Is this what Success Looks Like?

Today is the first day in the rest of my writing life. I hope. I finally started my Creative Writing Course (CWC). Will CWC make me become a successful writer? Probably not in isolation but I am confident that it will help. So is this a success. Can I give myself a pat on the back and say well done?

Unfortunately it took me almost a week to log into the  CWC system. I’ve had a busy week at work (true); just taken on a new responsibility at work (true); I had a course after work on Monday (true); I’ve been sticking to my resolution and stalking the gym (true) BUT realistically I’ve also been a bit scared of logging on. What if everyone else is much better than me? What if they think my writing is rubbish? What if they don’t appreciate the genre I like to write? What if, What if, What if?

So this morning I logged on. Just as well as I had an assignment due today. TODAY. So my gentle easing in actually turned into a frantic writing, rewriting, writing again, contemplating whether my writing was too honest or not honest enough. What do I want to achieve from the course? Can I write it in 500 words? Can I write 500 words on what I want to achieve? Finally I completed the task and submitted my work.

I can’t decide if this morning has been a success or not. I think I’ll just wait for my grade to tell me!

Review: Ron Jeremy: The Hardest (Working) Man in Showbiz

Ron Jeremy: The Hardest (Working) Man in Showbiz
Ron Jeremy: The Hardest (Working) Man in Showbiz by Ron Jeremy
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I don’t normally read non-fiction books; I much prefer to be taken on a journey through the author’s imagination. However this was recommended to me by a friend so I though why not? I am so glad I acted on this recommendation because I actually was really entertained by this book. It is so unrealistic that it seems like it must be a work of fiction. But it’s not. Insane.

What I found most intriguing is the argument that all actresses are equal partners in the adult entertainment industry. Some of the incidents in this book make me question this. How can the women be equal partners when it is the men who decide partner swaps and ‘give’ each other a present, where the present is intimacy with a woman. Why the men make this decision and not the woman only highlights a huge inequality in this industry; men make decisions and women are property.

I did enjoy the book and I am more likely to pick up another biography or autobiography.

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Review: The Family Fang

The Family Fang
The Family Fang by Kevin Wilson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this book and read it over a few days. It was quirky enough to be almost incomparable to any other book that I had read yet I felt quite a strong attachment to some of the scenarios in the book. I appreciated that the damage inflicted on the children was obvious in their characters, particularly in their self-destructive behaviours. I also appreciated that both children were able to be successful in their own artistic endeavours, despite their controversial upbringing. It was impossible not to get caught up in the artistic ‘pieces’.

My only big criticism of the book is the title. I understand the emotional vampire theme and the humour in the story BUT every time I recommend this book I can see friends’ eyes glaze over. IT IS NOT A VAMPIRE BOOK I scream but to no avail. Maybe I need more open minded friends. But it would have been easier if the book had a different name.

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Being competent

Being competent has been playing on my mind a lot recently. In the day job I know I’m competent, or component at feigning competence at least. Not so much with the writing. To the point where I’m avoiding the writing because I don’t feel competent.

Today I went to the shops (relevant I promise) for a few errands. I’ve ran out of makeup so needed to hit the makeup counter. I knew exactly what type and shade I wanted to buy, should have been simple. Unfortunately I got sucked into a CONVERSATION. Somehow I ended up sitting in the chair having a makeover. A bit much for Friday lunchtime but I thought why not. This is her job so I’ll pick up all the tips I can. Hmmmm. The result was no better than I can do myself. Not a criticism but I just thought she needs a bit more practise to make perfect. Thinking about that made me wonder if I’m too critical about my writing- do I need practise or practice?

I think my writing skills are competent, perhaps it’s my story telling skills that are lacking. Or perhaps I have no stories to share because my imagination is underdeveloped. Hopefully the course I’ve signed up for will help me reflect on my abilities & highlight what aspects of my writing that I need to develop.

Review: Do You Remember the First Time?

Do You Remember the First Time?
Do You Remember the First Time? by Jenny Colgan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is one of my guilty pleasure books. One for the days when you really should be doing the laundry or filing your paperwork. Honestly this book is much more fun. It’s premise sounds like it won’t work but it honestly does. The main character has her clock tuurned back and she wakes up aged 16. Not everything has gone back in time though and hilarity ensues.

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New Year – New Resolutions?

Once again I find myself in the process of gearing up to write and then I remember something else very important that I must do now. Like washing the dishes or taking down the Christmas tree. So now instead of making a productive start I’m sitting with a drainer full of we dishes and a bare Christmas tree. I just can’t understand it.

My day job is very responsible and, to be honest, involves a reasonable amount of both creativity and writing. I never miss a deadline or do a half hearted job. I wonder if it is because I know the value of the work that I do at my day job. The writing  job doesn’t have any set salary, or deadlines. Is it the cash or the neccessity?

I can add writer to my resume. In fact I can add paid writer. I must have earned approximately $300 from writing articles for a marketing company. I’m pretty sure they made at least 10-20x more than I did but that’s not the point. Each article was worth around $5 and I spent time on it accordingly. I always wrote 260-300 words and never spent longer than 20 minutes on each article. Some I could knock out in less than 5 minutes as there was no research needed. And, importantly, I had a very definite deadline. Sometimes less than an hour, sometimes a week. But it was there. And defined by someone else.

How can I organise myself to set a reasonable deadline. Signing up for an online creative writing course seems like a bit of a drastic measure but I think I might need someone else to set the deadline! So here goes nothing – signed up and am now rearing to go (although the course doesn’t start until the 16th so until then!).