This summer I’ve almost written an entire novel

Ever had so many ideas for stories in your head that you feel like you might just explode?

I have but it was mostly when I was teen. Lately, I’ve been picking up the pace a bit more and it feels amazing for my creative head space.

So far, I’ve had three novel ideas. That is, for young adult fiction – the market I desperately want be in. I’ve had a couple of ideas for a sci-fi novel or two as well. But these require a lot of research and I’m not sure my brain’s cut out for all that right now. I’m thinking perhaps in my late twenties is when I’ll hit my sci-fi writing stride. A lot of my ideas involve space travel, time travel and if I’m really indulgent then a little bit of dinosaurs too. But I’ll save that for another time.

Anyway, I’m getting off topic.

So, like any writer does, I scribble these ideas down. I have an abundance of notebooks. And these tiny put-away-like-they’re-nothing ideas that might someday turn into something I keep hold of. You never know. One day these put away thoughts might well hold the key to my success.

I’m writing a novel right now – a Y/A one which I actually and genuinely love. I think, for a little while, I forgot what it could be like to let yourself get lost in fiction and how it feels for a project or a story to completely engulf your own world, for it to be all you think about.

I’m ashamed to admit it but as I got older I lost that creative bubble I used to never peep out of. I thought this was normal. I slowly became focused on the editorial side of writing that my fiction world consequently never even got past page 20 because I would slam it so hard it couldn’t fight hard enough to breathe. I was, to use a cliche, my own very worst critic.

I was beyond brutal with my own writing.

But this summer I’ve conquered that bad habit. I’ve been writing. (Ergo, sorry for the lack of posts). I’ve been getting lost in my own fiction world and I’ve almost successfully written an entire novel over the course of this long, hot and notoriously beautiful summer. (I live in Cornwall, so almost every day is beautiful here, yay!)

(A view from just over the road where I live)

I even signed up as a camper at Camp NaNoWriMo and even though I always seem to do this and it never usually gets me very far, this time I stuck at it and I completed my goal of writing over 10,000 words in a month. I can’t tell you the joy I got over achieving that goal.

For me, it was pretty phenomenal. So I’m carrying on with it.

You ever read a book and think, ‘I could’ve done better than that’? Well, it turns out that I’m doing it, even if only just to say that I’ve written a complete novel.

I don’t want to be someone who waits until their retirement to get everything out onto the page. I want it now.

I know that when I’ve finished, that’s when the hard part really begins which is the editing process. Apparently, this is where a lot of the real writing gets done, to quote the theory books and all the other famous writers out there.

But I’m moving forward. I’m at just over 46,000 words so far and I’m probably not going to stop until I hit 80,000 which is the average length of a complete novel. As well as that, I’ve also found the time to submit to other writing competitions. I’ve hit a productive writing/creative streak and it’s not stopping.

My thoughts in general are that this summer has been a blessing. But in the end, I know, it all comes down to yourself.
Your motivation.
And whether you believe in yourself to do it.
And maybe if you can’t, then find someone else who does. Ride their motivational current to get yourself where you need to be.

You never know, it might be worth it in the end.

So, be right back. I’m novel writing.

Hey, look, I’m writing!

This is my seventh cup of tea today while writing and planning and eating croissants. I’m having a productive day and I wanted to share that feeling with you all.

So far, I’m happy.

I’ve written 12,624 words of my novel and reached my goal of 500 words today. This is something of a struggle for me lately because I’ve been juggling my degree with friends, family, working for the magazine company I help run, and doing daily basic human-like things such as eating, washing and sleeping.

Oh, plus I read a lot so that too.

So I haven’t been able to write chunks of my novel so regularly as I would’ve liked. I know it’s a pathetic excuse, but where is the time? I’m trying to fix this and I love the feeling I get when I actually write it and revisit the characters I’ve gotten to know.

I write YA fiction which I love on many levels I just can’t explain. So I love my two characters who are hell bent on not falling in love, but do. Well, one of them, at least. I love their relationship and the dynamic it takes. They’re two of my favourite ever constructed characters I’ve created – and I didn’t even plan this novel.

Listening alongside to country and folk music gives me a release I simply just love. Silence can do this too. But today it is country and folk and I’m happy.

Who cares if I haven’t eaten properly today, or showered, or brushed my hair? Writing really does need to take priority sometimes.

Finally Getting Somewhere!

I’ve been selected to write for two magazines! I cannot believe my luck! I’m bouncing off the walls right now and just want to tell everybody!

I got invited to an interview last week for a magazine based on Cornwall and, as I live in Cornwall, I have a huge passion for it. I think my enthusiasm showed through when I met the guy interviewing me. I’m usually terrible at interviews and never know what to say and spend a lot of time fiddling with my hands or chipping some old nail polish off my fingernails … but this time around I was all for it! I think I rather startled him to be honest. I’m never usually so charismatic and passionate about things, but if you want to talk to me about any aspects of writing – especially in a job sense – then I will be practically sitting on your lap and telling you all the things I know or that I’d like to contribute. I was pretty much like this at the interview, apart from I wasn’t sitting on the guy’s lap. I don’t know how he would’ve taken that but I don’t think he would’ve seen me as particularly professional!

They emailed me yesterday asking me to be involved, voluntarily at first but they said it could turn into something paid eventually if the organisation takes off and they get the right funding! I’m so pleased! I cannot wait to start doing my part!

As well as that, I emailed Eevee Life magazine which is a new up and coming online magazine – go check them out! – and they emailed me back saying they would love to have me involved too as a features writer to contribute regularly!

If you told my fifteen year old self that in roughly four years time I would be getting somewhere and making my mark within the writing/publishing/editorial industry I would never believe you. It always seemed so distant and a dream that I would never even dare try to accomplish! But, well, I’m doing it! And I honestly couldn’t be happier!

Fingers crossed my interview goes well for this Friday too as I have an appointment with the Eden Project to be a part of the digital team which would include writing blogs for them and whatnot! Who knows, if I ever get it – and that would be amazing, as I expect there are a LOT of applicants for that position – I might even get the chance to interview the acts that go onstage there for the festivals! Maybe even The Pixies?! 

But, hey, this is the Eden Project we’re talking about here so I am definitely not getting my hopes up. That would be amazing. 

Remember to applaud your progress and not worry so much about the end goal!

All in all, I am a very happy budding young writer!

Hobbying Around

Hello! Excuse the awful, awful pun I named as a title, but I couldn’t resist.

I’ve compiled a list of hobbies I enjoy doing. Some may not be qualified as hobbies – my boyfriend is adamant that one particular thing on my list is not a hobby. I’ll just go ahead and let you guess which one that’s going to be.

1. Reading & Books:

It really muddles my mind when friends of mine claim they have “no books to their name”. How can you not have at least one book on your shelf, or in your wardrobe tucked away, under your bed, at least? Come on, at least get a dictionary. It doesn’t have to be a big one, just a little one you may have received as a going away present from school. (Nobody else’s school did that? No?)
I seriously love my books. I love them so much that I keep them in a glass cabinet so they can remain untouched by sticky mayonnaise fingers and unrelenting dust that spirals downwards to fall onto my pretty pages; they remain locked under my guard. Straight up, I full on panic if my books start to discolour and go brown.
I may be a little control-freak over them, but I don’t care. I cry if the pages get ripped.

Once, one fine lady Jeanette Winterson recited:

“Book collecting is an obsession, an occupation, a disease, an addiction, a fascination, an absurdity, a fate. It is not a hobby. Those who do it must do it. Those who do not do it, think of it as a cousin of stamp collecting, a sister of the trophy cabinet, bastard of a sound bank account and a weak mind.”

This is ultimately how I feel.

2. Tea drinking:

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Drinking tea is a passionate hobby of mine. It’s so perfect – because you can do it alongside other hobbies! Like reading! (Nudge, wink, cheeky face ;D ) I drink any tea that is on offer. When I’m at home, I drink largely peppermint tea because it tastes so good, especially out of a Spongebob Squarepants thermos flask. When I go home from university, I drink either classic caffeinated breakfast tea or herbal infusions berry tea because I always forget to bring my peppermint teabags with me.
When I go to my boyfriend’s house, I drink any tea his mother has in the cupboards, which can range from peppermint and liquorice, and lemongrass tea to deep jasmine tea. My tea hobbying has become so bad that I’ve taken to going to Tea Festivals where I can make my own teabags, and I also stash whatever teabags I can into my bag before leaving a home that isn’t my own.
Apparently, things can only get worse.

3. My Cat:

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Her name is Mal and due to date she is now four iddybiddy months old and getting cheekier everyday! She is my little life companion, and I will admit that I go around the house calling her baby and giving her pretty much everything on my plate at dinner times. This photo of her was taken a couple weeks after I got her.
She is named after Malcolm Reynolds from the American sci-fi TV show Firefly. This way, she can say her name wherever she goes. If she scratches at the door, we will say, “Who is it?” and she will answer her name: “Mal!” If she’s naughty, which she so often is (came home yesterday to find the Christmas tree was on the floor, with the decorations ALSO all over the floor) we’ve taken to swearing at her like the characters from Firefly , “Gorram it, Mal!” I am sorry to those of you who aren’t Firefly fans; this may well mean complete nonsense to you!
She keeps me company throughout the days when I am off work, and cuddles me next to my head when I sleep, pillow to pillow.

5. Knitting:

It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, but I’ve not yet really mastered its complexities. And I know anybody who knits will probably just laugh at that sentence because knitting is hardly so complicated. But, for me, it is 😦 I so want to knit a really cool hat or little booties for my cat. I can get so far a straight line stitch, but I’m afraid that is it. I don’t want to have to wait until I’m an old lady to begin knitting. I want to do it now! I have the wool, and I have the knitting needles. I have some really nice gold ones I picked up from a charity shop which are LUSH. But ever since my sister’s chihuahua decided to take a cheeky whizz on my lovely, baby pink ball of yarn, I have been on standby with my knitting efforts.

6. Writing:

I am a writer. I have always loved writing, and ever since I was 12 I always knew that I wanted to be an author. And I will be an author, one day, even if that only means writing a book and failing to ever get it published. I am still an author, because I have written a book. With my name creeping into more published works, my future is looking shiny. That at least, I hope. I sincerely hope. My secret worlds inside me are sometimes dull, sometimes bleak but for the best of times they are always looking bright.