A weekend update

I’m going to change the timings of these check-ins, because to me it makes more sense to be thinking about what I want to achieve for the next week on a Sunday, just as I do with the rest of my life.

This past week has been lovely. I’ve had a fair amount of work on, but without the crushing workload I’ve been living with for the past nine months. So I’ve been able to spend significant wodges of time on writing, not to mention other things that make me happy and/or are good for me. And I REALLY appreciate this extra time, in a way I probably didn’t before.

My goals for the upcoming week:

  1. Work on SWMF for 30 minutes on 5/7 days.
  2. Finish the current scene and move on to the next one.
  3. Work on the YA novel for 20 minutes on 5/7 days.
  4. Schedule no. 3, i.e. set a time slot for it. It’s been easy to fit in SWMF because it’s on the computer and I’m more or less in the habit of working on that before I do anything else when I sit down at my desk. The YA novel is harder because it’s currently a pile of paper under my coffee table, which is where I sit when I’m trying to relax. Hmm. Maybe it would help to do it at my desk.
  5. Spend 2 x 30 minutes on submissions.

Feel free to chime in with your own goals below!

Super-quick Friday update

Confession: I think this is the first week since last September in which I’ve done no writing at all. :-/ I do have an excuse – I was laid up with a stomach bug, while also scrambling to finish everything up at work, working evenings…and then for the past couple of days, I have mostly been weepy and exhausted. And still working, only working normal hours rather than all the hours.

Obviously I want to (will!) get in some writing in the next week, but I’m not going to set any goals at the moment, because I think I need a few days to rebalance and take stock of the past nine months. So I’ll be back next week, hopefully with more energy and joie de vivre.

In the meantime, if you want to chime in and tell me how your writing’s going, please do! ❤

Friday update

This is mostly a (very brief) report on last week’s writing, because this week I’ve been sick/overwhelmed with work, although I’m feeling much better now. So:

  1. Work on SWMF on 3/7 days. – done
  2. Finish the current scene and move onto the next one. done
  3. Spend 20 minutes on rereading the YA novel and taking notes – hmm. not done.
  4. Work on submissions on 2/7 days. done

Next week’s goals – I have just one week left of my current ridiculous workload, so I’m going to keep those goals the same:

  1. Work on SWMF on 3/7 days.
  2. Spend 20 minutes on rereading the YA novel and taking notes – on 3/7 days.
  3. Work on submissions on 2/7 days.

Back unto the breach!

Friday update

Here are last week’s goals:

  1. Work on SWMF on 5/7 days. No…done on two days.
  2. Finish one scene and start on the next. Still working on the same scene, but inching along with it.
  3. Spend 20 minutes a day rereading the YA novel and taking notes – on 4/7 days. Done on two days.
  4. Look for/work on submissions on 3/7 days. Done on two days (thanks, Marianne!).

I’m starting to feel as if I’m slipping beneath the waters, and every area of my life is suffering from my workload at the moment. But good things are still happening, and in three weeks’ time I will get my life back again. So, good things:

  • My short story is still on a shortlist for an award (judging is next week, as is my birthday…).
  • I have a book launch to go to. As in, an actual book featuring my writing. At a launch. With other writers.
  • The latest draft of SWMF is over 14,000 words long. A couple of months ago it was stuck at 6,000. How did that happen? Oh, yeah, in ten-minute bursts and spare moments.
  • I have so many ideas for making the YA novel better, and this time through I’m actually writing them down.
  • I just found a note I’d written about something that happens two books down the line in the YA story, and ooh, I SO want to write that!
  • Three weeks. I can do this.

OK, so next week’s goals. They’re lower again, because this week really hasn’t been fun, and also because I have guests this weekend, but still they’re hopefully enough to keep me pushing forward with things.

  1. Work on SWMF on 3/7 days.
  2. Finish the current scene and move onto the next one.
  3. Spend 20 minutes on rereading the YA novel and taking notes – on 3/7 days.
  4. Work on submissions on 2/7 days.

Onward!

Friday update

*shuffles feet* I have been slacking off on checking in here, partly because the good news I posted about on Wednesday has blown my mind and partly because, well, work stress. Plus other things, both lovely and awful, that have overloaded my brain.

OTOH, I have been writing, albeit it at what feels like snail’s pace. My goals last time I posted were:

  1. Work on SWMF on 6/7 days.
  2. Finish another two scenes.
  3. Spend 20 minutes a day rereading the YA novel and taking notes.
  4. Find something to enter/a place to submit something.

I’ve been inching forward with SWMF, and the same (to a lesser extent) with the YA novel. I’ve not been so good about submitting my work, which is ridiculous given that so far for the year I have a 50% success rate. So I would like to enter/submit more stuff. Unfortunately, at the moment it’s hard to see beyond the fog of work obscuring the next month.

But I’ve dealt with this before, and I know it’s about carving out little shards of time in which to work. So I’m going to set some goals for the coming week, even though I’m unsure about my ability to achieve them.

  1. Work on SWMF on 5/7 days.
  2. Finish one scene and start on the next.
  3. Spend 20 minutes a day rereading the YA novel and taking notes – on 4/7 days.
  4. Look for/work on submissions on 3/7 days.

I’ll finish with a picture of my ex-flatmate’s lovely cat, Toto, my writing partner and snuggle buddy for three years until I moved out of London last year. He was put to sleep last week after an inoperable tumour was found in his stomach. RIP, lovely boy; I miss your wonky face, insistent miaow, paw pats and funny little habits.

Toto reclining face on

Publication news

We interrupt this (rather slow lately) stream of check-ins to bring you some happy news: my short story, Touch, is going to be published in an anthology reflecting on the story of David Oluwale, a Nigerian migrant who was found dead in Leeds in 1969 following years of police brutality that directly led to his death.

This is my first fiction publication, so I’m very happy. 🙂 I’m also delighted that this particular anthology is going to include my work. Homelessness has been on my mind a lot recently, and social justice issues are always close to my heart. As well as callous and cruel treatment at the hands of the police, David Oluwale faced racism, homelessness and mental health problems that were exacerbated by failures in systems that should have been protecting him. These failures are still present today – just look at the #BlackLivesMatter movement and, closer to home, the recent death of Sarah Reed.

My story has also been shortlisted for the prose award associated with the anthology, which is a lovely bonus. And just look at the names of those judges! I am slightly dazzled at the idea of these people reading my work.

For more information about the David Oluwale Writing Prize and the Remember Oluwale Foundation, go here. I’ll be back on Friday for an update on how the rest of my writing is going!

Good Friday update

It’s a nice long weekend in the UK, and the sun is shining, so I’ll make this brief. Last week’s goals:

  1. Work on SWMF on 4 days, and finish another two scenes (I have several that are half-done coming up). Done.
  2. Get back to the YA novel on the laptop: 3 days. Done on one day, then I realised I needed to reread it again, this time taking notes so I actually know what to do on the laptop!
  3. Work on submissions for at least 2 x 30 minutes. Done.
  4. Find something to enter/a place to submit something. Not done. Need to prioritise this again.

Good things:

  1. I’ve had a bit more time for things other than work this past week, which has been wonderful. My head feels so much clearer.
  2. I got some lovely writing news a few days ago, which I can’t talk about just yet. *sits on hands*

Goals for this coming week:

  1. Work on SWMF on 6/7 days.
  2. Finish another two scenes.
  3. Spend 20 minutes a day rereading the YA novel and taking notes.
  4. Find something to enter/a place to submit something.

Happy long weekend! May you spend it writing, relaxing, exploring or in whichever way works best for you.

Super-quick Thursday update

…because I’m going away tomorrow for a long weekend.

Last week’s goals:

  1. Work on SWMF on 6/7 days. Done
  2. Finish another two scenes in SWMF. I’ve done a scene and a half
  3. Work on submissions for at least 2 x 30 minutes. Only done 1 x 30 minutes
  4. Continue reading through the YA novel for 20 minutes a day on 6/7 days. Finished my read-through

As I mentioned, I’m away for the next few days, so I’m going to relax my goals slightly.

  1. Work on SWMF on 4 days, and finish another two scenes (I have several that are half-done coming up).
  2. Get back to the YA novel on the laptop: 3 days.
  3. Work on submissions for at least 2 x 30 minutes.
  4. Find something to enter/a place to submit something.

Anyone else want to chime in?

Friday update

Another quick check-in. Last week’s goals:

  1. Work on SWMF on 6/7 days. (Done on 5/7 days. I let my workload get on top of me yesterday.)
  2. Decide on another competition to enter or submission process, and work on it for at least 2 x 30 minutes. (Only managed 1 x 30 minutes.)
  3. Spend 20 minutes a day reading through the YA novel on 6/7 days. (Done on 5/7 days.)

Fairly pleased with that, although I’m still a little frustrated at how “light” it all feels. Not helped by pulling out an old short story that I used to rather like, and deciding it was pretentious and lightweight. :-/ Still, the point of going over old writing is to make it better.

OTOH I have been reading through the YA novel and it’s not as bad as I thought. And I’m full of ideas for what I want to do with the next draft.

Goals for next week:

  1. Work on SWMF on 6/7 days.
  2. Finish another two scenes in SWMF.
  3. Work on submissions for at least 2 x 30 minutes.
  4. Continue reading through the YA novel for 20 minutes a day on 6/7 days.

 

 

Friday update

Yay for March, and yay for better health! And back to the Friday check-ins. The last time I posted, my goals were:

  1. Work on SWMF every day, even if just for ten minutes. 5/7 days done.
  2. Decide on another competition to enter or submission process, and work on it for at least 2 x 30 minutes. Done (actually I’ve worked on this every day).
  3. Finish reading through the YA novel. Not done, but at least I’ve started on it…
  4. Send scene from the YA novel to a friend for feedback on whether I should rewrite it in a different tense. Done.

I’ve tentatively started adding new words to SWMF, instead of just picking at the outline, which is good. As for the rest, I was really quite ill there for a good ten days, so didn’t mind slacking off a little with the writing (especially as I also realised just how stressed out I was with life). But now it’s time to make myself accountable again.

Goals for this coming week:

  1. Work on SWMF on 6/7 days.
  2. Decide on another competition to enter or submission process, and work on it for at least 2 x 30 minutes.
  3. Spend 20 minutes a day reading through the YA novel on 6/7 days.

Anyone want to chime in with their own goals?