500 Words

I’m not totally convinced hopping on the social media bandwagon is a good thing. Apart from the fact that I am by nature a reserved, private person who hates talking about herself – hardly a recipe for a prolific on-line presence – I’m now overwhelmed by a daily barrage of book reviews, success stories and literary advice.  
There is a lot to be said for peer pressure; I feel inadequate; I can’t keep up. I don’t do all the things a ‘proper’ writer should.
Write every day – this little gem of advice pops up on a regular basis. Of course I want to write 500 words every day, but sometimes real life gets in the way. I know it’s a lame excuse – I should make time; why not scribble away when sat on the loo? Why waste my life watching Pointless when I could be penning best sellers. I only have myself to blame.  Unfortunately, I’m one of those people who can only write when the spirit moves them. I also need an empty house, silence, and a frenzy of creative inspiration – none of which has recently been very forthcoming.
Be true to yourself –  another little gem currently getting me nowhere. Every writer has their own style; writing gurus always urge you to find your voice and stick to it. But what if that voice isn’t quite ‘commercial’ enough? Do I change? I know people like my style. I’ve won competitions writing in ‘my style’ so it must be good, yes? I recently turned down a publishing contract – it was nothing to do with money, I am definitely not holding out for big bucks, it was more about the binding longevity. Commitment-phobe? Quite possibly.  I’m a Virgo. I want everything to be perfect. Was I being too picky? Surely I could adjust my style to fit the format of that particular publishing house? The publisher obviously thought I could. But then my novels wouldn’t be the novels I’d written, I’d be losing control, I’d be losing my voice….
Everybody gets rejections – do they? Not according to my Twitter feed they don’t. It’s just one book launch after another. It’s hardly a morale booster, especially after my recent endeavours. I’d hate to be a teenager today.  At least I’m of the age where my phone isn’t permanently attached to my hand. I can switch it off. I can go for a day (or maybe even two) without touching base with social media to see who’s doing the equivalent of partying in Ibiza while I’m sat at home with tea and biscuits.
No! What am I doing? Sat at home drinking tea and eating biscuits? Off the sofa and onto the keyboard. Time to write those 500 words.

See! It works. I’ve just done them.
My kind of sofa – built out of books at the Keukenhof Gardens, The Netherlands

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