Things I Do When I Should Be Writing

A wardrobe like a rainbow! (But spot the 'interloper'!)

A wardrobe like a rainbow! (But spot the ‘interloper’!)

The Stress is starting to creep back in (aaaagh!) and since I came back from holiday (errm, a few weeks ago now), I haven’t been in the writing zone AT ALL.

So, in an attempt to work out what I do with my time (and I know, I have the same 24 hours as everyone else), I have started an Excel spreadsheet, on which I log hours/minutes spent on my 4 areas of ‘work’:

1. My writing class
2. Marking Writers Bureau assignments
3. My work for the children’s charity, The Friendship Project
4. My own writing

And the results are, as predicted: I’m spending more time than I should on 1-3 and not enough on 4! Hmm, so that’s something I’ve got to work on.

But I have to admit, that I’m also pretty good at procrastinating.

Last week, for example, I colour-co-ordinated the clothes in my wardrobe. An essential task, I’m sure you’ll agree and one that gave me a great deal of pleasure (although the first time I tried to find something, it didn’t work. A silver/grey top was with the blacks and whites and I was looking in the purples. *Rolls eyes*).

When I uploaded this photo tonight I noticed an interloper: Someone*’s BLUE jacket has sneaked in and is ruining the pinks. If he’d put it in with the corresponding colours, then I wouldn’t even have noticed! (This could, of course, be his subtle way of telling me that the wardrobe is not all mine).

It’s nearly November – and therefore NaNoWriMo will be happening and I’m going to try to pull up my socks and do that again this year.

If you’re thinking about doing the same and you’d like to write about your experience on the Writers & Artists’ Yearbook website, have a look here .

You’ve got until the deadline of Monday 20th October to get your entry in.

The rewards are not huge (“At the end of the month, the four chosen writers will receive a copy of the Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook 2015 to help them take that next step – editing, and then getting the manuscript published!”) BUT it would be good for your profile (you have to write 6 posts of 600 words and you can link to your own blog and/or Twitter feed) and I think it would be a good motivator – you can’t give up when you’ve got to write about your experiences, can you?! (Hey, I might even apply!)

Here’s what you have to do – but there’s more info on the website, so have a look. “To enter, all you have to do is send us an email at, with a short paragraph on your novel idea and why you’d like to be one of the four writers taking part. The deadline is on Monday 20th October at midnight.”

The 500

And finally… I have reached 500 followers! Hurrah! And thank you, if you are one of them. It’s only taken 4 years. shocked faceAnd so, to celebrate and as promised, there will be a free-to-enter writing competition on here soon, so keep coming back!

*Someone is denying all knowledge, by the way.

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12 Responses to Things I Do When I Should Be Writing

  1. Congratulations for gaining 500 followers

  2. Wendy Clarke says:

    It’s hard to colour coordinate a wardrobe when half the clothes have fallen off their hangers and are now on the floor – it’s easier to write!

  3. philippabowe says:

    Hi Helen, yes, the list of “things I do when I should be writing” can be very very long – at least on your list of activities they are mostly writing related (and your charity work is clearly important, I looked it up, what an excellent idea!). I have to say that at the moment, the thing I mostly do at the only time I could be writing – end of the evening, after a full-on day’s work followed by servicing the needs of teens and all the other obligations – is going to bed to sleep! Yes, sad and middle aged, but hard to get round…which is also why I haven’t commented on any of your recent blogs, sorry! So a belated big congrats on your TABFF success, really impressive, and on reaching 501 followers. Despite the lure of my bed, I’m limbering up for Nanowrimo and looking forward to it, hoping it will pull me back into writing mode. I looked at the Writers & Artists link in an optimistic burst (“I could do that!”) that shrivelled up when I saw that you have to give them the links to your “personal blog and Twitter profile” – I don’t have those things!

  4. juliathorley says:

    I’ve just this minute read a fab post about time management by Shelley Wilson. I don’t know her, I have no axe to grind: I just like her blog. .

    • Ooh yes, very good Julia, thanks for pointing me in that direction! I’ve read through it all once but I will read it properly – and inwardly digest – later..erm, when I’ve got more time..!

  5. My wardrobe is as neat as yours because I colour co-ordinated mine too and I piled up the stuff I no longer want, ready to take to a charity shop. What can we do next to save us from writing? How about cake-making?

  6. Hi Helen
    I just wanted to say I really loved your stories in TABFF. My favourite was ‘Surprise!’ as i didn’t get the twist at all. It was a really unique idea. Thanks also for your tips on writing for TABFF.
    I hope you managed to get your clothes in the right colour order!
    Kind regards

    • Aw, thanks for taking the trouble to write and tell me, Sharon, that’s really kind! As I said before, I did get that idea from a ‘real experience’ but I’d better not say any more, as I’ll spoil it for anyone else who’s yet to read it!

  7. Keith Havers says:

    Ooh I love your writing comps.
    Congratulations on 500 followers.
    I think I liked The Cake Baby the best.

    • Ah, thanks, Keith – that’s nice! (that you like my comps – but also that you liked Cake Baby. That story had been turned down once by… ssssh, you-know-which magazine…WW … so I was chuffed to see it finally in print!)

  8. Linda says:

    I think the writing slow down is a seasonal thing, as the days get shorter there doesn’t seem to be enough time for anything. Either that, or my brain’s shutting down ready for hibernation. I’ve just written about how I’m not doing my to-do list on my blog.
    I have decided to do NaNoWriMo this year in an effort to speed up my writing but I know I won’t have enough time to do an extra 6 posts (3,600 words!) for the W&A competition.

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