Before I start though I need to let you know what you are letting yourself into so you know whether you want to keep reading or not.
- There are a million writing and mummy blogs out there. I am not trying to get on the band wagon am just creating a place here on the world wide web where I can share my thoughts and experience with you. I used to blog (see below) but I decided to end that writing blog and start this one after my son was born because I feel the need to discuss writing and motherhood - which is a different product than talking just about writing. Not everyone is interested in babies ( I certainly wasn't before I had my own).
- If you are particular about grammar then this blog is not for you. Yes, I am a writer, yes, I know my punctuation should be impeccable but sadly it is not and although I have done courses and read countless books on the subject I am still not great at it. This is not ideal. I know that. But I love writing - telling stories, giving people that escapism. So for my books I just have a good editor - on this platform I do not. I have talked about this in depth in my previous blog - The Coffee Stained Manuscript feel free to have a look although it is now a little defunct!
- I use exclamation marks!!! I do. Never in my novels - unless it really calls for one - but on here I will over use the exclamation mark! I am trying to curb my enthusiasm for them though.
- I may not have time to read through what I have written. I shoot from the hip - write it how I think it and don't always have the time to edit. So if there are mistakes I apologise in advance.
- I aim to post once a fortnight. But I may miss a fortnight or so now and again - because that is what happens when you have a job, a baby, a book to write and plenty of box sets to watch.
- My son Nathan will be known as N
And now for a little bit about me. I started writing in 2008 and have published 5 novels to date. Two of these novels were published by independent publishers the rest I have self published. My previous blog went into detail about the pros and cons of self publishing and why I chose to self publish the series I am currently working on. The series - which I refer to quite a bit- is the Chupplejeep Mysteries - a light hearted detective series set in rural Goa (I used to live in Goa - hence the connection). The first two books in the series (Under the Coconut Tree, The Body in the Bath) are selling well and I have just written the first draft of the third book titled Jackpot Jetty.
I wrote the majority of this first messy draft while on maternity leave. N was born in February and although I had decided to take a year off writing, three months in and I wanted to do something for me. Having a new born takes away all your time and can also take away your identity. I wanted to reclaim some of that back and writing was an easy way to do that. A bit of work, which is not really work, because when you are a writer you have this strange need to write all the time which is why it is a passion and not really work. So I started writing and now as my maternity leave comes to an end I have a complete first draft of Jackpot Jetty. It's good to have got this far on my year off, but I now have a draft which needs my attention, an eleven month old and a three day working week ahead of me. My writing is going to take a back seat this year, but I AM DETERMINED and I'm also a goal setter so I have decided to get this draft in ship shape and ready for publication by he end of this year. I usually achieve my targets, but I have never attempted them with a baby - what I have learnt this past year is that schedules and deadlines are not often achievable with a baby!
Yep, the last year has been a steep, steep learning curve, especially those first six weeks when you are so sleep deprived you don't know whether you are coming or going and with holdalls under your eyes you are trying to figure out if the colour of your baby's poo is the colour it should be and how to remove snot from his nose when he can't blow it! That was a serious issue for me - something I never even thought of as a problem - a simple cold - yet it gave me sleepless nights worrying if he could breathe! A nasal aspirator was the answer and snuffle babe products - when I was told about the aspirator from a fellow mother I thought yuk - sucking snot out of your baby's nose is gross. But the reality is that it is a much better alternative than having a baby with a blocked nose - especially when the doctor told me that babies that young don't know how to breathe through their mouths. When you have a baby you soon realise that half the things you thought were gross are not!
So this year I want to get my manuscript ready, I want to be a good mother and I am returning to work. Soon. I'm worried about this last point because I am usually organised, on time - I'm one of those - and I'm not sure that I will be able to be that person anymore. Work means nursery which means juggling pick-up and drop-offs, it means sickness bugs that are not scheduled and will co-incide with meetings at work that I JUST CAN'T MISS which I will have to miss because N comes first and because I may get sick too. ARGHHH!!!!
Watch this space to see if I make it.