I’ve joined Peter M. Ball’s Sunday Circle to help keep my writing on track. Follow along here or join in the fun over at Peter’s blog, Man Versus Bear.

What am I working on this week?

Two main things: a short story and my YA fiction rewrite.

The short story started its life as a scene from another (in progress) novel. I edited the scene out of the novel at second draft stage because it wasn’t working but I couldn’t let go of it completely. Now I’m trying to work out what to do with it. I’ve tried a few different angles and this week just tried to loosen up a bit and have fun with it and see what happens. Maybe it’ll turn into a cool little story or maybe it won’t but I’m letting go of the end product and just enjoying playing around with words and concepts.

I’d had a couple of weeks break from the YA rewrite so had to re-orient myself with that work. I’ve got  the central theme clear in my head now and have written it up on my white board so it’s front of mind as I review and edit each scene. I’m still in the first third of the rewrite, and find I’m writing a lot of new material to set it up, but I think this will dissipate as I get into the meat of the story. But the story is changing and evolving quite a bit, so who knows?

What’s inspiring me this week?

I’ve been re-reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic to kick-start my motivation. It’s my go-to book when, for whatever reason, I’m finding it difficult to sit down and write. The book is really an expansion of her now famous TED talk, and I know her stories well by now. Nevertheless it does the trick and gets me back into my writing room. One thing that particularly helped me this week was this passage:

“I told the universe (and anyone who would listen) that I was committed to living a creative life not in order to save the world, not as an act of protest, not to become famous, not to gain entrance to the canon, not  to challenge the system, not to show the bastards, not to prove to my family I was worthy, not as a form of deep therapeutic emotional catharsis…but simply because I liked it.”

It’d had been a tough week for me (not because of the new job, which is awesome, just other stuff) and I found reading those words really freeing. I might write them on my white board, too.

What action do I need to take?

Now that I’ve started my new full-time job I need to knuckle down to the writing schedule I’ve set myself. It worked reasonably well this week, although a couple of nights I found I was starting a little after 5.30pm for no particular reason (other than I was mucking around on social media when I didn’t need to be).

Once I started writing it was easy to stay on task until 7pm, which also made the rest of my evening more relaxing (and allowed me to indulge in watching my new favourite show, What Would Diplo Do, without feeling guilty).  So my action this week is to make sure I am in my writing room, laptop open and ready to work, right on 5.30pm. No excuses.