Writing that makes me happy #15

Mary: But how can you understand, when I don’t understand myself. I’ve never understood anything about it, except one day long ago I found I could no longer call my soul my own.

Long Days Journey into Night – Eugene O’Neill

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Today’s reading set up: Long Day’s Journey into Night

blog post LDJIN

Hi everyone,

Oh what a glorious weekend we are having! The sun is shining and I can hear the people on my street enjoying family BBQ’s, gardening and laughing. The sun certainly brings out the best in people and its hard not to be inspired to read when its this lovely!

I’m still steadily working through my Top 30 plays list and on today’s agenda is Long Day’s Journey into Night by Eugene O’Neill. I have to say one of the most remarkable things I have noticed with this play is O’Neill’s writing style, there are so many stage directions, the likes of which would be thrown out by a theatre director today if they caught a glimpse of a play written in this way.

I may have completely by accident left this play outside all night after yesterday’s reading session, it has clearly taken on some of the damp and dried out again, leaving it a tad crispy. Only have myself to blame!

LDJIN BLAHG

Don’t forget to put your sun cream on! (I’m the kind of person who got sunstroke from sitting in the shade on my last holiday).

What are you reading at the moment? How’s your weekend been?

India x

Today I saw the most beautiful flower 

Today I saw the most beautiful flower and it made me take stock once again and think about how I write. I’ve had some success lately with writing half of the play that I’ve been meaning to rewrite for ages, and I’ve been desperately trying to push for another magically productive day where I can finish it, which unfortunately hasn’t been happening.

In a previous post about writer’s block, I mention that there are two different modes: Input Mode and Output Mode. In order to output good content, you have to input all of the things that help you become inspired. As a writer you need to learn what your fuel is, what makes you tick, what gets the creative juices flowing?

We cannot expect our brains to gift us with groundbreaking material if we aren’t kind to it and feed it what it needs.

For me, it’s time in nature, exploring new things or places and reading. I was planning on sitting myself down for the majority of the day stressing about finishing the rest of this play, but then I saw this flower.

June is the perfect time to reflect on your yearly writing goals!

Hi Everyone,

It’s half way through 2017 already! How did that happen?! When time is flying like it seems to be, its often hard to make time for your goals and maintain focus, so I thought I would do a little regroup on my writing goals for 2017 and what I’ve achieved so far to keep me in check.

  1. Read more

In a previous post I talked about the top 30 plays ever written and how I wanted to make it my mission to read them. I’m doing pretty well so far, averaging about one play a month this year, which isn’t great, but it means that I’m steadily working my way through my list. I’ve gotten through 6 plays and 1 book, 5 of those plays are on the list of the top 30.

 

June books read list

So far I’ve read:

Antigone – Sophocles

The Family Reunion – T. S. Eliot

Waiting for Godot – Samuel Beckett

Death of a Salesman – Arthur Miller

The Glass Menagerie – Tennessee Williams

A Street Car Named Desire – Tennessee Williams

The Summer Queen – Elizabeth Chadwick

 

I’m mainly reading in the hour or so before I start work, I’ve found going in a bit earlier means that I’m up for the day and can be productive in the hour I would usually just be asleep. It helps me get into the mind frame to be productive and its a nice way to ease me into my day.

2. Rewrite the play I wrote a year ago

I have finally read, edited and plotted my play! *Internally screams* I have been dragging my feet on this one for a long time, many hours of procrastination have taken place. I wrote this play a year ago and it was my first full length play that I ever wrote, I really liked it but something was missing and its taken me this long to figure out how to tell the story I want to tell.

Girl just wanna have funds plot display

I really struggle with structure, I know what a beginning, middle and end are, but getting the nitty gritty details in a coherent order has always been tough for me. I find it hard to see it all laid out on a computer screen so I often have to print out my scripts every time I adjust it to get to grips with how it works as a whole. I have now discovered that using flash cards for the plot helps me so much! Definitely using this on all my future writing projects!

I also managed to write the first half of this play, just the second half to negotiate and then I can edit, edit, edit! I am so excited to finally see the end of the tunnel with this project.

3. Enter writing competitions

I had a rough idea in my head that I would like to enter 15 writing competitions this year, and so far I have entered 7. I’ve tried to put my film script out there a bit, but also I’ve entered a poem into a local literary competition, a short film competition for a script I wrote specifically for the competition and a few other bits and pieces.

I want to finish writing my play so that I can enter that into competitions.

4. Write a new play (rewriting an old one doesn’t count)

I’ve managed to jot a few new ideas down to look at over the next few months, which is a good start and I’m happy to see some creative inspiration creeping back into my writing.

 

That’s everything that I’ve managed to get done in the past six months and I’m looking forward to the next six months, hopefully I will maintain focus and carry on working towards my goals.

What are your goals for the next six months of the year/what have you gotten up to so far?

India x

 

 

 

Stourhead is lovely even in the rain

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Hey Everyone,

Today’s adventure took me to Stourhead, a national trust property in Somerset which has extensive and beautiful gardens. Unfortunately the weather wasn’t with us today, but it still kept its charm in the rain.

The paths are uneven and stony, which would be the perfect terrain for me to break in my walking boots for Peru when I buy them.

 

 

There were swans with their cygnets and ducks with their ducklings swimming peacefully along the rippling surface of the lake. The atmosphere was more peaceful as there were less people wandering around.

The variety of plants, trees and flowers is outstanding and its lovely to have a place to go to see all of these different varieties together. Stourhead is a great place to follow with the seasons, here are two shots I took of the same tree, one in autumn, one in spring.

 

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And then of course there is an abundance of flowers that line the pathways through the gardens. I want to look into doing more photography, as its a creative outlet that doesn’t have any pressure on it. Writing is creative, but there always seems a pressure there (probably down to my own doing) to be productively creative, not just creative for the sake of it.

 

Getting out for a long walk this weekend and taking pretty pictures has set me up mentally for a productive week. It just goes to show that nature can still be enjoyed in the rain, just remember to bring waterproofs!

India x

 

How I’m preparing for Peru – 4 Months to go

 

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Hi Everyone,

The count down to my Peru trip has begun! It’s official because I’ve got a count down app on my phone, which makes me very excited but also a little nervous.

So here’s how I’m preparing for trekking up to see one of the wonders of the world…

  1. Getting fit!First of all, this is going to be one hell of a challenge and I’m quite nervous about being physically able to do it. I’m in reasonable shape, but could definitely do more to help myself.In January I started a 100 day challenge, which involved me including a lot more walking into my weekly routine. I would try and go every night, but would probably get 4 walks of around 3k in a week. Which was a lot more than usual, so that helped to build up my base level of fitness again.After this 100 day challenge ended I wanted to do something to keep on the fitness hype, so I decided to start running again and its been really nice getting back into it. My job involves me sitting down in an office for 9 hours a day, so coming home and running for a couple of miles helps to destress and also helps towards my goal of climbing Machu Picchu.

    I’ve also got a few hiking maps of my area which I plan to go on and should be fun to explore.
  2. I’m learning Spanish!This is definitely the most fun aspect of my preparation for Peru! I’ve got this app called ‘Duolingo’ and has this cute little green owl as its picture.18870988_10154995943244300_1013683200_n
    I’m really enjoying learning something new and in a really fun way, it asks you to listen, read, write, translate and speak the language you’re trying to learn and apparently I’m now 2% fluent! It’s a long way to go until I can have a full blown conversation, but I’m getting there and that’s the main thing.18927214_10154995890244300_1745257107_o

    It’s got loads of different categories and you’ve got to keep the strength bars full so you don’t forget words. I just love it and I hope I keep it up.

  3. Save.save.save!

    This is the main focus at the moment, I need to pay off the rest of my tour and then I have a few months to save up for spending money and get my hiking boots and equipment. This is the tedious part of booking a trip, as it can be hard to maintain focus over a period of several months, but it’s going to be so worth it.

 

There we have it, my three main preparation points for my trip to Peru. If any of you guys have been to Peru or know any usual travelling/hiking/fitness tips, please throw them my way 🙂

India x