1. I am enjoying myself!
I've always written for YA audiences, but I have steered away from the 'fantasy' genre. In retrospect, I don't know why I did this because it makes complete sense for me to write something full of adventure and magic. These are the kind of books I read growing up, and the kind that I still love to read.
In the past, I've had half-ideas for stories that I've started, and worked at, and found they just don't go anywhere. With my current 'work in progress', the words just keep coming. In fact, I don't seem to be able to write quick enough. Of course, I still have moments where I get stuck and can't quite figure out how to progress a scene, or how a character should react to something, or whether it's best to do this or that. But, I know where I am headed, and it feels good! I'm enjoying writing, because I'm writing something that I would enjoy reading.
2. I am listening to more music (and watching less TV).
When I was a student, I listened to music all the time. I had playlists with music to work to, music to party to, music to drive to, and music to sleep to. When Mr T and I started dating, one of our favourite things to do was drink wine and take it in turns to play our favourite tracks. My Dad also has a hugely eclectic music collection and, as a family, we have always gone to gigs and concerts. So, I'm not sure why music faded into the background for me. Probably, if i'm being honest, because of On Demand TV and Netflix! It's far too easy to get sucked into another boxset and mindlessly while away the hours soaking up the drama.
I'm not saying TV boxsets are bad. I love a good boxset. But I think dedicating time each day to writing is forcing me to be more discriminating about what I watch. When I do watch something, I genuinely enjoy it and it relaxes me, instead of just 'being on' in the background, while I google dancing cats on my laptop.
In a later post, I'll give you some suggestions for music to write to, because I find it's a very delicate balance between listening to something you enjoy and something you enjoy too much!
3. I am reading more.
I'm reading other writers' blogs, books about writing, books about magical creatures, stories, websites... a plethora of things that are all helping to inspire and inform the way I approach my novel. And, as Stephen King said, “If you don't have time to read, you don't have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”
4. My confidence is on the up.
The more I write, and the more hurdles I overcome when i'm writing, the more confident I feel. 'Writer's block' is terribly disheartening, but when you're finally hit by that lightning bolt moment and you overcome it – you feel as though you could conquer the world!
It also feels good to finally be working hard to achieve something I have always wanted. Pushing aside fears and doubts, and just doing it, is a very empowering experience. After all, what's the worst that can happen? I may not finish it. It might be rubbish. But at least I will have tried.
5. The dog is getting more cuddles.
Spending more time sitting quietly with my laptop or notebook means the dog is getting lots more quality cuddles. There is no better writing companion that a big-eared hound who looks at you as though you are the best thing since sliced bread.