Yesterday, I visited my physiotherapist. It’s the first time I’ve seen her since April and it was only when I was chatting to her that I realised a lot has happened in the last few months. She was asking me questions about my life that threw me because I had so much to tell her. I don’t write a lot of diary style posts here, so perhaps today is a good day to write an update.
Firstly, everything is good with my family. Luke has moved up a class at school and is loving it. He has a best friend and the two of them have a really lovely bond. He has also started attending a sports club once a week, which should hopefully help rid him of all his excess energy. Alex has started volunteering at archaeological digs and is moving into his third year of university next month. My beloved Neptune passed away but Poseidon is still with us and Rum…well, he’s just Rum. Crazy as ever, like a typical Jack Russell.
As for me, I’ve had a hell of a summer. At the end of May I went for a dental x-ray and it showed up a big thing in my right cheek. I wasn’t quite sure what to do make of it, but when anything unusual shows up on an x-ray you automatically think the worst. Last week, I got the results of some tests and whatever that thing was, it’s gone now. I feel like I have a new lease of life and of course, because this is me we’re talking about, the first thing on my mind is writing.
I was offered a job last month. It was going to be a regular 9 to 5 job in a solicitor’s office in Paisley. I turned it down. There were a few reasons. It would have been brilliant to have regular cash coming into my bank account again without worrying about sales figures or blog hits and it would have been awesome to work with my friend Kirsty again. But it’s no secret that in the last two or three years I’ve been struggling with low moods and lots of aches and pains. It’s probably depression, but even without the label, I can say that I don’t feel confident that I could hold down a normal 9 to 5 job. I couldn’t be a good employee because my mind is elsewhere – either on Luke or on writing or on my pains. It’s not fair to take a job I can’t get enthusiastic about. And there are just too many ghosts in Paisley, too many memories of another time in my life that I’ve moved on from.
I had signed up to the philosophy module at university this year, but I changed my mind in the last couple of weeks. So, I have signed up for creative writing instead. I’m working on a couple of different pieces of fiction. I don’t want to share too much about them because I feel jinxed when I do that and they don’t work out the way I think they will. So, I can say that this is what I’m working on…
- A Christmas themed cozy mystery about a cat cafe
- A prequel to Cherry Lips set 25 years before the original story which is heavy on the magic and comedy
- A Christmas themed romantic-comedy about a reality TV show
- A very dark and gritty story about a defunct girl group and what happens to them years down the line
- Some Leger bits and bobs that are still being figured out – maybe a novel, maybe split into shorts again
- A longer version of a short story I wrote in 2012 with the story unfolding on postcards
So, I have a lot of ideas that I’m working on and I’m excited about writing again. There isn’t much being released or published, but the first step is to feel good about it once more and the rest will naturally follow.
Meanwhile, I’m working on this blog, building my Instagram following and de-escalating things on Twitter. I’ve had one too many bad experiences there and honestly, I wouldn’t care one bit if I lost 35K followers and was left with a handful of friends. It would be a relief. It’s far too easy to follow back someone who looks genuine and normal and a few weeks down the line they’re posting porn or defending racists and because I’m following them I feel shamed by association. Twitter is a sewer.
I’m not making any money out of writing right now, but I have put some adverts on my blog and signed up for Awin, which is a site that brings affiliates together with bloggers and those with a large following on social media. Can I just say right now that I hate the word, “influencer.” The second people start calling themselves influencers, you know they have zero genuine influence in this world. FACT. But I do have a large following on Twitter and Instagram so I decided it would be silly not to throw a link in here and there for products I have genuinely tried and love. The last thing I want to do is start spam-selling. I did not put my heart and soul into writing for all these years just to become a glorified salesperson. But if I can make a few pounds here and there from things I would be talking about anyway, why not?
Other than that, there isn’t really much news. I’m still mystery shopping and loving it and I started doing surveys too to fill in spare time in waiting rooms etc. I’m going to write a blog about the best ones I’ve found soon, because there are some truly awful apps out there that pay peanuts and should be avoided. And I am heading to Manchester soon for some adult time and I think Luke is more excited than me since he gets a whole weekend with his grandparents. Once university starts again, I’ll no doubt get lost in my textbooks for a few months, although since it’s creative writing I’m studying, I’m hoping that I’ll spend more time on my own writing again this year.