Prioritising

According to WordPress, last week’s post was my 12th on My Wordy Journey.

The number alone doesn’t sound terribly remarkable, does it? But published at a rate of one a week, that’s 12 weeks…

… and 12 weeks is pretty much 3 months…

… and 3 months is a quarter of an entire year.

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I have to admit, it caught me off guard a little. It shouldn’t have done, really – after all, the number’s been going up every week – but it did. And it got me thinking about how much progress I’ve actually made with my writing since I starting this blog.

The truth?

Not enough. Some, yes, but not enough.

So I’ve decided to take a step back. I’m not going completely – I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience, not least getting to meet some fellow bloggers – but sometimes you’ve got to prioritise, and over the past few weeks I’ve been struggling to keep everything going. I’ve ended up working on blog posts instead of working on my novel – which is exactly what I didn’t want to happen. So for the next little while, my updates are going to be slightly less frequent. I’m still planning to post at least once a month, hopefully once a fortnight (and more often if I can), but I won’t have a post going up every week as I’ve had so far. I didn’t want to have to do it, but time just doesn’t seem to be on my side at the moment and if I want to meet my deadline, I need to put my book first.

Anyway, it may only be a small change, but I wanted to let my followers know. I’m chuffed to bits to have had so many people reading/sharing/commenting on my blog these past few months, and it seemed only polite. I’ll definitely be back though; My Wordy Journey’s not over yet.

 

CC Image courtesy of Pete on Flickr

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How Much is Too Much?

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Wow, you’re writing a book? What’s it called? What’s it about? What happens?

Questions. Lots of questions. That’s what I’ve come to expect when I tell someone that I’m working on a novel. And I do tell people. I get asked about my plans an awful lot now that my degree’s almost over, and I’m pretty up front about what I’m trying to do. It just ups the pressure a little, knowing that other people know. But while it’s nice that people seem interested in my work, it can be difficult to know just how much to tell them.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m serious about getting this book out there. In fact, as much as I enjoy the writing, perhaps the biggest part of my motivation for this novel is the thought of it actually being read. It’s a story I want others to hear; I don’t want it to stay hushed up forever. But even as it (slowly) starts to take shape and my faith in it grows stronger, I still don’t know exactly how open I should be about things.

Take titles, for example. I have a title that I love, and I’ve had it for such a long time now that I can’t imagine using anything else. Part of me desperately wants to tell people. Apart from anything else, I’m a little worried that it might appear on somebody else’s book before I’ve managed to finish my own (I’ve even taken to googling it every now and then just to make sure it hasn’t been nabbed while my back’s been turned) and if that WERE to happen, it would at least soften the blow for me if a few people knew about my plans. On the other hand, would it just be asking for trouble, putting my title out there already? It means so much to me. Do I really want to give it to people to talk about and judge and read into before the rest of the book is ready to go? Perhaps not.

The more general questions aren’t always any easier to deal with. My book doesn’t fit terribly neatly into a genre, and trying to answer the classic ‘What’s it about?’ can be decidedly tricky. I don’t want to say too much or tie myself into anything too specific (after all, you never know when you might need to radically overhaul your plot), nor do I want to give anyone a false impression of what I’m doing. It can be terrifying, putting your ideas out there, and I don’t want people to judge them until they’ve seen them how they’re supposed to be. In the end I often resort to a measly, one-word answer – ‘life’ – because I don’t like to lie, but I feel I have to say something. Unfortunately, judging by the unimpressed, puzzled and slightly bemused looks I’ve received, I suspect it’s not a terribly satisfying answer to hear.

It’s difficult. Very difficult. And of course, as tempting as it can be to keep everything under wraps, feedback is incredibly important – particularly for writers starting out. A select few people are now starting to see glimpses of my work, but I’m still not sure about how much I should be sending round and how many people I should be asking for opinions. It’s my work, and yet it’s not just for me; it’s so private, and yet one day it’ll be so public. I’m hoping it’ll get easier – that I won’t feel quite so uncertain about everything when I’m working on my second, third, fourth and fifth novels (hey, it’s good to be ambitious) – but right now, there seems to be a huge amount of trial and error in what I’m doing. In fact, I imagine this is a tiny bit like how a new parent feels: a little bit out of their depth, not entirely sure whether they’re doing everything right, but hoping – hoping – that it’ll all work out okay.

– Any suggestions/advice? Feel free to comment… I’d be interested to hear other people’s thoughts!

 

CC Image courtesy of photosteve101 on Flickr

10 Signs You’re Officially a Book Addict

Manic.

Yep, that pretty much sums up this last week. I’ve been so busy with uni work, paid work, packing and travelling that my novel’s barely got a look in, and I’ve now reached the stage where I’m finding it difficult even to string coherent sentences together (not good at the best of times, but even worse when you’re a writer). But I really don’t want to break my blogging streak, so today I’ve decided to cheat a little and go with ‘something I prepared earlier’. Nothing too deep or meaningful, just a bit of fun. Because we all need a bit of fun once in a while.

10 SIGNS YOU’RE OFFICIALLY A BOOK ADDICT

  1. You deliberately cook meals that you can eat one-handed, just so that you’ve always got one free to turn your page.
  2. You’ve missed your stop on public transport before because you were so engrossed in your book—and you didn’t regret it for a second.
  3. When you’re pushed for time, you cut down on sleep before you cut down on reading. (Hey, it’s called prioritising.)
  4. You’re not terribly bothered if you find that you’ve left your phone at home, but if you leave your book at home…Oh. My. GOD.
  5. You take more books on holiday than you do pairs of socks. And yes, they are all necessary.
  6. You’ve bailed on friends before because you’d reached a critical point in your book and couldn’t bear to leave it. DOES HE LIVE? DOES HE DIE? YOU NEED TO KNOW!
  7. You’re closer with your local bookseller than you are with some of your relatives. (Sorry Aunt Maude.)
  8. You have more bookcases than you do any other type of furniture. And you still can’t fit your whole collection on.
  9. You’ve been known to accidentally call a friend by a character’s name. (‘Thanks Hermio- I mean, Hannah.’ *Oops*)
  10. You’re completely baffled when people ask you what your favourite book is. Err, they expect you to choose just one?!

Copyright Shona Wood 2015

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