Attempting to make it as a writer

Archive for May, 2014

Monday Blog Tour

DSC_0085It was a surprise and delight to be asked to join in this tour of blogs from some very successful writers.  I hope I can do them justice.  Many thanks to Veronica for her tag to join the Monday Blog tour, you can read her blog here.

What am I working on at the moment?

Editing is the most obvious comment I would answer here.  I have my novel “Memories” which is still work in progress but out with a beta reader and awaiting a final red pen edit before taking a deep breath and sending out to some agents.

As part of my writing group, we took on the challenge to produce a story for People’s Friend which is not my normal style of writing.  The challenge to me is writing outside my comfort zone and of course the possibility of being published in such a popular well-read magazine.  I have now finished a possible story but it still requires some serious red pen editing before I feel brave enough to send it off.

I also have my monthly mini blogs I provide for the local community magazine.   This is probably one of the hardest things to do – I have about 250 -300 words to create a whole story for a wide audience who need to be drawn in and hooked.  The time pressure as well as the inevitable writers block are my main stumbling blocks.

Finally I am doing an Open University module on “Start Writing Fiction”.  Although already behind with the assignments I am learning from this and some of the short paragraphs I have to produce I already have ideas for short stories or even longer.

You have to remember that all of this is outside my normal life of being a mother, wife, daughter and full time worker.

How does my work differ from others in the genre?

I still have questions of my own regarding which genre I mainly fall into.   Memories is definitely for women, mothers who will identify with the main character.  But there are elements to some of my short stories that cross the genres such as horror and crime.  I tend to write from the heart so I create characters made up of me.

This sometimes does not work as readers identify too much with a character and then get upset when the character does something unexpected.  Crime writing is particularly prone to this.   A normal everyday situation faced with an everyday dilemma and in a moment of distraction rather than premeditation the character takes the wrong path and becomes my antagonist.

Why do I write what I do?

This is hard to give an answer to as I probably do not know.  I have always loved writing and creating stories and even real life always has an alternative story going on in my head; that ‘what if?’    I have always felt that I had a novel inside of me but it has taken many years of convincing to have the confidence to actually do something about it.

I have  taken part in NANOWRIMO three times, and succeeded twice. Memories originated here and although that year I didn’t finish in time the story has developed into a passable novel.  National Novel Writing Month, takes place every November and is 30 days to write  a 50,000 word novel.  The end product is raw but the achievement is incredible.   The challenge is certainly one of the reasons I write.

I find it cathartic to let the words tumble out having been given a kickstart.  Sometimes the words are not worth the paper they are written on but sometimes there is a spark of something that might work with development.

Finally how does my writing process work?

I start by writing early in the mornings before the rest of the family awakes.   This is my time and I can get quite emotional if disturbed.   7am is when the world is permitted to wake and I draw to a close whatever I am working on.  If I have not finished,  the story and characters will churn around all day in my mind and next day I begin again.

The words often fall out in a bit of a hurried jumble and often differ hugely from the original story line I started with.   I do very little editing at this stage and only later if I feel there is a market or place to develop this do I go back and edit.   I need space away from the story before I edit.

I do send things out and rely heavily on others to critique but still take everything they say to heart and personalise it.  I find critiquing other people’s work just as difficult.  Each stage, after the initial writing takes huge steps to build my confidence to allow others into my world of fiction and make believe.

 

I am tagging the lovely Elaine from http://www.starsandroses.co.uk/   and  hope to tag tone other who will  continue this exciting tour of blogs so keep checking back.

 

You can see Veronica’s  post at  http://www.veronicabright.co.uk/2014/05/05/monday-blog-tour

 

 

Tiggy

Have a look at what I am up to with my food blog at Tea Time Treats 

 

 

 

Spring Cleaning

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The sun has got his hat on and is coming out to play.  Have we finally got through all that bad weather and the continual flooding and misery?  Is the sun going to stay with us for a while?  Time to fling open the windows and let the fresh summery air cleanse through the house.

I too am going through the process of spring cleaning, unfortunately for Sexy Sporty Dad this does not necessarily mean he will return from work to a shiny new home.  My deep clean involves a deep reboot of my life.  It will hopefully reset my systems back on the track I started out with.

Those carefree childish days full of sun and aspirations cannot be revisited except through the power of memories.  Experience and emotion railroaded the innocent juvenile ambitions I held then to shape who I have become now.

So with this in mind where do I begin?

I have begun the process to turn my working life around returning back to where I started, relearning skills and techniques I thought were long forgotten.   Technology has developed leaps and bounds over the years but to my surprise the basics I learnt a whole lifetime ago are standing me in great stead now.  Some polishing and digging deep down into the stored memory banks is required to revive and renovate some of those old competencies.

I suspect that nothing I do will take away the years of child bearing and mid-life spread but I have found my way back to the gym if only twice a week and gingerly at the moment. The bike currently remains forlorn if not forgotten propped up against the garage wall.   A step at a time; a slow meandering step at a time is how it needs to be done.

A 5 day reboot on juicing as per Joe Cross’ book Reboot was not as traumatic as I had first anticipated. Although midway through the reboot, I unexpectedly attended a work meal for which I arrived full of good intentions but could not resist the wonderful menu I was confronted with, or the persuasive colleagues I was with.  The rest of the week, maybe boosted by my lapse in starvation or the guilt of having done so left me determined to finish and feeling much better than I had expected.  I have to admit that since then I have not juiced as often as I should but I am managing to maintain my 5 a day intake if not quite coping with the additional advisory 7 a day.

So the only thing still on the list to do is the filing.   That is the metaphysical filing, de-cluttering the  abstract pile of administrative drivel that rolls around my brain each day, tiring me out and leaving me like a horse running the grand national overnight.  My brain I notice mirrors the chaos on my desk so maybe Sexy Sporty Dad will see a change as I throw caution to the wind and throw out some of that clutter.  There is a definite correlation between physically throwing away and mentally de-muddling.

I do own a “to do book” which I write it all down in but I still struggle to curtail the new additions.  For each line I gloriously scribble out I still seem to add two new lines to the important and immediate list.

I still have some capacity for more streamlining with work.  There is still a fair (sounds more achievable than long) way to go to reach the sublime heights of Hollywood model figure.  In the meantime there is plenty to keep me busy de-stressing and re-ordering my mental capacity but isn’t that what they say “little and often”.

Tiggy

 

Have a look at what I am up to with my food blog at  Tea Time Treats 

 

 

 

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