Spring Is As Spring Does …

The Writing Week…



Started and ended with some good thought provoking reading and listening around my favourite Blogs and Podcasts while starting to form a revised plot for  Hacked Off  – the ‘cast’ and I have after lunch meetings while I am walking the dogs and I am pleased with the new ideas I am having  on that score too.

One thought occupying my mind this week is the subject of goals and goal setting – on the one hand I follow the coaching from Michael Hyatt and co about having plans and ‘Living Forward’ as his new book totes but at the same time I  take a point made by Will Jonathan on the Tiny Buddha Blog that ‘Getting what you want can sabotage you http://tinybuddha.com/blog/how-getting-what-you-want-can-sabotage-you/which is well worth a look at and a deep think about.


Do you plan?

Or  – do you see goals as ‘a natural consequence or enjoying something and doing it well’? [From the article mentioned above]

Further to that this week I enjoyed Michael Hyatt and Michelle Cushatt in their weekly conversational Podcast – ths week it was about 7 pieces of advice Michael would give to ‘would be CEOs’ – Not something I initially thought would interest me –  But I quote  from the  show transcription http://this-is-your-life.s3.amazonaws.com/tiyl_s7_ep_05.pdf

‘The first one is your position is not your identity. Second, your position is temporary, not permanent. Third, your position is a privilege, not a right. Fourth, your position is about faithfulness, not achievement. Fifth, your position is about them, not you. Sixth, your position is about stewardship, not ownership. Seventh (so good), your position will require more than you think you can provide on your own, so prepare for it now. Don’t wait until you have the job to do the work you need to do. ‘

This Is Your Life Podcast Season 7, Episode 5 Transcribed by Ginger Schell. – Podcast Link –http://michaelhyatt.com/season-7-episode-5-advice-to-new-ceos-podcast.html – If you want to listen.

Why did this interest me particularly?

The first point snagged me because I am always interested in how we humans align our identity to what we do and then we struggle when we don’t do that thing any more or we can’t achieve good results – I am between phases in my life right now  – I HAVE been a Farmer and NOW I am a Writer – I ALSO ride horses and that makes me a Rider – but I haven’t ridden for months which causes doubt – if my writing never gets revised will I ever be an Author? I still own a farm but I actually have no livestock so technically I AM still a Farmer yet I don’t respond with that when asked ‘What do you do?’ Saying ‘I write…’ sounds pretentious to me – yet it just about describes my life now – I live on the page in words that I type…

Michael and Michelle’s conversation made me think hard about what would happen if I didn’t write any more, didn’t finish the books – that voice in my head said ‘What else IS there?’ 🙁 I think a rethink!! 🙂 I am already an Author – of this Blog and two others for a start 🙂  Which isn’t the point they were trying to make but demonstrates how tightly we all cling to who we are being related to what we do – and not how we do it…

Sad But True Though…

This is my last week at Platform U – Michael Hyatt’s membership site – why? Troubles with  the renewal of the sub’ every month this year for no apparent reason and a feeling that it is time to move on – taking with me a lot of interesting things I have learnt and experienced and a large dislike of ‘virtual assistants’ running Customer Service and Personality Social Media  contacts- it creates an image of  ‘Unreachables’ that is contrary to the public face  shown – and his isn’t the only larger site I have come across with this problem – again with the issue of  Time Zones for these sites which are Global not being addressed properly  for the benefit of the customer.

I still think Michael Hyatt is a great coach and would always recommend checking out his stuff – this little British female unpublished fiction writer found herself a little out of her depth at times but I have paddled ashore non the worse for wear.

Spring Cleaning Then…

Dawn On A Spring Day

Dawn On A Spring Day

If you like –  of thoughts and hang outs – and  the week still allowed me to venture into some new territory –

At https://twodropsofinkat.wordpress.com/   and http://www.thecreativepenn.com/podcasts/ seem good starting points 🙂

So I keep moving along and learning as I go…





If I could explain what I need from loved ones when I am writing and revising – I would.

If I could avoid the trip wires laid by well meant, well loved folk – I would.

If I could explain about going between thought and reality – I would.

If I could explain about getting lost in my own thoughts while doing other things – I would.

If I could explain anything to you I would.

Would you ever understand?

Well I am gonna keep trying anyway – as I can see how hard you guys are trying to help me on my way!!! 🙂

This week …

Progress has been made on the revision on Hacked Off and I sat in the middle of chaos and trusted that it would be OK.  It was  –  I finished that exercise  of HTRN reasonably confident  I had been taking in what I was doing and not just sitting there like a rabbit in the headlights – or snow blind from my world turning  white from many coats of paint… I even got the tee shirt

It must be so - got the tee shirt...

It must be so – got the tee shirt…

Forgot to tell  The Muse…

Suddenly I realise My Muse has flounced off when I sit to write this presumably because the world isn’t as IT planned.


I will get on with out it – I haven’t missed posting this year and just because my morning hasn’t been as I would have wished doesn’t mean I am not going to show up.

The Broad Band hasn’t shown up either so no picture today – yet – I will add something really cheerful later!

Spring is coming...

Spring is coming…

Happy Days!




My 2015 Equine Year… 2016?


Buddy had a tooth problem needing specialist treatment to remove and replant it  – that was quite hard for me to get through the organisational waiting necessary when fitting in with busy travelling specialists – Buddy  was absolutely fine, in excellent hands at Milton Equine – in their care for the Equine Dentist to do the job on their premises as it all coincided with the major house rebuild we had going on here.

The house rebuild meant we moved into  the mobile home ’27’ in the orchard next to the horse field – this made for ‘horse TV’ all day and all night and a night time sound track of galloping hooves…

I didn’t get any riding done this summer –  I completely underestimated the demands for me to be here to let folk in etc to fit in with them – but for the huge building project to progress as fast as possible I realised it was necessary.

By Autumn I was trying ground work with Buddy and then I failed to heed my high stress level one morning and took him somewhere we weren’t ready for – result I got off, got myself knocked over and he ran off… I found him with help of bystanders and a local friends – he was a bit battered and bruised and we were able to walk home.

He recovered from that and promptly got a skid injury and infection around Bonfire night and Boxing day he was ‘giving it large’ and skidding about (Again!) and has  mildly strained the tendons at the back of his knee…!

My equine year has been one with little riding but great moments with all three of them – Rufus usually comical and Flax playful.

The Stars of the show and me.

The Stars of the show and me.


Re join Shipton Riding Club and try to re build my confidence to join in – even if that is watching or helping…

Keep up with my Parelli friends and Intelligent Horsemanship chums.

Keep blogging on Haynet

Have tickets to see Monty Roberts at our old college Kingston Maurwood Dorset (Where husband and I met and he is coming too)

Buddy, Flax and Rufe  to be as well looked after as I can, kept active and as entertained as they can be – and if I get to ride out off the farm too I shall be thrilled – it is going to take a while and some daily work – and some luck that no one gets a silly injury(Bud!) (MC!!) :))





2015 Train Leaves Station…

What  a privilege it has been this year

Hasn’t ‘always’ seemed like it but I picked up some early architect plans when cleaning house prior to decorating that were drawn last year and as the conservatory starts to go up next week I realised that what was on the paper and then looked an impossible dream – is all around me now. WOW!

White Boarding

White Boarding


That is an aside really to what has happened with my writing during this time – suffering from displacement and all that goes with moving out of a home into a mobile home and then re discovering the silence and joy of being alone to work – only to find I over did it and let myself get unfit and stale.

Trying to deal with delivering a work flow to my own satisfaction in the face of being at the mercy of everyone else’s requirements either family or the guys working on the house.

I haven’t always got it right.


I have tried not to let it stop all work – if not typing up my main goal project then I have been thinking about websites and blogs, even if that is listening to a Podcast or joining in a webinair – there haven’t been too many days I haven’t thought or done something – and usually quite a lot – to keep me on track.


I have hitched my waggon to numerous big engines of influence and guidance and to some smaller ones to get me up the hills of frustration and delay but now as we chug in to the home stretch I have got off  the moving trains and am watching them leave the station without me – why?


I have to get out and walk a while – carry my work through to the end of the journey – no one can do that for me though some will keep me company enroute – it will be my route and not theirs – I am not a ‘good follower’ which a mentor advocated was a requirement to succeed in life the other day to me and to his ‘followers’ and he is right I am not. I would suggest that neither is he!


No one can do very much alone in this world

We all need help and encouragement and guidance  but we also need to fly free to achieve our dreams – we cannot live by committee nor do business that way nor write books that way – not if we want the satisfaction of skidding tattered and torn into the grave knowing we gave it our all and lived to the max – having the courage to stand alone and find your way between the sign posts and choose which route, and when to take it is a huge part of that – hitching my wagon to a Star and trailing in its reflected glory is not for me just to say I belong somewhere  – I belong in me. You belong in you.


Listen. Learn. Move On.


So I am on the platform of life watching the trains leave and around me are the amazing and wonderful things I have in my life in all their messy stages and it IS time now to take it all forward – get the house finished, move back in, and get my series through revision and out there…


What is it time for you to do?





First Go To Research When Freed From Type Up…

Results of research into avoiding the type up of 360600 first draft long hand words of Q3 and Q4 this next year

Photograph the page with phone ( I am so old I still think that is odd!)
Upload to lap top.
Open Evernote
New Notebook
New Note
Save photo to Evernote

ISSUE – have to make notes underneath it out of sight  and possibly hard on eventual type up.

Return to uploaded photo
Open OneNote
New Section
New page
Copy photo and paste to the page.

Can make notes at the side to be seen on type up – ISSUE -BUT so far can’t see how to make photo long hand larger so can decipher some bits of poor writing
– this may be rectified by viewing OneNote App on Iphone

Test Photo Taken For Printing...

Test Photo Taken For Printing…

– NO I have found the zoom! ISSUE sorted!
Taken to printers they handed me back a perfectly legible and revisable  A4 sheet.
This is the Planes Trains and Automobiles of writing!!!!!!!!!

HOLD ME DOWN  this still may be a faff to sort out but it secures the work
In two places off paper and is nothing like as awful as typing crap  first draft that won’t make it through revision – 7×160 side A4 note books will take a while to get on to the system but if I get this right then I have just gained a year and a major chance to get this show on back on the road!

I will be able to write my new stuff along side the revision of the Quest series if I feel like it and it will STOP that series from taking over my damn life – it is a YA series but I have other things I want to do so the thought of spending too much time on it have been giving me chills – how much life have I left anyway? It may sell a few copies, it MAY sell well but it is just one product and if I have learnt anything in life generally it is


Though this doesn’t apply to sheep who are better if they are all in one field – yours.


And Looking Ahead – As You Do….

My Thoughts On An Editorial Calendar…

Finish type up of Q2, Scrivener file plus print out. This one I completed this week 🙂

Three Manuscripts

Three Manuscripts


Typed MS Q1 + Q2 + HO


= THREE MS ready to take through HTRN which kicks off 14/12/15


22 week course



Q3+Q4 Type up – Target = 369,600 words/7 black note books


Assume 260 days (5 day week) =1421 typed up words/day/5 days OR 7105/week


OR 21 sides long hand.

I would say that equates to 5 hours/week minimum if not 7 hours.


5 hours could be one long session  5am -10 am  or 1pm -5pm  or 5pm-10pm  one day /week


If this could be achieved as a priority each week then by this time next year when the others  have been through HTRN once etc and I am in a better position to get them read and formatted then these will be ready to HTRN to follow through.



I would rather try to think of doing it this way than 1 + 1/2 hours a day for 5 days which if I am revising or writing new may be distracting.



What if you took photos of each page and saved to Evernote and onenote – printed out from that? Turned into pdf or annotated?


4 sides typed every day  x 5 days/week  is about 20/week  and that means the 360600 is doable.



###TODAY I did 5 hours ?10/3 and did 12 pages – it was a BIG intrusion on the day.###


So  4 sides/day /5days /week = 369600 IN this next 12 months.


OR 20 sides /week BUT if that is 2 x 10 that is two whole  sessions each time you try


OR 80 sides/month over say 4 or 5 days in one week with a break from everything else. I am not drawn to that I think it gives the highest chance of giving up as once missed it is a huge cock up – one 4 side day missed is easily caught up.


Can you write 4 sides in one hour?








I still need to be around on social media, I need to maintain my blog and keep searching out new ideas and techniques /how to etc


Friday blog post needs to be maintained  as well as outposts -Make a list of topics you could talk on or each blog. But YOU must show up and do – that means Thursday or Friday am latest.


What about batch writing? I don’t think I have enough advance stuff to do that – tends to be journalistic personal experience or reaction or breakthrough find. I can drop mention the books as I go.


2016 needs to be focussed on getting the books out to market Nov onwards with marketing and development strategy in place and formatting and website shop etc organised -VAT and Tax checked out and sales cart in place.


Advertising etc needs thinking about  if advertising in mags/radio etc


2017 Q2 needs to be released just before Easter and HO


Q3 summer half term


Q4  in time for summer holls


If these segments are broken into more books than 4 then that wants adjusting.



Evergreens and We rode For series ought to be in production by then and HA finished and under HTRN to release Easter 2018


Aim is to have  1 evergreen and one YA out each year – standalone Ancestrous needs writing…

And then there are those who say you cannot hit a target you can not see and that looking more than three months ahead is pointless….

I think it is good to plan but foolish to write it in stone.




A Good Week to Give up…

If I had a mind too and I don’t.



The long awaited Broad Band and land line phone were finally set up by BT and so we got our WiFi back at the exact same moment as my new Lap Top declared it’s hard drive had died.

It hadn’t – but that needed several trips to the shop to find that out, meanwhile it was obvious that while the iPhone 6  has been a God send this last few weeks – nothing has backed up via the Warm Patch – all the machinery needed to back up and catch up many weeks worth and I think I made  our own Black Hole over Dorset in the Internet.

It also made me see how vulnerable Scrivener projects are between older machines and operating systems and new machines and soft ware and the fact that some back up  suggestions I had followed only backed up partially which meant had my hard drive had to be replaced I would have been in the mire…

I signed up for One Drive but realised Scrivener didn’t travel well to it so I cancelled that and enlarged my Drop Box facility for a year aprox £106 and if I make a new folder and copy a scriv. project to it and then drag that to the Drop Box it travels just fine – can’t open it on the iPhone as Scrivener isn’t fully mobile – yet.

I have done all I can do right now – given husband home with bad tooth and bad knee and house project hitting frustration it has been a tricky week to keep spirits up.

I have a feeling next week will be all but impossible to maintain my blog schedule – I see Brendan Brushard is partnering with Oprah with a motivational product and that Geoff Goins may be doing his Intentional Blogging course again – I feel I need some ‘Oomph’ in the back ground while I paint the house – I might give them both a go…


I have been typing when I can I still want to finish the current WIP type up quickly as Holly Lisle is firing up to launch her brilliant course How To Revise Your Novel on 8th Dec and I am looking forward to rejoining the group there and  seeing new faces  galore.

So it WOULD have been a good week to give up – but I am NOT going to – I’l just go on slowly and keep scanning the horizon as I inch towards the destination.

What ever it is that YOU are struggling with – keep going slowly- you can only fail if you stop.





Been playing with the the goal setting department on Parrelli Connect again – keeping it low key – system goal to be safe etc (!) and a custom goal to get Bud off the farm twice a week and extended the time on the working through the level 1 on line stuff. Everything here has ground to a halt the last month especially as we tried and failed to get at least my mum back in the house by the 2nd week of Oct. The fact is now at SOME point in the next four weeks that house will be liveable but I still have to paint the entire place from bare plaster up and do soft furniture and furniture etc – haven’t been setting my writing goals and daily word counts on my typing due to having to clear the table for meals now Mum is in 27 with me – I am doing web based promo and blogging and attending learning experiences when the BB allows but my whole ‘goal centric life’ has crashed.
I cannot set goals for the house because they are not mine to control and even with the horse goal I have just set I have to prioritise the needs of the workmen on the house and facilitate them getting in when they need to and despite them being very good I still need to be here at – there has been no stage in this whole project where I could be away from it actually which has been very tiring and hasn’t even guaranteed that jobs haven’t sometimes still had to be done again!
I had a second A4 note book to type Aug – Now which hasn’t been done for one of the Q series  books – I have already moved the deadline on that – I would like to get it typed by new year but it needs undisturbed space to leave it out and me turning up to do it for several hours a day and head space to stay ‘with it’ when I am interrupted as bumping in and out of ‘story mode’ is actually painful. I have to be ready to stop everything and suddenly do something to get us back in the house – what ever it is and when ever an opportunity arises – that has to be priority but the horse goals and writing goals are not going to sit with that very well – horse goals will be weather bound as well – though that frees me to write.

IT may end up being house – write OR ride depending on weather. But from Bud’s POV that isn’t what he needs to be safe out and about…. hard one this am to think through. 🙂 

It IS a bit lighter in the mornings which means working on my fitness by going for a run early when doing hay IS possible without be tripping over  in the dark and that would help everything else  – it just doesn’t appeal! I know once I get back into it  I will get a buzz from it which will make motivation but right now the ‘taking action’ bit is evading me…

Obviously I am a Work In Progress on all fronts today! :0