My Big Fat Catch-Up Post of the Week

I’m gonna level with you, here, dear readers, this is all you’re gonna get this week. Why? Well, it’s already Thursday and there’s a lot to catch up on. So, without further ado:
Last Week:

  • I found a lovely cafe  that I’m determined to write my novel in, Cafe on the Corner, which really is the best (I’d say only) cosy coffee shop in Watford. Even did some writing in there. It’s going to make those fortnightly visits to the Jobcentre worthwhile.


  • Part 1 of an online test in which my mathematical reasoning came up short. I’d forgotten how much maths stresses me out. A lot, apparently.
  • I saw Neil Gaiman in London. He was funny, knowledgeable and, most importantly, inspiring. Perhaps next Monday I will share some of the stuff he said, if I can remember it.


  • Began volunteering at Watford New Hope Trust, which went well. Good call, deciding to do that.


  • Part 2 of the online test: verbal reasoning (except it wasn’t verbal at all but written communication.) No idea how I did. I finished it in the strict time limit and got the practice questions right but might have rushed it a bit but when you’ve got 30 questions to do in 20 minutes, you don’t have much choice.

Which brings me to today. Somehow, I’m behind again and have two job application deadlines but you know what? I really don’t see the point anymore. I just don’t. Why waste my time sending more applications into the abyss? Do they even get read? Probably not. I’ve been technically unemployed for two months. Really thought I’d have a job by now. At first, every application I sent I thought, that’ll get me an interview, for sure and then when it didn’t happen I started to think of applying for jobs as just something I did, not something that could actually result in a response and for a while that was OK – I did it because it’s what you do when you’re unemployed but now it’s starting to bother me. Maybe because there are so many things I’d rather be doing with my time. Writing my novel, for example. Or doing more for the charities I’m volunteering for. What employers don’t seem to consider is that it takes a lot of time and effort to apply for a job. And all they do is give it a three-second scan then toss it in the bin and forget all about it. If you’re lucky, they’ll let you know. But I’d say about 90% don’t even bother with that courtesy. How would you feel if you spent hours working on a presentation and then your boss glanced at it, put it in the shredder and walked off without a word? Insulted? Angry? Hurt? Or motivated and determined to make the next one even better?!

I rest my case.

I think I’m annoyed about it, today, because it’s day 1 of NaNoWriMo (and I’m hungry, that never helps). I’d love to take part – only for me it’d be rewrite your novel in a month, arguably much harder than write the shitty first draft. But I still need to replot the thing and that’s not going to be easy. I’d like to set some goals but I just don’t know how/when I’ll be able to write. I’d like to say ‘every day’ but some days (like today) that’s just not possible. If someone would only give me a job that didn’t start until 1st December, I’d be so on it. But that’s not going to happen. Maybe I should just call myself a writer and have done with it. Live on the dole at my parents’ house until J is earning and then sponge off him. Completely against my principles and fiercely independent spirit but there you go. Needs must, I guess.

*                     *                    *


I’ve just signed up for NaNoWriMo. Am I crazy? Possibly but I need to kick my arse into gear and it seemed like a good excuse to do that. My plan is to replot over the next week and then cram in 50,000 words of rewritten beauty in the remaining 23 days. It’s just over 2000 words a day. Completely do-able. I hope.


8 thoughts on “My Big Fat Catch-Up Post of the Week

  1. You met Neil Gaiman? Unbelievable (partly because I have never met any famous authors yet). Can’t wait for the post about the talk you had with him.
    Onto more serious things, just keep trying, you will land a job if you are persistent enough. I am not employed yet so I don’t know exactly how hard the whole process is but I guess the principle of persistence paying off applies here too.
    Anyway, best of luck with the rewrite. And I know exactly how hard that is.

    • Well I wouldn’t say I met him – I paid to sit right at the back of a theatre and watch him talk to someone replacing Philip Pullman (who was in hospital – hope he’s OK) but it was still very interesting.

      Thanks. I applied for the job I wanted more, today. Sometimes I think it’s become just as difficult as getting a novel published and the process is pretty similar, although a CV takes much less time to write/tailor than a novel, but once you’ve put all that hard work in, you send it off and…wait…forget where you submitted/applied…and eventually (if you’re lucky) get excited about rejections, especially if they’re personalised. Sometimes I think I’d be better off just focusing on that but I do need money and my novel is a long way off from being submission-ready.

      Are you working on anything in particular, writing-wise, at the mo?

      • After a number of super crap rewrites (five of them in fact) I realized that just writing without knowing the basics is like trying to build a house without blueprints. So I am working on the story world of my novel right now, and damn, I should have done this earlier, it’s so much fun!

        Anyway, don’t get disheartened yet. Fate has a way of giving us what we want exactly when we decide to throw the cards down. I am sure you will land a job soon. 🙂

  2. Ria – are you writing fantasy then? World-building sounds terrifying to me – too much to invent but as long you’re having fun with it, that’s the main thing! Oh and I’ve got an interview! Despite my appalling score on the maths test. I guess my written communication made up for it.

    • Yup, fantasy it is. And world building looks tedious (and can be at times) because of all the details you must know before you jump in and start writing like mad. But so far it has been amazing. I have invented a year with 15 months, invented names of all these months, given the residents a unique way of calculating time and designed a pocket watch with 24 numbers on its dial that runs on the intensity of magic. In fact drawing the watch was more fun that detailing the maps. I find cartography rather boring.

      And hurray for the call! 🙂 I knew you would get some good news sooner or later. Rock the interview, best of luck.

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