Seduced By The Shinies

I wrote the first draft of my fifth novel in the first half of 2023 (which I’m very proud of, since it was a slog and I had to keep forcing myself to work on it, but I’m really pleased with the eventual result).   I have useful comments from my wonderful editor, Amie, and […]

Changing Goal Types

The second half of 2022 was a struggle in terms of bolstering my creativity. I felt like I didn’t achieve that much and that I was always trying to force myself to work on my writing projects, and generally failing.   Doing an objective review of what I achieved across the year showed me that […]

The Significance of Seconds

I finished the second draft of my second novel this week, which feels significant, if only in my head.   The novel is still way too short (currently at 55,000 words, so needs at least 25,000 more added to it), but I know what I’m going to do to sort that out.   I think […]

What If It’s No Good?

My friend Charlie, who co-runs the Six Month Novel Programme, has a mantra for the writers she helps. When writing a first draft, give yourself permission to be “gloriously craptastic”. The most important thing is to get the words down on the page. You can edit later. Because, if you get caught up in doubts, […]

Learning From Reading

I’m gearing up to take part in the Six Month Novel Programme, which starts next week. One of the first tasks you have to undertake is to select what is called a ‘companion novel’ to read. You’re supposed to choose something that contains an aspect of writing you want to work on in your own […]

Processing Winchester

Winchester Writers’ Festival is an amazing opportunity. Hundreds of writers of all types to meet and talk to. Workshops, talks, panels and presentations on all aspects of the craft and the industry. And, most importantly, submitting your work to agents and getting face-to-face feedback. I did not get an agent at Winchester, but then I […]

What’s Beyond the Void?

There’s a very definite line in my mental calendar at the moment, that runs through 15-16 June. That is when I’m going to Winchester Writers’ Festival and getting feedback on my first novel from agents.   In terms of activities that need to be completed before that date, I’m very much on track. The first […]

Why Do We Do It To Ourselves?

The plan was all there. I spent a month brainstorming, outlining and cogitating. I felt excited about the story, and confident that I could make it good. I booked a writing retreat in the middle of nowhere for the first weekend in December, ready to crack on with the first draft of the new novel. […]

Second Draft Done!

Yesterday, I experienced a profound sense of accomplishment.   The four-month writing period of the Six Month Novel Programme is coming to an end, and I actually finished writing the last scene of my current draft about three weeks ago.  That felt pretty great, not least because it happened on a writing date with a […]