Is snoozin’ losin’?

It occurs to me that there’s two things I am perpetually lacking in life. In no particular order:

Money
Time

I would imagine I’m not unique in this.

Can we ever really control this?

To some extent, we have control over our finances.  We know what our income is and can choose our expenditure – well, to a certain degree. Those of us with kids will know all about the money vortex that seems to widen as the kids age.  If we wanted to though, we could be strict. We could be misers. But, where’s the fun in that? You can’t take money with you when you shuffle off  so perhaps it’s futile to worry about it. As long as basic needs are met and some wants, we are fortunate.  However, I do have to admit that more money would be good.  I doubt many people will disagree with that.  I’ll still throw money away on lottery tickets because you never know…

Time.  We all have the same amount of time in a day but we don’t all make use of it in the same way.  I cram a lot into my time; family life, work, studying, exercise, general household chores and other miscellaneous tasks – there’s always something.  It looks impressive written down.  But….I could still do with more!  Working 8 hours a day (5 days a week) does not allow for much free time so short cuts have to be taken from time to time.  I often wonder how I would spend my time if I didn’t have to work for a living.  In all honesty, it’s probably the same as money – the more you have, the more you waste.  I resolve to make better use of my time but ironically, time management takes time.

I have been listening to Eric Thomas recently.  He calls himself the Hip Hop Preacher.  He advocates waking at 4 a.m to start your day, no matter how little sleep you have had.  He thinks people who are serious about success should sacrifice sleep in order to “grind” for longer.  I already do (to a certain extent), regularly only sleeping for around 6 hours which is 2 hours less than the recommended amount.  Less sleep does equal more time but does it automatically equal success?  Could someone really only sleep for 3 or 4 hours and be successful?  Success in this instance, appears to be defined as “rich”.

My Googling proved to be inconclusive.  Several similar articles list successful business figures who apparently function (to a high degree) on only 4 hours sleep but the sceptic in me wonders how this can be true.  Who really knows other than the person in question and their bed partner?  Donald Trump recently claimed that sometimes he only sleeps for an hour and a half.  Really?  Part of me thinks that is a big fat lie though it would allow plenty of time for him to compose nonsensical tweets.

There’s so many unanswered questions about this suggestion. I wonder how many strong cups of tea or coffee it takes to start a long day at 4 a.m.  Or, do any of these people take some other kind of stimulant?  Or, if these people don’t need any kind of stimulants, how do they sustain energy throughout the day?  How do they ensure that the short hours of sleep are high quality hours of sleep?  I’m exhausted just thinking about it.  I’m off to bed.  I have a busy day ahead.

 

 

 

 

 

A Few Things Writers Can Learn From Olympic Athletes

The difference between athletes and writers is that athletes can see a physical result. They can see their body changing, their performance improving and they have a tangible result at the end – a placing or if they’re successful enough, a medal. Writers (I think) seem to think their pursuit is not as worthy because there is no external reward – unless they have successful book sales etc. A lot of the time the reward is internal and is a solitary experience. However, that shouldn’t make it any less important.  The mindset of an athlete is very inspiring and writers could learn a lot from it.  In particular, competing with yourself to get the best result.  Focus on your own performance and ultimately, just do it!

 

I am really enjoying watching the Rio Olympics. It has been a really inspirational sporting event and…one which one makes me feel guilty for sitting on my sofa, wedging another slice of pizza into my mouth, as some poor athlete belts around the track. The Olympics has also provided me with a creative boost which […]

via A Few Things Writers Can Learn From Olympic Athletes #writerslife #writers — BlondeWriteMore

My failure and success in NaNoWriMo so far

For the first time, I decided to take part in NaNoWriMo.  For anyone who doesn’t know what NaNoWriMo is, it is National Novel Writing Month and it has taken place every November since 1999.  The aim is to write 50,000 words in a month and then the editing can follow at your leisure in December or whenever.  I have flirted with the idea of writing a novel before but I haven’t made it past the planning stage.  Some of my previous planning is still saved and I may revisit for a future novel or novels but in the meantime, I thought I would take up the challenge of just writing and getting my first novel underway.

Three weeks into the challenge and I have written just short of 10,000 words.  It works out at an average of 500 words a day.  While I could see this as a failure because I am 9 days and 40,000 words away from the target, I see it as a success.

Let me explain why.

I enjoy writing but I find that life often gets in the way.  I know real writers are supposed to find their way around obstacles but sometimes it just isn’t possible.  I don’t want to make excuses but for a variety of reasons my writing was sporadic.  To have written a few hundred words most days (I have written for 19 days out of 21) is a success.  It is a success because I have been writing regularly.  I have been writing regularly and enjoying it.  And, because I am writing most days, I know where I am going with the story.  I won’t have to remind myself at a later date what I had previously written.  My plot and characters will stay with me on a daily basis until the story is told in full.

I had not previously achieved this without the goal of NaNoWriMo.

With 9 days to go, I don’t expect to have 50,000 words written but what I do expect is to have a fully formed skeleton; the skeleton being the plot outline.  I can then work on putting flesh on the bones.

I’m happy with my progress on my practice novel.  I’m glad I took up the challenge and I would do it again.

I would love to hear about other people’s experiences in NaNoWriMo.

Maybe you’re just like me, a newbie to novel-writing.  Maybe you find it easy to knock out 50,000 words.

Feel free to leave a comment below.

Di 🙂

Latest change of plan

I have just read through my blog to date and I’m heartened by my enthusiasm throughout.  It’s a good reminder of my past plans and a boost towards my goal.  I still stand by my original definition of success:

Someone is reading my blog = a start.

Someone is reading my work = vaguely successful.

Someone has paid for my work = moderately successful.

I am earning enough to write for a living = SUCCESSFUL!

My blog now has some followers so I have achieved my starting point. Tick!

Now to tick the other 3 items on my list.  

I can’t help feeling that my original plan was slightly flawed.  I had initially stated that I would give away my early writing for free but I have changed my mind.  What if I was to charge a small amount? I’m aware that my early writings may not be up to professional standards but if I charge less than £1 for 5 short stories, if people don’t like them then they haven’t wasted much money or time.  I like to think of it as the writer’s equivalent of busking.  Someone buying a few short stories from me for a few pence is just like chucking coins into a busker’s guitar case.  They won’t miss the money but may appreciate a bit of art.

The most important part of that idea is: if even one person buys my book, I have achieved steps 2 and 3 of my goal simultaneously.

Watch this space!