Yes, it’s hard. No, You’re Not Failing #writerslife

Yes, I Can

The highs and lows of writing a novel are pretty intense. I have felt like I reached breaking point more than once.

If I had followed online advice about how I should write every day, or how I should plot every scene, or climb every mountain. Chances are I wouldn’t still be working on my story now.

You can’t always write every day, sometimes you start and you get nowhere, and you have to go away and rethink and replan, and then you start, and you get so far, and then things need changing.

Because plans don’t always plan out, things don’t always look the way on paper the way they do in your head. Because of a million little reasons that set you back again and again.

And then you look online for advice only to be told you need to be on it all. the. time.

You know what helps me?

Ignoring all of that, working through the story a piece and a time, and finding a fellow writer to howling at the moon with.

I get out, I stop, I *gasp* procrastinate.

And progress is still made, not fast progress, but better progress than writing a thousand words and then having to delete them because something needs to change.

One of the reasons I’m struggling so much is because I have a mammoth series I’m working on.

It’s taken world building, character building, plot building. For the whole series. Not down to the last detail, but at least enough so I know where I’m going and where I’m coming from.

Writing one single book would be much much easier. But it wouldn’t be right, not for this story. And so, I plot and I plan, and I struggle, and I do what I need to do when I need to do it.

And I fail. I fail so much. But then I rethink, and I get back up and I keep on going.

But don’t confuse with being told how to write with learning how to be a better writer.

But that is a post for another time. For now, just remember to try not to burn yourself out trying to write to someone else’s system.

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Sickness, Writing Progress, Films (Week 4)

I actually do remember what happened this week, this week the sun came out, this week it was glorious. Who couldn’t enjoy it? Me that’s who, and the other half!

We were laid up sick, with my third cold in the space of two months, and his second. I seem to have built up a slight immunity to it because I don’t seem to be so badly hit. The other half… has no voice. It means I keep finding myself whispering along with him because when one person whispers, it’s really hard to not to talk normally.

Editing Progress!

However, what it did mean is that I managed to complete a whole chapter in editing this week. I need to get faster than a chapter a week though. But it’s better than the three pages I managed in the first week of Jan, so maybe I’ll get faster?

Films

Although we were grounded for our second week in a row, we still managed to get three videos up in the week. And although only one of them came from our backlog, we only have one more video we can use if we’re still sick next week.

The first film I made was a YouTube Rewind video, although it wasn’t planned I would like to make another one next year because it turned out to be quite a nice little film.

Out First Year In Wales As A Montage

How To Make Linen- From Seed To Cloth

   Something's Missing... Also, Adorable Puppy News | Friday Show 03

 

Just Bee (Week 3)

Yes, I Can

I Managed An Art!

I know I said I wasn’t going to concentrate on artwork this year, but there are several reasons I wanted to make this. Firstly, I needed something to unwind with. It was a phrase that I’d posted over my laptop camera, which I’ve found oddly helpful for combatting doubts that my brain throws at me from time to time, and I figured if it helped me it might help someone else to see the phrase floating about in the internet.

Yes, I Can

A graphic that reassures (available on stickers and mugs)

I Finished A Whole Chapter

I haven’t managed to find a whole lot of time to write recently, and when I have had the time, I haven’t had the energy, so I was quite pleased to finish a chapter this week. Just 20 odd more to go… but one down, right?

I Beat The Odds

It rained a lot, I mean a lot a lot, this week. Which put a damper, pun NOT intended, on filming.

It meant that I had to be a tad resourceful with polishing up one of our old films, that never made it to something Vloggy, for Monday.

It also coincided with the Tuesday gloom, as I’ve just decided to call it, which meant that there was zero energy in my brain, I just about managed to make a cake, which was put up on Wednesday.

So I was quite pleased that, despite the setbacks, we managed to get films up on time.

Although, having said that, there was a glitch with the Friday show, and that is still reuploading as I type this. Hoping like crazy it will be ready before Friday ends.

Gluten Free, Egg Free, Dairy Free Chocolate Cake

A Tasty and easy to bake recipe

Three Churches Walk - Sellack, Hoarwithy, Kings Caple

Ian explores the wonderfully pretty three Churches Route, taking in the St Tysilio’s Church at Sellack, St John the Baptist Church at Kings Caple, and the lovely Romanesque-style St Catherine’s Church at Hoarwithy.

Bananas Are Evil, and Good News For Turtles - Friday show 02

In which we discuss this week’s shenanigans, plot for next week, and discuss the news about 3D printing turtle eggs.

At any rate, this week hasn’t been too bad for creativity, despite the weather being against the things I’d intended to do, but I have hit the end of the end of the week feeling somewhat burnt out. I wanted to get more editing done today, but I just couldn’t give it the focus needed.

Perhaps this week I’ll give myself at least a one day weekend.

How has your week been? Let me know in the comments below.

Just Bee (week 2)

Changes Afoot- Friday show 01

This week, ah what a week it was, things happened, and also stuff!

Basically, I’m struggling to remember what I did.

Cool Things I’ve Found

Richard Herring interviewed a guy called Johann Harri about the growing amount of people suffering from depression and anxiety, he talked about some of the societal causes, and solutions that people have come up with. I had to watch it in chunks because, although it was very interesting and a Huge eye opener, it was heavy going. Well worth it though. Check it out Here

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My writerly friend, Melfka, has a weekly #wordwitch cartoon.

They are often cute and funny. This weeks was a more personal and sobering piece that documented every rejection, acceptance, and the times when she was considered last year. Which I thought was a great way to show aspiring writer’s that the road to success is littered with rejections, and that’s the part that no-one sees.

New Writerly Editing Technique!

I found myself a new way to edit my novel. I’m on draft don’t make me think about it, I’m just not that strong.

And because I’ve basically recreated the entire world in my head I’m finding it easier to just open a blank document and copy, paste, and edit a paragraph at a time. It’s helping me catch world details that have changed. I’m also deleting a lot of bulk scenes and adding new ones.

So yeah, the blank document has been a blessing. Although I have only managed to get one evening of editing in.

I Opened Photoshop!

I had a design in mind, PS threw a wobbly and wouldn’t let me do anything. So I gave up.

Vlogs!

What I ‘have’ done is three videos. Well, two. The other half did one. But I helped with the meta tagging and stuffs.

Mini- Can It Handle The Snow?

A YouTube video about digging our 2017 mini countryman out of snow, to see how it would handle on the roads.

Our Vlogging Camera Kit- What's In The Bag?

In which Ian talks about the kit we use for making YouTube Videos.

Changes Afoot- Friday show 01

In which we talk about what’s happening with YouTube, how it’s affecting us, and we throw in some light news.

What Happened? Where Am I? What’s My Purpose This Year?

A year of working things out.

My partner and I decided to finally do something with our YouTube channel.

We called it Something Vloggy, and spent the year figuring out what kind of content we wanted to make.

We tried explainer videos,  cooking videos, we made videos in a documentary style, and the odd musical one.

What we decided we liked, in the end, were exploratory films, where we go and do something, and see what there is to see.

We also quite liked the DIY films, but we didn’t do as many of those as we would have liked.

 

My favourite videos from the last year were

Our walk up Pen-y-Fan, a mountain in Wales, our second Waterfalls Walk in the Brecon Beacons, and the Chocolate and Pear Frangipane recipe.

Writing

Writing last year started out well, but about April I stopped writing altogether. It became painfully clear that my WIP needed a radical world change and with it a lot of details needed to be rewritten.  Although I didn’t do any more writing I made a lot of notes as to the changes that needed to be made. Now I think I can tackle it head on- after I’ve tackled the backlog of other things I need to do.

Art

My artwork will take a back seat this year. Last year I tried to draw more frequently, but it didn’t work out as I’d hoped, and this year I know I have too much on to carry it on. Last year, however, I did manage to get some things created. The TEA ME graphic was an idea given to me by Myk Pilgrim, a delightfully nuts person I recommend you check out.

Read It And Wept

TEA ME

https://society6.com/product/bumble-bee-blues_laptop-sleeve?sku=s6-7871696p45a58v428

Bumblebee Blues

Onwards and Upwards and Possibly Downwards

Goals

I have many goals for this year, and I’m sure I won’t hit them all, but I shall tentatively name them here, as a reminder of what I forgot to do by the end of the year.

I would like to have a video a week, giving my progress for the week. A sort of online diary on the highlights. I’ll  post them on Fridays. Hopefully setting a day will help me stick to it.

We are aiming for three videos a week on our channel. A DIY, a walk, and what we’re loosely calling ‘The Friday Show’.

This week is a little different because we have some snowy videos going up.

I would also like to get at least one book ready for publishing. I have one awaiting edits, and I’m working on another, the planning for which has finally been completed. It was a hard task as it had multiple books, and I needed to tie the story together, but the world I was writing in kept changing.

Finding a Writing Companion #writerslife

A writing companion is something I’d never really thought I needed. I always assumed that I’d end up chatting more than I’d end up writing. Here’s the thing though, I now don’t know what I’d do without my writerly friend.

When we first started talking she was a human I liked, but eventually I got to know her, and gradually we started to hold each other accountable for our work, chatted about our projects, and bounced ideas off each other.

If you are looking for a someone to write with here are a few things to look out for.

  1. Make sure you get along with that person, if you can’t talk to them normally, chances are you’ll end up offending or annoying each other when one of you is tired and unable to word things as delicately as you might otherwise do.
  2. Make sure you can handle criticism and dish it out. There’s absolutely no point in having a writing buddy if you’re just going to praise each other all the time, because you don’t learn from that.
  3. Listen to the advice that is given. You don’t always have to agree with it, but it can lead to you thinking about things in other ways and get a fresh perspective.
  4. Make sure you can actually work whilst you talk to them. If you’re chatting instead of writing, that’s missing the whole point of a writerly pal.
  5. Make sure that you work with someone you can say- I’m off to work now- and they will understand.
  6. Don’t use them as a one way advice machine. There has to be give and take, listen to them, help them without thought of reciprocation. A friend in need and all that.
  7. On the other hand, make sure you find a writerly pal that also lets you talk. It has to be a two way thing.

If your’e not sure that a writerly pal is right for you, here are a few unforeseen highlights.

  1. You have someone to share all the highs and lows of writing with, especially when you’re at a point where you can’t tell the world what you’re up to- having someone you can tell is liberating.
  2. You get excited for their successes. It’s nice to see friends succeed generally, and when they can tell you their successes you end up being genuinely chuffed for them. Especially since the chances are you will have been with them throughout their journey.
  3. Friendship. You may have good friends, best friends, and partners, but a writerly friend is ALWAYS happy to talk about writing and books. You don’t have to worry about boring their pants off, but they are just as nerded out by the whole thing as you are.
  4.  When you don’t want to write, or feel you can’t, a writerly pal can help you get back on the writing horse. You will have to do the same for them, but in the end you bolster each other

I cannot overstate how nice it has been to get to know my writerly friend. Cheers Melfka!

Writer’s Fatigue- Taking a break from your WIP and getting back to it.

General fatigue, and an increase in activity for my day job, (like somehow I night light as a writer, as if it’s a super power, and I’m a caped crusader) has halted my writing for some time now.

I have decided that this week I will to leap, or at least belly flop and scramble, back onto the proverbial saddle.

Luckily I left past me some notes so I know where to take off from, the trouble is that stepping away from a wip and coming back to it, sometimes my writing style has changed. It usually depends on what I’m reading as to how it’s affected. At the moment it’s Harry Potter, so my writing becomes a little playful, if it’s sci fi or fantasy I tend to zoom in on the scenery. Unfortunately if I’m reading a book that’s not as well written as as it could be I sometimes catch myself straying into some of the habits I’ve read.

If that is the case I have to stop reading that particular book.

It’s not so bad if I’ve been working on a story for a while, I can get into the feel of it pretty quickly, but after having stepped away I’m more susceptible to these outside influences.

Of course there are upsides, I’m more alert to flaws that I may have missed by proximity, but by and large it’s a bit of a struggle to get back into a story sometimes.

What tricks do you have for getting back into your writing stride?

My Penmanship Sucks #writerslife

My penmanship is so bad I once spent an enjoyable afternoon coming up with ways to describe it with a friend. Alas, I can’t remember any of the terms, but there you go.

I have no excuses, although this post delves in to some excuses I might make, I have no injuries to explain my poor calligraphy, unlike the lady I got this topic from (Shannon A Thompson)

When I was at school I used to write so small my English teacher would complain she couldn’t read it, so I had to learn to write larger. Beforehand I’d thought my writing looked rather neat. Once I started to increase the size of my writing however, I realised that my handwriting had in fact not been neat, it had just been too small to tell how bad it was. I’d say I must have been writing in font size 6. Anything would look neat at that size.

I’d also learned to write joined up, because that was the fashion at the time. Another habit I had to kick later on, when I found out that it ‘was not the done thing’.

From time to time I feel like I need to improve my writing and, if I try very hard, I can make the individual letters look nice, but the whole effect looks childlike because it’s inconsistent.
It doesn’t really matter because I don’t write very much, most of my writing is done on a keyboard. Now my hand begins to cramp up fairly rapidly when I put pen to paper, and my thoughts flow too fast for my hand to keep up, which means my scribing will often start out fairly neatly and quickly dissolve into an illegible scrawl.

I may just go back to joined up writing, to find my style again, after all, there’s no teacher going to tell me off for it now.

On Waiting for Feedback *bites nails* #writerslife

I have one book finished!

I finished it last year, and I should have celebrated, but it’s finished with pending edits. I’ve been waiting for other half to give it a friendly read, and last week he put it on his kindle.

It’s a lot of self control to not bombard him with questions, but has been reading it and says he’s enjoying it, so yay!

Now all that needs to happen is for a) for him to finish reading it and b) for time to miraculously appear so that he can reread it on a word doc and edit it, so I can move on to the next phase- working through his edits, and then the one after that- getting other people to read it for the test phase.

Still, it’s another hurdle being hurdled.

How do you deal with your waiting for feedback nerves?

The Joy of Words- Cellar Door

logolepsy, graphic design, heart, word obsession, writing obsession, reading obsession, love of words

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about words, and not in the “I’m editing a book ” sense but words that bring me joy to hear.

My favourite word is Phenylalanine (Pronounced Fen E La La Neen), it’s an amino acid. I can’t remember which one, but it’s just such a fun word to say out loud.

Also, ever since someone said these are the most romantic sounding words; Cellar Door.
It’ll take a mo to appreciate it, but once you think about it it’s kind of a beautiful thing. It just rolls off the tongue, and invokes such vivid imagery. It’s one of those innocuous ones that you don’t tend to think about until someone points it out.

The last one is Cardigan, but only after hearing a Portuguese woman repeat it with such delight, she rolled the r and gave it such a joyful lilt  it sounded much more exciting, I’d previously thought of it as a rather stuffy word, but now I can’t hear it any other way, and it always makes me smile.

Which words bring you joy?

logolepsy, graphic design, heart, word obsession, writing obsession, reading obsession, love of words

Logolepsy- An Obsession with Words- http://bit.ly/2hkjDzR