A creative Wednesday

Today was really productive. I got in a full day of writing and editing, which was great. I’m working on about five different writing projects at the moment, which is a lot to keep track of in my head, but it’s making things really interesting.

In the evening, I went to my first ukulele class at the Sage Gateshead. I’ve found over the last few years that going to classes and groups is the best way to keep myself focused on something, and I was pleased that there was a new ‘absolute beginners’ course starting so soon after I got my ukulele. Half the people in the class had also got ukuleles for Christmas – apparently that’s very common among people coming to the spring term courses! We’ve learnt two basic songs already, so it seems as though the course will zip along really quickly.

It’s my usual busy Thursday tomorrow, but I’m looking forward to a bit of breathing space in the afternoon.

OOTD 16th January 2019
OOTD: a comfy jumper for a writing day! Glasses Emporio Armani (2017), jumper Jac (vintage 1980s, bought at vintage fair 2018).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Travis – The Last Laugh Of The Laughter
Jools Holland – Enjoy Yourself
Bros – When Will I Be Famous?
Spandau Ballet – True
Bros – I Owe You Nothing
Marshmello and Bastille – Happier
Wham! – Club Tropicana
Bruno Mars – Just The Way You Are
Duran Duran – Hungry Like The Wolf
Duran Duran – Winter Marches On

And a bonus track that Geth was humming earlier:

Patrice Rushen – Forget Me Nots (although it was the ‘black bin bags’ version from Phoenix Nights)

An ideal Wednesday

Some weeks, when I’m feeling marginally sociable, Thursdays are my favourite day of the week, because I’m out and about doing things like Slimming World and Pilates (plus, starting this week, a bonus early morning run! Gotta love marathon training…I suppose). Apart from anything else, I get to eat my post weigh-in treat meal, which is always pasta and pesto and is always delicious.

But let’s face it, a typical Wednesday – where I get a whole glorious day just to write, nothing else – is much more ‘me’. Even if I’ve usually run out of syns and so am getting a bit crabby food-wise!

Today has been one of those good Wednesdays. I’ve done a lot of writing and editing and am feeling very productive. Tomorrow, in contrast, will be a lot more hectic.

I am looking forward to that pasta and pesto though.

OOTD 9th January 2019
OOTD: cosy winter day in. Scarf unknown brand (gift from Geth 2019), t-shirt Cyberdog (originally early 2000s, thrifted from Geth 2014), belt unknown brand (vintage 1980s, thrifted from Mum 2019), tights Primark (2017), shoes La Redoute (2018).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Sigala, Ella Eyre, Meghan Trainor and French Montana – Just Got Paid
Richard Marx – Right Here Waiting
Modern Romance – Ay Ay Ay Ay Moosey
Julian Lennon – Too Late For Goodbyes

New Year’s Resolutions 2019

I did sit down and write a very long post about plans for 2019, but it got a bit reflective and overwhelming and kind of un-fun.  Instead, I’ve condensed it into a list of New Year’s Resolutions, which I suppose is more traditional anyway!

So, in 2019 I want to:

1. Finish sorting out the house contents.

Refreshing the actual decor of the house such as carpets and walls is going to be a job for next decade (which sounds kind of scary now I’ve written it down), but finishing sorting out the actual contents of the house is definitely something I can get done this year. Most of the stuff I still need to get rid of is only still in the house because it needs scanning first, so once I’ve set up the scanner and shredder in the study, I’ll be able to chip away at this boring job quite efficiently.

2. Write 500,000 words in 2019…

Among the online writing communities I frequent, this is known as a ‘half milwordy’. I know it sounds ridiculous, but between this blog and all the poetry and fiction that I write every day, it’s actually fairly manageable.

3. …and edit and pitch all the words I’ve already written.

I’ve wanted to be a published author since I was four (so it’s actually going to be thirty years on Thursday, OMG), and that is never going to happen if all my writing just stays between me and my computer. This year, I’m going to edit all my existing projects to a finalised state and prepare ten project pitches for sending out to agents and publishers throughout the year.

4. Take weekends off.

Well, other than running, obviously. Apart from the daily to-do list, I’m not scheduling any chores for the weekends.

5. Buy fewer clothes.

I had to buy a whole new wardrobe last year because I’d lost so much weight. It was really fun, but I have enough clothes now. I’ll allow myself one purchase every time I go to a vintage fair, because vintage fairs are awesome.

6. Run a marathon.

It’s booked, it’s planned, I’ve selected the 16-week training plan I’m going to be following starting on the 7th of January. London, here I come! I am 100% certain that this is the only one I will ever do, so I’m determined to do it properly.

7. Perform some of my poetry in public.

This one is absolutely terrifying and as such is the one thing on this list that is at risk of not getting done out of pure fear. Up until now, this is the kind of thing that would have required a lot of Dutch courage, but as it happens, a more important resolution is to…

8. Get sober.

It’s well past time, and from the 6th of January onwards I’ll no longer be consuming alcohol. I’ll do a longer post about this later this week.

9. Get back into the habit of music practice.

I got several small instruments for Christmas including a lovely ukulele – I’d put them on my Christmas list and Dad did a lot more research into them than I had, so I got better versions than I’d asked for! I’m going to get an hour’s practice in every evening that I can, but more importantly, I’m going to sign up for beginners’ classes at the Sage Gateshead, as I find I stick with things better when I have a group or class for accountability (it also gets me out of the house and meeting people).

10. Actually play some videogames.

I didn’t have time for videogaming AT ALL in 2018. I’ve been sorely neglecting both my 3DS and my Steam account (I’ve still got a Steam voucher my brother Malcolm gave me for last Christmas that I’ve not spent yet!) and I’m really itching to get back into it again, especially seeing as I’ve been watching Geth play so many games on the Switch recently. Maybe all those free weekends I’m planning will give me a chance to mash buttons again!

It’ll be interesting to revisit this post in a year’s time!

A busy Wednesday

Last bit of online shopping done, another novel series plotted out (to be fair, that was me procrastinating – the writing bug is strong at the moment), and all the Christmas cards written!  On the whole, it’s been a productive day.

I’ve got a couple more busy days ahead before the weekend, when I will hopefully have a lot more time to relax.

OOTD 19th December 2018
OOTD: tired but cosy! Glasses Emporio Armani (2017), t-shirt Cyberdog (originally early 2000s, thrifted from Geth 2014), belt H&M (2017).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Mariah Carey – All I Want For Christmas Is You
Boris Gardner – I Wanna Wake Up With You
The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl – Fairytale Of New York

Finding the time

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m taking advantage of a quiet period at work to get a lot of life admin done.  I’m also making sure to find time for writing fiction at the moment, because that’s always the thing that gets neglected when work is busy.  It’s come at a good time for me, because autumn always makes me really excited about my ongoing fiction projects, especially as I’ll be taking advantage of NaNoWriMo to get another first draft written.

Today, therefore, has involved getting on with both of those.  It’s nice to be able to make progress on these projects, even if everything does feel a bit regimented at the moment (I have a huge list of stuff to do every day – it’s the only way I’ll get anything done!).

OOTD 9th October 2018
OOTD: loving autumn and my favourite vintage ’80s jumper! Jumper unknown brand (vintage 1980s, bought at vintage fair 2017), jeans H&M (thrifted from Steff 2016), boots Carefree (2017).

Today’s earworm playlist:

The Art of Noise and Tom Jones – Kiss
Prince – Kiss
Madness – Wings Of A Dove
Jan Hammer – Crockett’s Theme
The Beatles – Taxman
The Power Station – Some Like It Hot

And a bonus track that Geth was humming earlier:

The Beautiful South – A Little Time

The pastathon starts here

A good day today!  5lbs off at Slimming World this morning, which got rid of the last of my various gains from August weekends away.  After a few SP days it was nice to be able to have some pasta for lunch afterwards, too – getting started with the carbing up before Sunday!  I got the last of my work done for the week in the afternoon (unless anything urgent comes in last-minute), which means I should be able to get a whole day of house stuff done tomorrow.  Looking forward to unearthing more floor!

Soap & Glory body butters
Also looking forward to trying out these new body butters – today’s shopping treat.

Pilates class started back again this evening after the summer break, which was a really nice pre-GNR workout – I’ve had a lot of energy today from wanting to get running, so it was good to be able to divert some of it.

Now having a writing evening.  It feels more and more like I’m getting back into routine now, which is great.

OOTD 6th September 2018
OOTD: back to the regular Thursday routine! Hoodie Internacionale (2000), vest top Primark (2018), leggings Primark (2018), trainers Reebok (2017).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Kim Wilde – You Came
Alicia Keys – Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart
Swing Out Sister – Breakout
Green Day – Minority
Sophie Ellis-Bextor – Take Me Home
Steps – One For Sorrow
The Police – Don’t Stand So Close To Me

Background sound

One of the nice things about working from home is that I can have whatever I like on in the background as long as it’s not distracting.  Usually, that’s music TV, but when Geth’s on holiday it tends to be whatever he happens to be using the TV for.  For the last couple of weeks, it’s been Final Fantasy XIII-2, but today it was the European Championships marathon on iPlayer.  Nice and relaxing to have on while I was working.

The next couple of weeks are going to be a bit hectic, so I’ve spent the evening planning my work out to make sure everything will get done.  A bit more writing tonight too – I won’t have the chance for the next wee while, sadly!

OOTD 20th August 2018
OOTD: working from home again. T-shirt Cyberdog (2008), jeans Miss Selfridge (2018), shoes Carvela (2018).

Another running and writing day

I had a good long run this morning – 13k round Newcastle – but between that and yesterday’s parkrun, my legs are a bit tired now, so it’ll be good to have a rest day tomorrow.

I spent the rest of the day writing.  I have several projects that I’m very excited about at the moment and I’m really looking forward to getting into the meat of them.  I’m also already looking forward to this year’s NaNoWriMo – another reason I love autumn.

Back to work tomorrow – I’m working for a couple of new clients this week, so it should be interesting.

OOTD 19th August 2018
OOTD: it’s cool enough for cosy autumn outfits now! T-shirt Cyberdog (early 2000s, thrifted from Geth), belt H&M (2017), leggings Primark (2018), boots Carefree (2017).

What is this ‘quiet weekend’ you speak of?

*blinks*  What’s this?  A couple of days where I don’t have to work, and my only appointment is parkrun?  It’s been a while since I’ve had this experience.

I really enjoyed parkrun this morning.  I wasn’t quite as fast as I have been recently, but I still got a respectable 31:30, my third best ever time.  It was nice to catch up with a few people we hadn’t seen in a while, too.

After we got back, showered and breakfasted, Geth fell back into Final Fantasy XIII-2 while I got some novel writing done.  Another thing that’s not happened since…actually, I can’t remember.

I do have another run to do tomorrow – and I should probably get some house stuff done, which is another project that’s looming ominously – but I’m hoping to have some writing time again as well.  The inspiration is strong at the moment, and I need to make the most of it.

OOTD 18th August 2018
OOTD: my fifth day in jeans in the space of a week! I’m really appreciating this cooler weather. T-shirt SF City Wear (2011), jeans Zara (2018), trainers Reebok (2018).

Good intentions

Every time I find myself mired in an all-encompassing work project for a few weeks, I always find myself thinking longingly of all the time I will have when I’m done with said work project.  I will use that time for writing!  All the writing!  I will finish the three incomplete novel drafts I’m working on!  I will get back to submitting all my completed ones to agents!  I will write those three poetry collections, and those two stage plays, and that screenplay, and those two non-fiction pitches, and all the short stories in the world!  I will write and write and write!

Except this never happens.  Oh, sure, I get some writing done when I can squeeze a spare hour here and there, but it always seems like there’s something that’s more of a priority, like sorting out the house, or sleeping in, or catching up with one of my daft projects like my ongoing systematic attempt to watch the video of every single UK chart hit of the 1980s in alphabetical order, or reading online forums, or playing video games, or watching TV so I can clear space on the digibox…you get the idea.

At the moment, I’m not doing any of that stuff.  I’m working twelve-hour days, seven days a week, on a client’s project, and so other than work I am sleeping, eating, running, blogging, keeping myself clean and presentable, and that’s it.  And I suppose it makes me wonder: why am I willing to drop everything in my life for weeks at a time to work for someone else, but not for myself?

(It’s not because the clients pay me better.  I mean, they do, but I’m still clinging onto the hope that one day someone will pay me for my own writing, not just my editing of other people’s work, and I will only achieve that if I work hard at it.)

Next week there will be no writing (other than blogging, which I sort of see as different).  There will be catching up of all the essential stuff I’ve been neglecting for the last few weeks, and there will be getting ahead with stuff in preparation for a busy weekend.  There may, however, be planning of writing, which is a beautiful way to feel like you’re making progress when you’re not.

The week after will be the real test – seeing if I can apply the same discipline to ‘normal’ time as I can to a busy work period.  We’ll see how it goes.