Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Arrived Safely With A Lesson From Anna Karenina

Australian country roads, they say 110km/h, but it's up to the cows if you'll be allowed to do that.

This cow took quite a fancy to my car, and gave him a nibble to make sure he wasn't tasty.

I have safely arrived in Brisbane, two days and 1,600kms later. Thank you everyone for your well wishes and prayers. And no, my little car did not break down or even splutter during the entire trip (compare with last trip a month ago when his engine started smoking before dying.) I'll move into my new digs tomorrow night, and will see how it all goes from there.

Also, I just want to take this chance to do a big shout out to my wonderful Dad for taking the time to drive up with me. I really appreciated it! (You can find him at

Anyway, back to the writing news. First of all, I'm very excited to have been interviewed by Jaideep Khanduja on his blog Pebble In The Still Waters. If you don't know how I got the nickname 'Buffy' from Elizabeth here is your chance, as well as other interesting facts about me.

Second, as to my ROW 80 goals, I got less than I had hoped done, but more than nothing, so counting that as a win.

I started editing the sequel to my brother's book, and am just over 1/5 of the way through. I also have started planning a book launch party for my 1920's romance for March, and I've been working with an artist on the design of the cover for it. I also set up a Goodreads giveaway that will close on the 10th of Feb to mark the (hopeful) release of the paperback version of The Nice Guy's Guide To Online Dating Profiles. 

However, I have not done any new writing, and haven't started editing any of my own work that needs doing. But I think I've had pretty good excuses.

Next week I start my induction for my new job, as well as trying to set up all the things that need doing when you move (such as getting my license changed over, my car registered, etc.) So I'm giving myself permission now not to get stressed about trying to do everything.

The final goal I had was to read a book every 1.5 weeks. By this count, on the 21st of Jan I need to finish Anna Karenina. This was one goal that I did manage to get a bit done on while driving (obviously not while I was driving, that would just be dangerous).

Anna Karenina is a beautiful book and I highly recommend people read it, if only for Tolstoy's insight into people and their motivations. So on one hand I am greatly enjoying the experience of reading it. However, on the other hand I have this niggling feeling that I need to get it finished or else I will be behind in the challenge. This feeling then makes me feel overwhelmed because it is a huge book and often it feels like I'm not getting anywhere. Normally this would not worry me, I would just read it and not care. But now that I have a deadline it is like a stone around my neck weighing me down.

This feeling is increased because I have it about a number of projects. First it was packing everything. I felt like I kept packing and packing, but there was always more stuff, and there was no way I could get it all done. Then there is the editing of Dave's book, which I had wanted to get done by the time I left. It was about a week's worth of work, and each day that went by that I only did an hour or so, the large and large the task became. There are also my own drafts that I want to get out in the next two months. I need to redraft them, edit them, get them edited, format them, get ready to launch them, etc.

So during my drive it was as if Anna Karenina represented my life. It was something I enjoyed, but also felt a strong sense of hopelessness about, that the task was just never ending.

And then I had a minor epiphany:

If I kept reading, there was no way I couldn't finish it. 

I felt like there was no way that I could finish the task, but the truth was that there was no way I couldn't! If I kept reading, no matter what happened, I would eventually finish the book, nothing could stop that except me not reading. The book was not getting longer, or more difficult.

So it is with writing. If you keep working at it, there is no way that you cannot finish it. You are doomed to success if you just keep going.

Okay, I admit that for some it might be possible not to understand the natural flow of a story, so that you keep writing long after it should have climaxed and ended. But, barring this, all other writing tasks come to an end. We might feel that we could go over it once more, but at some point we get to the end of the manuscript and don't have to go right back to the beginning. The only thing that is required to reach this point is not to stop.

So I just wanted to tell you all: don't stop. 

1 comment:

  1. so much going on - new job - a move - sorting stuff - large amazing book editing etc - give yourself a break girl - tis no wonder not all goals reached - take care and enjoy the read it is a beautiful boo:)