13th March 2013

The journey forwards

DSCN1884It’s been a rather frantic few weeks for me as I now have numerous jobs and have, to term a well-known phrase, not always been able to see the wood for the trees.  There has been little time to write lately, and much as I love my ‘other’ jobs, all of which are wordy to some extent, and many of which are writing related, I do become a bit of a grumpy, grouchy old bear when I can’t actually write.  I begin to stomp around and rub at my eyes with my paws… I mean, hands.

The other day, I was driving to one of my teaching jobs, a lovely drive through the countryside, fast roads, lots of crows overhead and very often a kestrel or buzzard about, when I suddenly became aware of how much I looked in my rear view mirror and was conscious of the car behind, and how often that spoiled my journey.   I made a conscious effort not to do so and to focus on the winding road ahead and the other cars dotted at intervals, some creeping up the hill, some in the dip, some bending at the top.  For a few moments I felt overwhelmed with a complete sense of joy, that feeling you get when you accept where you are and look with an almost childlike sense of anticipation towards the future.

It occurred to me then, how much that journey paralleled my writing.  It is easy to get distracted from our purpose by the many faces of life, to become frustrated by rejections, cross at never having quite enough time to explore this idea… to edit this book… to finish this project, and to become absorbed with looking back at what we didn’t do and didn’t achieve.  But stomping around and being a grouch doesn’t help, does it?  And focussing on the annoying turnip on your bumper just hinders progress.

So, I decided, it is time to look forwards, to dust off the frustration of the past few weeks, to put my foot down and take those windy roads with my music playing loud and the windows down, to anticipate good things and to make sure good things happen…

So, as if by magic, I have a couple of things to report –
– I am part of a secret project *Shh!* (more to follow very soon) and am really excited about it.
– Myself and my co-writer have decided to self-publish ‘The Story Maker’ – I’ve never self-published before so this is a bit of an adventure!
– I am in the process of setting up a new facebook page for ‘The Story Maker’
– I am going to recruit someone to help design my own writerly bookmarks to take into schools etc.

I am beginning to enjoy this writing journey once more and I hope all you writers out there are too.  Crank that music up and enjoy the ride, even if it’s a bumpy one!

About Abi Burlingham

I write children's books and paint pictures inspired by nature, animals, trees etc, mostly in acrylics. I am a crisp addict.
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16 Responses to 13th March 2013

  1. Teresa says:

    Hi Abi
    Lovely post that struck a chord with me this morning. I too, like you have had a frustrating couple of months. Everything seemed to conspire against me and writing. I know procrastination can play its part but I’ve been feeling like a bear too.( Perhaps I could live in the cave next door to you.)
    I’ve decided to self publish ‘Love, Suzi x.’ I’ve got the cover designed ( now just have to choose between the final two) and am having the manuscript edited.I’ve been doing a lot of research on self publishing and asking around for advice. If there’s anything I could help with please shout.If I don’t know the answer, I probably know someone who does.
    Best of luck with everything… you’re right. It’s easy to lose sight and be distracted. Writing IS a journey and those of us in for the long haul must persevere to make it to the ‘Emerald City.’
    Thanks for making me open the windows and crank up the music.
    Teresa x

    • Hi Teresa! Aw thanks for that – it’s always good to know you’re not alone isn’t it? Yes, I would love you as a ‘cave neighbour’ – we can sup wine together in the evenings and stomp our feet a tad! I will definitely shout re the self-publishing if I get in a tizzy. Really good luck with ‘Love, Suzi x’ xx

  2. Jo Carroll says:

    Ah, those journeys – isn’t it wonderful, never knowing what’s lurking round the next corner.

    And don’t forget to shout when you can let your secret out!

  3. Martin Day says:


    You and your secret projects, eh?

    I published The Animal Parables with Createspace, which I decided was a better bet than Lulu. So I have some experience here. I also published for Kindle too. Both exercises were fiddly so I would be very happy to pass on some lessons learnt if you need them. But I think that the biggest problem with self-publishing is making yourself heard amongst the tens of thousands of other authors who are shouting for attention. After all, if you take out the publisher you have to do the work that they would (or should do) yourself. I found John Locke’s little ebook quite useful in this respect – you might too : http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0056BMK6K.

    • Brilliant! Thanks for that, Martin and yes, you are quite right, it is easy to get lost amongst the other writers out there… then again, that can also be the case if you have a publisher. I shall take a look at that book – thanks for that! 😉

  4. Jenny Alexander says:

    Enjoying the journey – oh yeah! Once again, Abi, we’re blogging on the same theme this week 🙂

  5. Emma Pass says:

    Lovely and timely post, Abi. Wishing you the very best of luck with The Story Maker! And a secret project, eh? Whatever could THAT be…? *strokes chin* 😉

  6. Hahaha! Strokes chin indeed 😀 Thanks, Em 😉 x

  7. Fantastic! All good things are happening. The sun is returning, longer days, and creativity abounds!

  8. It makes a huge difference to stop looking behind (and too far ahead) and just enjoy the ride…enjoy yours!
    And I’m really looking forward to reading ‘The Story Maker’…exciting times Abi!

  9. Nadine says:

    I feel you on frustrations and distractions, and can relate. But you always bounce back. 🙂

    Wishing you all the very best with your projects, especially the self-publishing venture. There are tons of available resources to guide you. You can check out Joanna Penn’s excellent site (The Creative Penn). She started out self-publishing before landing a deal with a traditional publisher.

    Here’s to great success! 🙂

  10. Hi Nadine, Oh thanks for that. I’ll check that out. It is a bit of a minefield. My co-writer is on a ‘self-publishing’ course soon so hopefully that will help! Many thanks x

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