time flies when you're being a mum

How and why to plot your story first

27 Jun, 2018

Up until a few weeks ago, my opinion of plotting was a snobby one. I’d read Stephen King’s fantastic book, On Writing, a few years ago (you can see my favourite quotes from On Writing in this post I did for Live Love Blog) and Stephen King doesn’t plot. So, despite never having finished a story (and barely even starting one for that matter), I didn’t plot either.

Up until I hit a wall with the story I’m writing (Frog Boy – working title!). For over a year, ideas had come to me while out walking, during chats at the pub, from books I’d read and random things that fell out of my husband’s mouth.

I’d written about 4 chapters by the seat of my pants, totalling around 5000 words, and writing what came into my head. Then I realised:

a) It was taking me ages; and

b) I was getting lost.

I knew there was an idea in there but I had no clue how it was all going to piece together nor what the point of it was going to be.

And the not knowing made me not want to write.

I realised I needed to know how to plot a story…

How to plot a story

I’ve been reading about plotting for a few weeks now but hadn’t put it into practise.

Finally, for this week’s creative writing class, it’s my homework! I’m now forced to come up with a plot for a new story. Hurrah!

And in doing so, I can use the process to plot Frog Boy. Which I had a go at yesterday…

How to plot a story

I’ve collected together some tips from a chapter on plotting from the book How to Write a Children’s Book, and have added in tips from my Creative Writing tutor. (more…)

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How to get 'unstuck'!

21 Jun, 2018

When I first found out I was pregnant, I was in the middle of a creative confidence revival.

I was working on the blog, and had ideas a plenty. I even wrote about confidence and how to cultivate it here.

This was compounded by a creative writing course, which gave me the confidence to try new things and reignite the kids’ book I had begun writing last year. Starting the Miracle Morning was the icing on the cake – it focused my mind on my goals and got me striving to achieve.

I’m certain pregnancy hormones were making me super ambitious, but I wanted to get it all done before the baby arrived!

But then… just as I was getting into the swing of things, my confidence took a holiday.

Creative Confidence (more…)

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my reading list

30 May, 2018

I few weeks ago I read, made lots of scribbles and folded lots of pages over, then reread Show Your Work by Austin Kleon.

Best Books - my top 5 from 2015, Show Your Work, Austin Kleon

I love this guy. He does a great weekly email about what he’s found in the week and I even own a jumper of his first book; Steal Like an Artist.

He’s basically an artist with good ideas around creativity and getting yourself out there. This book, in particular, is about the latter: How to share what you are working on; and, get yourself known in a non-narcissistic manner.

I first wrote about it years ago in Best Books – my top 5 from 2015, but I found it hard going because, I wasn’t working on anything. My focus back then was to get contracts with brands and I rarely wrote about what I truly loved. I didn’t know what I loved and I didn’t have time.

These days I’m working on a few passion projects. (more…)

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Life plans, hopes and happy routines

06 Mar, 2018

I used to listen to podcasts every day but when I stopped blogging, this stopped too. I’d forgotten how great they really are! I loved the conversation and all the weird and wonderful things you could learn.

Thankfully my husband, Mike, made me listen to this James Altucher podcast last month. Since then I’ve been avidly listening to the rest of his shows and finding them really motivating. Each one seems to inspire me to write.

find your conversation

I tend to listen to podcasts whilst out walking the dog (hence the massive coat and headphones) or when I’m driving

Two weeks ago it was Sara Blakely (owner of Spanx) who rocked my tiny mind with her ‘I’m an awesome dork’ attitude. It got me to open up and write 8 things that have happened. I’m still cringing from that post but “embarrass yourself and fail often” were key features that stuck out from the Sara interview. (more…)

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In my experience anyway...

28 Feb, 2018

A week ago today I had a Laparoscopy, so I thought I’d share how it went and what’s been happening since…

For those of you who don’t know, the reason I needed a laparoscopy in the first place was because my mirena coil had ‘gone for a wander’. When it was put in,  the wall of my womb was slightly ruptured and that was enough for the coil to slowly, but surely, worm its way out of my womb and wander around my pelvic cavity. It was discovered during an Xray (read more about the ‘finding the coil saga’ here).

Laparoscopy to remove merina coil

To get the blighter out, I needed a laparoscopy, which is keyhole surgery where they enter via the belly button and stick a camera down there. They then fill you with gas so they can see properly and make one or two small incisions to the side of the belly button in order to remove said coil. I only needed one incision and it looks like this… (more…)

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