Monday, 16 February 2015

Treading water

I took a long time off over the holidays, and thought I would come back, burning to write - to write reviews, to write stories and to maybe eventually start on one of my three book ideas. Yep, I have great ideas for three different types of books, that in 4 years I have yet to put pen to paper on any of them. I also have a picture book that needs work to make it better. It's written, but the rhyme needs to be reworked (because I whipped it up three hours before a competition closed, so as you can imagine, the execution is a little crappy while the idea is solid).

I was very busy with a few fiscal and travel matters the last few weeks, but have now seemed to have dropped the ball completely for no apparent reason other than lack of motivation.  I have a backlog of reviews to write, and I seem to struggle to get my posts on prompts in on time. I have three short story comps ticking to deadline and none of my broken or bitter people are popping into my head to tell me their tale.

I think I just need to write, but I seem a little too good at coming up with excuses not to sit at the laptop.

I am finishing off Amy Poehler's Yes Please (This book is a must read for everyone, especially women and there are more posts still to come on her inspirational way of thinking). She talks a lot of passion and drive and has a saying, 'the talking about the thing is not the thing, doing the thing is the thing'. In my case, I need to remember the thinking about it amounts to naught, and until I sit down and write, it is nothing at all.

Doing the rounds of Facebook are Neil Gaiman's 8 rules of writing. I will focus on the first 3 (the full version can be found here):
  1. Write
  2. Put one word after another. Find the right word, put it down.
  3. Finish what you’re writing. Whatever you have to do to finish it, finish it.
It's tiring to tread water for too long, it's time to move forward, to finally swim.

Linking up with Things I Know and Weekly Wrap Up

PS Not relevant to the above, except the work of another SNL writer, but I've just finished The Stench of Honolulu by Jack Handey and it is hilarious. I can't remember the last book that made me giggle continuously out loud.


  1. I love Neil Gaiman. I'd read his shopping list. Must get my hands on Amy Poehler's book, too!

  2. Just keep writing, just keep writing ...
    I find I have to "get away" to write my books. I find it difficult to do it in my everyday life. Too many other things get in the way ...
    So when I have to get my next book out I schedule two days away on my own.
    If you can't do that, then move your laptop somewhere else in the house. Front balcony, back deck, dining table. Somewhere different so you get into a different mindset away from the 'same old, same old'. That also works for me.
    Good luck!
    Just keep writing ...
    Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit

  3. You'll get there. Don't pressure yourself or over think it. You just need more time by the sounds of it. The words will come when you're ready.

  4. He is a wise man, that Neil Gaiman. Like putting one foot in front of the other to get to the end of the day, one word in front of another will get you there. Good luck with the writing
    Dani @ sand has no home

  5. I think it is hard after a big break. I returned to the metal smithing studio two weeks ago after two months off for summer with my kids. I decided to just play and focus on skills so repetition to get back in the groove. No pressure. It is working. Maybe do some fun writing that is none of the things you listed on your to do list. Just get juices flowing and fingers typing again. Xxxx

  6. Books that make you LOL sound right up my alley. I feel a bit the same right now, so many unfinished projects that I MUST get to. Slow and steady I agree.

  7. I have written 3 novels ( none worth publishing) but the hardest part was getting started ... Patience is the key as it can't be written overnight

  8. I think sometimes we tread water for so long because "the dream" whatever that may be (to write a novel, a children's book, a screen play whatever) is comfortable it is our safe place. Actually doing something to change the dream to a reality - well then we fear losing the dream don't we? Easier to hold onto it just as it is - a dream.

  9. Must check out those eight rules.
    The first thing I read in my TAFE course was, 'write every day.' Something. It gets rid of the layers of crap that can accumulate if you don't, and I find that's definitely true for me.

  10. When I get overwhelmed about "all of it" I try to step back and pick one thing. Get my hands dirty on the one thing, forget all the other shit I have to do, and finish it! Then it gives me motivation to tackle the next thing. Right now it's cooking. I need to cook about 3 different dishes today. Maybe once I start one I'll be able to handle doing more. YIKES! Also, I freaking loved 'Yes Please' too! So, so, so good. I feel like there's so many quotes in that book I just want to burn onto my brain forever. She's a wise woman, that one.

  11. With so many projects on your 'to-do' list it would feel overwhelming. Have you considered picking just one to complete before deciding on the next one? Make a decision on what's at the top of list right now. Or create a timetable. I've done all this and more to get me motivated. I find there is always a bigger picture and the way to discover this is to take time out to sit and listen. You'll get your mojo back♥

  12. Gosh! I could of written this!! Something is in the air right now and I too am struggling to breathe through it. We will though.

    Thanks for sharing with #thankfulthursday xS

  13. 'the talking about the thing is not the thing, doing the thing is the thing'

    I like that quote a lot. I am such a procrastinator.

    All the best for finding your writing mojo.. Please send some my way when you do ;)

  14. I have so much in my head, but it is true, doing the thing is the thing! It the hardest bit to do.

  15. Definitely easier to keep the momentum going after you take the plunge and really throw yourself into it. Good luck. #teamIBOT