Tag Archives: Writing

Write the Book

“Everybody does have a book in them, but in most cases that’s where it should stay.” ~ Christopher Hitchens

There’s an old adage that suggests that every person has at least one book ‘in them’. I don’t know if this is true but I often think about whether or not I might be someone who does. My gut tells me no, absolutely not, that the fiction I love to read is way beyond me. I like dark and intricate plots – and I know I’d never have the attention to detail required to produce anything in this league. I struggle with timelines at the best of times (everything was the other day to me, even 1996) but I can’t imagine skilfully being able to foreshadow or call back to the exact moment a character turned from ordinary person to arch nemesis of the world.

For as long as I can remember my mother has been on at me to just “Write the book”. I believe I can write competently, it isn’t that I doubt that – I just don’t know if I have that something extra that she thinks I have. Writers are the most extraordinary people in the world to me. Take Stephen King, the man who wakes up every morning and writes a set number of words (1000) no matter what. Come rain or shine he throws his words on the page and something usually sticks. The man has produced some of the most memorable horror characters of all time. He’s built worlds that might look just like ours but are actually more horrible/magical/strange that we could ever imagine. Whether you’re a fan or not, this commitment is incredible – and it seems healthy and cathartic to me too. Perhaps I should try it, just open a Word doc every day and GO.

But if fiction is out of the question, then what? I haven’t enough true story in me for a memoir (I know that’s never stopped a lot of people) plus I’m way too young (LOL). Self help seems like a bit of cheek – who am I to believe I have wisdom to share with the world? This morning I had a Cadbury’s Crème egg for breakfast because “I’m ill”. I know about love, heartache and grief but so do most people. What on earth is my USP?

This is one of the million dollar questions that keeps me awake at night – what was I put on this earth to do, really? Perhaps that’s my pitch: ordinary 40 year old woman goes out into society to figure out her true purpose? Hey it could work. Failing that I’ll just whip up a book of my favourite filthy jokes, none of which are suitable for this blog post.

Happy Wednesday all!

UPDATE: I wrote this for my work blog and thought I’d share it here too.

Plan B

Blogging has been sparse since the wonderful #blogtober wrapped up and I don’t really like that, so I’m setting myself some writing goals for the next couple of months.

November is half done of course so I’ve been slack as usual but it’s never too late to pull it together. I’ve got plans for #blogmas too, my own take on bloggers fave #vlogmas. Continue reading

Fall Projects

Autumn is my own version of Spring and when the days are bright and crisp, I’m inspired. I thought I’d let you in on one of my favourite ongoing projects and how my partner and I have been working to streamline everything for our brand new season.

I’m talking about the podcast I co-host with my friend James – it’s called All Out of Bubblegum and we’ve been doing it for two years now. I love doing it as much as I love my blog because I get to watch movies for a purpose: to talk about them with my friend to my hearts content.

We recently took an extended Summer break and have just recorded two new episodes for Season 2. The break illustrated just how much work the podcast had become in addition to our other commitments (full-time jobs, social life, other creative undertakings). Since we both love doing it so much, we never want it to feel like a chore – so we’re making some important changes.

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Seasons

We’re going to start splitting the podcast into seasons. Each Summer we’ll take a long break and when we return we’ll start in on a new Season. We’ve never done this before but I think it will break things up a bit. Season 2, Episode 1 will drop very soon – and even though it’s still the same as before, it feels like a fresh start, which is always a plus for any creative project.

Recording

Instead of recording two episodes every two weeks and posting weekly, we’re moving to monthly and posting fortnightly. This gives us more time to do our homework and actually have a life. Nobody wants their hobbies to feel like an obligation, God knows we have enough of those.

Content

I’ve been really bad about managing our marketing ‘strategy’. I share the episodes on Facebook and Twitter but that’s the bare minimum required – and I’ve forgotten about everything else.

The plan was always to pad out the episodes with opinions on films and blog posts so I’ve just set up the All Out of Bubblegum Hub. It’s still a work in progress but I’ll get there – and we’re not putting too much pressure on ourselves. We want to beef up our content but there are no rigid rules or expectations – we do what we can, when we can – and we do it ‘cos we love it.

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We Only Review Worthwhile Things

We don’t have to love all the things we talk about – you win some, you lose some when it comes to art – but if we’re both on the same page about something that isn’t working for us, instead of enduring it, we’ll let each other know. Life is too short to sit through boring TV and films – especially when there’s so much good stuff to discover.

Zine

We’re been asked to contribute a film column to a friend of James’ zine which is exciting. It may only be quarterly and we’re not sure when but still, could be interesting…

Audience

We’ve always said we’re doing this for ourselves and that it the truth. It’s lovely when someone listens and comments on something we’ve done – but we’ll never be concerned about viewing figures (which is just as well). In fact, we’re both on the same page about what it would be like if we did have the added pressure of a decent following – it would probably freak us right out.

So for now we do this for ourselves and if anyone enjoys it – then I’m grateful.

If you’re interested, you can listen to All Out of Bubblegum here or find us on most podcast listening platforms.

Drafts

I’ve got some annual leave this week. While I’ve made a few plans – dinner with a friend, cinema, tattoo on Thursday – let’s not pretend I’m not spending the majority of it on the sofa with The Handmaid’s Tale and various films, while my tea kettle works over time.

My intention is to also blog as much as I can because it’s one of the first things neglected when I’m busy or not feeling it.

While I was considering what on Earth to talk about, I landed on the idea of raiding my Drafts folder and running with some of those unfulfilled ideas, there are hundreds of them. Some are just one word titles too, like ‘Confidence’. Cryptic, huh?

I wonder what I was thinking when I made the effort of label that post, with no further comment? No matter, let’s see what I can do with them this week, shall we?

What does your week look like?

Work Blogging Across the Universe

I’ve started writing for my work blog and the results have been interesting. I’ve had some really genuine and lovely feedback from people I don’t know very well (as well as close colleagues and friends) – and I’ve had more than a couple of moments of pure and utter anxiety about whether I’ve said too much.

I never want to hide who I am, even in a work environment but laying it all on the table, for instance talking about anxiety or telling an anecdote from my adolescence is different.

That’s who I really am, no messing, it’s me laid bare and it takes a lot to say you don’t mind sharing it with people you pass daily on the stairwell, who might stand behind you to buy a cup of coffee in the morning, knowing you’ve never really grown out of your teenage insecurities. (I greatly over exaggerate how many work mates read my words!).

It might make me second guess myself but it also feels real and that’s a weird one to define. I think it feels good to say you know yourself enough to share it with others. To write a post about your life long journey to accepting yourself for what you really are: perfectly imperfect, fucked up, damaged but still crawling, sometimes back up on two feet, sometimes running as fast as you can without looking back.

So yes, it feels good but I still have the fear. I guess I’ll either learn to put that aside or die trying*.

*Stop writing.

Happy Sunday, all.

Goals: Redux

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Goal: Be even more awesome

People can be really huffy about resolutions and I get it when we’re bombarded as soon as Boxing Day is over with spam emails from Weight Watchers and gym groups. But I kind of like them myself.

I feel like I’m quite a pro-active kind of chap when I want to be and I respond well to being held accountable, even if it’s just to an old Blog post, written and viewed only by myself.

So I am the kind of person who thinks about resolutions and goals as the NY starts undulating toward us. Of course I’ve already set some goals but I’ve been thinking of some more. Here they are:

  • I will not say anything derogatory about my body in 2016 – Verrry challenging but I’m going to try because I deserve this and so does every woman of every size, shape, etc
  • I will buy and keep a sketch book close to me, and find a drawing style – I don’t think I have any talent in this arena but that’s okay, I’m at a point in my life where I can happily accept that just because I’m shit at something, it doesn’t mean I shouldn’t do it
  • I will be more direct and less apologetic – No explanation needed
  • I will not doubt my skills at work no matter how I am made to feel – I’m a paranoid android from 9-5, this needs to change
  • I will read the classics I have not yet read – There are a lot. I’m really looking forward to this one
  • I will up my selfie game – IMPORTANT

Right. Happy New Year all, I’m off to achieve some of these bad boys. Starting with… maybe buying a sketch book?

See you soon!

Bah Bye Writing 101: Day 20 – The Future

giphyWriting 101 – Day 20 (Friday 2nd October 2015) – The future

Okay so I skipped out on half the Writing 101 prompts in this series because I’m a bad and lazy person.

It did get me writing on the reg though so I can’t say it’s been a waste of time, and it has had me snarking a lot with Jill (seriously, some of the prompts have been so corny)! So I’m chalking this one down as a success, why not?

The future though? Hmmm.

All I really know about that is that it’s coming (if I can avoid double-decker buses and flesh-eating toilet dwelling spiders) and I haven’t the slightest idea what the fudge I’m doing in it.

Is it okay if I just plod along as I’m doing now and hope for the best? I can tell you with certainty that I won’t be having a baby or running a marathon.

I can tell you that I hope in say, a year, to be in a better place fiscally, my husband still likes me (obvs he will) and that I’m feeling healthier. Maybe that I’ve finally gone on holiday and don’t feel bad about it.

I’d like to tell you by then, but anytime soon is grand, that I’ve learnt not to be so stressed about everything (literally everything) and that I’ve learned to bat away as much anxiety as possible.

I’d like to have muscles, to maybe be doing another job or if not that then be writing, in a more professional capacity. I’d like to have finally seen Southpaw. I’d like to have at least started Mad Men.

Go on then, Cheri, I’ll do one of your prompts.

I believe that my future looks . . .

Happy.

I choose happiness. Sure, curve balls are always thrown and pure shit happens but I’m ready to take all that and still choose happiness.

I deserve it. We all deserve it.

So there. Over and out Writing 101.