Tuesday, 6 February 2018


With only a few days to go, I begin to wonder what should be the subject of this month’s blog. I’ve been distracted for a while over our pending house move. We have sold and, this week, have finished negotiating on the house we want to buy. But is it the right house? Will the vendors change their minds and pull out? Will the surveyor find something terminally wrong with it? Will our buyers change their minds? I like them enormously and trust them to follow through on their word, but we’ve been let down before.

How many ways can a house-move go wrong?

You might be finding me just a tad pessimistic, but we have had more than our fair share of problems in recent months. Even the estate agent who is trying to sell us the house of our choice has been economical with the truth as well as telling us glaring inaccuracies about both house and vendor. I’m rapidly losing faith in human nature and it has me wondering if we are destined never to move. But move we must and so we plough on and I try to keep a semblance of order around me, this blog being part of that order.

Usually, a few days before my blog is due I begin to wonder what to write. Occasionally, there is an idea drifting around my head. Far more often, I don’t have the slightest notion what to write. My family has often asked me why I keep going and for a while I didn’t have an answer. I wrote the blog because I said I would, simple as that. It was only today that I realised why this blog is important and why I would urge any writer to consider one.

I have a manuscript with my agent at the moment. Almost as soon as I sent if off, a new idea came to me. I’ve started my new story and, amid all the house problems, I promised myself to write a chapter each day and see where it takes me. I kept that up for three whole days.

Usually I’m good at self-imposed deadlines, but with so much going on I’ve fallen by the wayside. I tell myself that if the story is good enough it will stay in my head for a year or two. In a few months I might be in my new house and then I might be able to concentrate on writing. In the meantime, I have to survive.

But how am I surviving? If I’m not writing down my ideas, clearly I’m not surviving well, and it occurred to me that not so many minutes ago I had absolutely no idea what to write for this blog. Now I have nearly four hundred words and that, my friends, is, for me, the point of writing a monthly blog.

Every four weeks I must sit down and write. It can be any topic (as long as it is related to writing or books), but it must be written and it must be written well enough to post and it must be on time.

It’s the discipline. Sitting here, finding the time to write my blog makes me realise that there are many jobs on my to-do list that won’t affect the price of eggs if I don’t get them done until tomorrow.

This is such a relief.

As soon as I finish writing this month’s offering, I will go back and read chapters one to three. Then I shall write chapter four. It might not be well written, but that doesn’t matter at this stage. At least not to me. It’s the ideas that matter. I must write them down. I can embellish and edit for months to come until I have something worthwhile. It’s the way I work.

And so, if you’ll excuse me I must get a move on. I’ve got a chapter to write.


catdownunder said...

I sit down and write something on my personal blog every morning. There are times when I don't want to do this and when I have no idea what I am going to write about or what I want to say even if I do know. Somehow I have managed to do it. Even if I don't get anything else written it means I get some writing done. I tell myself that's important but, sometimes, I do wonder it is worth worrying about.

Moira Butterfield said...

You're absolutely right, Val. The discipline needed for writing really counts, especially in the face of life's distractions, and doing a blog is a great reminder of that. It also connects us to each other, which is a precious thing. Good luck with your new idea!

Val Tyler said...

Thank you.

Lynne Benton said...

Great blog, Val - we do sometimes need reminding why we write them, and your post does that job very well. Good luck with the house move and the book!

Penny Dolan said...

It's easy to lose faith in your work and writing during troubled times, so I'm very glad that the discipline of creating a post each month helps to nudge you onward.
Wishing you good luck with the imminent house move.