100 Days to Be Happy: Writing

writers manifesto

I suppose you’d think this would turn up earlier in my countdown, but strangely it wasn’t the first thing that I thought of when I thought about things that make me happy.

Possibly because at the moment, my writing is causing me a little stress.

Yes, I understand that you’re shocked at such an occurrence, but between having to manage with the new baby, the financial pressure the family is currently under and our lack of space issues, the word flow has been dammed. It has slowed to a minute trickle, where I am unlikely to write any more than 200 words on whatever it is I am working on that day.

There’s also the sales thing.

That isn’t going so well. Possibly because I don’t really have the energy to write much, let alone market it all…

Anyway, let’s look at the positive side of my writing. Here’s five things that I love about writing:

1) Since I started writing, I’ve met some wonderful people on the Internet.

Some of them I’ve even talked to on the phone or  in person. And they’re all writers, readers, cover designers, artists, musicians, photographers – they’re all creative people with whom I share an interest in.

2) Writing has taken me places I never thought I’d go.

I’ve travelled to the darkest recesses of my mind writing horror stories and I’ve created whole new worlds for stories to take place in. My YA stories have explored regions of emotions that I thought left behind in my childhood / teenage years. The whole experience is one of wonder.

3) Publishing my own work has been an enlightening experience.

Before I started writing, when I was just a reader, I never realised quite how much work goes into producing an actual print book. It’s not as easy as it seems and really is one of the most satisfying things I have ever done.

4) When I was a kid, I never thought I would ever be an author.

I was told it wasn’t a good career choice, its was a pipe dream and that I should look for something to target my learning toward that would bring in a steady income.
Yet here I am. I ended up being a Teacher but I have also published eleven books so far.

5) Its expanded my mind: I never realised how many types and styles  of writing there actually are!

As a Reader, you don’t tend to think about point of view, genre  or form. It’s a story and you’re reading it.
As a Writer you have to think about these things in order to get across the story in the way you want it to be read. You don’t tend to think about it too much – unless something goes wrong and you have to change something. That’s an exciting prospect – you are completely in control of the story… well as long as your characters cooperate!

There are pros and cons to being a writer – the long hours and insufficient remuneration are definite cons, but I went into this intending to learn my craft and over the last five years, I have learned and experienced so much more than just the downside. I’ve found happiness and peace doing something I really love to do.

* * *
Breaking News

Season 5 of Choose or Die is upon us.

For those of you who don’t understand what CoD is, have you ever read a “Choose your own Adventure” book? You know, those books where you read a chapter, then have to make a decision, turn to the page number the decision tells you and find out what happens next? There’s usually more than one story involved in them…

Well Choose or Die is a bit like that. You read a chapter, then you vote for the direction the story is going to take. The winning choice becomes the next chapter, the other two take great delight in killing the character in the most inventive way possible.

So to get involved, pop over to the Choose or Die website (link below) and pick the story we writers are going to tell. You, the reader have the control of the story at last… or do you?

I dare you to come and find out.

http://chooseordie.blogspot.co.uk/

100 Days to be Happy: Sunshine

I live in the UK. Yup, that’s right, I live in lovely, rainy Britain.  In fact I live in Wales and for some odd reason, the rain here is an awful lot wetter than it was when I lived in Plymouth or even when I lived in Suffolk. There always seems to be a lot more of it as well.

You remember that bit in MIB II? Where K is talking to Laura? This bit:

Agent K: When you get sad it, always seems to rain.

Laura: Lots of people get sad when it rains!

Agent K: It rains because you’re sad, baby.

Anyway, the amount of rain we get here during the autumn, winter and spring tends to knock my mood right down. So when it’s sunny, my mood picks up.

Right now, it’s cool and breezy but it’s also bright and sunny with a blue sky that seems to go on forever. It’s the sort of weather that I love, that I deliberately keep my computer next to the window for, that makes me want to just laugh and celebrate.

The colours of the world brighten and the music of nature is louder when the sun is out. I can write more; I have a longer anger fuse and a thicker skin and I eat less. Everything and everyone seems happier. There are more smiles and laughter on the breeze.

So #3 on my 100 days to be happy list? Sunshine.

Why? Because when it rains, sunshine brings out the Rainbow.

100 Days to be Happy: Breathing

Breathe in... Breathe out... Repeat.

Breathe in… Breathe out… Repeat.

Yes, I know it’s an odd thing to be happy about, but it’s very much on my mind today.

It’s raining, which always puts me in a sour mood, the baby keeps screeching no matter what I do and I’m so tired that all I want to do is crash out for a couple of hours… but I can’t because every time I try, something wakes me.

So I remind myself to breathe.

IN…

Hold it… one…two…three…four…five…

OUT…

IN…

Hold it… one…two…three…four…five…

OUT…

IN…

Hold it… one…two…three…four…five…

OUT...

And reminding myself that I can breathe calms me down and makes me a little happier.

…I’d be happier still if the sun came out, but any port in a storm…

I’ve done this exercise five times today – it’s been one of those kinds of days!