Soakings and Seizures: A Day in the Life

Oh, what a morning. Afternoon. Would some people call half-five evening? Probably.

Whatever. As far as me and my sleep disorder are concerned, it’s morning.

I woke up an hour ago in the middle of a thunderstorm. My dog stretched and toddled over to me, then keeled over in one of his seizures. I lifted and cradled him to my chest until it passed, tried calling my husband in the bed next to me.

Unresponsive. He’d, evidently, had a seizure too.

I watched him for a minute, figuring it would be a while before I could reach him. The rain was still hammering down.

I went downstairs, puppy still in hand, and got him settled in his downstairs bed with some food. Next was the super fun part. I had to go out in all of the rain to fetch the wheely bin, praying I’d find it in the alley.

Our last bin was stolen. The one before that was blown up by some kids with fireworks.

It has not been an easy month.

I went out, got soaked, but did retrieve the bin. A small win, but important.

Hands washed and feet wiped, I went back to check on Steve. He was vaguely aware of my presence. The seizure had passed and now he’s into the extreme fatigue of recovery. Another good thing.

It’s still ridiculously warm, despite all the rain. The heat makes it all worse: my health, Steve’s, and the dog’s.

On my way back downstairs again, I can see the cat has destroyed more wallpaper. Great. She’s set about stripping a whole section, no matter how many deterrents we try or alternatives we offer.

Steve and I are supposed to be getting ready to go to Slimming World but it’s clearly not going to happen. Another week missed. Another fee incurred. But maybe it’s for the best. We’re in between payments again and can’t really afford it right now.

I need to go out for milk but am already feeling the day weigh me down. I’ve felt ill for a month– no, wait. Backtrack. Clarify: I’ve felt ill all my life. This past month, maybe two, I’ve felt worse than usual.

This would have been another day for not leaving the house at all, but I must get that milk.

The funny part is, this is me taking a break. I’ve been ‘taking it easy’ for the past few days. Which means still dealing with all this, and housework – dishes, laundry, cooking – but not really writing or editing. I haven’t had the brainpower.

When people ask me how I am, I say I’m “getting there.” I don’t know what else to say. I love my work, when I can get to it, I love my husband and my pets. Our home is the loving, accepting atmosphere I’ve always craved. On the whole, I do not have a bad life.

A lot of the time, though, this life is made of days like these. I’m getting through them. This isn’t me complaining, really, about any of it. I do want people to understand, however.

I don’t live a conventional life and I’m fine with that, but sometimes I do want to open up a window and show people what it’s like.

This is it.

Where Change Continues?

Giles being my office co-pilot (looking at me like I’m mad because I probably am).

It’s Monday morning, day fourteen of 2019. After an initial wobble on day one, this New Year has been pretty good for me. I don’t mean to say that the past two weeks have been completely plain sailing, because there have been a couple of health-related blips, but I’ve been feeling pretty positive aside from them.

At least until I hit this past weekend.

After ten days of being on top of my game and managing to stay in super-productive-mode, I got up very late on Friday (the eleventh). It was to be date night for my husband and I and we’d pre-booked tickets to go see Collette at Queen’s Film Theatre. We were both pretty tired and, I’ll be honest, the fact that we’d already paid was the only thing that stopped us going back to bed immediately after breakfast.

We went, we saw, we enjoyed. Then we went for dinner at a Chinese buffet restaurant where I overate and ended up in very intense pain on the walk back to the bus. I think I triggered one of my food allergies but, regardless of the cause, I was left feeling pretty rough. I went home and slept. I slept for most of Saturday, and most of Sunday, though not restfully.

Last night, I took a look at my commitments for the rest of the month and freaked out a little. Here I was with so much to do and I’d wasted a whole weekend!

One of the things I’m continually trying to fine tune is how to pace myself; to not do too much and find a balance between home and work. I wanted to make a resolution about it for the year but found that A-I already had more than enough to try and achieve by the time I wrote all my necessary tasks out and B- I couldn’t quite put my need for balance into any better words than that.

‘Do more but not too much’ isn’t a very helpful goal to try and strive toward. It’s not specific. It’s not measurable. It didn’t make it onto the list. And yet here I am, striving for it anyway. Because as much as I’ve resisted following a routine for most of my life, I’ve come to a point where I’m finally willing to admit I might need one.  Continue reading

On Entering a New Phase (Life Update – July ’16)

Life UpdateIt’s four years since I became an author, self-publishing my first ever book, and three years since I set up a business around my writing, going after it as a full-time profession. There have been various stages in that process, of course, and now I find that I’m on to a new phase once more.

Back in February, I blogged about how I was moving in with my fiance. What I didn’t say, however, is that he’s unable to work, and the move meant I was becoming his official carer. The change has meant that we’ve become closer in a lot of ways, which is obviously great, but I also had to reassess my entire work-life balance, leaving me back down to only part-time paid hours.

Do I regret it? No. I don’t even think it’s made me any less productive. If anything, I have a better handle on time management now, meaning I get more done in less time. Mostly, though, I get the privilege of taking care of the person who means most to me in the whole world. I get to have my cake and eat it, my dream job and the love of my life. That’s way more than I could have ever wished for, back when I was an unemployed university dropout, playing around with Kindle formatting for the first time.

To those that think it’ll never happen to them? Take heart. All things are possible. *


*Disclaimer: it hasn’t been all sunshine and roses getting here. Life can be hard, but it’s worth it if you work at it. I don’t want to be accused of coming across as false.

Books on the Business of Writing

How to Make a Living with Your Writing Book CoverPreviously, I wrote about how being a full time writer is very much about being an entrepreneur, but not the same kind of business person as found in other industries. I said that, when I started out, I had to do a lot on a trial-and-error basis, because I couldn’t find a lot of advice specific to what I was doing. There are an abundance of books on writing, and an immeasurable amount of books on business, but not many on the business of writing. Well, I’ve since found a series of books by Joanna Penn.

I’ve read them, and am happy to recommend:

Book One: How To Market A Book

Book Two: How To Make A Living With Your Writing (currently free on Kindle!)

Book Three: Business for Authors


Related Article: The ‘Business’ of Writing, by Rachel McGrath.

Life as a Full-Time Writer

I thought some people might be interested to hear about what a full-time writer/author does all day, so I thought I’d share a little insight into my work.

It must be pointed out, however, that the following just applies to me, and that other writers can and will have different schedules. What I love about writing is the flexibility it has, and I’m really interested to find out about what other authors get up to (if you are an author and you’re reading this, please leave a comment to compare and contrast your experience).

But enough pre-amble, here are the basics: I work full time (which is to say, a minimum of thirty hours a week), I work from home (translation: my bed), and I write in a number of areas (fiction, non-fiction, fan fiction, poetry, etc.) and my daily tasks often don’t involve writing at all.

That last point might surprise you the most but, you see, I am currently my own agent, editor, publisher, and social media manager and this leads me to doing a range of tasks that a lot of other writers will never think about let alone encounter.

In this past month I have… Continue reading

Current Ploy for Productivity

I watched a TED talk once (I love TED talks!) in which some scientist or doctor or something said that people most likely to reach their goals A. actually outline their goals (rather than keep them as vague ideas just in their heads) and B. don’t necessarily have more self control than those people who fail but, rather, put things in place to take them out of the path of temptation, so they don’t need to fight themselves in the first place.

Well, I like setting myself goals, and I’m not particularly good at sticking to them, but this new thinking resonated with me. As such, I have a new ploy to stop myself from getting distracted on the internet when I should be writing, which is (drumroll please!): disconnecting the internet before I go to bed.

Genius, right? Okay, well, to some people that may sound daft, or obvious, and certainly not worthy of a blog post, but hear me out.

Turning off the Internet before bed means that you’ve already got a good chance of success before you even begin your day. Going offline is so much harder half way through the day, when you’re already lost in a sea of cat GIFs on Tumblr.

Continue reading