Writing challenges… pffft.

If realised that I don’t have writing challenges. No. I have time challenges, and in addition to that, exhaustion challenges just to spice things up.

I have read that it’s easy to make five or ten minutes to write. Well I’m sorry/not sorry but five or ten minutes of writing per day is just not good enough. It doesn’t do it for me. Doesn’t scratch that particular itch you get when you’re fanging (stop auto-correcting me dammit!), as I was saying FANGING to sit and just WRITE.

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So I’ve popped in here to say pfffft to the writing challenge of writing any old hoohaa to get words on the page. Because it’s not enough.

Want an analogy? Try this on for size then… five or ten minutes of writing is like opening a box of your favourite chocolates, having that divine aroma waft up and smack you in the back of the nostrils only to discover that, horror of horrors, the box is empty.

Okay, that’s enough whinging from me for one day.

Oh, in an aside, I got over 5k words typed the other day in two and a half hours. I know right? Blew me away too. This girl was on FIRE BABY, and there was much happy dancin’ to be had.

Later my lovelies. *muah*

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Electronic Etiquette and Seasons.

Just as you know that there are only so many seasons in a year, there are also only so many summers in your lifetime. How many summers do you think you’ll get to enjoy in one lifetime? I’m fifty-six now, which means I’ve only seen fifty-six summers. Only thirty-six of those were as an adult. So, when you put that into context with your phone/text/email/internet life, what’s more important too you? Enjoying your summer? Or spending all of it on the phone?

The rules around etiquette are changing. As a society, we all need to be careful about what’s acceptable and what is not.

Back in the day before mobile phones, there was usually only one phone in the home. It was fixed to a wall or sat on top of a telephone table. The telephone table generally held the local phone book, yellow pages, notepad and pens and pencils. There were even instances of homes that didn’t have a phone at all. At one point, there were also no answering machines. So if someone rang, you were completely oblivious to the fact, until you met up with that person, or a letter arrived informing you.

Public phone booths dotted the landscape and were a common piece of hardware in every shopping centre. These were for making calls though, not accepting them.

There were no mobile phones, just as there were no text messages, emails or internet.

In those days, one would plan in advance where to meet up with friends or family prior to the day.

If you rang someone’s home, and they weren’t there, the phone would just ring out. You also didn’t know they had called, therefore you couldn’t call them back.

No one had a mental failure at the fact that you didn’t return their call. People today tend to forget this.

What our current society needs to understand is that just because you have a phone, you do not have to answer it. I know – shocking piece of information right there.

If the person ringing wants to chat – that’s nice, but what if you don’t want too? Likewise, if you call someone, and they don’t want to chat right there and then, respect their wish. Leave a message if you must, but unless someone is dying, or bleeding to death and they have to be involved, leave them the hell alone. You can tell them later, surely?

We need to remember, we are not slaves to our phones. We are also not slaves to the person that is calling.

If it’s important they will call you back, or even leave a message if you have that switched on. The caller also has a choice to send you a text message or an email these days if they so desire.

Which brings me to emails. Emails are just electronic mail. That’s all it is. If someone had written you a letter, then posted it, and it was then delivered to your postal address – how long would it be before you opened and read it. How long would it also take to reply – if replying was something that you felt you needed to do?

The point I’m trying to make here is the same point I’m trying to make with your phone calls.

Put your phone on silent more often. Don’t be available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. It’s not a requirement for life. With your head down, you’re missing out on so much around you. Choose your time wisely.

In an aside, I have a friend who, on her birthday just does not answer her phone. She takes a day off from everything and has what she calls, ‘me time’. She lives far away from her family and friends and we all know that she does this on her birthday. Yet we all still call her.

I’m aware of some people being a little shocked by this. “But it’s her birthday and I want to wish her well.”

Yeah? And? The salient point here, is you’re right – it is her birthday, and she has decided that for that one day of the year she’s going to do what she wants. It doesn’t mean that she loves anyone any less or any more.

Do I still ring her? Of course I do. I ring both her home phone and her mobile… just in case she wants to chat. Yet I’m completely okay with her not picking up. I respect that these are her wishes. I also know that she will see that she has a missed call on her phone, and know that I rang.

Choose your seasons and spend them well.

Writing – Day Seven

person typing on typewriter

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RE: Publishing.

Like every Indie before me, I’ve done some major learning, and here’s something that I wish to share with you all.

I was in a panic about publishing. The how, and what’s involved. I had notes that I’d made and advice that I’d collected along the way, but when you know that there will be deadlines involved in your release, well the pressure really begins to build. It’s something that I did to myself – I don’t know if you’ve done it, but I certainly did.

Now this lead me to thinking, how am I ever going to manage this? How am I ever going to manage to publish a book?

That last sentence, really resonated in my head.

I got to thinking – how was I going overcome this. I knew, for me to continue writing, it was something that I was going to eventually have to confront and overcome.

So, I wrote a short story, bought a very cheap off the shelf eBook cover, created another pen name – one that I’m not building a brand around, and loaded it up to Amazon – then pressed PUBLISH.

What I learnt; that it wasn’t that difficult to do. That there was information that I knew about theoretically, but putting it into practise was a different thing entirely. Now I’d kind of guessed that this would occur. But the interesting thing in all of this, was that they were merely small speed humps that I was able to deal with and overcome. Sure, they slowed me down somewhat, but I learned how to overcome them. It wasn’t hard or as difficult as I thought it would be.

I also made step by step notes for when I do publish my brand.

I think the biggest thing that I learned from the whole endeavour was that I could do this thing. That its as hard as you make it, or as easy if you let it be.

That I could do it on a shoestring for the nonce, and pretty everything up down the track, if that’s something that I wanted to do.

The biggest thing that came out of this though was that the exercise took the pressure off.

In the back of my head I’d built up so much pressure on myself without realising I’d done so, that I was beginning to doubt if I was actually capable of it.

The thing I want you to take away from this is, if I can do it, anyone can do it.

Writing – Day Six

Today isn’t a day that I get to write as a rule. Saturdays are sometimes chaotic, today a case in point.

Sprinting around the house this morning trying to pull some order out of the chaos, and then in the car and off to work. Throw in some cats prior to leaving and you can imagine the chaos in my home. Kitty litter cleaning, feeding, watering not to mention door person extraordinaire – open the door, close the door, rinse and repeat.

Today though, isn’t just any Saturday. We have an event called the Avon Descent. This is an annual weekend event that fills my little town to bursting, and today is that day. So you could say, that the chaos just continued when I left home.

The town is full of cars. There are people walking down the middle of the road wearing hi-vis gear directing traffic and letting people know where there is parking available, and where each of the different events that are on can be located.

For you see we like to do things big here in Toodyay. So we’re also hosting the International Food Festival at the same time.

Why not? I mean people out in the rain and wind like to eat too.

There are cars towing boats, and trucks topped with kayaks – or towing boat trailers and topped with kayak fittings as most of the boats and kayaks are on the Avon River dealing with a fast flowing white and brown water. I say brown, because I’m pretty sure that judging by the colour of the water this year, half the hills have washed into that water. It’s a muddy orange brown – damn, now I want a chocolate orange. *sigh*

I did manage to fill a lunch break in with Chris Fox’ latest YouTube release, How to Make Character Names That Don’t Suck*, which I found very enlightening. I’m always learning from him. I also decided to replay his video The Creative Gap* and I’m so glad that I did.

I have an on again, off again struggle with my writing. It’s not so much that I get that insidious thing called writers block. No, it’s my ability, or lack thereof in my writing. Let me put it to you thus; I look at authors like David & Leigh Eddings, or Mark Dawson, Chris Fox et cetera – and basically think, woe is me, all hope is lost, I will never get a reader, let alone a single review, why oh why am I bothering – then the wailing and back swatching ensues.

Okay, so that last bit was a tad exaggerated. You do get the picture though. I have little, or no belief in my own abilities, and because of this, I also believe that if I don’t believe in my own writing, then why would anyone else, therefore why should I waste my time and everyone else’s.

Let’s face it, there are sooo many books out there, and no chance of reading them all in one lifetime, so why am I bothering.

Then, like I said, I watched Mr Foxs’ The Creative Gap, and he mentioned in there something like..

“Stop worrying in the short-term on how good of a writer you are…Keep learning… The longer we do this, the better we will become… You will be better in a year, than you are now.”

It’s because of people like Chris Fox that I keep going. I keep learning. I keep writing. I keep adding too my current WIP and I don’t give up, no matter how tired I am at plugging away.

So today, I’d like to send out a huge THANK YOU to all fo you out there that keep people like myself from throwing in the towel. It’s because of you that writers like myself continue to carry on in between those uplifting Eureka moments that we have when we write.

*Check out Chris Fox YouTube channel

Writing Day Three

Well, if you read yesterdays blog, then you’ll be more than aware I was dealing with a migraine.

I was still dealing with it this morning. Until this year, I’ve never had migraines last for more than twenty-four hours. I’m wondering what fairy I inadvertently killed without knowing it. Having a migraine for longer than twenty-four hours is not a picnic that I’d give to my worst enemy.

So, much like yesterday, today will also not be a writing day. Which kills me. I had so many fab things I wanted to write yesterday until that headache hit the ‘beyond belief epic’ stratoshere.

I may go in and dabble, but that’s all it will be.

In an aside, I did dream that I was metaphysically trying to save two of Harry Potters friends who were unaware that they were about to be attacked by a zombie-witch (I know, right?), but I couldn’t remember the word for removing them to safety. The only one I could remember, was defenestrate, and I knew that wasn’t right. So I screamed out to Harry, and just kept screaming out his name. Who knows if he answered the call. Did I mention it was a weird dream?

Happy Birthday Girlfriend

Today is my bestie’s birthday. It’s a day that she really doesn’t like. Why? Because her phone rings off the hook and she cannot get anything done.

For most of us, when it’s our birthday, we get congratulatory wishes via parcel post, Facebook, Twitter and the odd card in the mail.  Then, there’s either a meal somewhere at a local restaurant, or a barbecue at home with friends and family.

Unfortunately for my friend, she moved away and lives in a small town in WhoopWhoop* hence the gazillion phone calls.

So I do the usual thing on her birthday. I call her home phone. That rings out. I call her cell. That too rings out. So I send a text.

That’s just sucky. I think I’ll hit Amazon a little later and see if there’s something on there that I can send her that will cheer her up. Sure, it won’t arrive today. But as friends we’re cool like that. It’s not about the gift. It’s about the message it conveys.

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*Not a real place. Australian slang for ‘the middle of nowhere’.

Writing Day Two

In the wee hours…

It was dark, and I awoke with my head in my hands. Head throbbing in the way that makes the world around you cease to exist. I slept again.

Once again with my head in my hands, it was still dark. This went on for awhile. Then I realised, migraine.

Groaning, I rolled over and reached for the open top drawer of my bedside table. Hand pawing everything closest too me, hoping for the touch of encapsulated tablets and the sound that the little crinkly open flaps make when you touch them, heart slowly sinking as I think of the long walk out to the kitchen cabinet. That walk in the dark that would be painful to take.

Surprised when my direst thoughts were interupted by the crinkly sound that I’d given up on, entered my dull brain-pan. Popping two into my hand, I reached for the ever present water bottle, and took only enough to get the tablets down my gullet.

Falling back on the bed, I willed myself to go back to sleep. Willed the tablets to kick-in, ‘please, oh please.’

Wanting desperately to make myself more comfortable, but unwilling to move.

What felt like hours later, I fell back to sleep.

Awake once again, my head thumping, just not as bad as last night. I realise, there’s not much hope for writing today. So I make some notes, and pop on here because, once started, I want to continue.

Here’s yesterdays progress.

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