I have nothing to write about

2022, writing

Hello,

Don’t get me wrong, I really love my little blog – I haven’t committed to anything for this long probably ever, maybe the dance classes my parents paid for before I went to uni. But the inspiration is low, even though I’m only writing one post a week instead of the two I managed for most of last year.

Every time I think of something I could write about – how I’m adjusting my routine to spend more time on basic self care, my experience with mental health and body image at the moment or even how I turned being the burnt out bright kid who didn’t finish any of her A Level English Literature texts to reading 45 books in a year, but it all feels so fake. Who am I to write about any of those things as if I am in a position of authority? I have no advanced experience in anything to share or educate with anyone and I’d be writing for the sake of it.

Which is exactly what I’m doing now… But we’ll gloss over that one for now.

Part of me thinks it’s imposter syndrome – who am I to think anyone should listen to or read anything I have to say about anything? But then I think that thinking it’s imposter syndrome is pretentious because assigning that term to myself implies that I believe I really am an authority on any of those things and I’m just having a moment of self doubt. Can it be imposter syndrome when I’m just right in that I’m not qualified to write about anything and I should stop writing a blog as if I’m important enough or knowledgable enough for someone to read it.

I’m really proud of the fact that over the last couple of years, I’ve stopped trying to ‘commercialise’ my blog – I did my time using trending hashtags and posting every couple of hours about my latest content and trying to be an influencer. I’ve stopped sharing my content as much, I don’t put my social links at the bottom of blog posts anymore because I write the things I want to look back on and if there is anyone else reading my posts, I’d rather they engaged with the content than followed me on Instagram.

I love writing – getting this all out has felt really nice and sitting with my laptop and just typing is a comforting feeling. Like when I’m creative writing and I’m working on idea or a moment and the story is almost telling itself – there’s several moments where I’ve been writing and I’ve almost been surprised by the words on the page because it almost feels like I’m not writing them, or the characters have started building a relationship I didn’t intend for and it just makes sense. I love that feeling.

I think I’m tired and burnt out. I think a full time 40 hour work week is too much for my neurodivergent brain, so piling on dance classes three nights a week, wedding planning, maintaining the bare minimum of a social life and desperately trying to make lifestyle changes to lose weight isn’t really helpful. There isn’t a solution at the moment, just hoping for a full nights sleep and a better week next week.

But the blog block is real – I now plan for roughly four posts a month; the last of each month is my reading wrap up and the first is my monthly goals and whilst I prefer the idea of keeping the middle two to be less structured, maybe I need themes and guides to take out the element of decision making that comes with not knowing what to blog about.

My two most popular blog posts are ‘there’s no songs about turning 24‘ and a creative writing piece called ‘if you had three wishes, what would they be?‘ and I can’t explain why they’re still consistently my two best performing posts when they were written two and five years ago respectively. But they’re examples of two more things I really love writing – personal rambles and creative writing. Maybe my four monthly posts could be my goals, creative writing, a personal ramble life update sorta thing and then a reading wrap up.

It’s my blog, it’s always been for me, I’m lucky if I get a few hundred views per month, let alone per post, which leads me back to ‘why am I writing this’ and ‘nobody cares’.

I don’t know why I’m writing this, and I don’t know if anybody cares. But I know I’m not the only one who feels like this, even if I don’t really see anyone else talking about it. And I do like the idea of saying things that others won’t, no matter how vulnerable it makes me feel.

Thank you for reading if you are, I hope you don’t mind my content ideas,

Sophie xx

why I took a month off / 2022 plans

2021, writing

Hello! It’s been a while!

My last post was December 5th – not even a month ago – but it’s the longest I’ve gone without posting in what feels like a very long time!

I’d love to give a long old reason as to why I haven’t written anything, but it’s just a case that work got on top of me, everything got a bit much and I had to prioritise getting through each day – I was out of ideas and absolutely couldn’t bring myself to write. I did not look at my computer when I wasn’t working.

But on Boxing Day I spent literally hours working on my new goals for 2022 and my bullet journal (it sounds tedious, but I had a fantastic time with all my pens – so relaxing!) and I feel so ready to get into some new routines and working on the things I’ve really decided to prioritise this year. I’m really excited about my goals for this year and I can’t wait for January 1st!

One of the things I wanted to make room to prioritise was this little blog of mine – I maintained two posts a week for much longer than I anticipated, but I think it just makes sense to go back down to one because I do have a full time job and I don’t have a lot of mental space for anything else so I needed to figure out how I was going to complete the goals I want to complete without filling up all my time and not having enough time to relax.

Another thing that I think will help is having more structure in what I blog about – my favourite posts to write are my monthly goals and my book related posts, so my first post of the month will always be my goals and my last post of the month will be a round up of the books I’ve read and listened to. Who knows what I’ll write in between but with a wedding coming up and lots of thoughts about finances, savings and house deposits maybe I’ll write more about that, but who knows? My blog has always been somewhere that I write about whatever I want to, almost more like a diary – whether it’s film reviews, some fun photos, a favourites list; anything. And I intend to keep it that way!

And that’s what I have to say – I didn’t mean to take so long off, I didn’t mean to have a break but I’m coming back and I’m coming back strong!

I’m going to much more mindful in 2022 not about what I ‘should’ be doing and how much I can squeeze in to every waking moment, but how much I am actually capable of doing and giving myself the space to recover without burning out quite so much.

2021 has been a rollercoaster and I know I’m incredibly fortunate to come out of it relatively unscathed, but I’ve learnt a lot about myself this year and I want to continue that journey of growth in 2022.

(and that might be the most pretentious thing I’ve ever said!)

Happy New Year everyone! 2022 feels like it’s going to be big – I feel like I have room to grow in my career, I’m excited about some personal projects I have planned and I’m getting married!

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

prepping for NaNoWriMo

2021, writing

Hello!

As, somehow, October slips further and further away from us, the creative writing community becomes acutely more aware that NaNoWriMo is creeping closer.

NaNoWriMo is the thirty day writing challenge where the only goal is to write 50,000 words – 1,667 words a day. It’s the reason I do my ‘training’ writing challenges throughout the year – to keep myself writing so I have ever so slightly better chance of actually making it to 50k!

So far, I’ve only done it once but I’ve tried several times and I still adore creative writing and maybe this year will be different? But even if I don’t get to 50k, whatever I do achieve is more writing than I would have done otherwise so I’ve never thought of it as ‘losing’ NaNoWriMo – if a runner doesn’t finish a marathon, they’ve still run at least some of the way and it’s an achievement none the less!

Here’s my top 3 tips to prepare for NaNoWriMo:

One – have at least a vague plan:

I know, it sounds really obvious, but I’ve tried a couple of times to go in blind and figure it out as I go along and no matter how excited I am about an idea, I always lose momentum because I don’t have time to do the slow logistic bit when I’m trying to write 1,667 words a day.

The whole point of NaNo (at least from my point of view) is putting together a word-vomit-esque first draft – it’s not for polished words, it’s not for a perfect story, it’s to get words on paper and what you do with them afterwards is of your own choosing. Anyone who’s writing a perfect first draft by writing 1,667 words a day is a genius (or a full time writer, who knows).

Two – time management is key:

Fitting in writing 50,000 words around daily life – full time job, keeping the house clean and tidy, having a social life etc – is a mission. I usually fall into the trap of doing all my writing between 10pm and midnight in bed and it ruins my sleep schedule.

I find calendar blocking the most effective way to organise my time – I use Google calendar to plan when I’m going to do my tasks at work then I generally just use a piece of paper to roughly plan how I’m going to spend my evenings and weekends.

Another thing I’m going to try for the first time this year, is using Google Docs instead of Microsoft Word (is that controversial?). We used Google for everything in my last job and being able to log in to any device and pick up where I left off could be really helpful this year where I’m working full time and commuting for nearly 2 hours a day.

Even just having somewhere to jot down any notes or ideas when I’m on the go (obvs not when I’m driving) and not having to make sure I have the most up to date version of the doc on whatever device I’m using will be really convenient.

It’s super nerdy to be excited about trying a new software for NaNoWriMo, isn’t it?

Three – take the pressure off:

Like I said – the goal is 50k but anything written is more words than you would have written if you hadn’t tried, so not meeting the goal of this challenge (i.e. it’s difficult!) isn’t the be all and end all.

In one of my previous challenges this year, I managed to write at least something every day and that’s the mentality I’m going into WriMo this year with. Even if I only manage 100 words on my lunch break, if I can write consistently for 30 days that means more to me than the word count.

The other thing is to not put any pressure on what you’re writing – sometimes when I sit down to write, I’m ready to craft a new story, come up with new characters and get to know them, but sometimes all I want to do is write fanfiction of whatever show or movie I’ve watched recently and that’s fine! Writing is writing.


I feel a little more mentally prepared for November this year – I’ve been vaguely thinking about what I’m going to write for WriMo for a few months and I’m actually excited about what I’m going to work on. Will I fall back on writing superhero fanfiction within a week or two? Almost certainly, but writing a little every day is my focus and as long as I don’t resort to including my shopping list in my word count, it’s all good with me!

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

we’re all stories in the end

2021, writing

Hello!

Today, I actually went into work and spent the day working with my colleagues. It was the first ‘normal’ work day I’ve ever had in this job, having worked from home since my first day in January.

It’s about an hour to drive into work and usually I’d listen to my favourite podcast, but I’ve caught up on all the episodes and they’re on hiatus, so I needed something new for my journeys and I don’t fancy music at the moment. So I’m using my Audible free trial and I’m giving audio books a try – I redeemed my free tokens on two books that I really wanted to read and I listened to 8 chapters of ‘The Magpie Society: One For Sorrow’ today and now audio books are all I can think about.

But I can’t write a blog post about the two hours of audio book I listened to today – I can do a whole post about audiobooks when I’ve been listening for a year, but I think I’m getting a little bit overexcited.

It got me thinking though – I’ve been toying with the idea of a podcast for a while, but I’m not famous enough nor do I have enough friends to do a chatty, interview style podcast (which is my favourite kind of podcast to listen to) but audiobooks are kind of like long, fictional podcasts right? And I started fleshing out an idea that could be a short, fictional podcast and I felt so inspired.

I love storytelling. So much. I love listening to stories, reading stories, hearing people’s stories, making stories, writing my own (both in the literal sense of writing something for other’s to read and the more existential, pretentious sense that I’m writing my own history in living my life) – I love it. It’s the basis of everything I do – I studied journalism because I love telling stories and but I didn’t want to study them like I would if I’d picked English, I wanted to write them, make video stories, audio stories, tell stories with photographs. Granted, news stories aren’t my favourite stories but I got to tell them either way (my favourite one was the video about a new KFC burger, what a highlight).

Whether it’s games, TV shows, reminiscing over a drink with friends or writing a Christmas card to someone you don’t see much anymore, it’s all stories.

I was thinking about it the other day – I love performing, and I often think about what my life could look like if I’d properly devoted myself to dance, or music, or theatre, and I thought about what I spent my night’s off doing when I was teenager; I wasn’t practicing dance, I wasn’t practicing music, I was writing. Every spare moment of my childhood went to writing whether it was original fiction, fanfiction or talking to other fangirls on the internet, my priority was writing and storytelling.

So that’s my end goal – it always kind of was anyway, but I’m fired up and ready to do something about it. I do a fair bit of copywriting at work, but I’m going to flesh out this podcast idea, I’m going to find another original fiction idea that I really care about and write another book; this is what I love, telling stories and using what I love and my individual writing style to share that joy with others.

There’s a quote from Doctor Who that says; “We’re all stories in the end.”

Whether we leave behind a legend or a whisper, it’s all stories. And I’ve got a fair few to tell.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

April Goals

2021, goals

Hello!

Another month, another set of mini goals – with moving house in just over a week, I don’t feel like I’m ready to start any new goals yet but after we move, I’ll be ready for a new start and some more focus. Right now half of my life is in boxes and I’m looking forward to having the amount of stuff in our one bed house in our three bed house and having some more space!

So the first goal is to do all the admin and packing for moving house, but other than that – here are my five mini goals!

  • Writing challenge – 35,000 words – it’s Camp NaNoWriMo month so it’s time for another writing challenge! This month I’m aiming to start planning and writing a new original fiction project, which I haven’t done in a long time – it’s something very different for me and I’m looking forward to pushing myself creatively.
  • Cosplay work – I planned out the steps I need to take to make my first cosplay costume (Team Yell grunt from Pokemon Sword and Shield) and this month I’m going to make a denim jacket I have into a waistcoat, experiment with making armbands and find a skirt that I can potentially adapt if I need to.
  • Wedding planning – this months task is to contact the silk flower florist I met at a wedding fair last year. I have already sent her an email and now I need to figure out what I actually want and which flowers I want to replicate but I’m so excited to not have real flowers and be able to keep them – I said from the very beginning I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on flowers that would just die but the flowers at Indigo Blooms are beautiful. I didn’t even know they were fake. April is going to be very flowery.
  • Find pattern for knitted jumper – I’m really enjoying knitting right now and I really like oversized knitwear so… why not make my own, y’know? I don’t know if the pattern I’ve found is any good but I’m aiming for a Weasley esque initial jumper so it might take a couple of attempts to make one that actually looks good but I’m excited to try it.
  • Start Couch to 5k again – it will be the third time I’ve attempted Couch to 5k, but as the weather warms up and I move to a new town that feels a little safer than where I currently live, I really want to try and make running work again.

And my recurring monthly goals are to read 2 books, have a date night with my fiancé and put some money in savings.

I’m still figuring out balancing monthly goals with full time work and I think I’ve been relatively sensible with setting achievable goals whilst pushing myself to learn new things and develop in the ways I want to. But also on the other hand, I’ve been getting better at not feeling like a failure if I don’t ‘complete’ a goal because if I’m not prepared to put the work in, now isn’t the right time and that’s okay.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

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a blogging writing block

2021, creativity

Hello!

I’ve been consistently writing blog posts for somewhere upwards of two years now – when I started in 2014 I had no idea what I was doing, in 2015 I did a 365 day challenge (successfully, might I add!), in 2016-2018 I played around with 2-3 blog posts a week and generally was pretty consistent! Then from 2019 (ish) onwards, I’ve pretty religiously written two blog posts a week and rarely missed one, other than maybe posting a day late because I forgot to publish a post.

But in the last month, I’ve not felt the motivation to write – I don’t like the ideas I’ve come up with, I don’t think they add anything to my blog’s narrative and I don’t feel inspired to write anything. Maybe it’s lockdown finally catching up with me – after a whole year I’ve finally run out of stuff to say. Maybe it’s the new job – it’s been two months of being knackered by 9-5 (does anyone ever get used to it?) so by the time the evening comes I want to sit and watch TV or play games with my partner and I wasn’t excited enough about the post ideas I’d come up with to open my computer back up and stare at a screen for even longer.

And I don’t know where this lull in my blogging motivation has come from – as a craft, I love writing, I love expressing myself in words and getting lost in what I’m typing. And I miss it – I miss writing those passionate rambles and creating my own little history book on this website, but I just didn’t see the point in anything I tried to write (and believe me I’ve tried).

But it hit me the other day as I was desperately trying to expand a couple of hundred words into an actual blog post – I’m out of creative energy.

Talking about ‘energy’ at all feels more hippie than I have ever sounded before, but I think it’s fairly common within creative communities and professions that it’s not an endless source to be tapped into. It’s a pool and like any body of water and ebbs and flows in waves – I’m just at the bottom of the wave.

For some reason that thought gave me comfort, rather than immediately catastrophising that after six years my blog is finally going to crash and I’m never going to find motivation again, I knew that this is just a moment and my mojo will come back.

Whether it’s a few good nights of sleep (the fact I first tried to spell night with a ‘k’ at the beginning show’s how few of those I’ve had!), getting that one really big work task finished or moving house (fingers crossed!) to get my mojo back or it’s just riding through this funk till I can surf the wave, I will not feel like this forever.

Is the water analogy going too far now?

Either way, it’s happened before and it will undoubtedly happen again, but beating myself for not maintaining my trivial, self-set deadline of two posts a week isn’t the end of the world – giving myself the space with being okay with deleting that task from my list rather than ticking it off.

This blog is mine – it’s meant to be something fun and lighthearted and when I start to feel stressed by it, I need to listen to what my body and mind are asking for and give it some space.

So I might not be posting every Tuesday and Friday – sometimes it might go up late on Wednesday or Saturday or I might not post anything at all. If you miss me, send me a message on instagram – I’m usually scrolling!

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

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how I wrote 30,000 words while working full time

2021, goals, writing

Hello!

When I was in it, it didn’t feel like January was that busy but looking back? I started a new full time job, I did really well with my January Goals, I read 4 books and I even made a more consistent effort at going for walks! As well as finishing a 30,000 word creative writing challenge!

I did my first NaNoWriMo challenge in 2011, where I attempted to write 50,000 words in a month (I managed 15k but I was 15 so I think it was still a good attempt!) and I fell off the creative writing wagon when I didn’t have the same evening downtime when I moved to uni and I’ve been trying to make it more of a habit since NaNoWriMo 2017.

For the last two years or so I’ve been doing writing challenge every few months to keep me writing and give myself a goal, because I find it way easier to ‘write X number of words a day’ than to just task myself with writing.

So this year I planned a 30k writing challenge for January, 35k for April, 40k for July, 45k for September and the traditional 50k for NaNoWriMo in November. I knew I was going to need practice to write daily (or the equivalent of daily) in that quantity whilst navigating my first proper career job and for the first challenge for the year, I smashed it!

Here are some of the things that I really think helped me hit my goal for the month.

Having a spreadsheet with my daily word goal made it really clear what targets I needed to hit when and having this visible when I was writing meant I didn’t spend half my time clicking between tabs checking to see how much more I needed to write (might be a me thing, but I’m always looking to be able to tick things off lists!).

Although it probably didn’t help my sleep schedule, I found going up to bed a little early and writing up there whilst my boyfriend played video games downstairs much easier to concentrate. If we had more rooms in our house I would have worked at a desk or something but currently my options are living room or bedroom! My word target was only 968 words per day (compared to NaNoWriMo’s 1667), so if I was feeling inspired I could write it in about an hour and then I’d snuggle into bed with my book and then watch the Repair Shop with my boy until we fall asleep. Lovely!

I’m not someone who can usually work with music – even when I was studying for school exams, I couldn’t study to music with lyrics because I’d get distracted by the words and inevitably end up singing along and not taking in any of the biology revision I was doing. I’ve gotten worse at multitasking since then and I get very easily distracted now, but I’ve found some brilliant playlists over the course of this month – magical instrumentals, lofi hip hop music – beats on relax/study to and ambient relaxation are great instrumental playlists and my current personal favourite is main character because they’re songs that everyone can pretend they’re in that bit in a movie where it’s a montage of the main character being sad or something. Also most of the songs are used in lots of tiktoks so it’s a lot of ‘oh it’s that song’.

It’s not been easy – there’s been a lot of late night writing sessions and yesterday when I had less than 1000 words to go I really struggled with motivation but I did it and it feels amazing.

I decided yesterday I want to start work on a new original novel for NaNoWriMo this year and I feel super motivated now!

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

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the drafts I never published

2020

Hello!

As a creator, there’s always drafts – moments of inspiration where you write a tweet, make a tiktok, take a picture or even note a blog post idea and it just never gets published, whether it’s because it’s something that was therapeutic to write but doesn’t need to be shared, it’s not as good an idea as originally thought or it was just never finished.

So I thought I’d share some of the draft blog posts I’ve not published just to give you a little insight into what random ideas I have and what never comes to fruition!

Up first we have ‘it’s in the loft’ – a 700 word ramble about a project I did in my religious education class when I was 13 where I made a Nazi symbol out of clay and dripped red paint on it to symbolise blood as a memorial of the second world war. I was, and still am, really proud of this project – I got top marks for it, my mum and I had a great time making it and I discovered my love of writing pretentious bullshit about symbolism; the grass symbolised new growth, the little clay Jewish stars symbolised the life that was lost etc etc.

And then I thought maybe publishing online that I made a swastika out of clay when I was 13 probably wasn’t something I should put online forever. I’m now technically still doing that but I stand by that publishing a whole blog post about it probably wasn’t the best idea so in my drafts it remains!

Next, was an outfit post about living out of a suitcase for a month – in 2019 there was a whole debacle about moving 100 miles away (we paid the deposit on a flat that wasn’t going to be ready by our agreed move in date and they messed us around for a month and we moved somewhere else) so I had a very limited wardrobe for a while so I wrote about it.

I wrote about an outfit that I still really love of a black and white spotted midi skirt and a red crop top, both from New Look, with my leather jacket from ASOS and even know with my Dr Martens I feel like a boss when I wear this outfit, but apparently I just didn’t feel the vibes of the post. I think I struggled getting pictures of the outfit on my own, living in a friends flat when so much was going on. But I really love the outfit and I wear it a lot.

(basically this but with a red t-shirt, I’m sure you can picture it)

My next abandoned draft blog post was a ‘Day In the Life of an MSc Student’ – I wrote about half of it and the rest was notes about my schedule for the day, but I remember getting halfway through and wondering if anyone would really care. It was a fairly specific diary of the classes I was attending, but a ‘day in the life of a student’ is go to uni, do classes, go home and I felt a bit silly pretending my day was anything special. Good decision to park this one I think.

Onto ‘How Meal Planning Will Change Your Life’ – I knew from the off that pretending that meal planning would change anyone’s life was a ridiculous claim. I’ve been meal planning for five years now and I kind of don’t understand how anyone gets through a week without knowing what they’re going to eat (I think that I think about food too much). It was another post when I realised that I wasn’t saying anything original or special – my meal planning habit is nothing special so another blog post abandoned!

Not all of my draft blog posts are abandoned posts, some are works in progress that I will write out fully when I have enough substance for it – next in my draft list is ‘self care tips for when getting out of bed is hard’. Like I’ve mentioned regularly (sorry), the last three months my mental health has turned in a way I’ve never experienced before, so this post is as much for me as it is for anyone else, but I’m slowly building up tips and tricks for the worst days when everything is hard. I think this one will be up soonish!

The next post was a ramble when I was a bit cross – ‘you’re on holiday; stop calling it a ‘staycation” – in the height of the pandemic, so many were sacrificing their international holidays for a British holiday and calling it a staycation which I hate. As someone who’s entire childhood was spent on UK holidays, I often felt bad at school when everyone talked about their holidays to Spanish beaches and resorts in Turkey and Greece. So calling it a ‘staycation’ as if it wasn’t enough to be a proper ‘holiday’ made me really cross and feels so elitist. But it was too negative to actually share – it had the same impact in a tweet.

I wrote ‘working with my mental health, not fighting against it’ in full and I don’t know why I didn’t publish it really, I think I may have forgotten to make it live. I might re-read it properly and publish it soonish if it’s still relevant, but I am doing a bit better in terms of my anxiety so I might save it for when I feel a bit better and feel like I know what I’m writing actually works.

And the last post in my drafts is another sad rant – I was feeling bad about myself so I wrote a whole post about how painfully average I am, but it definitely didn’t need to be published; I was just complaining and even though I said I wasn’t doing it for attention, there was no other reason to post it.

It’s funny looking back on what I’ve not deleted and what’s still sitting in drafts, but it’s also an insight for anyone who doesn’t have a blog as to how much writing goes on behind the scenes! I found out today that a fiction short story I wrote three years ago has had over 1000 views just this year so it’s strange what people find!

Thank you for reading – I hope you and your loved ones are happy, healthy and staying safe!

Sophie xx

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NaNoWriMo 2020… how’d it go?

2020, creativity, writing

Hello!

I feel like I’ve been talking about NaNoWriMo all year – with doing writing challenges every other month to ‘train’ for the 50,000 word challenge in November. But it didn’t go quite as expected…

My intention was to write the final draft of the novel I started eight years ago in my first (and only ‘winning’) NaNo – but then I ended up using the story of my novel for my masters dissertation project and the thought of having anything to do with it so soon after handing in was too much for my little anxious brain to handle.

I decided very early on that I was going to write some fun fanfiction instead – I’ve been watching a lot of Harry Potter cosplay tiktok and I was super inspired to write something, so I took that inspiration and went with it.

The other barrier I faced was again my dissertation project – I got a one week extension due to my mental health so my deadline wasn’t until November 5th, thus meaning I couldn’t think about anything else until it was done (still SO PROUD that I did it!). I didn’t start writing until the 7th of November and I calculated that I only needed to write just over 2000 words a day to finish on time, as opposed to the usual 1667 words.

I started writing and as my days were significantly emptier without a big uni project, I managed to catch up relatively quickly. At my most productive, I wrote 4000 words in a day but I was feeling really good – I was writing about characters I already knew and loved without the pressure of writing something good, original and ‘final’ in my own novel project.

I enjoyed writing again! With my fiancé still being away with work 3-5 nights a week (despite a national lockdown, because watching a bunch of grown men play rugby is so important…), I could really focus on writing and I got into a good routine. Not a healthy routine, as most of my writing was done between 10pm-1am from the comfort of my bed, but I was writing and that was the important bit.

In the last week or so, momentum tailed off – I don’t think I’d really given myself the time to mentally recover from my dissertation hand in but I’d been preparing for NaNoWriMo all year and I really wanted to do it. Thousands of words a day turned to hundreds of words a day and staring at a screen for hours whilst I felt like my original characters were sticking their tongues out at me.

In the end, I made it so-close-but-not-close-enough at just over 47,000 words between the 7th and 30th of November. If I’d even written a few words in the days I was finishing my dissertation, I’m sure I would have been able to do it, but we can’t change the past, we can only learn! And I still wrote forty seven thousand bloody words!

NaNoWriMo this year was a real experience for everyone participating – it was unusual circumstances, motivation and inspiration are running at an all time low and though in theory people have ‘more time’ because we’re staying home more, it doesn’t mean there was enough mental brain space to really write like life is normal.

I do feel more motivated than ever to really ‘win’ next year – I’ve got my monthly training challenges all planned out, I’ll probably stick with writing fanfiction because it’s fun to experiment and control characters I love (though that makes it sound much more sinister than it is) and NaNoWrimo 2021 is going to be my year – my first win since 2012!

Thank you for reading – I hope you and your loved ones are happy, healthy and staying safe!

Sophie xx

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October Goals

2020, goals

Hello!

Another month, another fresh start, another new set of goals!

September was potentially the least productive month I’ve ever had in terms of my goals – I achieved maybe 1 of 5 and even then that was half of one and half of another but I’m not going to dwell on it; I’m going to use what went wrong to learn how to be better this month and adjust my goals accordingly!

Last month was incredibly busy and this month I actually have nothing planned, which is probably for the best because my dissertation is due in less than four weeks now (eek!) so I need to figure myself out and finally finish this masters (though I’m reluctant to call it that because I’ve definitely not learnt anything to a masters level).

So this is what I’m going to focus on this month:

  • hand in my dissertation project – the deadline is October 29th and I’m not taking any more extensions, I’m 100% so done with this course and I just need it to be over. Next month I finally won’t be a student any more!
  • exercise twice a week – with the state of my mental health, exercising has been really hard to motivate myself to do so I’m hoping if I can just manage twice a week whether it’s running, doing a home workout on one of the many apps I have, a yoga video or even a dance video on YouTube, just twice a week feels achievable (I hope?).
  • practice self care and get back to a routine – I really haven’t been very good at looking after myself recently; my sleep schedule has gone out the window, my skin is a mess, I haven’t read a book in a month, my motivation is low and my productivity is gone. For the sake of my mental wellness and actually getting my dissertation done, I need to make the time to look after myself and get things done. I’m making more of an effort with skincare and my routines as well as taking more notice of how I make my to do lists and scheduling my time to tackle the feelings of being overwhelmed that I’m struggling with! I think that’s a pretty good place to start.
  • start and finish my new cross stitch project – as well as all kinds of routine, I’ve not made much time for crafting recently which is so sad because it has such a positive impact on my mental health. I have a specific project in mind that I want to do this month so setting that specific goal might help me actually achieve it!
  • finish planning the redraft of my book – November’s NaNoWriMo is going to roll around faster than I expect I’m sure! I’ve got about 11 chapters left to plan so I’m feeling pretty good about having my plan ready to finish the draft of this book by the end of the year!

And my additional monthly goals for the year of date night and read a book are still standing! September was so bad that I didn’t even manage to finish reading one book so I’m hoping to finish what I’m reading and find something I’m really excited about to kick start the habit again!

Thank you for reading – I hope you and your loved ones are happy, healthy and staying safe!

Sophie xx

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