This Is Not About EastEnders

I get very easily distracted.

This isn’t new information, I’ve told you it before. Books, TV, computer games, alcohol, all of these stop me from writing.

Even now, it’s taken over fifteen minutes just to write these opening few sentences, and that’s because I’ve been watching Back to The Future (Part 2)

However, just because I’ve been distracted, doesn’t mean I haven’t done anything since the last time I updated you on my writing. I am making the assumption here that you care. If you don’t care, you’re likely not reading this blog anyway.

So what have I been doing?

For a while, actually not much. Work for me goes pretty crazy in the few months prior to Christmas, and this year has been no exception, especially with the lack of an assistant (something which is still causing me problems).

But I returned and blogged with a vengeance at the beginning of January with a post about the Lucy Beale murder mystery in EastEnders. That post went crazy with over a hundred visitors in one day.

In the course of January this year, my blog achieved fifty percent of the traffic is had achieved in the whole of 2014. It seems that people like to read about EastEnders almost as much as I enjoy writing about it.

I’m going to do a few more blog posts about pop culture where and when I can – it’s a great traffic driver and watching those stats go up certainly boosts your self confidence.

I also enjoyed writing the post and it helped me get my narrative juices back.

You may recall I sent out my novel – I sent it to six different agents last summer, and three people responded – all with no.

Then one of the negative responders came back asking to see more. Rather excited, I sent them the rest of the novel – and then came back with no.

So I’m officially putting the novel on rest again, but Memories of a Murder will live on in screenplay form, as I’m currently adapting it for submission to the Writers Room on the BBC website.

BUT… within the last week or so, an idea that has been bubbling under in my head for the better part of a year now, finally clicked into place and I worked out exactly what I was going to do.

“The Project” is under way, and best of all, at the end of it, I don’t need an agent, I don’t need a publisher, or a TV producer. It just needs a lot of hard work from me, and for me to be happy with the end result.

And then I’ll drop it like a Beyonce album, when you’re all least expecting it.

I have index cards, some new pens, blu tack, and a ball of string, and I’m ready to go.

And that’s all I’m telling you about it. For now at least. In the meantime, watch this space.

Or watch EastEnders.

(Not) Looking for Love Part 1

Towards the end of 2014, I decided I was going to find me one of those boyfriend things.

I’ve never really had the most successful of love lives – though it’s not been completely inactive – and part of that has been of my own choosing, never really wanting anything permanent.

I’m happy in my own company and I work long hours. Sharing the precious few hours I get to myself with someone else has never really been a priority.

Occasionally, I get a bit lonely and want to spend some time with people, but that’s what friends and family are for. So again, that boyfriend thing never really appealed.

Of course, there are SOME things that friends and family can’t provide, but I’ve always found sex a little overrated, time consuming, and frankly, a bit dull at times. I don’t know, maybe I’m doing it wrong.

But something changed, and I don’t really know what. Maybe it was that three of my friends got into serious relationships – one of them someone who up until that point had a similar attitude to relationships as me.

Maybe it was because it was cold and I needed to find a new way of keeping warm. Maybe I just wanted more presents for Christmas.

The point is… I asked somebody out. Confidence has never been a problem for me, except when it comes to men – so for me to directly ask someone was big news. (Even though it was via a Direct Message on Twitter – it still counts. #BabySteps)

The answer was “thanks, but no thanks” – and I moved on, got over it. Which was a new experience for me. Normally, if I ever do like a guy, before I even talk to him, I’ve idealised him in my mind and planned our lives together. This usually leads to disappointment, but it’s a by-product of the endless chat that has come with meeting people on social media.

Exactly that happened shortly after Christmas, when just randomly chatting with someone on twitter we started sending each other direct messages. He was cute, been following each other on twitter for a few months, not ever really considered anything before. Partly because he lived SO far away.

We spent a whole night chatting, first on Direct Message, then via text. We found we had so much in common, and we were laughing about how fate seemed to be throwing us together. We both talked about the future, about running off to live away from all of society in some forest somewhere – he even jokingly asked me to marry him.

Then, after a week and a half of non-stop chat, he ended it. Said it was nothing personal, but he’d realised that he didn’t want to be with anyone, he wanted to remain single.

I wasn’t devastated, partly because I was expecting it (one doesn’t get rejected by as many men as I have without starting to be able to read the signs), but partly because it was something I’d said to guys before. One specifically comes to mind, where there was nothing wrong with him, a perfectly lovely, attractive guy – I just didn’t want to be in a relationship with him.

But I was a bit upset – because again, I thought I’d made a connection, and again, it came to nothing.

But, I surprised myself, the following day, by being completely over it. And that’s nothing against the guy, but what we had – like most virtual relationships – wasn’t real. Whatever it was, I enjoyed it massively at the time, but found afterwards I didn’t miss it.

And then I realised I didn’t miss it because, he wasn’t the right guy for me. The stuff I enjoyed was all the bits that come with a relationship, someone to chat to (even if it was only over the phone), to tell stuff to, to make me smile when he compliments.

I miss that, but I don’t miss him.

So I’ve learned something. I’m NOT going to find me one of those boyfriend things. I’m not gonna look, because I’ll just try and force it again.

But I AM going to start saying yes to things, going out and doing more stuff, where I might meet some new people, and if one of them new people happens to be the right guy for me, well that’s wonderful, but I’m going to let him find me.

This new attitude has already started to reap rewards, when, last weekend I made the trip up to London for a two hour pre-launch party for Helen Lederer’s new book (review to come soon).

Old me, wouldn’t have wasted money on such a short trip, especially one on my own. He would have just stayed home, watched TV, shuffled stuff around the flat and maybe have ventured out to McDonalds for a burger.

New me, travelled up, had a lovely time, met some new people, made some new contacts, and even made a handsome guy give me his number. It was happening before I even thought about it – didn’t ask him for it, didn’t offer mine, just told him to give me his number.

I might never see him again, I might run into him next time I’m in London – who knows. But I’m not gonna over think it. It’s possible and, indeed probable, that he didn’t want to give me his number, but it was his real one, because I did send him a little text and he text back. We left it with maybe a drink, maybe sometime.

A chance encounter, that came out of me not looking for love, that has led to a ‘maybe’.

I’ll update you sporadically on my non-quest, whether you want to be updated or not – I’m still not looking for love, but I think I’m finally ready for it if turns up.