I’ve Moved

After much deliberation, I have moved my blog to here.

This is because I have bought a domain name. To stay on WordPress I would have to pay to use, but the one I have chosen lets me host for free. So feel free to join me over there! If not, good luck in your endeavours, may we meet again šŸ™‚

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Week Two On Being A Writer

You may remember that I am following advice in a book called ‘On Being A Writer’ by Kroeker and Craig. This week is titled ‘Arrange’ with a focus on work space and time. I have tidied my space and already feel more professional, though my tiny desk with no leg room is not much fun. but as time goes on, I can buy better things. I am working with what I have got. I also looked at my time. Not much needed doing there if I am honest. When my daughter is at school, I get about 2 hours and I spend half an hour having lunch. That leaves me with an hour and a half before I need to consider leaving to collect her and her brother. Next September will give me full days in which to write.

recite-12ixk7aI will try and fit writing in at the weekends, but will only worry about it if I am behind on any projects. The exception to this rule will be NaNoWriMo, unless I am superbly ahead, when I will have to write daily. So at the minute I am doing quite well with arranging. When one or the other (or both!) kid is ill, I will just have to write when i can.

So, other than the next part of this weeks tasks, I am quite on it. I look forward to sharing that aspect with you.

In the meantime, tell me about your work space in the comments, and what would you do to improve it if you could? Or is it just right?

Just a Little Something

I recently started following The Write Practice, and recently they had a silly scavenger hunt. I decided to have a go, and this is my effort! I hope you like it, and maybe it will win. And if you want to have a go, you need to be quick as it closes today!

 

Rinse them out and remove ā€˜tide marksā€™ after use. Sophie looked at the bowl of Spaghetti Bolognese on the table in front of her and wondered what the instruction meant. Tide marks? Isnā€™t that what you get in a bath? A swimming pool? Not in a bowl of Bolognese, surely! She scoffed the spaghetti, kicking her black plimsoles against the table leg. She was wearing her dadā€™s shirt, which still smelled of him. She couldnā€™t believe a white van man would attack her dad with cat litter, all whilst her dad was eating pizza! What kind of animal was he? Matt, who had been driving the white van man, had followed her dad to Titchwell nature reserve. Why her dad was out there, eating pizza, was just as bizarre as the attack itself. Anyway, Sophie had conducted her own revenge plan.

She looked at the pink rubber gloves she had laid out on the kitchen table. They were brand new. She then eyed the litter box, that she had not cleaned in a week. A smile spread across her mouth.

Now, if only she could find him eating a pizza.

 

 

End of week one

So for the last part of week one, which I admit has taken me longer than a week, I need to answer some questions. I would like to hear your answers to the questions posed too, so please leave a comment.

Here goes:

What comes to mind when you think writer?

Tough one. I think it has to be books, and someone who writes them.

When did you first call yourself a writer? If you haven’t yet identified as a writer, why not?

Even tougher. I don’t fully identify as a writer. Over the past couple of weeks I have been asked if I work, and I have said no. I don’t earn from my writing yet, so I guess it is strictly true. But I will one day. So I don’t fully identify as a writer, because I have yet to be paid for it.

To what extent do others view you as a writer? How supportive are they of your writing identity? How does outside support – or lack of it – affect your writing identity?

It is half past eight in the evening as I type this. The kids are in bed and the future husband is in the other room. He knows what I am doing. He doesn’t question it. He fully supports my role as writer. Only a few other people who aren’t writers themselves know about my writing. They are generally supportive. The rest are writers, and I find them on the whole incredibly supportive and I like to think that one particular writer in particular will become a good friend very soon! Writing is my secret from the world. If I get asked what I do with my free time now my daughter is at nursery, I just smile and tell them not to worry, I’m not bored. Maybe one day I will come out of the writing closet, but until then it is my secret. It doesn’t affect my writing identity, as I make sure I do something writing related every day.

Does the kind of writing you produce affect your ability to identify as a writer? Do you feel you need to transition to a more substantial project or different subject matter?

No, not really. The fact that I have yet to earn money from it affects that ability, but if I keep turning up day in, day out, a write I will be!

Why do you write? What motivates you? How does that influence your identity as a writer?

I write because I need to. I need to figure things out, and understand people, and get to know why they behave the way they do. So I write about them. What motivates me is fear. Fear of never being a successful writer! I think all it does is keep me writing, which means I start to accept I am a writer. And the more I write and submit, the greater the chance of me being paid, and then I can call myself a real writer!

Do you distinguish a difference between an author and a writer? If so, explain the difference and how your identity is affected by those differences.

I think a writer writes features for magazines, and an author writes books. I never know which hat to wear, or if one or the other is the correct generic term. I feel fraudulent to call myself an author when I haven’t got a book out, but I can call myself a writer because I do write.

 

So that is it for week one! The next week, is called Arrange, and i look forward to reading and learning. If you want to take the writing journey that I am on, you can buy the book ‘On Being A Writer’ here.

Don’t forget to leave your thoughts in the comments below. Until next time!

Childhood Memory That Changed Me Forever

Hmmm, the ‘Bonus’ for step one of the 12 steps from ‘On Being A Writer’ is not really a bonus.

I will give it my best shot though!

Firstly, saying that I am a writer doesn’t actually make me feel more or less of a writer, but it does make me write more! Fear of being called a fraud means that if I am going to call myself a writer, then I must do what writers do: write!

Then it says I need to write childhood memories in descriptive ways. This is going to be tough for me, as most my childhood memories are not nice. Any nice ones certainly didn’t involve my parents!

One I could write about, that haunts me and has a big effect on life today is the fire we had.

It was a warm day/night. I don’t remember feeling cold anyway. I was in bed. I think I was fast asleep. My dad had a watch, and it was quite fancy (we are talking the late 80’s, early 90’s) and it had a dial on it, that could set an alarm or a timer. It would make a basic, high pitched beeping noise when it was activated. Anyway, there I am in my bed, not even 10 years old. I was sleeping well, but a beeping interrupts my sleep. I try to block it out, and wondering why my dads watch was so loud. It was loud, but I didn’t think it was in my room. I am trying to go back to sleep, when my mum walks in and gently shakes me. She tells me to get up, go downstairs and grab my coat, to not look in the kitchen and go out the front door. She explains that there is a fire, so I must act quick. So I do, but as is always the way, being told not to do something, I do it. The fire wasn’t devastating, but it was quite severe. The cooker was well alight, and my dad is trying to put it out with tea towels. But the flames are licking the walls, and some of the wall paper is on fire. It was spreading. My mum went to get our dog Marmaduke from the garden. Where Marmaduke was after that, I don’t know. Then we went into the street. We started knocking on neighbours doors. I don’t remember the time, but few people were awake. The second door we knocked on let us use their phone. We then had to wait for the fire brigade to arrive. Two trucks came up our street. We were at the end of a cul-de-sac. Then lots of people were out, everyone wanting to see what was going on. There was a family called the Montagues, and my parents didn’t like them especially much. But they came out too. My best friend and her mother were there. The best thing from that night? I got an extra sleepover!

 

I might talk about another moment from my childhood another time. Either way, I hope you enjoyed this story. My parents were awake when the fire broke out, and didn’t notice until the smoke alarms went off. So please, push the button. It could have been a lot worse for my family had we not had working smoke alarms.

That’s it for now! Hope to see you next week.

Can you be a 9-5 Writer?

I have been grappling with various ideas of how to be productive and still be available for my children. I have recently learned of the Pomodoro technique, which has helped a bit. I now check my e-mails in the morning for 25 minutes (I have that many to clear, that it takes that long!). I hope that, eventually, I will only have a few in my inbox that it doesn’t take 25 minutes, but with over 500, that is a long way away at the minute.

During one such session, I came across a blog post by Sally Jenkins. Brief but to the point, she talks about being businesslike in the way we approach our work. I have never had a job that would consume me outside of office hours – though I know there are some – but I always thought that writing isn’t a job, but a vocation. But living like that was tiresome. Even writers need a break!!

So now I am going to re-evaluate how I approach my business of writing. Because that is what it is. A business. I may only be in the start-up phase, but it will take off one day.

 

Writing What You Know

Are you like me, and always finding the advice ‘write what you know’ rather constricting?

 

Recently I came across something that truly freed me from the confines of that advice. It is still writing what you know, but if you don’t know it, Act It Out! Read more by someone who put it much better than me here. It is somethingĀ  I intend on doing soon, and if you do, please let me know how you got on!

I Am a Writer, Aren’t I??

This is a follow on from this post last week. This time it is a personal essay that I am writing about my identity as a writer. The book states:

Write about your identity as a writer in personal essay format. Address questions such as: When did you start calling yourself a writer? If you don’t yet, what keeps you from it?

This is quite a tough one. What is my identity? Am I actually a writer? I have successfully written a novel length manuscript, but never edited it. I have submitted a couple of short stories, which got rejected. Since taking writing seriously, I have learned that I know absolutely nothing about writing! So if you are here, hoping for some writing advice, move along, because I need some too! And if you find any good sites, please put them in the comments below.

So I shall address the first posed question. I have not really called myself a writer. It is currently my dirty little secret. Few people know of it. Why do I not wholly identify with that title? Probably because I haven’t been paid yet – something I am working very hard to rectify!

 

I am really nailing the daily word counts,Ā  and reaching out for advice and support. Am I writer? Perhaps. Some say I am. Do I feel like a writer? Not yet, as I don’t earn money from it. I will keep going until I do, and I am very fortunate to have some friends and a supportive family. We writers can be very irritable at times!

Meanwhile, I am hunting a mentor. Do you know anyone who would like to mentor? Please get in touch if you (or someone you know) would like to mentor!

And finally, what about you? What is your identity? And why is that?

I Am A Writer

Hello,, I am Ingrid, and I am a writer. I have been a writer for more years than I remember. I don’t see it as a problem.

No, you haven’t walked into a Writers Anonymous session. This is what I am doing.

I can’t really remember how it came about. I was struggling with frustration and guilt at not writing much. After all, I can’t call myself a writer if I don’t write. So, me being me, thinking the answers lie in a book (Ha! Maybe it is Readers Anonymous instead?) I went on my kindle and entered some search terms. I didn’t feel very writerly, wanted to be more writerly, and most importantly wanted to write more.

I came across a book called ‘On Being A Writer’, and it seemed like the book I needed. It promises habits for a writing life that will last. I must admit I have had this book for some time and I am still on number 1. I am finding it easier each time. What is number 1, and what has that got to do with what I am writing here? I hear you ask.

Number 1 is to identify as a writer, and to say I am a writer. And so I do. Or try to, without the preface ‘I am a mum and….’.And my first exercise is to write about identifying as a writer. It says personal essays and such, but I am going to bear all here.

So for the first part:

When I told my fiance I was a writer, he said ‘I know you are.’ I asked him why he knew that, as I don’t really identify with that title. His reply: ‘Because you write.’

So there you have it! Because I write, I am a writer.

What do you identify with? If you want to identify as a writer, give it a go. Tell someone you trust that you are a writer and see what their response is. Hope it is as positive as mine.