Mind the Gap…

To those of you who were waiting for my blog to be updated (all two of you)

Please accept my most abject apologies. Currently, I’m madly racing to finish the last four chapters of BRIGHT AS THE EYES OF YOU (and somehow managing to write the last chapter instead of the one I’m actually up to) so service of this blog will be temporarily suspended until late next week.

I’m on a deadline to finish this puppy and do first round edits before I send it off to *gasp* an actual editor, so I’m ignoring Mr.G as well, if that makes you all feel any better…

In the meantime, well…read BatEoY. 

Yours feverishly,



Some Deliciously Disturbing Singing

I’m particularly fond of the Johnny Depp version of Sweeny Todd. Not only are the words terrifyingly insane and strangely beautiful, but the music is whimsically, intricately good. Stephen Sondheim is one of my favourite composers. Sweeny Todd, in particular, is gruesome, mad, and hilarious all at once, the cleverness of the lyrics wrapped in a beautifully haunting series of melodies and harmonies.

In short, I never thought I would find anything so deliciously disturbing as Sweeny Todd.

And then Rebekah Hendrian (who, BTW, is also responsible for my new-found love of B.A.P.) posted this video on Twitter. Of course I watched it.

Disturbing? Yes.

Delicious? HECK to the yes.

I think this may be the first time I’ve ever fallen in love with a Voice. And what a voice! I haven’t heard such quality of tone since listening to Ivan Rebroff.

Through the first video, I found the second song (part of the same musical).

These videos are my new Favourite Things, which means I will watch them over and over and over again. And when I finally manage to chivvy Mr.G over to Korea, I want to see this musical– or at least Hong Kwang-Ho in whatever musical he happens to be in. Because I want to hear that voice live.

And now I live in hope that someday there will be a soundtrack of these guys doing this musical, so I can listen to it on repeat.

In the mean-time, I have my soundtrack of Sweeny Todd…

These are a Few of My Favourite Things: FLOWER BOYS NEXT DOOR

Welcome to THESE ARE A FEW OF MY FAVOURITE THINGS, the KDrama edition!

Screenshot (45)


I’ll say right now that FLOWER BOYS NEXT DOOR contains pretty much everything I love about KDrama, and most things I love about the best T.V. shows–and, in fact, story-telling as a whole–within its bright little bubble.


The description of this KDrama interested me straight away (a free-lance editor with agoraphobia is set upon by a boy-puppy type hero and chivvied out of her comfort zone? yes please!) and when I learned that the female MC was played by Park Shin-hye, it was a no-brainer.

The Players

Go Dok-mi (Park Shin-hye)


I love Park Shin-hye. I love the fact that she’s not horrendously, unhealthily skinny. I love that she’s always adorable. I love watching her act. I’ve also found out that she has a gorgeous singing voice (she’s actually part of the soundtrack for Flower Boys Next Door), so there’s that too.

It’s no surprise, therefore, that I absolutely adored her character in this. Go Dok-mi is a freelance editor who, as a schoolgirl, was so much bullied by both enemies and (supposed) friends, that she almost tried to kill herself, and ended up as an agoraphobic shut-in. From her small apartment, she watches the world outside (and particularly the guy next door, with whom she has fallen in love) with her bright yellow binoculars.


I love Go Dok-mi’s frugal cost-saving measures. I love her infrequent, nervous trips Outside, when she can’t put them off any longer. I love the fact that although she doesn’t care for herself, she has an incredibly caring nature, and will always do the kind thing for others. I love her quiet, undemanding, unrequited love for the man next door. I love her humble self-knowledge.

One of my favourite Dok-mi moments? When, after seeing her through 5 or 6 episodes where she won’t put the heater on to save electricity costs, wearing multiple layers to keep warm, and sleeping with hot water bottles (which she uses, when cold, to flush the toilet)– when Enrique says thoughtlessly upon entering her apartment “Oh! So cold!” we see her turn on the heater immediately. It’s the trademark of this beautifully written drama to place such quiet, effective moments in the most unexpected places.

My other favourite moment is when she tells Jin-Rak: “You had it wrong the whole time. I’m not the princess. I’m the witch who locked her in.”

Enrique Geum (Yoon Shi-yoon)


Okay, this was only the second KDrama I watched (after something like 10 KDramas) where I didn’t get 2nd Lead Syndrome. That should tell you something about how delightful Enrique was.

How to describe Enrique? Well, he’s a world famous games designer, but the first word that springs to mind is puppy. This little puppy of a hero is warm, and kind, and enthusiastic. He doesn’t give up, he’s teachable, and he has a heart that is just as kind as Dok-mi’s. His unrelenting bouncing around Dok-mi’s seemingly impenetrable facade of untouchability is just delightful to watch–as delightful, in fact, as watching him fall in love with her all unknowingly, and her falling in love with him with barely greater knowledge.

As much as I love each character separately, I love them as a couple even more. I don’t know if there’s an actual age difference between them, but Enrique’s bouncing youthfulness combined with Dok-mi’s decidedly womanly dignity is a truly gorgeous dynamic. (Guys, he calls her AhjummaAhjumma!) And it’s not just his relationship with Dok-mi that is heart-warming: his relationship with Jin-rak is also a huge highlight of the drama.


Oh Jin-rak (Kim Ji-hun)


Oh Jin-rak. Some of the best comic moments in this drama come from Oh Jin-rak. He’s been in love with Go Dok-mi ever since he first saw her at their shared apartment building.

Remember I said that I didn’t get 2nd Lead Syndrome with this drama? I didn’t, but that’s not because Oh Jin-rak, the 2nd boy of Flower Boys Next Door, wasn’t an awesome character.

He totally was.


For starters, he’s a writer. How could I not love him? Not only was he a writer, but the very nature of this drama (wherein Jin-rak is part of a team who write a webtoon based on their life) means that the fourth wall is constantly being broached in the most delicate and delicious manner. Jin-rak is the source of most of this assault on the fourth wall–the rest coming from the Editor–and he is one of the most self-aware characters I’ve had the joy of watching. Plus, he’s a Facilitator, and if you’ve read my posts on KDrama, you know how much I love Facilitators.

Despite that, I was very happy to see him not end up with the girl. (Oh, yeah, SPOILERS).


A big joy for me in the character of Jin-rak was how much we got to see of his personal growth and shenanigans. This was followed closely by the joy in the relationships grown between him and Enrique, and the even sweeter seonbae/hubae, hyung/dongsang relationship between him and Oh Dong-hoon. It’s so rare for a western show to focus on brotherly love that it was a constant refreshment.

Oh Dong-hoon (Go Kyung-pyo)


This kid is another actor I’ve loved in everything I’ve seen him in. As Oh Dong-hoon, he plays an impoverished kid who is bunking with Jin-rak while co-writing a webtoon with him. Their hyung/dongsang relationship is sweet and hilarious to watch, and it’s not Jin-rak alone who grows over the course of the drama.

Even sweeter is the budding (yet entirely practical) romance between Dong-hoon and the Editor. I loved seeing those two together.


Editor (Kim Seul-Gi)


I’m quickly gaining new favourite actors, because Kim Seul-Gi is sheerly hilarious. All the quiet incursions of the fourth wall that Jin-rak isn’t responsible for, the Editor is, and as I’ve said before, her relationship with Dong-hoon is just perfect.

The Editor is (obviously) the editor of Jin-rak and Dong-hoon’s webtoon. She gets four hours of sleep per night, and therefore spends the remainder of her time with the cutest panda eyes I’ve seen, and a raging case of bipolar disorder that is even cuter than her panda eyes.

OBVIOUSLY she’s a favourite character.

Cha Do-Hwi (Park Soo-jin)


Blurk. Cha Do-Hwi is your requisite bad guy gal who used to be a friend of Dok-mi’s in school, and then both betrayed and bullied her to the point of suicide because Cha Do-Hwi fell in love with the teacher who seemed to be falling in love with Dok-mi.

My biggest fear was that Jin-rak would fall in love with her, because I really hated her.

She’s unpleasant and highly toxic, and never actually gets to the point of admitting total fault. What I like about this character is, that although you never see her change, exactly–well, you never see her change. And that was oddly satisfying. Because although Dok-mi was able to grow beyond her boundaries, by the end of the drama you could see that Cha Do-Hwi would never change, and that, to my justice-loving mind, was punishment enough.

Also, I hated her clothes.

Watanabe (Mizuta Kouki)


This kid was basically there to look pretty and be a plot device, though he was a pleasant one and rounded out the group nicely. Watanabe is a Japanese boy who is cooking his way around the world. There’s not too much to say about him, but he fit in with the whole drama beautifully, and he’s a constant thread through it.

The Plot

Well, I’ve already really told you most of the important stuff. There’s other stuff going on, of course: the residents picketing their apartment for better terms, the mystery of who really owns the apartment building, the packing up and leaving of Dok-mi’s one-sided love from the apartment across the road, Enrique’s first love– not to mention a totally sweet, budding romance between one of the older, female residents of the apartment building and the elderly security guard.


Then there are the mobster-looking types who are following Jin-rak around, and the scurrilous goings on within Enrique’s gaming fandom…

The Writing–oh my goodness, the WRITING!

I don’t remember the last time I actually squealed in glee while watching a movie or tv show. With Flower Boys Next Door, I was doing it constantly.

The metaphors, guys! The subtle, beautiful metaphors, in both dialogue and situation.

The constant, delicate encroachments upon the fourth wall.

The downright lovely, delightful characters!

I’m actually so overcome with how amazing the writing is that I have almost no words to describe it, and after watching Flower Boys Next Door I just sat in my chair saying to Mr.G: “I will never be able to write like that!”

I loved the comedy. I loved the way they played with viewer expectations, and the way they subverted those expectations.  Oh my goodness, I LOVED how they directed and obscured the narrative, and then tore the rug out from under my feet in the most hilarious and heartwarming ways!


You’ll see what I mean when you get to this part. And then, like me, you will laugh until you cry at what they’ve done with your expectations.

*Breathe, WR, Breathe*

Okay, you can probably tell I loved this one to bits (it’s one of my top 4 KDramas that I can rewatch over and over again) so go out and watch it already before this blog post runs beyond its already ridiculous word count as I try to convince you.

The best part? I get to watch it over and over, and it’s STUDY, GUYS, because I’m learning Korean.




A Random Win! Stuff! Post

Okay, so a couple of cool giveaways have appeared on my interweb radar lately (well, one appeared, the other one is one I’m actually PART of) that I want to share. There’s one for Readers, and one for Writers. Yay! Something for everyone!

For Readers:


You can win paperbacks from yours truly (MASQUE & SPINDLE), Michael Miller (THE DRAGON’S BLADE), and Debbie Cassidy (FOREST OF DEMONS & HAWTHORNE).

For Writers:

Win  $3000 worth of Pro Book Services with Reedsy. It’s relatively painless to enter, and you can bet I entered this one licketty split (as my old friend Brer Rabbit always says). Seriously, the chance of winning editing services? Fantastic.

That’s all for now, folks! I’m off to continue writing Chapter 8 of BatEoY…

Happy reading!

ICYMI: Bright as the Eyes of You is on Wattpad!

imageJust a quick note for those of you who may not have seen that my new WiP, BRIGHT AS THE EYES OF YOU, is now up on Wattpad! I have news for you: it is! Only the first 6 chapters so far, but it’s being updated every week on Monday (Australian Monday, FYI) as each new chapter is finished.

It’s a Korean-based fantasy romance, in which I’m having fun with tropes, random Korean words, and crazy characters.

Come along and check it out, and let me know what you think!

If you’ve already been reading BatEoY but aren’t current on chapters, here are the links to each chapter:

ONE: I See All Kinds of Sorrow

TWO: Chase the Moon and Sun

THREE: Staring Down Through Faces

FOUR: Her Feet Don’t Touch the Ground

FIVE: All of Your Playthings

SIX: A Book that Tells About Everybody’s Past

SEVEN: ***Coming next Monday!!**


The Crooked Path by Harriet Goodchild: Mini-Review & Author Interview

Today I’m wishing a very Happy Publication Week to Harriet Goodchild, whose gorgeously poetic The Crooked Path is out this week! I’ve previously read and greatly enjoyed two of Harriet’s short story compilations, so when I was given the opportunity to snag an ARC of The Crooked Path, of course I jumped at it.

Harriet was also kind enough to join me today for a mini-interview, during which we discuss the links between poetry/folksong and writing, given the highly poetic feel of The Crooked Path. Keep scrolling for blurb, mini-review, and interview!

The Book


Stories link together. What is done in one time and place spreads out across the world to shape the future: there is never a single beginning, never a simple end.

But, since this tale must have a beginning, let it be when a potter carves a creature from dreams and driftwood.

It carries him to a place where fair faces conceal foul intent, where two kings guard the firstborn tree by night and day, where only a living man’s love can undo a dead man’s hatred.

And where, if he does not go carefully, the choices made in other times and places will cost him his life.

My Mini-Review

As previously mentioned, I’ve already read some of Harriet’s work. Those were all short stories, however; and as much as I enjoyed them (and I really did, despite the fact that some of the themes were not ones I would normally choose to read), The Crooked Path is by far and away my favourite. There are hints and references to the short stories in there, too, so it’s good to read each of them.

Firstly, the feel of it was incredibly evocative. It took me right back to the wonder and excitement with which I used to read The Adventures of Sinbad the Sailor, with its amazing illustrations and magical adventures, and The Thousand and One Nights, with its alien culture and dark outcomes.

The prose itself was nothing short of gorgeous, as expected. Harriet has only grown as a writer since I read her short stories: she is one of the writers whose work constantly leaves me acutely aware of my own lack of finesse as a writer. Poetic, but spare; not a word wasted or out of place. And every spare, perfectly balanced sentence creates another layer in the dream that is The Crooked Path.

The story? Complex but simple. It’s the faery story of the girl who betrayed her faery lover, and must go through many trials and troubles to gain him back; but yet it’s more. There is an entirely loveable male MC who is satisfying to follow along on his adventures; by turns sensible and rash, and honestly ordinary in a perilously other world. Then there’s the dark female MC who is far from perfect and knows it. Oh, I loved the melody of this book; and I felt the harmony of it deep in my bones.

The conclusion: 5 out of 5 stars. I expected it to be wonderful, but it was even better than that.

The Interview

Harriet, when did you know for certain that you wanted to be a writer?

I was on holiday…

Actually, it wasn’t so much wanting as wondering whether I could write a novel rather than a paper. Scientific prose has to be concise, clear and grounded in what actually happened; it doesn’t lend itself to flights of fancy. Eventually, that holiday, I decided to stop wondering and started scribbling in my spare time. Gradually it got better and eventually it got to the point where I felt confident enough to share it.

Oh, that is not the answer I expected from someone whose writing is so poetical! There’s certainly a clarity of language to your books, but it’s entirely evocative. Speaking of poetry, how does your love of folksong and poetry play into your writing?

The folksongs give a mood, a dominant note for a character, perhaps, or an image to play with in the text. There’s also something of the pattern of folksongs in the way I structure the prose, the use of repetition and rhythm for effect, for instance, or the way one scene echoes another. Some songs have inspired stories, though the finished tale may lie anywhere along the line from a direct retelling to a mere nod in the direction of the original. Each chapter in my books and each short story has a verse from a folksong as an epigraph. Something from that song will be reflected in the following text, and all the songs together could be used as a playlist: consider it a type of cross-form intertextuality.

The poetry is more of an ideal. In poetry, there’s no space for sloppiness of thought: every word must count and every word must fit. One can say the same of prose, of course, but the elision and compression of poetry gives it an intensity and a heightened awareness of the world that prose rarely achieves. There are a few poets – Kathleen Raine and Robert Graves first among them – whose work I consider a touchstone for perfection. Raine’s work is suffused with landscape; reading it one sees the places as vividly as in a photograph and when I was living outside of Scotland I’d read them and wallow a little in homesickness. Graves is, I think, the finest lyric poet of the twentieth century. So much is captured in so little. It was, however, another poet, Michael Roberts, whose The Images of Death supplied the theme for The Crooked Path.

Do you play an instrument/s? If so, what? If not, what instrument would you most like to know how to play?

Alas, I don’t. I had years of piano lessons as a girl but made very little progress. The fine motor coordination it requires is beyond me. If I could play an instrument then it would be the fiddle. And if I could play one half as well as Aidan O’Rourke or Duncan Chisholm I would think I played it well indeed.

Yes. Fiddle is the best (I play the violin, but this conclusion should be considered in no way biased…) Music is a huge part of my writing, whether listening to it while I write or daydreaming along to it and sparking ideas. Music or no music for you when writing?

It depends. I used to listen to music as I wrote – folk music, of course, but also classical; Bach’s violin concertos and Vaughan Williams’ A Sea Symphony were especially important when I was writing The Crooked Path. These days I tend to write in silence. If I’m editing a scene, though, I might have a particular song on repeat to help create the mood I need. Antisocial, I know. Fortunately I can put on headphones to avoid driving those around me to distraction. Right now, that song is John Doyle’s Farewell to All That. As its name suggests, it’s inspired by Robert Graves’ biography. It seems apposite.

Ah. I, too, love to isolate myself in my headphones when I can’t listen to music aloud. If we choose to call it ‘creative’ instead of ‘antisocial’, who’s to know the difference? *nodnod* A typical writing day will be kickstarted by any one of my favourite writing playlists. For you, what is a typical writing day like?

I write fiction round the edges of the rest of my life, fitting it in where and when I can. As such, there isn’t really a typical day. If I’m lucky, I’ll get an hour or two in the evenings. Sometimes I can write a lot in that time but it’s usually only a few hundred words – I write very, very slowly, rewriting and backtracking as I find my way through the story.

Making the adjustment from being an unpublished novelist to being published has been difficult and, lately, I’ve been struggling with writer’s block. The Crooked Path was more or less complete by the time After the Ruin was published but right now I’m revising the final book in that series. Writing it was very, very hard. I ended up forcing it out, like toothpaste from an all but empty tube, gritting my teeth in face of the self-doubt that comes with writer’s block. I’m past the worst by now and thanks to a few months distance, and a couple of good readers, I can see how to revise it but it’s going to take a long, long time to see the light of day. The up side of taking the time off from writing is that I could read a lot. Reading is as important as writing as it enables one to look out rather than in.

Harriet, thanks for joining me today, and happy publication week!

You can find Harriet’s books on Amazon UK/Amazon US, and Barnes & Noble. Harriet herself, you can find on Twitter and her website. And you can get your copy of The Crooked Path by clicking on any of the links above.

Happy reading, people!

“Introducing the Players”

I can’t remember if I’ve talked about Nero Wolfe before. If I haven’t, please excuse me while I hyperventilate in disbelief, because Nero Wolfe is flamin’ amazing.

“Book or T.V. Nero Wolfe?” you ask me.

“Both,” is my reply. “Both, my sprightly word-lover.”

My first introduction to Nero Wolfe was in book form, with Rex Stout’s novels. I still love them, and I still re-read them (and gasp excitedly whenever a newly-converted-to-kindle book that I haven’t been able to find at the library comes up on my Amazon storefront). I could really rave for ages about how awesome Wolfe and Archie are, and how much I enjoy the books. I’m not going to do so, because that isn’t the point of this blog post.

No, for this blog post, I’m going to talk about the T.V. version of Nero Wolfe (and a couple other things which are the actual point I’m currently illustrating by using the Nero Wolfe T.V. series).

Deep, ain’t it?

So. The Nero Wolfe T.V. show. For the purposes of this blog post, let the record show that I’m referencing the Maury Chaykin/Timothy Hutton series: I believe there are other movies and maybe another series, but since I can’t possibly see them being anywhere near as good as the Chaykin/Hutton effort, I’m ignoring them as if they don’t exist.


The whole show is well done: the casting is perfect (Chaykin and Hutton are Wolfe and Archie; mad and bad and dangerous to know–ie, flippant, selfish, and frequently crazy), the dialogue as sparkling and hilarious as in the books, the directing some of the best I’ve seen, and the costumes both bright and entirely accurate. And like all the best shows, the Nero Wolfe series has a peculiarity that will either endear it to you, or annoy you intensely. You can possibly guess which it is in my case.

This peculiarity, in the case of the Nero Wolfe series, is the fact that the show, instead of introducing the actors, introduces “the Players”.

Maybe you can see where this is going.

If not, allow me to explain. By introducing “the Players”, the show is letting you in on the secret that you may otherwise not notice until two or three episodes later– which is the fact that each of the actors is present in nearly every episode.

That’s right. Each of the actors is almost always present, and they each play a different part in each different episode. In the case of one particular episode, one actress even plays two parts– her recurring part as Lily Rowan, and that of another lady in the story. Only Archie Goodwin, Nero Wolfe, Fritz, and Lily Rowan are always the same. Even Saul changes face once before he remains Saul, and Orrie gets the same treatment. And when Saul and Orrie aren’t in the storyline, those actors play different parts, too.

It’s something that makes you really appreciate the skills of the actors, since with their different parts, they quite often have different accents as well as completely different personalities, and none of them fall short in any of those things. After a while it becomes a game to pick which ones are the same as last episode, because it’s not always easy to tell at first.

I was reminded of this lately as I watched a couple of Taiwanese dramas.

So far I’ve seen two. They’re hilarious and weird, and really very sweet– and insanely long (oh my goodness, 35 episodes?!?!)

Why am I bringing up Taiwanese drama after Nero Wolfe? Ah, now for the second illustration of my point (which, btw, I haven’t yet brought up. Wait for it).

I originally started watching the second drama because I really liked the main male lead in the first (Office Girls) and found out he was in Miss Rose is Getting Married, which sounded as hilarious as Office Girls.

Smiling eyes, hilariously hammy acting on occasion, perfect comedic timing, and then a sucker-punch kind of sweetness that catches you by surprise, Roy Chiu has quickly become one of my favourite actors.

Smiling eyes, hilariously hammy acting on occasion, perfect comedic timing, and then a sucker-punch kind of sweetness that catches you by surprise, Roy Chiu has quickly become one of my favourite actors.

So I began watching the second drama along with the first (really livin’ it up, yeah?)

My first surprise was that my (again, favourite) 2nd male lead was also in this one, in a bigger role (hooray!) Then the mean girl from Office Girls turned up as the cute, peppy best friend (also hooray, b/c she’s just adorable). It didn’t occur to me until about three or four episodes in that the main female lead was also 2nd female lead in Office Girls.

From this discovery I went on to find that nearly every single actor in Miss Rose is Getting Married was also in Office Girls. I’m not even exaggerating. Every main lead and most of the secondaries are in both dramas, simply playing different parts. They’ve even included some of the actors in fake video clips that you see in the background, causing me to choke on my tea and nearly die of death by drowning in my hitherto safe armchair. I’m now having a great old time trying to catch ’em all–er, I mean spot them all.

Which (finally) brings me to my point. Hooray?

As a writer, there is one thing that I’m constantly worried about. If you’ve been paying attention up until this point, you’ve probably guessed what that is.

It’s this: after you’ve written about four or five books, you start to worry about your characters. Specifically, you begin to worry that your characters are all the same. You worry that you’ve simply regurgitated the same old characters into a new setting and a new plot. You wonder if their reactions, dialogue, and essential character are just too similar to each other.

In short, you begin to see them as the same old actors, painted to look superficially different. I remember the first time that I realised Ellis Peters’ characters were essentially the same characters for each book, simply put into a different setting, plot, and murder mystery.

To some extent, you can’t get away from it. There are only so many types of characters out there, and each writer is generally geared to a certain type/s of character that they enjoy/are good at writing. It’s not even necessarily a bad thing: your fans and readers like a certain kind of character, and they won’t always appreciate you growing your craft at their expense.

So, if I can’t fully escape it, why am I stressing over it?

Because sometimes, just having the problem in mind is enough to ameliorate it, even if that’s only by a small amount. If you’ve got that nagging doubt at the back of your mind, you’ll be more careful about your character drawing. You’ll tweak this or that to add small shades of other colours. You’ll consider different circumstances that might lead to different character development. In short, by thinking about your craft as you work, it’s likely that your craft will improve.

It’s not necessarily a bad thing to have similar characters. Our core values don’t change too much, and as writers, that will always be disseminated in our writing– and especially in our characterisation. But as a writer, I don’t want to have the same old character in every book because I wasn’t good enough or disciplined enough to write different ones. If I have similar characters, I want it to be because I intended it that way, not because I don’t know any better.

Exhaustion and the Writer

You know how it is.

You lost your job. Your job is incredibly stressful. Maybe you’ve got a chronic illness. Perhaps you’ve had extra hours at work, or could it be that you’ve simply spent all night watching K-Drama and can no longer function normally?

You’re exhausted. Whether that exhaustion is physical or mental, it’s something that makes it incredibly difficult to work on your writing. So what do you do?

Well, if you’re anything like me, you sink into a well of despair, self-loathing, and binge-tv-watching, out of which it is incredibly difficult to drag yourself. When it feels like your head is going to explode, or you’re exhausted to the point that you can’t do anything but sit in the recliner without moving, it’s an easy fix.

Easy, yes.

Helpful? Not so much.

Here’s the thing with writers.

We have to write every day. Some of us write more, and some of us write less; and honestly, it doesn’t really matter what your word count is, whether it’s 50 words a day, or 5000. We just have to write every day. And when I say ‘have to’ write every day, I really mean ‘should write’, or ‘need to write’ every day. It’s not all about habit, though habit is a good thing to get into. And it’s not all about word count, though that’s important, too.

So what is the point, Frixos?*

The point of writing every day is to keep your WiP fresh. It doesn’t matter if you only write 50 words per day, and though it’s great if you write 5000 words, it’s not necessarily more meaningful. Because even 50 words per day is going to keep your WiP fresh in your imagination. It will keep your storyline present in your mind, and it will keep your subconscious ruminating on and building on the WiP. You’ll find it easier to slip into your narrative each day, and you’ll notice that the flow of the story is much smoother. In short, it will make you a better writer: it’s a bit like practising your instrument every day.

What does this have to do with exhaustion?

Simple. When you’re exhausted, it’s hard to find the energy to write. There’s always the suffocating feeling that you should be doing more: more words per day, more writing time per day. You get caught up with the idea that you’ll never feel any better. But sometimes it’s simply a matter of writing 50 words. You don’t have to break the bank. You don’t have to write 5000 words, even if that’s your normal words per day count. It’s okay to take it easy when you’re sick or exhausted. Just don’t give up altogether: a tiny word count each day is enough to keep your WiP going, and it’s incredibly important to keep it going.

And, yanno, have a cuppa. Take it from me, a cup of tea is the best remedy for exhaustion that I know of.

I know quite a few of my writerly friends suffer from chronic illnesses/have full-on day jobs/multiple kids/etc: what tips do you have for dealing with exhaustion?

*watch Princess Caraboo if you want to know what I’m referencing. Seriously. Watch it.