Charlotte's Web

Blogging my world since 2006

Aspiring Writer Seeks Beauty, Time, Love


I avoid New Year’s resolutions, and tend to go for themes instead. This year was meant to be Charlotte’s Year of Travel, and I went to Italy, South Africa, England and different parts of France a few times. My theme for 2007 is beauty. When I buy or acquire or make something, I want it not only to be beautiful, but it must be beautiful TO ME. I think I am finally adult enough not to be influenced by anyone else’s aesthetic.

A few weeks ago, I noticed Litlove’s Aspirational Meme and thought I’d save it for the end of the year, when one naturally starts to reflect on the past, and plan for the future. So here goes:

What part of the past would you bring back if you possibly could?
I like to look forwards rather than backwards, so this is a hard one for me. I guess it would the early days of falling in love with my husband. Our love is a grown-up now, more mature, kinder and accepting, but also beset with practicalities. It would be fun to experience the heady joys of limerance again. And not have to get up next morning to feed the breakfast enthusiasts.

What character trait would you alter if you could?
Procrastination. I put things off until they build up like thunderclouds in my mind, and when I finally get around to doing them I am surprised to discover they are a brief squall and not the storm I’d anticipated.

Which skill would you like to have the time and energy to work on?

Are you money poor, love poor, time poor or freedom poor?
Time poor, without a doubt. I need time to be alone – not something you really get with three small children – and time to write.

What element of your partner’s character would you alter if you could?
Well, it’s more a physical thing, but I’ve noticed recently that he’s grown a third hand and I would like to sever it from his being. Blackberry Disease, anyone?

What three things are you going to do next year that you have been meaning to do for ages but have never got around to?
Take myself on a writer’s retreat – either a guided one or all aloneo in a hut in the Schwarzwald. Surround myself with beauty – my aesthetic, not anyone else’s. Transform myself from a technophobe to a technophile.

If a fairy godmother gave you three wishes what would you wish for?
An end to violence against women.
A cure for AIDS.
Health and happiness for my family.

What one thing would you change about your living conditions?
I would like less clutter. Any volunteers?

How could the quality of your free time be improved?
I need to shop less (pointless, expensive, soulless) and write more (effective, cheap, satisfying).

What change have you made to your life that you’re most proud of?
Becoming a blogger.


Author: charlotteotter

Novelist, feminist, crime writer

8 thoughts on “Aspiring Writer Seeks Beauty, Time, Love

  1. Ah, procrastination.

    And that’s all I have to say about that.

    In your journey from technophobe to a technophile, maybe you’ll spend some time as what my father likes to call “techno-peasant” (a category of which he considers himself to be a member.)

  2. Great answers! How you keep clutter down with three children, I do not know. I fight a daily battle against the rising tide with only one son and one husband (though both are very messy)And why is it so hard to find that little slot of time to write? I know just how you feel.

  3. enjoyed reading this.. 🙂

  4. Taking the time to go on a writing retreat is a true and wonderful gift to yourself. I’ve done it a few times and those retreats were the very best treats for sure. If you wish to wander further up north (great air, great people, fantastic (relatively, by German standards and not South African standards) non-cluttered countryside) to the perfect writing ambience, try Guthaus Stellshagen (, it is a pearl of a place.

  5. Wow, Lilalia, that place looks great! Thanks for the good tip – I’ll be following it up.

    Litlove, I know it’s a daily battle for me too. I find that if my kitchen is clean and tidy, I can cope with the rest of the house being a mess. Somehow having my kitchen under control is good for my soul.

    Jen, I like “techno-peasant” – that’s not too high a goal to aim for!

  6. We’re also engulfed by clutter, even though the house is big. Slightly hampered by the fact that not only are the children messy but I am too.

  7. Clutter? What is that? Is it that pile of magazines with the books next to it and the coffee cup on it with the three dog toys in front of the fireplace and the pile of negatives on my desk that need to be scanned? Is that clutter? I’ll be taking care of that as soon as I finish getting the batch of mango chutney we made today away off the kitchen counter and into the food room; then maybe I’ll do the three loads of laundry. But first I had better have a cup of tea, don’t you think????

  8. Love this idea, might steal this meme.

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