Julie's Quest

Hello, and welcome to my blog. My blog is about the trials and tribulations of writing, where we celebrate successes and commiserate our near misses. We tell it like it is here and will do our very best to help you on the road to being published and pick you up after the rejections (they will come!) Whether you are a professional or amateur writer you will find something useful here.

I hope you enjoy reading my posts and will visit again soon.

Happy Writing

Julie Phillips - freelance writer - member of the Association of Freelance Writers - member of the Society of Authors

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Finding writing time in the most unusual places

My daughter has started dance classes again. This time they are down at the local vilage hall on Saturday mornings. The dancers go into the main hall for 45 mins while we parents go into the canteen bit and can sit and drink tea or coffee and munch on a biccie or three. For the past two sessions I've taken along my writing book and a pen and sat there scribbling away. It's very anti social but I don't care as I have written two short stories while I've been there - very rough and ready but there nonetheless. So, if you add that up I have the potential to write four short stories a month, just by utilising the 45 mins a week I have gained by my daughter's obsession with dancing!

Next time , like me, you moan about not having enough time to write, take a long, hard look at your weekly schedule and see where you can grab a few pockets of time to whip out your note book and get scribbling. Your word count will soon mount up (you'll be surprised at this!) and you will probably  intrigue people with  what you are doing - or maybe not - no-one seems to notice I'm writing . Maybe they think I'm some kind of mad recluse writting jibberish (they wouldn't be far wrong actually!) - mind you I probably wouldn't notice if anyone was watching as I'm too engrossed in the challenge of finishing the short story before my daughter comes out of the hall!

Other news: I had to do a maths (Julie curls up into a ball and starts rocking - I don't do maths) and English paper as part of my enrolment onto a teaching assistant course on Friday. I am pleased to say that I got all of the questions on the English paper right! But got five wrong on the maths one. I still passed and have started the course now. We are doing theory (knowledge) over the Summer hols and we'll be meeting with the tutor in August at the secondary school next door to my daughter's school to do the induction and have some work set.

I'm looking forward to doing the course as I think it will help me understand the curriculum better and how children learn these days. It weren't like that in my day. Excuse me while I put my teeth in a glass to soak.
I really enjoy going into the classrooms and I think the children enjoy it too. Last week the teacher gave me a group of eight children and we had a table outside the classroom. I had a white board and a white board pen! They had drawn two pictures a few days before of a scene outside a window. One scene was now and the othr in twenty years time. They'd read a book in class before that. A book with no words but that very cleverly has subtle changes in each picture to move the 'story' along. In our little group we talked about description and how we could make the description of the two scenes more interesting for the reader by thinking about our choice of words. It was fantastic!

Writing wise I am back on track with the short story writing and now have five to edit and send out which I will do over the next two weeks. Then it's the Summer hols and I will go back to my nano novel and get the second edit done. I haven't forgotten about my article writing either and hope to get a couple of them out over the Summer. I've been out and about interviewing people and information gathering so we'll see what I can get out of that.

I was lucky enough to be able to attend my local amateur dramatic group's performance of three one act plays on Thursday night. One of the plays was written by fellow blogger and Wrekin Writer Mike White. It was extremely funny and I thought all the plays were written and acted superbly. I'd recommend writers (and anyone else actually) to attend such performances by local groups as I think not only is it a great night's entertainment but it's good to show other writers our support. It might also inspire you to write something.

Enjoy your writing time
Julie xx


Caroline said...

Good tips! We can all find some time to write when we think we can't. Caroline xx

Julie P said...

Thanks, Caroline

Sometimes I think it's a case of re-evaluating our priorities and think about how important it is for us to get our writing publshed. Life has a habit of getting in the way and that can be really fustrating - but if we can take a breath and write when we can to keep our writing muscle limbered up if nothing else, then when 'real' life calms down a bit we'll have something to work with.

Julie xx

Mike said...

Thanks, Julie.

I guess you always carry a notebook and have one by your bedside, in case inspiration strikes.


jenny wilson said...

wow- your post has certanly got me thinking about using my time better!

as for maths, I am like you always fail maths but pass english

Sue Ross said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sue Ross said...

I'm afraid I swore on the last comment Julie, and knowing that you never swear, I thought it best to delete it.
What I meant to say was, oh deary me, what a silly girl I am. I went and forgot about the plays.
glad to hear you're enrolled on a TA course.
Whatever energy pill it is thatyou take, can I have some please?

Julie P said...

Yes, Mike - I have note books everywhere! And if I forget to take one out with me I can be seen muttering notes into my voice recorder on my mobile phone!

Julie xx

Julie P said...

Hi, Jenny,

it sems a lot of people have a fear of maths - most of the other students on the course were the same.

I cringe at the times I've wasted valuable writing time simply by not reconising it as an opportunity to write - but no more! I will write!

Julie xx

Julie P said...

Oh, Sue, you did make me chortle! I do swear (like a fish wife) if provoked enough! I think everyone does! I've had this very discussion at school recently about parents swearing while dropping off/picking up their kids!!

I almost forgot about the play too. I bought my ticket weeks ago so it was only by chance I remembered when it fell out of my diary! I'm so glad I went, though, very much would have suited your sense of humour. It was very, very funny, although the first play was moving and thought provoking.

I need more energy - I'm so tired at the moment but I'm cutting down on some stuff. I'll be in year 2 in September and possible split my placement between KS1/KS2. Looking forward to it.

Julie xx

Joanne Fox said...

I often find I can achieve more in those limited bursts of writing time than when I have a whole free day to myself. The pressure of time seems to concentrate the mind, somehow. If I have too much time I tend to fritter away most of it, then be cross with myself afterwards for not getting more written!

Julie P said...

It's so easy, Joanne, to think to yourself you have whole day to write but I think I'll just bung some washing in, oh and I'll just sort out my wardrobe, oooh then I'd better nip to the shops and phone Great Aunt Cynthia because I haven't spoken to her for sixteen years! Then, before you know it, the day's gone and you haven't written a bean!

Julie xx

HelenMHunt said...

It is surprising where you can sneak in some writing time isn't it? Sounds like you're going great guns.

Suzanne Jones said...

I tend to use those waiting times to catch up with reading, but will take a notebook next time.


Simon Whaley said...

So, Julie swears like a fish wife if provoked enough, does she? Oh well, at least I now know what we're doing at tomorrow meeting at Wrekin Writers!

Carole Anne Carr said...

Enjoyed your post as always. Good to be back from my 'holiday' which was just work, but never mind, it was a change of working scene. Great to hear that the writing is back on track, would have loved to have been at those dancing sessions with the little ones..hugs..

Julie P said...

Thanks, Helen

Yes I'm amazed sometimes, when I look back, how much I have managed to get done - it's a great morale booster!

Julie xx

Julie P said...

Hi, Suzanne!

Never leave home without a note book or voice recorder. The times I've done it and forgotten what it was I wanted to write by the time I got home - soooo frustrating.

Julie xx

Julie P said...

It takes a lot to get me worked up up, Simon! And it's not something I'm proud of - it's the result of a sometime misspent youth! I usually have to have turned green and ripped my shirt to let rip with the swear words. Terrible really and something that doesn't happen often now. Some people are quite surprised when they know I can swear. It's like they think I'm Mary Poppins or something!

Mind you having heard how ugly and innarticulate it makes the person swearing sound, I work really, really hard not to do it - no matter how riled I get.

I shall be on my best behaviour tomorrow! So behave yourself!! You wouldn't like me when I'm angry, grrrrr ;0)

Julie xx

Julie P said...

Hi, Carole Ann!

Nice to hear from you again. Glad all is well. I don't get to see Isobel dancing as the parents are ushered into another room - but I can hear the music. It was 'I've got a brand new combine harvester,' the other week with the sound of welly stomping (the kids were dancing in their wellies!!!)

Julie xx