Thursday 27 September 2018

I have sinned

Of the seven deadly sins, the one I succumb to most often is envy. (What did you think I was going to confess? Shame on you!)

I've decided that's what's wrong with me this week. I'm envious of my husband for having escaped into retirement, even though it was me who encouraged him to give up work; I'm envious of friends who have more money than me, more freedom, bigger houses, better clothes, whiter teeth; and I'm envious of writers who have achieved more success than me and at an earlier age. In short, I have a bad case of Poor Me Syndrome. This is, of course, ridiculous. I am healthy, I'm surrounded by loving family and friends, I have no mortgage and I earn a decent living doing things I enjoy. I should be ashamed of myself - and I am.

I've been looking back over my last two years' accounts; while my earnings have remained roughly the same, the amount of my own writing seems to have gone down, notwithstanding that I've published two books in the last 12 months. This presumably means I've been editing more of other people's work, which is what pays the bills, but it seems a retrograde step.

Today, then, I've entered a couple of competitions. I also popped into Sainsbury's to buy the new issue of Om Yoga & Lifestyle magazine, where I was pleased to see that Stripped-back Yoga gets a mention on the books page. It's not all bad, then.

Monday 24 September 2018

Hitting the snooze button

Does anyone else need a deadline to be motivated? Both the monthly magazines I work for went to press last week, so this is my quiet week in which I usually get busy with my own stuff. Unfortunately, it's just not happening.

I've had a bit of a cold, which has left me feeling rather lethargic. I just can't seem to get going on anything new and thumbing through my WIP folder has made me feel guilty about my apathy, rather than stimulating the creative juices.

Apparently there's a full moon tonight (technically, it's 3.52 tomorrow morning), so perhaps that will bring some inspiration.

Monday 10 September 2018

Bacon or eggs?*

I went to my first BNI meeting last week. I was invited because the group is seeking a copy-writer. BNI (Business Network International) is a business and professional referral organisation that allows only one representative from each profession to join any of its 'chapters'. The sole purpose of every BNI chapter is to generate more business for its members. It's a sound idea and I know several people who have found it beneficial, but while they made me welcome and sat patiently through my permitted 60-second presentation, I shan't be joining. It's not for me, thanks.

The organisation's stated philosophy is 'Givers Gain'. Again, a sound idea and one that I try to embrace. If I join something I like to get involved. This sometimes leads to me 'doing a Julia', as my son so eloquently puts it. Not only do I join in, but I also have a tendency to try to take over. Once a control freak...

Anyhoo, also last week I answered the rallying cry from one of the music groups I'm involved in for members to step up and help organise our forthcoming concert. Out of a possible pool of 40-plus people, there were 10 of us - and that included the two hosts, one partner who isn't a member but was there to support her man, and another person who isn't going to be in the show.

Is it me, or is that a bit sad?

*When it comes to a cooked breakfast, a pig really commits to the project, while a hen makes a small donation. What do you do? (I bring the vegetarian sausage.)

Monday 3 September 2018

Fancy winning £500?

Details have been announced of this year's H E Bates short story competition. Submissions of stories of up to 2,000 words are invited by the closing date of 3rd December. Top prize is £500. Further details are on the competition website here, where you will also see that Head Judge is yours truly.

Good luck to everyone who enters.