Tag Archives: new year

2018 – the year of the crunch

sun behind clouds2018 has been quite a year! So much so that, despite it being months since my last post, I felt the need to write something here to mark it in some way. I wish I could pour out everything that’s happened – writing being cathartic and all that – but this has never been that sort of blog and actually, the less often I write here, the more self-conscious I feel when I do, so I find myself sharing less and less. In any case, some things need to be private.

So… why blog at all? What can I share? Well, 2018 was a crunch year for me. A year of crisis in some ways but also of rebirth. I’ve experienced things this year that I never want to experience again. Feelings, situations and dynamics that have been building for years finally erupted, altering the landscape forever. And it was hard. Really, really hard.

But I’m very lucky to have a wonderful family and amazing friends who, as the dust settled, helped me navigate a new path. And art played a crucial role too – many things I couldn’t express in words came out through swirls of ink and paint. I shared quite bit of it – looking back through my instagram feed I can see the various events the year unfolding (even if they are in a kind of code).

And now, poised on the edge of the old year and the brink of a new one, I’m trying to work out how I feel. There is definitely a huge swath of relief in the mix – what happened was always  going to happen in some form or other (I mean that in a practical sense rather than a fated one) so I’m very happy indeed to be on the other side of it. I also feel happiness, because of the wonderful people I am surrounded by, and immensely fortunate about the many ways in which my life is good.

And for the year ahead, I’m excited. The seismic shift has meant things are moving in the right direction and I feel really positive about that. There will be more jolts to come but my feet are more firmly planted now and I know who to hold on to and who will be holding on to me.

Also, having completed my Illustration Diploma this year and set up my new website, I’ve recently had more creative projects coming my way which gives me lots to look forward to. I’m particularly excited about a picture book I’m illustrating for Reneé Davis who blogs at Mummy Tries. Reneé’s eldest daughter has autism and the book is told from her perspective. I’ll share more about it as the project progresses!

Who knows what 2019 will hold (and there’s so much that could be said about that, politically speaking!) but I feel ready to take it on. Or ready as I’ll ever be. And that, my friends, is enough.

Happy New Year!



new year plans (or not) – #WhatImWriting

It’s time for the first #WhatImWriting of 2015! Chrissie is hosting this week so if you’re hoping to link up, please head to Muddled Manuscript for tea, cake and a good old chat.

jasper mountainSo, where to begin? Um… I have no idea. I took two weeks off blogging and writing over Christmas and it’s totally thrown me out of all my routines and I kind of feel like I’ve forgotten how to write.

It was great to have a break though and I have to admit, as far as blogging goes, it was a massive relief. I hadn’t quite realised how tied to blogging I feel – the need to post a couple of times a week, to join in linkies and read and comment on other blogs. I enjoy it, but having a proper break made me realise that I do kind of view it like work. Fun work I don’t get paid for (admittedly), but with that sort of ‘must do, can’t get out of’ ethic that I don’t associate with hobbies of any sort. Anyone else feel like this?

Then there’s the creative writing. The first week I really missed it, I ITCHED to write but, what with kids and present-wrapping and general build-up of festive activities, I literally didn’t have the time. Then we were away for a few days over Christmas and writing of any sort wasn’t on my mind at all. When we got back the itch seemed to have gone. I started blogging again a few days ago (this is my fourth post of the year which is a bit extreme for me!) but as far as creative writing goes, I haven’t written a single word.

I feel like there’s maybe some lesson for myself in all this but I’m not sure what. If it was a relief to stop blogging should I blog less? Should I make sure I don’t take too long off writing in the future since it’s brought me to a standstill? Should I transfer my energies from blogging to writing this year?

You see, I do feel like I should have a plan. I’ve read a fair few blogs over the past few days and everyone seems to be full of decisions and intentions for 2015. Meanwhile I haven’t made any decisions at all! I was hoping some goals would reveal themselves while writing this post but they haven’t really.

It’s not that I can’t think of anything I want to achieve. It’s more like there’s too much I want to do and I don’t know what to focus on this year. Do I write more picture books, work on the ones I’ve got and try and find an agent for them? Should I finish the novel that was a big focus of mine in the first half of last year (it’s at 55,000 words at the mo), finish my other novel (the one I only wrote 7000 words of before getting distracted by other things I wanted to write) or  do I start a whole new novel for kids that I’ve had an idea for bubbling away for months? And then there’s my old romance novel to consider too!

No wait, no time for that, I want to make more flash fiction submissions this year! I write so many pieces for my blog and I’d love to channel more energy into writing them for other publications instead – to try and get my work published elsewhere rather than just on my own little blog. But how would I fit that in with the fact that I’d also love to self-publish my own little book of limericks?

You see? A whole new year has arrived and I have no idea how to make the best of it! I don’t know what goals to set myself as I don’t know where my real (writing) priorities lie. But here’s a plan – this week I’ll do some kind of creative writing (whatever type leaps out at me), I’ll publish no more than one blog post between now and next Tuesday and I’ll take the time, now my older kids are back at school, to try and work out what I want to aim for this year.

And there’s one thing I’m certain of – no matter what form it takes, 2015 is going to be a year of writing.

What I’m Writing round-up

It’s the 5th of January and all around the country decorations are coming down and people are returning to work. Christmas is well and truly over so as I sit down to write December’s ‘What I’m Writing’ round-up it feels all wrong. December was so long ago! It was last year! And given that the last #WhatImWriting was on 16th December – before school broke up and festivities completely overtook everything – I feel like I’m trying to round-up things we all did and said in a previous life.

But that’s silly. Mid-December was only a few short weeks ago and actually, what better time to do do a round-up? To look backwards now before we all launch ourselves forwards again? So here goes:

typewriter butterflies round up

December was a great month for ‘What I’m Writing’ with a whole host of  great, inspiring, thought-provoking, sympathetic, sharing and encouraging posts, so thank you so much everyone who linked up. We also had two new linkers last month – Rachael from Honest Speaks and Dana from Writing at the Table – so a big welcome to them!

Last month certainly brought positivity with Reneé sharing exciting news of her book sales (she published Become the Best You at the end of November) having achieved #47 in the Amazon self help section – yippee! She also wrote of the support she received from the online community which was great to hear.

Meanwhile, Iona described a lovely experience she’d had when her young daughter read and gave feedback on the manuscript she’s writing, Carol had made excellent progress with her writing through a ‘no procrastination day’, and Sara was wondering – for the first time ever – about developing a short fictional piece into something longer . Exciting times!

As you’d expect from writers there was also a lot of pondering on all sorts of issues. Sophie wondered how to structure her novel which takes place in two distinct time periods, Morgan was considering giving up her novel to focus on her blog (we convinced her not to!) and Rachael asked ‘what makes a writer?’ – a really interesting debate!

There were creative struggles too: Chrissie wrote about her ‘confused muse’, a recent rejection inspired me to write my ‘ten top tips for overcoming rejection’ and Reneé wrote about the crash that came after her exciting book launch.  But such downs are a part of the writing life as Emily acknowledged in a post in which she interviewed Rachael Lucas (whose two books have been a huge success) about ‘The Highs and Lows of Writing’ – they happen to us all!

Despite the downs, ‘onwards and upwards’ was a definite theme with Emily and Sophie both researching their third books and Adria sharing the wonderful idea (about NaNoWriMo) that if you’ve been inspired and written anything, then you’ve won. Dana was also moving on with her writing and described her novel as a beloved albatross that was finally starting to take flight after literally being locked in a safe for five years! And in a very useful post Iona shared what she’d learnt at a recent conference about ‘getting published’ – motivation for us all.

Nikki wrote an incredibly moving post on ‘The Moment that Changed Everything’. It’s a stand alone post in terms of theme and so touching that I’m giving it it’s own paragraph. A powerful musing on awful moments where everything in life shifts.

As we moved towards the end of the year, there was a lot of reflecting on the year gone by and in the loved-up spirit of Christmas I wrote about how much the online writing community has meant to me this year. Sara was also reflective in a post that celebrated her blog’s second birthday and a year that she described as ‘all about writing’. Chrissie shared a very impressive spreadsheet of all the writing she’d done throughout the year (in a later post she also shared a blank spreadsheet that we can all download and use ourselves – thanks Chrissie!) and some impressive targets for next year.

Looking forward to 2015, Aimee shared the sad news that she was winding up her Pass the Gin blog… but for the great reason that she wants to concentrate on her writing, Carol shared an opportunity that was ‘stepping out of the wings’ for her to seize, and Chrissie wrote a great positive piece about how she’s going to take on this year. She channelled her daughter’s determination to go to a party to encourage us all not to fear rejection: ‘If you don’t ask about the party, you won’t get to go to the party’ – so true.

As I look forward to 2015 that sounds like a wonderful analogy for my writing intentions and goals – I hope we all spend 2015 asking about the party and that by the end of the year we’ve all donned our dancing shoes and are boogying away on the dance floor!

Happy New Year!

new year

xmas morningHappy New Year everyone!

It’s been a couple of weeks since my last post and I’m still in a bit of a festive daze with my mind stuck back somewhere in the middle of last week. But it’s the second of January now so I thought it was time to post a little something in an attempt to re-boot my brain and my blog for 2015!

For the sake of my sluggish brain (and fingers) I’ll keep it brief. So here’s my summary of the festive period in the Bubble household:



















running (late)