on sticking to decisions (mostly, kind of)

Last week I made some big decisions to do with blogging (and writing, drawing, parenting and life in general, really), one of which was to only blog once a week. My plan for my post this week was to finally get round to summarising what I learned from the London Book Fair back in April. But now I’m tired and my notes from the day are in disarray (and if I’m honest I can’t really be arsed) so that’s going to have to wait a week or two. I think, instead, I’ll just write about what sort of week I’ve had trying to stick to last week’s decisions. So grab some tea/chocolate/beer/toast (depending on time and taste) and I’ll treat (!) you to another mind splurge. Ready?

flying pig

Sticking to my decisions – pigs might fly?

Right, one thing I can say is that my ‘one post a week’ plan, along with the ‘no linkies’ move, has made a huge difference. I only spent one evening last week on blog commenting (with a few other comments here and there) rather than four, leaving me with SO MUCH extra time for doing other stuff – what a relief!

Also, knowing I’m only going to write one post has removed all the superfluous, ‘oh I could write about this… and that and, ooh THIS’ thoughts from my mind so I’ve felt less overloaded. I do feel slightly removed from the blogging community without the linkies but all my blogging friends have been so lovely and supportive (you guys totally rock) and I know it’s the right move so I can’t really regret it.

I’m also pleased with my decision to not pressure myself to write for a while. Funnily enough, having more breathing space has given me more thinking space and thus new ideas, and I’m brewing a new idea for a novel… so maybe I’ll write something this month after all. But, in general, not constantly thinking ‘I SHOULD be writing! What am I doing?!’ is another relief.

Instead of blogging and writing, my aim this month was to focus on my illustration course, and I made a plan to draw every day – and I have! I set myself a new creative challenge (another one!) called #GuessTheFilm where I’m working my way through the alphabet, drawing a picture a day to represent a different film starting with that letter. I’m really loving doing it. I’ve been posting the results on Twitter and Instagram which, as I’ve said before, I find a really useful way of defeating the self-doubt. Here are my first few drawings:


I have to admit, I’ve not got much further forward with my actual illustration coursework (I’m trying to do an assignment at the moment) but I figure all and any drawing is taking me in the right direction so I’m not sweating over that particular detail at the moment.

The other intended use for my free time was reading – I decided I would read one book a fortnight for the rest of the year (which shouldn’t be a stretch really). This week I’ve read most of the soon-to-be-published Baby X by Rebecca Ann Smith, which I’m thoroughly enjoying and will be reviewing shortly. I’m also champing at the bit to read Claire North’s latest book (I had ALL the love for her first novel, and enjoyed her second too), and Susan Cain’s ‘Quiet’ (about introverts) so things are chugging along nicely there.

And I’ve been pretty sociable this last week! That’s another excellent side effect of feeling less pressured to blog – extra time for the lovely people in my life. My friends are really important to me so they’re always a big priority anyway, but today I had a bit of child-free time and spent it on a huge ramble through the fields with a friend rather than hunched over my computer banging out a blog post as I would have done previously. Much better for the soul.

drawing in a pub

Another bit of friend time – drawing in the pub with my best mate while putting the world to rights.

So that’s all good.

Where I am utterly failing though is with my social media goal. Half an hour a day in the evening, I said. Hahahahhahahhahaha. I mean, just hahahhahahahha! Spectacular fail there. One problem is that I’ve rediscovered my social media apps on my phone. “Oh, but I thought you said you deleted them” I hear you say. Well yes, so did I, but apparently I didn’t (think it’s some kind of app witchery – they don’t want to be deleted) and now I’ve found them. They’re not quite so easy to access but still, with a few simple swipes I can check FB and Twitter again. Bollocks. Actually, it’s not really FB that’s got my attention it’s Twitter and Instagram because I’ve been putting my #GuessTheFilm pics there so it’s totally justified…

Oh, except it’s not because I keep catching myself looking at my flipping phone when I should be interacting with my kids. Since that was the first and most important decision I made last week I’m going to have to give myself a hearty telling off for that one.

But I’m not losing faith in myself yet – I’m just going to have to try again, and not post any drawings (or photos) till the evening this week. It must be doable. I mean it’s only social media – what’s so great about that?! I don’t really need the constant input and affirmation. *twitches and dribbles at thought of life without constant input and affirmation*. I can but try.

So that’s me at the moment. I think I’m going to grab a beer and draw a picture now. :)

Writing Bubble

11 thoughts on “on sticking to decisions (mostly, kind of)

  1. Mummy Tries

    I’m so proud of you lady. You are flying and your #guessthefilm sketching challenge has been wonderful to follow. I’m very keen to hear about your idea for a novel. Exciting times xxx

  2. Teika Bellamy

    Good to hear you’re on target, but also able to be gentle yourself, because setting unattainable goals and not reaching them can make one feel so crappy… And I’m loving your drawings. :-) p.s. as I saw above, you said that you made yourself cry when thinking about the plot for your novel. I do that too. Oh! and after you’ve read Quiet you will have to read the HSP book (or have you already?). Best, T xx
    Teika Bellamy recently posted…Home page textMy Profile

  3. Sara | mumturnedmom

    Well done Maddy! It’s hard to step back, but it’s definitely needed at times. I’m trying to get sorted before summer vacation starts (next week!) at which point I will be slowing things down quite a bit, famous last words I know, but I will be trying to and having the kids around will force me to! And, that’s a good thing :) Look forward to hearing more about the novel idea, and I love the illustrations xx
    Sara | mumturnedmom recently posted…Siblings: June 2016My Profile

  4. Turning Up In Devon

    Your post says it all, you seem to feel so much happier for implementing your new decisions. I find posting once a week works well for me too because it’s just one focus and I can fit it around work and the children. Thought it was funny when you said you couldn’t be arsed to write about the London book Fair, if I feel like that about something it usually means its not the moment to write it anyway. I need to take a leaf out of you book and find some time for book reading. :) #whatimwriting

  5. Rachael

    Hey Maddy,

    Good to hear you’re sticking to some decisions and feeling better for it. Habits take time to build but you’re building them – and it’s all good for the soul, as you say. It’s hard to prioritise sometimes isn’t it, and social media’s probably one of the hardest to get the balance right sometimes… I’ve been on it much less by using my scheduling tool (buffer) more so have missed your challenge but I do love your illustrations so will check it out next time I’m on twitter (I’m not on insta). In fact, I’ve been making up a new story series for Mushroom lately that I must write down and the fantasy world we’ve invented would suit your style so if I ever get it written down…! But like you, trying to focus on doing less stuff! ;)
    Rachael recently posted…Networking, by any other name…My Profile


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