Adventure 283 ~ Buy My First Kindle Book

Writing retreatI know. I know. I know. What took me so long? Well, I have to admit that I’m pretty old-school when it comes to books : I love the smell of a real paper book, and I love the feel of turning the pages. I love opening and closing books : when they are opened, it feels like the contents come to life right in front of me ; when they are closed, it feels like I pressed the “pause” button and nothing can happen without me.

For me, a book is a living thing. When I read a book, I write over it. I talk to it. I listen to it. I have a relationship with it.

So, I never really got the appeal of Kindles – and I don’t own one. It turns out, however, that my laptop does have a Kindle app (I “tripped” over it a few months ago) but I never intended to use it. Until today!

Yesterday a book arrived in the post. It is brilliant. Totally brilliant. Unexpectedly brilliant. No-one recommended this book to me – it was another one of those stumbling things. I was looking for something to help me navigate the wilds of self-publishing, and I came across a book called The Easy Step-By-Step Guide For Self-Publishing Your Book In Print Using Create Space . When I dipped into the Create Space website to create an account, I made the terrible mistake of clicking on a few links. Those were deadly clicks leading me to all sorts of fora where people were getting het up about things I didn’t even know existed!

I have to admit that the whole process looked a little daunting, so  I decided to reduce my fears by attempting to understand more about it. The book that arrived yesterday is spot on for what I need. It’s written in jargon-free language, the writer anticipates and answers questions ~ and he’s very reassuring. The book was so good that I decided to buy the Amazon Kindle Publishing Book written by the same author, Jon Roetman.

And that’s where the Kindle adventure comes in : the book is only available in Kindle format. So, I did it! I bought a Kindle book 🙂 . It felt like magic when the book suddenly arrived on my laptop, but when I opened it I found it difficult to read. The words were where what I expected (and again, I’m super-pleased with my purchase) but my head doesn’t seem to like the format. I wonder if my brain will adapt to the Kindle format? (I’m definitely going to read it, so I’ll let you know how that plays out).

So, anyway – that’s me. I’m all set to complete my writing project. For the next week or so, I’m going to go to a writing retreat (in my own office 😛 ). I got so much out of my summer “Big Distraction Project“, that I’m taking a break from social media AND blogging in order to immerse myself in the author experience. I’ll still be recording daily video-blogs but I won’t post them until I come out of retreat. All the vlogs will be edited into one film and I’ll include that film in my next blog post which will be at the end of my retreat.

See you on the other side!

I am just going outside and may be some time.


Adventure 215 ~ The Big Distraction Project [Day 7]

It’s the final day of  this series of adventures!

The last 7 days (living with minimal distractions)  have had a profound impact on me. In today’s video, I share the learning and insights that The Big Distraction Project has offered.

(I’ve also decided to change my relationship with social media as a result of my experiences this week…. that’s BIG … right?!)

I am just going outside and may be some time.


Adventure 214 ~ The Big Distraction Project [Day 6]

rangeToday, I reduce my distractions further by taking myself  to a location without a phone- signal or the internet!

I have a wonderful adventure learning how to fire up an old range cooker ; I sit in front of it reading for the whole afternoon (and well into the evening).

(I might actually be getting the hang of distraction-free living…. at last!)




I am just going outside and my be some time.


Adventure 213 ~ The Big Distraction Project [Day 5]

5 days into The Big Distraction Project, I am not just surviving : I am thriving!


I am just going outside and may be some time.


Adventure 212 ~ The Big Distraction Project [Day 4]

Today, I realise that by removing the distraction of social media (in particular), I am beginning to appreciate human contact MUCH more!

I am just going outside and may be some time.



Adventure 211 ~ The Big Distraction Project [Day 3]

Whilst I may have felt disconnected from the world yesterday, today I’m feeling re-connected (but not to the same world!)

If you want to find out more about The Big Distraction Project , you might want to check out this post .

I am just going outside and  may be some time.


Adventure 210 ~ The Big Distraction Project [Day 2]

Okay, I’m owning up : the radio silence is becoming a little uncomfortable. Yes, it’s completely true : I’ve been fabulously productive over the last 2 days, but I am starting to feel a little cut off from the world.

Today, I managed to craft a curriculum vitae to submit with my manuscript to the next agent on my list. The process made me smile (I haven’t written one of these since 1997) and I’ve produced a single-page document that is a complete reflection of who I am : I squeezed my whole life onto an A4 sheet of paper!  I wanted to share the experience… not necessarily with the whole world but definitely with some of my friends with whom I’d normally have daily contact via a Facebook group.

I emailed them, but it’s not the same. There is something alive and connecting about social media; not all of it but certainly some of  it.

So, it seems that behind my “distraction” lies a sense of disconnection. I might need a bit of time to process this : I work largely on my own with a transitory client-base. So I ask myself, is social media a distraction for me or does it, in fact, perform an important function for me? Does it provide me with colleagues and a lively working environment?

I am just going outside and may be some time.


Adventure 209 ~ Send My Manuscript To A Literary Agent [Without Getting Distracted]

Well, it’s Day 1 of  The Big Distraction Project and things are going rather well! (It actually feels like I’ve been driving with the handbrake on until today 😛 ). In fact, things have gone so well that I’m ahead of schedule and have even managed to submit the manuscript for my short story to a literary agent (which feels very exciting).


I am just going outside and may be some time.


Adventure 208 ~ The Big Distraction Project

The questions that came up for me yesterday (as a result of reading Steven Pressfield’s “Turning Pro”) have given me an idea for a 7-day adventure! For 7 days, I’ve decided to remove as many distractions in my life as I can. For 7 days I will not be active on social media. For 7 days I will not drink wine. For 7 days I will avoid “hiding” in work and start taking healthy, nourishing breaks.

If I remove these distractions, I wonder what I will discover? As usual. I’ll be keeping a daily video diary (I reckon this adventure could get really interesting. In fact, I reckon this adventure might even be a significant turning point for me!)

I am just going outside and may be some time!


Adventure 207 ~ Turning Pro With Steven Pressfield

For today’s adventure, I read Steven Pressfield’s “Turning Pro” . It’s a rapid read (it took only 2 hours, cover to cover) and continues the conversation he starts in his first book, “The War Of Art”. His first book provides a thorough examination of the concept of resistance and introduces the idea of “the pro”. The pro is someone who nurtures a consistent set of habits geared towards overcoming this resistance with a view to not only acknowledging their true gift (whether that be writing, or painting, or parenting, or dancing, or cooking, or care-giving..) but  also delivering that gift to the world.

Steven devotes a considerable amount of time (in “Turning Pro”) to the notion of distraction (also a form of resistance). He suggests that many of us (amateurs) distract ourselves from our true purpose (our true gift, our potential work of art, our new business) by living shadow lives (lives that look meaningful and fulfilling but they’re not really in line with our true gift and/or who we really are … and so they don’t feel like they’re the “real deal”) and by engaging in certain behaviours (like addictions) which allow us to hide from ourselves.

The pro faces up to the fullness of who they really are, acknowledges their gift and then brings their gift into the world.

As I read the book, it brought up some big questions for me :

1. To what degree do I distract myself (and how do I distract myself) ?

2. What would I discover if I didn’t distract myself?

3. Am I living in alignment with my true purpose? (Should I have a purpose at all? If I do have one, what is it?)

I share more about my response to Steven’s writing in today’s video. He’s certainly got me thinking!


I am just going outside and may be some time 🙂 .