My Morning Pages

Pretty much every day I write a few hundred words to exercise the writing muscles, before getting down to the real work of the day. I may talk about the writing process, or what I'm reading, or just what's going on in my life at that particular moment.


Disappointingly the electric pruning shears are not going to arrive until tomorrow, despite being ordered via Amazon Prime. Still, it is raining today, so I probably wouldn’t have used them today anyway.

I’ve been reading “Musings from the Writer’s Desk” by Elizabeth Bailey. It’s a collection of blog postings about writing, with some useful stuff in it. She co-wrote (or even wrote?) the Mark Dawson “Writing a Page Turner” pamphlet, so is partly responsible for my knock-back on Desperate Measures. I’ll forgive her though, as she has some good advice about getting past that “everything I do is crap” phase. The secret is editing and rewriting until it’s not quite so crap.

I spent some time designing the book cover last night, and added the tag line “A Jonathan Blake novel”, confirming that there will be more to come.

I didn’t manage to get up at 7:30 this morning. I had a restless night (does lack of alcohol have a part to play?) and was thinking I might turn off the alarm, but as it transpired the Fitbit alarm didn’t wake me. Don’t know if I slept through it or it just didn’t function. I was up by 8:45 in the event. I had a really horrible dream, most of which has deserted me know, but I do remember waking with a start (I think I even called out) when I though someone was about to attack me.

I have been thinking about my Author website, and the blog. I’m tempted to publish my Morning Pages writings verbatim, whether they are writing related or not. I'm going to go with it and see where it leads.


Feeling a bit demoralised about the novel. Having read Mark Dawson’s advice about removing back story, I did just that, taking out all of the SAS stuff. That was 2,200 some words gone, and some bits I quite like (I know, I know, kill your darlings). Is it really that bad to have some flashbacks? It has stalled my editing a bit, and I’m in two minds whether to put it back in, but as a prologue, perhaps. If not, I need to think about adding in some new threads to the story to beef up word count.

On another subject entirely, Emma has again savaged the garden (the Wasteland comes to mind) by pruning all the trees and shrubs on the right of the garden back to their roots, almost. She assures me it’ll all spring back to life at some point. I spent ages getting rid of the last lot of debris earlier in the week, and now there is twice as much to get rid of (it completely filled the garden recycling bin as it is). To save my aching arm joints I’ve ordered an electric pruner from Amazon, which will, I hope, let me cut the branches into small pieces for the bin far more easily than the large manual secateurs I used last time.

Must nip off to check if the oven is hot enough to start dinner. Ever since we had the smart meter installed we are all getting more aware of electricity usage, and the oven is a big user, so shouldn’t keep it going needlessly.

I’m still on a mission to get up every morning at 7:30 so that I have more hours in the day. It seems ridiculous that I have no job but am finding it difficult to make time for everything I want to do. Chores make up some of it, and there is the pissing around surfing, but I haven’t played a game for over a week, and yet I still don’t have enough time for the writing. Or the jobs around the house like clearing the conservatory, which I want to do by the end of this week. Tomorrow will be about chopping up the pruned branches though, assuming the electric pruner gets here early enough to be able to charge it up (3 hours?) while it’s still light, and provided the weather holds out okay.


Spent the last two or three hours trying to sort out issues with the Sky Yahoo! Mail account. Turns out it is a global issue that they are still working on. Trouble is in the mean time I’ve deleted and recreated the account and things are a bit messy now. Bum.

Just collected my 15 year old daughter from work. She said that her friend who works there got shouted at by the Chef, who is a nasty piece of work. As both of them are Turkish, he was ranting at her in that language, probably so the others couldn’t understand what he was saying. Apparently he said he was going to fuck her mother - charming.

I finished The Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell this morning and put it down with some reluctance. I have enjoyed living in that world for the past few days and have felt part of their book shop experience somehow. Definitely would like to visit Wigtown some day.

Just read Mark Dawson’s “Writing A Page Turner”. A very short book on the 5 editing maxims for creating a book someone would want to keep reading. Some useful tips, though nothing I didn’t really know. It has made me rethink my flashback chapters, though. I’m in two minds, but will probably end up incorporating them into the main body somehow. I’m likely to lose word count though, which is a pain. It has confirmed to me that there is still way too much telling in Desperate Measures (I knew it anyway) and that some serious editing needs to be done. I’m beginning to realise that the editing process can take a long as writing the book in the first place.

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