My Writing Day

Everyone has their own way of doing things and the more I read about other writers’ daily routines, the more surprised I am that we ever get any writing done at all. There are just so many claims on our time. Ideally, now that I’m well into the final editing phase of my second novel, my daily activities should fit around my writing. Pity it doesn’t quite work like that. Here’s how I make everything fit: Continue reading

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Credit where it’s due

I’ve been giving a few talks to local writing and book clubs recently and one of the questions that keeps popping up, particularly from aspiring writers, is, ‘How do you deal with the problem of potential plagiarism when you submit your work to agents and publishers/competitions/tutors/writing groups?’

I haven’t got an especially suspicious nature, nor do I think my writing is so ground-breakingly original, artistic and eloquent that someone might want to appropriate it and pass it off as their own, so the idea had never occurred to me. But it’s obviously a worry to a lot of people. Continue reading

Aides Memoires

Prompted by a magazine article about clearing out one’s kitchen cupboards, I decided to conduct a similar inventory on my writing notes, wherever they were lurking. Not having a very reliable memory these days, I jot down ideas and material for my second novel anywhere I happen to be, and that means using anything at my disposal to record my bon mots.

As well as the more obvious notebooks by the bedside, in the living room and in various handbags, I have collections of notes in ‘bits and pieces’ documents on my PC and snippets recorded on my iPhone. But I also scribble handwritten notes and leave them in all manner of strange locations. Here’s where I’ve found little missives so far:

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What’s on your desk?

Do you write at a desk at home, or in a library or coffee shop? On a park bench, or on the beach? Do you snatch odd minutes when you’re at work, utilising your lunch and coffee breaks to scribble something down or work on a difficult plotline? Or do you write at set times, for a set amount of time, always in the same place? I have a notebook by my bed – I also have a pen with a light on the end, which I hoped would mean I could scribble away at the dead of night without disturbing my partner, but unfortunately the light’s on the wrong end so I only succeed in illuminating the ceiling – but these days, most of my writing is directly onto a screen, in my study at home and, apart from a collection of physical rather than virtual reference books, I try to maintain a relatively paperless office, and yet, and yet…… Continue reading