I’m just going to throw this out there…

Writing a novel is damn hard!!

Before I started on my first manuscript I didn’t fully appreciate what a mammoth task I was about to undertake.

I’ve hit so many walls and writing slumps that I’ve lost count. I’ve prioritised and re-prioritised my life several times over, and I’m still trucking along with my first draft.

I keep finding myself sitting down and writing every spare second I’ve got for about a week at a time, then realise I’m living in a pigsty and have to tone it back to do some housework.

This being said, I’m going to address the elephant in the room here…

My blog.

My poor, neglected little blog.

6 months ago Books, Ramblings and Life was averaging one new post a week.

One. New. Post. A. Week!!

I can’t even bring myself to look at the date on my last post!!

So I’d like to publicly apologise for my neglectful behaviour to my blog, and to any of my sincere followers who have been missing me.

The truth is, in my hectic life and my obsession with getting words down on my work in progress I simply haven’t had any other spare time.

Clearly this is something I’ve got to work on.

I know that presence on line as an author is just as important as actually writing your books, and there’s a ton of short courses on creating your author profile etc. So I’m sure I’ll get the hang of it eventually. Speaking of which, if anyone has a tidbit of advice to share on that feel free to leave me a comment.

Anyway, for now that’s all I have to say on the matter of my poor writing habits.

For anyone interested I have approximately 30,000 words to go, and I can’t speak highly enough of the AWC and what I learnt from completing their 6 month write your novel course.

I know I haven’t finished yet, but I have 50,000 words that actually contribute to my plot.

I couldn’t have that achievement to brag about without their feedback, and their amazing online tutors.

Bye for now, but not for long.

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My Writing Tip For The Week

Schedule Time To Write

Obviously I haven’t been! We’ve had such a busy couple of weeks that I’ve barely had time to turn on my laptop. Writing, working and parenting is proving difficult to juggle.

So I’ve realised that scheduling an actual time slot to write is the most productive way for me. Most of the time my story is bubbling away at the back of my mind, so by the time I sit down to write I already know what has to happen.

It doesn’t have to be the same time every day, every week (although some people can make that work) I think being honest with yourself, and being disciplined with your writing time is really what counts.

Take it from me, because I’m learning the hard way, haha.

Did someone say free coffee???

So anyone who knows me well, knows that the way to my heart is by providing me with coffee. In fact, when any of my work colleagues present me with a mocha I have been known to say “Did you just sprout angel wings or is the smell of that coffee making me delusional?” or something else corny and completely weird like that.

So as you can imagine, my heart was filled with all sorts of joy when my local barista informed me that my coffee was on the house!

What!? On the house!?

Yep. One free large mocha for me!! No I didn’t have a freebie on my loyalty card, and I was certainly not mistaken! Yet I found myself standing there with a free coffee in hand! Are you wondering how?

What had happened was a lovely gesture by a total stranger. A woman had visited earlier and handing the barista a $50 note told him that she insisted that she pay for the next $50 worth of coffees.

Some wonderful woman out there spent $50 worth of coffee on complete strangers! She doesn’t just have angel wings, she’s got a halo too.

When the shock of free coffee settled, I smiled and felt all fuzzy inside (perhaps the warm liquid chocolate helped with that) but mostly, I was just amazed. Amazed that there are still such thoughtful people in our society. She absolutely made my day, and it’s a comforting thought to know that there are people out there as kind and as thoughtful as this stranger I’ll never meet.

Maybe we can all learn from her actions?

If you don’t have $50 to spare, perhaps there’s another way that we can all help each other and make our days brighter. Have a think about it, I will be.

Positivity makes the world go round after all.

My Writing Tip for the Week

I have to remind myself of this every time that I open my laptop.

I become such a perfectionist while I’m writing, and as I sit obsessing over the perfect word, all I end up with is imperfect sentences. It makes me lose pace, forget where my characters are going and what’s driving them. Most importantly, it stops me from moving forward.

Tell me what you’d rather; 20,000 perfectly polished over edited words, or 40,000 words consisting of basic sentences and blunt plot points?

I’d take the 40,000 any day.

So write badly, and keep writing badly until everything is on the page. You can fix it all later.

My Writing Tip for the Week

Adjectives are evil, and I never realised how many of these little suckers had snuck in to my work.

So this week when someone said this to me, I decided I had to share it for my weekly writing post.

Less is more.

I’m Writing a Novel

So I’ve been rather MIA with the blogging world lately, and I feel incredibly guilty. The truth is I’ve been sharing my writing need with something else. A rather big project for someone who always feels time poor like myself.

I’ve been working on a novel.

Now I know I’ve referred to a mystery manuscript in an earlier procrastination post of mine, so to be honest I have actually been tackling the first draft on and off for the last year.

However I’m typing this post to make it more official now that I’m working at it more seriously. I read somewhere that the first step to writing a novel is to actually tell people you’re doing it, so here I am, telling the world!

I don’t know how far it’s going to go, or even if it will be read start to finish by a publisher but that uncertainty combined with determination is what the writing journey is all about.

So while all of this is rather exciting for me I don’t want to neglect my blog so I’ve decided to commit to a post a week until my first draft is finished. One post for one writing lesson learnt.

Maybe these lessons can even be applied to blogging? I mean, writing is writing after all and it would be great if you could all take something away from my new weekly posts as well.

So if you’re interested stay posted, this happy little writer has some work to do!

What I learnt from holidaying with a teething baby

I know I’ve been a little MIA with my blogging since finishing up my Top Three Thursday posts. Truth is, I’ve got significantly less time lately due to signing up for a six month writing course – more on that later.

We also had our first family getaway. It was only two nights on the coast at Batemans Bay but that’s all we needed.

This post is all about said trip, so if your interested keep reading.

As we arrived in Batemans Bay the sun was high in the sky trying its best to fend off a nippy breeze. We arrived a little later than planned, but I didn’t mind because Eleanor got a longer sleep while we travelled than I expected.

When we arrived at our home for the next two nights I breathed a content sigh at the sight from our front door. The front verandah over looked the inlet and the river front main street of Batemans. The sun glistening over the water surface was just as pretty as the view across the water at night when all of the lights from the river front businesses reflected like fairy lights over the water. It was beautiful watching Eleanor point at them before bedtime, all of those little gestures never fail to make my heart melt.

Our first time travelling with Eleanor was fun, and tiring at the same time. It’s definitely different holidaying with a one year old rather than just the two of us! That being said, it was so much fun!

We visited Mogo zoo, where Eleanor and I fed a giraffe then daddy helped us feed some deer. We even ordered Eleanor some food off the kids menu, which was a sobering but very proud moment.

Our baby girl isn’t really a baby anymore!!

The only real struggle we had with Eleanor was getting her to sleep. The change in routine and the teething was to thank for that. The first night was tough, she just wouldn’t settle and screamed every time I tried to nurse her or put her down so I caved and let her sleep in with us. The second night was a little easier and we managed to get her to sleep for a few hours in the portable cot, but she was still a little bit unsettled. It’s safe to say that two nights away was enough for her.

During the trip home I had some time to reflect on how we coped with a teething baby on holiday, and decided to share on my blog what I learnt.

1. Don’t go anywhere without bonjela but be careful to wait at least 3-4 hours between applications or your child will turn in to a drooling mess! Not only that, it’s really not recommended.

2. Make sure to pack kids panadol and add a little bit to the bed time bottle if bubs is remotely unsettled before bed.

3. Having plenty of snack food handy is a must because when teething sometimes it’s best to offer less food but more often. It seems to be less painful for them.

4. Take your own cot bedding and pack comfort toys. It reminds babies and toddlers of home. It kind of worked for us!

5. Be prepared to have to change your routine. If something that normally works suddenly doesn’t don’t be afraid to try something else.

6. Stay somewhere with a fridge so that you can store some teethers in there. If you forget teethers wet a face washer and store it in the fridge in a ziplock bag.

7. Lastly, make sure everyone enjoys themselves!

I’m going to leave these here for future reference and hopefully these little tips can help anyone else reading this post too.

For anyone interested, we have a much happier little girl now after cutting her third tooth in two weeks!

Hopefully that’s it for a while now.

Here’s some photos of our trip.