Monday 23 April 2012

Shiny New Stories...

What is it about the lure of a brand new, shiny idea? No matter how focused I am, those flashes of inspiration of new ideas always try to tear me away.

I don't know about you but for a writer I have a horribly short attention span. I've always been someone who does three things at once - I'll read a book with the television on and the laptop open. Unfortunately these bad habits do transfer over to my writing. I'll always have several projects on the go and I tend to flit between them, writing one until I hit a point where I get a stuck, and then I'll move onto something else until the plot point has revealed itself to me!

Sometimes though, I reach a point where I know I've got too many 'open' projects and I need to wrap some up. It's usually at this point when that brand new, shiny idea hits me, just begging to be written.

I get a lot of my story ideas through my dreams. I can literally dream whole story lines in the space of one night. Awhile ago, I had one of those dreams and I got up and wrote the whole thing down in one of my notebooks. But I have notebooks everywhere, and when it came to me looking the story back up, I couldn't find the damn thing! I was so annoyed because I knew it had been good, but for the life of me I couldn't remember what had happened. Anyway, the night before last, as I was lying in bed, just about to fall asleep, the whole thing suddenly came back to me. It probably won't make a full novel but would be a damn good novella! But I currently have two novels in my WIP pile and I know I really shouldn't add another one until I wrap one of the others up.

So for the moment, I'm trying to ignore the lure of my shiny new idea and shelve it under the 'to be written' pile. I just wish that pile would stop getting so big!

Saturday 14 April 2012

My Writing Life.

I've read a number of blog and facebook posts from other authors this week complaining about the struggle of maintaining a balance between their writing lives and their regular lives. I have to be honest, I'm normally someone who writes obsessively. I will literally snatch every moment I can in order to get a few words down. Sometimes I managed to get a thousand words written in one sitting, sometimes it will only be a hundred. However, those words quickly add up.

This past week I've had Easter to content with, along with my two daughters' birthdays and I've had family come to stay. With so many outside distractions, I've struggled to maintain my usual daily word count. Because I'm lucky enough to be able to write full time, I think I take for granted the guaranteed time I have to write. This week, with the kids off school, birthdays and families to attend to, I've probably only managed half of what I'd normally achieve.

It is frustrating and I sometimes find I become resentful. I'm a driven person and I like to be able to get a set goal achieved each day in order to feel as though I'm moving forward. But I do need to remind myself that time spent with my family and NOT writing, isn't time wasted. It's time well spent. Next to my family, my work is without a doubt the most important thing in my life, yet I never have to remind myself to work. What I do have to remind myself to do is spend quality time with my family and focus on that time. All too often, even when I'm out somewhere with my kids, I'll be daydreaming or scribbling things down in a notepad.

So, for me, while many are struggling to find time to write, I need to make sure I spend time with my family and that I'm mentally present in that time. While my writing will always been hugely important to me, my family always needs to come first.