You might remember that I’m working on my first novel. Last time I wrote about writing a novel I was up to 10,000 words. I’ve since added another 30,000 and am now officially halfway through the first draft.
Of course, the problem with writing a first novel before winning the lottery is that you still have to fit in a day job, caring for small children and running a household. Then, of course there’s a few other exciting opportunities I’ve jumped on recently.
Freelance writing – I wasn’t planning on increasing my freelancing until next year when my eldest starts school. Then a vacancy came up at Talk About Creative and I immediately said “Pick me, pick me!”. And they did!
Social media empire – Okay, so we’re not exactly an empire YET but we’re certainly well on our way at Parent Talk Australia. I spend a couple of hours a week, along with several dozen other talented Aussie parenting bloggers, helping it chug along and grow and reach the mums and dads of Australia on social media.
Richell Prize application – This one is at least novel-writing-related. The Richell Prize is an inaugural award to an emerging writer (someone who hasn’t published anything yet). The winner gets $10,000, a year’s mentorship with publisher Hachette Australia and an excerpt of their manuscript published in The Guardian Australia.
I took about a month out from writing my novel to work on polishing the first three chapters, a synopsis, a full chapter outline and a brief essay on why they should pick me to win the prize. In the end it was very helpful because I had to stop and figure out what happens in the rest of my story. This has made writing easier but, sadly, hasn’t created a 25th hour in the day to actually get the words down on paper.
And then there’s blogging – I love blogging. If someone would pay me to write down random thoughts on the internet all day every day, about whatever I liked, I’ll be there with application in hand. Sadly, however, blogging takes up an awful lot of head space with very little financial return on investment.
Normal daily activities turn into blog post plans that never get written. Just today I’ve written plans in my head for the following potential posts:
- How to eat a Nutella donut without burning the inside of your mouth – Bec’s first vlog
- How did they used to get kids to Go the F%$# to Sleep in the olden days?
- Sure, I’ll work for free. But not for you. (This as an open letter in reply to the several emails I’ve had from companies in the past few weeks who think I should bug you, dear reader, with blog posts all about their company because INTERESTING BLOG POST. Not. Don’t worry, I said ‘No’.)
- If at first you can’t fit everything in, simply re-prioritise (actually that’s pretty much this blog post except with a different emphasis).
And so my imagination disappears down the rabbit hole of unwritten blog posts, leaving Monica and Alice bereft of further plot development (they’re the main characters in my book, just FYI).
So because I want to finish writing the first draft of this book before Christmas AND be able to feed my children something other than potatoes and rice (so the paid work has to stay), I’ll be taking a break from blogging.
I’ll still be writing the Top 5 Weekly posts over at Parent Talk Australia (you really should subscribe if you haven’t already – there are some truly fabulous articles).
I’ll still be reading lots of blog posts every Tuesday and leaving a trail of #TeamIBOTs in my wake.
And I’ll be back when I’ve finished the first draft… or if the good people who judge the Richell Prize for Emerging Writers are kind enough to shortlist my entry (shortlist is announced on 23 September). Then I won’t be able to resist writing a quick blog post! With any luck I may have even finished the draft by the end of September.
What have you overcommitted to recently? Had to take a break from something? Do you just say ‘yes’ to everything?