focus – #WhatImWriting

A clue about my picture book

A clue about the picture book I’m working on…

Last week I wrote about being in a spin with everything going on in my life: about all the things I wanted to write and the decisions I needed to make. The rest of the week I suffered a classic case of writer’s block. The words just weren’t flowing. It was incredibly frustrating, especially as I wasn’t lacking inspiration, just the ability to get the words out!

I got to the weekend and decided something needed to be done. So I wrote a list (ah, lists – love ‘em!) of all the non-writing things I needed to get done and then managed to get a lot of the little tasks ticked off. That calmed the spin-cycle in my head down a bit and I realised I desperately needed to focus more. So I thought I’d set myself just one writing task and ignore all others… and I’m now in the process of writing my second children’s book!

I made this my focus on the back of people’s advice on my post last week (you were all incredibly helpful, thank you!) I’ve decided I’m going to try and get an agent for my picture book and I think I’m going to be a much more interesting proposition for an agent if I have more than one piece of work to show them. Also, when I actually paid attention to my thoughts (rather than just being in a flap saying ‘I want to do ALL THE THINGS!’) I realised that a second book was actually what I WANTED to focus on. I had an idea and I was itching to write it – everything else could wait.

I’ve realised that as much as I love writing something every week (or most weeks) for #ThePrompt and #Prose4T - and more recently #FridayFiction and the #WonderfulWorldofWriting it’s also a huge creative commitment. It’s a fantastic thing to do in terms of pushing me on, developing my writing and being part of an online community but I feel I’ve reached a point where something’s got to give. I can’t write a novel and two picture books and a blog and poetry and flash fiction and also research literary agents (alongside three kids and work commitments) every week. I need to prioritise.

So, I’ve made a decision: no blogging between this post and next Tuesday’s post. And no writing other things either; this week is for writing and editing my picture books, and for researching agents. Full stop.

See you next week!

25 thoughts on “focus – #WhatImWriting

  1. Iona@redpeffer

    I know exactly where you’re coming from-I have to break everything down into tiny chunks. Otherwise it seems like an insurmountable hurdle! And I’ve also learnt flexibility-being able to alter priorities when needed is very helpful. With half term coming next week and losing yesterday to work because of other commitments to my children, it’s the only way to manage for me. I hope you have a productive week x

    Reply
    1. Maddy Post author

      Thanks Iona! I’m not sure how much I’ll get done as it’s a busy week but at least I’m not putting myself under the extra pressure of blogging and linking. This way all my creative energy can go in one direction in the small amount of time I have! Thanks for commenting and linking up. xx

      Reply
  2. Mummy Tries

    Firstly Congrats on getting focused and cracking on with your second book. I agree that you’ll be a bigger draw with a little portfolio as opposed to just one book. I’m feeling your pain on the time constraint front and as much as I love a linky have had to take a huge step back from them this month. It’ll all be worth it in the end my dear xxx

    Reply
    1. Maddy Post author

      It will! Focus is so important even if it means missing out on some things you want to do. Thanks for linking and commenting Reneé (and look, I found the accented ‘e’!) xx

      Reply
  3. Rachael

    ‘I want to do ALL THE THINGS!’ – I can so relate to this one! I’m in a similar position – different things, but the desire to do it all..! I’ve been doing some focus exercises this week and have managed to narrow about 10 things down to 3 (maybe 4..!)… A healthy combination of freelance work and personal projects I think… Time will tell! Blogging commitments can be time consuming can’t they? I’ve had to stop linkys for a while myself…. Hope you have a productive week this week!

    Reply
    1. Maddy Post author

      Well done for streamlining ‘all the things’! Blogging is a doubled-edged sword – I couldn’t have got this far with my writing without it, but if I didn’t blog I’d have so much more time to write! Thanks for commenting Rachael and I hope you have a productive week too. xx

      Reply
  4. Emily Organ

    Well done for making a start on your second book! I think it’s a good idea to have a portfolio to show an agent, it demonstrates you have lots of ideas. Prioritising is very important to get things done. I think it’s wise to limit blog posts, it’s easy to think that if you don’t blog every few days then it will all slip away from you. But your blog will still be here for whenever you want to write a post. Good luck with the writing x

    Reply
    1. Maddy Post author

      Thanks Emily, yes I do kind of feel that way about my blog but I can’t keep prioritising it. Besides which, writing more stories is really fun and I’m loving putting some creative energy towards something I plan to (at least try to) get published!

      Reply
  5. Beth @plasticrosaries

    I’m loving your commitment, it’s inspiring :). I know the feeling that something’s got to give, I’ve just got to work out what I can scale back to allow for the writing to happen! x

    Reply
    1. Maddy Post author

      You are juggling a lot Beth – how you manage to work till 11pm every night I have no idea! Hope you work it out. Thanks for commenting and linking up xx

      Reply
  6. Sara (@mumturnedmom)

    We’ll miss you on Friday, but I think this is absolutely the right thing to do. I suspect I’m heading that way myself, at least that’s where my thoughts are taking me… Look forward to hearing how you’ve been getting on next week x

    Reply
    1. Maddy Post author

      Thanks Sara – I know I’ll miss the blogging and linkys too, but it does feel like the right choice. I’m interested to hear what you decide too! Thanks for linking up xx

      Reply
  7. Chrissie Metcalf (Kristina)

    Tut, tut. I dunno. Slacking.

    I get that. Blogging is great and all, but it is a huge commitment. I have completely given up trying to keep the house clean now and next month is going to be worse.

    If you’re at the point where you just can’t, it’s better to recognise that and give things a rest. Plus it sounds like the second book is really eating you (see what I did there?) so you should focus on that and get it all out of your head to make room for the million other things life throws at us. I’ll miss you in the linkies though. Promise you’ll write a limerick upon your return? x

    Reply
    1. Maddy Post author

      Ha Ha, yes I’m a total slacker! And I’m being very much ‘devoured’ by my book at the moment – I keep forcing my husband and kids to come up with rhymes! I’ll certainly write a limerick on my return. Tell you what – give me an animal (or vegetable for that matter) and I’ll write one for you! xxx

      Reply
  8. Sophie Lovett

    Ah good luck!! I think it’s a brilliant move to streamline your focus, but I understand how tricky it is to put the blog down… I’m having to take a step away from more demanding posts too at the moment – especially creative ones – because there’s just not enough space in my head! Totally with you on the list thing on that front too. It is so good just to get all the stuff out there – kinda like Spring cleaning really. Looking forward to hearing how your week goes next Tuesday :) xx

    Reply
    1. Maddy Post author

      Thanks Sophie! It’s already Friday morning (how did that happen?!) and I’ve had such a busy week I’ve barely got anything done even without the blogging! Hopefully I’ll have something to report by Tuesday though…

      Reply
  9. Carol Cameleon

    Funny really, I’ve come down with bronchitis this week causing sleep deprivation and no blogging. I’ve been missing blogging but it’s made me realise that my world won’t collapse without it and now I’ve decided to take some time out of blog writing next week to focus on a couple of other things. Just for the week though… It wouldn’t feel right for any longer!

    Reply
  10. Morgan Prince

    I totally understand. I go through these phases all the time, get dragged into the excitement of posting more and more fiction to the blog and receiving good comments, then hating myself because i’ve ignored the novel for ages. It’s a balancing act that we sometimes mess up and it just takes a little writer’s block to get us back on track! Hope you had a great week and sorry for the late reply – half-term preparations took all my time!

    Reply
    1. Maddy Post author

      Blogging is a great distraction from writing because writing can be so lonely and with blogging – as you say – you get feedback and it’s a bit of a rush. No need to hate yourself though although it is frustrating! I’d never thought of writer’s block as working in that way but you’re right, that’s what happened. Thanks for linking up and commenting. xx

      Reply
  11. Pingback: #Whatimwriting October Round-up - The Muddled ManuscriptThe Muddled Manuscript

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

CommentLuv badge