Subscribe by RSS:

Posted on 07 October 2018 19:29

Summary:

Some good progress and a couple of decent sessions, with lots of planning. So, everything still ticking over.

 

Monday:

I formatted and sent over four different pieces for the first Etre prompt. They’re looking for short stories, non-fiction essays, poetry and short lyrical pieces, so I sent one of each to see what kind of feedback I get. Teacher’s pet, me? Have we met?

 

Wednesday:

I managed to meet Hannah after work for a now quite rare writing session. I started off by looking through my submissions spreadsheet and working out what I particularly wanted to work on over the next few months. I sometimes feel as if I don’t allow myself enough time to write submission pieces, so I’m trying to look further ahead and start work on ones that have a later deadline, rather than trying to cram in as many as possible.

I made a random start to a random story, with absolutely no idea where it was headed, which was what I always used to do with my writing. But I’ve got better at planning in recent years, so this approach is now quite unusual.

I then brainstormed some ideas for a few things, with a plan to develop them further tomorrow.

 

Thursday:

After agreeing with Geena that we wouldn’t meet up today, we ran into each other at Picturehouse Central, which shouldn’t have been a surprise.

I wrote and submitted an entry for this week’s Hour of Writes prompt, and then did a 250 word flash fiction for a competition.

Then I gave up on active creativity and started reading Word Painting, a book that’s been on my shelf for ages, but I thought might be a good thing to look at for upcoming Etre prompts.

 

Posted on 30 September 2018 18:12

Summary:

All I needed were a couple of decent stretches of scheduled writing time and look at all the things I achieved!

 

Monday:

I went to a Write For Your Life session after work, which was fun. I think I prefer the more creative side of No Grammar Required, but I’ll happily go to this version instead if it’s what’s available.

 

Wednesday:

I made a few notes for a story.

 

Thursday:

I headed to Picturehouse Central mid-morning and settled in the cafe for a bit to work on reviews and start on my new story. I typed up my first two pieces for the first Etre prompt, ready to send to my editor.

I read some more of Writing the Other over lunch, then went back to my new story. I finished a first draft, which was hugely pleasing since the deadline for submission is Sunday. It was also very satisfying to complete something new, as I haven’t manage to do that for a few weeks, other than very short pieces.

I finished up by doing some research and a tarot reading for more possible pieces for the first Etre prompt.

 

Friday:

I finished reading Writing the Other, which is an excellent book and highly recommended to all writers.

 

Saturday:

I helped Bear post the second half of his account of our Scottish Highlands trip, and did some sorting out of my writing projects.

 

Sunday:

Back to Picturehouse Central with Geena for a free screening, followed by a writing session in the members’ bar - I love everything about this place!

First of all I edited the new story (based on comments from Dave and my dad).

I caught up on some reviews, then made a first stab at a non-fiction essay in response to the first Etre prompt.

I submitted a few stories whose deadlines were today.

 

Posted on 23 September 2018 15:53

Summary:

Trips away usually result in a lack of writing productivity, unless they are writing retreats, so very little work done this week. Big plans for the next couple of weeks, though!

 

Monday:

I brainstormed a story for an upcoming submission opportunity and came up with the first inkling of a workable plot.

 

Tuesday:

I wrote some notes on my story idea and developed it into a proper plan.

 

Sunday:

I submitted a couple of stories for publication.

 

Posted on 16 September 2018 20:36

Summary:

One decent writing session planned and executed, but I still don’t feel like I’ve got back into the swing of things properly yet.

 

Tuesday:

I wrote a review.

 

Wednesday:

I took the opportunity of a gap between work and going to the theatre to sit in a cafe, drink tea and write a blog post about my most recent publication success.

 

Thursday:

I used my second Thursday off work to meet Geena for a writing date before a theatre trip in the evening.

I started off by researching and drafting my September GYWO discussion post, ready for its upcoming deadline. Then I wrote an entry for this week’s Hour of Writes prompt. I also read some more of Writing the Other, and then brainstormed a new story idea for an upcoming anthology submission.

 

Saturday:

I caught up on some reviews.

 

Sunday:

I identified new submission opportunities for a couple of rejected pieces of flash fiction, and I attended the first workshop with the Etre creative team to work on the first issue of the print magazine.

 

Posted on 09 September 2018 08:46

Summary:

Little bits here and there build up to multiple days of writing activity across the week, though no major writing sessions undertaken. It’s good to keep my hand in, but I’d like to get back to a more rigorous schedule.

 

Monday:

I combined a GYWO challenge involving telling a story from a list of random words, with an unexpected Hour of Writes prompt, to produce a strange little piece that could be entered for both.

 

Tuesday:

I did my Hour of Writes marking.

 

Thursday:

I helped Bear post his account of our trip to the Uffington White Horse.

I also entered this week’s Hour of Writes competition and added new submission opportunities from Writing Magazine to my rolling spreadsheet.

 

Friday:

I got an email telling me that the Celestial Intern story has been accepted for publication in the anthology it was written for, which was a lovely end to the evening.

 

Saturday:

I wrote many reviews and also made several submissions to magazines and anthologies.

 

Sunday:

I did my Hour of Writes marking, wrote a review of a game, and read some of Write the Other.

 

Posted on 03 September 2018 08:27

Summary:

NAWG-Fest was over in a flash but well worth attending. Great workshops, opportunities to catch up with good friends, and generally a good time all round.

 

Monday:

I wrote a brief review of a film.

 

Tuesday:

Despite an annoying cold, I went to meet Hannah after work and finished the Great Artisan Comma Deletion!

 

Wednesday:

I prepared the new comma-light Artisan manuscript and sent it off to the publisher - eek!

 

Friday:

Off to NAWG-Fest for the weekend!

On the train, I wrote a new piece for the first Etre prompt, then visited the site to read some recent entries in an attempt to familiarise myself with what they actually like.

 

Saturday:

Workshops with Ken Macleod.

I submitted a 100-word story to the mini-tale competition.

I also caught up with awesome writer friends and performed in a special edition of Eastpointers

 

Sunday:

More workshops with Ken Macleod, in which I developed an idea for a story, which he thinks might make a good novel. I’m going to try it as a short story first, as that will be much less complicated.

 

Posted on 27 August 2018 08:10

Summary:

Good use of planned time with other people to find extra time to work on writing projects.

 

Monday:

A truncated writing session with Ann today, but I still managed to get my scheduled three Artisan chapters done, plus an extra one.

 

Saturday:

The rest of the week got away from me, so I headed into town early for my writing day with Geena and got back to work on Artisan. I did five chapters in a row, then read some of Bird by Bird for a break.

We met some other writers in Natural Cafe in Kentish Town and had a bit of a chat with them.

Then I worked on the first prompt for the literary journal I’m working for, then caught up on some reviews. I finished reading Bird by Bird on the way home.

 

Sunday:

I submitted Celestial Intern.

Then I went into town mid-afternoon and carried on with Artisan for a bit - the end was definitely in sight!

I typed up a piece of flash fiction, ready for submission, wrote a review of Bird by Bird, then started reading Writing the Other by Nisi Shawl and Cynthia Ward.

 

Posted on 19 August 2018 14:36

Summary:

 

So many commas deleted, plus more improvements made to the novel. Lots of good sessions this week. It feels like I’m making progress.

 

Monday:

 

First full writing day for a while. It took me some time to get settled and focused, then I tackled another Artisan chapter before Ann joined me.

 

I wrote up reviews of the new games I played at Handycon over the weekend, then went back to do another chapter of Artisan.

 

To get my more actively creative juices flowing, I worked on a prose poem for an upcoming submission deadline and edited another one down to the required length.

 

Then it was back to Artisan for another chapter.

 

I read a bit of Bird by Bird, then took a stab at a blog post, using the notes I made on the article Dave sent me.

 

To finish up my uber writing day, I went to No Grammar Required and had lots of fun freewriting with Claire and Rachel.

 

Wednesday:

 

I trekked to Vauxhall to meet Hannah after work and managed another two Artisan chapters before she arrived. I spotted some continuity errors as well as identifying extraneous commas, which was very useful.

 

Then I went through Dave’s comments on the proposed blog post and made some edits.

 

Friday:

 

After a long week at work, I took myself off to a cafe to work more on Artisan, completing my scheduled two chapters before finally heading home.

 

Saturday:

 

I posted my response to the article.

 

I also helped Bear with his account of Handycon last weekend.

 

Then I submitted some stories to various places for possible publication.

 

Sunday:

 

First Urban Writing Retreat day for a while, and lots to do.

 

I didn’t do any Artisan editing yesterday so I started there and decided to do blocks of two chapters.

 

After the first block, I caught up on my reviews.

 

I did two more Artisan chapters, then noodled around the internet for a bit to find a new place to submit flash fiction.

 

Then I went back to Celestial Intern and finally got around to looking at the Scribophile feedback. I made the relevant changes to get it ready for submission.

 

Back to Artisan for another two chapters, then I took a break and read Bird by Bird for a bit.

 

Then I did one last Artisan chapter, to bring me up to date with my planned schedule to get it all finished by the end of August.



Posted on 12 August 2018 19:36

Summary:

Lots of exciting stuff going on and deadlines to meet, but also plenty to time to work on projects.

 

Monday:

I went to a fun No Grammar Required session and did lots of interesting freewriting.

I also got an email from an independent publisher with lots of very positive feedback on Artisan, asking to see the whole manuscript, which is very exciting.

 

Tuesday:

I got a second reasonably positive rejection from a magazine, so I sent them a third story for their consideration.

I also went through the feedback on Artisan from the independent publisher, and made some notes on what I need to do in the next edit.

I finished off with a review.

 

Wednesday:

I went to meet Hannah in a cafe after work and launched into the new Artisan edit. I completed the first chapter and t went better than I had expected. It was fun to revisit the story, and not too taxing deciding where to implement the publisher’s feedback.

Then I went through the shortest of the stories I wrote on retreat last week and tweaked it to as perfect as I could make it, ready for submission.

Next was the middle-length story from last week, which received ten critiques on Scribophile. So I went through them all one by one, considering the comments and making changes to the story accordingly.

 

Friday:

I gave the middle-length story a final read-through and declared it ready for submission.

 

Saturday:

I started reading an article Dave sent me and made some notes for a possible blog post about it.

 

Sunday:

I finished reading the article and writing notes on it.

 

Posted on 05 August 2018 15:50

Summary:

Now, that’s more like it for a writing week! I wrote every day, completing over 9000 words in total, and achieving tons on new original projects. Hurrah! The only problem is, I have very little available writing time for the rest of the year, so it’s going to be tricky to keep momentum.

 

Monday:

I managed to write 500 words of Celestial Intern on the train down to Exeter, then nearly two thousand more on my first afternoon at Retreats For You in Sheepwash, Devon. I booked to come here some time ago, but the owner’s husband sadly died the week before so my retreat understandably got cancelled. The business is now under new ownership, so I was looking forward to giving it a try, as an alternative for when my other go-to writing retreat isn’t running.

So far, so good!

 

Tuesday:

Reasonably slow start today, but I was at my desk and continuing with Celestial Intern by 10am, after a very interesting discussion about writing with some of the others over breakfast.

I took a break between writing stints to do some critiques on Scribophile, as I need to build up points before I can post anything new there for feedback.

I finished the first draft of Celestial Intern by lunchtime, which was awesome. I think it’s only the second original short story I’ve written this year, so I was very happy to get it out onto the page.

I also completed enough Scribophile critiques to build up the points required to post both parts of my story.

 

Wednesday:

I posted Celestial Intern to Scribophile, and went through the new edition of Writing Magazine to add upcoming submission opportunities to my rolling spreadsheet.

Then I finally cracked on with the new POV strand of Colours, which has been swirling around my brain for months and refusing to come out. I managed four scenes before lunch, which is a third of the strand.

I did a few more Scribophile critiques in an effort to get my story into the spotlight more quickly and build up points for the next one.

I also typed up the remaining notes from the last notebook I finished.

I took a look at my potential upcoming submission deadlines, and inspiration struck for a competition, so I wrote a new short piece in response to that.

I spent some time scouting around for places to send my currently unassigned stories, and added these to the spreadsheet.

 

Thursday:

I carried on with Scribophile critiques - I’d forgotten how much work it is to get enough points to post and then get stories into the main spotlight for feedback.

I read all the information for a really interesting competition I discovered in Writing Magazine yesterday, then brainstormed some notes for my entry, based on an excellent idea my husband sent me last night.

Then I did a review of the book I finished yesterday.

After lunch, I carried on with the Colours POV strand, completing another four scenes.

Then I started, and actually finished, the first draft of the competition story. I had built up another five points on Scribophile throughout the day, so I posted it on there to get feedback after the Celestial Intern story had had its turn.

I finished off by going back to the never-ending Scribophile critiques.

 

Friday:

Last morning in Sheepwash so I got up early to make the most of my remaining time.

I started off by writing the last four scenes for the new POV strand in Colours, thus completing the second of the main projects I wanted to work on while on retreat (after Celestial Intern).

Then I did a couple more Scribophile critiques, as my story were still quite a long way from the spotlight.

I was incredibly pleased with my productivity while on retreat - the two main projects completed, and two whole new stories written, neither of which were even on my radar when I arrived on Monday!

 

Saturday:

Back home, but still enthused.

I wrote a review of another book I finished earlier in the week.

I also helped Bear post his account of the writing retreat, and wrote my own blog post about it.

 

Sunday:

I took it easy today and just wrote two reviews - one of a film and one of a book.

 

Posted on 29 July 2018 13:04

Summary:

Still mostly reviews and very little fiction writing, but some good planning progress ready for going on retreat next week.

 

Monday:

I reviewed a book I gave up reading yesterday.

 

Tuesday:

I got the best kind of rejection from a publisher today:

“Thank you for giving us the opportunity to consider this one. After reading and discussing it, we've decided we can't use it at this time. Good luck placing it elsewhere. You write well. Not this one, but maybe your next one. Send us another story, please.”

Which means more than one person actually read my story; they seriously considered it; they think it’s good enough to be published, just not by them right now; but they also want to publish something I’ve written - which is all awesome.

So I sent them another story!

 

Thursday:

I wrote some more notes for the Celestial Intern story, both before and after having a really useful and awesome idea-generating chat with Geen about it.

 

Saturday:

I wrote a review of a film we went to see last night.

 

Sunday:

I reviewed the audiobook I finished listening to yesterday.

I also wrote a short poem for a GYWO prompt.

 

Posted on 22 July 2018 19:42

Summary:

Technically, lots of writing days, according to my tracker, but no actual creative writing in the true sense. However, I’ve got a retreat coming up, and a regular writing gig starting soon, so I’m feeling very good about my writing future.

 

Monday:

I went to No Grammar Required after work and really enjoyed chatting to Claire and Lisa about writing and life in general, and also completing the freewriting exercises throughout the session.

 

Tuesday:

I reviewed Unorthodox by Deborah Feldman.

 

Wednesday:

I wrote a review of a short story anthology I finished earlier today.

 

Thursday:

I reviewed both the book and film versions of A Wrinkle in Time.

 

Sunday:

I wrote a review of a graphic novel I read last night.

I also had a very positive conversation with two of the editors at Etre, who have invited me to be one of the staff writers for their new quarterly print magazine. It’s an exciting project, and I’m looking forward to working with them on it.

 

Posted on 15 July 2018 13:08

Summary:

Little and often seems to be the trend for this week. I think I generally prefer having a couple of long sessions during the week and not worrying about it the rest of the time, but it’s good to know I can keep my momentum going, even when I don’t have a whole free day for a proper writing date.

 

Monday:

I went to No Grammar Required, a freewriting workshop run by a lovely lady named Claire. We wrote about pens and it was awesome.

 

Tuesday:

I did some research for this month’s GYWO discussion post about writing good description.

 

Wednesday:

I met Hannah after work and did some more to my WIP Big Bang story, as I realised the dog disappeared half way through, so I needed to track through the second half and insert him back in.

I wrote the first scene of the new POV strand in Colours and also wrote the first few sentences of the Celestial Intern story. So, at least I now have something to build on for both of those projects, which I’ve been struggling to get started with in the last few weeks.

 

Thursday:

I reviewed the current GYWO Book Club book and also the audiobook I finished today.

 

Friday:

I helped Bear post about joining in with today’s protest march against Trump.

 

Saturday:

I did a review of The Incredibles 2.

 

Sunday:

I attempted another home-based writing day, starting with a comprehensive list of everything I wanted to complete and in what order.

I started by drafting this month’s GYWO discussion post, ready to put it up next weekend.

Then I posted the completed WIP Big Bang story, ready to go live later in the month.

I moved on to editing an awesome piece of fiction my brother wrote recently. It didn’t need much work, and I hope to see more of it soon.

I concluded with a blog post about Monday’s freewriting meetup, which I plan to attend again tomorrow.

 

Posted on 08 July 2018 16:52

Summary:

I got a lot done this week, and worked on writing projects every day but Tuesday, which felt really good. Just because I’ve completed my 120 habit pledge for the year already, doesn’t mean I should stop working at my writing!

 

Monday:

Back to Wapping to enjoy the sunshine at The Turk’s Head with Ann.

I started off by adding another 150 words to my WIP Big Bang story. It ended up still technically 200 words too short, but I really don’t think it can take any more padding, and I suspect it’s close enough that the moderators won’t make an issue of it. Or at least I hope so!

Then I moved on to planning the new POV strand for Colours. It’s been months since I’ve even really thought about this story, so it was a bit daunting to launch back into it, but also exciting. I located my notes and read through them all, then started plotting out the scenes I need to thread through what I’ve already got. The structure of this project is already quite experimental, and the new POV is only going to add to that, so I hope it works.

My next task was to take an 850 word story and create two new versions - one at 1000 words and one at 700 words for two upcoming submission opportunities.

I edited another short story for a different submission opportunity.

I noodled around for a bit, checking for competition results and identifying new places to send a few other stories that had recently been rejected or revised.

I picked an upcoming submission opportunity I didn’t already have a story for, and used my tarot deck and fantasy picture grid to brainstorm ideas for something new.

I finished off the day by typing up some notes from my current notebook.

 

Wednesday:

I wrote a review of the book I finished yesterday.

 

Thursday:

I went to Le Pain Quotidien after work but discovered I’d left my Bluetooth keyboard on since Monday and it was dead, so had to revise my writing plan. I brainstormed the new short story (which was really successful and resulted in a full plot outline), then read some more of Bird by Bird.

 

Friday:

I wrote a review of the excellent audiobook I finished listening to today.

 

Saturday:

I added the latest submission opportunities from Writing Magazine to my rolling spreadsheet.

I also went through the latest feedback on Artisan and created a grid of contradictions.

 

Sunday:

I spent three hours completing fifteen submissions to publication opportunities and competition.

I also finally got round to watching the first part of the Writing the Other webinar on whether writers should write characters who are different to them, which was very interesting. I made some notes afterwards on the most important points.

 

Posted on 01 July 2018 21:45

Summary:

Getting back into the swing of things slowly, and very much enjoying not having any Artisan editing to do...

 

Monday:

Planned as my first full writing day post-Winchester, so I had a long list of things to work on. I met Ann and Baby R at the Turk’s Head in Wapping, and started by catching up on reviews.

Then I went back to the WIP Big Bang story, which hasn’t been getting much attention lately, and is the only thing on my list at the moment with a deadline - and that deadline is really looming! I added nearly 1500 words, which was very pleasing, though it’s still 500 words too short overall.

Deciding a week was enough space, I went through my notebook from Winchester and compiled all the feedback on my submission documents, while it was still relatively fresh in my mind.

 

Wednesday:

I collated some more Artisan feedback and scanned the opening chapter with all the annotations from one of the Winchester agents.

I also wrote a review of our next Family Book Club book.

 

Saturday:

I wrote a review of my latest audiobook and compiled my review stats for the first half of 2018.

I also completed my GYWO habit pledge for the year, as this was my 120th writing day of 2018! So, now I have to see if I can double it to hit the next pledge level of 240 days by the end of the year.

 

Posted on 24 June 2018 20:12

Summary:

Stripped back and streamlined. I mostly had a break from writing this week, but still managed a few bits and pieces along the way.

 

Monday:

I wrote a blog post about my experience at Winchester Writers’ Festival.

 

Tuesday:

I wrote a review of Ocean’s Eight.

 

Wednesday:

I wrote a review of Rough Music by Patrick Gale.

 

Friday:

I wrote a review of The Potion Room and Cutter and Squidge.

 

Sunday:

I put up a post on GYWO for people to share their writing successes.

 

Posted on 17 June 2018 15:32

Summary:

Anxious build-up to Winchester, followed by a fairly draining experience of the festival itself, and a re-evaluation of my writing priorities.

 

Monday:

I submitted seven short stories, pieces of flash fiction and poems for potential publication or to competitions. Very much not my favourite activity, but it’s the only way to get anywhere!

I also went through the new issue of Mslexia magazine and added more submission opportunities to my rolling spreadsheet, ready for when the ones mentioned above get rejected!

 

Wednesday:

I caught up on all my reviews from the last week.

 

Thursday:

Off to Winchester! Though all I did today was arrive, find my room, relax for a few hours and go to bed.

 

Friday:

First full day at Winchester. Interesting and useful workshop on the fantasy/sci-fi market, and two agent meetings, which provided mixed and contradictory feedback. I met some lovely people over dinner, though and also got an email to say that a print magazine wants to publish one of my short stories.

 

Saturday:

Great workshop on cultural appropriation, not so great workshop on creating evil characters, useful tips on avoiding the slush pile, and an interesting talk about book blogging. Plus two more agent meetings, with more mixed and contradictory feedback.

I was due to stay over and do another full-day workshop on Sunday, but I decided to head home, as the whole thing was exhausting.

 

Sunday:

I did some submission tracking, and started to process my Winchester experience. There'll be a proper blog post about this soon...

 

Posted on 11 June 2018 14:34

Summary:

 

It feels as though things are moving forwards. Only a few days until Winchester Writers' Festival, and Artisan is ready to go!

 

Monday:

 

I finished a very interesting book and wrote a review of it.

 

I also went through Writing Magazine and added new submission opportunities to my rolling spreadsheet, and then identified new places to send some of my unassigned stories.

 

Tuesday:

 

After reading an article in Writing Magazine about not giving up on rejected work, I unearthed another couple of old pieces and identified places to submit them.

 

Wednesday:

 

More Artisan editing today - it seems like it will never end!

 

Thursday:

 

And the Artisan editing is done! Wow - now I just have to wait for the agent feedback at Winchester and then decisions will have to be made…

 

Friday:

 

After wrestling with the pitch for Artisan all week, I came up with some half-decent wording in the shower this morning:

 

“In a world where people’s lives are dictated by magic, Abelard Abernathy accidentally gains magical powers and discovers a centuries-old conspiracy at the heart of society. But is he prepared to give up everything he’s always wanted, to change the world for the better?”

 

Saturday:

 

I met George Mann at a reading retreat and talked to him about his road to publication, strategies for keeping focused, and training the subconscious crew.

 

Posted on 03 June 2018 19:51

Summary:

Edits, edits and more edits...

 

Monday:

Ann was free, so we arranged to meet up for a writing session. I mostly focused on transferring my hard copy Artisan edits onto the electronic copy. In between times, I checked the relative chapter lengths and moved some things around to make it more even.

I also wrote a review and identified places to submit two of my stories that were rejected last week and need to be sent out again.

I checked my upcoming free days/evenings for writing to ensure I would have enough time to finish my two main projects by their deadlines and it all looked good.

 

Wednesday:

I met Hannah after work and carried on with Artisan editing. I got halfway, which I figured wasn’t bad in two sessions, still with over two weeks to go until Winchester.

I also went through Dave’s comments on the WIP Big Bang story and worked on a new scene to solve the word count problem.

And that was it for this week. I’ve been really busy lately, and wanted some downtime. I also wanted to make the most of the weather and spend some quality time with Dave in the sunshine.