Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Giveaway Winners Announced, General Update, and How Writing Promotes Positivity

Sorry for the long-winded title. There's a lot I want to say! Never got round to posting last week, which I apologise for, but I do now have some good news which I'll share with you in a minute.

First, though, it's time to announce the winners of my first ever giveaway! Thanks very much to everyone who entered. I put the names into a virtual hat at random.org and out came: C.B. WentworthJulie Dao and Tasha Seegmiller. Congratulations to the three of you! Julie chose a blog interview as her prize, so look out for that coming soon - another first for me.

So, onto a bit of an update. You may remember me posting a couple of weeks ago about my struggles in finding employment. Well, I've had a few interviews here and there and some near misses. Went up for a 9-5 office job and was one of 10 selected for interview out of 167 applicants who took a preliminary test, but it went to someone else: close but no cigar. However, I'm now pleased to say that I've got a job as a care worker in a centre for adults with learning disabilities. Only part-time, but honestly, that suits me better; once the childcare costs were factored in with the full-time gig, it wouldn't have been a lot of difference. And I'll still get time to write during the day. I've got to wait for the disclosure check to come back to say I'm OK to work there, but I'm relieved to have something sorted out!

Next, WIP progress. I'm still on track to finish my first draft by the end of June (at 58K words now and aiming for 80K). I'd started getting up at 4am to write on days I had interviews, and thought I'd better get in the habit of it in case I had to work full-time, but thankfully this won't be the case! I'd also like to thank everyone who offered to be a CP for this project. I just hope it'll make sense... I've been pantsing this story for a long time, which has been exhilarating although sometimes frustrating, and it's just pure adrenalin pushing me towards the end now. I've been trying to come up with solutions to plot holes in between times and drawing a blank, and it's only when sitting down bashing the keys that they come to me. Anyone else experience this?

And finally, onto the reflective portion of this post. When I was being turned down for jobs, it reminded me of the last time I was being rejected a year ago when I was querying my first job. I wish I'd been involved in this blogosphere then, because I wouldn't have felt so bad about the rejections, and I know for sure I would have met some amazing people who might have shown me where the book was going wrong. However, even I knew that most people don't make it on their first book, and I thought I could do better, so I moved on.

I'm sure that many people have a perception of writers as a terribly depressive, angst-ridden bunch, and I do feel like that some of the time, but on the whole, writing has taught me to see the upside of any situation. I mean, think about it: if we really sat down to consider the odds against ever making a decent living out of this, we wouldn't get up in the morning, and a straitjacket and padded white cell would probably be in order.    

If the alternative is gibbering insanity, then we have no choice but to keep going, and every 100 words written or blog post announcing that someone has secured an agent is a victory to be celebrated. And this can extend to other areas of life as well. I tried to stay as positive as possible during my job search, and I think it paid off.

Do you think writing promotes positivity?


Kyra Lennon said...

So happy you've found a job! That must be an enormous weight off your shoulders!

I definitely think writing promotes positivity, especially if you don't make it a solitary thing. :D

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Congrats on the job!

I don't know that I would say writing promotes positivity - I find it more of an up-and-down kind of thing, high highs and low lows. But that might just be me. :) I do find it challenging and absorbing and essential. :)

Anonymous said...

Congrats on finding a job, Nick. :)

Like Madeline, I can't say writing promotes positivity either. I am constantly asking myself why I torture myself this way when I could just do something else. Then I'll read a smashing good book (or blog post) that's almost life-changing, and it inspires me to do the same. I think writing builds up my endurance and patience, but positivity? *shakes head* I just don't know.

Elise Fallson said...

Awesome news! A part time job is perfect, you get time for your family and wip and save on childcare. I'm so excited for you. :D I'm glad writing has made you see the brighter things in life. I don't know if I can say the same for myself, I tend to be terribly pessimistic, but I know that about myself and I try to work on that. Chocolate helps. (:

Morgan said...

Love this, Nick. I agree with the "upside down" perception. Though sometimes I wouldn't mind being shipped off into a padded room all to myself ;)

And it's true that we have no choice but to keep going... Very inspiring :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Congratulations to the winners!
Glad you have a job. Sounds like it fits perfectly with your schedule.
A negative attitude doesn't do anyone any good. I would say I am more positive since getting involved with others online. Think it also has to do with the fact that when we help others and cheer them on, our problems seem to diminish.

Julie Dao said...

Congrats on finding your job!! Excellent! It sounds like a very rewarding position, too. You have a lot of discipline to get up so early to write, but sometimes that's what it takes to get words on the page. I definitely think writing promotes positivity, because if you're not positive in this business, you would go insane, IMO. Anyway, looking forward to the blog interview! It'll be a first for me, too!

Shell Flower said...

Yay that you found a job. Funny how looking for work feels like querying. I've found that after going a round or two of querying, sending out job applications is a piece of cake. Also, the rejection on a job hurts way less than a rejected novel (IMO).
Regarding your writing question, it sounds like you are a true panster if you have to be writing to work out what is going on in your novel. I am like that, too, most of the time. Try bringing a notebook to work and write the next scene on your break.

Trisha said...

Well done on getting the job!! Sounds like it will work well for you, being part-time!

And yeah, I think writing promotes positivity but only 'cause I'd be miserable if I wasn't writing.

Chuck said...

Looking forward to the blog interview...I am sure you will be great. Cudos for landing a job that you care about...so many people just settle.

Nick Wilford said...

Kyra - Doing it on your own is tough. I'm glad to have all you because I know zero writers in real life!

Madeline - Oh yeah, I do have big lows too. But I do find writing equates to looking at things in new ways and to me that means thinking positively.

Linda - I know what you mean. Hopefully though, the rewards are big for going through all that heartache, even if it doesn't go further than the satisfaction of producing something you're really proud of.

Elise - I think part of it is there a lot of things I don't understand in life or which are depressing, and writing helps me make sense of them. Can't beat it as an outlet for expression!

Morgan - Glad I inspired you. Only problem is, they probably don't let you have a pen or any writing materials in those rooms in case you damage yourself with them!

Alex - I agree. Your problems get put into perspective too when you realise others are going through the same thing, or have worse to deal with.

Julie - Thanks, I hope I'll enjoy the job. I've got personal experience to bring to bear on it in caring for my stepson.

If you got too downbeat and took every setback to heart, it would definitely be very hard to keep going!

Shell - Oh yeah, being turned down for a job wasn't as big a deal as getting rejections from agents. It just reminded me how I felt at the time. I'm enjoying the pantsing. Thanks for the tip on working out scenes, it might make getting to the end a bit quicker!

Trisha - Thanks. You hit the nail on the head! I get grouchy if I go more than a couple of weeks without it.

Chuck - Thanks. I need to get cracking on the interview. I think the job will be very fulfilling!

S.P. Bowers said...

Congrats on the job! Overall I think writing does promote positivity. It keeps me sane and happy. There are a few descents into madness and depression when you've read your story one too many times or can't find an agent, but overall the whole process makes us stronger. And that strength transfers into positive determination.

T. Powell Coltrin said...

Nick, Yay on the job. And good job on your WIP progress.

I'm not trying to generalize but I think writers are a special breed (cool and groovy of course) with moody highs and lows or is that just me? I'm not sure my writing promotes positivity but it helps me get my demons out of my mind and on paper. :)


Anonymous said...

Congrats! on the new job! ANd I do believe writing promotes positiveness. It makes me happy and keeps me off the streets and out of trouble.

Andrea Teagan said...

Hi Nick,
Thank you for stopping by my blog. A big congrats on finding a job!! I know how hard it can be, and how depressing it can get, that is great news. I agree that writing can help one see the upside of things. Have you ever read or seen The Power of Myth? By Joseph Campbell. It talks about that very thing. Stories are about how a person overcomes and finds meaning in their struggles, it is a reflection of our own lives and dreams and it is very theraputic to write! I can't do joe campbell justice, he goes into much deeper stuff than that. All I can say is that it is life changing.

Best wishes to you!


nutschell said...

Congrats on finding work! You make great points here. I do think writing promotes positivity--i mean we throw tons of obstacles at our characters, and then eventually have to find a way around them!

Tasha Seegmiller said...

First, that job sounds really intriguing. I hope you have an incredible experience.

Second, YAY!!! I'm so excited. Thank you so much.

Third, I think that the arts teach a sort of perseverance and ability to rely on the big picture instead of the little set backs. Patience tends to lend itself to positive outlooks, and increase the awareness that there are lots of processes in life.

Unknown said...

That's a lot of great news! Congrats on the job, and for finding one that allows for flexible writing time. That's exciting about finishing a draft by the end of the month. I was trying to do that too, but I've been falling behind. I think blogging breeds positivity. There's so much support! :)

Weaver said...

I think people who have been through what we're going through helps foster positivity. Congrats on the job. Something is better than nothing and if it gives you more time to write ...

C.B. Wentworth said...

Congratulations on your new job! :-)

I truly believe writing promotes positivity because it is creative outlet. Any time we find a way to express ourselves it creates a release. Instead of bottling everything up inside there's a place for emotions and thoughts to go.

Anonymous said...

Writing fills me up. When it is going well, I am beyond happy. It definitely promotes positivity. When it is not flowing, I'm fueled to figure it out. And then positivity abounds once more!

Leigh Covington said...

Nick, you're awesome! And this is amazing! Congrats on the job! Sounds like a wonderful thing to be able to do and even better when it still allows you time to write! Wahoo!!

Writing can definitely promote positivity! I know I like it!

And congrats to the winners!

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

Congrats to the winners!!
Congrats for your part time job!!
Yes, I do believe writing promotes positivity--for your reasons, and it keeps me sane despite the insanity.

Martin Willoughby said...

I'm not sure that writing itself promotes positivity, but the writing community sure does. We're brilliant like that.

Nick Wilford said...

S.P. - It's character building, certainly, trying to get an agent!

Teresa - I'm not sure if writers are a special breed but it's definitely good to have a place to resolve all the things that preoccupy you.

Stephen - Yes, there are a lot worse things I could be doing!

Andrea - I've not heard of that book, but you have me intrigued. Thanks for the tip!

Nutschell - That's a good point about manouevring through the character's struggles. I suppose we could look at our own life the same.

Tasha - Thanks, I'm sure I will really enjoy the job. Still waiting on a start date for it.

You make a good point! Writing does help us look at the big picture in life.

Michael - Good luck with your draft! I'm on track but only just (give or take 500 words). I'm aiming to type the end on June 28th, the day the kids get out of school and routines will shift again!

Donna - Thanks! Yeah, it's the feeling of not being alone, definitely.

C.B. - Thanks. I think we all need a bit of release sometimes!

Rebecca - I'm glad you're so positive!

Leigh - Thanks very much! And of course I'll still have my munchkin during the day too. She liked the childminder we went to see but I'd rather she was with me!

Lynda - Thanks! Yes, I definitely need it to keep me sane (lots of female hormones in this house). :P

Martin - It's much more encouraging when you know there are people out there who are just the same.

Nicole said...

Fanatastic news! Lots of good updates in this post. I think writing is a way to hold onto the imagination of our childhood...which makes it a very positive thing!

Tara Tyler said...

definitely keep writing! no matter what!

Nick Wilford said...

Nicole - That's a great way to look at it. Thanks!

Tara - Absolutely!