I have been absent from word-press for some time now, and I wish I could say it’s because I’ve simply been too busy.
That’s the generally acceptable excuse, isn’t it? To say things along the lines of ‘real life has been too fast paced,’ or ‘my real life has become too busy to allow me time to sit and put together blog-posts.’
The truth is, that I’ve been working part time now for about four months, and have had four days every weekend during which time I could have, likely- finished my book, written at least one word-press article a week, researched literary agents to send my manuscript to when it’s completed, and generally got my life into order.
Unfortunately, none of this has gotten done.
Now I do have reasons, a pesky illness, lingering symptoms and other things which have pulled my time and attention, but generally, I haven’t made good use of the time I have had over the last four months.
So now, obviously, I’m kicking myself. Tomorrow, I start a month long, two day a week position at another scheme connected to where I work already, which may lead into full time work. So for the next month at least I will be working Monday to Friday again, and whilst this is great because, well, you know, money is always nice- I will once again have minimal time to work on the book.
I have not used my time well. Go figure.
I finally woke up to the situation on the Thursday just gone, and made the vow to myself- I will get this book finished and ready to be sent out to agents by the start of the new year. I will. It will be three years, by that point, since I first started work on it, and seeing as it’s very personally orientated, being about recovery and all, I feel very much ready to move past the naval gazing and start work on something else, or develop a totally unrelated hobby such as ice-skating or ball-room dancing.
Something that can take me outside of my own past and open my eyes to the outside world again.
However first, I need to finish it, and with this vow to myself fresh in mind I have sat at my laptop for the last three and half days, and churned out about 20,000 words. I have got a lot done, working off a kind of frenzied obsession to get this thing out of me- get it out and arranged in a manner which pleases me.
And I feel a lot better for having done it. It’s taking shape in a way which I like, and I feel as though there’s a lot in it which could potentially be useful. All I need to do now, is a final edit, which could take me about a month if I prioritise it, and then get it sent out to beta readers. Depending on their comments and criticisms, I could be ready to start querying agents in Jan of 2019.
About bloody time!
So I decided that, with this aim and time-frame in mind, it was time to get back onto WordPress and start writing about this and other things again- attempting to generate the much desired and coveted “online presence.”
For this was one of the major reasons I started keeping this blog, about two years ago. I dreamt of being able to create some momentum around the book, and hopefully generate a base of people who might actually be interested in buying it, if it ever got published.
I realised, over the course of a year or so, how difficult this would really be(!) Luckily, I enjoy writing, and I enjoyed the interaction with the few people who would like my posts and sometimes comment. So I got a lot out of word-press, despite the fact that I hadn’t magically mustered up the 25,000 followers I was hoping for just yet.
I got really into it for about nine months, and then, perhaps around the time I started full time work a year ago, lost the momentum and stopped writing. I think this then perpetuated, as I felt as though, with that lost momentum, i’d struggle to pick it up again.
Moreover, I was less confident in my writing then and so one blog post would take a couple of hours to put together because I’d generally write about 2500 words, and then spend much too long editing it down to a word-count which would be palatable to the average reader.
I’d read somewhere this was about 800 words, and so the whole process often took a whole afternoon, and so I lost a degree of enthusiasm for doing this.
Since then, however, I have kept writing. I haven’t completed anything yet or really even planned or structured what I’m writing well, but I’ve kept writing, and have noticed that it’s gotten easier to write what I want to say, how I want to say it, the first time round.
I no longer have to go back and ferociously edit, to cut out so many un-needed words or sentences, or simply rephrase things so that the meaning isn’t obscured by feeling.
My writing isn’t where I want it to be, not yet, but I can sense that it’s developing- and this makes me very happy.
In fact I’ve written this post, in one go, in about ten minutes. I think if I’d tried this a year ago it would’ve started off at about 2000 words of meandering, rambling observations and distractions, which would then have taken me ages to cut down to something I liked.
I’m determined, now, to try and write at least a post a week. It’s a really good way for me to continue to develop my writing, and, who knows?- If I keep going, I might just hit that 25,000 follower mark which would really impress a publisher.
You have to keep dreaming right? 😉
See you soon.