Chronic Fatigue Awareness Day 2017

Today is Chronic Fatigue Awareness Day. This is a day close to my heart as my 13 year old son has CFS, also known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, or ME.

Nearly four years ago, he came down with glandular fever. It took us around 18 months to get a diagnosis of ME/CFS!

This has had a huge impact, not only on his life, but also family life, and part of the reason is that it’s so misunderstood.

He only goes to school part time, and has regular appointments with doctor’s at the Royal Children’s Hospital to monitor his progress. There are many activities he wants to do that he can’t. For example, he really wants to join the Scouts, but it’s not an option right now, as well as attending school camps, and similar activities.

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Style guides

Editing to fit the style guide

I can remember in primary school going through lists of different ways to say “said” in a piece of writing – said, asked, demanded, muttered, screamed, whispered, etc. We were told to mix it up a bit as it would make the writing more interesting.

Fast forward too many years to count and I start writing chapter books for children. The general advice is to use the word “said” most of the time instead of using a variety of tags, even if it’s a question.

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When exhaustion wins…

Sometimes exhaustion takes over

I am a writer, and a published author. Words are constantly flowing around in my head and being written down, either in a note book or on the computer. Books, words, and reading are what gets me excited. However…

There are some days when it’s all too hard and the exhaustion wins.

This can look like different things on different days.

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Knowing my destination

Knowing where I’m heading

I have a few different pieces of writing on the go at the moment. The ones that have been most successful (read – the ones that have been finished) have been those where I know where I’m going.

For these stories, I will often start out with a beginning and an end in mind. I may not know how I will get to that ending, but I know where I’m going.

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Changing routines

Changing my writing routine

I see so many articles going around writing groups about getting into a routine and write every day. The message from these articles is that this is how you are going to be a “real” writer.

I’ve come to the conclusion that the writer’s of these articles must lead quite a predicable life!

At the moment, I haven’t been able to write every day like I was planning to. For a while, I was beating myself up about it. I wasn’t having a lunch beak as I would be driving my kids to school. By the time evening came around, I was too tired to do anything. Getting up early to write also wasn’t the best plan for my general health and stress levels.

So I came up with a new routine.

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A new month, a new challenge

Challenges for this month

Earlier this year, I was talking with a friend about writing and what I want to get out of it. One thing is that I want to publish more books, get more readers, and get more sales! It sounds quite easy, and it seemed easy when we were talking about it…

I have been working on a few novellas for grown ups, and finishing these and publishing them would help to achieve this goal. I worked out that I would need an editor and cover designer to make these great, without having to get an illustrator as you need with children’s books. It seemed like a great plan.

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Chapter Book Challenge – Wrap Up #ChaBooCha

Chapter Book Challenge 2017

I didn’t keep up with my update posts during the Chapter Book Challenge! I am pleased to announce that I completed the challenge!

Last Saturday, I spent a couple of hours in my favourite cafe and stayed there until I completed the final chapter.

It needs a read through, but I need to let it sit for a while before I do that…

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Chapter Book Challenge – week 2 #ChaBooCha

Chapter Book Challenge 2017

It’s week 2 of the Chapter Book Challenge. I was hoping to get some writing done over the long weekend we’ve just had… however I realised I had a looming deadline.

Last year, I went to the Meet the Publishers conference. It was such an amazing weekend that I registered as soon as booking opened for this years conference. As part of this, I signed up for a manuscript assessment and the deadline was last night!

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Chapter Book Challenge 2017 #ChaBooCha

Chapter Book Challenge 2017

Since I wrote my last post about making writing a priority, life threw us a huge curve ball. My 15 year old son had a flare up of his Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, a pain condition that started last year. This time, the pain was in both legs, resulting in a hospital stay. He’s still not healed, so my days are spent juggling work, medical appointments, school, and sleep.

It’s safe to say I’m exhausted.

This exhaustion has meant that not as much writing has been happening as I wanted it to.

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Making writing a priority

Creating more time to write

I love writing, and reading. Last year, I joined the PopSugar Reading Challenge as a way to make reading a bigger part of my life, and to read a wider range of books. This year I’m working on making writing a priority.

The last couple of weeks, I’ve been thinking about this and working out the places I am the most productive. For some reason, that place is at a cafe, but it has to be one that’s not too noisy. I can write in other places too, however the cafe seems to be my preferred environment.

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