Write; Lets get back to it!

Hi everyone!! Firstly, Happy New Year! 2020 blimey, it seems to be going really fast already! Hope you all had a nice relaxing Christmas. Mine was all good, a humongous Christmas dinner cooked by my Mum and the hubs, visiting friends and generally lazing about playing board games with the kids.

And then all too soon it was back to it, with chemo round 4 on Jan 3rd and after just kind of getting used to the side effects, this one knocked me for six with a whole set of new symptoms, including insomnia! Likes to keep you on your toes it seems.

Finally after a good night’s sleep I was back out in the fresh air!

Anyway, I’ve finally got sorted with sleeping tablets before I really do go insane and have no eyes/energy left but the one upshot of all this, (always a positive to be found you see if you dig deep enough!), was that I finally came up with the ending from my novel, which has been evading me for many months!

This came from learning to add my own novel to my kindle, so on those dark, windy nights, wide awake, listening to seriously the loudest owl ever in this parts, I managed to re-read my own book over a few nights and get back into it.

I’ve now got to get it typed up whilst feeling good again, quickly before I forget it! I also created a whole list of intentions for this year which is a dichotomy of actions pre and post, end of treatment, trying not to be too unrealistic, but I can’t help but just write them all down and hope that I achieve at least 2/3 of them! I think it’s because I love a list!

Just on that, and I know I will be speaking for many creative writers and makers on here, the big question is, have you got your stationary sorted? It’s pretty much the first rule of the New year isn’t it?

We cannot possibly begin without, fresh, white, untainted, beautiful paper to write all our hopes and dreams on?

Well I certainly can’t anyway! So, in my arsenal of stationary products are the following:

  • New family 2020 calendar, where all our stuff, appointments, shopping lists etc goes on and I spend at least a few hours of writing it all very neatly until the rest of the family destroys it!
  • My Planner – myself and fellow ‘Wow Wednesday’ members are currently in a cult of planners where we all have the same one from Paperchase because it has so many sections – oh the possibilities, for us to get excited about! Here’s where we drill down the details on a day to day basis and get those lists ticked!
  • My Project book, so this is where, if you have a multi-portfolio business or set of hobbies like me, planning comes into its own, with tabbed sections for each hobby / project, to get the over-all big picture and strategies for the year down. A place to brainstorm all those ideas, mind-map and really plan! I also use this for the writing classes I attend.
  • Dr Chatterjee’s new book – ‘Feel better in 5’, obviously not a typical note book as such but it has a daily checklist at the back to tick off my 3 daily, 5 minute ‘health snacks’, so I will be using this regularly – I’ll explain more on this later.

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New stationary at the ready!

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Members of the WOW Team; Clair, Rachael, Kelly, Anna and Rachael… planning 2020 in style!

Now all my tools are ready….and in pristine condition, I feel better putting all my ideas into solid places and can start putting them into action!

I have so many plans that I’m excited about, it would take too long to write about everything, so I’m going to split them up over a few Blog posts instead.

For today’s blog I’m focusing on my first creative passion – Writing! Here goes…

  • The Book, I know I’ve started to sound like a broken record BUT now that I have the fire in my belly again from re-reading it, I have to get to working on the second draft and finish the book enough to edge it close to send to professionals one day… and that starts with finishing the first draft and getting the ending nailed on.
  • The Blog, Is now a year old!! This will continue every 2 weeks for now and I’m so happy with how this has been received since it started. I’m currently on 3,672 visitors to the blog and website, which blows me away! And I’ve no idea if that is good or not in blogging terms but I don’t really care, it’s grown organically with just links from my socials and maybe at some point I’ll learn a little more strategy to widen and increase my audience, but I’m in no rush for that, and my biggest thrill is when somebody makes a comment or recommends it to a friend to read.

This year I want to continue to improve my content, hope it is striking a chord and most importantly encourages people to take the leap and get creative – that is my number one aim in all of this and always will be! I’d also like to do some more local creatives interviews in March like last year, so if you have an interesting creative story to tell, please do get in touch.

  • My Writing Workshops, As soon as I am able to get back out into public places, a new list of dates will go up to deliver my new writing course ‘Writing from Personal Experience’ which I’d just started before my diagnosis! The feedback from the first one was great, so I can’t wait to continue with this as it’s such a buzz for me to see the light-bulbs go on with the encouraging tasks I create! So do watch this space on that one if you too would like to join in.

Whilst I can’t deliver these in public at the moment, I do have a secret potential plan, but not going to say too much on that yet until I investigate more and can trust this body to reserve some energy to do it!

  • Refresh the Website, It’s important to keep all my content fresh on the website not just the blog, so I want to keep checking in with things like The Curious Cave and add in new resources on a regular basis. I also need to book in some technical wizardry with a WordPress expert friend and finally get a shop on here for my art!
  • Writing Classes, I’ve cleared it with my doctors to go back to one of these as it’s held in a house, so I’m starting back at that tomorrow and going every 2 weeks when I’m well enough, which fills me with so much joy I can’t tell you!

For anyone procrastinating about joining such a class, please just do it, because honestly you’ll regret it further down the line and just waste a whole load of time that could be the boost you need and give you some really valuable experience not to mention a whole dose of confidence!

I guarantee going to a class is like writing medicine and will unlock so many creative ideas in your head – there are NO downsides to this, seriously what is the worst that can happen? Everybody starts at the beginning, so it really does not matter if you write only 2 sentences in a class! The point is you will have started, and it will only grow from there.

Again, as soon as my treatment public-jail-time is up, I will be back on it with the other 3 writing groups I belong to, in-fact I suspect my family will be wondering where I am half the time!

  • Writing Competitions, This was one area on my New years list last year which didn’t get ticked! And it’s not because I don’t have the ideas or the comps aren’t out there, there are tons! I think it’s because you have to follow a few more rules, such as packaging it up all nice and formally with grammar and word-count checks, payment to enter and deadline dates! I know I’m probably making a big deal of this and I just need to get over myself and stop procrastinating but I have found one very easy comp which I like via twitter with a great prize so I’m going to start with that – baby steps and all!

For anyone who is brave and more disciplined than me then have a look at Writers online, the digital arm of Writers News who publish a great variety of competitions all the time.

  • Writing Courses, This is something I always look at periodically, particularly to help with the book and there are many courses out there, but some obviously cost money so in the meantime, a fellow writing friend has tracked this one down, which is free from Writer’s HQ and happens to start on my late Nana’s birthday so I’m taking it as a sign! It’s all about creating juicy, believable characters so will be a good sense check against the one’s I’ve created in my own novel.

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Another good place to start if you are a beginner, is Future Learn, which is part of the Open University. It’s online and a lot of courses are free like this one Start Writing Fiction which has just started on the 6th Jan and runs for 8 weeks (they sometimes let you join late if it’s only just started and catch up) but they start new ones all the time, just use the search tab to see what appeals to you.

  • Word of the Year, Yep, it’s that time of year again and for once I haven’t had to trawl my brain for one. As we head into a new decade with renewed hope after quite frankly a disastrous year for us, family and friends, it came to me once again in the early hours on steroid induced insomnia! I’ll be writing a post and a workshop about this soon and all the benefits I personally get from having a word to focus on, that hopefully you’ll identify with too.

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Ironically, looking back I don’t think the word I chose last year could have been any more appropriate, although little did I know it when I chose it! It was ‘Value’, at the centre, with all areas of life streaming from that, such as health, myself, freedom, money, relationships, planet etc – it certainly became very central to our lives! If you want to find out how I came up with last year’s word click here.

  • Social Content, despite having 4 Insta accounts (@thecuriouscreativeclub and @soothedbynature mainly), 2 Facebook accounts (The Curious Creative Club and my personal one), Linked In and Pinterest (both newish), I still love thinking about the content for them all and using strong creative images. Instagram as you probably know is by far my favourite, but I need to get better at Linked In and Twitter (rarely use!) this year to see if this will drive some interest to the Blog.

So, I think that is more or less a wrap on my writing intentions! I do have lofty ideas of pitching some magazine articles too, but know that will take away from my main focus which needs to be The Book, so I am trying to be good and not overload my time!

Plus, this is just one arm of The Curious Creative Club! I have big art ambitions and WOW Wednesday plans too but I’ll tell you all about them in a few blogs time!

Oh, and finally in the spirit of trying to keep healthy, calm and energised in-between treatments, I’ve recently bought Dr Chatterjee’s new book ‘Feel better in 5’ which I’m really excited about purely because of the simplicity of it!

I’ve been a big fan of his for ages, in particular his weekly podcast ‘Feel Better, Live More which has brilliant guests interviewed on health and lifestyle in general in a very relatable way, but this book is literally perfect for me and anyone else who believes they don’t have the time or inclination to devote hours of the day to the gym, or a meditation class or to cook a perfect healthy meal with a zillion different ingredients.

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The book is split into 3 areas; Mind, Body and Heart (in the connection sense rather than physical) and all you have to do is pick 3 what he calls ‘health snacks’, one from each area, that are just 5 minutes long and commit to doing them 5 days a week for 6 weeks until they become a habit. There’s a menu of about 30 options, (many creative exercises), all very simple and easy to do and he offers lots of advice and case studies of how to make them stick.

So that’s just 15 minutes of something just for you, each day, to make you feel healthier and happier – what’s not to love?

On that note, I wish you a very healthy, happy and curiously creative year and please do share any of your creative intentions below, I’d love to hear what you are all up to!

Until next time…

Juliet, The Curious Creative x

P.s Our first Wow Wednesday meeting of the decade went down a storm last week with 5 new members! To discover more, hit the link and the next meeting is Wednesday the 22nd of January. We’ve got lots of exciting in-between sessions planned too where members share their skills and expertise so why not give us a try? Don’t forget it’s FREE!

One Comment on “Write; Lets get back to it!

  1. Nothing like a list and a planner to help get stuck in. My own intention this year is to start making some actual jewellery again from scratch and try and remember and practice techniques learned over the last 10 years. Watch this space…. xx

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