Sarah Ann Hall

Reporting on writing in progress or, more probably, not; practising flash fiction.

Project 10K – Giving Up

with 23 comments


The car broke down, a ceiling fell down, and an elderly relative fell over. The car is fixed, the ceiling should be fixed, the elderly relative can’t be fixed. And then there’s the colleague off sick for whom I’m covering. October was a month full of stress and other stuff; a month where writing went out the window and its importance, or not, was brought into focus.

Why do I write? Because someone a long time ago said I could. I do not have a burning passion. I do not have a natural talent. It’s always fun to weave Thom’s prompts into a story, but it’s hard work meeting the self-imposed deadlines of Friday Fictioneers and the New Unofficial On-Line Writer’s Guild. And that doesn’t touch on the other stuff I have on my to do list that I’ve been working on forever.

So I’m stopping. I’m taking a break. Currently working almost full time and travelling to visit the frail elderly relative we are desperate to get out of hospital leaves no time for writing, reading, and commenting on others’ work, so I’m off. There’s only so much a girl can do.


Goals for November

  1. Write nothing.
  2. Evaluate and assess whether I miss it.
  3. Take note of what else I do with my time.



Written by Sarah Ann

November 5, 2018 at 7:35 pm

23 Responses

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  1. I had a friend a few years ago who was making herself sick from being involved in too many things and not getting enough rest. When it was suggested to her that she should cut some things out and simplify her life, she famously replied, “I don’t want to give up the things I want to do because of the things I have to do.” She kept up her hectic schedule and, eventually, real life calmed down on its own and she kept doing what she loved and didn’t miss a beat. Your life will calm down eventually, too. Take care of yourself in the meantime and come back when you are ready.

    Tom MacInnes

    November 5, 2018 at 7:54 pm

    • Thank you Tom for the support and encouragement. I may well come back but I am one for clean lines and boundaries so taking a break, and letting everyone know so I keep to it, is what I need at the moment. I’ll stay creative but focus on thread and material for a while – sewing and knitting are way easier than writing.

      Sarah Ann

      November 12, 2018 at 8:40 pm

  2. stay amazing in the meantime! The internet world can wait.


    November 5, 2018 at 7:54 pm

  3. You Do have a talent for writing and should not give up… take s break and come back stronger 💪… Best wishes to your aging rellie…


    November 5, 2018 at 7:57 pm

    • Thanks Tim. I might well come back stronger and refreshed. There’s only so much dead-horse flogging I can do so I might ditch the old and start anew and completely different.

      Sarah Ann

      November 12, 2018 at 8:42 pm

  4. Oh, I’ve been there and back.


    November 5, 2018 at 10:10 pm

    • And you keep coming back 🙂 I’m not sure I have the stamina.

      Sarah Ann

      November 12, 2018 at 8:42 pm

      • Never say “never,” especially if you love to write. You’ll come back to blogging or do something else.


        November 13, 2018 at 3:52 am

  5. Sounds like it’s definitely time to pull back and concentrate on the most important things, or you’ll get overloaded and make yourself ill.
    I hope everything works out okay.


    November 6, 2018 at 9:57 am

    • Thanks Ali. I’m not a getting ill sort of person, more of a get angry one 🙂 which I suppose can be the same thing. Hopefully I’ll surprise you with a comment on a FF story once in a while when I need cheering up or some inspiration. 🙂

      Sarah Ann

      November 12, 2018 at 8:43 pm

  6. All the best!


    November 6, 2018 at 2:07 pm

  7. You’re doing the right thing. I’ve been there too. And you do have talent, and you can write. But with the burning passion… I don’t have that either and I doubt that many writers do. From what I see from the pro writers I follow on Twitter–for them writing is just as hard work. I’ve just read a pep talk from Any Weir on NaNoWriMo (I don’t know if the link works if you don’t have an account: and I found that very encouraging.
    And you know, he P10K–that’s what the F badge is for. To take the pressure of, because it’s supposed to be a fun challenge for the times you want to, and can, write. And to just chat with the rest of us a bit and tell us how your month has been.
    Take a break and I bet after a while you find that you miss writing. Burning yourself out with trying to do everything well seldom works. All the best.


    November 7, 2018 at 8:34 am

    • Make that Andy Weir… sheesh. 🙂


      November 7, 2018 at 8:34 am

    • Thanks Gabrielle. I still do have a NaNo account so might go look at the pep talk – no promises mind. And if I do miss the writing, you’ll be the second to know – I’ll have to tell my husband first. I might be really naughty and use P10K to chat about all those other projects on my to-do list like learn Italian, improve my sewing, make a waistcoat, get past page 5 of my teach yourself guitar book. Take care and thanks for the challenge and space to share.

      Sarah Ann

      November 12, 2018 at 8:48 pm

      • I’m looking forwards to your reports. That’s part of the fun and not naughty at all. 🙂
        With me it was like that with every brake: it was a huge relief, I had time for ‘real life stuff’, I felt relaxed, not pressure from myself… it took weeks, even months. Then the missing part crept in. That’s when I decided I want to keep writing. Doubts come and go though.


        November 16, 2018 at 12:39 pm

      • I’m waiting for the missing to kick in 🙂

        Sarah Ann

        November 19, 2018 at 10:14 pm

  8. I hope the break helps you get your centre back, Sarah – whether that includes writing (at some point in the future) or not. All the best to you and the frail relative, and know that your writing has been appreciated! I will check your blog periodically in case you have turned up again!

    • Thank you Joanna for that really encouraging comment. Things still very up and down with the elderly relative with no set plan in sight yet. All the best for you and your writing.

      Sarah Ann

      November 19, 2018 at 10:19 pm

  9. I must admit I did used to read your regularly long to-do lists and think it might be better to focus on a couple of projects, or even one, until completion. Self-imposed deadlines piling up like that will tend to suck the enjoyment out of anything. And that’s the key, really: enjoyment. You say you started writing because somebody said you could, but people rarely persist with anything if they don’t get enjoyment from it, regardless of what other people say. And your writing always possessed that sense of enjoyment, as far as I could tell, of language, characters, and the creative process itself. Hopefully you can reconnect with that, but if not then I hope you still find it through other forms of expression, as you say. Best wishes 🙂


    November 14, 2018 at 7:26 pm

    • Thank you. The long to do lists were more of a reminder to myself as I could only every concentrate on one thing at a time.
      And you’re right I did enjoy playing with characters and testing myself with trying new styles, genres and experimenting. Hopefully I’ll get back to writing in time, but for now there are too many other boring balls to juggle.

      Sarah Ann

      November 19, 2018 at 10:17 pm

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