Category Archives: motivation

Oooh look something shiny

Just stop it – focus for crying out loud! I know I hate to plan, everyone knows it. But it’s November on Sunday, today is Wednesday, this story wont get written unless there’s some sort of plan.

I am brilliant at procrastination, how good is Adele’s new song? listening to it now, awesome. See what I did there? That was actually what was happening in my brain as I typed – I am far too easily distracted when faced with a task I don’t really want to do. Last night I spent far too long looking up name generators…

But I do want to write the story, I really do. And I know deep down if I do this planning before I write it the process will be easier. I know I can ignore some of the details of the plan, I won’t feel bound by the outline. But what I will have already embedded in the draft will be a kind of three act structure, characters with internal and external conflict, character development arcs, basically all the stuff I am trying to include in my rewrites of other manuscripts.

So quit it Bel, quit procrastinating. No this post does NOT need a picture, you don’t need to spend 20 minutes searching for creative commons pics. Spend 20 mins on the Snowflake method and get that plan going – you don’t have many days left! Okay, finding and getting the widget working only took 6 minutes – I’m going now, really I am….



Ahh, routine, welcome back!

School returned late last week after the long Christmas break and Little Man was squeezed into last year’s uniform some lunchbox fodder hastily arranged and off he went, happy as a clam.

And that means my work hours return to a more stable pattern and my free time for writing returns – huzzah!

draft 2With only a few weeks until my Writers Victoria course Refine Your Novel starts I need to do some serious work on my first draft. It has some pretty big issues that I know about, some flat secondary characters, a sister that disappears for half the novel, some additional tension that needs a ramp up, a backstory that kind of exists but needs more integrating.

So last night I popped online and uploaded my nanowrimo draft to Officeworks. Their little worker bees toiled away and this morning I went into the store and collected a printed out copy of my draft – it’s a hefty tome and soon to be covered in scribble marks methinks! Yes, these draftpics are of the actual manuscript – felt a bit guilty printing single sided, but those blank pages will get messy.

Thanks sabrakay for the kick in the pants that was your WIP Progress post, it may have seemed simple to you, but motivated me! .

So it begins

Pre-saved post>>

Cobwebs – dusted. Today the fingers moved on the keyboard, the standard dune-plant-seedling_2542011procrastination distractors (mostly) ignored, and words were written.

It’s early, there are many, many, many more to be written. There are notes to be made, hair to be torn, teeth to be gnashed and joy to be had.

But a seed has been planted.

I’ve returned to my last project that I had abandoned. It’s a novel in two intertwining parts that got too messy to continue with last time. The two voices became too similar, seeds planted early in the manuscript made no sense later, plotting flaws were cracking it apart and the task to continue to the end or recommence just became too huge.

But some time away, the story still itches to be written and here I am again. I’m writing each story independently this time, taking notes, letting one character know what they need to reveal about the other as I go along. Let’s hope they play nicely this time, well, actually they can’t ultimately, they are in opposition.

I’ve also made the first step in arranging two mini writing retreats for myself. I have contacted the wonderful b&b I visited last time to book two weekends, a few months apart. It’s exciting!!

Nano update for you: word count creeping up slowly – a different project from the one described here, not planned at all and ideas are presenting as I need them. There are a couple I know will need to come up soon, things that have been alluded to, but I don’t know what they acutally are yet, hope they arrive at the right times!

Would I lie to you?

Under the cover of darkness I have crept back, through hardships unknown I have fought my way back.[Crown-Upside-Down]-Keep-Calm-It-s-True-This-Blog-s-Back-againOk so that’s possibly a tad over dramatic. I have returned, I have no decent excuse for such a protracted absence – life interfered, pesky imp that it is.

But with renewed vigour I am back writing again, and I’ve done a sneaky little thing. I wrote this post <<insert time frame>> ago (you know I’m leaving that in as typed, cos that’s how I roll, deliberate typos so that you then assume the others are deliberate and ironic, yeah that’ll work). Seriously though, this post was written in late August.

Why the posting delay you ask? I’ve restarted this blog in the past and fallen off the wagon, I didn’t want this to be a repeat of past performance. So today I started writing again, outlining, but the juices are flowing. I’m chronicling the restart and also plan to restart the blog. But I want a volume of work again, I want a habit re-established and sustained, I want to be able to make sure it sticks.

So I’m writing, and I’m blogging as I go, it will just be a little while till I post. But rest assured, if you’re reading this post, there are many to follow, I have a back log, well I will have, I don’t yet today while I’m typing, but I do today as you’re reading. Get it? Phew, I’m glad someone does.

Talk to you again, well tomorrow maybe? Let me know.

It feels great to be back – Bel.

An email wake up call

So yesterday I got an email out of the blue that has kicked me into gear a bit.

I got an email from my novel. Really I did. Photographic evidence here:



Well if that aint a sign to get myself moving what is??



An affair begins…

Pic from

Pic from

Brand me with a scarlet letter A – I do believe I’m a cheater.

I confess that today I started an affair, I think I’ve started cheating on my Work in Progress. <<hang my head in shame>>

I’ve had an idea bouncing around in my head since my Cimarron session and at the library today I just spontaneously started some research – real proper research. And I’m just so excited!

There’s actually going to be a bunch of research needed for this story, and it will be wide ranging. The manuscript will include a number of linked short stories, which I love to write.

cimmsess5So far I’ve contacted an expert in vintage american pottery to help with prices of some pieces in the late 1930s, ordered in a special book on 1930s cruise liners and pulled out a recipe book in which my grandmother wrote some of her recipes I remember so clearly.

I plan to tie in some little family stories and some of the characters will be nods to some of my family members, however they will only provide the inspiration – my grandfather for instance will actually go back a generation, he was a trombone player in the Royal Australian Airforce, however I’m turning him into a trombone player in a band on a cruise ship in the 1930s. And that’s about where the similarities end, although I may use his christian name.

So please don’t judge me, but be excited, sure I’ve moved on to something new and shiny but I’m not abandoning my old friend, I’m just shifting it off to a dark corner – mwa ha ha ha!

So – gotta run, I’m working late <<nudge, nudge, wink wink>>

Really well disguised procrastination

aka Procrastination with Purpose

So I’ve been having a grand ol’ time working on my manuscript but haven’t written a single new or additional word.

However I feel like I’m still moving forward and keep wanting to get back to it each night. So what the heck have I actually been doing?

I’ve downloaded a trial version of the writing program Scrivener. I’ve heard about this program off and on for the past three years or so – all good things. It’s supposed to be the beez kneez in manuscript and stage

image from

image from

writing. One teeny, and not actually significant, detail that I really like is that the trial period is 30  days of actual use, if you take three weeks off it doesn’t eat into your trial period – nice!

I’ve spent the last little while putting my existing manuscript into the program, it’s kinda complicated but well worth it.

The program creates index cards for you, allows you to drag the scenes around, group stuff, it’s very dynamic.

It’s taking me a little while to sort it out how it all works, and to complicate matters I also signed up to dropbox to start saving stuff to the nebulous internet cloud, but as my story involves two alternating viewpoints, I think this is going to be really helpful.

In 28 days (of use) I’ll be purchasing a license I think, my budget queen is a blog reader, prepare to enter a new expenditure! However it’s only $US45! If I’d bought it before our $Aus crashed it would have been an even bigger bargain, c’est la vie 🙂

So perhaps it is procrastination, but it’s procrastination with purpose!