Tag Archive: Work

A New Year, A New Focus

Somehow we are at another new year, and I’ve been a published author for more than five years.

This year though I have decided something. It is an extension on a decision I made last year when I realised my job was causing me more stress than ever before. I’ve given so much to my work and know first hand, just how much they don’t care. More than than I will not go into, suffice to say it is why I went back to study.

This year I’m taking significant time off work, thank heavens for long service leave, to focus on the things in my life that make me happy. For me those things are study and writing.

I have the first book of my new series almost ready to send to my editor and I’ve started looking at cover art.

For study I am overloading the semester I am off work because I have a goal to finish my study this year. By Christmas I should have completed my Masters Degree.

As for work, well we will see where that all goes. Now though, even as I am still at work counting down my shifts till my leave starts, I am hitting word targets in my WIP, getting words down in a short or two, and working on a non-fiction project.

And just to be really ridiculous, I’ve booked myself in for an audition (because I’m going to have so much free time).

Oh, and my vow with my loved ones this year, (the year I turn the big 5 0) is to have a year filled with memory creating moments. Cue show tickets, good food and fun times.

Funny Turns

It’s been months since my last post. So long in fact that my computer made me go searching a long way around to find my own blog. I knew it had been a while but time seems to slip away from me these days.

Biggest change is I’ve gone back to uni. I’m studying something I love and to be honest it’s kind of what is getting me through.

Work is really rough for so many reasons and sometimes in life you just know when you need to change things. I need to change things, hence the study.

I haven’t forgotten my first passion though, I wrote a short for submission for a sort of prestigious short story comp. To be honest I’m a little tired of hoping someone will love my stuff, well someone who can turn my writing into something akin to money that is. I love the fact I’ve gotten my books out there, and even more love the fact that some people had read those books and love them, but I’m not too proud to say it would be awesome if I could truly catch a break.

Clearly today is not the best of days. I said good bye to another friend today. A beautiful lady who was such a lovely presence in my life. That’s two incredible people cancer has taken in the last couple of months. I’m tired of the tears. I’m tired of seeing some incredible people struggle.

Yet we still go on. On days like this when I’m a little down I do what I can to keep putting one foot in front of another, then I go to bed knowing it’s likely I’ll feel better when I get up tomorrow. Well when I wake up enough to have actual thoughts.

So here’s my real thought for today: cherish those you love, we never know how long we are going to get with them, and more, do what makes you happy. Yes I know sometimes work doesn’t fill that spot but the best thing to do then is know, work isn’t the most important thing, most bosses wouldn’t care much if you left, mine certainly wouldn’t, and yet if you have to say, believe me I hear that, make sure you fill the other spaces of your life with things that make you happy.

Me I write, I throw axes and I study. It doesn’t matter if others don’t get it, as long as you find your happy place.

PS. One way or another I’m really hoping to either have a publishing contract or another book out before July next year. Oh crap, I do believe I just gave myself a deadline.

One More Step

It’s April. It’s Easter and I’ve been in a slump.

Slumps happen, this one was just a bit of a bitter pill to swallow after the writing had been coming so thick and fast. I had been very productive writing for Vocal, and working on new book projects, it was going so well. Then it wasn’t.

I finished book three of my new series and wasn’t sure what to do next, it seemed my old world, that of Leira and the Oparna, was again begging for attention. Then I don’t know what happened. Everything stopped. The flow dried up.

I took a different position at work for a while, which was good, a sort of promotion but more it gave me the chance to learn things again and I do like to learn and master new skills. Problem was my dissatisfaction with my normal working life was becoming more obvious. I’d go to work and come home completely drained, I wanted nothing more than to curl up on the couch, even on my days off all I did was binge shows.

I made sure I still worked out when I could, after a month of doing nothing more than a walk every now and then. And I would still try and write a few sentences everyday. Until that dried up. I couldn’t even really pick up a book to read for any length of time, vey unusual for me.

Life though is choices, and I couldn’t keep going like this, even if the plans for me that I have for the future don’t happen, doesn’t mean I have to let the couch win. I have back up plans for my back up plans and finally my characters started talking again with clarity. Geez that last one felt good.

Thinking about it though, I wonder if my characters were looking after me for a bit, they know how tired I am so they forced me to rest.

I know this gives them way more life than they really have, but hey, when these guys talk to me the way they do who the heck cares. Their stories want to be told, and I want to tell them. I love writing and always feel a little out of sorts when that part of my life is not flowing properly. I can deal with the rest when the creative is in play.

I love a challenge and I love a deadline, what I’m not so good with is cutting myself some slack and allowing myself to rest. I think though I’m ready for my next deadline, I’ve got leave coming up shortly, let’s see how much of my next book I can get done.

Also there is that first draft copy of book three that needs to be typed up.

Oh and if anyone is interested I’ve just finished another short featuring Evayn, I just don’t know what I’m going to do with it yet.

It’s Been A Rough Few Weeks

After my last lot of leave where I was so productive, I had to go back to work. It seems that has put a stop to the creative flow. Or a least slowed it down. The problem with that is creating is my happy place.

Today though has been a good day. I wrote a piece that has been on my mind for one of my things, then I did a piece for a competition and now I’me writing this. Somewhere as well I’ll make some time to get some editing of book two done.

The biggest issue I’ve had, apart from work in the last little while had been my computer, it apparently has a glitch where is saves things in the system disk that is shouldn’t and that means I don’t have enough memory to do things like upgrade my OS, which was desperately in need of being done. I also wanted to get Final Draft to help with a couple of the new projects I was working on, which necessitated the OS update.

After more messing around than I would have liked, we found a solution, it’s not perfect but it did what was needed so now I’m adjusting to so many updates and new programs it’s almost like I have a new computer.

Added to all this there have been a few family issues to stir into the mix and I just feel frustrated that I can’t write more. Just when it feels like I’m at the end of my rope I have a day like today where I got up, decided ‘screw it’, I’m not going to let the grey clouds close in today, or at least not until I’ve managed to be a bit productive.

On the upside, I’m dabbling new projects, working on others and am happy when I get anything done on any of them. Shame I’ve still got work to go to this week. The good thing is I worked my 6 weeks leave so that I had 3 (4 with some swaps) weeks, then go back for 5 and have 3 (4 with some swaps) more – this is the advantage to working shift work I suppose. So while I may feel in a creative slump right at the moment, I know I’m slogging through and that the end is in sight and the flow will return soon.

Creative Explosion

So I’ve been on leave from work fro the last few weeks and it has been great. Thing is people don’t get me because I haven’t gone anywhere, or really done anything outside of my house (excluding couple of catch ups). These weeks though have been wonderful, I have thrown myself into all things creative and it feels so good. It really is my happy place.

I published a book, I submitted another book from my new series to a publisher, I finished a red pen edit of book two of that series and I’ve thrown myself back into the world of screenwriting. I just love it. I’m learning, reading, watching, researching and creating characters and places for them to play. I only wish I could do this full time.

Unfortunately it as yet doesn’t pay my bills. I look forward to the day it does. In the mean time I am throwing myself into these things because I am passionate about them, they make me laugh and cry and I want to share these stories with others.

To be honest it is probably the most productive, creatively I’ve been in a while. Sure I never stopped, but I threw myself into work, and for a while I got passionate about that, but guess what? Work didn’t care. They didn’t care when I wrote a paper and got invited to speak at an international event. They didn’t care when I suggested some ideas I later found out they tried to pursue leaving me out of the equation. And so this year I turned away from applying for a permanent promotion for the job I was already doing and said, this year I’m going to focus on the creative.

And I have. It is my heart and my happy place and work exists merely to pay my bills. There is no challenge there, there is no dedication to my job and no respect for those who sacrifice employees for their own positional climb.

I respect creatives. I love spending time with them. I love their passion, because bottom line, most wouldn’t be doing it if they weren’t passionate because so few make huge amounts of money from it. Which isn’t to say making piles of money isn’t something I wouldn’t like.

This year I have performed as a voice actor, an actor, and once again published something new. The words are flowing, the emersion into characters, worlds and their lives has been a wonderful rollercoaster.

This is my happy place and I think I want to stay here. Now just to figure out how to get paid enough to leave my other job. Till then though stay passionate people, it is the heart of living.

Adding More to my Plate

So my 14 year old came up with an awesome idea the other day, and believe me I’m not the sort to say it’s an awesome idea because my kid said it. In this case though I really believe it has a lot of potential. Thing is the last thing I need is to add a new project to my plate, let alone one in a different field, but here I am looking at show bibles, researching locations and how to write a pilot for a tv show.

While I’m doing this I’ve just finished the season of the show I was acting in, (yes I achieved my goal of getting back on stage this year) and am hip deep in editing book one, then maybe book two of my new series, as well as hassling my beta reader for feedback so I can get my book of short stories out this month when I’m on leave.

Thing is I’m not on leave yet and well I still have bills to pay, so if anyone knows of any rich benefactors who’d like to support a writer who is working two jobs as well as being a parent and an actor please let me know.

I figure it’s a good thing I thrive on challenge, I love creating, that simple fact has never been more clear than this year when I have struggled so much at work. Focusing on creative projects what ever they be, has kept me grounded, has made it so I am able to get up in the morning and keep moving forward.

And it really is a good idea, in the future you will look back on this post and remember the importance of it.

I will keep writing, there are just so many stories I have left to tell.

Life Has Chapters

I’m very good at my job, the problem is my job is changing and to my mind, not for the better. Needless to say I’ve been struggling with what the best thing to do is. Yesterday I came to a sad conclusion and was in a pretty down headspace, to put it mildly. I’m resilient, so I knew I would be able to continue on and even maybe have a better day.

Today, when I woke up I had a message regarding a possible new beginning, that wasn’t a no. That by the way is something my youngest likes to say when I don’t shut down her suggestions right away. Not having yet another door slammed in my face, or having to dig another knife out of my back, was a good way to start my day. It meant I started my day with a smile on my face before I got out of bed.

Speaking of bed, while I was lying there, partly wishing for more sleep, I got to thinking about this last chapter of my life, the one I’m still in. As difficult as it has been at times, there have been some positive things to have come out of it – a couple of things that look pretty fine on my updated CV, and a few really awesome people I wouldn’t have met otherwise. Thinking about those people, I realised I’m glad my life path crossed with theirs, then I thought about how you can’t take the next step, if you haven’t taken the previous one.

To bring things back to my title analogy, any reader knows you can’t really get to the final chapter if you don’t go through the ones in between. Sure you could read just the final chapter but what would be the point; you won’t be invested in the characters, you will have no understanding of their character arcs and in truth you will have no context for their end point.

When it gets difficult, we should remember that life is a journey, it’s about the path and those who’s paths cross with ours, it’s not really about the end. Life isn’t smooth and easy, well it hasn’t been for me, but the sun rises after it sets, a new day is another day for amazing opportunities we haven’t had yet. I just live in the hope that one of these days I will wake and find I’m making enough money from writing that I don’t need to worry about income from other sources to pay my bills.

Today was a happier day, and I am again holding onto hope and looking forward to the events that will be revealed once the right page has been turned over.

Hitting Goals Out of the Park

So my work isn’t even close to my happy place at the moment and hasn’t been for a while. I simply want to write. It’s what makes me happy.

I have almost finished my four weeks leave from work and I have hit my writing goals out of the park. To be honest I wasn’t sure I was going to get there. I wasn’t sure they were realistic and maybe I thought I should focus on something outside myself (though if I’m living in a created world don’t that count as outside myself?)

Thing is I figured getting my short stories done and to the point I could send them to a beta reader was a pretty realistic goal, considering the initial drafts had been done and they just needed a couple of rounds of editing, one just me and my pen and the other reading aloud to hubby, (which I guess makes him another beta reader).


Then just for fun he threw a spanner in the works when he said he wanted to know more about something, so I ended up writing a real short (not even 4000 words) which will end up in the collection as well.

I also have really been in the zone for the new series. Once I’d put all my previous draft into the computer and caught back up with all those characters, who by the way are soooooo different to those in the short stories, I just had to keep writing. The words flowed and every day I surpassed my goal of 2000 words, which I arbitrarily selected as it it fractionally more than the NaNo word count goal.

bat and baseball

Yesterday I hit a point where I thought I was close to the end and hoped I’d hit it today, but was worried I wouldn’t hit the right ballpark for the word count, I have a set number in my head for what I want my books to be.

Today it seemed to come slow at first, then it just poured, and I was a few pages shy at the end from where I hoped my first draft would be, but the thing is this is just my first draft.

The way I write means I don’t plan, I did try that once, just didn’t work for me. I write where my characters tell me they need to go. The first run through is with pen on paper that is how I create best. The advantage is my drafts can be hastily scrawled, as long as I can read my weird combination of writing and shorthand, and it doesn’t have to be close to correct spelling and absolute sense, some sections really are just the gist.

This means that though I was several pages short of my intended goal, I shouldn’t be too worried because I always flesh things out in the process of page to digital. And by the time it is all in a digital file I will know how much I need to add and more to the point the places where I need to add.

Tonight I worked out that this will be my seventh book. I have four already published, and now three in various stages heading towards that. This is a pretty good place to be in considering last year was the first year I hadn’t published since I put my first book out.

Here’s the really strange thing though, the other night, out of nowhere the start of book three came to me. My problem is I have to go back to work next week. Unless someone wants to me my patron…

Moving Forward


For most people this year has been one full of changes and unexpected pains. Whilst COVID did very little to effect most of the areas of my life it has without question changed things in the bigger picture.

However I am not going to talk about that.

I am going to talk about the fact that life goes on and in amongst all the difficulties this year has presented us, sometimes normal life just likes to throw us the shittiest of curveballs.


Now my job is a tough one and one I don’t talk about all that often, certainly not in specifics. This year I changed work locations, I needed to. Thing is I was worried about the move because change isn’t always comfortable. I have settled in, I think but it hasn’t been smooth sailing.

The new people I work with have been welcoming and truthfully as adults we know that we are not going to get along with everyone we work with. Which makes this place like any other place I have ever worked.

What was different, was I was thrust into a more senior position because they needed people to fill them. Very few people actually wanted to fill those roles during a period of transition because transition is difficult. However I did step up and at times felt like I was barely keeping my head above water for reasons I cannot go into.

Then I started to feel as though I was more than competently doing the job. If my line manager wanted something done he would come to me. I have been told repeatedly that I was doing a great job.

Into this mix throw a critical situation that I would have preferred not to have had to deal with but I did and it’s part of the job. I got nothing but compliments for that too.


The transition period is coming to an end, and now other people want that permanent position. And it turns out that I’m not so good on paper saying look at me I’m great, give me the job. I truly feel that my ability to do the job should speak for itself. Even though really I should know better because I’ve seen this promotion process repeatedly promote people that make no sense to me.


It was crushing. Particularly seeing as some of those who applied … oh it doesn’t matter.

Back to being crushed. People have said several times, words to the effect of  ‘but I thought you were a definite’, as if that was supposed to make me feel better. It doesn’t because now they are saying how can the writer write a bad Expression of Interest application. Crushing blow number two. So not only am I shit at my job I am also a shitty writer.

What do I do?

Well I fantasised about pitching a fit and telling them to shove it, to which my hubby looked at me, basically shook his head, asked if I felt better getting it out of my system, then asked what I was really going to do.

I love him, he keeps me grounded and focused.

So what am I going to do?


I am going to do what I always do. Pick myself up. Look at what matters. Remind myself that it is a job that pays my bills and like most employers I am just a person who gets the job done, I am no more important, or less important, than anyone else.

Then I am going to focus on the things that make me happy; family, and the creative life. Oh and axe throwing, I do like axe throwing.


See because life is full of these moments for most of us. And it is how we face it, pick ourselves back up and move on that matters. I will say my piece because going quietly into the night isn’t my style, and I will remind myself that if I actually had a choice in it all, my job of preference would be writing – fiction.

And maybe I need to remember a little of those writing skills when I write my next application.

I don’t give up in other areas of my life, (I still haven’t made my millions from my books, though I’m still holding onto that dream), so I won’t give up now. And I’m not the only person in life to be passed over for a promotion. In life we face the storms, buckle down and get on with things, knowing that tomorrow is another day.

Keep On Keeping On


I’m not very good at stopping and doing nothing. Part of me wishes I was. I didn’t even watch two and a half hours of shows today before I switched the tv off having had the constant feeling that I should be doing something else.

Reading is the closest thing I get to a day doing nothing and yet I can’t remember the last time I even let myself do that for a whole day without picking up a pen or filming something.

I actually like the creative part of my life, it focusses and energises me. Whilst I was on leave it was all pretty great. I was producing heaps and my life felt balanced. I was in a zone.


Then though I had to go back to work.

It is a new work environment, and whilst most of the people there are great some aspects of it all are less than ideal, making what is already a stressful work environment even more so.


I have found myself saying more and more often that I don’t give a crap. Last night my hubby told me that I had said it so much that it was beginning to worry about me because that kind of sentiment is just not me.

There are of course plenty of things I do still care about, but I have started to use that phrase as a way to distance myself from things. I am an over thinker and certain things eat away at me, even when they are not of my doing. Right now I don’t have the energy to deal with all those things and I think part of me hopes that if I repeat this sentiment over and over often enough I will stop feeling so much about the things I have no control over.

Problem though is if I start down this path am I going to be able to stop it? Because I never want to be a person with a hard heart that no longer cares for anything. I don’t want these frustrations I’m dealing with to poison my life.


So I need to find a better way going forward.

Usually one of my best coping mechanisms is being creative but even that has changed.

My focus at the moment isn’t a world I’ve made up but a project called RAW, Rough Authentic Worship, and I’m really enjoying it, mostly. I don’t think my faith, for all my obvious and not so obvious flaws, has even been stronger. I am also really enjoying working with my husband. It definitely contributes to helping me maintain.

Thing is though when I went back to work, not only did my stress levels increase, the hours I got to be creative decreased. It was like a double whammy and we are still trying to find a new rhythm.


Then in amongst all that is the doubt and second guessing of myself that is harder to block out when my reserves are as low as mine are now. There is that voice that is telling me to give up RAW because it is a project designed for interaction – to reach out to others, and that side of it seems like a failure, (even though I know these things take time).

Admittedly the feeling of failure is a struggle I have gone through before. Lots of people say positive supportive things but few give action to platitude. Sometimes words are the perfect solution and sometimes they are not.

The difference between RAW and writing a book only a few people read is that RAW is put together with an outward focus and fiction is simply a story I want to tell (and then if someone likes it all the better).

So how do I, in the midst of all this change, when my  feelings are so close to the surface all the time because I don’t have the energy to monitor them especially when I am safe at home, keep hold of my peace and keep moving forward?


I don’t really have the answer to that yet. Like usual I am a work in progress. I am trying to shift my RAW focus – to be grateful for the things I am learning, the skills I am developing.

I am trying to stop the work issues from encroaching on the time I am not at work – finding ways to deliberately distract myself to stop over thinking.

Also I am trying to again find some form of balance. Trying to tell myself again that it is okay to do nothing, as well as getting in time reading just for enjoyment not research and maybe dipping my toes back into fiction as well.

Hopefully one day I will figure it out.

If you are interested in my faith journey you can always check out our Patreon site : https://www.patreon.com/roughauthenticworship