Books, I think I just rambled, Life, On Writing, Uncategorized

how to avoid distractions and write

Disclaimer: I do not promise the following to be logical. I wrote it with an empty tea-cup beside me. Its slogan is Live, Laugh, and Love but how does one do that without tea? More importantly, how does one write a coherent blog post without this elixir?


I come home from work and survey my domain with a critical eye. I decide to tidy and then write. Neither happens. I’ve decided to give up that first step. Yes, my room suffers, but I’m sure that it’s a good move. I’ve now a more peaceful mind and more time to devote to my writing. However, distractions are many and my resistance is weak.

things i class as distractions:

  1. Reading
  2. Cleaning (mostly when I need to write) (this cleaning doesn’t extend to my own bedroom)
  3. Stoopid Things On The Internet
  4. Writing this post
  5. Work (so I’m not a starving distracted writer)

By the time Christmas week arrived, I was convinced that I – and I alone – had invented long shifts that had to be worked day after day after day. To my disgust, the pity party had to be cancelled. It turns out that this is the norm of the working world.

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My pity party rudely halted, I could at least use the situation as an excuse. It was masterful and goes as follows …

my masterful reason for not writing:

Work requires time to unwind from. At least one or three hours. By the time I am unwound, I need to sleep. To go to work again. So therefore, in no way could I possibly write a single word. There isn’t time.

I, for one, could see no logical holes in my reasoning. (I’m certain you can’t either.) However, using this logic, I am forced to face three hard choices in order for my writing to flourish:

  1. I must give up work and write in blissful hunger and happiness (sans car, savings, clothing, and books)
  2. I must drastically decrease my working hours and budget (less use of car, less savings, and fewer books)
  3. I must find a happy medium between working and writing (sans unwinding time)

Right now, I’m taking option three. Writing is a part of me. Like my tailbone or unibrow. (Ha. I kid. I don’t have a unibrow. Or do I?!!!) And I am willing to make sacrifices for it.

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cue inspirational gif.

So, my ‘unwinding’ time will cease to be and I will be an adult and write my novels and sort my bookshelves and go to work and do all sorts of responsible things.

Q: So, how DO you avoid distractions and write? (Because, honestly, the above is no answer at all. In fact, I’d say you waffled a fair bit.)

A: I’m sure that priorities and list making and Pinterest boards make up part of the answer, but – to be brief – I think the ultimate answer is thus:

Sacrifices. Must. Be. Made.

If you want to keep your unibrow writing alive and ticking, you have to make sacrifices; give up going to the cinema or haunting bookshops or reading those reviews. These things have their place. But so does your writing. So sacrifice. It will be worth it.

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side note: remember to maintain relationships with humans. those are important too.

But, what do I know? I’m just a writer writing poorly concealed non-advice advice posts to solidify good intentions. And to be a beacon of help and hope to the rest of the writing world, of course. *cough*

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happy new year, my friends!

Books, I think I just rambled, Life, On Writing, Uncategorized

this bookish thing

This is a ramble. There is no other way of putting it. And worse – it’s a rambling ramble. I’m not sure what the difference is, but you have been warned.

// the lift of the book ban, the rise of my bills //

georgetteheyeronstairsI gave up buying books for the entire month of September. My bank account thanked me, but ohhhh white chocolate it was hard.

It’s now October. And the book buying ban has been lifted. Amazon is sending me books. Can I refuse them? No. No, I can’t. It would be rude.

Thus far, three books have arrived through the post box: a biography about Georgette Heyer, Simon The Coldheart by Georgette Heyer, and a look at the Regency world found in the books of … Georgette Heyer.

I’m starting to suspect that I might be a fan of hers.

// ‘anything you can polite, I can polite betterrrrr’ //

At work recently, I served a customer. This is not an unusual thing. I serve customers all the time. However, this customer chucked me headfirst into the most excruciating battle of ‘Who Can Out Polite The Other’ I’ve ever accidentally been in.

We thanked each other for every. little. thing. I was quite exhausted by the end of it. He won. For certain. He was the most determinedly polite person I’ve ever met.

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it was this, in verbal form … but worse

// words and words and words //

Due to one thing or another, I’ve been struggling to write. But no more! This autumn, I am finishing the rewrite of The Dragons We Hunt. Bring on the murderers! Throw in the dragons! Let the adventure and blood and sweat and late nights and tears begin!

25930798// … and he used an axe. AN AXE! //

At the moment, I’m reading Joan of Arc by Helen Castor. (Let’s not talk about how many times I’ve had to renew it at the library.) And it’s really good –it’s a bit of history that I’m not too familiar with, from a perspective that I’ve never really considered. It’s quite gripping.

I mean … plot twist I wasn’t expecting what happened to John of Burgundy to happen.

My jaw dropped and I wanted to grab a nearby co-worker and rant about it but:

  1. I didn’t want to go down in modern history as ‘The Mad Woman In The Staff Canteen’
  2. The co-worker wouldn’t have appreciated being grabbed and told ‘so, there was this bridge and this Dauphin and this duke and ohmergosh THEY ACTUALLY DIDN’T HAVE PEACEFUL INTENTIONS AT ALL!’
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Alas, I don’t think they would’ve shared my shock

have a great weekend!

Books, podcast, Uncategorized

podcast // wishes, crusaders, and gardens

If you marry a man for his bank account, you’re called a gold digger. So what do you call it if you’re marrying a man for a rose garden … a garden digger? … a gardener? No? Okay. [The Rose-Garden Husband by Margaret Widdemer]

And Phyllis Braithwaite, the little Liberry Teacher who had been living in a hall bedroom on much less money than she needed, found herself alone, sole mistress of the great Harrington house, a corps of servants, a husband passive enough to satisfy the most militant suffragette, a check-book, a wistful wolfhound, and five hundred dollars, cash, for current expenses

 ebook // podcast site // audiobook

Books, Recountings, Uncategorized

mini recountings from a boat

I am currently aboard a boat. Naturally, I lugged books along with me. Unnaturally, there is wifi. Let the recountings commence!

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Uprooted by Naomi Novik

For a single book this had a lot packed in; there were three distinctive acts which could have easily been turned into a trilogy, but I was rather satisfied that it was a standalone.

There was a moment when I had to close the book because I was certain that it was going to suffer from Sagging In The Middle, but it didn’t. IT DIDN’T, I TELL YOU!

I loved the heroine, who was quite down to earth, there was one scene that I could have done without, and the Dragon WASN’T a dragon (I’ll forgive him) but other than that – yes, a most satisfying read.

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The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokski

I was so looking forward to this book, it arrived in time to be dragged along with me and I read it on the first day. But get this – I didn’t like it. My suspension of disbelief didn’t suspend very well. My favourite character was a cannibalistic horse who only appears in the last half. (Seriously though – she has all the best lines.)

YA and I have a very temperamental relationship, and this book – which I was so intrigued by – just wasn’t for me.

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The Partner by John Grisham

Found in the Post Office of a village that had bunting and so. many. ducks. This book actually made me hold my breath AND WHAT A TWIST AT THE END! (Well, there were actually two twists and the very last one left me a little down and put out with the author who hasn’t written a sequel. WHY?!)

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///

Well, I’d better dash as a) a kingfisher has been spotted and b) the wifi might forsake me.

have a grand weekend!