I’m cheap when it comes to my writing

I really am cheap, I could try and dress it up as frugal, but that would be wrong. If I can do something myself, write, edit and design, whatever, instead of pay someone else then I’m going to have a crack at it. But they’re professionals you say, they’ve got more experience and talent. Well, I say that they got there by practicing and working on their craft. Which is what I can do too.

I write in my spare time as both a form of entertainment and low expense hobby. I’ve been doing it seriously for at least five years now.

I edit all on my own stories. I have yet to hire a professional to do what I can do for free. And for the record, I’m a pretty decent self-editor. Turns out that editors are not some mystical being that all writers absolutely need. I’m also full of a crippling fear that drives me to be a bit of a perfectionist.

I source all my cover photos from stock websites. I spend hours mulling over what image I should buy because for the last few years I’ve been living with the aftereffects of having a budget and sticking to it. I die a little when I waste money now.

I do all the photoshopping/editing when it comes to my book covers. Here is where I admit that I do not have much experience with that skill. That is why I keep things simple. I pick an image that I think represents the story as a whole and I keep the text over it simple.

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In the decade since I left high school

At the age of 27 I think I can look back on my life with a little bit maturity and reflect on where my life has gone. Prior to graduating high school, I knew I wanted to be a writer but growing up in rural country town imprinted on me the idea of what a real job was. And it wasn’t something in the Arts.

I was not the only one who had a dream of having an artistic future. Another girl, B, got an early offer into NIDA, I think. I even remember one time in class we were talking about her future prospects. We weren’t nice about it, saying that she was never going to achieve her dreams. I wonder what my then friends said about my dreams behind my back?

B never did leave the state and lives only a few hours away in another town. Another friend of mine, L, left after graduation, but returned after a year and has never left. My mum remarked about her disappointment with L because she thought that she was smart and going to make something of herself. She was right when she said you don’t know who’s going to make it after high school.

I wonder now, however limited, what my former schoolmates think of me. Mostly they probably don’t. I was a very quiet child even then. I was once out with glandular fever for two weeks and some people didn’t even notice. Through the years I’ve seen what my former classmates have done, or not done. I have to say I was pretty consistent with what I wanted at the end of high school and what I’m doing now.

Since graduating I’ve been to four different universities, QUT, USC, UQ, UoM. Managed to get a husband and flown off with him the UK. Worked in curry house, found out that UK curries are way better than Australian curries. Self-published four stories. Come back to be disppointed with the price of everything in Australia 😦 And will be heading back off to the Netherlands by the end of the year 🙂

 

What next?

I’m burnout from the three stories I’m currently on. I’ve been focusing on nothing else but them. Which probably explains why the last edit I did of Jumpstart was so painful. I just want to finish them and move onto other things.

But the thought of working on them instills a sense of avoidance. However, I do not want to waste my time not working on something. So maybe I’ll go back to some of my older stories that I neglected because I got shiny new idea syndrome.

Jumpstart draft 7

iStock-669387114_1I’m doing another draft and I am still finding things that I am unhappy with. This piece isn’t that long but it seems that it is taking ages to get through. I feel rushed even though no one is putting any pressure on me. I guess the one good thing is that I am getting better at editing as I can see issues, but Jesus, when will I be finished with it!?

But before I chuck a wobbly (Aussie slang for tantrum), I have to remind myself that at least it will be better than the last draft.

I’m just getting antsy about when I’m going to release something next. I feel that sometimes my brain becomes clogged if I procrastinate and then I get in a fussy mood about what I’m even doing with my time.

Where do I get my ideas from?

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I’m not too sure where they come from. But when an original ‘idea’ appears, it just seemingly sprouts from my mind.

Poof!

I can definitely tell an organic sprout to one that I’m intentionally trying to make. It’s just not the same. Too . . . fake? Or maybe to me, it seems too contrived? I think that is the word. But I can tell that it is not original or as good as other stories. They are the ones that I push to the side in favour of others.

How these ideas come to me is a bit of a mystery. I think it might be a combination of my personality, imagination and how I see the world. In the last few years since I’ve stepped up my writing and developed my critical eye, I’ve taken to having the opinion that a lot of YA novels have a premise that I would never pick because it just seems too implausible. I’m more of a grounded reality type of storyteller. Which I know is a bit off seeing as I write fiction.

Besides the fact that I really enjoy writing, I think that fact that I also use it as a means of understanding the world around me is a great influence. Because to write characters and stories one has to know the world somewhat.

3rd Wedding Anniversary with Lovely Chris

Today marks the 3rd year, Chris and I have been married for and we have spent most of it in Edinburgh. We decided to do the touristy thing and go to Edinburgh Castle. For three years we haven’t done that as we figured we’d always get around to it some other time. I really enjoyed it, even with it snowing midway through the day 🙂

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