Aimee Horton

#WriteThinking – Rachael Lucas

May
24

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RACHAEL LUCAS!!!! I’m SO excited to have Rachael on my blog today. I’ve been a fan and followed Rachael’s story (stalked) for a while now. Rachael isn’t just a great writer (her latest book Wildflower Bay – Part 1 is OUT NOW, and on my kindle for my next read) but she’s a great person. Well, either that, or every time a message from me pops up on her phone she pours herself a gin. Either way, over to Rachael and her post about procrastination.


 

I was going to sit down and write something helpful like FIVE WAYS TO FIND THE TIME TO WRITE or HOW TO JUGGLE FOUR CHILDREN AND WRITING or something like that. 

You know the sort of thing – the ones you read and think ooh, I’m definitely going to take those hints on board, and next time I sit down to write I’m going to be super efficient and organised. 
 
The thing is – it would be a lie. I’m appallingly bad at finding the time to write. Very good at finding the time to stand at the kitchen worktop burning dinner and tweeting. Excellent at sitting in Costa reading a magazine and looking out of the window. And yet the books get written, somehow. A post on HOW TO HIT DEADLINES WHILST PROCRASTINATING WILDLY doesn’t sound quite so appealing, mind you.  
 
But I’ve learned that procrastinating wildly is actually part of the process for me. This morning when I was supposed to be writing this (and about fifteen other things, and doing a million other publication day related activities) I decided instead to drive across the countryside to go and try on riding hats. (There is a logical reason for that. As a random displacement activity it would have been a bit odd, even by my standards.)
 
As I was driving along listening to dodgy songs from the 90s a snippet of thought from the character I’m trying to write floated into my head and lodged itself there, waiting in an obliging manner until I could stop and scribble it down. And as if by magic, whilst faffing, I have the beginnings of the prologue for book five – proof that procrastination can actually be useful writing time. 
 
I spend ages floating around, scribbling bits of ideas down in notepads which I then lose. I type character sketches into my phone. I drive early to school and sit in the best car park space (the one where you can see them come out so you don’t have to stand freezing your arse off in the middle of winter) and watch people and think. It all looks like I’m doing nothing, but that’s where the stories come alive. 
 
If you’re thinking this is basically an extended justification for wasting time online, avoiding boring housework, and spending a fortune in coffee shops, you’d be right. The good thing about it?  By the time I’ve done all that, the deadline is usually looming, and that gives me The Fear (I suspect because I’m always convinced someone’s going to come along and tell me I’ve been found out, and I’ll have to go and get a proper job). So the work gets done. And then I write blog posts which end up being HOW TO HIT DEADLINES WHILST PROCRASTINATING WILDLY – because it’s the only thing I can talk about with any authority. 
 
(Well, that, and what’s happening on Twitter.)
 
My new book Wildflower Bay is published by Pan Macmillan. It’s released as an exclusive three part ebook serial starting today, and will be available in the shops in paperback on 11th August. 
 
(much love, R xxxx)
You can catch up with the amazing Rachael over at > rachaellucas.com | email | twitter | facebook GO AND DO IT NOW!

Little Loves

Feb
26

This week has been busy.

I’ve started a new contract which means I’m in an actual office instead of at home working as and when I want! For more than five years I’ve had the total freedom to pick and choose my own days (give or take a few bits obviously) and the responsibility of fitting my contracting and writing was mine. But the thing with working from home for that long, is it can be quite suffocating, so even though I am writing Dottie every evening and at the weekends, I’ve actually become more motivated! I’m relishing being in an office with people. Plus you know, I needed new shoes.

READ

Let’s skip this one shall we…

WATCHED

beni

Man. Am I the only person who loves Benidorm as much I do? I JUST LOVE IT! It’s silly, it’s ridiculous, but it’s just good old fashioned british comedy, with spot on observations.

MADE

Screen Shot 2016-02-26 at 09.58.21I’ve made my husband start decorating our kitchen/dining/day room area. It’s nothing major, just in need of a bit of a spruce up. It’s only taken a year of convincing. We started off with him saying it was fine, then that maybe the ‘feature wall’ could be updated, and in the end he’s finally come round and agreed we’ll paint the entire room. Mainly because the paint was reduced to £10 a pot! I will let you know when it’s done!!

WORE

Like I said… I’ve been in the office so not just jeans this week! Most photos taken without makeup and hair done so excuse the general untidiness of the room.

Oh and the general mess!

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HEARD

I can’t run. This makes me grumpy. So I have to do SOMETHING. Therefore Larry and I have started doing the 30 day shred (I say Larry is doing it, he did part of day 1, the second day he just watched and today I haven’t done yet!) so I am hearing “YOU CAN’T PHONE THAT IN!” and “IF YOU WANT RESULTS YOU GOTTA WORK HARRRDDD” “LOOK AT ANITA!” Every.Single.Day.

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AND LASTLY…

I posted this on Instagram the other day. 

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Everyday I see something on my instagram feed or facebook, or twitter, that reminds me how amazing my mummy friends – real life and virtual – are. No matter what they’re doing, SAH, WFH, WFO, they’re working their socks off to fit everything in. It’s knackering being a mummies, it’s filled with daily guilt and of course frustrations when THEY JUST WON’T GET BLOODY DRESSED FOR SCHOOL. 

So for #FizzFriday I’m raising a glass to all mummy’s who just keep going.

My evening with Marian Keyes.

Feb
16

I’d like to pretend, that last night when I was listening to Marian Keyes as she sat on the sofa and had me laughing A LOT, it was just me and her, best mates, drinking hot chocolate and eating cake.

Sadly that wasn’t the case, but it didn’t feel too far off. Having never been to see “an evening with” any author before I wasn’t sure what to expect when I booked the tickets. Turns out what to expect is listening to somebody very funny, relatable and interesting.

The relatable bit was the most important to me.

You see, if I could be like her when I grow up, I’d like that very much please. I say that about a few authors, Jonathan Harvey, Lisa Jewell, Sophie Kinsella, Jackie Collins. I’m not talking genre, I’m talking talent. They make you think, they make you laugh, they make you cry. But most importantly they tug you into a book that you struggle to put down, and when you are finished and you finally do, you wish you’d written a book like that – I’d also like to sell as many please.

With Marian it’s not only about talent, but it’s about her outlook on life. Her honesty about being ‘mad in the head’ her forthrightness that she has good days and bad days, that she’s an introvert, a people pleaser, and takes on too much. The fact she doesn’t expect her next book to do what her other books have done, that she is just grateful to do what she loves, and that people read it.

My initial reaction when she speaks about this was that “well she can say that, she’s a best selling author of about a gazillion amazing books.” But she obviously had to start somewhere, and it got me thinking, about how recently, writing my latest book, I spend more time thinking about the reader, rather than the character. When I self-published, ironically it was easy to forget about the reader, after all, I didn’t think anyone would actually read it. But now, as Dottie’s popularity grows, I panic. I’ve talked about this before, I talk about the fact that I spend time worrying about whether she’s funny enough, clever enough, endearing enough. I KNOW the fact I just need to keep going, but sometimes, I shrink into my own little writing shell, and when my friend texts and asks how my day has gone, I usually reply with “shit.”

My friend happened to be there last night, and when it came to the Q&A she asked how as a friend, she can support her author friend (THAT’S ME I’M AN ACTUAL AUTHOR FRIEND – IN THE COMPANY OF MARIAN BLOODY KEYES) when she says she’s have a shit day. She actually did say shit day, and I was very glad, sitting next to her, Marian looking up at her, she firstly didn’t point me out, and secondly, didn’t say that I basically want to give up, because I worry I’m not good enough.

If I’d not been in the upper circle in the audience, I’d have leapt over and run onto the stage and hugged Marian for her answer. The one she sat and considered, before feeding back that I just need to keep going. It can be edited, it can lead to something, or I can go back and polish. She talked about writing for an hour a day, and that the thought of sitting down and putting words to screen, that the thought of getting started was horrendous, but once she got started it was great.

That’s when I sat there, and realised we’re not so different after all. I’m not a pretend author watching a real author. Because I know all that really, I just thought I was being a bit of a dick.

So after I have eaten my hot cross bun, and topped up my pot of tea, I’m going to write for an hour. I’m not going to think about how funny Dottie is, or what I need to do to get her to the end of this adventure. I’m just going to write her, my favourite character, and enjoy the buzz of her adventure.

From now on, for an hour a day, I’m going to channel Marian Keyes.