Things I did on Wednesday

I don’t weigh myself consistently, and really I should work out if there’s a problem with my digital scales (they seemed to be giving inconsistent readings when I was using them years ago) instead of using my parents’ traditional scales. But I think I’ve lost a couple of kilograms of weight recently and am now technically not overweight (just barely), although I still have a tummy.

I spoke to an NHS psychiatrist. I told him about my problems coming off olanzapine and he felt I would have to stay on a low maintenance dose indefinitely. On the plus side, he felt that I could reduce my clomipramine (which is the drug I am most anxious to reduce, because of side-effects including weight gain). He said he would write to my GP to tell him how I should reduce it safely and that he would copy me in, so hopefully I can start on that soon.

I did some novel writing. I wanted to write for a solid hour before therapy; as it happened, it was interrupted by the psychiatrist phoning, but I still wrote about 900 words, which is very good.

Things I Did On Thursday

After work, I did over an hour of novel writing, writing 700 words. I’m not sure it’s healthy to be so focused on how much time I spend writing and especially how many words I write, but it does help me to see that I’m making progress, especially when it feels hard, like today, writing things outside of my comfort zone. I do wish I could spend a longer period writing. I feel like the first twenty minutes are spent ‘warming up’.

I find out if I’ve been accepted to the emerging writers’ programme on Monday. I am quite nervous. I’m not sure if I’m more worried about being rejected or accepted. I do not know what, exactly, the programme entails. I know there are seminars, peer support, and networking sessions, but I don’t know how many or when. I’m worried about potential conflicts with work, volunteering and especially getting married on two continents. I don’t know if I will have to read out my rather personal writing to a group. I worry about being too sexually explicit, but also about being too coy and ‘religious’ and not explicit enough. I worry about being thought sexist or too religious. Part of me is hoping I don’t get accepted to avoid all of this. I guess I’ll know soon enough.


I saw this near the station this morning:

I should probably explain to non-UK readers that a barrister is a type of lawyer, one who represents you in court (as opposed to a solicitor, who deals with documents, commerce, property and so on). I assume they are actually looking for a barista, or perhaps they just want to sue people who take too long to drink their morning coffee.

11 thoughts on “Brief Update and Amusing Photo

  1. Oh, I’m glad you explained that. I knew what a barrister was but wasn’t at all sure what they were looking for since the words are so different. I hope you’re accepted to the program; it sounds like an excellent growth opportunity.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m biased because I love writing groups and am not shy at all about sharing writing with personal and/or sexual references, but I feel like most “professionally-minded” (I’m using this to mean focused on craft and improving the work for publication, vs. groups more intended for emotional support) writing groups handle this well. Unless it’s specifically memoir, these writing groups do not assume that first-person narrator voice is necessarily the author and that the events didn’t necessarily happen. People tend to focus on whether the piece works, not what was the inspiration or whether it’s true. Not all groups do this, but some writing groups that I’ve been to actively discourage the author from talking during the workshop discussion so that the group is really looking at the piece without the author’s context. I’ve been to plenty of writing groups and I’ve never been pressured to elaborate on the backstory of a piece if I didn’t want to. I hope you get accepted to the program and enjoy the experience!

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    1. I’m not so worried about being asked how much of my writing is from my life, and more about getting past the embarrassment factor of talking about sex (from a very ‘male gaze’ point of view too) and using the f-word (usually I don’t swear, in real life as well as writing). I guess I also have a fear that I’m writing about sex completely ‘wrong’ from still being a virgin, although so far (three chapters in) there hasn’t been any actual more-than-one-person sex, and I’m not currently intending for there to be any.

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      1. 1) The male gaze feedback is particularly useful though in this case – you want some given the specific context, but there probably is a line that feels like too much. It might help to detach – feedback on this is not a reflection on you but rather on how this draft of this fictional character is working.

        2) Pardon my French, but in every writing group I’ve been in (some including religious people and the elderly), no one gives a fuck about “fuck”. Obviously, there could be regional differences on this point, but just sharing my experience.

        3) If there’s that little sex, any lack of realism (if any) is unlikely to come up. But also, writing unrealistic sex scenes is so common and non-virgin writers are so guilty of doing this that this is hardly the worst literary crime.

        All that said, I do hear you – in my own novel, I finished writing the short “easy” part and now need to write rape and extremely racist dialogue and it’s really weird and uncomfortable. Maybe when it comes time to workshop those sections, I’ll post about the discomfort and you’ll kindly throw my comments back in my face. (I 100% give you permission to do this!)

        Liked by 1 person

        1. 1) True.
          2) I didn’t mean their discomfort, I meant my discomfort!
          3) True. I may have mentioned the annual Bad Sex Award in the UK, given to the worst sex scene in a mainstream (non-pornographic) book. I assume most/all of the winners have actually had sex.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. I hope you get accepted to the emerging writer’s programme and that it all works out. It sounds like a great opportunity for you. I’m sure you’d find a way to tackle each challenge as it comes. You have a lot going on. I respect that you feel fear and still proceed. The photo gave me a chuckle.

    Liked by 1 person

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