Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

Why bother?

 

 

 

Why do I bother?

 

This is a question that I asked myself, though at first it wasn’t about writing.

 

I then realised that it is a very good question to put to writers too.

 

I am sure that you will all agree, writing is a hard slog at times. You get bored of a character, or the words just won’t flow. Or perhaps that story you wrote 10 years ago has given you ten times as many rejections. And so you think that maybe you aren’t cut out for this.  And you hang your hat up, and throw your pens in the bin.

 

Only, a day or 10 from that day that you throw your pens in the bin, you feel, well………weird. Your pulse is okay. Your breathing is okay. Your eyes and gums are pink (and if this doesn’t apply to you, go see a doctor. Please!)

 

So what could be wrong? Then you realise. It has been a while since you wrote. And how you miss it! No wonder you feel like you are dying. Your life blood hasn’t been nurtured.

 

Then you realise why you bother. Because you need to. You need to write.

 

Taking a break is good. I have taken one. I have lived a little. And I remember why I bother.

 

Why do you?

genre-grime

Reading the untitled book I mentioned in my last post, the question of Niche came up. This is a very valid question, but in the world of fiction writing, niche has another name: Genre.

Don’t go running away now, it isn’t that scary. Really!

If nothing else, one thing I have learned is that genre is so, so, so important. Why? Forget being told that it means publishers know what your book is about, or that book sellers know what shelf to put it on. Though that may be true, without genre you won’t get published!

This is my belief. I have founded it on this: Genre keeps you on track.

You are writing a crime? Then where is the crime? The detective?

Romance? Then you need to inject some lurrrvee.

Thriller? Then why are you sitting laughing at your characters latest antics?

When writing with genre in mind, your characters end up doing the right things. When you get stuck, your genre can give you some clues as to where to go next.

This doesn’t mean that you can’t change your mind. That thriller can become a comedy. and the romance can become crime, and you can even write in two genres at once! The important thing is that you know what your book is about and what book shelf it will be sold from.

So before you begin, forget everything else. Think Genre!

"Writing", 22 November 2008

Well, again, I have been pretty productive! I still have no ideas for an article, but I’ll get there.

In fact, I lie. There is one idea. Though it isn’t fully formed yet. Perhaps it will grow. Or perhaps it won’t. I lie again! There was another one I wanted to explore! Okay, so there are a few topics that I may or may not write about. On my to-do list today, I have written ‘Listen to Women’s Hour‘, because this might give me more ideas. Here’s hoping.

I have had one success. Many moons ago (okay, maybe not that many, 1 or 2 perhaps) I wrote in to Writing Magazine. It was a question for the help pages. I eagerly scanned the next copy for my letter. Nope. Next issue a month later, I eagerly scanned it again. Nope. Oh well, they aren’t publishing it. I thought. This month’s issue (I believe it is May, if you want to go out and buy a copy, thrust my letter under peoples noses screaming ‘I know her! I know her!’) – as I was saying, this month’s issue contains my letter!

 

I now have 3 letters in my achievement file! Next it will be a short story, then an article, then a novel! And then………………

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I will dominate the best seller list forever more! Mwahahahahahaha

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And then…..I can call myself a writer.

"Writing", 22 November 2008

 

It is Friday the 13th yet again. How many are there? It seems that they are quite common as of late. But I don’t feel unlucky today, not at all.

 

I have been quite productive. I have learned that the secret is: Prioritization!

Now, yes, you would have thought that my silly little brain would have figure that out when I started reading ‘The Positively Productive Writer’. But no. I had my goals, but I didn’t make them important enough. I was writing and writing and writing. But I was writing so many different pieces that nothing was getting finished. And I would cry into my cereal that I am not writing enough on the novel, but hey, I’m writing on everything else, so that’s okay isn’t it? I’m still writing. WRONG!

 

Yes, I was still writing, but I want to write a novel. And alongside that I want to write something that might just be published one day. Yes, I was still writing, but I wasn’t feeling at all fulfilled.

So, my novel is my Priority! Every day, without fail, I will get 335 words down on it. That, on a good day, takes me less than half an hour. I cannot, I repeat, cannot work on anything else – not even this blog – until I have written at least 335 words on my novel. If I write 535, it doesn’t mean I can write 200 less tomorrow, it just means that I am 200 closer to finishing earlier!

 

As the novel is the most important thing for me, the thing that means the world to me, it must take priority. And over the past week, it has! Other stuff has been done, and will continue to be done. I think 335 words is modest. If I keep it up, I might up the daily word count, but I’ll leave it at that for now.

 

Another thing: I don’t have much going on. I refuse to write more than 5 things at a time (novel, short story, competition, article and assignment). If a new thing takes my fancy, tough! It has to wait until I finish the last one in that category. I’ll let you know how it all goes.

 

And finally, some exciting news! Some of you may remember that in 2010 I took part in – and won – NaNoWriMo. The novel? Shaun’s Children. It has now been removed from the dusty hard drive. 40 pages have been printed. The editing will be commencing soon! Here’s hoping I can work with the drivel.

 

I thought I wouldn’t have anything to write today. I was wrong! Until next time……

 

Potato patch 2008

It’s Good Friday, but to me, it is just Friday. And it isn’t Good. More bad.

 

I am sitting here, realising that the last week has been and gone and I have done……zilch. As far as writing is concerned any way.

 

This week I have: Been accused of being ‘narky’, met a new person, discussed APD with numerous people (anyone who would listen!), noticed my Potatoes aren’t growing, noticed that my Tomato Plants are!

 

I have 19 Tomato plants. Tomorrow, I will have to transfer them to the pots I bought today. What am I going to do with 19 Tomato plants? My son said ‘that will be a lot of ketchup!’. He is right!

 

And who knows, in the next 7 days, I may write something worthy. I do miss it. And I think the lack of writing is what has made me ‘narky’. Him indoors said that when we go on holiday that I must take my writing with me. Too right!

 

Here is to a more fruitful 7 days.

 

Friday

 

And it is Friday again.

 

Today is also the last day of the school term, and my little angel will have 2 weeks off! EEK! I’m sure I will survive somehow.

 

Now, I haven’t been as productive as I would have liked (do you see a pattern emerging?), and I know that the next two weeks I won’t get as much done as I might like. This whole unproductive malarkey is making me very miserable. I feel like a hamster on a wheel, hammering away and going no where.

So I concluded that I really am doing too much. From now, I will only have 3 projects on the go. The novel, a short story, and an article. Let’s see if that will help improve my output.

 

Something needs to change, that is for sure. I am going to be re-visiting ‘The Positively Productive Writer’ and I will read it more slowly this time, whilst bulleting steps I need to take. I hope it works.

 

How is your writing coming along?

Wednesday

 

Wow! It’s Wednesday already. I don’t know about you, but it has snuck up on me. And I totally forgot that I am adding posts on a Wednesday as well, so I am unprepared and this will be, quite literally, first thing on my mind kind of stuff.

 

So far this week, I haven’t been doing to bad. I haven’t written a word of my novel, but I have done a lot of editing. I came across the issues of copyright. When can you safely use something that another has created, after trying to contact them for permission and getting no reply? You have to do everything in your power. It is frowned upon if you use something without permission, obviously. But if they do not respond to phone calls, letters, e-mails, and where possible turning up on their doorstep, this could be seen as enough. Don’t take my word for it though! I am not a lawyer. But those rules seem pretty fair.

 

 

Also, editors! They say us writers are a bane of their life, well! They are becoming the bane of mine. I am trying to determine whether a publication accepts freelance work (I am thinking not, but still, better to ask) and they are not replying to my request! I will be interviewing a friend of mine for this publication (or another if the answer is no) so I need to know which publication to aim it at! The questions asked will be very different.

 

 

Unfortunately, I still have no work out there trying to earn some money. I hope to rectify this very very soon!

 

New patio roof is about a third done 03.30.2008

 

The sun is shining and I am sat at my patio set in the back garden. This is the joy of working at home, right?

 

Then why do I not feel so full of the joys of spring?

 

On Friday, I didn’t get chance to write today’s to do list, so I have had to do it just now. It seems to get longer every time, and I wonder: Am I ever going to achieve any of my goals?

Is it because I am working on too much stuff?

At the moment I have the novel (and I want to edit my first novel), 2 articles, and 3 short stories to work on. Or am I just not efficient enough?

I know many writers who have lots of things on the go at once, but I am not sure I can hack it. I only have one more week left, and if I am to be on target, 2 of those stories need to be completed by the end of the month, as they are competition entries. I also know I have a lot of smaller, but nevertheless important tasks to complete at the end of the week.

 

Which brings me back to a question I asked not long ago. When to stop? Not that I have any fear of worrying about that. I have plenty to keep on with.

My house is tidy now, so I am not going to be worrying too much about stopping to get chores done. Of course, they still need to be done, if I want to keep a tidy house. But that is one less stress, today at least.

 

On another note: I planted my first potatoes over the weekend. I am a total novice at vegetable gardening, and with only a patio to grow on, I need to have bags and containers. The information out there that I have found so far seems to be geared towards people who know something about vegetables and growing them. Maybe I will create a blog about it, and maybe help other vegetable gardening dunces, just like me.

 

Enjoy the sunshine! This is England, it is probably all we’ll get………

The typical, but counter productive educationa...

The end of Week 2 has snuck up on me.

 

Now I have to reflect on whether I have been productive or not the past week. And again, I would have to say……..not.

 

My Wunderlist is telling me that I have 7 overdue tasks. Then I also have 5 to do today. I know that I have the weekend to catch up, but writing takes a back seat when the family is home.

 

So I need to work harder today. And I need to try harder next week.

 

I am finally getting to grips of what I need to do to become positively productive. Some of you may know that recently I suffered a bereavement, and I am having difficulties with my son. As a result, my mental state is suffering. I am hoping that now I have recognised my issues, I can deal with them, and as a result, become more productive. I am going to do this by relaxing every day, doing something that I enjoy.

 

I am off now, to prepare the goals for next week. I doubt I will hit my monthly targets, as I started halfway through the month, but I hope to be close. The end of the month is only a week away!

 

How are you doing? Are you becoming positively productive?

Monday Morning Minis II

(Photo credit: bornazombie)

 

So, week one of me trying to become a positively productive writer has been and gone and we are on Monday again. Today, I will have to review goals for the week, which also means looking at what I achieved – or not – over the past seven days.

 

I feel that, on the whole, I succeeded, but time will tell. My biggest problem at the moment is keeping on with the Novel, now that I feel I have started too early on in the story. I also think the whole premise is wrong. The advice ‘Don’t get it right, get it written’ is my mantra as I push through this tough part.

 

The other question I asked myself is: When to stop?

 

I have daily to-do’s. If I foresee a busy day ahead in the week, I will try and do more on another day. But if my week is pretty empty as far as other commitments go, when do I stop? This will be a case of trial and error I guess.

 

I like a tidy house. I don’t have one at the moment, I have been writing a lot. This is a good thing, but I am very stressed at the fact that my house is a mess. Then I re-read this, and I will most definitely be using some of her tips. Again, it will be trial and error.

 

There are no hard and fast rules in life, but we all get through it, one day at a time.

What works for you?