Category Archives: Life

What a year!

It’s been a funny old year. I last posted on 1st January and my aim for 2018 was to waste less time on social media (which I achieved) so that I’d have more time for the important things. And that kind of worked.

There were some pretty huge distractions going on for most of the year. Things that sucked up a huge amount of time, money and energy and my health and personal objectives took a hit. I’ll spare you the details but as a result I will be very glad to see the back of 2018.

However, it was also a year when great things happened.

I continued writing features and websites and took on some part time work for a charity which I love.

I’ve long dreamed of setting up a reading group at the local primary school but was never very sure there would be much take up for it. How wrong I was. The club has been running for three terms now and it is oversubscribed going into 2019 with a waiting list for the following term.

We’ve read three brilliant books: The Last Wild by Piers Torday, Dream Snatcher by Abi Elphinstone and Flight by Vanessa Harbour and I’m looking forward to introducing the children to the quirky world of beetles in M G Leonard’s book Beetle Boy in January.

I’ve also redrafted my novel twice and am getting closer to the moment where I will feel happy to start subbing it out to agents. Still a few months of editing and tweaking to go but the end is in sight.

And the best bit? I entered it into the Bath Children’s Novel Award in December and out of nearly 800 entries mine was one of the longlisted books.

Right now as I’m writing this, one of the junior judges could be reading my novel as part of the shortlisting process.

It’s an awesome feeling to think that the story I’ve laboured over is being read by its intended audience and I can’t wait for the 15th of January when the shortlist will be announced.

Even if I don’t make it on it, I’m still super proud of the achievement and feel even more enthused to get it finished and out into the big wide world.

So as I bid farewell to 2018 I am looking forward to carrying on with all my projects during 2019 and hoping to nudge the book a bit further towards publication.

Happy New Year!

Easy New Year’s Resolutions

I love the 1st January. There’s this sense of starting again and that a whole new year of possibility is opening up to me.

I also know that by mid-January all those feelings of optimism and resolve will probably have ebbed away. Heck, they can sometimes be gone by the end of the week.

I long ago gave up on grandiose resolutions such as writing a novel in six months or undertaking a massive fitness programme. Don’t get me wrong, I think these are all admirable goals. It’s just that I’m not sure that Jan 1 is the time to be setting them.

I’ve learnt over time that setting small goals is much more achievable and rewarding and that over time small goals lead to bigger ones.

So here’s my resolution:

  1. To be more productive or to put it another way: to faff about less

Now that’s not very precise aand I think all goals should be measurable so that you know whether you’ve achieved them or not. So what it really means is to spend less time on social media and distractions so that the first two hours of my day are spent on meaningful tasks that will get me closer to the things that are important in my life.

To this end I have begun unsusbscribing from marketing emails that land in my inbox each day. You know the ones I mean – the two for one pizza deals and the promotions for my favourite store? They are already dust. It takes just a few seconds to find the unsubscribe link on each email and click through and remove myself from the list. I’m already feeling quite virtuous that I’ll be receiving less email.

The second thing which I’m about to do is to download an app that will allow me to switch off all social media before 11am each day.

And that’s it.

Hopefully with a bit more focus I will spend more time on writing so that the bigger goals of finishing a novel, writing more features, running with the dog and so on will slot into place more easily.

Here’s to a happy and productive new year.