Hello! I bet you thought someone had wrapped me up by mistake and shoved me under a Christmas tree, I’ve been away for so long! But no, I am here. I’ve just been busy ‘Christmass-ing’, to coin a phrase. I’m sure it’s the same for you.
(*book plug alert!*) Amongst all the ‘partying’, frenzied shopping, card-writing and Strictly-gorging, I’ve been pootling away at the e-book that I’ve been writing.. well, for months, to be honest. (My writing buddy Sally will confirm this. When we met up on 5th October, I distinctly remember saying to her, ‘Oh yes, it’s nearly finished!’ and.. ahem, it still isn’t).
BUT it’s nearly there, so if 2017 is the year in which you’d like to start a new career (or brush up your existing skills!), you might be interested in my ‘Start a Creative Writing Class’ e-book – a handy guide for writers, tutors and would-be teachers – which I’ll be launching on Amazon any day now.
More about that anon. Now onto books in general….
I’m doing an exercise at the moment in which I track how much time I spend on various activities: watching TV, exercise, eating (!), sleeping, ‘creative work’ and stuff like that. It’s all very illuminating but one of the things that has shocked me most, is how little time I spend reading.
I know, I know, you’re all shaking your heads. It’s shameful. I usually manage a few minutes before my head sinks into the pillow (and that might just be a couple of short stories) but that’s about it.
So, that’s going to change in 2017. My plan is to ‘do a David Nicholls’ and read every day (he reads for half an hour the moment he wakes up. I’m not sure I can manage that but I might try).
Of course, we all know, as writers, that it’s vital to read. Because it’s inspiring and relaxing and it teaches us the possibilities of language and fiction – and not just because Stephen King said,’If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.’
I have 66 books waiting to be bought and read on my (ahem, public) Amazon wish list! So, the desire and motivation is there – I just need to prioritise it a bit more. AND, as I do a lot of driving, I need to get some audio books, so I can listen to novels while I’m on the move. Good thinking, eh?
I am actually reading something at the moment: it’s Jilly Cooper’s ‘Mount’ – yes, I know, not exactly a classic (‘Daft, boozy joy!’ as the Guardian reviewer described it) but you know when you just want something light and funny?
It’s set in the world of racing and ooh, there are an awful lot of stallions and sires and well, mounting. In fact, a scene I read last night, gave me palpitations (but not in a good way) and.. yuck, I keep getting flashbacks!
So, hmm, not everyone’s cup of tea, perhaps! What are you reading, folks? Any recommendations?!
PS: Happy Christmas!