Personal

A realisation and some significant changes

Today I came to a realisation that can be summed up in a sentence that sounds fairly simple, but has taken me an embarrassingly long time to grasp:

Just because you’re good at something, that doesn’t mean you have to do it.

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Books, Writing

How Long Should My Novel Be?

I have written so many books over the years, and yet until now I’ve had basically no idea what I’ve been doing, which is probably why until this year none of them have been published. I read as much as I could find about how to write a book and tried to apply the advice, but so much of it was simply too vague.

“Work on it!” they said.
“Plan it!” they said.
“Stick to a writing schedule!” they said.

Yeah, OK. But how do I plan it? How many words long does a book have to be? How many chapters should my novel have? How many words per page? How many pages per chapter? How many chapters per book? How do I know which bit goes where? How will I know when it’s finished? FUUUCCCKKK HELP MEEEEE

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Personal, Weekly Round-Ups

The Week I Got My Brain Back

Last week’s post left off just as I was about to go into hospital to find out when they’d be booking me in for surgery. I had been hoping that it might be fairly soon, since I’m apparently an urgent case and I’ve barely been able to leave the house in months, but hope is a treacherous and flighty beast, and of course things didn’t go quite so smoothly.

The waiting list for surgery is 4-6 months long; the minimum amount of time in which I’ll be booked for surgery is four months. Then there’s an eight-week recovery period, so basically whatever happens I’m essentially taking the rest of the year off.

They can’t push me up the list unless my Angry Internal Organs actually rupture, which made me start wishing they would, until I remembered that would have irritating potential side effects like involuntary sudden death. So I figured maybe I’ll obey the doctor’s instructions and not do anything to make this whole situation any more precarious, and look after my Angry Organs, and hopefully maintain this tenuous truce for as long as I can.

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Poetry

There Is Still

the world is hard today
but there is still

there is still a person smiling at a stranger in the street
still the trees of summer wafting in the breeze
still the light of a warm golden evening slanting through the park
still dust motes dancing in its wake
there is still

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Writing

I write because…

The other day, Nothing To Puzzle wrote an Everyday Inspiration post about why she writes. She then invited her readers to think about the question as well.

The prompt was “I write because…” and the idea is that you finish the sentence with something that describes why you write.

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Writing

Five Things I’ve Learned From Writing Professionally

I have been making a living through words on pages, in one way or another, since 2001.

Over the years, this has taken many forms: proofreading, poetry, copywriting, editing, academic research, translation… the list goes on.

Currently, on top of my various other jobs, I also edit a couple of websites. Doing so has recently given me cause to reflect on some of the things I’ve learned about writing over the years.

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Scar Stories

A Witch Is Born

A witch is born when a candle is placed in a paper lantern and flown into the sky. Her first view of the world – not when she opens her eyes, for that happens much later, but when she becomes aware – is the knowledge of how it feels to float. Flying through the air on a candleholder, the witch feels the wind around her, and begins to understand.