I’m Blogging on a Friday Night

I’m Blogging on a Friday Night

Okay. So blogging on a Friday night doesn’t sound that fun BUT I have had a few glasses of wine and I have no idea what this blog is going to be about – I’m letting my hair down (very figuratively) and going rogue. It’s wild.

One thing I thought I’d write about is friendship. I was going to have the title “A Good Friend Is…” and then the blog would be a big list of all the traits of a good friend. It would have had stuff like they give it to you straight and you don’t want to kill them. Or you want to kill them but you can tell them you want to kill them and then you can have a laugh about it. Or they laugh at your outfit choices. Or they tally up the amount of favours you owe them. Or they’ll get drunk with you if you need it. Or they’ll stay in with you if you need it. They know your mum. They tell you that they prefer your mum over you. A good friend is sort of like having a partner but without the sexual attraction. Like, you could probably marry your best friend if you fancied them. Sometimes, you wish you did fancy them. That would make life easy. They’re always on your side – even when it seems like they’re not.

So yeah, it was going to be stuff like that. BUT THEN I thought I’d write about Nina Stibbe. I LOVE HER. Like, I actually really properly think I love her. She’s written four books and I love them all. One of the books was made into a TV show and I love that. I listened to a podcast with her in it this morning and she was warm, funny, intelligent, and NICE. I know some people hate the word “nice”, but it’s TOTALLY underrated. I love nice people – well, just as long as they have a bit of edge. Or not an edge – just something genuine, if that makes sense? But anyway, back to Nina. She’s had a reallly quirky childhood and I think that’s why I relate to all her stories so much. Her parents are totally fucking mental – like mine. If we met, we’d probably have a real good bond over our mental childhoods.

So then I thought I’d write about parents. The different parents you get. The different ways we can all be screwed up – or the different ways we can all turn out great, I suppose. But urgh, that all gets a bit grey, doesn’t it? And who really cares about the kinds of parents there are? I really just wanted to write about the time my dad tried to convince me that getting high would help me get an A in my English Higher.

Then I thought I’d write about Christmas. About how people tend to get a bit nuts at Christmas. But meh. I’m not ready to write about Christmas yet. IT’S TOO STRESSFUL. Not only do I not know what I want to get people, but I don’t know what they should get me. It’s SUCH a hard life.

Then I thought I’d just start writing and see what happened.

And then this happened.

The 12 Stages Of Writing A Novel

The 12 Stages Of Writing A Novel



The “Hehe” Stage

Ah. Just beginning your novel. Writing that first paragraph and feeling very giggly that you’re actually giving your novel a go. You’re also a little giggly because you’re not taking it very seriously. You know that this is probably just another one of your lame projects that you’re going to give up as soon as you’ve started.

The “Ooh” Stage

This is the bit where you find that you haven’t given up yet. You’re actually enjoying the whole writing a novel thing. You get up early so you can write before work. You’re having fun and, for some unknown reason, you keep going back to it. You keep thinking, “Ooh, I didn’t think this was going to happen.” “Ooh, I’m still doing this”. “Ooh”.

The Dissertation Stage

The bit where you’e written as many words as you had in your dissertation. It’s not that impressive because your dissertation didn’t have that many words but still. You HAD to write your dissertation. You didn’t HAVE to write this novel. It’s pretty cool.

The “Fuck, I’ve Written Over 20 000 Words Stage”

This is more than your dissertation and your novel is actually beginning to take shape. You know what you want it to be. When people ask you how many words you’ve written, you tell them, and they don’t know what it means. They don’t know what 20 000 words looks like. You don’t either. You just see it on your computer but you have no idea what it looks like in an actual book. You laugh because it’s probably only a chapter.

The “Oh My God I’m Having So Much Fun” Stage

You can’t quite believe that you STILL haven’t given up yet. This is the biggest thing you’ve ever done and you love it and you’re proud of yourself for still doing it. You look forward to writing it. You take notes about what you want to write when you’re away from it. You wake up in the middle of the night knowing EXACTLY what should happen next. You write it down on your phone. It makes no sense in the morning, but it doesn’t matter. You carry on anyway.

The “Shit. Should This Be A Real Thing Stage?”

You’ve written a lot now. It really is turning into an actual novel and you start thinking about getting it published, making it real.

The “LOL What Am I Thinking Stage?”

You start reading bits of your novel and you imagine someone else reading it. You suddenly hate it. Everything you’ve written is stupid, boring, and unoriginal. Everyone has said what you’ve said before. You’re doing nothing new or interesting. You’re never going to get published.

The Forgetting About It Stage

You stop. You don’t write. And you don’t write for a really long time. It bugs you. This unfinished novel is aways in the back of your mind but you can’t get back to it. It’s rubbish and there’s nothing you can do to make it better.

The Going Back To It Stage

You’re bored one day so you open your novel. You skim through it. You have a new perspective because you’ve been away from it for a little while. It’s not as bad as you thought it was. Sometimes you like what you’re saying. Sometimes you think that there hasn’t been a story like yours before. You tentatively start to type.

The Committing Stage

You know now that no matter what, you’re going to finish this novel. You’re marrying it. You’re saying your vows. You know it’s not going to be easy but you don’t want to give up.  You keep telling yourself you’ll get drunk when you finish it.

The Rollercoaster Stage

Like all commitments, it isn’t easy. You have your good days. You LOVE writing and it makes you happy. You couldn’t live without it. Your novel’s always open on your laptop. Always there for you to dive back into – which you do, regularly. But then there’s the bad days. Your character is too one-dimensional, the narrative doesn’t make any sense, your grammar is all over the place, there’s only one perspective. Who wants to read a novel that just has one opinion? NO ONE. But still you carry on. You’re in it for the long run.

The Coming To The End Stage

You have as many words in your novel as other novels have. How the fuck did that happen? You know exactly how you want it to end but you’re scared to write it. Because once you write it, you’ll have to read it – and it might be crap. You know there is a lot of rubbish in it. You know that once you finish it, you’re going to have to go back and edit, edit, edit, and edit again and again and again. And that’s only if it’s worth all the edits. It might not be. It’s a well known fact that first novels are often terrible. You might have to scrap it and start again. You’re still going to finish it though.

So as I’ve actually not finished my novel, this is the stage I’m at. Better get back to it, I suppose.



Long Time No Write

Long Time No Write

Aww man, I’m rusty – I’m RUSTY! Beginning a blog has never taken me this long before. I usually love the beginnings. They come so easy, so naturally, but today it’s like finding invisible pearls in a mammoth bucket of oysters.

God, my analogies have got pretty bad as well.

It’s not that I haven’t been writing. I’ve actually been attempting to write a novel. I don’t know if it’s any good. Well, it’s probably shit, but it’s been a mixture of highs and lows, if I’m honest. Like sometimes, I just can’t stop writing. I’m writing and writing and writing and I’m getting all flustered and excited and I think that I’m a genius, but then I read over it and I want to jump on my computer and kill myself.

Writer’s block’s a bitch as well. I find tea always helps, and if tea fails to spark some inspiration then wine is the next logical step.

But other than writing and drinking tea and then sometimes wine, I’ve been attempting to be a proper grown-up. There was actually a spell where I didn’t write at all. You see, in August I started a real, full-time job and I’ve never been good with change. I’m a creature of habit who dreams of change, but when it inevitably comes, I end up having to hide behind books and locking myself in cubicles at lunchtime. I never learn, either. Whenever I reach the end of some sort of phase of life, I find myself dreaming of the next stage, all excited and counting down the seconds, and then the next stage arrives and, like I said, it’s books and cubicles for a while.

Beginning work was like that. It was a bit embarrassing, really. I couldn’t sleep; if I tried to have something to eat before going to work, I would throw it all back up; I would get drunk and cry (and I’m always such a happy drunk); I couldn’t put down Harry Potter (my ultimate comfort read), and I had a million kazillion meltdowns. My boyfriend was like, Who are you and what have you done with my cool, hip girlfriend?!?!?! Ok, I’d probably never been cool and hip, but I definitely managed to hide the majority of my crazy from him up until that point. But good news, he’s still with me!!!!! I must be awesome at blowjobs.

(Ha, I’m actually really bad at them – my gag reflex is way too active for those kinds of shenanigans).

Aaaanyway, I soon got over the crazy and now, I am LOVING LIFE. (Don’t worry, this isn’t going to be a my-life-is-so-awesome kind of blog; I’m still working in a reception on minimum wage for 9 hours a day and having to deal with the most snobby people I have ever met). But honestly, I’m just grateful to have left University. I feel like such a middle class spoiled brat who takes her education for granted when I say this, but I really, really, really, really, didn’t like it there. Not even a little bit. Students terrified me, the work terrified me, tutors terrified me, the buildings were too fancy, the library too big and you needed a degree just to figure out how to work the cafeteria.

I don’t know why I didn’t leave. I mean, I guess it’s good to have a degree, but I feel like such a fraud. No, I’m definitely glad I stayed and got through it, but at the same time, it SUCKED. ASS. I get that for some people, it’s the best place in the world to be, but I wasn’t a student and I’ve never really been one, if I’m honest. I loved school, but I always had such nice teachers who let me read and write pretty much whatever I wanted. It was not like that at University. Actually, that’s a lie. There was one tutor who was the absolute bees knees. I think he hated University as much as me – Mr Paddy Lyons. He was probably one of the scariest tutors in the place, but for some reason, I was never scared or nervous about his tutorials. I’d watch him make students cry and be like, Yeeeah, go Padster. He seemed to be the only English tutor who actually cared about stories.

At work, I’m the only one who works in reception who has a degree and yet I’m the one who makes the most mistakes. I’m honestly the worst receptionist there’s ever been. It’s turned into a running joke. I forget to pass on messages, still don’t really know how to transfer calls, bin things I don’t know what to do with, and shred paper I don’t like the look of. I’m hopeful that one day, this whole reception lark will click into place, but until then I’ll continue to cause mayhem.

I’ve been told it’s not normal to get on so well with your colleagues. I asked them the other day – that if every job was like this one. And they all said no. That this is the only job they’ve had where everyone actually really likes each other. I think it works because everyone is their complete, crazy self. I’d love to go into detail, but that would be a little unprofessional.

We had a girls night out on Saturday. We went to see Dream Boys – a big, muscly strip show. I’d never seen so many willies before. I was actually petrified. I tried to get drunk in the staff room before we left, but it didn’t happen. You know how sometimes you’re so nervous about something that not even alcohol can help? That’s what I was like. Turns out, it was just a really good night. My friend got pulled up on stage and got a willy slapped in her face – it was the funniest thing I’ve ever seen. She then texted her husband to let him know about the willy slapping and two minutes later got a reply from her mum saying, Oh dear, I’m not sure that text was for me? That was even funnier than the actual willy slapping.

This night out was a whole two days ago, but I still feel hungover. No work today though – woop, woop. I’m having a movie day instead.

I love being a grown-up.

A New Kind of Book in Town

A New Kind of Book in Town


There seems to be a new sort of story bracing the shelves these days (hehe these days – I’m only 22), stories like Caitlin Moran’s How to be a Woman and Lena Dunham’s NOT THAT KIND OF GIRL that I sort of have a love/hate relationship with. I love them because they’re bold, shocking, and make me laugh in the kind of way I do when someone falls over (most hilarious thing in the world), and I hate them because they’re bold, shocking, and make me laugh in the kind of way I do when someone falls over (seriously, slapstick’s where it’s at).

I’ll explain. Moran’s book opens with a detailed description of her 16 year old self masturbating in the same bed that she shares with her little brother (he’s sleeping at the time), and while I admire her guts and think it’s a great way to grab a reader’s attention, I also feel it’s a little like Look at me writing about all this secret stuff that we do, but no one talks about, so I’m going to talk about it and make LOADS of money!!!!

Don’t get me wrong, these books are extremely sharp and extremely witty (I wasn’t able to put them down), but they’re basically just diaries. I wonder where the effort is. And they’re another thing that’s adding to this self-obsessed world. They’re like the book versions of selfies and they’re becoming more and more common and I’m worried that one day, OUR IMAGINATIONS WILL BE DESTROYED AND ALL THE STORIES WILL BE GONE!!!!!!!!!!!! We’ll just be watching and reading things about real people doing real masturbating and eating real icing at four in the morning and going to the toilet for real and awkward real sex stories and other real things like that.

Although, that’ll probably never happen. And besides, a lot of made-up stories spring (spring) from real life too. And I also realise that I am being a COMPLETE HYPOCRITE talking about this on my BLOG.

Sigh. Basically, I’m just jealous that these people are getting paid and I’m not.

Fuck sake.

Keep Your Filthy Paws off My Silky Drawers

Keep Your Filthy Paws off My Silky Drawers


One day, when I had not long moved into my new flat, I was studying at my desk when I spotted a little secret drawer that I hadn’t noticed before. I opened it and found this – 



– a drawer filled with the diaries of the previous tenant (!!!) which I immediately started reading because I’m a nosy wee git, but truth be told, they weren’t that exciting. Recipes, to do lists, sketches, and only one diary entry where they talked about how they needed to study more, update their blog, go to the gym, and buy a present for their friend. They seemed like a nice person, intelligent as well, and maybe someone I’d like to meet, but I was definitely expecting something waaaaay more juicy than the things I found.

The thing is, I’ve got a slight obsession with these drawers. I remember my mum unlocking her secret drawer (eugh, sounds a bit dirty) and pulling out boxes filled to the brim with letters and diaries…letters and diaries that I was just dying to read. One day, she actually left the key in the cupboard and I went as far as to pull the letters out of the box and just look at them in their envelopes, but although I desperately wanted to, I never read any – only little, I was still terrified of the wrath of parents! 

My dad had lots of little notebooks as well. He didn’t keep them hidden away though; they were out in the open surrounded by threats of ‘Don’t you go looking in them. They’re private.’

 On my ninth birthday, however, he got me my very own little notebook and so began my secret drawer –


– a drawer that I like to go back and look through every now and again. 

There’s a play, Krapp’s Last Tape by Samuel Beckett, that shows an old man listening to his old, recorded diaries and while listening to these diaries, he feels ashamed; embarrassed; angry; he calls his old self a ‘bastard’, and switches off some tapes when he just can’t stand to hear anymore what he once said and thought. And I find myself having the same feelings when I go through my old diaries. It’s weird. It’s my writing, but did I really think that? Although, it’s also nice in a way. I’m quite an erratic diary keeper and so each entry was like a jump from one stage of childhood to another. My first diary’s my favourite – the one my Dad gave me when I was nine. It is so brutally honest and says so much more than the hundreds of pages I cover in my later, teenage diaries. 

I actulley know that santa dosn’t exist because I found all the presents in the garege.

On february we are going on a holiday with my famly and the boy I fancie and his famly so I will show off and maybe he will fall for me.

Oh guess what I got a Mobile Phone. But I am not going to tell enyone because I don’t want to.

And my personal favourite – 

I think I am going to have my period soon. I have got hair in other places and I am getting angry.

Towards the end of this diary, however, I started ending my entries with ‘See ya! Joz x’ and that’s when things started to change in my writing. I stopped being so honest and started writing as though it was a letter to someone else and not just myself. I also went back and ripped out pages of things that I not only wanted anyone else to see, but that I didn’t want myself to see either – they were far, far too honest. But now I can’t find those pages and I desperately want them back. My later diaries are absolute RUBBISH! Like Krapp, I’m ashamed, angry, and embarrassed of the things I thought and wrote, of the person I was either trying to be, pretending to be, or was. I want the honesty back. I want those missing pages.

But that’s where books come in. My favourite books have always been the brutally honest ones – the ones that expose those dark, shameful, and embarrassing thoughts and feelings; the ones where the authors don’t let go of that childhood honesty; the ones where the authors have perhaps been tried in court for being too honest, and the ones where the secrets held in drawers are let out.

And so it’s ok that I can’t find my missing pages; it’s ok that I can’t read my mum and dad’s notebooks, and it’s ok that my previous tenant probably took his real diaries with him because I have my books to satisfy my nosy gitiness.