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Posted on 02 December 2018 10:34

Summary:

I’m keeping up my writing days, so I’m on track to double my GYWO pledge level for the year, but none of my sessions this week were particularly long or massively productive. It’s all about finding a balance between quality and quantity, productivity and relaxation.

 

Wednesday:

I met Hannah after work for a brief writing session in which I wrote a review, did a first draft for my second Dream Foundry article and reviewed some of my Scribophile critiques for the Submittable story.

 

Thursday:

I finished a book and wrote a review of it.

 

Friday:

I watched a film and wrote a review of it.

I also submitted first drafts of my Dream Foundry articles, as well as the Submittable story for its competition, and a couple of other submissions. Then I helped Bear with his post about our recent trip to Iceland.

 

Saturday:

I took at look at my assigned article for this month’s GYWO discussion and pulled out five sets of notes on the relevant subject, ready to amalgamate them into one piece later on.

 

Sunday:

I put the various articles I had identified into one document and edited it accordingly to create a coherent discussion post for GYWO.

 

Posted on 25 November 2018 21:08

Summary:

 

One really good, productive session, and lot of little bits throughout the week.

 

Monday:

 

I met Ann at Good & Proper with a resolution that I would write at least one paragraph for each of the three main fiction projects on my list at the moment (with the hope that one paragraph would lead to more).

 

But I started off with an email to the content editor of a new genre writing website, which Ann had pointed me towards. They are looking for articles and reviews for their upcoming weekly blog and it seemed like a good opportunity to get in at the start as a potentially regular contributor.

 

Then I went back to the Submittable competition to try and get the first draft done if I could. Which it turns out I could. The story arc I had in mind fit pretty much exactly into the 50 paragraph requirement and I was very happy with how it went overall. I posted it on Scribophile for critiques, since there were still ten days to go before the deadline.

 

I did a couple of Scribophile critiques to build my points back up and also bring my story closer to the spotlight.

 

I also did manage to write at least a bit of both Colours and Ritual, in order to fulfil my resolution for the day.

 

Tuesday:

 

Work trip to Chester provided a couple of decent train journeys.

 

The content editor at Dream Foundry came back to me with a couple of commissions of articles, so I had a look through my saved selection to see what I could rewrite to her specification and put together a first draft for one.

 

I also did a few more Scribophile critiques to get my story closer to the spotlight and also build my points back up again for the next time I want to post there.

 

Wednesday:

 

I went through several critiques of my Submittable story, which all had useful suggestions for improvements but also all said they really enjoyed it, which was nice.

 

Thursday:

 

I wrote a review of a book I finished earlier in the day.

 

Sunday:

 

I once again finished a book and wrote a review of it.

 

Posted on 18 November 2018 22:03

Summary:

A good amount of stuff achieved, and finally some fiction!

 

Monday:

I helped Bear post about our most recent reading retreat.

 

Tuesday:

I wrote reviews of all the books I read while on retreat.

 

Thursday:

I took the opportunity of a long gap between appointments in town to settle myself at the Elgin in Ladbroke Grove, to try and get some writing done.

I posted my recent blog post on Writing the Other to the GYWO discussion forum.

Then I went back to the requirements for the Submittable competition and started to write my entry. As usual, once I finally got going, the words flowed quickly and I got over 1200 down in one sitting.

I read a bit of Word Painting to finish off my session.

 

Saturday:

I wrote my monthly discussion post for GYWO.

 

Sunday:

I caught up on my reviews.

I also submitted a few pieces for potential publication.

 

Posted on 12 November 2018 23:33

Summary:

Still no actual fiction writing again this week - the fiction crew are definitely on shore leave at the moment, leaving the nonfiction crew to stoke the boilers on their own.

 

Monday:

I had a leisurely morning and then took myself off to Good and Proper with the intention of working hard until closing time.

I started by reviewing the new board games I played over the weekend, then wrote a blog post about an amusing publication acceptance I received over the weekend. Then I drafted a new article for the first Etre prompt from the notes I'd made the day before.

Submittable sent me an alert about a really interesting competition, so I added it to my submissions spreadsheet and made some notes for a possible entry.

 

Tuesday:

I completed some submissions.

 

Thursday:

I wrote a review of the most recent book I read.

 

Friday:

I thought some more about the Submittable story and added to my notes.

 

 

Posted on 04 November 2018 22:02

Summary:

The fiction crew are still on shore leave, it seems, but the non-fiction crew are picking up the slack.

 

Monday:

I met Ann at Good and Proper for our second writing date without Baby R since he was born.

I started with of a review of the film I’d seen the day before, then went on to do some moving around of information, reading of writing resources and typing up of notes.

I tried to get into the right frame of mind for continuing with either Colours or the short story I want to finally write (hereafter referred to as Ritual) but I just couldn’t do it. I reread the notes for both again, to keep them ticking over in my head.

Then I went back to reading Word Painting.

 

Wednesday:

I wrote a review of the play we went to see the night before.

 

Thursday:

I wrote a review of a book that arrived in the post the day before.

 

Friday:

I tracked my current submissions, figured out new places to send pieces that were unassigned, and went through Writing Magazine to identify upcoming submission opportunities. I also discovered that I had been chosen as the Star Letter in Writing Magazine this month, which was a nice surprise on my birthday!

 

Sunday:

I came up with a new idea for an Etre article, based on feedback from my editor on the other pieces I submitted. So I wrote some notes.

I also got an anthology acceptance for a short piece I love but which has been rejected multiple times, so that was very gratifying, especially as it turned out I had accidentally not followed the submission guidelines!

 

Posted on 28 October 2018 12:31

Summary:

After nothing at all last week, I worked on writing projects to at least some degree every day this week. Not much progress on the fiction front, but lots of nonfiction stuff, some cogitation on fiction stuff, and plenty of sending my darlings out into the world to be judged.

 

Monday:

Last day of holiday before going back to work, so I had a relaxing morning, then headed to Picturehouse Central for the afternoon.

I typed up all my notes from Writing the Other, and did at tarot reading for a short story whose deadline was fast approaching. I then went through my current notebook and typed up all the remaining notes.

 

Tuesday:

I wrote a review.

 

Wednesday:

I met up with Hannah after work and went through my notes on Colours, trying to get it back in my head and make a start on a potential plan for moving forwards with it.

 

Thursday:

With the whole day ahead of me, I took myself off to Good and Proper for the first time in months to try and focus on getting some writing done.

I started simple with this month’s GYWO discussion post (about plot vs character driven stories) and a blog post about writing characters who are different from you.

There wasn’t anything imminent on the rolling submissions spreadsheet, so I decided to go back to the notes for a short story I first came up with some years ago but had never actually got round to writing. I read through everything, reminded myself of the idea and thought about how approach writing it.

I also read some of Word Painting and made notes.

In the evening, I went to Write and a Pint, a two-hour workshop which involved a series of writing exercises designed to create the idea for a new story, draft about 1000 words and plan out the rest. It was really good fun. I’m not sure I’m going to pursue the story I came up with, but it was good to get some words on the page.

 

Friday:

I wrote a review about yesterday's movie going experience.

 

Saturday:

I wrote a review of the previous night’s gig.

 

Sunday:

I reviewed my most recent audiobook.

I helped Bear post the second in his Moroccan series.

I did a whole load of submissions for competitions and publication opportunities.

 

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.