Grow Little By Little

Like anything in life, if you want something badly enough, you work hard and you will succeed, isn't that what they say? This year has been no different on the writing front. Had lots of ups, downs and near misses in seeking agent representation for The Longing. Agents that have been generous in their feedback, who love my 'voice' and work, but hey ho, not successful this time. It's been exciting and despairing, and I'm nothing if not tenacious. I keep at it, though occasionally, keeping my spirits up has been tough ~ much as I love writing.

Physically I've been continually 'under the weather' for a few months to the point where the thought of exercise was just bleaugh. Going for a run in the morning before sitting down to write, used to clear my head and amazingly my subconscious would provide the answers to knotty plot points, or whatever I was mulling over. No coincidence then I lost my writing mojo when feeling unwell and unable to 'get out there.' Everything felt difficult, where was my writing community? How to sustain a good writing habit? Something I'm sure all writers can identify with.

I'd met up with a writer friend recently for brunch, and we swapped tips on this very thing, and the challenge of promoting ourselves on social media,

"You have to try Instagram," she said.

Bearing in mind after years of working for the Health Service and Lecturing post grad nursing students, self promotion was not something that was encouraged and old habits die hard. Besides, I'm naturally shy. Wasn't it all about selfies, being young and being perfect? Ok, I'll take a peak!

Dear reader, sometimes in life you just have to do the unexpected, or the difficult or uncomfortable. I joined Instagram. There will be those of you laughing, asking,

"What's your problem?" or "Why the fuss?"

Sometimes I can be so late to the party. Here's the thing, I've discovered what I've been missing. Twitter, I've found, is depressing at the mo (Trump and Brexit overload) ~ though I do try to use it daily. Twitter ought to be more straightforward in finding your peers ~ or maybe it's me, *she laughs to herself with her 27 Twitter lists.* I mean, how did that happen? Facebook I use for keeping in touch with friends ~ otherwise I'd never speak to them outside of social events, like lunch, evenings out and weekends away.

I've found Instagram a delight ~ why has it taken me so long to take the plunge? Who knows? What I do know, is that it feels like I've found my 'writer tribe.' I feel recharged and motivated. Yay! So slowly but surely I'm increasing my connections. Although I do get distracted by cake decorating videos ~ who knew it was such an art form? I blame 'Bake Off.'

The down side of Instagram is the creeps crossing my virtual path. I have no qualms in blocking men, especially as without fail, their accounts are listed as private ~ who knows what can of worms that will open if I follow back? Call me cynical, I've found out the hard way, and well, life is too short to put up with the nonsense. I'll live with the fact I may have offended some nice people. I know there are other woman on social media who have to deal with this harassment too ~ for that is what it is: a daily annoyance. Insta for me is not a dating site (I'm not judging anyone, but there is a time and place and this isn't it for me), though that doesn't put off the dubious gun toting oddballs, using false flattery to try and gain my attention. Uh no, that so not going to happen. What's that thing writer say?

"Careful! Don't upset me or you'll end up in my novel!"

Insta has indeed given me fuel for my characters motivation, *she cackles!*

Just a by the by, for postings on The Longing, look under 'Baby Be Mine.' I changed the title as it better summed up my main character, Jen.

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