to talk about and now I have plenty of time to actually post on a regular basis once I’ve gotten back into a routine. (I may even post some short stories on here at some point. Ssh! I’m not promising anything though.)

So what else has happened since I last posted on here?

Well, 2016 did not start as smoothly as I would have liked. My fixed term contract did not get extended, so I am now officially unemployed. The downside to this is, apart from worrying about money, that I now have too much free time (and there is such a thing as too much free time. Trust me. This blog is living proof of this) and now have make endless job applications and go to interviews. (Ugh! Why can’t they just let us take an exam instead? I could get a job much easier that way.) The upside to this is that I have too much free time, which means that I have more time to spend writing and blogging as well as finally catching up on some of the TV shows I’ve been meaning to watch and play some of the games that have been sitting in my Steam library for far too long *cough* Mass Effect *cough* or even read the books in my ever expanding ‘to read’ pile.

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Don’t worry, I’m not going to turn this into a whiny post about how it sucks to be unemployed or how I can’t find a job. I know that being negative and falling into a big black pit of despair won’t help me find a job. (After all, I can do something about it by actually applying for jobs and big black pits of despair tend to smell funny.) So I’m trying to stay positive and see it as an opportunity to try and get into a career that I want to get into. (Also, employers like confident people and whoever heard of a negative confident person?) It seems to be working out pretty okay so far. I’ve been unemployed for two weeks now and I’ve already had some interviews which is definitely a better situation to be in then the last time I was unemployed. I just really hope that it means that I won’t be unemployed for too long (having too much free time tends to send me crazy and I end up biting people. I’m not even kidding.) because as much as the idea of being a starving artist (or in my case writer) has been romanticised in our culture, there’s nothing glamorous about worrying about money and having enough to afford food so you can eat. *touches wood*

I think I am going to leave you there for now. You don’t need me to ramble on and on about how having a positive attitude makes such a difference to your life because it would be annoying and boring. Also, I’ve had a can of Relentless and it’s almost four in the morning (another upside to being unemployed is that you can stay up until stupid o’clock writing because you don’t have to get up for work the next day.) and I should probably try to get to sleep.

 

Hello Again, It’s Been Such A Long Time…

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Okay, so it’s been a long time since my last update and this blog has kind of died. But I’m going to make an effort to revive it and maybe switch it around a bit. (For real this time, I promise.) There are reasons for my absence. Mostly because, as always, life has invariably gotten in the way, not only because I have a full-time grown up job (for the time being at least) and for other more personal reasons which I don’t want to get into. (Because I don’t like blogging about personal stuff.) But also because I have had a complete lack of inspiration as far as this blog has been concerned.

That’s not to say that I haven’t been writing, I’ve done loads. I mean, I’ve managed to get into a cycle where I’ve been working on three different things; my novel, another story related to my novel (which needs to be stitched together in some way because it isn’t written in order) and a short story which is completely unrelated to the novel and may end up on here once I’ve actually finished it. So you see I have sort of got myself back into a writing routine despite the distractions of Minecraft, Netflix and work.

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Looking back on my last post, I think I’ve done rather well regarding my New Years resolutions. (Probably the closest I’ve come to actually keeping them.) I mean ,I’ve gotten into a (semi) regular writing routine, (I now have a good incentive to get it finished, well forfeit) I’m halfway through my online course and I’m working on getting back into a regular blogging routine. As for The Silmarallion, I fully intend to read it once I’ve made my way through my pile of unread books. (Which seems to be getting smaller.)

Well, I think that’s enough of me blathering on, I’m sure that I’ll think of something more interesting to blog about other than my current lack of blogging in the future.

Just Another New Year Related Post…

Okay, so it’s finally 2015, and I know it’s a few weeks late, but  after all the busy excitement that was Christmas and New Year, it’s time to take a breather and reflect back on the, um, interesting year that was 2014. Don’t worry this isn’t going to be a gushy post about how 2014 was such an incredible year for me (because quite frankly, it was a mixed bag) and I’m not going to go on rabbit on about it being new year, new me. (If you really wanted to change something, why wait until New Year to do it? Just saying.)

Anyway, yes New Year. It’s generally the time to make New Year resolutions and forget all about them by February. As you can probably tell by the last paragraph, I’m not one for making New Year resolutions. Also, when I do, I tend to make them around my birthday because I find I’m more likely to keep them, it’s weird. But this year, just because I can, I am going to make an exception and make a couple of simple (and hopefully easy to keep) resolutions. So in no particular order *cue fanfair*, they are:

1. To get back into a regular writing habit.

2. To get back into a regular blogging routine.

3. Finish my online novel writing course.

4. Read The Silmarillion and actually finish it this time.

There. I think those are all very doable and realistic goals. I really want to get back to a semi regular blogging routine because I have a lot of ideas for this blog and the direction I want to take it in. Also, I miss having a regular writing habit and I can’t let my characters all fall into oblivion now can I? Besides, I know that finishing the first draft is only half the battle but it’s still better than having yet another unfinished novel lying forgotten on my laptop. And by finishing something I’ve started, I know I’m already doing better than the people who keep saying they want to write but never actually start. Right?

Well, I think that’s it from me for the time being. Sorry for yet another brief rambling post I will try and get back to a regular blogging pattern again. I know I’ve been saying that for months now, but it’s hard trying to fit writing around work and seeing friends.

Blog Block Strikes Again…

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I googled Birthday Cat and found this…

Okay, so I seem to still be suffering from my bout of blog block and I’m not sure why. I mean, there’s a tonne of things I could blog about, I had my 25th birthday a week ago (thanks to everyone who helped me celebrate it by the way. As for those who couldn’t for whatever reason, you were there in spirit.) and it was great. I guess I could write about what I’ve learnt in that time (not an awful lot, I must admit.) and get all reflective about life and the past year (it has been a bit of a chaotic one, I guess) or I could write about my thoughts on Matilda when I watched it the other day and all the happy nostalgia it brought back. I’ve tried, but neither of those things particularly interest me right now. (Though Matilda was brilliant.)

I dunno, I think the problem stems from two places. The first is that I have way too many ideas for posts and when I try to write about them, I get bored. The other is that I’m still a little unsure about the direction I want this blog to take. I mean, I really want to switch things up a bit (short stories will be coming at some point.) but I’m also wondering whether I should have a blog that’s a little more focused. (The answer is probably yes. But I like writing about a lot of different things.) Another problem is the fact that I’m working on a lot of things at once (Something that I’ve only started doing writing wise in the past year.) so I still have a couple of short stories I haven’t finished  and a load that need editing and re-writing as well as the story I kinda want to publish on here. (The first draft is finished. I just need to redraft it because I’m trying something different) I’m also trying to finish the first draft of my gorram novel which is proving more frustrating and stressful then anything. (Mostly, because I have a lot of things I want to change and also I’m a little indecisive about what direction I want the plot to go in. Curse my indecisiveness.)

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I’m not really sure why I’ve started writing so much in the past year. It might have been because I had to write a lot for my internship and I tend to find that the more I write, the more ideas I have to write about. (I guess that’s why my old creative writing lecturers meant when there’s no such thing as writer’s block.) This is the whole reason for this post I guess. I dunno, I guess having writer’s block when writing for the internet is no different for when you write for yourself, you still lose the momentum of writing every day, except with novel writing, your characters fall into the abyss and you walk around with terrible terrible guilt for weeks.

Talking about writing, I’ve started a novel writing course. It was a birthday gift from my parents. I’ve only completed one of the modules so far. But it’s been really useful. It’s reinforced some of the things I’ve already learnt from my degree as well as teaching me new things, such as not writing when I’m tired. (Which I’m not totally doing right not. *shifty eyes*) It;s also keeping my passion for writing alive (It sort of become more of a habit. Something that I have to do so that I can sleep at night.) and I actually feel like I’m learning something which is always good.

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Um, also on a life related note, my housemate (Hi, Matt!) is starting a Dungeons and Dragons campaign, I’m really looking forward to it because it’s going to be interesting how everyone’s characters will play off each other. I am actually playing a female character this time which is a first for me as I usually play male characters for some unknown reason. (I dunno what that says about me. It’s just what happens to come out of my head, I guess.) I’m playing a Drow (Yeah, my DM loves me) warlock. I won’t go into the back story here because this post is starting to get rather long and rambling, and there’s some aspects of my character I don’t want the others to find out about yet.

I think that’s about it for now. Sorry for the rambling, unfocused nature of this post, I guess that’s what happens when you start writing with blog block.

To Publish Online or Not To Publish Online?

Okay, so I’m in the process of improving my LinkedIn (and actually finishing setting it up.) and I am kind of unsure of whether or not I should promote my posts for this blog on there. I mean at first glance, it seems like the right thing to do, doesn’t it? I want to be a content writer, I should show that I can actually write content for the internet, right? That way anyone who might want to potentially employ me will get a good idea about my writing. But the dilemma for me is, do they want to read slightly sarcastic rants about popular geek culture or whiny posts about writing? It would look out of place on a social media site that’s specifically about making professional connections.

Promoting my blog on Facebook is one thing. It’s about keeping in touch with family and friends, those who want to read my posts/rants can do so. Those who don’t can just simply ignore it. But LinkedIn is more about first impressions, about being professional and whilst I haven’t written about particularly controversial topics, (At least I don’t think I have.) I’m not exactly sure they’ll be interested in my A Song of Fire and Ice theories. It might look a bit out of place on a social media site where you need to be as professional as possible. Of course, it would mean being even more careful in what I post here and the language I use. I usually think twice about posting ANYTHING on the internet. (Mostly so that I don’t have to waste time getting into stupid comment fights.) It’s highly unlikely that you would find out anything too personal about me on social media, unless you are a close friend or family member. It’s nothing personal, I just don’t see why someone I used to be acquaintances with in school five years ago would need to know what’s going on in my life.

Errrrgh! Dilemma. So what do I do? I like writing this blog, it’s been fun and I am rather attached to it. Also thanks to my degree, I look at things critically by instinct now. I can’t help it. If I were to start a new blog, that would mean starting again from scratch and I wouldn’t even know what I would write about. (I don’t think I have the energy to regularly post on two blogs)

Because it just isn't a post without a cat picture...

Because it just isn’t a post without a cat picture…

This moves me on to the second part of this rather long and rambling post. Um, yeah speaking of being unsure of posting things online, I was thinking of switching things up a bit and maybe start posting some flash fiction I found in my notebook. (Nothing that I intend to get published, just in case.) I also have some ideas for some short stories that have been floating around my head for a few weeks now. (One that is kind of linked to the events in my novel.) I probably won’t post any from my (slowly growing) short story collection because well, they’re kind of interconnected and they’re maybe too weird for this blog. (Like worry about my sanity weird.) Also they still need to be redrafted and one of them actually needs an ending. (Don’t worry, baby, I’ll come back for you…)

So yeah, don’t be surprised if you see some random fiction appearing on my blog. (Now, that I’ve actually posted it, it means that I’ll actually have to follow through and post some fiction.) Um, I think that’s about it for now. For those that want to know, I’ve finished my course. I really enjoyed it and found it useful. I also learnt a lot and met some lovely people. Hopefully, now I can use the new skills I’ve learnt to help me find a new job. And now I’m really going to end it there before I start waffling.