Keeping score

notebooksMy love of lists is well-documented but I love keeping records, too. I hesitate to give details, lest I come across as obsessive (heaven forbid!) and a bit odd, but it’s probably too late to worry about that…

So. I’ve kept a diary (I don’t write everyday, but regularly enough) since I was eleven and, of course, I have this blog, but I also keep a regular writing journal with ideas, free-writing, thoughts on my WIP and general moaning about my progress or lack-of.

Plus, every single day I note down how many words (of fiction) I’ve written, whether I’ve exercised (stretching and yoga-type stuff), and how many miles I’ve walked (last year I usually managed 15 miles a week but I’m aiming for 20).*

This year I’ve added to my self-documentation with a list of books I’ve read (date finished and a note about the content/enjoyment), and more comprehensive notes on my word count. I’ve added details about when I wrote, ¬†how long I spent, and notes on how I was feeling, distractions and so on. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to look back over these and draw useful conclusions about my work habits. Or, perhaps, I’ll just be horrified by the amount of faffing I do. Ah-hem.

So, am I the only self-obsessed record keeper? If not, what do you like to keep track of? And do you find it helpful?

Time flies…

clockwithwingWow, 21st of the month already; how did that happen?

I hope you’re all well, and that your resolutions and goals are progressing nicely. If not, I hope that the dark days of January aren’t lowering your spirits too much.

I must admit, I’m enjoying a fantastic start to 2013. Something very exciting has happened that I’m not yet free to talk about (more on that as soon as I’m allowed) and I just landed a new writing job (hurrah) working for the wonderful Novelicious!

In fact, if you head over there today, you can read the first in my new series of writing tips.

[Image credit: Free HD Wallpapers]

Book News: Life After Life by Kate Atkinson

life after life

I just heard (via The Twitters) that Kate Atkinson has a new novel out this year; oh, happy day!

It’s not a Jackson Brodie story (crikey, I love her Jackson Brodie books), but it sounds fantastic just the same. Here’s the Amazon blurb:

What if you had the chance to live your life again and again, until you finally got it right?

During a snowstorm in England in 1910, a baby is born and dies before she can take her first breath.

During a snowstorm in England in 1910, the same baby is born and lives to tell the tale.

What if there were second chances? And third chances? In fact an infinite number of chances to live your life? Would you eventually be able to save the world from its own inevitable destiny? And would you even want to?

Life After Life follows Ursula Todd as she lives through the turbulent events of the last century again and again. With wit and compassion, she finds warmth even in life’s bleakest moments, and shows an extraordinary ability to evoke the past.

Life After Life is out on 14th March.

Greetings and salutations, 2013!


Yes, it’s a week into the new year but this is my first proper day back at work. I’ve packed the kids off to school and I’m in my office (yay!) with a giant mug of tea and a head full of good intentions.

I adore making plans and setting goals but once I’d written out the things I want to achieve this year, I realised that they could be boiled down to just three things: Be Kind. Be Brave. Work Hard.

I’ve got various ideas to help me with the last one, including forcing myself to plan (a bit) when writing. Over the holiday I got around to reading Rachel Aaron’s 2K to 10k: Writing Faster, Writing Better, and Writing More of What You Love in which she talks about the importance of knowing what you’re going to write before you write it and I’m determined to at least try her methods.

How about you? Any goals or resolutions?

[Image credit: Wall decals by Shanna Murray]