Friday, 11 November 2016

Life v’s Creativity

It has been a long time since I last managed to blog and the reasons are plentiful but can be summed up in one word LIFE.

The past year has seen lots of ‘life’ stuff consuming my time; from ensuring that my eldest child’s transition from primary to secondary was a smooth one (it was), to helping my youngest prepare and get through the dreaded 11+ (he did), to a greatly increased school run time of over an hour (x 2 daily), in addition to starting a business and going back to more regular work. All this life stuff and a sprinkling of health issues resulted in a decreased time for writing with the effect of me spiralling into a chasm of despondence. The despondence in turn fuelled my dyslexia meaning anything I did manage to pen was in an unreadable form of Sally-Dyslexia-English, which even my husband (who always ever patient and translates all my work into a readable standard form of English) found hard to decipher.

All in all, it became a hotpot of chaos that cramped by creativity. The mother load of ‘life’; the lack of inspiration, the dyslexia associated difficulties all coming in quick succession after me losing my agent and first publishing contract last autumn. It all knocked my confidence. But I am ever the optimist, believing that all would be fine, I carried on believing that I was going to continue the level of progress and output I did before the life changes, and even do more with less time. Like my self-imposed deadline to expand my finished YA novella from twenty thousand words up to eighty thousand in six weeks, on the approach to Christmas. Yes I can hear all writers and parents laughing from here; getting anything done on the approach to Xmas, with extra carol services, fayres, and trips to see family is unlikely. Add to that deconstructing a manuscript, rewriting, expanding by fifty thousand words, adding subplots and character arcs and of course translating it into a readable form of English, anyone who think they can achieve that must be a lunatic. But in my defence my state of mind at the time could be summed up in two words: oblivious and deluded, (which may indeed add up to lunatic).

I had set myself up for failure.

When I realised this, in what I would like to say was a grand earth shattering epiphany, but was more accurately a slightly strained conversation with my better half, I realised that the solution was a simple one, it was me.

By re-evaluating my life and re-prioritising, I found myself reinvigorated (sorry for all the re’s!) My imagination was unleashed and I climbed out of the chasm. I began writing gain with renewed gusto (sorry another re) and enlisted the help (something I find really hard), getting family to help out with school runs, going to the inspiring Book Bound Retreat and working with The Golden Egg Academy to plan the reworking of my manuscript from novella to full length novel.

So now that I’m working again, and have taken control of life, I’m finding my creative self is spreading its wings and I’m back to blogging, drawing and even incubating new story concepts. My extended manuscript is currently being reviewed by the lovely Mother Goose, Imogen over at Golden Egg, and I feel good

So this is what I have to say…

Life sometimes gets in the way of writing.

And sometimes you get in the way of life (like I did.)

But it’s your life and you need to take it by the horns, and be in charge.

So, I’m back. I’m writing, And fingers crossed maybe I’ll have some good news soon.

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