As you can see above, I call myself a writer. I am a writer. Recently, however, I've found myself writing more blog posts than stories - in fact I've struggled with fiction since I finished my MA.
For any of you who don't know, in December 2014 I graduated with an MA in Creative Writing, a year in which I dedicated my time towards a 30,000 word portfolio with a 5,000 word reflective essay. I chose to work on a historical/speculative fiction novel involving witchcraft in Tudor England, and I really enjoyed it.
The MA was fantastic because we had two two-hour workshops each week in which we critiqued each other's work, and my MA group were an amazing source of support and encouragement. In the end my work paid off because I came out of my MA with a Distinction, but since then I haven't touched my novel (one of the main reasons being some big aspects of the plot are undergoing a major overhaul, so I need to pretty much rewrite a lot of the stuff I originally wrote anyway) and I've barely written any short fiction either.
As I'm sure you can imagine, this sucks. I love writing, and I hate how frustrated I become when I find it difficult to write. I have so many ideas, and then when I sit down to put them on paper it's like my brain leaks out of my ears. Also, let's be honest, I've also become a bit lazy since the completion of my MA. Because I no longer have a group to submit my work to I've found it more difficult to write, and I hate that; I should be writing purely for my own enjoyment, not because other people are going to read it, but I can't deny that knowing other people would be reading my work made me work my butt off to finish something even when I thought it sucked. Now if I think I'm writing something crap, I just let me convince myself it's crap and that I have no talent whatsoever and I might as well just quit while I'm ahead.
Not only that, but now that I'm working full time I have even less time to write. When you work eight hours a day five days a week, it becomes more difficult to dedicate your time to writing everything you want to write, reading everything you want to read, and then still trying to have a social life and me time somewhere in between. And I'm currently learning how to drive and applying for a PhD... I have a lot going on, though I know that's no excuse.
So no more! Because I am a writer, and at times I'm even a good writer, and I want to work at becoming a better writer. The only way to do that is through practice, so in August my blog is going to take a backseat.
That doesn't mean I won't be posting anything because I already have some things scheduled, and I like to write book reviews soon after finishing a book so my feelings are fresh in my mind. All this really means is that I won't be taking part in posts like Top Ten Tuesday or My Week in Books throughout August, and if I go the odd week without posting anything I'm not going to let that freak me out.
So my blog's not going to be dead because I don't like extremes. If I say 'I'm not going to touch my blog once throughout August!' all I'll be thinking about is my blog. What it means is that from this post on and throughout August I'll be a little quiet, but I hope you'll stick around! If you leave me a comment (please do, I love reading your comments) and I don't reply I'm not being rude. I will reply to you, even if it isn't straight away.
I've found a few anthologies currently looking for submissions and a couple of competitions I'd like to enter, and I have a whole pile of unfinished short stories that I want to finish. I want to get more of my work out there and continue to build up my writing portfolio.
So yeah. This is just a little note to say I may be quieter than usual during August and I promise I'm not ignoring you. I'm just going to take some time to get myself back into the swing of writing regularly, and get some of these stories finished!