Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Day 2 of Nanny life and I SO UNDERESTIMATED THIS. (Plus WIP update)

So I'm a nanny now, for my 2 year old cousin. I only started on Tuesday and Tuesday was hell.

Understandably so though. She'd had a rough few weeks what with losing her old nanny (who she hated) and the disruption of being shunted back and forth between her Grandmother and Aunt (on the other side of the family) while her parents were on honeymoon. Then only to have them run back to work the day after they get home and being left with what I assume she thinks as the Wicked Witch of the West (me).

She naps two hours before lunch, and the parents are home at 6pm giving me the evenings off. But there literally is not enough hours in the day. I thought I was going to be able to write, do my self study course AND still have time to keep up to date on all my TV shows. EH. WRONG.

Plus I thought I'd feel comfortable writing while she watched TV or played outside. I just feel like I'm neglecting her. Maybe once we've settled in with each other I'll be able to jot little things down without feeling like I'm the worst responsible adult in the world.

All you writers who are stay at home moms. I SALUTE YOU. I have no idea how you do it.

But after having food thrown at me, people at the shop look at me disapprovingly (they must think she's mine and I look about 16 even though I'm 21) and seemingly endless supply of poop filled nappies, this face can just about make up for all of the metaphorical and literal shit.

Maybe I just need to plan better. Make lists and stick to them. No more dilly dallying. Easier said than done but hey-ho. C'est la vie.

And WHEN did this blog turn into an endless complaint list on how much I want to write but don't?

How about a WIP update?

I'm slowly making my way through character backgrounds and plot outlines. Everywhere I turn I'm told that the reason that I'm running out of steam so early into my WIP is that I don't have enough planning done. So I'm PLANNING. Had a sit down with an architecturally savvy friend and his fantasy world obsessed brother and set about planning a map for my city. I don't know how important the map will be but immersing myself in this world eventually my head will saturate and some will have to leak out onto a page.

Welcome to Kathros. Hopefully you'll get to meet the city in person one day.

Any tips for managing your free time effectively? Or if you're in the planning stages of a WIP, how's it going?

Sarah x

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

IWSG - Just keep reading...what do we do? We read.

They say that to be  a good writer, first you have to read, read, read. Read the genre your prefer, read genres you don't. Read children's, young adult, and adult. Read short stories, read long stories. Read poems and prose. Read bestsellers, and read self published. 

This isn't a chore for me. I love reading and have a growing library of my own whilst making frequent use of the public library available to me. 

This is all well and good, but the endless streams of reading tends to stack up against my own insecurities. I cant help thinking while I'm reading that there is no way that my writing will ever be to the same standard as those books.  

I will catch myself thinking, "Wow! That was such a wonderful plot, no wonder everyone loves this story" and "gosh, I love the imagery this author uses", whilst knowing that my stories would probably bore anyone but me, and that I'll never be able to write something profound enough that people will stick the quote on hipster posts on Tumblr. 

But I'd be a fool if I thought this was just my insecurity. I'm sure every best selling author has been where I am right now. And probably even after they've made it think: "Why the heck is my book up there next to book X and Y when they're so much better than mine!"

If this is one of your insecurities, how do you cope with it? Or is it just something you have to learn to ignore?

Sarah x

Monday, 5 August 2013

Curve Ball

You never know what life's going to throw at you. That's basically the opening few chapters for most books written, in the history of ever. Establish the current lifestyle followed by a curve ball and then how they adjust to their new life.

If you follow my blog you'll know that I have ambitions of being a High School Science teacher, but the one University where I can do teaching here in Northern Ireland turned me down for this year. So I was stuck. A newly graduated student with little to no job prospects because I'd put my effort into teaching rather than lab/industry based experience. It's fair to say that I wasn't in a very good place. I was sure that teaching was what I was supposed to do. All the signs seemed to be pointing in that direction and then, curve ball, I didn't get it. Since June, I've been frantically applying for jobs but with no success anywhere.

But in the last few days I've been hit with another plot twist! My Uncle and his Fiance (Wife in T minus 2 days) commute long distances to their work, leaving early in the morning and returning late. No childminding service is open early or late enough for them to leave their 2 year old daughter with so they have an Au Pair living with them. Recently their Au Pair of a year went back to her home country and they got in a new one. But there has been a myriad of problems with the new Au Pair and they're being sent home in a few days time. What with the Wedding days away and the honeymoon after, they've no time to arrange for another Au Pair.

So whose getting the job? Me.

I'm no stranger to looking after kids for a living. Between the ages of 14 and 17 I had a job of looking after two children, friends of the family, three times a week. Tuesday and Thursday nights and Saturday for most of the day. Believe it or not, this was probably when I was at my most prolific in terms writing. Fanfictions mostly, but I had several notebooks that I would fill while they were watching TV, sleeping, or while I was sitting on the grass watching them play around the garden.

So I'm going to live with my Aunt and Uncle for a the foreseeable future looking after their adorable two year old.

I'm looking forward to it. I'll be out of my normal environment with patches of free time during the day for reading and writing as well as evenings and weekends to myself. Hopefully the change of circumstances will shake me out of the funk that I've been in since University ended.

I've also signed up for a distance learning course in Education Psychology to do in my own time to better my teaching application for next year!

Just like any good novel, my life has gotten a little more interesting.

Here's to curve balls and plot twists, in real life, and in fiction.

Sarah x