Lots of lessons learned this week – not least that Weeknotes is an excellent way to track progress. This is because, by the time Monday came around again, and I was compiling my notes to post, I had completely forgotten everything I had done and learned earlier in the week!
I cut a story down to half its original length to fit the requirements for Life Plus 2M Volume 2, and submitted it. The editor contacted me later that afternoon to say he was delighted with it and had accepted it for inclusion, which was a nice boost.
After I contacted them about my error in submitting to their novel competition, Mslexia kindly allowed me to re-submit my entry with the contact details cover page attached. Phew! I’m certainly not expecting to get anywhere in the competition, but it would have been very frustrating to be disqualified due to a submission error.
I had a long list of possible things to work on at my writing date with Ann, and started with a blog post about the positive side of rejections. I had intended the lesson to be about finding encouragement wherever you can, but ended up concluding that I need to do more research into the publications I submit to. Interesting to discover a useful lesson in the process of writing about something else!
I did a bit of free writing for this week’s Hour of Writes prompt, and came up with quite a nice little plot very quickly, which demonstrated that my creative brain is still in there somewhere. I didn’t feel like actually writing it, though, so decided to leave it to percolate for a bit and come back to it later in the week. I don’t often employ free writing as a technique for generating ideas, but it has yielded some good results in the past, so perhaps I should try it more.
I also thought briefly about the prompt for an upcoming competition and realised I already had a great story to fit it, based on a real-life adventure from last weekend, so I put that on the development list as well.
Building on my lesson about researching publications, I read the most recent online edition of Spartan literary magazine, to see if it’s something I might like to try and write for. I think it would be a good fit for some of my more esoteric offerings.
I finished the session by reading a bit more of Wonderbook, so an eclectic but quite productive day overall.
I received an email from the people who run Reading Retreats periodically, saying they had one space left on their half-price taster weekend in November, so I snapped it up forthwith. Three nights in a pleasant environment, with the sole focus being reading – what could be better? They also offer a personal reading prescription service, which I am taking up, as I’m always interested in book recommendations and I’m hoping they’ll be able to point me towards some exemplar ‘showing not telling’, as one of them is a professional editor.
I went to a work-related conference that finished at 3:30pm, so I planned to find a cafe afterwards and work on at least one of the story ideas I came up with on Monday. I was feeling very scattered and anxious after the conference, and certainly not very creative, but I followed the plan, not the mood, and managed to complete an entry for this week’s Hour of Writes competition. It certainly wasn’t the best writing I’ve ever done, but I’m glad I made the effort.
My Mslexia Indie Presses Guide arrived in the post – many, many submission opportunities to explore and add to my spreadsheet.
I had a very pleasant phone conversation with Cressida, who does the book recommendations for the reading retreats. We talked about both reading and writing, and she said she would send me my suggested prescription in the post. The retreat itself sounds so wonderful – I can’t wait.
Then we drove to Norfolk to embark on our annual group gaming holiday, and my focus moved away from writing for the rest of the week.