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Slow Moving

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It is very nearly the end of April - month 4 of a 12 month calendar. More than a quarter of the way through 2017. Why am I telling you this? So you can be annoyed too, at the fact that I have achieved nothing.

Okay, I have kept to my resolution of one blog post a week. It is hard to come up with ideas each week, but I manage it, somehow.

I have booked myself in to hear Debbie Horsefield at the Stoke-on-Trent Hot Air Literary Festival.

I have written one and a half short stories. One is complete and first draft, the other is an idea.

Not a total failure, but nowhere near where I wanted to be at this point in the year. Which is why I got myself a mentor. And it is the best thing I have done.



I am not unfocussed any more. If I don't do what we agree on, I need a good reason to give to her. And I need to really get organised.

The kids return to school next week, and they have been part of the issue with me not getting much work done. But I can look forward to some time next week. …

Happy Easter

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I am keeping this post short and sweet.

I have several ideas for the future of this blog, which is great as I am planning harder, and working smarter. Why and how? I have a new mentor. I am following her advice on planning the quarters, so I have goals. I am really going to work hard at writing. I don't think I have enough to do, but as I am a mother as well, I think I should try not to over burden at the start. I can slowly build up my work load.

So after Easter, my blog is going to take a slightly different direction. It will be more writing centric. I was thinking how I struggle week on week to decide what to write about. So I thought I will focus more on the actual writing life. It will cover things that I find as I develop, and what advice I find works and so on. I will post more about problems and how I plan to overcome them (demanding toddler anyone?) and whether I succeed. I will impart my wisdom. I say that with my tongue in cheek, as I am far from wise. I am just pickin…

Take Note Part 2

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The last time I talked about using a notebook, I set myself a challenge of noticing -and writing down- 3 things a day. I failed. Which is a shame, as I need that sort of richness in my stories. Perhaps I will try again.

But another reason for having a notebook, and you will have heard this before, is to capture ideas.




I struggle with this. I think it is the identification of ideas. I can be walking along, and my mind would be something like this:

Oh look. That would make a great story. Maybe she gets robbed? Then after she meets her future husband. A paramedic? Would she be that hurt and injured? Is it robbery? Must check the facts. How old is she? She must be young. So why was she robbed? At a cash point? How about if she is the police, and is on the case. What if she learns that the robber is someone she knows. Or how about no one gets robbed at all. Let's make it nicer. Must re-read the problem page. That third problem had something in it that would make an excellent short story…

Take Note

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Note taking. Something I am pretty useless at. Something that, even when I do actually do it, when I re-read at a later time, I forget what it was I was doing or thinking.



Writers are always encouraged to keep a notebook, and not only that, but use it.

I am going to go to grass roots. I want to take note. I want to note 3 things a day for a week.

I did an exercise in a Teach Yourself book recently. The exercise asked me to describe a classroom from my childhood, the best that I could. I dutifully did so, describing the classroom that I was in when my mother pulled me out after my dad went missing. My description was based on things I saw. There were no sounds, no smells, no touch. I didn't describe the teacher, or the carpet. I described where the table was in relation to the blackboard, the teachers desk and the reading corner. I described how the desk that I occupied was right next to the door and there was a window behind me. I described the colour of the bookcase, and if I r…

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 …