Tag Archives: writing tips

NANO: No Time for NaNoWriMo? Try FLASH NANO instead

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I did NaNoWriMo in 2013, the year I started writing again, the year I started blogging. I completed the Spring and Summer Camps as well as the main event. 2013-Winner-Vertical-Banner

This year I thought about dipping my toes in again, but I am working on several poetry projects and know that I don’t have time to complete 50,000 words. Tonight I decided to spend some time browsing my reader as it has been 10 months since I looked at blogs out here. I discovered a post and a challenge that might match my schedule and give me more to work with in the future.1 nb

Nancy Stohlman is posting prompts for flash fiction, which I do have time for. http://nancystohlman.com/flashnano/

Imagination Rain.eps I headed over to http://nanowrimo.org and signed back in. I headed to the Pep Talk page which has a lot of good advice and encouragement for a positive mental attitude, which believe me all NaNo-ers need! See what Gene Luen Yang has to say here

I am unlikely to reach the 50,000 word count by writing incredibly short, short stories but I will hopefully end the month with 30 new pieces and if I can I might mix it up with some poetry too.

So let’s get started!

Good luck to everyone making NaNo part of their November.

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INKSPILL – Editing By Nina Lewis

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AWF Edit

This year I asked what you would like INKSPILL to support, editing was the focus.

EDITING

Good editing takes your writing beyond mediocre. A challenging skill to learn and as with writing, some people are better at it than others. If you have decided to self publish, a good editor can make a real difference to your manuscript. Proofreaders are skilled but editors know when the shape or feel of something is wrong or right and that equals sales for the writer.

Not everyone is working on writing projects with editors though and it’s hard to learn how to edit your work. Many of us spend more time editing than writing, it is essential to leave time in your writing schedule for the edit. Your writing, as you probably know, needs a few days (or even weeks) to rest and marinate before the edit!

 

TOP 10 TIPS

1) Finish Writing First

Now you may think this is an insane piece of advice as it breaks a natural pattern for many. Many of us edit as we go, I am doing it now. What this tip really means is keep it simple, deleting a typo or changing a few words as you get to the end of the sentence. It is natural (and good practise) to re-read as you write and you may see something you want to delete completely. Finish writing first and then go back to it. I sometimes use bold, italic or font colours to remind me where to look.

It is worth noting, I am not suggesting you attempt to write an entire novel without editing – although events like NaNoWriMo (you are not too late to sign up for 2014) encourage just that. To produce half a novel with no editing at all. A write or die approach. It is actually quite liberating, although the quality of the 50,000 words can vary.

 

2) Let the work rest

You should schedule time for the writing to be left as it is, with shorter pieces this may only be a few hours and with poetry I tend to write and re-write several drafts before the resting process. Saving all of them to file. Then leave it a day or two before starting the editing the process. With short stories this could be a week and novels longer.

The idea is it will allow you to see work through fresh eyes and should make the first level of editing (the slash and cull – yes you are going to be BRUTAL) a lot easier. Plus you will have strength to wield that sword now, unless like most of us, whilst your manuscript rested you carried on writing something else.

 

3) Slash and Cull

Become the slayer…. Costume on? Ready? Of course, a different wardrobe isn’t necessary, (although you could dress up as an editor if it makes you feel better). This first edit should be the easiest, you are looking for the big monsters.

The character that doesn’t quite fit, the chapter that is 7 pages too long, the description which needs to be tighter, plot holes, loose characterisation. You will be eager and fresh and should be able to tackle the manuscript with new ideas.

You may even enjoy this edit. I would advise with larger projects you do this chapter by chapter and even though you may have written in a different order it is paramount to edit in a linear way, chapter by chapter for chronology and continuity and also the reader experience.

As great writers have advised me – save each edit as new copy so you have the other versions to refer back to. Sometimes (especially beginner writers) can over edit and having copy saved may just keep the hair on your head!

 

4) Paper Wins

It is often easier to edit with a printed copy, physically reading and scribbling than to edit on the screen, even with new fangled editing programmes on the market. I know some writers who never use paper copy in this way, preferring e-readers or other tech. I find that I can spot things quicker on paper, it is how my brain was trained to read.

It can be useful to read it in its published form, which is why blogging platforms and emails often have a preview function. It is a good way to spot glaring errors including how the text will look on screen.

 

5) Have a PLAN!

You need an editing plan, just as you had one for writing. Section the manuscript, decide what to look for first, start with structure and content. What is known as ‘big picture’ editing. Find the chapters and paragraphs that need to be cut out, slash immediately. Find what works, have you missed whole areas of importance out? Do you need to write a whole section, chapter? Are there scenes that just don’t work, feel wrong, need a re-write?

Major cuts, rewrites and additions need to happen BEFORE you start polishing and editing sentences and changing words.

 

6) The bottom line is 10%!

Most of us are guilty of over-writing (this article was originally 1430 words)! We use more words than we need and our writing becomes weaker.

Do a word count and try to cut back 10%

Sounds impossible?

Look for these mistakes;

Repetition- trust your reader to get it the first time.

Un-necessary phrases, usually sentence starters such as I believe that… these can be cut and the writing will be stronger.

Despite everything we were taught at school, bin the adjectives. You needn’t use a whole string of them and if you have told us a character is shouting do we need to know how loudly?

 

7) Never Trust The Tech

By tech I mean our dear friend, the spellchecker. It will correct your mistakes but it is not a reader and will have no idea that when you wrote ‘she picked up the blank pen….’ you actually meant black pen. A grammar check won’t see this one either, but you can, so remember to use your eyes.

Other common mistakes our spell-check may miss are;

homophones, missing words. Sometimes your tech will have its own strange ideas about words, so make sure you are using the correct language setting and don’t just click OK to every suggestion.

 

8) Read Slower or from a different place

By now you will have edited this draft several times, you will know it. You will read what you think you see. It is so familiar it’s hard to spot any mistakes. Reading your manuscript out of order (providing you have numbered the pages) is a good proof-reading trick.

If reading out of order isn’t possible then remember how slowly beginner readers read. Read slowly. A good trick is to enlarge the font – you won’t see as many words on the screen or be able to scan read on.

 

9) Know when to LET GO!

When do you stop editing?

The time to let go is when you find yourself changing the manuscript, then changing it back again.

Most of us have ghost gremlins, even after we have submitted a piece of writing we feel ourselves filled with nagging feelings. Not feeling entirely confident until the work has been accepted.

Get used to this feeling.

Our perception of perfection may be different to the editor, market, it is something fictional, unobtainable… subjective… so let – it – go!

 

10) Pay

someone else to do it!

 

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INKSPILL – A Teasing Taster…. Writing Retreat Right HERE in 5 Days Time!

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I have spent the day writing and organising the programme for INKSPILL 2014… VERY EXCITING!

It is going to be even better than last year and is still FREE!

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Please share this post on SOCIAL MEDIA

To take part all you need to do is FOLLOW the blog.

We encourage you to link back to your blog throughout the weekend too!

 

The FULL Programme Events will be announced on the 25th OCTOBER.

Days are divided into 3 parts – Morning – Afternoon – Evening & there will be plenty of time for you to get ahead on your own writing.

You can commit to taking part in the whole programme or just dip in and out, you can even join us LIVE (GMT).

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*Articles on Editing, *Research, *Genres writing, *Videos, *Seminars, *Special Guest Writers -William Gallagher, Charlie Jordan and Heather Wastie , *Helpful advice on writing, *Writing Activities  and much, much more!

AWF 2014 OCT Cal SAVE THE DATE!

Week 3 September 15th – 21st

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The week before saw several poetry events & meetings. Mouth & Music, SpeakEasy, Stanza, the return of the Writing Group after the summer for Writing West Midlands at The Hive in Worcester and my One Year a Poet Party, peppered in between all this was a submission (of 3 poems) – fingers crossed.

Needless to say at the beginning of this, the 3rd week in September I was cream crackered – (TIRED)! The 15th was actually scheduled to be a heavy deadline day, a lot of the work was prose and I hadn’t had enough time to invest in it – it is shelved until a day it will be useful. I cut the stress by cutting out the deadline. T4

It has been a hard lesson to learn – THERE WILL NEVER BE ENOUGH TIME TO DO EVERYTHING – I have to look at each week and decide on the focus – is it writing or performing, new work or a different genre, some days it is just reading – all of it important.

I had some notes by the end of 2013 – look out for X in 2014 – now at the back of the diary I have that same note for 2015 – sometimes you got to practise an aim before you can shoot. I need some more learning time before I am ready. It really is a waste of time to send anything less than your BEST work and if you need more time, use it for something else or save it for the following year – trends may have changed by then, but we are constantly told to write from where it takes us – not study and write to theme, that produces empty, authorless writing which will go out of fashion quickly. Why use crayons when you can learn to blend and paint with oils?

So basically I spent the 15th – bleary eyed, trawling through writing schedules, considering the remaining writing, likely outcome and how much my heart pulled and basically slashed an ink line through every item on the list. It freed a day to read and think and after the OYAP celebration, I needed that. Tuesday was also a full on writing day but I also had work, I looked again and chose what to pursue and what to strike off the list at this time. Writing diary

All the while conserving energy and getting over the week before. On Wednesday 17th some of the Worcs Lit Fest crowd  – Maggie Doyle, Fergus McGonigal and Polly Robinson were performing in a tea room in Wolverley for an afternoon of Pop Up Poetry. The sun was shining, all the household chores had been done, I wasn’t in the right frame of mind to write – but listening to Poetry was something I could manage.

It had started by the time I reached my destination and I was having an off day with regards to confidence and feeling perhaps some people were getting fed up of me being absolutely everywhere – which I think was just in my own head, people seemed genuinely pleased to see me. I declined performing in the 2nd part and instantly regretted my decision especially when the question changed from ‘are you performing?’ To ‘why aren’t you performing?’

It was lovely meeting Sue, Susan Wood who organised it all and Sue Johnson (incredible workshops) and I met for the first time. It was great to hear a poet who had stood up for the 1st time and everyone seemed to feel inspired.

There is some film of this event, when I track it down I will add some to this post.

wolverley tea shopFacebook The Village Store/ Tea Shop

On Thursday I performed at Poetry For Lunch at the Mezzanine at the Library of Birmingham with Jan watts. It was fun and I am only sorry that I can’t get to more of these. I missed the special on Tuesday of this week, to celebrate 1 year since the opening of the new library and since then I have been working.

I couldn’t manage HIT THE ODE in the evening – Fergus McGonigal was performing, it would have been great to support him but I was just too tired.

On the 19th I hit the stage at The Ort to perform a varied set, last month it was really hot in the café and it was hot this month too – mainly because it was packed with people – which is great for Debbie Aldous as this night seems to go from strength to strength.

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I had planned a weekend off poetry and a break from writing. I did celebrate a big birthday – it was Tim Scarborough’s 50th Birthday (the percussion poet I collaborate with).

happy bdayKathy rainwatch

Here Comes INKSPILL 2014

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For the 2nd year we are offering a FREE Online Writing Retreat at the end of October, 25th & 26th.

Please comment to register interest, it was helpful and fun for many writers who participated last year and some of the TOP POSTS each month come from INKSPILL 2013.

This year I also have some exceptional Guest Writers lined up for you all and it may be the final time we can offer this retreat as 100% FREE. Each year we cover different aspects of writing and also add a selection of Free-writing and observational activities of the workshop variety.

You can participate in real time (GMT) and follow the whole process over the weekend or just dip in and out of posts. You can link back to your own blogs if you think some of your followers may be interested and people can join in at any point over the weekend.

SO SAVE THE DATE – 25th/26th OCTOBER and come and join the fun.

Leave a comment or a LIKE if you feel you may be interested. This is by no means a commitment on your behalf, just gives me some idea of preparation.

INKSPILL 2014 will be posting requests soon.

Have a think: if there is a gap in your knowledge, something confusing you, a direction needed? You can ask us to look into it – after all it is YOUR retreat!

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25th & 26th OCTOBER 2014

 

Leave Time for Admin and Research

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Hopefully one day, you can add ‘marketing’ to the title listed.

The greatest lesson I have learnt since I relaunched into writing is that Admin and research take a lot of time and both are necessary. I have spent the past few days researching markets and scheduling writing through the diary around life and performing.

It has taken days… I tried an old trick I used to push myself with back in the days of a pile of office work. I worked out that in an hour I had (on average) covered about 5 websites, I basically tried to cover what I needed to find out in less than 20 mins a site, then less than 15, I couldn’t shave any time off this as I was also copying information into files on my computer.

I am only part way through my list and have, as yet, not actually worked on any new writing, which I am champing at the bit to do (eager).

I can now post a review of ‘A Night With Maya Angelou’ with links to Jordan’s review (organiser). I am also dropping in a post about ‘Off the Page’, Jan Watt’s official book launch, attended on Tuesday.

Go read, enjoy! jan benches

Writer’s Block – Advice

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A few weeks ago I had a conversation with a friend who was suffering from writer’s block, I was going to send an email full of advice and tips and then I thought – why not blog it.

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The best advice I have discovered in the past year and a half is to not blame the block on yourself – but rather the sticky keys of your laptop, by doing this you can kid your brain and get the ideas pumping again.

We all know what Writer’s Block feels like and we all suffer from the stalemate from time to time, including best selling authors, you are in good company. Sometimes the best thing to do is walk away from writing for a while, give yourself a day or two off from writing, or take a walk, get out of the house, you may discover a source of inspiration out in the real world.

Writer’s Block can leave you feeling lethargic so here are some ideas to try if you do not want to leave the house.

1) Try a writing exercise.

2) Think about some major life changes that you have experienced, what if they had turned out differently? Write the outcome.

3) Use favourite/ well known book characters and write them into different scenes.

4) Write your anxieties down, what is happening inside your creative/ writing mind.

5) Talk to other writers.

6) Try working on a different project. I tend to have 2 or 3 simultaneous projects timetabled at any one time, this prevents boredom and blocks, although in poetry writer’s block is slightly different and tends to centre around ideas.

7) Assess your writing space, perhaps change or tidy your environment to declutter your mind.

8) Think about why you write to begin with. (Or next time you are having a positive writing day write down some observations to read next time you are feeling empty!) Are you writing what you love? It can be really hard to finish projects otherwise.

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Tangents and detours happen in writing, accept them.

Try to silence your inner critic – don’t let those gremlins tell you your writing is worthless.

Remember the power of re-writes, just work on getting your 1st draft out.

Just keep going.

Try to look at your manuscript from different angles.

Touch base with HOW writing makes you FEEL – why you are a writer to begin with.

 

Worcestershire LitFest & Fringe 20-29th June 2014

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WLF speakeasy

I have loved being part of this year’s WorcsLitFest, having so many events and opportunities on my very own doorstep has been wonderful.

I didn’t plan it very well – as I also took on a full week of work – and missed many daytime/ teatime events I could have otherwise attended. There’s always 2015. I also missed the last 3 days of the festival due to performing in Birmingham and celebrating birthdays.

My highlights were being asked to guest spot for the Decadent Divas (something I was unfortunately not able to do as it clashed with Dave’s Woodstock Party) and performing at Jonny Fluffypunk’s event! wlf jfp2

There was a packed programme of 33 events and performances – look at the glorious programme here;

https://worcslitfest.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/1-litfest-programme-20143.pdf

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I went to the launch event – a fun packed event concluding with the new Poet Laureate being chosen, congratulations to Fergus McGonigal our new ambassador for poetry and Claire Walker, who came 2nd and Suz Winspear who came 3rd.

Prizes for the young writer competition and flash fiction were also announced.

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The next event was just 30 minutes later in Malvern, on the hills. I was asked to take part in this and would have loved to, but had Writing West Midlands job the next day. I hope I can take part in the magic next year.

Midnight Moonlight Solstice Walk – celebrate the solstice, walking on the Old Hills with poetry and stories on the way.

Ruth Stacey held a Native American Myths workshop that I would have loved to attend – but due to hotfooting over towns for Writing West Midlands job I couldn’t have made it.

I also missed the Authors’ Fair at the Guildhall, the Romantic Novelists’ Panel and wlf cat-weatherill-2-lowres by Cat Weatherill.

 

On Sunday I was part of the Pop Up Bus Tour, a fun event! Including performances on the bus and in the park. wlf pop

The EP – Emergency Poet was parked up at the Hive. It was great to see Deborah Alma and James Sheard again and this was the first time I had seen her emergency ambulance and had a consultation, great fun. Deborah does many festivals and Lit events and is well worth looking up and going to see!

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Then I hotfooted it over to Birmingham to take part in Poets with Passion at the Sahara Restaurant. Missing the Beatfreeks performing at the workshop, I do see a lot of Beat poetry performed in Birmingham, so may well have seen it before.

On Monday I worked and had forgotten I was going out at all… fortunately I remembered and went to see Man Up Jonny Fluffypunk.jfp Jonny is a stand up poet and one of my favourite discoveries in this world of performance poetry I have immersed myself into. I have seen him perform twice as a headliner but his one man show is not to be missed! I am not going to say more about it because it is unbelievable and you need to catch it for yourselves if you ever get the chance! Amazing. wlfjfp5 I didn’t know before I got there that there had been a shout out for performers as they were trying to create an interval in an interval-less show. I did have a poem on my phone, a poem that was on my set list for SpeakEasy on Thursday, but this opportunity was too good to miss and it was one that Fergus McGonigal, Adrian Mealings and I took up!

wlfjfp3wlfjfp1 I performed my Adjectives poem, written for Mouth and Music, it went down well and Jonny loved it – until the beret line and a slight ad lib on my part! It was a great feeling and thanks to WLF Crew and Jonny for letting us have some of the stage time!

I took Tuesday off from events, although there were plenty of things I wanted to see, I knew with wok as well energy was needed to survive the week.

On Wednesday I went to the Festival Special of 42 with Lou Morgan. It was a great night and I enjoyed putting my set together, the newly written 52 poem about Martha Graham, The Picasso of Dance, went down very well and had lots of feedback.

WLF 42 It was a cracking night and Lou’s Q & A session was very interesting. I regret not having the time to mingle and chat afterwards, I was so tired and knew I wouldn’t be home until gone 11.

On Thursday after working I frantically re-jigged the set list for my 6 minute slot and filled the Adjective gap with Moustaches. speakeasy Festival Special was just that a special night! Some amazing open mic-ers and guest performances and also 2 headliners, who blew everyone out of the water!

Scott Tyrrell was new to me, a Northern Poet full of comic wit (who left Worcester for Glastonbury this year!) His material was heart felt and chuckle full – mostly about Fatherhood, my favourite poem involves a book review for Where the Wild Things Are. Great stuff.

Emma Purhouse I discovered back at the beginning of my poetry odyssey! She is amazing, funny, poignant and highly observant of life around her. I hadn’t seen her perform for a while and was looking forward to it. We had a little moment to chat too, which was lovely and she encouraged me to enter Offa’s Press Submission – which I was already beavering away on – as if full week of work and LitFest wasn’t enough – I was also trying to compile a manuscript to send to Offa. I was delighted when Emma encouraged me to do it, confirming that my material was a match, lets hope Offa feel the same about my submission!

Her set was amazing, loved it! WLF sp

This was my final WLF event as I was performing in Birmingham on the Friday, partying over the weekend, I missed some cracking bits at the end – including Double whammy Slammy – Poetry and Flash – Congratulations to Brenda Read-Brown for winning the poetry prize, the 4th Slam Poet Champ of WLF.

 

WLF speakeasy

Well done WLF!

 

 

 

Writing 101 – Day 8 Death to Adverbs

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Go to a local café, park, or public place and report on what you see. Get detailed: leave no nuance behind.

Thoughtful writers create meaning by choosing precise words to create vivid pictures in the reader’s mind. As you strive to create strong imagery, show your readers what’s going on; avoid telling them.

Today’s twist: write an adverb-free post. If you’d rather not write a new post, revisit and edit a previous one: excise your adverbs and replace them with strong, precise verbs.

The sin of telling often begins with adverbs. Author Stephen King says that, for writers, the road to hell is paved with adverbs:

The adverb is not your friend.

Adverbs…are words that modify verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs. They’re the ones that usually end in -ly. Adverbs, like the passive voice, seem to have been created with the timid writer in mind….With adverbs, the writer usually tells us he or she is afraid he/she isn’t expressing himself/herself clearly, that he or she is not getting the point or the picture across.

Instead of using adverbs as a crutch, rely on strong verbs to convey emotional qualities that imbue your writing with nuance, allowing the reader to fire up their imagination. Consider, for example:

“She walked proudly out the door.”

Remove the adverb “proudly” and replace it with a strong verb to denote how she walked:

She strutted out the door.

She sashayed out the door.

She flounced out the door.

Each example connotes the emotion with which “she” moved, creating a more vivid picture than “proudly” ever could.

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The restaurant was busy, only we could decide to go for steak on Father’s Day, of course neither one of us marks this day, so it was only by chance I realised. The plan was to do the Garden Centre shopping first and miss the lunchtime rush. It worked, well we got a table, the restaurant was still packed!

The man sitting on the table behind us was mid-sixties, his skin was the colour of tan leather and he had some fading old blue tattoos, the sorts you see sailors with in fiction. He didn’t look that impressed by either the food or the company, his wife (I presume) and daughter. His wife spent the first ten minutes jumping up to go and read the specials board to him as he frowned over the top of his glasses, perhaps he was ill or in pain and not just a grumpy old man forced out of his armchair on Sunday afternoon.

He hadn’t dressed up for the occasion, wearing an old, worn out, faded polo short and khaki coloured trousers, the sort you find in mail order catalogues, he had scuffed brown shoes on and nylon socks. He shuffled his legs under the table and then sat with his knees bent, his feet by the legs of the chair. His hair was fine and thinning on top, it was mousey brown.

MONDAY! Monday! On Writing and Time Management.

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Monday rolls around all too quickly, HALLOWEEN 2011 081 you know I made the assumption that connecting back into a much missed creative life would take away the Sunday Slump of the rat race and the Manic out of Monday… how wrong I was. A lot of the internal struggle is created by the fact that the writing isn’t paying (yet) and so to keep my house, car, life (like many writers) I still have an evolving career/ day job.

If the tax man is reading this – YOU OWE ME MONEY – lots £100’s on a tax rebate….. would be helpful to receive that soon – believe me I doubt they read the blog (big brother paranoia) but when I tried to contact them through the website and calling I just got an automated message telling me if I was owed money they would know and would be dealing with it — then it automatically HUNG UP! Now this may be true but I tend to be a little unlucky with bureaucratic red tape and things that may take a few months usually roll on for years if my names and codes are attached to it! imagesCAEEZNXM

Anyway back to the post. I have had a productive morning, waking early on my writing day, doing some laundry (despite the rain which is supposedly clearing by dinner time!), starting my diet and exercise regime ready to not be uncomfortable in my skin at my brother’s wedding this Autumn and in the hope I fit back into some of my dresses this summer. By the time I logged on it was 10:30, I felt guilty and then I THREW AWAY that negative feeling, I could have slept in until 10! alarm-clock

So I made a start (as I always do) at the beginning of a writing day, by making a list. A set of goals, jobs to do, things to research, write, read.

paper-notesI am well disciplined and stay off social media until there is a break point or after the list has been completed is better. Breaks tend to elongate without you realising once you are trapped in the social media bubble. The way I see it is I wouldn’t have access if I was at work. I am at work (writing) – I have no access. My brain is so easy to kid!

Sometimes (depending what is on the list) time gets rolling fast and it will be time to pack up before I have ticked off the 1st two items. I do NOT worry. The post-it list is stuck in my writing diary, ready with the starting point if my next writing session.

Today’s list consists of research and writing. Plus I had a few business emails to read/ respond to. That’s the biggest surprise I think in writing, the fact that ADMIN takes up so much time. It took ages to flag up the emails, despite using designated email addresses for different areas.

to do I have currently applied for a pop-up performance arranged by Naked Lungs for this year’s Birmingham Literature Festival, have 2 – 4 short stories to complete (2 this week if I can) and several poems to write, some to follow up the workshop at Acton Scott Farm with Jean Atkin, some for a performance tomorrow night (1st one in 13 days, took a bit of a break!), some for this weekend and others to catch up on other projects I have only had time to dip in and out of. I also have my first official book review to write (for which I was paid, a complimentary copy of the poetry pamphlet)!

I have 14 websites to looks at/research, a character to create from a world I know very little about (eek!), I have a scratch night I probably won’t make pencilled in* and a book launch. This weekend is the Writing West Midlands Creative Writing Group and a deadline for some written submissions.

* Conserving energy (and petrol) WLF – Worcester LitFest in a fortnight and lots going on before then too. Plus I now have to fit EXERCISE into the schedule – and don’t suggest parking and striding to the gigs – I get red faced after about 3 minutes and would need a shower when I arrived and most venues have no dressing rooms or facilities!

So I had best get on with my list! imagesCAISM7Z5

 

Time Management:

  • Split chunks of time, I find not being to prescriptive works well (in my day job, things have to fit in allocated slots of time) and it feels good to break free! I started at 10:30 and said I could have a break in an hour, that kind of thing.

 

  • Know what you need to do, get your head down and try to do it.

 

  • I say try because creativity cannot be forced or pushed, some days it comes easier than others. So the true TIME management falls in making sure there is time to complete your projects when you have those duff days. This is usually a 4 day buffer at least, depending on length of editing/ proofing time.

 

  • I always try to get things written in time to give it some rest and a look over/ edit before submission – this is usually a period of a week if you have enough time to do this it can be beneficial.

 

  • Keep your unfinished list to know where your starting point is next time.

 

  • If you can that starting point should be part way through something -or the start of a task based on researching or something you can get into straight away. The problem with starting with your next writing job is the possibility you will be staring at a blank screen for some of the time.

 

  • Try not to lose focus. I often set alarms on my phone, that way I don’t even have to glance at the onscreen clock anyway.

 

  • Try to ease the pressure off. You are your Boss, it is always beneficial to get on with the Boss right?

 

  • And just like real work (unless you work in Health or Education/ Public Sector) take some breaks and give yourself treats and incentives for reaching target! Not food though – you don’t want a writer’s (saggy) bottom!

 

Good Luck! Green-Clovers-Vector-Illustration

PS I used part of my break to write this – I am now walking away from the screen!