Another sunny, Summer day in the North East. It got chilly the past few days, especially after the rain, so some sunshine is nice to see again.
I had an interview for a Teacher of English job that I could have gone to today. I got my mini-lessons PowerPoint and discussion ready last night. Last week I even emailed the receptionist who sent me the interview letter that said, “Please confirm your attendance and ask any me any further questions.” I asked if it was a problem to bring handouts that needed Xeroxing. I never got a response.
Now, I would have never dismissed a job interview before in my life, but these days I have a better feel for a potential goal. Before, I was just grasping at straws and trying to get a full-time job because it seemed like the right thing to do. Of course, I always ended up with the, “you’re not mean enough for high school” critique.
It’s not to say that my main reason for not going on the interview was just “fear” of having the same thing happen before. I hate the word “fear” being thrown around so much. Fear to me is an illogical “what-if?” When someone has reasons for not doing something, or hesitation, or concern, people love to say, “You can’t be afraid. Do it because you’re a warrior/fierce/insert any other trendy cliqued term for a strong and powerful woman on Radio 1.” Driving in the U.K. could potential lead to an accident if I hadn’t learned how to do things properly (and I’m still learning, mind you.) That’s not something to be dismissive as, “Oh you silly thing, don’t be afraid.” That’s like saying, “Oh it’ll be fine. Just jump off that bridge without checking that your harness is secured. You’re being ridiculous!”
My “fear” of taking a full-time job is that I’ve not been successful at the high school level before. I liked it, but I’m not good at it. Maybe at some point, somewhere, I would be, and that job may have been the right school for me. More than likely not. And if I were working, I’d have stress, exhaustion, no time for myself, no time for Steve, and no holiday in Florida.
So, rather than waste my time or anyone else’s, I didn’t go.
Besides, I’d rather have a temporary position at a Primary School to bone up on my chops there. I was considering taking some SEN courses online to get the much-desired UK training, but I don’t know if it would help matters that much.
Anyway, with that said, back to the task at hand: the writing.
I have a new bookshelf (Thanks, Steve!) One of the many how-to books I own, is No Plot? No Problem! Since my biggest obstacle is procrastination (always has been) I liked how Baty acknowledges that being a full-time writer at home gives you all the time in the world to do everything but write. That’s me and I’m so glad I’m not the only one since writing at home can keep you away from the rest of the writing world. (Especially when people love to give you blow-by-blow accounts of their book on Twitter as they write it.)
Having a routine each day would be handy, as I try to do now on my days off when I get my blog entries for this site and bookblogarama done. Then I go off to Starbucks in the afternoon and do some actual work. The outlining and the motivational how-to reading, along with the reading for entertainment, all has to fit in the day somewhere as well.
So, I’m curious. What kind of routine do any of you have for getting writing done in the scenario otherwise known as life?
Finally, LiveHacked’s newsletter today references Creating Characters: How To Build Story People and gives some good advice about character building:
Another helpful tip I picked up long ago was the idea of writing out your character’s details 100%, then using only 10% of it in your book. It’s more of a general concept than a hard-and-fast rule, but it’s helped me immensely to separate extraneous character detail in my novel (which the readers don’t need or want) from helpful character-building dialogue and inner thought.
To aid in this process, you can literally write an “interview” with your character(s), answering it as if you were them. Fill out bios, add life/career/work details, and as much information you’d like. It’ll be nice to “know” your characters before you start writing them into your story, and it’s perfect fodder for series-based novels!
Good morning! Just letting you know I stopped by for a visit. I found your blog a few days ago and thought it quite interesting since my daughter is also married to a British man even though they live here and she teaches English! You have a lovely blog and I love the photos — I really like those pigs!
How neat! I never knew anyone who had a British husband until we were married, then we found out there were lots of us around. We’ll probably be back to the US soon too. I’ll miss these farms around here, though. Thanks so much! Glad you stopped by!
When I write a draft, I try put in 500-1000 words on it before I do anything else. If I manage, I’m free to blog, do whatever else. This decides my routine.
That’s a really good routine. I honestly didn’t think of doing the “real” writing before the blog. Thanks! I will so go for this routine too!
Suzanne, thanks for visiting and following wboomsma.com… regarding writing routines, mine is very different–partly because I’m not writing novels. I actually used blog posts I’ve written as the basis for my recent book. I’m an early-riser and spend those hours doing various forms of writing–blog posts, email, etc. I’m still friends with my high school English teacher and he tells me that he is extremely jealous of me because writing seems so natural to me… I think that’s part of the formula, much like reading. You just keep doing it and it becomes a natural activity.
I think you’re absolutely right. Once you find a routine that works for you, and you keep at it, everything sort of falls into place…or something like that. Thanks!