Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Giving up is so last year

One of the lovely things about February for an overworked worker/mother/writer/blogger/Twitter- addict is the nice amount of ready made topics perfect for the romance writing blog. This is a tried and trusted writing trick; when I worked on a local advertorial magazine our monthly editorial meetings were based on those handy marketing tricks. National bed week? Let’s do a feature on the perfect night’s sleep. National cupcake week? Recipe feature with obligatory tasting. Be nice to nettles week? Hmmnn, maybe not. However, February is a perfect smorgasboard of romance just waiting to be blogged about: Valentine’s Day? Tick. Feb 29th? Tick (not yet but scheduled). Lent. Lent?

Look at those cakes!
Okay, a month of abstaining from all that is good and tasty may not seem like the most romantic of topics but bear with me. In the past I have given up alcohol, cheese (that was hard), chocolate, pizza, ice cream. One particularly memorable and abstemious Lent I did a co-dare with a colleague and we both gave up chocolate, cake, crisps, pastries and biscuit, I lasted all the way to Easter because, as I may have mentioned once or twice, I love a deadline and I always get competitive where there is a challenge. I am not religious, nor do I live in a hunter-gatherer society with an early spring food shortage but I like testing my usual shaky self control.

Swedish apple cake
So, this year? I considered cake after a weekend which included a gluttonous afternoon tea, baking Swedish apple cake (with raspberries), a 60th birthday party with three different and amazing cakes (fruit, passion and chocolate, yum), and a mother-daughter baking session resulting in blueberry and apple muffins *looks ruefully at waistline*. I also considered – and quickly dismissed – wine, cheese and my daughter’s evil suggestion, Twitter.
But then I began to think about behaviours, something different but equally challenging. Maybe I could give up negative thoughts *coughs* or snapping at the daughter and husband? Or, turn it round, make Lent really positive. Exercise every day? Or how about writing every day?

Go on...
Every day. Stephen King of course makes that his number one rule. But there are days, like Tuesdays, when I work till 4, pick up the daughter, walk home, make her dinner, take her to swimming, bring her home, wash and dry her hair, read her a story, eat my dinner, collapse. Not only is there very little time to breathe in a Tuesday but by the time it has ended I am incapable of coherent thought or word. But no excuse. 1000 words a day minimum, even on a Tuesday. Take that WIP.

Right, who’s for a slice of cake?


Morton S Gray said...

I'm glad it isn't just me who tries to fit in too much in a day and rushes from one thing to another - usually child fuelled! I like the idea of a positive lent and may nick the idea.

Good luck with the writing. Can't wait to meet you at Penrith and no doubt with our schedules it will be here sooner than we think! Mx

Julia Broadbooks said...

You can't give up twitter! It's necessary, I swear!