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Happy Mother's Day

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Here in the UK, today is Mother's Day.



I have noted over the years I have been a mother, that Mother's Day always falls on the Sunday of the weekend that the clocks go back an hour. Why is that? Are we not exhausted enough?

Anyway, I don't personally expect anything special. Maybe a chance to relax, watch films with the kids (would be ace), and just enjoy their company. I am very lucky to be a mother, and every day I am treated wonderfully by the two children who are at home with me.

The other morning, my youngest told me, unprompted, that I was the best mum in the world. She is always saying nice things to people. The first time she meets someone, she will always find something nice to say about them. When returning from school with her big brother and a friend of his, when his friend also said bye to her, she said that the friend was very kind.

My boy is just as wonderful. If I am stressed out, he will get the candles on. He may not say he loves me often, or that I am …

How To Be A Better Reader

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Do you want to read more? Be a better writer? Or just have a plan?

Then plan your reading!

Develop a reading strategy that will make the most of your time and help you develop as a writer.





Choose 24 Books

I had a 12 writing book goal at the beginning of the year. That is to read 12 books on the subject of writing. I am going to put another 12 on top of that, but fiction. You could choose 24 non-fiction or fiction, or just mash them up at whatever takes your fancy. That works out at roughly 2 per month - if we had started in January. But I am sure it is still doable.

Read

Read some books in your genre, some outside your genre, read old books, read brank new books, read obscure books, read Pulitzer Prize books.

Don't Read

Don't read more than 2 books at a time. Any more than that, and whilst you might retain some info, if you want to check a fact or something, you might forget which book it was in.

Write

Write a list of all the books you want to read. Pick 24 for 2017. Whenever a n…

Being Inspired

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This week as I turned up at the computer to write this blog post, I was uninspired. So I read chapter three in 'On Being A Writer', which is about surrounding yourself with things that enrich the writing life that each of us lead. I felt overwhelmed at the idea. I came to the conclusion that what I need is lists and organisation.


I am a list person. I love two books by Simon Whaley: The Positively Productive Writer and Wunderlist for Writers. As you can tell, these probably hold the answers that I need. But I find that if I spend all my time writing and reading, I don't want to know about it any more!

I like to switch off. I find that I don't switch off when I read. My mind is always working. I am often inspired. I then find myself inundated with things to do. But if I just stopped a minute, and wrote a list, and organised myself, perhaps I could then see the wood for the trees.

I know that I have sort of rambled and veered off from what I originally intended. Perhaps …

Reality Check

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A couple of weeks ago, I discussed what my ideal writing day would look like. I promised to tell you what my real writing day looks like, and you will see that it is rather different!


My days start with me pressing snooze on my alarm more times than I can count in that sleep deprived state. My alarm is set for 6:45am but you will unlikely see me before 7:15am. Then I stumble into the kitchen and switch the kettle on, whilst preparing smallest’s breakfast. I pour a cup of boiling water – intentionally, I haven’t forgotten to add coffee – and sit and attempt to hear the news over smallest’s incessant chatting between mouthfuls. If boy isn’t up by the end of the regional news, I go wake him. He gets up and gets his own breakfast before getting ready for school. Then I can get rid of him. Once he is gone it is time for coffee and to get dressed.
Then I clean, and just be mum to smallest. Then it is time for smallest to eat lunch and to get ready for nursery. When I have dropped her off, I g…

Five Years Time

I got a book from the library, the updated 'Blogging for Dummies', and I have started reading it in search of inspiration. I thought that starting at the beginning would be boring, after all, this isn't the first time I have been a blogger. But this is probably the only time I have set out with the intention of doing it over a long period of time. It talks about thinking where you want your blog to be in 5 years time, and what the purpose of the blog will be. The book sets out some questions to help figure out the answer to that. I struggle imagining 1 year from now, so these really helped me get to grips with my blog's future. I have answered those questions below:

What level of commitment are you willing to make to blogging?

I intend to post once a week. This includes 3 drafts, so the final post is always edited several times.

Do you like writing? How's your typing?
I do like writing, yes. But I find writing non-fiction harder than fiction. And essentially, my blo…

Perfect Writing Day

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Do you have 'day envy' when you read those columns titled 'My Writing Day'? I know I do! Very rarely do I see one that tallies with my day. But many of them are what I would like my day to be like. So for this post, I thought I would set a timer for ten minutes and free write on what my perfect day would look like. I have tried to be as true to myself as possible, but I do think I have been influenced by such columns.

My perfect writing day starts with me waking up. I would then go downstairs and make coffee and breakfast. The kids would probably be awake, and I would feed them. I would sit down with coffee and breakfast and check the news, my Facebook and e-mail. I would also write a list of things to do. I would then send the kids off to school, and do the dishes, put a load of laundry on, before settling down to write. I will be a full time novelist so most of my day will be taken up by a current novel in progress. I would write a few short stories in between. I wo…

Writing With children

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"There is no more sombre enemy of good art than the pram in the hall." -Cyril Connelly

Cyril Connelly probably gave the most controversial quote of all time. It is often discussed in one way or another, when writers (or artists!) cry over the difficulty of getting things done with little people in the house.

When my eldest (11) was a baby, he was not demanding. He would sit in the same spot for hours, even once he could move around. He is being investigated for various developmental and learning disabilities. He wouldn't sleep, still doesn't, but eventually we taught him to just stay in his room. I was a pretty happy, confident young mum, in part time employment. I wrote most days, and had plenty of time to mull ideas over.

Then came my youngest (3). The only peace I get is when she is at school or asleep! When she is awake and I am responsible for her, my time is in high demand. At this point in the writing of this post I have been interrupted no less than 4 times - f…