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Where is Fate?

Is he sat on the clouds pulling our strings?
Or is he on the dark side of the moon manipulating voodoo dolls?

Maybe he wrote it all down a million years ago and he’s gone now?

Did he write the book of ‘Meant To Be’ and leave it out for God to see?

‘What will be will be’

Is it Fate’s will?
Or God’s will?
It’s written in the stars apparently.

When we die and go to heaven will there be a gate that the astronauts saw when they went to the moon?
Did Peter send them home again, saying, ‘It’s not your time’?
Or did he tell them to go to hell?

If it’s meant to be, will everything happen anyway however good or bad I am?
And if cleanliness is next to Godliness, why do I never see him in the bathroom?

This map it’s all mapped out on:
I think I’ve got it upside down anyway

Getting my head down

Study Time

Time to study

With a little reluctance and some internal stern talking to, I am forcing a brief fiction-writing and social-networking hiatus on myself. I guess it’s a kind of reverse sabbatical. You see, since 2000 I have been taking OU courses on and off, with no direction and no self-belief, thinking I hadn’t the brains to achieve degree level. Well, at the grand old age of 41, that has changed and I see a light at the end of the tunnel. But recently I keep diverting my attention because of my love for writing stories and communicating with other writers. Hideous family things have blighted my life too in the last 3 years and taken their toll on my study time and course grades.
Today I looked at my study calendar, the work I need to catch up with, my home and bookworking for my husband commitments and made a list. We have a seasonal business, so school holidays are frustrating from a parenting perspective. It is a daunting but, I believe, achievable list and if I get on with it and pass this year’s courses I will, finally, have that degree that I now realise is possible:
My qualifications

From my OU profile page

My Advanced Creative Writing course finishes in May and my Philosophy/Health & Social Care course finishes in September.
I really think this degree will help me with my self-confidence and my goal to become a serious writer but I am the world’s worst juggler and also very nosey about what’s happening out there, so this retreating is the way I need to do things for now.


Doing my homework

So from now until May I will be very studious indeed.
I’m going to be a good girl.
Yes I am.

Wish me luck. 🙂

Perhaps if you see me on Twitter or facebook, before the middle of May, you would be so good as to turn me around and point me in the direction of my books again!

(And damn those low self-esteem and self-doubt gremlins for slowing me down for so long!)

Creative Crash

Today my head is exploding with ideas. I felt quite poetic this morning and collections of thoughts formed in little catchphrases on my lips. I’ve only really ever written 2 or 3 poems and don’t see myself as patient enough to write poetry regularly but today a poem was forming in the shower.
Two flash fiction ideas have been hitting me on the head in the last 2 days too.
I think this is happening because my mind has necessarily been taken over by practical thoughts for three weeks and my creative side is attention-seeking now that I am getting a few moments to myself.
The trouble is, all that has happened in the last few weeks has put me behind with so much else in life that I can’t give in to the creativity yet and the ideas are being left to get watery. On top of all the usual life gubbins, I am three weeks behind in 2 courses of OU reading and have 2 assignments to submit this month, meaning the free, expressive side of me must continue to wait.
So what will happen to these ideas? Where will they go? I expect they will vanish soon. But I like to think that like the ocean, new ideas will push up upon my shores and each incoming tide of ideas will always bring something that contains a mix of what was washed away on the last outgoing tide.
I do hope so.

What type of writer are you?

(Just a bit of fun!)

The Juggler?

The Organised?

The Frustrated?

The Avoider?

The Hermit?

The Juggler Writer

You are probably working, have a family, keep a home, have social and extended family commitments. You could be a man or a woman but I think it is more likely that you are a woman. You feel as if you are constantly on the go, running from one job to the next, keeping all your plates spinning. You feel busy, chaotic and disorganised yet still find time to write – but at no fixed time – just whenever you can. You probably see your life as a bit of a crazy circus and yourself as an accident waiting to happen with all those balls in the air. But, despite this, you are no clown. Others are jealous of you and wish they could juggle as well as you. You are not completely happy with your writing output, always wish you could spend more time on it, but are reasonably successful. You may see yourself as too many things to call yourself just a writer and you may never stop taking on other activities. When your family and work commitments lessen you are probably the type of person to take on new activities and hobbies which compliment your writing. I suspect your writing is witty, observant and easy to relate to. Because you are modest your writing is probably better than those around you realise and you often have to write in a house that is less than peaceful.
You are quite happy to scrap an idea and start a new one in life and in writing, yet you remain loyal, friendly and reliable and take your commitments very seriously. I, for one, am very jealous of people like you and admire you immensely.

The Organised Writer

You also have commitments but you have pinned everything down. You have nailed your writing time to evenings, or early mornings or weekends. You have a specific writing time and place. You have a diary. Your plates are not spinning. You have projects that you pick up and put down and when you are not writing you are doing something else. You have an important job or a special duty in life and I see your life planned out months – if not years – in advance. Perhaps you have a farm or you are a carer or have an important job in society – something time-consuming that cannot be put on hold. But you know where your spare moments may be and have scheduled them in advance as writing time. You have probably enlisted the help or support of others or you pay someone to do the domestic chores. I believe you are equally as likely to be a man or a woman. I imagine you suffer from regular health complaints but battle on bravely. You probably write novels that are planned carefully in advance, have serious content and you rarely deviate. You have created a world where others understand your routine and see you as highly reliable and predictable. I see you as the type who knows their genre and sticks to it. You are thorough and detailed. You might write a series of crime novels, historical or family sagas. I am jealous of your organisation and I am nothing like you but you are the type who is good for my motivation!

The Frustrated Writer

You are me a few years back. Life is bonkers. There are no plates spinning because they fell a long time ago and are smashed all over the floor. Life is chaotic. People may not see the chaos – it may be hidden inside your head. You may not be writing at all, yet. You feel like a writer, you feel that writing is something you want to be doing, but if you do get started you rarely find time to finish anything. Your head is a whirl of tiredness, dreams and duties. There is an extremely strong chance that you are a woman! You spend your time looking for intellectual satisfaction – crashing from one idea to the next with a sense of failure and unfulfillment. You are tough on yourself, you can’t or won’t ask for help and fear stops you from making the life-changing decision needed to call yourself a writer. You define yourself as mother, housewife, nurse, policewoman, gardener, whatever, and wait for life to change/ get better, for there to be more money, more hours in the day… You may sneak in time to write a blog and find that your life-rantings strike a chord with other women. It is likely that you are a bit of a martyr and put off things that would be good for you such as taking walks, eating healthily, and talking about your problems. You are probably very modest and surrounded by people who have no idea how clever you are. If you are not careful you may remain a wannabe… Which would be a shame because your writing would be very encouraging to other women.

The Avoider Writer

Shame on you – you procrastinator!
Fear is in your way and you can’t see a way around it.
Either you are frightened that when you sit down and begin to produce a proper piece of writing that it won’t be good enough; you are scared of your own ability and what others will think of you OR you have a fear of what is inside your own head; you have suffered, you have had a tough life. Your experiences may be too much for others to handle or they may even be too much for you to handle. What will happen when all the disturbing truths that you have locked away for years come pouring out? You may start to write a novel but when you write the word “child” your own childhood may develop on the page in front of you without warning. You may end up in a mental institution, you may have to tell everyone what a nutter and a freak you really are when you have spent so many years trying to be normal. What if you can’t deal with your own emotions, your own past?
Or maybe it will just be crap. Maybe you can’t write at all. It’s better to live in hope than to find out the truth, yeah?
No, because if you want to write you should write. If it’s crap, don’t show it to anyone. Or post it on a blog under a pen name and ask for feedback from strangers. There are millions of writers out there who never win prizes or get a publishing deal. We’re all just enjoying the creative process.
I see you as a man or a woman. You probably don’t allow yourself to show emotions often enough and are unsure of yourself. You may have fixed ideas and/or are scared of change. You probably plan things and then are too scared to follow through.
(I recommend a bit of life-writing secretly on the loo and reading outloud to yourself. You’d be amazed how therapeutic it can be! And a troubled life is always very interesting!)

The Hermit Writer

This is me when I am being a writer. We cannot juggle. We have thought explosions. We have moody periods and we have more wasted time than any other type. We can go into our shell for whole days and then come out crying that all we have written is “Turmoil” six thousand times. Our [metaphorical] wastepaper bin is often overflowing. When we have an idea we are possessed and neglectful of ourselves and our loved ones. I believe this type is more likely to be a man. For a woman this way of writing comes with too much guilt attached and can cause depression. A man of this type will often be supported or be single. We can swing from one idea to the next and scrap something that is not going our way. We are in danger of jeopardising our writing careers with our perfectionism and self-punishment. If we are lucky enough to have loved ones willing to hang around, our one good novel may be rescued from the fire by a relative in the nick of time.
For me this is a life of walled personalities with inter-joining doors. I cannot have the doors open and be a writer-stroke-family person or a writer-stroke-businesswoman, etc. I have to shut the doors. I do not juggle. I do not organise writing time and I do not fear or avoid writing. I merely shut the door to my writing self and become the domestic me, the social me, the attentive mother me or the bookkeeper me. My ideas don’t seep through the bricks. It is a difficult type of writer to be because when I haven’t written for a while I become angry with guilt because I know I want to be elsewhere and it seems wrong for a wife and mother to feel that way. And when I am inside the walls of the writing me I am unapproachable, rude, void of routine, unhealthy, selfish.
I see Hermit Writers as more likely to have obsessions or addictions and to deliberately avoid what is good for us because to us nothing feels as good as the process of writing. We can be unreliable and may not be very good at holding down a conventional job. Because of the brain channeling needed, writing for a hermit necessarily involves retreat and not blending with the rest of life.

What about you? Do you fit into one of these writing types? Or are you a mix of different types?
Or maybe you disagree with my observations completely!

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