Rising from the ashes

Wow – it’s certainly been a while since I last posted!¬†Perhaps I should provide a few updates?

First off, I have been very busy this autumn with setting up a business called Mystery Cow, which provides people with everything they need to host their own murder mystery parties. You are, of course, very welcome to check this out at http://www.mysterycow.com and I would appreciate any feedback that you are willing to give!

To be perfectly honest, setting up the business nearly destroyed me. Even though I had fun with creating the resources and all of the different characters, I did face a fair few struggles and stresses with getting it launched. The major mistake I made was not giving myself a well-earned break, which of course resulted in me completely burning out.

In the wake of this crash, I have returned to my true love: storywriting. I was a bit nervous about starting my third book, as it has been several months since I last wrote a novel, but I took to it like a duck to water. Writing, it seems, is like riding a bike. Life seems much simpler now that I am writing again. Several months away from the craft has made me realise how much I cherish it and want it to have a firm place in my life. And so I have resolved that no matter what is going on in my life in the future, I never want to be parted from writing for that long ever again.

With regards to this blog, I have been very aware of time slipping by, as I have a weekly reminder on my phone that prompts me to write a blog post, but I just haven’t found it within me to do so. I have been so utterly spent that I haven’t found the motivation to do that much at all, nor have I been forcing myself to. For the good of my health, I’ve needed to take a complete blackout from everything, especially business-related, but I am slowly regaining my vigour. My return to blogging is certainly a very good sign that I am on the mend!

My advice to anyone who is reading this post is to do what you love. Follow your passion with all your heart and do not let anyone stop you from doing this. I have been on quite the detour for the last several months, getting quite caught up in something that has caused deep stress and anxiety, but I have now returned to what truly makes my heart sing. And as long as that is in my life, then I imagine that I shall have great joy.

Priorities and distractions

Wow, it’s been quite a while since I last posted! So here’s an update ūüôā

The last you heard, I was taking a much-needed break from writing my second novel, after three intense weeks of conjuring HALF of the entire book! I was planning to carry on writing it after a week or so, but unfortunately, this didn’t happen. Instead, I took the time preparing my first book for a writing competition that I simply couldn’t miss out on (the prize is a ¬£50,000 publishing deal, so fingers crossed for that one eh)!

And after I had submitted to this competition, other distractions then filtered into my life, namely Christmas and starting a new job. Before I knew it, weeks had passed since I last worked on my second book. I knew that the longer I left it, then the more difficult it might be to return to the story, but my focus remained on my first book. Since the New Year, I have been submitting my first book to literary agents, as well as polishing it for when somebody does hopefully decide to take it on!

In a few days’ time, once the polishing is done, I will finally be able to return to my second book. With any luck, I should be able to slip back into the story without too much trouble. It’s regretful that I have abandoned it for so long, but I can only do one thing at a time.¬†I have never been any good at multitasking, but I am always determined and persistent in my endeavors. When I want something to get done, I stick at it until it is done. Everything gets done in the end, even if the progress can be painfully slow!

Knowing when to stop

Sometimes, it is very important to take a break, even if it is from something that you love doing.

This month, for example, I took part in a writing challenge called NanoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), where you try to write 50,000 words of a novel throughout November. I was doing very well for the first three weeks, but then I started to grow weary and decided to call an end to the challenge. For the sake of my health and the quality of my book, I simply had to recuperate and stop writing for a few days.

However, with 40,000 words in the bag, I don’t feel like I have “lost”. There is no losing when you take part in NanoWriMo, as any word count that you produce is better than what you started with!¬†And without the challenge, I would not have been spurred on to write such a large quantity of material.

But of course, it’s not all about the quantity. I’m a great believer of getting something right the first time, and so I put a lot of effort into producing an excellent first draft, which saves time later on when redrafting. This month, after three weeks of intense writing, I started to feel the quality of my work begin to slip, which is when I knew that I needed to rest.

Now that I have recovered from my mental exhaustion, I feel ready to carry on writing. I am nearly halfway through the book now, so I’m¬†very excited to deal with the latter half of the narrative =)

A call to return

Last week, I felt that it was the right time to return to my book. So that is exactly what I did.

For the past month or so, I’ve been setting up a business, which is still in production, but I simply can’t keep away from my book any longer. I got a calling from deep within my soul and I just KNEW it was the right time to carry on. This will probably delay the launch of my business slightly, but hey, it’ll get done at some point.¬†That’s the problem with long-term ventures.. it can take a while to see the results!

Nevertheless, I am confident that I can see everything through to completion. ¬†Now that I’m back to polishing my book, it’s like I’ve never been away. And, if I may say so, the revised prose is looking mighty fine! Taking a break has definitely given me fresh eyes and I can now quite effectively cut out the crap. Thankfully, there isn’t much crap to cut out, just minor tweaks and such.

Before long, I should be sending out the completed second draft to friends and family to see what they make of it. Hopefully, (fingers and toes crossed) they will enjoy it! So far, only three people have seen it, and they have given me good feedback, so I am pretty confident that it will go down well with others. I can’t wait to get it out there to a wider circle of people!