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Posted on 29 March 2020 19:00

Summary:

First full week of UK lockdown, which initially looked like it wouldn’t be a productive one on the writing front. But this was turned around by fantastic people running workshops and retreats online, and a series of three days at the end of the week where I made real progress on fiction for the first time in ages.

 

Tuesday:

A friend of mine who normally runs face-to-face freewriting workshops set up a virtual version via conference call this afternoon, so I dialled in and it was a lovely 90 minutes.

 

Wednesday:

I did some submissions.

I also wrote a couple of reviews and helped Bear with his first post about our recent trip to Centre Parcs.

 

Friday:

I edited the most recent podcast episode.

Later, I sat down to try and to a proper session. I started with a freewriting prompt, which got the juices flowing a bit. I edited some existing pieces to fit the requirements of an upcoming competition.

Charlie from Urban Writers Retreat sent an email out about some online retreats she was planning to host over the weekend, so I put together a plan for what I wanted to work on at the first one.

Then I went through my unassigned pieces and found places to submit them.

 

Saturday:

I logged on to the UWR online retreat and posted my goals for the day.

Then I started off by finally cracking on with some more of the edits for Colours. I completed two columns on my editing plan by the end of the first session, which was an excellent start and the first progress I’ve made on Colours in quite some time.

In the second session, I brainstormed and wrote notes for two upcoming short story submission opportunities and also wrote a blog post about my experience of the lockdown so far.

Later in the day, I completed the first quarter reflection exercise in my writing diary and planned my writing schedule for April.

Great day all round!

 

Sunday:

Slow start today, but I logged my intentions on the UWR online retreat, made a list and set to work.

I brainstormed ideas for my prompt from the TL;DR Flash Fiction competition.

I considered the next edit suggestion for Colours and added some notes to my editing plan.

I helped Bear with the next post in his Center Parcs series.

Later, I wrote the first scene of a new short story, for an upcoming anthology call.

I finished off with another couple of submissions.

So, another great day, which didn’t initially look like it would be, but became so by slowly and steadily working my way through a very specific task list.

 

Posted on 28 March 2020 12:34

I feel like I haven’t really done much writing so far this year. We’re coming to the end of the first quarter, and my sense on thinking back is that I haven’t achieved anything at all. But, actually checking back through my records, that really isn’t true.

 

So far in 2020, I have:

  • Written many, many reviews of all sort of things, including official reviews of Vaults festival shows for Fringe Guru
  • Done a final read-through of the whole of my first novel before sending it back to the publisher
  • Revised my editing plan for the second novel and made some progress in completing edits
  • Helped Bear with multiple posts about his adventures
  • Prepped, scripted, recorded and edited seven episodes of the podcast
  • Edited and submitted a novella
  • Completed three discussion posts for an online writing community
  • Submitted 36 pieces for potential publication (and got three acceptances)

 

That’s a lot for less than three months! So, apparently, it’s a good idea for me to check my facts before I rely on your memory about what I have and haven’t done with my time.

 

I think the sticking point is that I haven’t written anything *new* so far this year. There have been quite a few submission opportunities I’ve either let slide or amended something old to fit the requirements. There have been a few I’ve really wanted to write something new for, and even come up with the ideas, but haven’t been able to start them, let alone finish them on time.

 

I thought I might get a ton of writing done while I was on holiday last week, but that didn’t happen. Then, the lockdown started and I thought I would somehow magically have tons of extra time to work on writing projects while being stuck at home. But that doesn’t seem to have materialised either.

 

There are currently six short story submission opportunities on my writing task list, with deadlines ranging from 30 April to 15 November. I have ideas sorted for all of them, plenty of days I can dedicate to writing projects between now and the deadlines, and no excuses.

 

But I’m still struggling with the effort of actually sitting down and getting on with creative projects. I can imagine a lot of people are feeling that way right now. Things are scary and uncertain in the world and, while we may or may not have more time on our hands, it’s hard to focus and it’s hard to settle to one task. And that’s okay. I think it’s important for us to acknowledge our fear and our uncertainty, and not to berate ourselves for not being mega productive every minutes of every day.

 

And, if you look back and really take stock of what you’ve achieved in the last week, you might find it adds up to more than you thought.

 

What’s really helping me is the people I know who usually run face-to-face writing workshops and retreats, who are now running them online or via conference call. The majority of my writing progress in recent years has been down to making plans with other writers to share space at a set time and help each other commit and focus. So, these opportunities to enjoy that structure and encouragement in a virtual way have been fantastic in helping me regain my mojo.

 

As someone said on a podcast I listened to last week: we need to wash our hands, but not of each other.

 

And as I wrote in a virtual freewriting workshop a few days ago:

 

Where can we find meaning and purpose in our altered lives?

In virtual spaces and our collective hearts.

 

Posted on 23 March 2020 16:52

Summary:

Lots of reviews again, but I also finally got a short story rewrite done, which has been on my list for weeks.

 

Monday:

I did a Scribophile critique.

 

Wednesday:

I wrote lots more reviews of all the games I played earlier in the week.

 

Thursday:

I finished another book and played another new game, and wrote my reviews of each.

 

Saturday:

I helped Bear with an overdue post about our most recent reading retreat.

 

Sunday:

I finished off the next main podcast script, ready to record later in the day. Then I finally finished rewriting my teddy bear love story, so it was ready for submission. I also read through an old story to check it fit the requirements of the submission opportunity I wanted to send it in for.

 

 

Posted on 15 March 2020 16:09

Summary:

Mostly reviews this week, with a bit of new writing courtesy of an excellent workshop.

 

Monday:

I reviewed a film I went to see over the weekend, and also a book I finished after work.

 

Tuesday:

Big plans for today! I signed up for a freewriting workshop in Hammersmith early afternoon, and I had to review a show at the Vaults festival in Waterloo in the evening. So I found a lovely cafe in Hammersmith to write until 1:15pm, and decided I would do another session in Waterloo after the workshop and before dinner.

I started with the next main podcast episode script and that was about as far as it got.

However, the workshop was great fun and spawned an idea for a new short story I’m excited about, so that was cool.

 

Wednesday:

I wrote and submitted my review of the The Vaults show I saw the night before.

I also made some more submissions.

 

Sunday:

I could have spent a lot of time on writing projects in the latter part of the week, while at Center Parcs, but instead I enjoyed reading a lot and also playing games with my friends.

I did, however, write some more reviews.

 

Posted on 08 March 2020 20:26

Summary:

I feel like I got some good stuff done this week, and am happy that I scheduled some proper writing sessions.

 

Tuesday:

I edited the first chapter of a friend’s novel.

 

Wednesday:

I reviewed a Vaults show I went to see the night before.

I finished two books and wrote reviews of each of them.

And I went through the new edition of Writing Magazine and added a few submission opportunities to my spreadsheet.

 

Friday:

I wrote a review of the dance show I saw the previous night.

I edited the next four chapters of my friend’s novel.

I wrote my GYWO discussion post for the month.

I wrote and recorded the next interim podcast episode.

 

Saturday:

I edited the most recent interim podcast episode.

 

Sunday:

I planned a proper writing session out of the flat and ensconced myself in Starbucks from 9am.

I brainstormed a new idea for an upcoming competition and made some useful notes, coming up with an almost complete outline, including a good ending.

Then I brainstormed the requirements for this month’s AWC Furious Fiction competition, came up with an idea and wrote and submitted the piece.

I went back to an old story and cut out 200 words to make it fit a submission opportunity. Then I checked another older story to ensure it fit the requirements of another submission opportunity.

 

Posted on 01 March 2020 21:25

Summary:

Basically just reviews and podcasting this week.

 

Monday:

I finished a book and wrote my review.

I also did some more submissions.

 

Sunday:

I wrote all the reviews from the reading retreat I went on earlier in the week and reviewed a film I watched earlier in the day..

I also started writing the script for the next interim podcast episode and edited the most recent main podcast episode.

 

Posted on 23 February 2020 15:55

Summary:

I worked on writing projects every day this week again, but I’m calling a halt now and going back to my regular-ish scheduled sessions. Not a bad week overall, though.

 

Monday:

I wrote my GYWO discussion post for the month.

 

Tuesday:

I did some more submissions.

 

Wednesday:

I wrote a review of a TV show we finished watching the previous night.

 

Thursday:

I met Ann in Wapping for my first proper writing session of the week, and started out with an extensive review of the book I finished the night before. Then I moved on to the script for the next main podcast episode. Later, I wrote a blog post about writing habits.

 

Friday:

I finished an audiobook and wrote a review of it.

Then I did some formatting for upcoming submissions.

 

Saturday:

I took myself out to the new cafe at Enfield Library for a proper writing session. I started out by writing my review for the Vaults show I went to the previous night.

Then I collated all the feedback from the critiques I received on Stanley’s The One. I did some edits on it and wrote notes for a more thorough revision.

Later, I wrote a few more reviews.

 

Sunday:

I did a bunch of submissions.

 

Posted on 20 February 2020 11:59

One of the most frequent pieces of advice out there for writers is that you should write every day. Some sources even go so far as to say that you’re not a writer *unless* you write every day. And I say that’s rubbish.

 

I’m currently partway through a challenge I set myself to write every day during February, so this is day 21 of writing in a row for me (as I actually started on 31 January) but I don’t feel as if it’s helping me as a writer or even that I’m being generally more productive.

 

Looking back over my Weeknotes for the past three weeks, I’m not sure I can even claim that all those days are really writing days. I’ve certainly found myself getting towards the end of the day and creating ‘writing’ work for myself, just so that I can tick off another day on my tracker.

 

And that, to me, doesn’t feel like joyous, creative, real progress on my writing projects. It feels more like a chore that I have to complete, and one that I haven’t really been completing in a genuine way.

 

I haven’t been particularly motivated with my writing so far this year, it’s true. And I was hoping that this challenge might galvanise me into getting back into the meatier projects more. But it’s actually had the opposite effect. Rather than wanting to get stuck in for a long session on a complex piece of writing, I’ve been fobbing myself off with spending five minutes on a review and declaring myself done for the day.

 

I’m going on a reading retreat next week - Tuesday to Friday - which would normally mean I wouldn’t do any writing at all. If I do write on those days, I’ll only be doing it to fulfil the requirements of my challenge, and it will impact detrimentally on my time away. So, I’ve decided that I’ll maintain the writing plan for the rest of this week (and possibly Monday), bringing me to a total of 24 or 25 days in a row. And then I’m going to give myself the rest of the week off, so I can dive into my reading on retreat.

 

I generally find my writing process works best if I schedule three decent sessions a week, preferably out of the flat, though I’m getting better at writing at home. That way, I’m much more likely to get stuck in and make some decent progress. And I also get time for relaxation during the week, without the necessity of writing every day hanging over me.

 

So, rather than forcing myself to write more than I want to, I’m going to focus in March on getting back into the habit of regular, long sessions, and see how that goes.

 

And I am a writer. My work has been published in lots of places, and I’ve been paid for it multiple times. I will shortly have a contract with a publisher for my first novel, which has been a major goal for some years now. But, regardless of any of that, I am a writer because I write. Not every day, but I still write, and that makes me a writer, no matter what anyone else might say.

 

Posted on 17 February 2020 16:51

Summary:

Every day was a writing day again this week. I’m trying to write every day in February and it’s going pretty well so far! It’s not something I generally like to do as it quickly feels like writing is a chore, but every now and then I like to push myself.

 

Monday:

Today, I headed to Hackney Picturehouse for a few hours before a meeting. Sadly, they had run out of my favourite tea flavour (there may be half a box left in the world in the Picturehouse Central Members’ Bar, but maybe not).

I started out by going through all my old flash fiction competition entries and creating a spreadsheet of which ones would be worth submitting elsewhere. This was an excellent way of feeling productive while putting off getting stuck back into editing Colours. But it was a useful exercise for future submission opportunities.

Later, I proofread another two chapters of Artisan and read some more of The Emotional Craft of Fiction.

 

Tuesday:

I finished creating my flash fiction submissions list and identified some upcoming submissions to use them for. Then I actually submitted some!

 

Wednesday:

I wrote my Fringe Guru review for the previous night’s Vaults show and also a review of a book I finished at lunchtime.

I also did a couple more submissions.

Later, I proofed the next two chapters of Artisan and finally actually got back to editing Colours.

 

Thursday:

I tracked my outstanding submissions and brainstormed ideas for some upcoming competitions.

 

Friday:

I finished proofreading the last two chapters of Artisan and sent the manuscript back to the publisher.

I also did some more submissions.

 

Saturday:

I wrote a review for the book I finished the previous night. 

 

Sunday:

I reviewed the previous night’s theatre trip. I did some Scribophile critiques to restore my points total. I finally got around to doing lesson number 4 in the Neil Gaiman Masterclass.

Later, I went through all my unassigned stories and matched them to new submission opportunities in my rolling spreadsheet.

 

Posted on 09 February 2020 17:48

Summary:

I wrote (more or less) every day this week, and am feeling more positive about getting back into both longer and shorter projects again.

 

Monday:

Final retreat day at Stickwick. I had to leave my room first thing, but the taxi wasn’t coming until 3pm, so plenty of time to get some stuff done. Plus, relocating to the dining room and a proper work setup motivated me towards better productivity.

I started out by typing up the last of the notes from my current projects notebook - which meant I could start a new notebook when I got home - hurrah!

Then I planned my writing tasks for my next scheduled writing date on Thursday.

I did a freewriting exercise based on an assigned task from the Start With This podcast.

Then I worked on expanding an existing short story to fit a competition with a longer word count.

After lunch, I went back to reading The Emotional Craft of Fiction for a bit, and also proofread another two chapters of Artisan before I left Stickwick.

 

Tuesday:

I finished an audiobook and wrote the review.

 

Wednesday:

I organised my unassigned stories and found new places to submit them, and also added a few new submission opportunities to my rolling spreadsheet.

Later, I read and offered comments on a friend’s short story.

 

Thursday:

Back in Wapping with Ann.

I started out with a review of a card game I’d played for the first time the night before, then proofread the next two chapters of Artisan.

I completed the amendments to Beneath the Tree and decided where to submit it, then rounded off my session with another Artisan chapter.

 

Friday:

I wrote a couple of more extensive reviews than usual.

 

Saturday:

I wrote and submitted my Fringe Guru review for the show I saw at The Vaults the night before.

 

Sunday:

I wrote a couple of reviews and submitted a batch of stories for publication.

I recorded and edited the next interim podcast episode and did some planning for upcoming submission opportunities.

 

Posted on 03 February 2020 08:55

Summary:

Fluctuating motivation this week. Some good intentions sent awry, but also a fair amount achieved, and a light at the end of the tunnel, leading the way back to some of my more challenging projects.

 

Monday:

I wrote several reviews.

 

Tuesday:

I edited two podcast episodes and made plans for my upcoming writing retreat.

 

Friday:

Off to Stickwick Manor for another Urban Writers Retreat. I still wasn’t feeling massively motivated so I set modest goals for the weekend, giving myself the opportunity to feel appropriately productive, while still having the chance to chill out.

On the train, I wrote my first Fringe Guru review for the 2020 Vaults festival.

On arrival, I had a long chat with Charlie about my current motivation levels and dissatisfaction with my day job and came to the conclusion that break time was probably over and that my brain would likely welcome a decent work ethic with regard to my writing over the weekend.

But then I had a bad ulcer attack in the early evening and had to miss dinner, and ended up feeling quite fragile most of the weekend, so went back to my more modest plan.

 

Saturday:

Wrote in bed at Stickwick today - very self-indulgent!

I started out slow with the next two chapters of Artisan. And then completed two more later in the day.

I also wrote the next interim podcast script.

So, I completed everything I assigned myself for the day, but my list of tasks wasn’t very extensive.

 

Sunday:

Still at Stickwick, still in bed!

As with yesterday, I started with Artisan and proofread another four chapters in short order.

Then, I collated the feedback on Beneath the Tree and started formulating an editing plan.

After lunch, I typed up notes from my current project notebook and then read some more of my current craft book, The Emotional Craft of Fiction.

Later on, I reviewed my Colours editing plan and started thinking a bit about some of the bigger challenges for completing that.

 

Posted on 26 January 2020 09:44

Summary:

I’m still keeping up with the Artisan proofing, which is the most important thing, but everything else is pretty much falling by the wayside at the moment. Except the podcast, which is still really fun. I’m on writing retreat at the end of next week, so I suspect my output will increase a bit then, to move into February with a better work ethic.

 

Monday:

I reviewed a game and a book.

Then I wrote a blog post about how I’m not doing much writing at the moment, and how that’s okay.

 

Wednesday:

I wrote a review.

 

Thursday:

I wrote the next interim podcast script. Then I proofread the next four chapters of Artisan.

 

Friday:

I finished a book and wrote the review.

 

Saturday:

I wrote my script for the next main podcast episode, which we recorded later in the day.

I also submitted a couple of stories for publication.

 

Posted on 20 January 2020 14:09

I worked incredibly hard on my writing last year. Novels, blog, reviews, articles, short stories, competitions, developing and producing a podcast - I did it all.

And I’m incredibly proud of what I achieved. I saw my work in print and online. I got great feedback from editors and readers. I got paid. And I got offered a contract for my first novel.

But, by the time Christmas rolled around, I was absolutely knackered.

At heart, I’m actually quite a lazy person. It takes a great deal of energy and effort for me to motivate myself to get things done. And I don’t always enjoy the process, even if I feel better afterwards than if I hadn’t bothered.

I’ve always struggled with short term temptations and had difficulty with the concept of delayed gratification. And, at the moment, my productivity engine is very low on fuel.

I have no intention of giving up on my writing. And I do still have important and exciting goals for 2020. But I’m definitely taking a step back from my usual crazy schedule. I may not make my habit pledge for Get Your Words Out this year. And that’s fine.

Top priority are the novels. I’m currently proofreading Artisan before sending it back to the publisher at the end of February, after which they will send through my contract and we’ll see what happens from there. I’m surprised and gratified that I’m really enjoying reading it again, so there will be no problem with me hitting that deadline.

I also want to get Colours to the point where I can send it to the publisher for consideration, in the hopes that they will want to publish that too. There’s still quite a lot of work to do on it, but I have a clear plan and I’m chipping away at it bit by bit, making sure it doesn’t drop off my radar.

There’s also revision to do on my novella, Beneath the Tree, and I’m looking forward to getting back into that once I get some more reader feedback.

But that’s about it. I’m submitting entries to a weekly competition when the prompt fits something I already have written. And I’m considering other submission opportunities as and when they come up. I only had one I really wanted to do at the start of the year, and I did come up with the bare bones of an idea for it, but it just feels like too much to try and get a whole story done and the approaching deadline was starting to stress me out. So, I deleted it off my list and I’m not going to worry about it.

And that’s okay, too.

I don’t feel disappointed in my lack of progress or effort. I know what I’m doing with the projects that are important to me. And I’m letting the rest of it go. For now.

And that’s okay.

 

Posted on 19 January 2020 11:03

Summary:

I’m not sure I’ve found my groove for 2020 yet, unless my groove is slacking off, which would be okay, at least for the moment!

 

Monday:

I wrote reviews for the four books I read on reading retreat over the weekend.

 

Thursday:

I met Ann in Wapping, feeling not particularly motivated. My writing goals so far this year seem very light, but I’m enjoying not putting too much pressure on myself at the moment.

I started with my first discussion post of the year for GYWO.

Then I proofread the next four chapters of Artisan, which I’m still really enjoying!

 

Saturday:

I helped Bear with his latest reading retreat blog post.

I also wrote a review of my most recent audiobook.

 

Posted on 13 January 2020 17:43

Summary:

And so work begins in earnest on getting Artisan ready for publication and Colours ready for submission. In good news, I’m really enjoying rereading both of them!

 

Monday:

I went through the whole Artisan manuscript, doing ‘find and replace’ on various things the publisher wants me to change. Perhaps dangerous, but I am going to do a close read over the next few weeks to double-check everything is as it should.

 

Tuesday:

I met Hannah after work, making good on our vow to start 2020 with a better work ethic. I proofread the first two chapters of Artisan, then knocked a couple more Colours edits off my master list. I restructured and consolidated my Colours editing plan, to hopefully make it less scary.

 

Wednesday:

I did my first batch of submissions for the year. Still tedious, but has to be done!

I posted Beneath the Tree on the TL;DR Slack, to ask the members for feedback.

Then I settled down to the next two chapters of Artisan, another Colours edit column and some notes for a potential new short story.

 

Posted on 30 December 2019 09:21

Summary:

Not a complete break from writing over Christmas, but certainly much reduced.

 

Monday:

I wrote a review of Saturday’s Olympia Horse Show and also the book I finished later in the afternoon.

 

Saturday:

I edited a friend’s short story and provided lots of comments.

I added some notes to my Colours editing plan.

Then I worked on an old flash fiction piece, expanding it to fit an upcoming competition entry, and submitted it.

I also wrote a few reviews.

 

Sunday:

I wrote a blog post, celebrating my writing achievements of 2019.

 

Posted on 29 December 2019 10:04

I’m not normally someone who brags about their accomplishments, but I’m going to make an exception here, because it’s been a phenomenal writing year for me and I want to celebrate that! I’ve worked really hard, persevered in the face of rejection and lack of motivation, and I have a lot to show for it at the end of 2019. And, while a lot of things in the world are not how I would like them to be, I can say with confidence that my writing is on track and I’m very proud of what I’ve achieved.

 

Part of my success story is all about persistence and taking opportunities where they arise. I have a spreadsheet of rolling submission possibilities and I use that in two ways. First of all, to prompt me to write new stories, based on themes, word counts and deadlines provided by competitions and anthology calls. But I also keep a list of publications that accept submissions of the type I write, so I have somewhere to send those stories when they get rejected.

 

In 2017, I made 105 submissions and got 8 acceptances. In 2018, I made 101 submissions and only got 5 acceptances. I was very happy with all of those - getting publication acceptances is not something that has diminished in its excitement value over time.

 

I really upped my game in 2019 and made 160 submissions. And my total acceptances to date number 22, which is very satisfying. Now, I should say that seven of those are for the same publisher, who produces drabble anthologies and basically accepts work from everyone, so I’m not sure they really count. However, you have to be accepted into one of their drabble anthologies to be able to submit to their paid short story anthologies, and I’ve also now got acceptances for two of those, so I think the drabbles were very useful groundwork (as well as a lot of fun).

 

One of my other tremendous satisfactions for 2019 is that I’ve sold five stories that are all several years old and have been rejected 12 or 15 times each from different places. But I don’t give up on stories often, so I just kept on sending them out there and I will finally be seeing them all in print in 2020, as long as all goes well.

 

I have also written about 20 entirely new short stories and flash pieces (not including all the drabbles), three of which are included in the publication acceptances. One of these is a story I’ve been wanting to write for years and never been able to get to work. And now it’s a real thing that exists in the world, albeit still requiring a lot of work to get it up to submission standard.

 

I had multiple writing goals at the start of 2019, one of which was to start work on a non-fiction project. This fell by the wayside fairly early on in the year, when I realised it was going to take a lot more time and effort than I had available at the time. And I don’t feel bad about that. It was too ambitious a project for 2019 but it’s still on my list, and I may come back round to it in the future. What happened instead, on the non-fiction front, was that I got caught up in the idea of making a podcast with my husband, and that has become a tremendously fun reality. We went from concept to release in three months, and now have 11 episodes recorded and six released. We’ve settled down to about 20 listeners per episode, which is way more than we expected - we have no idea who most of these people are, but we’re delighted they seem to be enjoying our show! So, that’s a whole thing I had no idea would come into being this year and it’s something I really love.

 

But, of course, my biggest and most exciting achievement of 2019 is the offer of a contract to publish my first novel! The novel began as a short story I wrote all the way back in October 2010. I submitted the synopsis and first three chapters to my chosen small independent press in summer of 2018 and they requested the full manuscript in August of that year. In January 2019, they came back to say they really liked it and wanted it for their list, but that they wanted me to give it another once-over to look at the pacing. I did another edit and sent it back to them at the end of June. Then, on 2 December 2019, they offered me a contract to publish!

 

There’s a lot that could still go awry before I actually have a copy of my book in my hands. And I’m very interested to find out what kind of contract terms they are going to offer me, as this will be entirely uncharted territory for me! But I like what I know about them, I’ve been impressed with our interactions so far, and I’m feeling very good about the whole thing at the moment. I have some very minor tweaking still to do on the manuscript, and they don’t have space in their production schedule until March, but watch this space. I’m hoping for big things on the novel front in 2020.

 

So, there you go! Hard work, perseverance, patience and luck has got me where I am today, and the view is awesome. Here’s to a successful 2020!

 

Posted on 23 December 2019 10:33

Summary:

I’m really pleased with what I accomplished this week, and also over the course of the whole year. So now I can take a break over Christmas and feel good about my writing.

 

Monday:

New week, new attitude. I was determined to make some real progress today, so I set off for a full day at Good and Proper. I got there at 11am, with six hours ahead of me before I needed to leave and lots of good intentions.

I launched straight in with the next few scenes of Beneath the Tree, as I’d completely neglected that over the weekend, in favour of easier and more prosaic tasks.

I managed two scenes before lunch, though it was a bit of a slog.

After lunch, I finished the next interim podcast script and wrote another scene of Beneath the Tree.

I stopped after the third completed scene for Beneath the Tree because I didn’t want to push it too hard.

I also got three acceptances for really old stories that I’ve submitted well into double digits each, so that was very satisfying. It’ll be great to see them all finally in print.

In the evening, I went to one of Claire’s free-writing workshops for the first time in ages. It was great to see everyone and a lot of fun, as always.

 

Tuesday:

I edited some more of Sarah’s novel.

 

Wednesday:

I finished editing Sarah’s novel, and wrote a couple of reviews. Then I did the next two scenes of Beneath the Tree.

I was due to meet Hannah after work and did another scene of Beneath the Tree before she arrived.

 

Thursday:

Last hurrah at Good and Proper with Ann today, as it was due to close the next day, which was very sad.

But I had a tremendous couple of hours of writing flow and completed the last five scenes of Beneath the Tree, to finish the first draft. It came out at just over 17,000 words, which was a little short, but I think there’s plenty of room for expansion once I start reviewing it. But I decided to leave that task until the new year.

I recorded some stats for a blog post review of the year.

 

Friday:

I broke open my awesome URW 2020 Writer’s Diary and completed the section at the start about goals for the new year.

 

Posted on 16 December 2019 08:46

Summary:

A bit of a struggle on the productivity front, but I did manage to get some good stuff done, even if I didn’t make progress on the bigger fiction projects.

 

Tuesday:

I finished a book and wrote the review.

 

Thursday:

I wasn’t really feeling it on arrival at my writing date in Wapping with Ann. I think I put in a bit too much effort last week, and my brain was rebelling. So, I started slow with a couple of reviews, then went back to a competition entry that was due the next day and made the required amendments. Then I submitted the entry.

Then I decided I wouldn’t allow myself to go home until I’d written the next three scenes of Beneath the Tree as I didn’t want to lose impetus after doing so much on it last week. I managed two and then stalled, but decided to let myself off and not push too hard.

 

Friday:

I edited some more of Sarah’s novel and wrote a list of all the tasks I wanted to complete over the weekend.

 

Saturday:

I started early with more of Sarah’s novel, along with some thoughts and ideas about how to approach several upcoming submissions. By the end of the day, I’d edited ten chapters of Sarah’s novel and written nothing of my own… I decided I needed a different plan for tomorrow.

 

Sunday:

I edited another chapter of Sarah’s novel before heading out for a solo writing session in Enfield, hoping that would help me focus more on my projects by being out of the flat..

Once ensconced in a cafe, I completed and submitted an entry for this week’s Reedsy Prompt competition, and looked over another story with a view to amending it to fit an upcoming submission. But I was finding it really difficult to focus on fiction, so I switched to easier tasks.

I wrote my December discussion post for GYWO and also some podcast scripts.