I’ve been a bit all over the place this week, finding it difficult to settle to anything, and not feeling as if what I’ve been doing is particularly worthwhile. Still, recording it all for Weeknotes shows me that I am getting things done, even if it doesn’t feel like it.Read more
Someone my husband, Dave, knows started a project called Weeknotes, whereby he puts together a summary of what he’s done at work each week and posts it online. Other people have started to do it too, and I wanted to join in. I wasn’t overly enthused about compiling Weeknotes for my day job, but I thought it might be fun to do it for my writing, so here goes...Read more
Yesterday, I experienced a profound sense of accomplishment.
The four-month writing period of the Six Month Novel Programme is coming to an end, and I actually finished writing the last scene of my current draft about three weeks ago. That felt pretty great, not least because it happened on a writing date with a friend who was also there when I finished my first draft of the novel nearly two years ago.Read more
Last weekend, a few friends and I went to Felixstowe Book Festival. This was my third event of this kind, and probably my favourite so far. NAWG Fest in September last year was an intensive two days of excellent workshops, with a couple of author talks thrown in. Tremendous fun, but very tiring. Chipping Norton Literary Festival, in May, was all author panels, which I found very interesting, but didn’t spark my creative muscles. So, I was glad to discover that Felixstowe had a range of different sessions on offer, including both panels and workshops. I signed up for several of both, and thought the combination worked really well.Read more
I didn’t write anything all last week. Then, I had a tiring, somewhat stressful but ultimately enjoyable weekend away at a gaming event, getting home later last night than planned. And I’d completely forgotten about my dentist appointment this morning. All I wanted to do with the rest of today was sit on the sofa and watch TV. But I had a writing date scheduled with a writer friend this afternoon, so I duly made my way to Brick Lane to meet her.Read more
When I wrote the first draft of my novel, it took five years, a lot of teeth-pulling, and a gradual progression from the original 1,500 word story to the eventual 90,000 word novel. There was a lot of mystery and excitement along the way, coupled with periods of staring into the void, wondering what on earth was going to happen next.
Now, I’ve signed up for the Six Month Novel programme, and I’m in a whole new world of plotting and outlining.Read more
This is an article I wrote this month for the Get Your Words Out online community:
So, you’re fearful of putting your writing out there into the world…
Well, you’re not alone. Every writer experiences anxiety about letting other people read their work. Every writer fears rejection and criticism of their work.Read more
Charlie, who runs the Urban Writers’ Retreats I go to, also just finished running an online writing programme for four weeks, starting on 2 January. It consisted of a daily email, containing a writing prompt, a suggested amount of time to write (starting at five minutes and working upwards), and either a task to help with story-planning or a link to an article or video containing writing advice.Read more
I spent the whole of last week on a writing course at Moniack Mhor, near Inverness. It was aimed at science-fiction and fantasy writers, with workshops in the mornings, led by the two tutors, Juliet McKenna and Pippa Goldschmidt, and the afternoons left free for individual writing time. I always find these kind of events really useful and enjoyable, but this one also provided me with a new focus for my writing as we head into 2017.Read more
This blog post marks a major achievement in my writing.
At the beginning of the year, I joined the Get Your Words Out online community of writers. In order to sign up, you have to pledge to write a certain number of words over the course of the year. They also have to be certain kinds of words - not just random scribbles in a private journal, but actual progress on works of fiction, or blog posts intended for public consumption. Now, on looking at the available pledges, I was somewhat dismayed to discover that the lowest number open to me was 150,000 words. At the time, this seemed pretty much out of the realms of possibility, but I decided to sign up anyway and do my best. At the very least, it would mean a new tracking spreadsheet to add to my collection.Read more