It’s not that I stopped reading but what I was reading changed during my PhD, so that I was mainly cramming academic papers and books. These were rally interesting but got me out of my head for fun reading, for hobby reading. And it’s been really hard to get back into it. I’ve found most of the books I’ve tackled really hard to get into. A Spool of Blue Thread took eight months to read. I kept picking it up and putting it back down again after a few pages. It’s not the story, it was me. I tried some trash novels, you know, the ones you can get through in a couple of hours. Nope, I couldn’t do it.

So this New Year I actually made a resolution and that was to get back into reading. It’s not been easy, I’ve had to force myself to do it. And with each day it’s getting easier. It’s helped discovering a few books that have been brilliant reads; I’m a bit fed up with psychological thrillers, and thrillers, and crime. I need something else. Plus, I don’t know about you, but there have been some MAJOR disappointments last year, like terrible. Books that were hyped to the maxed were just not as good I hoped they would be. And so, lesson learned, again, in that trust people who read books and like books and review books for enjoyment rather than marketing departments.

It’s been a similar process with my writing, although being seriously ill for a year has knocked me out on top of trying to study and work, and, well, live. It’s been a slog to get words onto the page, and this New Year I was determined to get back into it. It’s day twenty-five of one hundred days of writing and things are starting to pick up again. I’m finding my rhythm, getting back into the story, reacquainting myself with my characters and doing a lot of thinking about next steps. There’s a lot of oh no, no no no no no no as I remember what I’ve done. And somehow I’ve managed to introduce a new subplot in the third act which means it needs to be fed back throughout the rest of the novel. And this bit is going to change, and that bit, etc. So I’ve given up, getting the first draft down and then I’ll rewrite it. At 70k words, so there’s plenty to work with, and there’s plenty to do, but I still haven’t finished yet. I’ve given myself a deadline of next weekend to finish it/reach 90k words, whichever comes first. And I’ll be writing every day as part of 100 days of writing. It’s not pretty, it’s clumsy, it needs work (SO MUCH), but I’m doing it and it’s here. Take that, 2019. THRASP.

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