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Sunday word count 3

This week’s grand total of writing towards my novels is…

2500 words to be exact!

You what?  I normally write that amount in a day!  True, true, but not this week, this week has been a hard week all round for the family.  So therefore I inevitably got to go to…

THE WALL OF SHAME!

dreaded wall of shame

Says some random booming monstrous voice from goodness knows where!

“Yes and I feel so ashamed”.  Said the author of this blog with a huffy laugh and without any hint of conviction in her words;

I didn’t get anywhere near as good as I did in the first week of doing this, let alone my minimum of 10,000 words as you can clearly see. 

Here are the words spread out throughout the week so you can see how much or how little I wrote on any one day;

4th of August – 784 words, quite bad really.

5th August – 0 words – you what?  Call yourself a writer? But the books over there look so pretty, so inviting!

6th August – 811 words – better, but not great, in fact quite awful actually, but not as awful as Sunday’s count.

7th August – 0 words – what again?  What act procrastination doth thou blame this on?  The shiny books?

8th August – 196 words – Oh you are really going to get writer’s cramp with that amount aren’t you?  Rolls eyes*

9th August – 0 words – can you have zero words?  Evidently you can, there is no words to describe how awful a writing (if you can call it that) day like this is!

10th August – 709 words – Yes, good, but I won’t praise myself too much here because this week was utterly disgusting as far as being a writer goes!

The overview is that this is a shockingly terrible week and whoever thinks they are a writer, writing like this ought to completely revalue if they are really a writer or not?

Well I would say to the over viewer (which is myself, so technically I am speaking – no arguing with myself here) is this; I am a writer, however school holidays make dedication to work difficult when I choose to write in the living room, not shutting myself off from the entire world.  Family is important to me, contrary to what certain cretins might say about that!  Not to mention that this past week I have set myself a challenge to read ten enormous books by the 23rd August, so therefore I am reading much more than I normally do and it has also been a bad week for depression; a very bad week in fact for depression.

I have a lot of worries about people that I love too.  Paul has been having difficulties this week as he has injured his arm, I found out recently that my cousin is in hospital for heart problems and he is the only cousin I can trust to emotionally support me in my time of need, the only person in my family other than my immediate household in which I trust has good and non-judgemental intentions towards me.  Also my aunt has been battling cancer for two years now and as much as people think I don’t batter an eyelid, I try not to dramatise anything about others and pretty much keep my thoughts and feeling to myself regarding their problems.  But I am finding that difficult lately and people really don’t know how much I do care about them, because I never turn their problems into my own personal dramas like most people tend to.  Often this makes me come across as aloof and uncaring, but I actually care very deeply about people who are related to me or within my social circle, more than they know, I am just not very good at showing support or love for them and I am sorry for that.  You see in the past I have been accused of being too loving or caring to the point of weirdness and then not enough and so I feel I can’t ever get the balance right, so recently, I guess I don’t even try anymore.  Sorry.  Also I have learned that someone in my family has made a decision to move far away from supportive relatives and isolate themselves and I know that they don’t socialise outside of the family at all and they are very vulnerable due to their disabilities and they are elderly and this is literally freaking me out, as I think to myself, oh my god, what have you done, you impulsive thing you, don’t you learn?  They’ve placed themselves so far out of reach for a lot of caring relatives, that if they need anyone, it will be incredibly difficult to get to them as most of the caring relatives who would help them don’t have their own transport and are on the poverty line and I have heard from the grapevine that they are not happy with their choice after all and there is nothing they can do now, the move has took a lot out of them.

Along with this, Henry has had some problems too and now we are receiving help from a certain charity, I won’t mention what the charity is and what Henry’s problems are because Paul would rather me keep that to myself, but things aren’t going well for us currently and that in itself is contributing to my depressive return; and with all of this too, I have far too many hospital appointments coming up and too many tests that need doing.

Personally I am struggling a lot with my disabilities to even write or read regularly, hence these stupid goals I am forcing onto myself – I am trying to make my life somewhat productive at least.  I might have a neurological problem other than the suspected MS, we don’t really know yet; the doctors are all on guess work right now.  All I know is I am scared of whatever it is getting worse, because lately reading and writing is becoming affected.  I am getting my words mixed up a lot and I don’t even notice it when I reread it half the time.  It could just be depression, who knows?  But I am scared.

When I get bouts of depression I tend to meditate too much to try and forget what got me there in the first place. 

Last week I watched a lot of YouTube videos, this week I haven’t even done that.  But I really should, I should force myself to watch things like the Motivational Archive when I get like this, it sometimes helps.

Well anyway, thank you for reading – you’ve all been an absolute gem to keep on reading.  I hope you all have a lovely day and have lots of fun and come back again soon.

Good luck with your own writing adventures and why don’t you send me a snippet for me to read?  I don’t read many blogs, I really ought to, and there are some amazing people out there.

Hopefully next week will be a better week?

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Sunday Word Count 2

Sunday word count time!  Drum roll please…

14987

This is what I have accomplished since last Sunday, getting better, much better.

Here is how it has been broken down, day by day, with excuses in tow, even though there are no excuses really for bad days!

28th July – 2437 – good

29th July – 1456 – better than bad

30th July – 3039 – writing like my old self again

31st July – 3100 – Oh yes, I am back in the flow, just like my old self again for sure

1st August – 160 – what the blazes happened here?  4 hours sleep and a migraine, darlings.

2nd August – 4329 – Making up for lost time huh?  No, just an excellent day!

3rd August – 466 – what happened here?  Tired and was distracted by library books!

Notes for the week –

I am writing towards three novels at once because I get twitchy if I am forced to work on the same thing over and over, variety is the spice of life right?  I am going to name them for you as subject and number with main characters name because I don’t really know what the titles should be and I tend to write about the same subject a lot.  So my current projects are…

Vampire story 1 – Rhea

Fantasy adventure 1 – Maud

Horror 1 – Johnny

But in February I had a dream and you know what they say about authors who dream their story plots don’t you?  Well neither do I actually, but the ones who had written stories based on a dream tend to become classics – I doubt mine will, but I was surprised when the dream came to me.  The dream left me until Thursday night, when it came back with more details and then again last night, it doesn’t want to leave me alone, so I have been trying to fight the urge to add a fourth book to the list of working projects, but I am fighting a losing battle, I am going to have to include a fourth book in the works.

This book will be known as werewolf story 1.

I have put a mermaid story on the back bench as I have to fall in love with it again.

I am trying so hard to stick with three ideas, but if you want me to be completely honest with you, it is so hard, because I have too many ideas and sticking to just three is literally torture, so I do sometimes sneak in titbits of other stories.

Maud and Rhea are very nearly finished actually, so around Christmas they shouldn’t be a problem anymore, well Maud should be done in the least.  

Once a first draft is written I do what Stephen King suggests in his book “On Writing”, I put the story away for about three months and then come back to it with fresh eyes, it works wonders because you tend to forget what you’ve done – seriously, you do!  You get to read it as a reader, not the creator and you see more mistakes and weaknesses in your story if you do this.

Maud though is not a first draft, the draft I am working on is the fourth attempt and there will be probably be a fifth as I had noticed quite recently two characters which are following the main character around are adding literally nothing to the plot, so I have to write in more interesting stuff for them or just wipe them out from existence; which would be a shame because I really want those characters to work.

I must admit, all blog posts, poetry included are first drafts, I don’t bother polishing my work here, it is not that I don’t care about my blog, it is that I care more about my novels and stuff I want to send to publishers more.  If I became persnickety about my blog, the other stuff would never be done.

Further word count scores will be posted up every Sunday, I noticed it does motivate me to write as I don’t want to go the wall of shame like I should have last week – I will actually start doing that I think, if I write less than 10,000 words in a week, I will wall of shame myself. 

Could I bare the humiliation of another last week?

Good luck with your own writing!  But more importantly, make sure it is fun, if it is not fun for you it won’t be fun for your readers.

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Sunday word count 1

I will try to remember every Sunday to post up my weekly word count towards novels and short stories I am working on. 

This past week I have added words towards one short story and three novels. This is not including writing down ideas of new stories I have planned, nor is it including research notes, blog posts, poetry or anything else – just novels and short stories.  The word count is not spectacular, but I am working on improving it.

The grand total this week is….

5679 words

Disappointing huh? 

Well here comes the excuses; this is actually a slow week for me because I haven’t done much writing this week at all in comparison to my normal writing week.  Why?

My desktop computer monitor decided to die on me for two days.

I don’t cope well with the heat, prone to heat stroke and breathing problems.

My son is off from school for the next six weeks, so my writing count is usually cut by half on school holidays.

I have been reading and researching more.

I have been learning about make-up application and have been addicted to watching Nabela Noor and Jeffree Star on YouTube, I discovered them last week.  When I gave up being Goth around 15yrs ago I never really learned how to use make up and never wore make up since and I am getting to the point I need coverage, ha-ha.

So there are the excuses, I only watch an hour of YouTube a day this past week, so it’s not stealing that much from me in regards to writing time, considering I rarely watch TV, so TV is rarely a distraction for me – I tend to watch programs whilst writing, programs that doesn’t need me to look at the screen too much such as The Proms, radio channels, or the occasional glimpse at nature documentaries such as David Attenborough or the Spring Watch team.  I lose my hearing too much at random times, so I have learned not to make my life revolve (or is it evolve?) around TV, because I often have to use subtitles and get to hear virtually nothing a lot of the time anyway.  So I have learned to be a reader/writer/researcher, unless my eyes go on me, then I am going to be OK regarding entertainment.

It is because my hearing levels are so random from one day to the next, that I can no longer keep my secretarial and classroom assistant jobs that I used to have.  Hearing loss is a big bother because I can’t do much independently regarding going to a doctor and hearing them, I need someone with me who can interpret via lip syncing to tell me what the doctor has just said, it is even worse when dealing with things on a confidential front such as banking, particularly telephone banking when online banking goes wrong – you have no idea how many companies out there do not accept a speaker on a deaf persons behalf, I am only glad I am not a deaf mute, because then I would seriously have problems.  I often have to try and talk to someone I can’t hear on a phone, hoping my husband or someone else can interpret for me as long as I give them verbal permission over the phone, my goodness, I feel for the mutes.  Especially as three years ago I had a throat infection that lead into the ears that was so bad I had laryngitis for 4 months solid, so I have experienced temporary muteness and I did have a banking problem then, that I couldn’t solve until I could speak, 6 weeks to get a fraudulent act on my online payments sorted out, because I could not voice that I gave my husband permission to handle it over the phone for me!  For 6 weeks my account was blocked because I could not verify that I gave permission, I am only thankful that my account doesn’t pay any major bills.

Well anyway, going back onto my writing I could have written a lot more if it weren’t for the interruptions, I would say as much as 16k more words and I don’t expect my word count to be beyond 10k a week whilst the school holidays are here.  I do most of my writing in the living room on a desktop computer and my son rarely leaves the room and is often loudly shouting about his robots in the robot wars arena he has made on the carpet and his robot wars videos he watched on YouTube overtakes the music I put on to get me into the mood for writing fiction.  It is easier to write poetry and research and make research notes or further synopsis’s of new stories than it is to write towards novels or short stories for competitions during the day.  Most of my writing at the holidays happens between 11pm and 1am, but Henry is suffering from some emotional issues right now which mean that my days can be very challenging and tiring by the time night falls.

When the holidays are over I write sparsely throughout the day because of my ADD and therefore I can often get 3k words done on some days.  Well anyways, the future will show and tell if I can remember about Sundays.  You will see patterns of no writing at all some weeks, because I get health problems which mean I can’t even read a book at times, such as a chest infection with a running nose, where I am busy literally every single second trying to keep myself together and alive without choking.  Sad but true, I have an immunity issue that is much better since having a radical diet change but I still get long illnesses. 

Anyway, I will update my weekly word count towards short stories and novels every Sunday. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

           

 

 

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Prompt result 2

GOBLINS – MOON – FOREST – UNICORN – SWORD

These prompted for me a prominent story idea of which I can’t share here but they also prompted some lesser ideas which I am more comfortable in sharing.

The idea I won’t share will be written after my four current projects which will probably be started around Halloween. Meanwhile I can just keep adding to the idea in snippets every time a new thing comes to mind and keep adding this to its own special folder until I am ready to work it like a jigsaw puzzle and make it into something akin to a largish novel.  There is quite a bit to the plot already but I need to flesh it out in my mind before I start writing it all down from beginning to end.

Here are the ideas I am willing to share which will probably not be worked on, unless of course I could eventually post them as stories here.  Which is something I didn’t think of until now; I could do them as flash fictions.

  1. A goblin runs away from a lynch mob of humans as they believe he had something to do with the disappearance of a little girl in their village. He is so frightened that he runs away into a forest of which he is not familiar with as he is a mountain goblin, he finds a unicorn that befriends him and helps him find his way home again eventually.
  2. In fairyland there is a unicorn moon festival approaching where the annual migration of stampeding unicorns is seen throughout the whole of fairyland and all the fair folk gather for the festivities, however, the goblins are determined to stop the migration of the unicorns because it disturbs them and they endeavour to wreck and ruin the entire event.

Do remember to join in with these prompts and either post them below or link them in the comments below to your own blog page.  Don’t be afraid to experiment with these ideas yourselves, this is my way of trying to help exercise peoples brains to become more creative and to help get them out of their supposed blockages by giving them the tools to learn how to get out of it and do something.

Have fun!

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Daily Prompt 2

Today’s prompts are; Goblins – Moon – Forest – Unicorn – Sword

Remember to run these in two or more words in pinterest, deviantart and so forth to get the flash of ideas, or like me, you’ve already got something going on in your head with those word prompts.

I will update my ideas later, but I won’t ever put up anything I plan to actually work on and these words have already prompted a good story idea for me so far.

Have fun.

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Writers block and brain food

A debate today on twitter has been whether or not “Writers Block” exists or not?  My two cents on the matter is that writers block does not exist, I used to believe it did but then as I grew as a writer I learned that it was purely laziness on my part and the simple fact that I rarely thought outside of The Box.  I was also very nervous about how much of what I wanted to write has been done before and how little my stories represented “Original” ideas. 

The latter is laughable to me nowadays, because every idea in the present and the future has already been done somewhere, nothing is unique, but you need to understand that every human being is unique and therefore will have a unique take on a story already written.  For example, if a hundred writers had to write a story based on Alice in Wonderland every one of them would have a different stance to it.  Some would suggest that Alice was a drug addict hallucinating everything that had happened to her, another writer would believe that she had multiple personality disorder and that every other character who was not Alice was in fact her alter egos.  Another, would write the story as close to the original as possible, but even then there will be differences, some will make it dark humour, some will make it serious, some will throw in too much drama and one might make Alice a man from a rock band who got kidnapped and taken to an alien world and so on and so on. 

Now that has me thinking, wouldn’t that last idea be great?  Aliens kidnapping Alice Cooper, taking him to Wonderland another planet, but you see I can’t do that because of so many copyright laws, but it is a fun idea to play with in my mind or as a fan fic.

I can play with ideas like this all day long in any situation.  The problem for me is that I have too many ideas and I can struggle to decide which one to play with at the time.  I have got to the stage where I have selected five current novels I am working on and having to use random.org to help me choose which one to work on today?  I literally list and number my ideas like a maniac.  I even have a random scene list which is also numbered to help me fill in boring bits of my story or to prevent boring bits from occurring.  If I don’t know what I should do in the next scene, I use random.org and my lists to help me.  Each list is categorised.  It doesn’t sound very artistic, usually artists and writers are disorganised and free thinking, but I do organise my stuff like this a lot.  Granted I lose lists a lot, but I am getting better at keeping them in their place lately.

The idea of writers block is unfathomable to me in recent years.  I have learned if you constantly read and learn and if you make yourself look for art of what you are looking for, poetry etc, you will become inspired and if you do this daily as part of your routine, your mind will eventually throw things out at you.  Don’t ignore “brain farts” as I call them either – things such as…

I was reading a book about ancient Sumerian beliefs and I came across the title chapter called “The creation of man” I misread it as “The Cremation of man”.  This can spark interesting ideas if you don’t ignore it.

You’ve got to constantly stuff things into your brain daily, furiously, eventually your mind can switch into creator mode with little or no effort.  Try it.

Do this… 

Think of silver dragons and go to deviant art, flick through the pictures you first see in their search bar that says “Silver Dragons”, do this for 5 minutes, then go to pinterest and do that there again for around 5 minutes, just flick through pictures quickly, you don’t have to look at anything individually, just literally look them over, notice each different scene and do it at quick speed, you are not there for research, you are not there to steal, you are there to feed your mind and it is a hungry monster than doesn’t stop!  No idea is stupid, no idea is pathetic, if you get an idea whilst flowing like this, write it down because you’d be amazed how quickly these things pass through, it can be like being on a high speed train and you are trying to keep focused on a particular field you’ve just gone past!  Then search silver dragon poetry in google, or silver dragon songs, or silver dragon art in your search engines or snap chat or tumblr or anywhere that is likely to have a search option!

Do this with scenes or creatures or events you want to write about.  Writers block is just an excuse for lazy writers.  Don’t be a lazy writer.  If you don’t love playing with your mind and feeding it like this and you find writing hard work, then you can’t be a writer.  Because writers don’t work, they play and they do this every single day.  Some scenes are hard but the writing is never stressful or hard work because you love it and if you love something, it can’t ever be hard work!  Don’t keep chasing the money either by looking for things that are trending, because trends change exceedingly fast, as soon as you write about what is trending now you are already out of date by 30k words.  Play and write for you and read a lot of books; not just fiction books on the genres you like, read broadly, especially non-fiction because that can help you world build.

 

 

 

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Learning to get around ADD?

I think I have to accept the fact that I have had attention deficit disorder most of my life, but was never diagnosed and still not diagnosed, this is the analysis that a couple of friends of mine have of me as I do seem to be disorganised and easily distracted – look there are butterflies outside my window right now hovering and ducking each other in and out of the lilacs! 

You see, that wasn’t a mock of people who are diagnosed, it is merely an example of exactly who I am and how I think.  Yes sure, I can sit down and write but I really struggle to stay here for more than 15 to 25 minutes at a time; I struggle to do anything longer than 30 minutes.  Watching TV is great if it is a varied show like Gardeners world or sketchy comedy (I think that’s what they are called, where they have mini 5 minute scenes?) I love movies, but I tend to need an intermission every 45 minutes for toilet breaks, getting a drink, or just generally not sitting there doing nothing and for me it doesn’t really matter how riveting the movie or anything else is, I just have this urge to move on for a few minutes and I will get back to that.

When I write I can write 750 words in 15 to 20 minutes, this is not revised and unplanned pantsing style work.  What irritates me is when I start to write a story then go into prose or poetry mode at the same time about the same thing, no I don’t want that to be my thing, but my brain starts to make songs and poetry of my stories a lot, this is usually a sign for me to stop – because I generally start ruining the story by letting it flow like that.  Though I suppose I should just edit those things out after I have done the book?  I don’t want all of my books to be musicals.

So I tend to write in 15 to 25 minute bursts, on days I try to write a set word goal, I need to break this down to 15 to 25 minutes an hour or every two hours until the word goal is completed.  For NaNoWriMo that goal is usually completed in about two hours but spread into three most days because of mental irritation.  This is not three hours of solid writing, please understand that.  I will start writing generally around 9am and by 9:25 I am going for a toilet or drink break and maybe checking social media or a game; then I am writing again around 10:15 till 10:35ish and getting a snack or thinking about checking on the wildlife in the garden.  Then around 11:30 I am writing again and at 11:55 I might start thinking ok, should this be it for the day?  It’s not that I don’t love writing it’s just I tend to overwork and I burn myself out and people usually have to remind me not to overwork!  Because you see there are certain types of animal in this world which have a feast or famine mentality and that is very much like me regarding my writing.

What you saw above was me struggling to write the same story without deviating throughout that whole day and throughout that whole month in NaNoWriMo, so basically it is a normal NaNoWriMo month for me.  A usual day to day writing habit is a little different in that every time I go back to writing it is poetry, writing down intense ideas because I don’t tend to like pantsing everything, then there are diary entries, blog entries which happen rarely to be honest, more ideas flow into my head and I would say around two thousand words a week are honestly going towards just one novel.  Well, I agree with my ADD friends, this can’t go on.  I have to accept the fact I am one of them and learn to cope with it and learn a way in tricking myself into doing more work without so many breaks!

How?

By accepting the fact that the reason why I have so many brainstorms for new ideas is because my brain is easily bored with old ideas, so I need to either learn to write short stories quickly or learn to write several novels at once.  You see, I used to do this before 2010, before writing became difficult – I used to write around seven books at once skipping merrily every half hour from one project to the next, but then I was advised by so many people not to do that as I will be killing my creativity and not putting enough love into just the one I should be working on.  Well, to be honest, I know now, the opposite is true, because since taking on those ideas for a decade now, I barely write and I barely enjoy writing as much as I used to.  In fact I remember last year telling Paul how I think my love for writing has died and that my new love for creating art is becoming more of a thing.  Well, I do with my art what I used to do with my writing; I have/had several art projects on the go at the same time, flitting from picture to picture as the whim took me.  But I realise now, I know me, the people who advised me not to write like that, didn’t know me that well and still don’t. 

So I have decided, as from today, I am going back to the old me.

This worries Paul slightly because I get tired when I try to write more than two thousand words a day lately and back in the old days of my writing I used to throw out double that and sometimes even the occasional 10k a day spout.  But I think I won’t wear myself out if I go back to my old style of writing, flitting from one idea to the other because I am not easily confused with my stories.  I know categorically my ghost story to my vampire story, my mermaid story to my pirate story, my other vampire story to my werewolf story and my deity story to my leprechaun story.  Yes I write many stories at once with the vampire theme, but I know my vampires so intimately I don’t confuse plots, it is difficult because they are so different, the characters are so different.  I know the difference, even if my friends and advisers think I am toying too much with my own mind, the thing is that it builds up slowly for me and so I get to know them intimately like real people or books that already exist if you understand me?

It is like knowing a Fred and an Alice in real life, I know that Fred won’t like Alice because he doesn’t like eco warrior vegans and Alice won’t like Fred because Alice hates people who hunt for sport and wafts bacon in front of her nose.  Fred might be a big business man living in a rural setting at the weekend and lives a party life as a bachelor, whilst Alice is constantly researching climate change and the latest protests, living in suburban Greater London and seeking new vegan recipe ideas; it is as simple as that for me.

Now this isn’t bad, I have written this in forty minutes without vacating the area, but now I really have to stop.  So bearing this in mind, starting my new/old way of writing again, I could be producing more stuff quickly again, which would be amazing!

No more forcing through the same novel day in and day out, I have to do what my brain needs me to do.

P.S throughout all of this writing today, I had also had two conversations with Paul and four conversations with my rabbit.

 

 

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Writers and non-writers

A lot of non-writing people think that when you say you are a writer you have had books published and you are successful and have a lot of money or you are a social recluse.

They imagine that I sit for three hours a day or more just tapping away from beginning to end the same novel day in and day out until it is finished and then post it to the nearest publisher and within a week or two I get a phone call about how great the novel is and how I should expect to join some top celebrity at some award ceremony somewhere and become a millionaire within a year. 

But this couldn’t be further from the truth unfortunately.

For me, writing is mostly planning, writing short snippets that doesn’t go anywhere and redoing work I have already done.  I don’t follow a set pattern to my work as my brain (as well as most other writers I know) doesn’t have an organised brain like that.  Also quite a lot of my time as a writer is spent imagining things freely without writing, because the thoughts sometimes come too fast that I simply cannot type or write fast enough!

I will think about my vampires one minute and do a paragraph there, then I am onto the mermaid story and do a few lines there, then my brain will give me an altogether different idea and I have to write three or four pages of the proposed plot down immediately before I forget it, then I have to edit the three chapters I finished last week as I felt in the mood for it.  That is the life of a writer – me!

A majority of my work will never see the light of day because I worry about its content.  Is it too violent?  Are the sexual scenes too graphic?  Is this touching a socially taboo area?  But I don’t stop writing them because it is a part of who I am, but it does mean that the public will never get the full and raw me and I don’t think that society ever does get that from any author anyway.

People who don’t write don’t understand that there is much more to writing than that and for a lot of people who do write, it is never about the money and it is never about the fame.  Take me for example; what spurs me on to write?  Originally what spurred me onto writing was the fact I enjoyed it too much not to do it – the second reason was that I hoped my stories would become movies.  I really do still hope for the latter.  But it is not a realistic dream yet.

I don’t intend to be a scriptwriter, which makes it all the more difficult.  I don’t like the idea of my privacy being invaded when I am out shopping as I can often suffer from anxieties in new places and having a famous face someday will just add to the stress for me.  But despite this, I love people and making them happy.  I wouldn’t be human if I said, I don’t want the money – but being rich from writing is also not realistic.

Which begs a question as to why I do it then?

I do it for the love of writing and the love of play.  I am a very playful and imaginative person who constantly lives in hope that there is always something better than this.  I believe if you don’t like to play and you find writing hard work and you want the money and the fame and you don’t believe there is something better than this then you are wasting your time.

I love entertaining people, I love being a hostess, I love sharing ideas with people, I am very much a people person by my very nature.  I have often thought about becoming a life coach or a creativity coach as a lot of people who know me describe me as a very motivating bubbly and uplifting person.  I don’t see why though.  Because to me I am a very pragmatic and often sharp person with people, particularly those I find who are ignorant and arrogant or both. 

Despite dreading fame for the having my face noticed in public and despite the fact that becoming famous through writing is probably a pipe dream, I do still fantasize about how happy I would be seeing how happy and excited strangers will be whenever they see me around.  But it scares me witless too, what lengths would some people go to in order to be near me?  It terrifies me.  But I am more than happy to be polite and friendly to any who come near and by me, entertain them as much as I can but I would just want to get on with my life, do the shopping, and spend time with my family out and about without such concerns.  I suppose I get the fear of the behaviour of fans from my mother, because my mother is the sort of fan who screams and charges at celebrities whenever she sees them – I couldn’t cope with that as I am a naturally jumpy person.

So instead of worrying about the good and the bad, I have decided to just let life happen to me.  If the universe thinks I should have that kind of life, let it happen and hope it’s all good.  Maybe I will somehow be protected from all that fuss – who knows?  All I want to do is write, entertain and have my brain poured out onto the TV screen eventually as good movies.  That’s all I really want.  If I was rich enough I would probably produce movies instead of books, not that it would be any faster quite the contrary, but the notion of working with a large team of people playing with the same dream would be absolutely fantastic.

Besides, with the people I am related to, doing this is in my blood by all accounts and I should fine fitting in with playful, imaginative people in that setting like a glove.  Let’s hope gran was right. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Reading and writing past and present

I have always wanted to be a writer since I was ten years old when Mr Alistair a therapist/teacher told me that I had a gory imagination and extraordinary talent; back then my specialism was horror and it has only been in the past seventeen years that my writing has moved onto fantasy, comedy and poetry.  I started writing stories about alien invasions, vampires and alarmist ideas about climate change, El Niño and the end of the world.   I have for most of my life been a dedicated environmentalist, but since I talked so much in a spiritual forum about my concerns I lost confidence to continue writing this journalistically (is that a word? if not why not?), because I was accused of being a doom-sayer and me being a very uplifting positive person this accusation hurt me enough to stop me.

My first ever short story of any real length was based on Persephone in the underworld that I wrote when I was eleven.  I imagined how life must have felt like living in the underworld and even when I was that young I had a good clear understanding that not everyone is 100% evil or good, so I wrote about Hades in a positive form and it was very much influenced by my passion for Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.  This is a theme that has followed me through my writing life; if there is a misunderstanding in something, I am always willing to show another side to it – determined to prove to everyone that nothing is just black or white; it is a multitude of colours.  I can do this to the most indigestible of subjects too, according to a few people who have seen my handwritten work – thus I am sometimes known as an excellent mediator and diplomat, as long as the subject doesn’t get me too personally hot under the collar. 

One friend recently told me that they see me as society’s apologist, whatever that means.  I looked it up and I am not really that religious enough to be considered an apologist, though I suppose if you were to watch me answering questions whilst I am watching many quiz shows on religion, you’d say I seem to know an awful lot about religion for someone who isn’t interested in being religious.  You see I think this is where people misunderstand me – it is not that I am not religious, I am more humanist because I think that religion by and by causes division and I am all for world unity.  However I am a deeply spiritual person who literally believes in anything until it is absolutely solidly proven not to exist – hence why I leave milk and honey next to the stove at night for the house spirit (Nisse/elf) and ask permission to the tree itself before I prune it and honestly believe in various ancient customs and ideas – though I am still soul searching, but I will make this abundantly clear now, this is not an invitation to be converted to anything.  My ancestry history is so mixed, whenever I feel I should dedicate myself one way or another, I feel like I am upsetting some ancestor on the other side, so I don’t bother myself with dedication of that sort.

Anyway, this post was going to be about how I started writing and what I started with and where I have ended up.  I have written a lot of comedy and comic themes recently that I have noticed I have more and more of the fantasy and sci-fi comedy genre, if that is a genre.  I told Paul the other day that I feel like I am being possessed by the spirits of the deceased members of the Monty Python gang and Terry Pratchett, I try and write serious high fantasy and I can’t help putting in some silliness into it and I am seeing corny puns in everything!  The more I fight it, the funnier I get.

Unfortunately the comedy themes are rarely if ever posted on here, because I have made this mostly into a life update and poetry blog, rather than the intended fantasy blog, because I worry that my worst writing might be my best and my best my worse in the eyes of the world.  So I never really know which short stories and snippets to risk posting here.

I have decided to make this blog more of a writing diary, but again I have fears that I might reveal too much of my plans.  Fear is a major factor for me not posting much lately.

I have a handwritten diary I update about once a week on average because I keep forgetting to add to it – this diary is purely about my writing, my plans and any strange themes I have noticed that day or week.  For example, I have noticed I get a story idea in my head, then a book falls off the shelf in the library of a similar theme I was thinking about – weird coincidences like this happen a lot to me.  Then whilst television flicking, subjects of things I have been thinking about or themes of the day seem to be found everywhere, even on my sons chocolate wrappers as adverts at times!

I was thinking about sharing these day to day themes and the weird occurrences they have been discovered as part of my day to day blogging, as these things often develop into story ideas for me as I sit back and wonder what the universe wants me to do with these supposed signs?  What story is she prodding me towards and I believe this is why I have more ideas than actual work – I am never without a new idea, the problem for me is writing them down fast enough and concentrating on less than three at a time.  This is extra difficult for me because I am an attention deficit sufferer, I get bored doing the same thing or thinking about the same thing for longer than twenty minute bursts – hence why my current reading list on Goodreads usually has around twelve current books on the go!  It doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy a book, it just means I really can’t concentrate for more than twenty minutes.

Thinking about my reading list on Goodreads has actually just reminded me to make a point here on a matter a friend recently said to me the other day – she noticed that I have all these books on Goodreads I am currently reading but I only manage to read between ten and forty pages a day of maybe two or three books and she said that as far as she understands I am always reading but the Goodreads activities doesn’t prove it.  I said it is simple really when you consider that Goodreads is not designed to update magazines and newspapers and out of print books that are not listed on their site at all as well as local pamphlets and guides, game back stories, research websites, other people’s blogs and so forth. 

Here is a list of my magazine subscriptions and I do mean, I read them every time they are published either weekly or monthly;

Writing Magazine

Garden News

Sci-Fi Now

Gardeners World

Tesco

Yours

Pets @ home

Total TV Guide

Amateur Garden

Kitchen Garden

Lego club magazine

WWF membership news and stuff

Bibliophile

BBC History

New Scientist

Focus

Classic Rock

When I pick up a new magazine, that is the only thing I can read from beginning to end and it takes me around an hour to two hours – the reason why I can do that with a magazine rather than a novel is simple, the subject changes every few minutes.

Honestly, I am addicted to reading, I am addicted to downloading new information into my mind on a constant basis and I am a person who doesn’t enjoy sleep – I see it as a waste of time, but being ill, I have to sleep more than most and it literally drives me crazy!  All I want to do is think learn and do.

So there you have it!

Hello, I am Tina Cousins and I am a reading and writing addict and I don’t intend to cure myself of it, goodbye.

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Writer losing her mojo

We all have heard the saying that “writers write as simple as that” and it is really is as simple as that, but most don’t actually do it as regularly as they should or at least believe they should.  For me, I do not write as much as I believe I should because in the last few years I have lost my mojo, I forgot what it meant for me to write and I have done a lot of soul searching in the past year to find out where the passion has gone.

I did something rare for me – I re-read a book, usually I don’t re-read books unless I put them into a reference category but this particular book I re-read and saw it with fresh eyes and read things I didn’t remember were in the book in the first place.  The name of the book was “Big Magic” written by Elizabeth Gilbert.  When I read this book I asked myself a question; “Why do I think I have lost my love for writing”?  It was a simple answer really upon reflection and I would never have gotten this answer if it wasn’t for this book.  My writing became too focused on financial panic, the urge to write as much as I can so I can earn a living because I needed to break out of debts, but instead, this kind of pressure halted everything about my creative mind and I found I couldn’t do anything other than dramatic self-pitying poetry on mass, the stories and the playtime died, literally.

For the word, nothing has been published except for the things that are published on this blog simply because I didn’t want to approach a publisher with such depressing poetical themes, because I still hold to the idea that I am primarily a fantasy and horror story writer, not a poet!  I am also an essayist I suppose, because I like writing and hoarding information I have learned about my favourite subjects, but I am not sure how to become a paid essay writer and I am not really going to approach that as a career until I learn more about it. 

Anyway – getting back to the main subject of this post.  I forgot how to play – yes, even in real life, I have forgotten how to play and to laugh because of my severe depression, breakdown and financial worries.  I became so down in the dumps about my life that I had two years of being carefully guarded by Paul my fiancé because I couldn’t be left alone for fear I’d commit suicide, seriously.  One point it got so bad, Paul had to go out somewhere without me and he needed to ask a neighbour to sit in with me.  To say I am over that now, would be wrong, the slightest thing brings it back, but I am not as bad as I used to be, the self-harming has stopped a little bit and I am more predictable these days; but ultimately, the depression is still there and I am trying hard to find out how to play again, how to feel happy again and how to enjoy life.  I don’t enjoy anything anymore and it is getting increasingly difficult since the doctor is now looking into what they believe to be a very serious neurological problem, either MS or motor neurone disease, but like always there is a long waiting list here in the UK and I won’t really know what’s going on with me for several months apparently.

So, how does one go about trying to find out how to be happy again and learn to play again?  It turns out according to the book “Big Magic” and a couple of other books I have read recently that it is something most adults get out of practise of, that once you start trying to become playful and do things which are generally playful (even if you don’t feel happy doing it or feel that it is playful) you will eventually trick your mind to becoming playful and you will build up a type of momentum.  Once the momentum is built up, you will start to feel a change – well I hope so.

I thought hard about how I write stories now in comparison to how I wrote them ten years ago, was there any notable differences in how I produced work back then than now?

Yes there was a huge fundamental difference in fact. 

A decade ago I wasn’t afraid to be thought of as eccentric or insane, I would play with my imagination and I would share my thoughts and ideas no matter how obscure and strange they were with people around me and then I would write about those ideas.  I used to have a lot more creative friends too, but many of them have creative careers which have made them too busy to socialise even online, some have died, some have decided that they too have lost their playful side and have become super conservative people.

I have also found that my social circle is smaller these days which is amazing because I used to think my social circle couldn’t get any smaller ten years ago, the people who I do talk to these days are very serious people who have a worried look on their faces whenever anybody talks about anything out of the ordinary, even if you were to explain that you are an artist and a writer so it’s not a mental health problem, it’s just my mind playing with ideas and therefore there is a story in this.  You’d be surprise how people like that can dry up your will to be imaginative or to share your ideas.

Some people who have very little imagination tell me that they wished they had more of an imagination and they start to tinker with my story ideas themselves (which I don’t mind) but then they start demanding that they must change my concept on my fantasy worlds because things are just not plausible and that readers are real people who live in the real world and they want something believable, so they start pulling at the threads of my fantasy infrastructure and start literally pulling my fantasy communities apart by the seams.  It turns out that even my perfect all powerful fantasy God is not infallible, that he has other beings that will cause problems he can’t deal with and that even this God ponders who created him and so forth.  I told the person, you are going too deep here buddy, I don’t want to go that way in my story, but they insist that I must.

I became a fantasy writer because I find the real world too boring and predictable for me to want to think about and write, the idea of making a fantasy based novel plausible, to me, is laughable, because fantasy is supposed to be anything BUT normal. 

To cut myself off from such people will almost completely isolate me again, which I don’t want.  But can I really sit through another conversation where my worlds are being shattered write before my eyes?  I often feel like screaming at the top of my voice “Of course this fantasy God has a creator you dumbass, it is me, I am their goddess, I made them, but I am not egotistical enough to put myself in the book as the all-power”, does any other writer go through this?  Or is this situation totally unique to me?

So I am currently on a journey to find “My tribe” as Elizabeth Gilbert puts it and to find my playful imaginative self again and to have the confidence and focus of not listening to those who are dismantling my worlds and to continue with what I had always planned instead.  Which is a shame because these people used to feed me ideas, used to support me, but these days it is just soul destroying.  I have to ignore the world destroyers.

I wanted to join a writers group, but not sure what is involved with those and I am scared to find more people who are like that, once they’ve heard my stories.  I am trying to forget the people who are making me focus on writing purely for financial reasons and try to focus once again on writing for me, for fun, for release and for pleasure; the way it should be for all writers.

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