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Update: Novel, Blogging and Exams April 27, 2009

Posted by pacejmiller in Blogging, Novel, On Writing.
Tags: , , , , , , ,

What I’ve been up to

For someone who doesn’t work (and hasn’t for some time), life has been surprisingly hectic.

I went to London today on a day-trip, almost certainly my final one until after my exams in June.  It was a splendid day, albeit with the typical miserable London weather (though to be fair, it had been quite wonderful over the last week or two!).  Caught up with a friend, had coffee at the place that just won the World Barista Championships (I admit it was very good), enjoyed a tasty lunch at Ottolenghi, then a subpar (expectation-wise) at a high end Japanese restaurant called Sake No Hana.  The wife bought me an LV belt, though the exquisite man-bag to complement it will have to wait until next time (out of stock).

I am now filled with guilt.  Exams start exactly a month from today, and the amount of studying yet to be done is phenomenal.  Mind boggling.  And what’s the first thing I do when I get home?  Do a post on my blog!


I must say, I’ve fallen in love with blogging.  Yes, it may be slowing the progress of my novel (oh yeah, and the studying), but it’s worth it.  I’m meeting new people, expanding my horizons, sharing and learning all sorts of things (not just limited to writing).  I have no doubt I will continue to blog, even after I finish up on my fairytale run in the UK.

On another note, I’m trying to steer my blog back to writing as much as possible.  I started this blog just so I could write about anything and everything, but it would be good to try and limit the material to specific categories and not diversify it out of control!  So hopefully, more posts about the craft of writing and particularly fantasy writing in the future.  That being said, if something genuinely interests me, I’m not going to hold back!

Case in point: I’m currently reading a book given to me by a Christian friend called ‘God, Actually’ by Roy Williams.  No prizes for guessing what type of book it is.  My friend has been trying to convert me for years without much success, but he’s still trying.  So far it has been very interesting.  I’m definitely looking forward to doing a review the book as soon as I finish.


I haven’t sat for an exam since 2004 (I think), so I don’t really know (or remember) what to expect.  One thing is for sure – I’ve never had this much time (1 month) to prepare, but at the same time, I’ve never had this much to prepare!  A Master in Law is truly no walk in the park.  Cramming an entire subject in a couple of days (like I used to) just won’t cut it this time.

So I’m dreading the exams for two reasons.  The first is the obvious one (it is, after all, the exams).  But the second, and stronger reason, is because the exams signify the end of the great ride I’ve had in the UK.  The Master in Law has been hard work, but it’s given me time away from actual work and more time than I’ve ever had to really have a crack at my dream – writing my first novel.  It’s a shame I won’t complete it whilst here, but it’s given me a goal for the future – a goal I have no doubt I will achieve.

Novel progress…

So how is that fantasy novel coming along?  Well, to be honest, not great.  First of all, my grand European adventure, as fantastic as it was, kind of severed the momentum I had gathered before the break.  Secondly, my priory has obviously shifted to study now, so writing has been pushed down the list.  Thirdly, when I do get a chance to write (like now), I’ve been leaning towards doing blog posts rather than work on the novel – because posts are discrete and on different topics and thus making them more interesting and much easier to do!  I know…naughty naughty.

And when I have been working on the novel (almost on a daily basis, though in shorter time periods), I feel I’ve been going through the motions a lot lately.  Words are being typed and the story is progressing, but it’s lacking in…something.  A spark, excitement, heart.  I’m not quite sure what it is.  The thing is, I’m still passionate about my story and I want to complete it.  I just don’t know what’s wrong.

Has anyone else had a similar experience?



1. Sharon - April 28, 2009

You have a lot going on at the moment – you’re digesting your recent adventure, thinking about exams, blogs and a novel too, all of which have their own levels of stress. It’s a lot for the brain. When I hit patches like this I take time out to incubate and decompress. Reading something unrelated, going for a walk, chatting with a friend always helps. Don’t allow yourself to develop an anxiety – this is just another necessary process for a writer and it will pass. Have faith in that.

pacejmiller - April 28, 2009

Hi – thanks for the advice. I think you’re right! I’m going to try and destress for a couple of days…try and get my brain back to normal.

2. Nate - April 30, 2009

And here I thought I was the only one having the writing blues/blogging guilt! funny.
I’ve been working on my very first non-supernatural/sci fi/fantasy/horror, novel. My first drama (still fiction) and I’ve been putting it off and been blogging instead. Like you I’ve fallen in love with blogging for the same reasons (and to think that I used to dislike the idea of blogging) and I’ve been telling myself to stop and concentrate, but it has become a bit hard, especially ’cause the story is very dark and a downer and blogging just let me goof around.
But starting tomorrow, I’m going to force myself to get back to my novel, you can do it, I can do it, we all can.

Hey Pace, btw, I’ve taken down my blogspot blog for the moment being so if you check it or link to it, you won’t find it. Only wordpress is working for now.

pacejmiller - April 30, 2009

Yeah Nate, blogging is both a blessing and a curse! I have to get back to the novel as well. I’m just taking a few days off to clear my mind and get into the groove of studying, which is the main priority at the moment.

Let me know when your blogspot one returns! Look forward to reading your writings.

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