Instead of blogging, this last month I've been spending a little more time with my monsters, as well as the unofficial child of our household (the husband). But I couldn’t resist joining in with the IWSG on their monthly blog hop. They are a wealth of information on all things writerly. I highly recommend any of you lovely writers to take a look at their blog posts and get involved. ISWG post a question the first Wednesday of each month. If you'd like to get involved and sign up (why not? You've nothing to lose!) click here. In the meantime, take a look at IWSG's Captain of the ship/Master of Ceremonies Alex J. Cavanaugh and this months brilliant co-hosts: Christine Rains, Dolarah @ Book Lover, Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor, Yvonne Ventresca, and LG Keltner.
This months question is: what are your pet peeves when reading/writing/editing?
I thought I'd keep it simple write a list of my top nine pet peeves (because ten would be typical, and I'm feeling rebellious).
1) When my entire house turns into a noisy gamer’s den-come-TV show home… ‘put the fidget spinners and games controller down and get outside and play, kiddos. Mum is trying to write!’ (Parenting fail, I know.)
2) When I'm in the midst of writing a nail biting, tummy-twinging scene, and I run out of coffee. Java-junkies, know my pain!
3) When I think the latest pages I’ve written are good, only to read them the following day and be left wondering whether I had some kind of mental, schizophrenic episode during my last writing session.
4) When I read another author’s work that I adore, and awe turns into that naughty little tyke, envy. And envy leads to the biggest pity-party known to humankind. I am not Neil Gaiman, and never will be. Get over it.
5) When I fail to find a major plot hole and my loving husband points it out, laughing. You win this battle of one-upmanship, Mr. Fitzpatrick, but the war isn’t over.
6) When I think my kids are settled in bed and I sit down to write, only to have mistaken their silent serene sleep for a midnight bedroom-wall colouring session.
7) When I wakeup with an excellent idea and plan to write it down later in the day, and I either forget what my brilliant epiphany was or I’m exhausted and fall asleep, dribbling on the keyboard.
8) When I struggle to write even basic sentences, and it takes me a day to figure out how to eloquently write that John did a poo… just kidding. None of my characters poop on the page, they prefer taking their toilet-breaks in private without anyone reading about it.
9) When I edit and decide to change a tiny detail at the beginning, only to realise that the tiny snowball of a detail turns into a giant avalanche of plotlines by the end. It’s time to crack open the Rocket coffee and get shovelling through.
This week I'm taking part in another IWSG (Insecure Writer's Support Group) blog. I highly recommend any other writers out there to take a look at this fantastic group here, and popping over to the July co-hosts: Tamara Narayan, Pat Hatt, Patricia Lynne, Juneta Key, and Doreen McGettigan.
The question asked by the IWSG this month is: What is one valuable lesson you’ve learned since writing?
I’ve been loaded with indecision thinking about this, so, instead of answering with one lesson I’ve made a list of ten imperative things I’ve learned (but don’t always adhere to) since I began writing.
1) Surviving off coffee for prolonged periods of time will give you palpitations and paranoia.
2) Whoever penned the advice, ‘Write drunk, edit sober’ should have added, ‘but don’t consume the entire bottle of vodka'. Not only will you get no editing done for days with your post-kid hangover, the chances of you understanding a word you’ve written whilst drunk are slim to none.
3) Procrastination can be fun if you do it right. Do it wrong and you could end up spending four hours watching vines on YouTube. Four hours of your life that you’ll never get back!
4) There is no such thing as flat-out failure. Failing is merely a learning curve lined with silver sparkles. Everyone loves silver sparkles, right?
5) I never thought for a minute writing would instigate a chair obsession. Not all chairs are the same. Get a comfortable one. Backache sucks and codeine is NOT the answer.
6) If I have a (rare) day off I tend to get less writing done than the days I’ve got a gazillion things to do—I’m pretty certain an undiscovered black hole passes by earth and messes with the relativity of time when I’m not working. That’s the only plausible explanation for my inefficiency.
7) Say yes to as much as you can. If you don’t you’ll only regret it later—unless you’re busy with your face in a computer screen not paying attention, and your kids ask for a puppy. Disappointment is hard to rectify with those little monsters. It might cost you dearly.
8) My husband has more patience than a salesman on the verge of closing a deal when it comes to me spending the evenings writing. He does call me Borg, though. But I can deal with name calling from my husband, Cowhead.
9) Never take yourself too seriously. Life’s too short and precious to waste on self-created worry. Paying monthly bills is enough pressure, why add to it?
10) Validation from others is nice but use its uplifting effect carefully. It can be undermined with a couple of unkind words. Writing is subjective. I cannot please everyone.