Friday, 27 August 2010

All This Writing Mullarkey

Upon reading this blog by Sue Moorcroft, author of All This Mullarkey among others, I'm not sure whether to feel scared or inspired.

Following the links, I also read  this blog written by Sue Moorcroft, which is about her working life as a writer.  I was grateful for the honesty of it actually.  The reality of being a writer and what I would like to achieve.  I'm not sure I'm capable of achieving what Sue has, but my goal is to earn enough from writing I can give up my 'day' job (9 hours a week at my local shop). So a regular £300 a month would be nice!

I believe I have the right attitude to writing. My betas (and friends) gained from my fanfiction writing have nurtured me into that easily enough, and to be honest, I enjoy writing so much it really isn't hard to give up things such as TV.  Not when it's only Big Brother or X-Factor to contend with.  I'll have film night with hubby, which we usually do on a Saturday with a good bottle of wine, (I do need to give him some of my time after all!) and if something like Heroes or Dr Who starts up, I'll watch those.  I haven't even finished watching Desperate Housewives, and I know John Barrowman is in it! (Might have to ask for boxset for birthday/Christmas me thinks).  But I just don't have time to watch TV and I'm not actually bothered by it.

I'm reading more. I set myself 40 books for the year and so far I am reading my 30th.  They've ranged from romance (Mills and Boons & Chick-lit) to vampires and a thriller.  All here if you want to know what I thought of them.


A Wedding at Leopard Tree Lodge

The Collaborator

Dead and Gone

From Dead to Worse

Christmas Angel for the Billionaire/Under the Boss's Mistletoe


Teresa's favorite books »

Since having children, I've wanted something that would work around them. I seriously believe you can't have kids and then not let them change your life, or rule it to some extent.  If I didn't feel like that, I might as well not have had them.  So, yes, even the days where they drive me completely crazy, I had them, I have to deal with it. They come first. So I wanted something that fitted around them, making sure I was here when they come home from school.  I've looked at selling cards, make-up and even kitchen equipment but knew I'd be useless, and not motivated enough to actually make money out of it.  Plus that would be evenings working and that's when I write!  I started writing as a hobby in 2006 and have always loved it, never looked back.  In fact I wish I'd found it years ago.... all those afternoons bored in an office when I had no work to do, I could have been planning a story....  Last year I decided to join The Writer's Bureau to see if I would try to make writing pay.  It hasn't yet, it's still early days, but I've had one piece published in the local paper, and two 'tips' in Practical Parenting.

As both of my children will eventually be at school, then yes I will gain more time, but until then (and I don't want to wish it away) I have to work my writing around the little time that I get.  Starting the social networking now can't be a bad thing, it could be seen as sewing the seeds, or slowing spreading my roots.  Look at the advice I've already received, even today with Sue's advice about short stories.  These are definitely more doable with two children to contend with, than maybe trying to fit in writing a novel.  And if or when they get printed, they'll put me in good stead for my novel(s).

So the scary bit.  Where does Sue find her time? She tells me sleep is for wimps (honest she tweeted me!).  But I want to also concentrate on my running so that I stay fit.  Will I begrudge myself going out for that hour when I should be writing?  Rapidly approaching forty, and my body shot to bits from having two rather large babies, I'm fighting to regain my figure.  I need to exercise, especially if I'm choosing to sit in front of my pc the good majority of my day.  Maybe you think that's vain, but I can't be walking along the red carpet when one of my novels makes it as a Hollywood movie, facing Bradley Cooper as my hero, and Sandra Bullock my heroine, looking like a beached whale!

Okay - I know that's not going to happen, but I'm a writer. I want to prove I have an imagination, plus Sandra and Bradley have already done a film together - not that I've seen it (yet).  And, healthy body = healthy mind, right? It will help with my writing.  Besides, it could take twenty years for me to get published... so I need to make sure I live that long!

Then there's the housework.  I'm not untidy, but I'm probably not the best cleaner in the world either.  Do writers earn enough to pay someone to do it for them? (Because dear God, that is my dream).  Is housework for wimps too?  Maybe as the boys get older I'll get them doing the chores... they already like doing the vacuuming... I suppose they've got to earn their pocket money some how.

And then there's my baking... 

So I sit here inspired that it can be done, and that there is hard work ahead of me.  Even if a day job could be easier, I'm not interested.  I know it already bores the hell out of me and I get frustrated with the incompetences of it all.

But I'm also scared, too.  How am I to fit it all in?


  1. Hi Teresa!
    Great post!

    Yes, it can be hard to fit it all in. I couldn't write all that much when my kids were small but I took my life back in pieces - first the two mornings per week when the youngest went to playgroup and the oldest was at school. Then the evening my husband was out and they were in bed. Then all the mornings when the youngest went to school in the mornings. Then all day when he went all day ...

    It worked out. I fitted all the other stuff in before and after writing, exactly as I would have done if I had taken a 9-3 job in a shop or something.

    And why give up running? That's an hour's plotting time ...

  2. Thanks, Sue.

    No I won't give up the running... it is good brainstorming time. I forgot to stop the other day, so busy thinking about a story idea.

    I'm just a born worrier... And I can't wait till the kids go back next week, so I'll get a little bit more time back. I'll start organising myself better then.

  3. Yes, great post, Teresa (and Sue's)! I'm sure most writers feel the same - but then whatever you do in life, it's hard to fit in everything you want to do! I'd like to spend more time doing things like genealogy, evening classes and maybe even embroidery, not to mention read my way through my huge TBR pile! But the writing has to take priority (after the family of course, as you said), so some things fall by the wayside. I wouldn't worry about it if I were you, just write when you can! As for housework - what's that? :)

  4. Oh how your words echo what I hear in my head about juggling my working/motherhood role.

    If film night is Saturday you must watch 'Motherhood' on Sky Anytime, staring Uma Thurman-it says it all!

    Hang in there. When our fledglings leave the nest we might be able to pack in the jobs that pay the mortgage and do something more worthwhile!


  5. It's hard to fit everything in, but it can be done if you're determined to make time for your writing. Long ago, I had two little children at home, one sitting on one side of me at the kitchen table making something horrid out of Playdoh, and the other learning to read, while I wrote short stories for magazines, and somehow it all worked out!


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