Welcome to my author's passions

This blog, is what I am passionate about, where I can share with you. Reviews, tips, hints, real help if I can, where you can share what you are passionate about!

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Motivation for a writer or anyone self employed

The figures are that there are 4 million self employed in the UK employing some 12million people.
That is not usually the case for us the writer/ author, we tend to be sole traders.
We are I am told though as self emplyed we are very good for the economy. 

Motivation usually comes in the form of income, we need to work to earn a living and when I have been self employed before, this was no obstacle as I was also the sole breadwinner. Fortunately for me my husband can support us. Although I want to earn my own income again, I want to fund a better pension for us.  I find on days like this when inspiration and motivation are out of the window, it is hard to kick myself up the rear to do what needs to be done.

Would love to hear from others, apart from income what is your motivation?
What do you do when you feel you need a kick to get going in the right direction for your goals.
It is easy to get distracted, the advice is to Tweet and have a Fan page on Facebook, a website and a blog. I know tick all of those boxes but it seems a bit pointless if I haven't completed my first book.

I have written emails, tweeted, checked out some extra sites, even purchased a book on Freelance writing to see if there was anything I was missing. Yes you have it, clients and that 1st project completed.
Submitted a further article to Factoids, I have a guest blog to complete but drive is out the window.
Have I lost my get up and go for writing or is today just a bad day?
Have decided laptop is not being turned on tomorrow until I have handwritten my book, will then switch off the internet so not distracted by twitter, Facebook updates, or worse still shop on Ebay.

So as the creative flow is not flowing that well today, I am going to walk the dogs, now that they have recovered from thier bugs, bless them. I am then going to look at my hosting to prepare sales page, maybe if I prepare that it will motivate me to get going and complete it. Who knows??
One thing I have not subjected myself to as yet is day time TV, then I will know all is lost.

Lastly it has hit me I need to revisit my SMART goals, have a picture of that new house, we want to retire to on the coast, a picture of the sports van to take all of husbands toys (sorry sports equipment). Kayaks, buggies and kites, wetsuits etc. Husband enjoys paddling by means of Surk kayaking, even runs The British Army team, so a van fitted out with all the mod cons would come in handy. I need to visulise these goals, make them real, maybe even have a goal of being interviewed on my first book, who knows the sky is the limit.

Well now I am in the flow, I think it will be a shorter walk than planned as the brain is fired and the creative juices are flowing Yeah! A little motivation and the action is following, stand by!!

Monday, 17 May 2010

Life, Death, Breavement and how we deal with it!

Death is a part life.

 To some of us, we can't talk about it, it is almost a taboo subject.
It is the one certainty in life, we all share, in a very uncetain world; at some point we are going to die.

 STOP being morbid, some would say, others celebrate death as a new beginning.

Personally I accept death as part and parcel of life as we know it, regardless of beliefs.
Having lost a family member recently, it has been interesting observing as a writer, how others react to us as a family and deal with the loss themselves.
Being in a military family, we have lost friends in the war against terrorism. Suddenly losing a military friend hits us harder than losing an older member of the family whose death is expected due to illness.

We all grieve in different ways, but there are steps we all share and experience at some point. Usually the first is Denial, then there is Guilt, Anger, Acceptance but lastly as we move on but not forget, a time of forgiveness.We do not forget our loved nor our friends but we live our lives without the huge burden of pain than can overwhelme us, when first experiencing loss. Now we will not all experience all of these feeling in order. Sometimes we may even feel a combination of two or three together. Remember death is a part of life so we should all be comfortable talking about it.
Have you written your will? Most of us do not like to think about it, let alone do something constructive like a will and many will leave things very uncertain for the loved ones they leave behind.
On recent experience, it shows you need to talk about it. What are you going to wear? Sounds daft I know but it does matter to your relatives later. My husband joked, he would like to see the undertaker dress him in a full length winter wetsuit and booties! The mind boggles at the thought! I thought of one of my ball gowns and full make up,going out in style!

If being cremated, as the majority of us are these days unless you have the family burial plot, Where do you want your ashes to go?
In an urn on the mantlpiece, scattered to the wind over your favourite place. Just make sure whoever is doing the scattering, they know to place themselves upwind!! Otherwise not nice!
I heard of what seemed a beautiful way to me, to be placed in tubes along the sea bed to become part of living coral. There would be a small plaque on the outside, so relatives could dive to visit you. Not heard that it has reached the UK as yet but who knows, sounds good to me.
Above all, don't be afraid to talk about death, dying and the arrangements you would like, there no complaining about it after your gone!!

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Setting goals

Many of you will have heard and no doubt groaned when your employer has brought someone in to talk about setting goals. The setting of realistic achievable goals.
Achievable, or Actionable
Recordable or Realistic and most of all Review
Time Specific Targetted.

I have been there, more in the sales enviroment than in my health career, sometimes they worked but many times they did not, reason, I was doing it for the wrong reasons. I was only doing it for my boss, it was another chore I did not need in my already extremely busy life. We are all jugglers, some are better than others, I do not mean literally but metaphorically, we juggle our work/ life balance, our home life, children, parents, siblings, friends, social life, where does it end? Now they want us to write goals too?
That used to be my thoughts, I am organised enough, my time management is great, everything gets done one way or another, so whats the problem.
Why am I telling you this and what has it got to do with my new writing career? Hey why are you interested after all?
It is very easy as writers to procrasinate, we can sit staring at our notebook or pc screen awaiting inspiration but wouldn't it be great if when you started your day, you already knew what you were going to do, what you were going to write. Yeah! inspiration can hit us at any time and we have our notebook at the ready to write it down before its gone but if you have your to do list made up from and linked to your smart goals, how much better would you feel.
I thought I was being smart, I tried to set a goal of having my website up and running by the end of April. In reality I used my old method of not really following it through. Purchased my domain name and hosting, so I would be motivated to set it going. Well end of April came and went and guess what no website but I found a free one in which to practise, it was free so I could do it but not the one I had paid good money for, madness!
I also set myself the goal and target of 1st draft of 1st Ebook by end of April, this did not happen. I thought I could write it easily when away for 10 days in North Devon. Unfortunately I had not counted on the variables or what could go wrong, what my own strengths and weaknesses are.
In reality it was lovely sunny weather but no Surf and the main purpose of the visit was the Army Surf  Kayak competition. With a distinct lack of surf, which meant much of the team, hanging around the site debating the lack of surf and where they could find better waves.
It is a lesson I have learned, I need peace and quiet. I can write almost anywhere but not if there are too many distractions or like a butterfly I will flit from one thing to another.
Today I am enjoying the sunshine sitting in our car, whilst waiting for my husband whilst he sees his Osteopath for his strained back.
These quiet times offer the perfect opportunity for me to write. I have now rewritten my goals and although book not quite finished, website is up and running at http://www.sloanwriter.com/ .

It is only 8 degrees outside the car, however with the sun shining through it feels quite toasty; I even have the window half open, so I can hear the birds outside. I love writing in these circumstances, the words just flow across the page. does this mean I am a fair weather writer only, I sincerely hope not.

Where do you write best? If not a writer, in what circumstances do you shine best in your work and home?
Take these into account when you write your goals.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Three little words

One the writing tips that I have learned from Nick Daws course "write any book in 28 days" is to take three random words and come up with a short story with them.

This was my attempt the other day: The words were: Diary   Fish  Moon.

So here goes:

We keep a few tropical FISH at home and last weekend we finally had a free DIARY so decided to venture out to the local aquarium. The aim of this last minute was to buy some new fish to add to the tank. We also desparetly needed to purchase something to eat the many snails happily muliplying in the tank.

We were advised on a humbug fish, ( we were probably told the technical name but as usual I forgot) as a bottom dweller. We were informed it would clean the tank of algae, a good point and most of all it would eat the many snails.

My husband was over the MOON with his new fish and humbug wasted no time at all in performing his duty.
The next day we noticed the tank appeared much cleaner and clear of snails; fantastic we thought!
We were about to praise little humbug, but he could not be found, Boris ( see pic on Blog) however seemed to be eating something off the floor.

When we checked, the humbug had apparently eaten so many snails it decided to commit suicide!! It had jumped, ( if fish can jump) out of the tank and Boris knows anything on the floor is fair game for him to eat.

We could not believe it, a suicidal fish!!

Thankfully considering this fish had a nasty sharp spine, no ill effects were seen on Boris although, he did not like the taste of his tongue for quite a while, the vets visit was not needed!

So you can see, three words as you will be surprised what you can write. I hope you enjoyed this light hearted piece of writing, would love to hear your feedback or if there is any topic, you would like me to write about.

Saturday, 1 May 2010

The writing habit!!

I have now picked up the habit!!

I take a notebook with me wherever I go, so if I am waiting for anything, out comes the notebook and pen and writing here I come.

Maybe, as a thought, I need to bring a few topics or questions from my latest book or novel to work on. With all the waiting we do, would soon have it completed.

Today I am waiting in a Dr's surgery; not mine or my husbands but one that has a visiting Osteopath. Husband injured his back last week and as a very active man, Kitebugging, Surf Kayaking, Hill Climbing as well as a member of her majesty's armed forces. He is not used to inactivity and hates taking the many pain killers he needs at the moment. he will agree with me, he is not the best patient; hence I made an appointment for today in the hope he would gain some relief.

Yesterday I wrote while waiting in the council offices, waiting for an appointment with my business advisor from businesslinksw. Well if you have not tried them then I would strongly recommend them and most of all it is free.
They are a national organisation here in the UK, so there will be one close by to you. My advisor answered all my questions, re the Taxman, when I should inform them, he clarified the national insurance, of class 2 and class 4. I dream of the day when I will be paying class 4 again! In case you do not know what that means, it means I will be earning in excess of 40K, so yes that day would be good.
The differences of Sole trader and Ltd company, they are completely unbiased and leave you to make your decisions after giving you the facts. How are they supported, if there service is free to the self employed, it is a government initative, so the taxpayer pays for this service and as we all pay our taxes, we are all paying for this wonderful service.
They have a website, http://www.businesslink.co.uk/  check it out; you may feel its not for you or you may find some great nuggets of information and support.
I lack the confidence to set up my website but it something I know I need to do, so guess what, they have an IT expert; who is going to ring me, answer those tricky questions I have and help give me the confidence to get Sloanwriter website up and running. Will let you know how I get on.