June has been something of an unproductive writing month for me. If you’ve been following me on my Instagram, you might have noticed my stories posts where I’ve been contemplating the frustrations of working 50+ hour weeks for the last month and a half.
(Spoiler alert: it’s not fun).
I remember reading somewhere that the best job to have as a fledgling writer is the kind of job that allows you to write for as much time as possible.
Which is basically the opposite of my real world job.
When you add in my commute, I typically (on a good day) get about one hour to write every night, at the absolute maximum. I do try to and write words during lunchtimes (these are normally my Stories on a Theme which I write in the 5 minutes it takes to heat up my lunch at the microwave), but even then, I don’t get lots written.
Given how little time I have to write normally, then this month has been a very hard lesson in sometimes life doesn’t work the way you want it to. I got ill, I worked late hours, and all of that killed any kind of imagination or will to even open my laptop to write something.
When I read writing advice blogs, there is advice to say you have to have a routine, you give up sleep, socialising, whatever you have to do to get words on a page. And whilst that advice had some level of truth in it (you do have to have a level of dedication to get progress), there has to be a point where you have to stop.
And step back.
Life is one of those crazy things that just gets in the way at times. There is just stuff, that happens, important social events, time you have to spend with your family and your friends that takes you away from writing. You have to work long hours to pay the bills, to pay for your dreams, to get you through the day-to-day reality that exists now.
And, you know what?
I think I’m a better writer for it. Because all those times that I have to push myself out of my comfort zone at work or in my social life, all those times I invest in friendships and relationship allows me to understand the human condition a bit more. And to understand what it means to be human means that when I come to write characters, I can get under their skin. I can give them parts of my experiences, I can spin out my knowledge and lessons into something completely different.
And, most importantly, this process allows me to understand life. Because whilst my dream is to tell stories for my living, to connect with readers and to give stories that inspire to the world; writing is my vehicle to understand the complexity and chaos that is life.
Life has no rules. Sometimes it gets in the way of writing.
And that’s okay.
I’ve managed to (finally!) set up a newsletter! At the moment, it’s just a summary of all my works on my wordpress, but I hope to eventually be able to release subscriber only stories on a regular basis. But for now, it’s a place to start on my journey to being a proper writer!
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What else has been going on in Alex’s life
The garden is growing super well! I’ve been posting more flower updates on my IG as the flowers start to bloom and really come to life.
I’ve been listening to Bastille’s new album “Doom Days” on repeated loop ever since spotify told me that it was now released. Because Bastille have always been my Speaks to My Soul music, it’s been one of my go-to writing muses, especially for my shorter fiction and my introspective stories. There is something in the poetry of the songs that just unlocks a part of my brain that says I must write about the existence of the human condition now.
I’ve read a little more of A Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. It’s good, it’s fun. I feel like it’s a little bit predictable, but I’m hoping for some twists on the classic trope of super hot angel boy character falling for funky main lead lady character to keep the story interesting. The worldbuilding, however, is like nothing I’ve ever read before. It’s a fun read, and it’s been my saviour during the long nights working when I need a break from the stress.
And that’s it for this month! Hope you’ve all had a good (and less stressful!) June, and look forward to seeing you in July for more stories & writing blogs.