Carrots and CVs

It’s gone pretty well so far and I’m a good third of my way through Alice, but I know myself well enough to know I need to keep on creating whips for my writer’s arse as well as carrots. Carrots for my arse? OK, that metaphor immediately fell flat at best and got disgusting at worst. Carrots, as it happens, is something I need to go and get as I forgot to buy some yesterday – making soup this evening and need them. B and I need to widen our kitchen repertoire as we always seem to eat the same pasta dishes week in and week out, so I’m going to attempt being a wholesome, domestic goddess this evening.

But back to whips, they’re more fun.

So I’ve hooked up with another writer and we’re going to set up a Facebook group. We still need to figure out the finer details, but in essence I guess it’s meant to be a small, closed group for writers who are looking for support, advice and feedback whilst writing their novels. Not sure it should be too big and we agreed it’ll be by invitation. My personal target is to have the whole thing written by the end of November, which is totally do-able as long as I stick to it, and to stick to it I need a bit of whipping. I’m torn on making public announcements – on the one hand I recognise how that in itself creates a HUGE whip, because if others know your goals you sort of have to stick to them. But it also creates panic, pressure and anxiety, and I’m more often put off by it. But a supportive little Facebook group where members are doing the same thing I reckon will be great.

Sort of a built-in little bunch of editors too, even though it’s terrifying to share your work. Sod it. I’ll have to share it a lot more when it’s an actual book, so I may as well get used to it, and with sharing comes feedback both good and bad. Just need to bounce a few names for the group now. My initial thinking was to make it November-related, but that might not work for anyone but lil’ ol’ me, so it probably needs to be something else, allowing writers to set their own targets. Having said that, I quite like the sound of ‘November Girls’. Actually, that sounds like a pin-up calendar.

Got quite a lot done yesterday, but today has been slow and quite a lot of time spent staring at a blank screen. I know how to defeat writer’s block these days, but this isn’t that – it just seems like some days I just don’t have anything to say, and when I try to force myself the words feel as desperate and flat as they are. It’s strange, it’s either there or it isn’t. What I do know is to take full advantage of the inspiration when it happens, which does mean that I’m going to sit and write even if it’s not during the day and B and Monkey ending up feeling a little neglected as a result. An hour here and there won’t hurt and the Xbox is more interesting than I am anyway.

When I think about it, my on-off inspiration makes little sense – I have planned and sketched all of Alice out in quite a lot of detail, so in theory it should be fairly easy to just take a part and churn it out, but in reality the words I produce when I don’t feel inspired are lacklustre.

Because translation and proofreading bores me stupid, I’m going to see if I can find a little cafe gig or something. Might seem a little odd for someone with a solid CV and qualifications, but I spent many years in jobs and in a career I wasn’t passionate about and only chose because it meant a good salary when I was on my own and had a young son to support. Now, with there being two adults in the household, I can actually go and do something I would enjoy, and as strange as it might sound, I’d love to be serving coffees or perhaps work in a little quirky gift shop or similar. I’ve never cared for status or what other people might think, but I know there’ll be questions and raised eyebrows.

That’s what I will use this afternoon for – a thorough search for part time jobs that aren’t translation or proofreading related. I need to get out! I need human interaction. It doesn’t matter how much writing I get done, I do often feel like I’m just sitting on my arse – pursuing dreams when I’ve spent all my life working my arse off is an adjustment. I know it’ll pay off though, it’s looking very promising already and I can’t wait to see Alice in print. Patience, patience…..

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