Posts Tagged ‘writing

There are a few things in my life that I’m changing. Not the core things: who I am, my values, or the people I love, but I’m reorganising my time.

Why the change? At the moment I’m so busy that I’m always stressed. I’m constantly behind; at uni, at housework, at my writing. And I’m getting sick of playing catch up. So here’s the plan:

I’m quitting my job. I work one day a week, usually Mondays. I work 7 hours, and if you take into account the time it takes for me to get there and back, I earn $12/hr.

It’s a job that I enjoy, but I enjoy other things more. My plan is to make some money doing something I adore, and would be doing anyway: writing. I plan to live the dream…

I have to give 4 weeks notice, and I have enough savings to last me 15 weeks (if I’m stingy).

Which means that within 20 weeks I need to be earning enough money through my writing to supplement youth allowance.

I really need $110 per week, if I want to keep saving, but I plan to build up slowly.

My short term aim is $50 per week, and here’s how I’m going to make it work:

2.Freelance articles
3.Ebooks (genre style)

Over the next three Tuesdays I’m going to be blogging about each of these in detail. Enough detail that hopefully by reading my blog you can also take the first small steps towards writing for your living.

Maybe you’ll decide it’s not for you. Maybe I will too. Or maybe you’re already well on the path, and have advise that I can use. Wherever you are on the journey, I’d love to hear from you!

Did you miss me? It’s been a while.

My resolution to write regularly has gone the way of my many other resolutions. And happily, it happened long enough ago (3 weeks, give or take a bit) that I’m ready to reresolve

Lucky you 🙂

I think the problem with my last writing plan, was that I wasn’t specific enough, I had no real, quantifiable aims (take that experimental science!). I did write every day, but I ended up writing diary entries, half hearted character sketches, and self indulgent rambles.

Today, I’m planning to add to that. I’m retrying the writing every day thing, but part of that is going to be posting on this blog. Not every day (I don’t want to bore you!), but three times a week. One post on writing, my own, someone else’s, or writing exercises, because I love them, and think everyone should. Let’s claim Tuesday for my writing post.

Not starting today, Thursday will be my craft post. Yup, I’ve done exactly one of these so far, but i enjoy making things. I’ve tried selling them to people, but it turns out that I much rather sharing to selling, and experimenting to repetitive labour: something that doesn’t quite work when it comes to a market stall. I have high hopes that it will work on a blog.

Finally, Saturday will be my cooking post. I know, you’re feeling confused: I’ve never so much as mentioned cooking on my blog. And that’s because I’m something of a failure, and always forget to take photos when I cook. From now on, if I forget, you’re just going to have boring picture less posts, because, as I’ve mentioned many times, I have a new resolution.

Hopefully three times a week is enough to inspire, and to give me an incentive, but not too much too become utterly exhausting. I spent a bit of time this morning looking at other people’s blog posts on how often a blogger should blog.

It was interesting, but all I really got out of it was that each blogger has to find their own balance. I highly doubt this is mine, found on my second attempt, but I can’t think of a better way to find my own way than trying things out. (which doesn’t mean that if you have a magical, full proof way of finding out I don’t want to hear from you. I do!)

It seems arrogant to hope that someone out there was hoping I’d start posting again… But I do. And regardless of whether they actually were or not, I am.

Wish me luck 🙂

The thing about blogging is that it effectively invites strangers into your home.

Now, while I’m always happy to have people over for dinner, to chat, to watch a movie, they don’t hear everything I think, and they don’t spend time in my bedroom. It’s too personal.

A blog is similar. There’s no bedroom, and posts are carefully chosen and edited.

In other ways it’s quite different. This is because ANYONE could be reading my blog. My ordinary rants are no longer so tempting.

I happily rant (read whinge) to my friends about uni lecturers, my boss, and even, on the odd bitchy occasion, other friends.

If I were to do this on a blog I’d soon lose both boss and job, fail uni subjects, and be lacking friends.

Even when I’m being bitchy, I like my friends (the definition, I know). Even when they’re driving me bat-shit crazy I don’t want to hurt them. And personally, I think that insulting them on an open blog– that’d hurt.

Having said all this, I believe blogging etiquette to be quite complicated. How many of my experiences have no one in them but me? Not many interesting ones, let me tell you!

So how’s a blogger to tell if their stories harm another person? Are you meant to ask permission or use your own judgement?

I have compiled a list of general blogging etiquette, but since you’ve all been doing this longer than me, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the issue. Until then the hilarious story of my uni tutor and… well. It’ll just have to wait.

Blogging Politely (And Keeping Real Life Intact)

1. No kinky stuff. (unless it’s fictional smut, or you’re a call girl writing amusing anecdotes)

2. No fights. (there’s no easier way to escalate a simple disagreement, than by bringing it into the public domain, especially if it hadn’t been resolved yet)

3. If you can think of someone that you NEVER want to see your post, don’t post it.

4. Be Realistic. No one wants to read about how perfect you are. Tell us about your stuffed up dinner attempts, your failed projects, and your procrastinated writing.

5. If you aren’t sure, check. You don’t want to hurt or embarrass a friend or colleague, so when in doubt, ask them to read your post before you publicize it. Better safe than sorry.


That’s all I got folks… Contribute please, before I offend a lot of people due to my blogging ignorance 🙂

The word whom is rarely used in English anymore. There are the very grammatically correct, who use it in an appropriate, albeit old-fashioned way. And there are others, who insist on continuing to use an outdated word incorrectly.

To help prevent my poor ears from being offended by such things, I thought I’d explain the difference.

‘Who’ is a nominative relative pronoun, while ‘whom’ is an accusative relative pronoun.

For most people that sentence should make no sense whatsoever. The only reason I understand it myself is that I’ve spent the last three weeks intensively studying Ancient Greek. Surprisingly it’s taught me a lot about English grammar.

First off, a relative pronoun always takes the place of a noun (who, which, etc). The slight difference between ‘who’ and ‘whom’ is due to the purpose of the noun that is replaced.

The subject is effectively the noun that does the verb, and should be in the nominative case. The noun that the verb acts on is the direct object, and should be in the accusative (for the most part).

For example: ‘the man eats the cake’

Man is the subject, (doing the eating), and should be in the nominative case. The cake as the direct object (being eaten) should be in the accusative case. Now, unlike in Greek, or Latin, or even German, this doesn’t usually matter too much in English…

Until you try to use the word ‘who’. It is the man who eats the cake. And the cake (if you were to personify it) whom the man eats.

If I were to turn the sentence around, and have a suddenly carnivorous (and grammatically correct) cake: ‘The cake eats the man’, then the man would become a ‘whom’. The man ‘whom’ the cake ate…

The cake is now the one doing the action, and so it is ‘the cake who eats’.

If all the grammar talk is going to in one ear and out the other (as it should!) let’s use another method. When in doubt, try the replacement trick!

The difference between who and whom is the same as the difference between he and him: a swap that we make automatically.

He is the equivalent of who, while him is the equivalent of whom.

So, if he ate the cake, you would say “who ate the cake?”

Since the cake ate him, you would say “whom did the cake eat?”

To make life even more confusing, if you’re using a copula verb  in your sentence, then both the subject and the direct object (man and cake) should be in the same case (nominative), and thus ‘who’. Unfortunately, copulaverb include ‘to be’. So every time you say ‘I am’, ‘you are’, ‘he is’, etc, you’re using a copula verb.

Personally, I think we should simplify things and take the word whom out of the Oxford Dictionary. English is a living language, meaning that it continually evolves. If they can acknowledge the extent of its evolution by adding the verb ‘to google’, surely they can acknowledge that no one cares about the word whom anymore, and remove it from the dictionary.

I received an excessively polite email from Voiceworks a little over a week ago, thanking me for my submission. It went on to inform me that due to a high number of submissions, they expected to be able to inform us of the success or failure of our poetry in early August. Feedback on rejected submissions ought to be sent by September.

Well. Given that I’m wanting feedback rather than expecting publication at this stage, it’s going to be a fairly long wait!

I suppose this is why we’re encouraged to submit continually (once a week). In three months or so we’ll start receiving weekly feedback.

It would be nice, but it involves knowing where to submit to, and working out all the dates. Not to mention have hundreds of different poems complete and ready for publication. It’s considered pretty bad form to send out the one poem, or suite of poems, to multiple editors.

I find that in the week or so since I received the email, I’ve been trying to figure out how to submit regularly. It’s resulted in me spending more time searching for potential publications than I’ve spent writing poetry.

For all that it seemed a great idea in my first flush of enthusiasm, it seems silly now. I’m in no rush to submit, or get published. Obviously I want people to read my poetry, and I’d like them to feel something because of it. However, even if no one ever read anything that I wrote, I’d keep doing it.

I’m still spending an hour a day writing. I’ve skipped out a few times: once I went out that evening and once I had an exam the following day, and was frantically revising. I think that’s pretty good though.

Most of what I write won’t make it to the final draft of course, but at least it’s putting pen to paper regularly. That’s progress of a sort, I think.

I don’t write enough.

That’s the conclusion that I came to late last night. I don’t just mean ‘I don’t blog enough’. I write when I’m required to by uni. You gotta love externally imposed discipline and deadlines! I also write when I’m so inspired by an idea that a piece writes itself in my head and it refuses to dissipate until I write it out.

Writing does occasionally exert itself as a productive procrastination tool, or it snatches a few minutes of my time on public transport. For the most part though, writing is something that gets pushed around by my other commitments. It’s prioritised by work and uni, and it’s outright bullied by movies, friend-catch-ups, and slothful, stay in bed Sundays.

In short, I want to write more, and to do that, I plan to schedule time for it.

I know it’s the end of June, (National Young Writers Month) and that I was supposed to make a resolution 4 weeks and 1 day ago. I didn’t though. I had exams, and 2 essays to write… and writing got shoved forcefully to the backburner.

Frankly, I think it would be silly to wait around for June next year, when I can improve right now. Besides which, it’s highly unlikely that I’ll actually keep this resolution for long.

I hereby resolve to write for an hour every day. Write anything: poetry, my neglected novel, short stories, blog posts, articles for Student View. Excluded from this are uni essays and reports.

No doubt in a week or two, I’m going to have a busy day, and writing will be pushed to the side again.

As long as I pick it up the day after, or the day after that, I don’t think it matters. The most important part of will power isn’t never succumbing. This, I believe is true of all resolutions: dieting, fitness jaunts, average-raising study plans…

When you break a resolution it’s very easy to see it as defeat, to see the whole experience as over. I think that’s silly.

So you stayed in bed instead of running on a rainy day. So what. It’s certainly no reason to give up on something you genuinely want to change in your life.

Glue the shards of your determination back together and start again.

If you don’t hear from me for a while, hope that I’m pounding out chapter after chapter. If I’m not, I’ll let you about the baking I did while watching Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South for the millionth time.

Then I’ll re-resolve.

Why not?

So I finally finished exams on Thursday… I’d had a two week break in between my last and second last exam, so it was one of those I’ve-had-heaps-of-time-to-study-but-procrastinated-instead exams. I don’t even care how well or poorly I did, I’m so relieved to be finished! I’m sure I’ll start caring again closer to when marks come out, but for now I’m rejoicing in the apathy!

I’ve recovered enough from end of semester exhaustion to submit some poetry to Voiceworks. It’s highly unlikely that they’ll take me: they’re pretty choosy. They give feeback to all submissions though, so I’ll get that. And there’s always a chance…

I’ll let you guys know either way, and theirs no harm in trying. You just have to bite the bullet and risk failure. Many times over, actually. It’s scary, but until you do it, there’s no chance of success. And we all want success, in something or another.