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Friday, 29 August 2014

DAY 11. It doesn't have to be more

Than having a coffee in the park during lunch hour.
I wasn't the only one despite the low hanging clouds. 
I have the bad habit of eating lunch in front of my computer at the office. Sometimes I do it to get things done, but usually it's just laziness, laziness that results in even more sluggishness. So I now make a point of always going out during the break (weather permitting).
Getting towards the end of my book!
Breaking up the day with fresh air, a stroll and some reading (anything really that doesn't involve the computer screen) has made the second part go by much faster and with more focus. If you don't believe me, then maybe you'll believe The Sydney Morning Herald. (I wouldn't mind that French 90 minute break.)

Time for a little longer break though with the weekend coming up. The big question is, with my MA project finally handed in, what should I do?


Thursday, 28 August 2014

DAY 10. The BOBs are back!

My flatmates are back! Or as I like to call them this time of the TV year; my BOBs (Bake Off Buddies). I certainly missed them yesterday when there was proper drama in the British Bake Off tent. I won't go into detail in case someone is still catching up, but meltdowns ahoy! And today we learnt that one of the contestants left the competition soon after due to "illness". (If she really did get sick, I'm sorry. I hope she feels better!)
The BOBs brought me some chocolate. Very kind indeed!
I'm glad to have my flatmates back, I can finally stop channelling Haley Joel Osment. (If I did begin to see ghosts, I'm sure they wouldn't look anything like Bruce Willis.) And I also got the chance to show off my shiny new play. Hurrah! Anywho, I hope you've had a good day and are enjoying the company of loved ones.

10 days of the Happy Challenge done, 90 to go!


Wednesday, 27 August 2014

DAY 9. I really like ...

... Autumn!

Oh come on, don't look at me like that. I know it means darker and colder days, but it's also a season I've always enjoyed. Crisp air. Beautiful colours. The promise of something new. (And it's stationary season! I want pens and notebooks and pencil cases. I want a pretty lunch box!) Except this time there's no school or university to returm to, I'm back to being an adult, but I still feel pumped to take on the working year.
Okay, so London isn't quite this "autumny" yet, it's still clinging on to the last bits of summer, but for the sake of this entry I'm reusing a few slightly more atmospheric photos. 
It's been one of those summers I'll always carry with me. So many beginnings and endings. Accomplishments and failures. Laughter and tears. Moments. So many wonderful little moments.
My goal this autumn is to find a better balance between writing and financial stability. The more writing I can do, the better. That's what I want. But I also need to be realistic. The amount of times we heard our visiting lecturers say "Don't quit your day jobs ..." It's not just about the money. As a writer it's good to be out there, to observe the real world. If you lock yourself up in a small room, you might miss out on a lot of good stories.

 I hope you don't find the thought of autumn too gloomy!


Tuesday, 26 August 2014

I did it! I did it! (Isn't it pretty?)

Today is the end of a 2-year era! I just submitted my final assignment, the full length play, to my university and have thereby concluded my studies in playwriting and screenwriting.
 As long as I haven't committed some horrendous error, I should have my final mark by the end of November and receive my MA. Depending on the results, my 30th birthday might be just a tad bit extra special (or crummy), but let's not think about that just now!
I think this counts as Happy Challenge day 8, right?
While waiting for my copies to be bound, I popped into a cafe nearby and had a coffee and a read. I'm glad I was at the book binders before 8am, I'm not the only one submitting my final work right now!

A massive thank you to everyone who's supported me these past 2 years! I don't think anyone has ever crinkled their nose when I've told them the "mad" subject I'm studying. Not even when I told them I'm moving countries to do it. So thank you again!


Monday, 25 August 2014

Day 7. Staying in

Today I'm grateful for the privilege of having a roof over my head. London is living up to its rainy reputation and I'm raiding the fridge/freezer for anything edible so I don't have to go outside. 
I've lived in the UK for two years now and I can't say I find it much rainier than for example Southern Finland. I often prefer the rain to the snow, so the winters here are actually quite nice. Of course a sunny autumn day can be stunning. Let's hope for a few of those in the next couple of months!


Sunday, 24 August 2014

Leaving home & Good bed hygiene


About a month ago I mentioned how a weekend in the countryside really helped kick start the editing of my third draft of the play. This weekend, that was not an option but I still needed some new headspace for my work. I took the script and my laptop and headed down to the Barbican Centre.
I'm not a massive fan of brutalist architecture but I still enjoy the atmosphere at the Barbican. 
The Barbican is a great place to see plays, concerts, exhibitions and cinema and you might also remember how I helped Plane Clothing with their Christmas Market Stall at the Barbican last year. The Barbican is however also a place where people just sit down to work. There are large communal spaces with access to coffee and bathrooms (the first at a price, the second free).

There are several reasons why I find it helpful to relocate from home when I’m working on a project

1. When you’re working at home it’s a) easy to get distracted by everyday things like a messy wardrobe, the dishes or your favourite stack of books. If your project is proving a bit challenging, even the dirtiest toilet bowl might look like a good distraction … b) it's harder to bypass a mental slump, whether it's caused by your project or something else, and focus on work. 
My office for the day. 
2.  Surrounding myself with other working people always gives me a kick. We don’t need to do the same thing, it’s just nice to know you’re not alone and somehow it’s harder to slack off when others are being creative. Working in a cafĂ© or a place like the Barbican gives you the buzz of an office without actually being in an office with a boss (other than the one in your head) breathing down your neck. Success!
I got there early and grabbed a table close to a power outlet. An hour later most tables were occupied by the Barbican Sunday crowd.  
      3. I appreciate being home more if I’ve actually gone out during the day. I feel like I’ve done an actual day’s work and not just stayed in bed (even if I spent all day writing in bed). My dad once told me to keep good bed hygiene. He wasn’t telling me to change my sheets more often, but to keep the bed strictly for sleeping. Otherwise your body will connect work stress with your bed and possibly disrupt your rest.  I think this can be said for other home spaces as well. If you do EVERYTHING at home, it can soon feel oppressive. (Of course I’d love to have a large comfy home office where I could spend some of my days writing.)
If you're budget minded, why not bring a packed lunch?
So that’s why I spent my day at the Barbican jotting away at the script, and do you know what ... Shhh, it's almost a secret ... I think I might be done!
Hope you're having a great weekend! (Here in the UK we have tomorrow off as well. Wohoo!)


Saturday, 23 August 2014

DAY 5. Something for you

Again, apologies for the dodgy "personal information" editing. 
Sorry I missed the delivery, excited I have something waiting for me at the post office. If it is what I think it is, I really look forward to seeing how it turned out! 

Hope you've had a good Saturday! I spent the morning writing and the afternoon with a friend. Now if most days looked like this, I'd be a very happy camper.