My thoughts don’t count

I only have one child.

I only want one child. I’ve always been certain about that.

It doesn’t bother me that I only have one child. I like my life the way it is.

But the other night, hubby asked me why I was always quick to dismiss my parenting knowledge when they are quite valid and sound. I paused because I wasn’t really sure why I tend to do this.

Then I realise that I feel like my thoughts aren’t valid because I only have one child.

In the parenting playground, aka drop off mornings at school, parents tend to talk about their mornings and nights and what kind of difficulties they’ve been facing with their children.

I nod most of the time, not sharing my own woes mainly because I have very little and because no matter what ‘difficulties’ my child may have, it is nothing compared to the difficulties of impoverished kids in third world countries – she mainly has first world issues.

The second reason is because when I say things like “oh my daughter did this and so were late getting ready for school”, other parents always top it with “you should try it with three (four, five, a dozen) kids” or “at least you only have one”.

They are right though. I do have it easy. I only have one child and she is easy to handle for most of the mornings before school. Not to say though that she doesn’t have any issues. But she is only one.

So when I think about the knowledge I have of being a parent, I always think “well how valid is that when you haven’t tried juggling three or four of them?”. I keep my thoughts to myself and nod when other parents start rattling their unsolicited parenting advice my way.

Because what do I know? I only have one.

Darrell Pitt on using Wattpad

Image from darrellpitt.com.

Image from darrellpitt.com.

I first met Darrell at this year’s Sydney Writers’ Festival. It was that awkward moment when I’m standing close enough to him and his editor to hear their conversation but not enough to be part of it. You know, when you have that half smile while trying to decide whether to move closer to be part of their talk or move slowly away from them?

Lucky for me they were nice enough to include me in their conversation (not sure what it was about now).

But I digress.

During his panel, Darrell spoke about his experience with Wattpad. For those not in the know, Wattpad is this new platform where readers go for free books by new and old authors (mostly free anyway). In the Philippines, they’re doing movies from Wattpad stories now so it’s quite popular.

Darrell just landed an eight-book deal with Text Publishing. He’s a prolific writer of YA novels – with titles like the Diary of a Teenage Superhero and The Jack Mason Adventures. Here he talks about his own experience with Wattpad.

Why did you decide to publish original work on Wattpad? How many books did you publish?

You need to find ways to get yourself out there in front of the people who are interested in reading your work. This is where I found Wattpad to be helpful. The main readership of the site was YA, which was exactly what I was writing.

A lot of people promote themselves on Facebook and Twitter, which is fine, but there are lots of people doing exactly the same. And mostly all they’re doing is advertising themselves. I think you’re better off giving people a free sample in the hope they’ll purchase next time.

I put three books on there in total.

Image from darrellpitt.com.

Image from darrellpitt.com.

What kind of feedback did you get from those?

Interestingly, the feedback was mostly, ‘I love your story’ and ‘I want more’. Wattpad isn’t a critiquing site. It’s a venue where readers go.

Did anything good come out of that experience? What were they?

The most positive experience was that after putting Book One of Teen Superheroes on the site, it led many readers going to Amazon to purchase books two and three.

I also had two enquiries regarding the film rights. Very exciting!

Image from darrellpitt.com.

Image from darrellpitt.com.

What would your advice be to those who want to do the same thing?

I always say to people that having one book published is the most difficult place to be. It’s difficult to publicise one book—and when you do, you don’t have anything else to sell!

Putting the first book in a series on Wattpad worked for me. After that, it becomes a numbers game. A certain percentage of people who read the book will go ahead and buy the others in the series.

But I would probably recommend writing at least the first and second books before putting book one out there for free. Otherwise, the readers will read the first book and not have anything else to go onto.

Any strict ‘don’ts’ when publishing on Wattpad?

What a great question! Yes, make certain you let people know what they’re letting themselves into. I put the first five chapters of Teen Superheroes Book Two on Wattpad and then left a message at the end letting them know they could find the rest of the book on Amazon.

Bad idea on my part! More than one person (quite rightly) pointed out that I’d done the wrong thing. It meant people were reading these five chapters, getting invested in the story and then finding they had to spend money to continue. I changed this so a note appeared at the very start on Wattpad, telling them that only the first few chapters were available to read for free.

And one general piece of advice relating to anything Internet related. Don’t get into arguments with people. Some people just want to pick fights with you. Don’t engage them. It’s a waste of your time. You’re a writer, so your job is to do exactly that—write.

The Healthy Mummy GIVEAWAY

Comp pic

 

After being slack for a couple of months, I’ve decided to get back on track and boost my health again.

I know it’s hard to keep on track during the cold winter months so this new challenge is perfect timing for spring.

The Healthy Mummy 28 Day Weigh Loss Challenge is a great way for mums to lose weight, get fit and healthy, and support each other along the way.

It is designed in conjunction with the best nutritionists, postnatal exercise physiologists, midwives, and most importantly, mums. This tailored, safe and affordable program can easily fit into any mum’s busy routine.

It features:

– Over one hundred 30 Minute Meals – designed by The Healthy Mummy’s expert dietitians and nutritionists.

– A focus on a balanced and healthy diet – it does not cut out any food groups.

– Family Friendly Recipes – the meals can easily be increased to feed the whole family.

– Convenient shopping lists – a shopping list that can be ordered online.

– Convenient exercises – no gym membership or equipment required; you can do everything at home at a time that suits you, with step-by-step images on how to do each exercise.

– Achievable results – 28 days is an easier target than a full 8 or 12 week course.

– An online support team and tracking dashboard, available 7 days a week – including a timer for interval training, both private and open forums, and daily tips.

The Healthy Mummy 28 Day Weight Loss Plan begins on September 1.

THREE lucky MummyK readers WORLDWIDE will win a free pass to the program!! 

To join, all you have to do is answer this question:

What lifestyle changes have you started doing to become healthier?

 

Competition closes August 30, Saturday 5PM AEST. Open to ALL residents worldwide.

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CONGRATS DOT AND VILLA!

Is my work important?

devil

You know when you’re in the throes of a merciless week of PMS and you suddenly realise your work is insignificant?

I am having one of those.

After filing my tax, I saw how little income I earned last year. I was deflated. And I think I’ve been deflated since then and I just didn’t realise it.

I drop off my daughter to school and I sit on my desk wanting to finish editing my first novel so I can move on to my second one that’s been sitting in my digital drawer for months now.

But instead, I do the work I am paid to do. Because that’s what practical writers do. We do the paid work first and then deal with the unpaid one – the one that gives us more joy.

Most days I am fine with that arrangement. I don’t even mind that I don’t get to see the manuscript for weeks at a time. But on days like this, when all I can see is red and I want to pick a fight with anyone and everyone, I feel like a balloon puffing air out of my ass – deflated.

It is this time when I question my skills, my work, my usefulness in the household. It’s when I ask for external validation (which, FYI, I rarely do because I really hate people who seek external validation) and go ballistic when I don’t get it.

So what can I do when I have moments like this? Nothing much. There’s the evening primrose oil that helps lower the need to murder. But it doesn’t do much in terms of calming my inner insecurities.

So I run, I work, I drink tea, I write, I play HayDay, and I write even more. Then it’s school pick up time and I listen to my little girl ramble about anything and everything. Then she gives me kisses and cuddles.

That usually helps heaps.

What do you do when you’re going through a killer PMS?

A San Churro Kind of Winter: A Review

san churro

For the record, I love chocolates. Duh. Like people don’t know that already. When San Churro offered me to review their winter range, I was more than happy to oblige. Add to that San Churro’s recent Happiness Report, listing what makes Aussies happy. It found that on the top of the list, catching up with […]

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Blogging, Reading, and Writing Oh My

Our little library, with seat and ottoman for reading hours.

I’ve been busy reading the last couple of weeks – in between unpacking boxes. There’s nothing like relaxing with a good book. I have over 250 books on my ereader now and I still keep adding almost every week. The reading bug has bitten my daughter as well. Each week, we go to the local […]

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Woolies voucher GIVEAWAY, my time with the Bondi Vet and cutting expenses

living room

We just moved houses and the rent has gone nuts. This shouldn’t really surprise me given that Sydney is Australia’s most expensive city. It might have been knocked down from the list of 10 most expensive cities in the world, but it’s still expensive. Well, at least I’m not living in the other more expensive […]

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Wordless Wednesday: BRB

STILL AT[Continue reading...]

Peppa Pig Live GIVEAWAY

PeppaPigLive-543

Peppa Pig and the gang are back in Australia! Life Like Touring and Fiery Light UK are happy to announce the dates for Peppa Pig Live! Treasure Hunt tour in cities around the country. So far, the show has been seen by more than 130,000 Aussies since its opening. We love Peppa Pig in our […]

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Wordless Wednesday: The last few weeks…

Cover draft for my first novel. Girls day out with Maleficent. Family selfie before the hectic house packing. Puppies taking care of sick hubby. Bday dinner with friends.[Continue reading...]

Things about Shop A Docket and why I’m going to The Living Room

Image from The Living Room.

Sponsored post Did you know that according to Shop A Docket’s shoppers survey… …81 percent of key decision makers in the house are female? (But we knew this already right?) …77 percent of shoppers read the back of their dockets for discounts? ….73 percent recently used a docket to save on goods and services? …53 […]

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Being poor…

I will miss this spot the most.

I hate being poor. I know my parents would probably be disappointed if they heard me say that but it is true. I am also aware that in the scheme of things I am not, in fact, poor — just not rich enough to buy a house in Sydney that’s not two hours away from […]

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