Posts Tagged ‘Writer’

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?


"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……

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?

I did it! I bought a copy of Simon Whaley’s ‘The Positively Productive Writer’ (available on kindle too!). It inspired me, and spurred me into action.

There is so much sound advice in there, and the main thread of it is to think positively. Okay, so it is going to be tough going, but it will be worth it.

At least now I have something worthy to say. Go buy a copy of the book, have a read, and join me on my journey to being a Positively Productive Writer! I have never wanted rejection so much! (Simon, if you read this, I won’t say no to an advertising fee 😉  )

Any way, I have made a good start, but you probably haven’t. There was something in the book which rung incredibly true for me. I have just been reminded of this as I hear voices on the street outside. When I am working, I am at home. This doesn’t mean that I am available. Sometimes, I welcome distraction, but most the time, I don’t. Does it not annoy you, that because you are ‘only writing’ people think they can bother you? Bother them next time they are at work, see how they like it!

I digress, I have made a good start on the tips and advice in the book, but you probably haven’t. Perhaps you do them already, you just don’t realise that it is a step towards being a positively productive writer.

For those who don’t, I will go slow, by starting off with goals. Yes, everyone has them on some level, but do they work for you? Probably not, if you feel disheartened and unmotivated.

Goals need to be measurable, and obtainable. I have long, medium and short term goals. My long term goals are the biggies, like write a novel, write 12 short stories etc. It’s easy to see why at the end of a week, or even a month, I get disheartened and think I am a useless writer who should give up now. So I broke them down into my medium term goals: Write 11111 words a month on the novel. That is a helluva lot of words! And it isn’t any wonder I would get disheartened after a day or a week. So then, I broke it down into a short term goal. Something to aim for by the end of the week, if not the day. Write 335 words a day! Wow! I can actually do that! I really can!

So now, I don’t feel as overwhelmed. And I face each day more motivated. I feel more productive, and more positive.

What are your goals?

It’s strange. I think up an idea for a blog post, and all of a sudden, that topic is everywhere!


Today, I want to talk about motivation. The whys and wherefores of it. I have a desk, where I sit and be the writer of the household. But today, I am writing about motivation from the sofa.


I am motivated to write this post, as I feel a sense of duty to my readers. I know that if I don’t post, I’ll lose all, or at least some of you. So I make it a regular thing. But that is about it.


Life gets in the way. For some, the motivation is money. For most, it is a need. To not write, is to not breathe. But this need doesn’t necessarily bring you to your desk day in and day out. It doesn’t necessarily make you productive.  Money does.


So what if you want your motivation to be money, but right now all it is is a need? How do you get yourself to the desk and write, as if you are being paid for it? I don’t have the answers yet. I hope that when I purchase The Positively Productive Writer by Simon Whalley, I will be getting somewhere. I have heard it is a good book, and it is most definitely on my ‘to read’ list.

Another good thing, which is helping me a little bit is Wunderlist. You can add lists for different things too. I have Short Stories, Competitions, Articles and Assignments. And at the click of a button, if I have added a deadline, I can see what deadlines I have coming up in the near future.


Will I be more productive for it? I certainly hope so. But I need to get to the desk first.


How do you motivate yourself, and does it work?


Posted: February 24, 2012 in Writing
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Just a quick pop in.


Firstly, I am full of cold, so not been doing much this last couple of days. Starting to miss the writing though! Will be busy next week catching up. Thankfully, I have no deadlines, so can relax on that front.


Also, I may have mentioned my article in another post. Someone (I know her as Baggy Books) mentioned that perhaps, maybe, I should post it to my blog. Then I had a lovely friend (Known as bored_robots) teach me some HTML coding so I could do funky things with the article. Then I had another friend (known as lin treadgold) who looked over said article. She gave me ideas on how to improve it, make it stand out etc. She said my writing was really good, and it wasn’t that that would pose an issue. This made me happy, and gave my confidence a boost. So, the article will not appear on my blog for some time, as otherwise it would be classed as already published. And that wouldn’t be good if I wanted to submit. So you will have to be patient, if you were looking forward to reading about fleas.


And finally, some good news. In my local newspaper, they published my letter! I almost missed it. Thankfully, the Mr had bought the paper the day it was published.


So now, I am going to go and finish watching telly and let this cold get out of my system, so I can be firing on all cylinders again.



Writer in Training?

Posted: February 20, 2012 in Uncategorized, Writing
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I am pleased to see the response my last post got!

So following on, I think I will explore the teaching of a writer.

Patsy Collins commented on my last post, saying that ‘of course writers are taught’, and mentioning the very first ‘writes’ as a baby holding a crayon.

This is a valid, albeit literal answer.

But what about becoming a ‘proper writer’, one who can sell their work, and maybe even pay a bill or two? Can that writer be taught?

I often wonder the answer to that. I think I know how to put a story together, what elements are needed, how to create character. So either I don’t know it well enough or I do and I cannot be taught. I am learning how to write articles at the moment. Or am I? Can I be taught?

I will continue to try and learn and practice. But the question always is: when to give up?

The Writers Bureau claim they can make you become a writer. I have read some of the testimonials, and it seems that becoming a writer can be taught. But then I wonder, do they enjoy wA bit riting what it is they write that makes money?

So what is more important? Being happy and writing what you want, and perhaps it pays the bills, and perhaps it don’t? Or writing commercially, whether you want to write it or not, but paying the bills?

Can you write something saleable, if your heart isn’t in what it is that you are writing?

A bit pants, I know. I seem to ask more questions than I answer. But I am at the very beginning of learning how to become a writer – that is, if I can be taught.

Making a writer out of me yet

Posted: February 17, 2012 in Writing
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I need to plan my blog posts. Have I said that before?

I am usually meticulous at planning, needing to know where I am going and when I need to get there. But not when it comes to communicating with my readers.

This blog doesn’t do what I set it up to do any more, and I have noticed that I am trying to keep the posts related to the creative writing process. Today, I am feeling uninspired. I had a few fleeting thoughts but nothing much jumped out at me. So rather than the writing, I chose the life of a writer.

Not long ago, I wrote a post called ‘Gaining Confidence’. Now I have a crisis of confidence. I got the feedback for my assignment, and to say it wasn’t encouraging is being nice.

I wasn’t told that I couldn’t write. Just that what I had written was wrong, all wrong, in every way that mattered.

So I thought: Should I give up? Can a writer be made? Be taught? Why bother?

I sought help from fellow writers on forums. My questions weren’t really answered, but I felt less of a failure.

One said something which has proven to be poignant. Instead of seeing writing as an alternative (and better) to a proper job, it should be treated with the same respect that a proper job is given. And as with a proper job, training is part and parcel. If I knew enough about writing, I wouldn’t be on the course. So I realised, I am in my 3 month trial period of my new job. Unfortunately, this writing job only pays when you have completed your training! But I am fortunate in that no wages from me isn’t a huge problem.

Others piped up saying that I would be lucky to make a living. I don’t think luck has anything to do with it really. And as I don’t need to make a living, it isn’t that important. Then the same also said that most writers have a day job too. But I don’t want a day job. If I did, I’d be doing more. As it stands, the only reason I write is because I want to. I enjoy being at home, and Him Indoors prefers that. As he reminds me ‘it solves more problems than it creates’.

If I didn’t write, I would go crazy. It is what I have always done. And the challenges the course brings keeps my intellect stimulated – something that I learned Nat Geo couldn’t do. I enjoy learning. But I also like to earn money. It is how I was brought up.

If there came a time that I needed to get a day job, I would in a heart beat. But for now, I am happy being a writing SAHM mom.


I will tackle the other questions in future posts (see? I’m planning already)


But what would your answers be?

I’m not crazy, I’m a writer!

Posted: February 6, 2012 in Writing
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It is a noisy life. Now, I may actually be crazy, but I don’t think I am the only one who finds writing noisy.

And I don’t mean the tap-tapping of the keys. When editing, it is just as noisy.

Is this because I am rubbish at it? Maybe.


Let me break it down for you (but please, don’t call them).

It is the voices. Yes you heard me right. Every single member of my cast wants to have their say, and they want to have it NOW!

I have been known to go downstairs and have the Mr speak to me, and I grumpily reply ‘I just want some peace and quiet’. I then get a puzzled look. He probably thinks ‘Peace and quiet? You have been locked away for a couple of hours, and I haven’t heard any noise.’

I hope that I am not the only one who wants some quiet after a stint with my characters.

But try to explain to a non-writer why that is, and perhaps you may be writing from a padded cell.