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  • Writer's pictureKate O'Connor

I'm still here

Happy New Year! Welcome to 2021, the year that promises to even better (worse) than its predecessor!

So far, this year is not looking good for the world. The UK is being absolutely smashed by Covid-19, the US is being smashed by an orangutan in a suit who is now pissed because he's been banned from most of the main forms of social media, and Australia... well, let's not go there. Or here. Whatever.

I've been fairly busy since I last blogged. I started a new job in early September, in retail. It was a new industry for me, and heading in to the Christmas season I was totally unprepared. Retail at Christmas time... never again!

Anyway, I made it through, and Christmas came and went. I spent some time with my family, but not nearly enough before I had to go back to work. Yes, I was unfortunate enough to have to work the few days between Christmas and New Years. It only amounted to 3 days in the end, but it took me away from my nieces and nephew who I hadn't seen in over 6 months, so it was still hard. And then it was back to work full time from the 4th of January. So that was fun (she said, voice dripping with sarcasm).

University is back in full swing, and I'm currently working on a literary fiction piece for an assessment. Literary fiction is hard, man! So many unnecessary words to say so much unnecessary crap. Apologies if you're a literary fiction lover. I have some loves among the literary fiction pile, but not many. And to write it... it's a no from me.

But I'm working on the piece nonetheless, mostly because I have to if I want to pass the subject and eventually get my degree. Damn set units.

I've been having a lot of fun though with a couple of books from my reading list. They're both aimed towards learning creative writing, and are just brimming with great exercises to help get those creative juices flowing (ew, I've never liked that saying. Something about the word 'juices'...). I've put a photo of them with this blog, in case any aspiring writer out there is looking for more insight and assistance with their craft.

I've also been spending a bit of time thinking more about where I want to go in life, the goals I want to achieve, and figuring out what steps I need to take to achieve them. I've reverted to the tried-and-tested method of planning my day by putting a schedule on my fridge that consists mostly of work, uni readings/assessments and writing. There is some free time in there, but I've realised that, just as doctors have to do the hard yards in medical school, so too do I while I'm trying to study, increase my portfolio and get a novel together to start sending to publishers. I'm 33 years old and have spent enough time slacking off, watching too much Netflix and getting overly invested in the lives of characters in Skyrim or the Witcher. My new rule is - at least 3 hours of uni or writing on a work day before leisure time, 6 on Saturday and Sunday. If I burn out, I'll reassess. However, I feel like I've accumulated enough rest points to do this for a while :D

And so, without further ado, I give you the books that have been helping me through my writing slump! Creative Writing: A Workbook with Readings, edited by Linda Anderson, and The Writing Experiment: Strategies for Innovative Creative Writing, by Hazel Smith.

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Carrie Sylvain
Carrie Sylvain
Mar 15, 2023

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