Rowan Coleman's Short Story Competition, which, funnily enough, has the theme of - you guessed it - 'a new start'. That's a fair few new starts for the month of July, is it not?
I really like July. *sighs happily* It's my birth month, so while I hate getting older (which, by the way, seems to accelerate as the years go by), it's still nice because my birthday is the one day of the year where I get to be treated. This year it's even better because it will fall on a Saturday, and somehow birthdays are always nice if they coincide with the weekend, yes?
Anyway, I wanted to blog on the first of July mainly because my writer's group is currently in the final stages of setting up our blog. We go live on the 5th, and as one of the contributors I have the dubious honor of having THIS blog on the blogroll. Now, as we are aiming to be entertaining, helpful and professional, I figured I didn't want my most recent blog title 'advertising' me. Somehow I don't think *is a failure* quite gets across an image I'm happy with.
Anyway, the new blog is really exciting for me personally because I get to work on a permanent project with my writer's group (The Burrow, for those of you who aren't experiencing Deja Vu). We work on projects several times a year, but this time it will be something that will be ongoing, so I get to enjoy the whole 'group working' thing on a regular basis. It will also hopefully open up a wider network for The Burrow as a whole. We've been 'together' for several years now, and have gone from a small forum thread to bigger and better things. We have a fabulous website which showcases our work (those projects I mentioned before), and are well on the way to becoming the authors we all aspire to be. We've gone from writing fan fiction, to displaying drabbles to images in an art gallery, to debut novels, and although it's been a long road and we're mostly all still travelling, one of us has secured a publishing deal (the fabulous Tami, of Confessions of a Watery Tart). 2010 is looking to be our best year yet, obviously!
Another new start for me this month is that I am back in the land of employment again. I returned to my previous job last week, and although it's only three days a week mostly (except when there's overtime, which already I am doing *rolls eyes*), it's going to suck a whole lot of time up. All my shifts start at 6am, which means I have to be up at 4:30am. *dies*. One of those days is a Sunday, too, which is already my worst day of the week. Of course, this means that I have to go to bed earlier the night before each shift (which cuts writing time). I also end up going to bed earlier on the actual day of the shift too, which means that five nights a week I am losing at least two hours of writing time. As I tend to write the best during the late evening, this is a major loss.
On the other hand, because I do NOT want to spend the next x amount of years counting newspapers and cashing up tills, it is incredible incentive for me to crack on with the serious job of editing Cardiffella. I remember thinking two years ago (which was when I resigned) that I couldn't wait to be unemployed so that I could concentrate on my writing. Of course, being the Princess of Procrastination meant that the actual writing didn't really happen. Sure, I have written over the last two years, but it's definitely been far from the daily habit that I initially hoped for. I have dithered away a good few months, procrastinated for a couple more, avoided almost completely for three months or so, and wasted time on Facebook and what-not for another few months. Less than half of the last two years (heck, probably only as little as three months or so, let's be brutally honest here) has been used for the writing that I was so intent on accomplishing.
Life gets in the way of course, so I'm not going to take responsibility for stuff that's been out of my control, but even if I ignore the last six months, that's still eighteen months that could have been used much better. The funny thing is, I'm actually a little bit glad to be working again, despite the sucky hours. For some strange reason I seem to work better when I don't have too much time on my hands. I think the thought of being 'free' from employment went to my head, and instead of doing what I should have done, I ended up doing anything and everything else, just because I could.
So.... that's a new month, a story about a new start, a new blog, a new life routine, and a new incentive to get my novel ready for submission. Lots of 'news'. Or lots of news, whichever way you want to look at it.
Keep an eye out for the new blog next week. I'm sure myself and my fellow Burrowers will all share the link not only on our blogs, but on our Facebook profiles too. We've all shared details of our writer's group on our individual blogs before, so it will be lovely to have you visit an off-shoot of The Burrow where several of us will contribute. Maybe you'll get to know us a little better, and hopefully we'll help and inspire as well as entertain.
Happy July 1st everyone!