A Word of Encouragement

arvon-note1Sorting out the vast amount of paper that regularly accumulates in my writing room can be a very time-consuming task, not least because I do like to re-read what I’m about to throw away (well, you never know, do you?) During one epic clearance I came across this little missive. Continue reading

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New Year, New Growth

Gerbera

As I coaxed the Gerbera on my windowsill into bloom for a second time, I thought I should apply some of the same magic to my writing, and the New Year seemed a good time to think about setting some objectives for 2016. I don’t make resolutions that require any sort of denial – they’d be doomed to failure from the start, so Yes, I will still be eating the chocolate and drinking the wine – I’d much rather give myself goals that will enrich my writing life. Early in 2013 I wrote about using the SMART acronym for personal development. It fits well with this aspirational time of year, so I’ll roll it out again. Continue reading

Procrastination is the thief of time

A perfect storm. A new PC with an unfamiliar operating system, no internet connection and an awful lot of snow. What could possibly go wrong? Well, the shop had run out of Windows 8 for Dummies for a start. Couldn’t be better.

I’m not a computer expert and I appreciate that I need a modicum of understanding. Why should it be easy? I’ve read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and I know it behoves me to at least show willing, to get to grips with it, but perhaps not today. The lack of connectivity has given me an ideal opportunity to get some uninterrupted writing done and I shouldn’t ignore this gift. At least I’ve managed to upload all my files from the old computer so I’ve got something to work on. I’ve even managed to open a new document. I’m off and running.

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Critical mass

A few weeks ago I rejoined my local writing group. I originally left because the weekly homework and reviewing of other members’ work left me with little time to write anything else, and I felt I was getting into a writing rut and not learning anything new. However, I soon found that without that weekly discipline, I did no writing whatsoever.

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Stumbling Blocks

Friends who have achieved a similar age received diamonds, or trips to Venice. What did I get as a birthday present? An invitation to take part in a bowel cancer screening programme. Be still my beating heart.

Epic Fail!

But it got me thinking about the nature of failure in general, and that of budding writers in particular. I thought it would be useful to discuss some of the pitfalls that can betray us as amateurs and which should be avoided at all costs.

Once more, with feeling

First of all I must apologise for not getting around to everyone’s blogs this week. It’s been a bit manic, here, what with friends staying, with children to entertain and all the extra cooking etc that this entails. Not an excuse, I know, but we’ve also had the Olympics to watch. I was rather cynical to start with, not being an especially sporty person, but I’ve been won over by the sheer excitement and exuberance of it all. And Team GB has done us proud with a great collection of medals. We’ve been glued to the TV in this house, even delaying going out to a party last night so we could watch Jess Ennis get her gold in the heptathlon. Sorry, I’m gushing now.

But it does lead me on to my subject – feelings and emotions. Touchy-feely writing isn’t the sole preserve of romantic fiction; it should figure in all our writing, whatever the genre. In short, if we want to produce well-rounded narrative description, we shouldn’t neglect our feminine side.

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