New Year, New Start

January – a month for promises and plans. I usually start the new year by making an effort to eat better and exercise more (along with everyone else), but this year I’m trying something different.

Back in December I handed in my notice. I’d been working in a full-time post in new sector since August, but I hadn’t enjoyed it and felt an almost-daily dread about going to work. I didn’t have another full-time job lined up to go to – in fact, I didn’t even want one. For the first time in my life, I wanted to try a different way of working.

I have wanted to write a book ever since I was a child. I wrote my first poem when I was seven, my first children’s story at eleven, and since then have been squeezing in my writing around full-time work, full-time study, a long-distance relationship or two, and a year spent living and teaching in Japan. I’ve got married, moved house almost once a year, travelled to America, France, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, Austria, Norway, Finland, Denmark and Sweden. Work has always come first, writing second. Or third. Or maybe fourth or fifth.

I’m now at the beginning of my thirties, and I’m not really any closer to being an author than I was at the age of eleven. So that’s what I’m going to do in 2017: write a book. Researching and writing it will be my nine-to-five, something I sit down to do each day. Even on weekends and holidays I’ll be writing for an least an hour a day. Although I might not make the magical/mythical 10,000 hours in just one year, I’ll be a couple of thousand closer.

What is the book about? Well, I’m going to be knitting my way round the British Isles in a year, writing about what I learn as I go. I’ll be blogging on This Golden Fleece and you can also keep an eye on what I’m up to on Twitter @thisgoldfleece, Instagram @thisgoldenfleece and Ravelry ThisGoldenFleece. I’ll also be experimenting with lots of types of writing and hopefully signing up for a course or two along the way.

I’m lucky to be part of a household with one full-time income guarenteed through my partner’s work, but I’m also looking to pick up freelance copywriting and creative project management work too (more on that here). My first offer of paid freelance work has just come in so will be looking to build this up over the next few months. If you’re looking for a copywriter or project manager specialising in literary heritage, do get in touch on https://estherphoeberutter.wordpress.com/.

Wish me luck!

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Hazlenuts

Birthdays, books, beer and berries

Sorry these posts are a little few and far between at the moment – autumn is always a busy time of year (new school year, hedgerows to be harvested, and a big ol’ birthday to boot), but here are my musings from the last few weeks!

New books – the aforementioned birthday has provided me with a whole heap of delightful bookery to get my teeth into (sometime literally, often more metaphorically).

Birthday books and cards

Birthday books and cards

Most excitingly, and without even asking for it, I have a brand-new literary biography to linger over, in the shape of Philip Larkin: Life, Art and Love. Having dropped some not-so-subtle hints to my husband whilst in the Watermill at Aberfeldy, I have also been furnished with Leon’s Fast Vegetarian (and made my first dish, Sri Lankan pineapple curry, from this evening) and a translated Reeds in the Wind, a book I first heard about on our honeymoon to the homeland of its author. A treasure trove indeed.

The previous post mentioned The Hedgerow Handbook: have now managed to collect lots of nuts, sloes and hips which are awaiting transformation. The sloes are mid-fermentation in the gin, the hips are in the freezer, and the nuts are only half-shelled…it’s a tedious process, but well worth the marvellous autumn walks to collect them.

SSBBF stash

SSBBF stash

Two brilliant friends of ours also organised themselves an amazing birthday party this weekend: they hired a bunk barn, bought 10 barrels (and several bottles) of beer and cider, and invited 30 friends to celebrate their 30th with them.Now these are people who don’t mess about – they branded the whole thing as the SSBBF, with beer tankards, beer mats, and beer list to match! It was a great weekend of celebrating with friends and family from near and far.