Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Blank pages.

Sat here staring at the blank page, ready to write one of sporadic posts, when it came to me, life is a blank page. These last few days I have suffered threats, betrayal and mudslinging. It never ceases to amaze me what lies people choose to fill their blank page with, just to justify to themselves their ends justify the means.

I know I am no veritable choir girl, I am no shinning angel and certainly full of human faults. But one thing I am not, that is deliberately malicious or cruel. I have known too much of both over time to want to walk that road. I try to be a nice person, I care about people. How they are doing, how they're pets / kids / granny etc is doing. This maybe as sporadic as my posts here, but I do care. It was caring that kicked this week off. But I won't stop caring, I will just moderate it. Which brings me around to why I have titled this post blank page.

In life bad things happen, things don't go the way you want, the way you hoped or even throw you a curve ball so hard it spins you out of orbit. If we sit and dwell on the bad things, then more bad things will attract, until the point we are drowning in our own despair and sorrows, becoming bitter and twisted.

Life is a blank page, fill it with hope, fill it with joy and fill it with love. Bad things happen, we cannot change that, but cry the tears and give life to hope. Write your life the way you want to live it, not how you feel it is going.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Flip - Flopping

After a conversation with my daughter this evening about lack of confidence issues, I mentioned to her I have a terribly low self-esteem. I always think other peoples work is better than mine. My work is inferior. I am not good enough and so on. But she would not believe me at first! Why? Because I am a fairly confident, slightly eccentric personality.

The truth of the matter is I LOVE being eccentric. My lack of confidence, in part, stems from trying to fit in. Wear the clothes other people wear and do the things other people do. I get to a saturation point and then it starts wearing me down. Even this weekend certain members of my extended family were saying 'I cannot possibly wear my wonderwoman converse out!' Err Yes I can and my multicoloured dress and turquoise blue leggings. I felt great!

Only if my self belief in my talents (yes I am struggling to call them that) could be so easily solved! Yes, this is why I flip-flop between projects. Why now I am concentrating on my writing, mainly.

Monday, 7 July 2014

Round and round it goes, where does it stop nobody knows.

I have been reading back through my blog this morning. Trying to find a post about something. I found it. The one thing that struck me is how I keep fighting writing.

2010 I completed Nanowrimo and the bug sunk its teeth into my soul. Yet from that moment I have fought, with every sense of that same soul, concentrating on this. Doubting my own skill, doubting my ability. Do you know what? There are people out there who will criticise the fact, your technical ability of writing lacks. I don't necessarily get the right structure to a sentence, my grammar is not the best and I have been know to re-write a whole paragraph because I cannot remember how to spell a word. But one thing I do know how to do, that is weave a story. I can spin a tale. Yet people will only focus on the negative of my writing. These are not the finished, these are just snippets for peoples feedback. ALL they concentrate on is the 'wrong writing' never the content, even when it is the content you have specifically asked feedback on. It is a hatchet they wield with the greatest of glee and gives them a sense of self satisfaction. It is as if they are say 'oh look you who are inferior because you cannot structure a sentence with the grammatical correctness of an Oxford Professor. Before anything goes to publication now, I use the services of a decent editor. But even THEN people will judge my work because it is not written stuffed tight with highly literate writing.

Within the last few weeks people have even 'suggested' that I give up writing all together. Focus instead on making my crafts and being ill. Oh never quite those words, well crafts bit but 'listen to your body' is only so good some of the time. Where does the focus shift stop. If I listened to my body I would do nothing in a day. Getting out of bed with your heart rate racing and everything in pain, is not the most productive start to the day.  I may not be an academic genius, but I can spot the hidden dagger in the undertones. Not due to paranoia either, for when I push further and winkle it out, it glints for a second before being hidden back in the candyfloss.

People wonder why I never manage to commit to something. Because it takes a forcefield made of titanium and self assurance of the really egotistical to brush off all those comments and remarks. I know I am meant to be writing. It is not a choice, it is a compulsion. I enjoy crafting and will continue to enjoy crafting. But I hate it the moment I try and commit it to something more than a hobby. Yes I need to be stronger, right now I am at my lowest confidence point, ever. I have been at some really low ones before.

But there are few gems amongst the rocks and for those I am forever grateful. I may appear to be strong, for all I know I maybe strong. But I cannot do this alone. I cannot face demons, focus on something specifically and push forward without support. THE only person who understands this is my Dad. He said I am proud and I have to set myself goals and ask for help keeping them.

So round and round it goes, where does it stop .... HERE. NOW.

I am fragile, I am vulnerable and I am in a very insecure place. But if I can shoulder my responsibilities, hold my head up and take those steps forward, then I can ask for the support and guidance as needed. The support I will be after is not the 'don't you think you should be doing something else' support. If you cannot offer that when ask, back off.

The buck stops here. I have ultimate responsibility for myself. Today positive steps and positive thoughts. I am going to achieve my childhood dream and be that best selling chart topping author.

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

RIP Greebo cat

Today I had to put my 1 yesterday old cat down. He was suffering with organ failure. He had always been a fluey cat, since we've had him. Knew all the long he may not make old bones. But we did not expect to lose him so soon. The family are devastated and is one of the hardest decisions I have had to make. But I know he's no longer suffering and can go chasing mice in kitty Valhalla. 

Thursday, 12 June 2014

An extra dose of chaos.

Regular readers to my blog will know about my challenge to create myself a writing environment. To such ends I had bought myself a new desk and new set of chest of drawers in which to store my yarn. Had here being the right tense...

Today my washing machine finally gave up the ghost and my hope that it could be nursed through the next few months whilst we got a new dishwasher (a month without one now!) and some furniture for my daughters room. She is turning 13 next month and wants a teenage bedroom. To be honest the furniture she has in her room right now, apart from the bed is from my husbands first house! We had intended to use the points accrued on our credit card to fund most of the set for her bedroom and then we would have made up the rest. The washing machine breaking down has changed all that, now we use the points towards the washing machine.

I sat out in the courtyard area of our garden earlier feeling guilty. I have sold off some of the tools of my crafting business and as such funded my new furniture. But I felt horribly guilty I am busy buying myself new furniture when the stuff I have is perfectly serviceable and making my daughter wait for months more than she has already. We have been trying to achieve this since September last year and we had promised her soon! So I decided that she can have the furniture I have bought already and I put my editing fund towards getting her a wardrobe as well. Whilst we have to still find her a bed, struts on her one are held together by duct tape in places, she will have the new furniture for her room! I still have to finish writing anything to get it edited and well, what else is a parent to do? I don't do selfish very well, this is what it felt to me.

Now of course the crunch comes I have to sort the pit that is a tween girls bedroom, with her help I hasten to add. Re-use the chest of drawers from there to rehome my yarn stash and get rid of what is left! So not one room to sort but two. Nothing like an extra dose of chaos to add to the melody of life.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

So you are writing to be rich ...

No, I am writing because I cannot stop thinking about it. Story lines, plot twist, characters or even marketing techniques. I am writing because it is an all consuming fire. I am writing because when I tried to give it up, I failed. Whilst I could continue to write and nobody read it, that would be wrong. A story is alive, it needs to be read.

Now lets address the 'writers are rich' scenario. A few make it into the big time and even more select few of those go on to be multi millionaires, or even perhaps millionaires. For those who do, I salute you! Because this game is not easy.

I am currently planning to self publish. I can hire (with saving) myself a decent editor, I can work with a cover designer to get what I want. I can choose a formatter, or format myself my work. This is all what most Indie Publishers give you. They will give you some back up marketing, but as an author you are still to do the bulk of it yourself. I can set up my books to print and I can write book sheets and mail them to book shops. Which if you are *very* lucky, a publisher will do. But then only if they don't use createspace, especially here in the UK.  Don't forget publishers will take any where between 20 - 60% commission! This is without in some most cases without 'advances.' Even those who do offer you an advance it will be in your contract if you don't sell enough books, then you have to pay it back!  Then with bookstores you have to have the right discount and offer a sale or return policy even if the book is liked. The terms are usually three to six months. It then can be close to six months to a year before you even see a payment. This payment may be only a few pound! If you are with a publisher you may only see pence back! 

Then we address eBooks. Whilst you don't have the cost of physically setting up a book, you have to get your book notices amongst thousands and thousands of other books, all vying to be top book. If you are lucky enough to sell your eBook at the sensible price of £2.99 then you are going to be lucky to see a return of £2 a book, after selling fees / delivery fees ...

To break even on a book that costs £500 + to produce (decent editors don't come cheap!)  To break even you have to sell a minimum of 250 books a year, which equates to over 20 a month. As an author swimming in a very big sea, this is not as simple as it sounds.

If someone can spot the 'get rich' equation in this breakdown please let me know!

Someone once said to me writing is just an expensive hobby. I am not going to argue whether it is or it isn't for every person embarking on the journey does not for different reasons. As you can see from the above, I am not in it for a 'get rich quick'. I would rather be a sustained name than a one hit wonder. I do not think I even have a choice whether to write or not, no change that I don't. I once remarked giving up writing was like voluntarily giving up breathing. I simply cannot do it. I will crawl over hot coals and work my behind off to do what I have to do to ensure my fledglings at least have a chance of flight.

If a major publisher picks me up down the line, I would consider it. They are the only ones with the tools to reach my end goal, be the iconic best selling author whose book is being picked up with your groceries from your local supermarket. In the mean time I will plod on and do my best.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014


I feel now I am making headway on sorting my office space out. I've destashed a fair bit, still more to go! I have thrown out a lot of rubbish and recycled to the burning pile a lot of very old filing. It is not done but I do feel I have broken the back of it! I now have clear space to set up and build my new desk. Then I can finish clearing and move the old one. Ready for free cycle! The last phase won't be complete until we have done my daughters room and I can reuse the old chest of drawers for my yarn. Once the desk is built and that wall tidied I will be in a position where I can start focusing on my writing.

This is particularly poignant today. My last photo of the 100 happy day challenge was of a one I wrote when was sixteen! Even back then the desire to write was a burning passion. The fire has only been banked, it is far from gone out. Time, very soon at least, to get back and fan those flames.