Writing in the new year

Happy 2009!

I hope you spent a wonderful end to your 2008 and that 2009 is looking bright and sparkly.

And what have I been doing in the super fresh 6 days since the beginning of the year?…

hmmm… ok…

(deep breath)

I’m writing a book – BOOM! 

There, I’ve said it. I was wondering how I would come back to my blog in 2009 with only this on my mind. It’s a book for adults and there are no illustrations! Crazy! I know! I am 20,000 words (well, 21,984 to be exact) into my first draft and I love writing it. Perhaps I should be saving it for November but I couldn’t wait. It’s like being able to spend time with my favourite TV show every evening and never having to be sad that the season is going it end. And watch out what you say around me because if you’re even remotely funny or quirky or devilishly handsome, I am going to steal your soul and turn you into some kind of character in my book.

So I feel a little bit like the kind of person who flip-flops from one interest to another with lightening speed – as soon as I say “etsy shop” I’m moving on to “solo exhibition” and as quick as anything I am back to “full time mum, all that other stuff can wait.” and now here I am flirting with “novelist”. I can see how it looks. 

But I think the very interesting thing about all this is that when I took away all the pressure, all the expectations I had of what I should be doing, and said – back in October – “The rest of 2008 is a blank page” I was suddenly left with a big gaping void of empty time with no real object in mind except getting better, nuturing my family and stopping the struggle.  But all along, even right from the start, I had a feeling that it wouldn’t be long before exactly the right thing came along and filled the gap. I kept saying to Phil “I am interested to see what it is I do now I don’t have to do anything in particular.” And sure enough, I spent some time making some dolls for the girls and I pottered around and got better and read lots of books. Lots of books. Good books, trashy books, old books, new releases, books about vampires, books about strippers, books about books. It was the reading of lots of books that lead me to feeling a little like I wanted to be a part of that action. It was reading my teenage diaries and Rachel’s book which reminded me that I had always wanted to be a part of that action. 

Who knows what will happen. Who knows if it’s any good. Will girls in frocks ever read my book? Will I even finish it? Who cares! I am having so much fun. 

So here’s to NOT setting any goals for 2009, and to letting the goals come to you.

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59 Responses

  1. Good Luck Claire. How exciting, and inspiring.2009 is the year of big projects. I am cooking a large secret project over here in the house of Matching Pegs – don’t really know what I am going to fill my blog with while I do though – I don’t want it to fall over. I may have to post lots about the kids’ artworks!

  2. amanda says:

    Claire – Wooohoo!!! So excited to read this news. And hear that you are loving it, most of all. Happy New Year to you and yours! And Cheers to new adventures in 2009! xoxo.

  3. Eliza says:

    That is fantastic news, and I can’t wait to read it. I had an epiphany just like yours, and am doing much the same thing you did last year – sans book 🙂

  4. Lori says:

    congratulations — finding something you’re passionate about is the best, and your attitude toward it is perfect. :^)

  5. Rachel Power says:

    That’s really exciting news! 20,000 words is huge. Triple that and you’ve got a novel on your hands. I feel very proud and humbled to have been part of the inspiration. Look forward to reading it when it’s done…

  6. Paul says:

    But… but Claire! I’m quirky AND funny AND devilishy handsome. I must go and copyright my name and likeness immediately so I can cash in on your imminent fame and wealth when you use me as a character.Good luck!

  7. jen says:

    Write on, sister!

  8. victoria says:

    Well done you, that’s fun news. I did a 2 year writing course in London, for motivation more than anything else, and realised in that time that poetry and short stories are my thing – I struggle with 2500 words, let alone over 20,000! So interested to hear what it’s going to be.Wanna hear a silly secret – I filled in an application for Masterchef – imagine the potential embarassment there!

  9. alice says:

    Wow how exciting! Good luck with it! 🙂

  10. mimi k says:

    Go Claire! And Happy Creative New Year!

  11. Emme says:

    Good luck, Looby-san! Most impressed!!

  12. nancy says:

    yay! i for one would be first in line to put on a frock and read your book in the tall grass– i’m sure it is brilliant. i LOVE your description of how it feels to be writing it– if it feels *that* good, I’m sure it is! and as you say, so much better to enjoy the process and see where it takes you.

  13. Anna says:

    Don’t all of those other things that you are (craft person, artist, shop owner, mother) just add to your experiences and help you be a better writer? I think so. I’m excited to see what story comes out of your incredibly talented brain.And to victoria, Good luck with the Masterchef application!

  14. Heather says:

    Wow! I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog for the past couple of years, but this post brought my out of my lurkdom. It’s so funny because I am doing the same thing.In mid- to late-2008 I was struck by the notion of writing something. A scribble here and there turned into a couple of chapters. As I get to know my characters, they start to draw me in and it’s just like you said – never having to be sad that the season ends. The worst part, though, is when I don’t know where things are going and getting frustrated because I want to know what happens next. 🙂

    Even if nothing ever comes of it, I’m allowing myself to enjoy the process with no pressure. It’s been the best gift I could have given myself. I’ll keep checking in here for motivation to keep me going! Thanks so much for sharing your secret! 🙂

  15. Jackson says:

    Congrats on breaking into the writing world! It’s a fun ride 🙂 Feel free to email if you want any thoughts when it comes time for you to hunt down publication routes!

  16. tatjana says:

    Good for you! Every new idea/ambition leads to something new and helps you grow. My favorite kind of people are the ones who have ideas, curiosity and enthusiasm. I think moms with passions are the best role models for their daughters. As for flip flopping, I quote Frances (little badger girl): “how can you know what I like if you won’t try me?”

  17. Karin says:

    Good for you!

  18. Kirsty says:

    I’ll read it! Three cheers for you Claire.

  19. Fantastic! After all the words of yours that I have read through the years, I am not surprised one bit that you are writing a book… I already know I’m going to love it! How interesting that the removal of goal-setting gave your heart room to breathe and lead you to this adventure. Life is so unpredictable.

  20. ani says:

    for the past year, i have been harboring the fantasy of writing a book. congrats for taking your fantasy to the next level!

  21. Fiona says:

    Good luck! I don’t think I can set myself to one single thing that big!

  22. You go right ahead and do it, Claire. It will be an absolutely wonderful book. I know you can do it. Ggogogogogo!

  23. Frogdancer says:

    Oooo, you’re living the dream!

  24. Karen says:

    Wow! Good for you it sounds really exciting. I have been writing a book for, well quite a while but I love it! It’s so much fun to sit down with your characters and you can take them with you doing mum stuff (as long as you don’t forget paper and pen cause you’ll never remember the good bits.) I thinks It’s a natural thing to do for a creative person. You can paint pictures and make characters much faster writing.I joined a writers ground last year and I should have done it sooner. It’s a really quick way to improve your story better plus your family might get fed up of you making them read it. Good luck, hope it’s on the shelves soon.

  25. justine says:

    you go girl!what an honest post, inspirational love 🙂

  26. theresa says:

    looks like we are both on the same page–literally! Good luck to you; follow your bliss, your heart knows best.;-)

  27. Nadia Lewis says:

    Good luck with the book!

  28. frog says:

    Cool! It’s amazing what can happen when you let go of ‘should’. Have heaps of fun with the writing!

  29. kirsten says:

    How lovely, Claire! I’m sending you vibes of good inspiration and hope this journey into story-telling is both magical and satisfying.

  30. Prue says:

    Weren’t you going to include a botanical artist type? Go ahead and ask all the questions you’ve always wanted to know about botanical artists!

  31. Philippa says:

    Claire, this is wonderful news – when you mentioned your novel last year, I wondered when you would really get into it – so YAY for you! I’m sure it will be fabulous. And if you’re enjoying writing it, it will be a pleasure to read, I’m sure 🙂 Wishing you all the best with it.

  32. Rosie says:

    What a great new year resolution, makes me feel grand already! I was so happy to come back to reading your blog again. Thanks for your funny honesty, made my blue evening bright.

  33. Libby says:

    That’s fantastic, I hope I get to read it one day.Good luck.

  34. chiara says:

    Wow how exciting! Good luck with it!

  35. lynne says:

    Well done you. Very impressed over here 🙂

  36. Alicia P. says:

    You know what’s funny? Way back a million years ago when you were pregnant and you wrote about it, and you wrote about wondering whether this child would cling to your leg in a strong wind (I can’t remember exactly what you said, but the image has stuck with me all this time) I remember thinking right then, “I hope I hope I really hope this girl writes a novel someday.”So amazed by (and proud of — novels are major) you, year after year. xoxo

  37. Luann says:

    Good for you! Glad the pressure’s off and you’re having fun.

  38. Kiddlebug says:

    That is wonderful. Good for you. I love the picture that you included as well. I would like to sit in a field in a fancy dress and read a book too (as long as it is a comfortable fancy dress!)

  39. Jess says:

    Well done for taking the leap Claire! I hope to read it one day! I am flirting with being an Editor – maybe we could help each other out if you need an independent proof-reader?! Serious offer. Well done you!

  40. natascha says:

    Happy New Year! Congratulations for the new book project!

  41. Lori says:

    I SO hear you on the many interests thing. I have trouble focusing for many months on the same type of work. Good for you and your book! I always enjoy your tone in your posts… as well as all your crafty goodness and creativity. How can you not succeed?Lori

  42. Emily says:

    Good on you, Claire! I am trying my hand at writing at the moment too. Good luck!

  43. Jennifer says:

    Branching out can be a wonderful thing! There are so many ways to be creative, and it sounds great that you are exploring writing.

  44. kathreen says:

    yay – congrats – you clever thing – is it a bonnet drama? one of those glorious historic things where women cross stitch while gossiping about men? anyway good luck!and happy new yearKathreen

  45. congrats! and I love new year because we all set up new goals and it changes our lives when we do commit to them!happy new year!!!

  46. Lisa says:

    “So heres to NOT setting any goals for 2009, and to letting the goals come to you.”Thank you for this post. I’m glad I found it. Your post is very similar to how I feel. I’m not sure what I should be doing other than being a mother and wife yet I struggle with it all the time so I know that I need something else. My husband is an artist and author of children’s books and working a full-time creative day job. He is constantly pushing me to do something, create, write, or discover something that is going to help us and our financial situation. I just feel stuck.

    good luck to you and your writing!

  47. Rachel says:

    Wonderful blog, I just discovered it through the bloggie awards, its good to see another Aussie blog so well designed 🙂

  48. Sarah says:

    My cousin has been writing a fantasty novel since a horse riding accident left him in a wheelchair, ruining his dream of becoming an Olympic equestrian athlete.Its always amusing to see the private jokes and references to his real life that end up in his book, for example since the birth of his nephew Alexander a new character named Xander has appeared.I can’t wait to read your finished manuscript!

  49. PAULA says:


  50. Jo says:

    It’s strange but I was thinking along the same lines last night. I was going to write a list of goals to stick to for this year and instead thought, why limit myself? Who knows what will happen, go with the flow and stop feeling guilty about what I *don’t* do.Have a great year. X

  51. Erin says:

    That’s awesome and is how I’m seeing 2009, too. I now have my very own craft room, and the potential is so overwhelming. Sometimes I just like to walk in the craft room, turn on the light and say hello. Can’t wait to see what I’ll produce this year. Or you!

  52. Yippee. Love it.No goals.See what unfolds.(Oooh, did you see that? I’m a poet and I didn’t know it.)

  53. Beauty says:

    Just stumbled upon your blog and had to comment on your post about writing a book.I’m doing the same thing! I’ve also got a little over 20,000 words. I started my book last year and was interrupted by a family crisis.

    My goal is to make a little writing area for myself down in the basement. Not because I have no privacy (I live alone for the first time), it’s more that there are too many distractions upstairs: computer, TV, food, you name it.

    Anyway, wishing you lots of good writing times, and may your muse have mercy on you.

  54. Tiel says:

    it always seems to be that as soon as I say what I am doing or going to do out loud to someone on in blog land to the abyss, I stop doing it. just like that and I’m on to something new. It’s a curse I tell you.good luck with the writing. Not much on TV these days anyway, so you’re not missing out on anything.

  55. Dorothy says:

    Another lurker who is doing the same thing this year! I’m calling 2009 the year of experimentation. I’ve got all kinds of projects on assorted burners, all cooking away (or not) at various temperatures. I love taking the pressure off of picking just one thing! Isn’t it more fun to have a potluck? 🙂 Happy creating!

  56. freya says:

    well done, Claire!good luck and don’t think too far ahead – enjoy the process – no expectations!

  57. kelli ann says:

    good on you! i really love seeing book projects sprout and bloom on some of my best-loved blogs. and the possibility of reading something – something concrete, bound and everything – by the author – something new, something so exciting.

  58. Edwin Pritchard says:

    Hi ClaireI was reading in a How to Blogging book I got and noticed that you had a beautifully constructed blog they said so had a look, it is really nicely done, my daughter own’s a flower store in Winnipeg and doe’s lot’s of wedding’s and would like to start a blog. I have also been wanting to have some place to post some picture’s and some writeup’s as I visit with many people around the world. I have visited with a fellow farmer on the north side of New South Wale’s for 8 year’s now.Just thought I would say hello, I live 90 km SW of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. It is -30C tonite and wind chill of -40C so playing on the computor and staying warm!!!Have a good oneEdwin

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