I don’t want to play anymore

One of my favourite phrases, which anyone who knows me will understand. It’s the childish way of saying “I’m done” out of frustration. Today, I don’t want to play ‘trainee writer’ anymore, and by that I mean, after enough failed attempts at forcing myself to do the 30 Day Creative Writing Challenge, I’ve decided not to continue. It wasn’t enjoyable to me and every time I logged onto my blog I was very aware that I hadn’t done a single one in months. Now before everyone panics and thinks, “Oh no, if she doesn’t find that enjoyable she must not be a writer,” that is not the case.
I quit

What I don’t enjoy are forced prompts that I have no interest in or care for the outcome. Some I found intriguing and perhaps in time I could have written those, but others I just found boring or had no idea where to start. Even in my job as a wedding writer, I find articles to write on a daily basis. Sandpweddings.ie is updated with new daily and I have to constantly brainstorm new ideas for the months ahead and then write several. Some are more interesting than others and come easily to me, others I find myself moving down the list as I procrastinate with more interesting ones. That doesn’t mean what I’m putting off isn’t interesting, it just means, for whatever reason, it has cast a cloud and is now looming because I’ve put it off for too long. It has become something I dread, even though it’s really not that difficult to write. There’s just something about not knowing where to start that can make it difficult. I suffer badly from Blank Page Syndrome so that’s always been a struggle whether it’s an article, a short story, an assignment or a book.

But the main reason I’ve decided to throw in the towel on the creative writing challenge and more importantly that it’s okay to throw in the towel, is because I’ve decided to take a running jump off the cliff and write that book that I’ve been going on about for an amount of time I do not wish to disclose. I don’t like telling people that I’m actually starting for fear it’ll prompt questions about what it’s about and how is it coming along, and I prefer to do things under cover of darkness and shadow until I can be sure I’ve come out with something good. However, I’m shedding light on my actions this time because I believe if the friends and perfect strangers that follow my blog know about the book (along with my fears) it’ll put just the right amount of pressure on me to actually commit to my plan.

So there you have it. I’ve decided to abandon the creative writing challenge in favour of something I really care about writing. I will continue to update this blog as promised, with other ramblings, rants and random observations of my life and if I feel like it, I’ll include the odd update on my progress, though I can assure you, it will definitely be vague. And now for one of my favourite “quittings”. Just replace ‘Alaska Cannabis Club’ with ‘my book’ and replace her reporting job with the Creative Writing Challenge.

Look! Something shiny!

Well I imagine it’s shiny…it’s shiny in my mind. I have been nominated for a Liebster award by the lovely Chloe Mc Mahon. You can check out her blog, complete with illustrations that get funnier the longer you look at them, right here.

Also, now that I’m back and out in the open I should probably thank Chloe from getting me out of the procrasti-closet…I have several blog drafts that I just didn’t have time to write and in the last three months.*

*OK, new job yes, but also being lazy, watching terrible TV, sleeping and anything except working on my blog. Bad Jenny. So I will endeavor to write the posts shoved in the drafts shelf over the next month. Anyway, back to the award.

liebster-award-main

So, my understanding for this award is that the rules vary but the last few blogs in the chain say I have to answer a list of personal questions or one big question. Since I can’t think of anything that would warrant “one big question”. I will shamelessly plagiarise  borrow, the questions Chloe used. (Thanks Chloe!)

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New year, same me with added determination

Happy New Year everyone! This year for a change I’m going to actually write my resolutions at the start of the year like a normal person. I know what you’re thinking. “Jenny, why do you keep doing this, it’s embarrassing and nearly always ends in failure.” In a way, yes it does. I rarely complete the list but I always make an attempt and any achievement is good right?

untitled

Besides, I achieved other things that weren’t exactly in my control so wouldn’t have gone into a list like this. So, as usual, here’s my evaluation of how I got on in 2013:

Practise shorthand – fail

Read one book a month – done (as long as that’s just an average, I read 16 in five months)

Pass my driving test – fail (didn’t fail the test, just didn’t do the test)

Maintain my blog better – done

Go for a walk once a week – fail

Write everyday – done

Brainstorm – fell down around April

Work through Ready, Set, Novel! – fell down in December

Do 30 Day Creative Writing Challenge – fail, but ongoing

Work through Writing Fiction, Step by Step – fail

Some of them you might know as mid-2013 writing resolutions. Once again, could be better, could be worse. Onwards and upwards so here are my 2014 resolutions.

Shorthand – exact same goal as last year because I only failed from laziness. One day a week, adding a day for every month.

Read 24 books – That averages as two books per month but it’s not limited.

Pass my driving test – I’m determined to pass in 2014. End of story.

Continue to better my blog.

Brainstorm ideas for work, writing, blogging and freelancing once a week.

Finish Ready, Set, Novel! and start my own novel.

Finish “30-Day” Creative Writing Challenge – not necessarily in 30 days, but I have to complete all challenges.

Do The Artist’s Way – Again, I’m determined!

Learn Spanish again – I’m even going to do a course for this one.

Wish me luck, and let me know what your resolutions are.

Drive-by post: My January recommendation

Happy New Year! I’m starting the 2014 blogging year off with a hilarious blog recommendation for this month.

Wrong Hands John Atkinson

There is nothing to this except creative, intelligent and hilarious cartoons, all drawn by John Atkinson. I have very little to say about this other than the fact that this blog should be followed because all his cartoons are simple, yet genius and well done. Below is one of my favourites.

vintage-social-networking

 

Drive-by post: My December recommendation

I’m not biased at all I swear (ok, that was a lie) but it’s my blog so I can be a little biased if I want to be. This month’s blog recommendation is a review blog about coffee and cake and other such delicacies.

Coffee with CormacCormac McLoughlin

Friends will already know this so I may as well lay it out on the table. Cormac is my boyfriend so there is some bias going on here but sure the world is not without bias and at least I’m presenting it upfront. Amn’t I very good?

coffee-164058_640Furthermore, if I was promoting this simply because I go out with the guy who writes it I would just put it on Facebook and say “Hey follow my boyfriend’s blog” meaning it might not actually be good but I have to share it. I wouldn’t dedicate a monthly recommendation on my blog if it wasn’t actually good. I’ve had to listen to him critique coffee in every establishment we’ve been to long enough to make him shut up and write it down. Turns out it’s actually good! So coffee and cake lovers must check it out for a guide to the best coffee and cake around. Mostly based in Dublin but with some from abroad.

 

Drive-by blog post: My November recommendation

Boy with a hatVincent Mars

Keeping with my current creative streak I have stumbled across this fantastic blog that appeals to the writer and story-lover in me. He has written countless short stories, posts about writing and has a book online of 50-word stories. A great blog for the literature junkie.

hat

This blog recommendation is also apt for this month because I’ve decided to take on the 30 day Creative Writing Challenge and post them all up here every day in November. As if I didn’t annoy you enough already. I will post the first one later today. Other blog posts not related to the challenge may also creep in, which means there may be multiple posts in a day. I apologise for anyone who is friends with me on social media who will, no doubt be plagued by my blog in their news feeds.