Tag Archives: creative process

What I’m Writing – week thirty-seven

typewriter butterflies badgeWelcome to week thirty-seven of ‘What I’m Writing’! Thanks for sharing your posts with us over at Muddled Manuscript last week – they were a fab bunch as ever!

This week, blogging has been my primary form of writing and if you fancy reading some fiction or poetry you might be interested in my latest BritMums poetry and prose roundup. And if you’re looking for inspiration and insights into self-publishing then my interview with Emily Organ could be just the ticket!

If you’re new here you might be wondering what #WhatImWriting is all about. You can find all the details here but the short version is my co-host Chrissie and I are both writers who love blogging about our writing processes and reading about those of others. Our linky is for all you fellow writers, poets, bloggers etc. out there to share posts about what you’re writing (and all your hopes and fears, triumphs and tears) with a group of people who understand what you’re going through. April’s #WhatImWriting roundup post can give you more of an idea of the sort of posts we share, but really anything goes!

We also have a private group on Facebook that all linkers are welcome to join. It’s somewhere we can share work and have a chat about all things writerly (and whatever else we fancy really). It’s a ‘secret group’ so you’ll need an invitation to join and I send these out to all linkers. That said, we’ve had a few issues with people’s invitations going AWOL recently so if you’d like to join and haven’t received one just leave me a comment – thanks!

We welcome linkers old and new and if you’d like to join in there are just a few suggestions for taking part:

  • Link up any post (old or new) that is to do with writing/blogging etc. 
  • Please either use our badge on the post (copy and paste the HTML code below) or link to whichever one of our blogs is hosting that week. We will share your post on Twitter in return.
  • Read and comment on as many other posts in the linky as you can. What I’m Writing has developed a lovely, supportive community and we’d love you to join in :)
  • If you’d like to tweet your post feel free to use the hashtag #WhatImWriting. If you tweet us a link to your post @writingbubble or @writeybeast then we will RT.

Over to you – I look forward to reading your posts!

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An interview with Emily Organ

The Last Day ebook coverLooking for a mystery/suspense novel (or two) to immerse yourself in this summer? I can recommend ‘The Last Day’ And ‘The Outsider’ by Emily Organ. 

‘The Last Day’ was published in 2014. I was drawn to the tagline – “He predicted when he would die. That day has now arrived.” and read it late last year. It was a quirky tale and one that really drew me in. I empathised with the main character George, was even in tears at the end (which isn’t a spoiler – I cry at happy stuff and sad stuff)!

The Outsider is Emily’s latest novel which she published in March of this year. It’s about Yasmin, a young would-be journalist who meets Daniel, a rich businessman and falls for his charms. His wife died recently though… under mysterious circumstances… eeek. This was a twisty-turny tale and things didn’t turn out as I expected for all the main protagonists which is something I appreciate in a novel!

I’m really impressed by Emily’s books and the way she has gone about publishing and marketing them. I’ve also loved following her creative journey on her blog. Always keen to pick the brains of an author, I was thrilled when Emily agreed to an interview:

Hi Emily, thanks for agreeing to an interview and congratulations on publishing both of your books!

It’s been a few months since the publication of The Outsider. How did you feel when you hit the ‘publish’ button (and how does that compare to your feelings now)?

Hitting the publish button is a combination of excitement and nervousness. And to be honest that feeling never really goes away. When I hit ‘publish’ I always worry there’s a typo or continuity error which hasn’t been picked up in the endless editing and proofreading process. Or that some chapters got accidentally left out. And I get nervous about people reading too, even though the whole point of writing it is for people to read! I sometimes need to remind myself that writing a book in the first place is a major achievement.

How long did it take you to write each of your books? Was it easier the second time around?

The first book, The Last Day, took me two years to write and the second one, The Outsider, took one year. So yes it was quicker and easier to write the second one. I’ve learnt lots each time I’ve written a book. Second time round I was able to pull myself out of the writing doldrums much easier because I knew I would get there with it in the end. I suppose I had more confidence with it.

How many drafts do you write? What’s your editing process?

About three or four, it’s hard to know exactly because the reworking and tweaking feels rather continuous. The first draft is fairly easy because you can brain dump your story knowing that you’ll come back to it and remove the unnecessary chunks and refine it. After the first draft is done I print it all out and then go through it all with a red pen which is quite time consuming. All the re-reads I do on the next drafts are on my Kindle because that’s how the majority of my readers read my books. I actually find it easier to proofread on a Kindle now, although I can’t scribble on it with my red pen! When I’m editing I’m always looking to see what can be removed – excess sentences, paragraphs and even sections of chapters. I aim to write more than I need then prune it.

What made you chose self publishing over traditional publishing?

I like to be in control! Although writing the book is my favourite bit, I do like working on a cover design, researching the book market and coming up with a marketing plan. I like the thought of a traditional book deal and all the fanfare and kudos that comes with it, but I’m not sure how I would deal with other people making the decisions about my work. Perhaps I’m a bit over protective. Or a closet control freak. I have in my mind an imagined day in the future where I’ll start approaching agents but so far I haven’t got round to it. I’ve spoken to only one and haven’t sent a manuscript to any agents yet.

It’s time consuming to pursue the traditional publishing route and I think the reason I haven’t really done it yet is because I’m enjoying self-publishing at the moment. Perhaps one day I’ll be a ‘hybrid author’ when I do both. I think in the future many authors will be hybrids. Traditionally published authors can get dropped by their publisher and some self-publish after that and become hybrids (that’s such a weird sounding name).

Do you sell printed versions as well as e-books? How does that work? (I’m imagining a spare room full of copies of your books… )

Yes I do, I sell these via CreateSpace which is an Amazon owned company which prints books on demand. The paperback version appears alongside the Kindle version on Amazon. I don’t sell many paperback versions, I find family members and close friends like to get a paperback copy. And I do give away a few signed copies to my loyal e-mail subscribers. 99% of my readers read on Kindle.

Do you have any advice for those of us considering self-publishing our work?

If you want to self-publish then I think it’s crucial you find a professional editor to edit your work for you. At the very least try a manuscript evaluation service. But I think the minimum you need is a professional line edit to remove typos, repetition and tidy up your work. I opted for a structural edit which costs more but the editor gives you feedback on your story structure, characters and gives you ideas for improving them. It’s invaluable. Even if you’re an amazingly talented writer, you still won’t spot your own commonly over-used words and phrases in your work. And you become so familiar with your book that perhaps you don’t emphasise a plot development clearly enough or make a character interesting enough.

Your new book covers look great… but I also loved your old ones – what made you change them?

It was a difficult decision because my original book cover designers have been so hard working and helpful. Listening to designers and publishers at the London Book Fair made me realise my covers needed to change. Firstly, I had to consider who was buying my books. Because most of my readers buy on Kindle, they only really see the cover as a thumbnail image on Amazon. Therefore my covers needed have lots of impact at thumbnail level. My original covers looked very pretty as paperbacks but they didn’t work as a thumbnail.

Secondly, I learnt that a cover needs to show ‘membership’ of your book’s genre. So if you click through the categories on Amazon you will see strong similarities between book covers of the same genre. I had to align my books with my chosen genre. And I have to be prepared to change them again as trends change. If you’re a fan of Kate Atkinson you’ll notice the covers on all her books are re-done pretty much each time she publishes a new one!

I imagine marketing your books is quite a responsibility – what’s your approach in this area? Do you focus on online marketing or ‘real world’ things (like attending events and trying to generate sales in your local community)?

It’s purely online at the moment and it can be tough as many people are suspicious of an unknown self-published writer. I quickly learnt that repeatedly mentioning a book on social media doesn’t sell it! A few lovely bloggers have reviewed my books on their blogs and I’ve recently started using paid advertising on BookBub. BookBub is notoriously fussy about who they feature so it’s flattering to get your book accepted by them. Facebook is proving to be a lucrative place to advertise books too because you can target customers so well on there. I haven’t progressed much with that myself yet, but I do know a number of writers who have.

In the future I like the idea of attending some literary festivals and events. If my books do well enough people might be interested in me. I’ve shied away from doing anything local such as a book launch party or similar. Mainly because I’m shy and hate being the centre of attention but also because I don’t think it boosts your book sales by much. I have to think about where my readers are and at the moment, like it or not, they’re on Amazon. I like the idea of doing something community focused when I’m more established such as chats in schools and libraries.

Are you pleased with how your book sales are going? Are they better or worse than expected?

Sales can be hard to predict when you’re starting out as a self-published author. Your books are competing with traditionally published books which have publicists, editors and agents behind them and all the industry connections they bring. For this reason I don’t think I’ve ever expected a certain number of sales so any number is good! Reviews matter as much as a sale, if not more so. Reviews from real readers can help cement your reputation as a writer. Especially if you’re unknown – readers need to know they can trust you with the money they spend on your book. That said, sales of The Last Day are doing brilliantly at the moment, it’s floating about in the Top 200 on Kindle store right now, when you consider there are over three and a half million Kindle books on the UK store that’s something I’m hugely happy about! I couldn’t have predicted that.

What’s the best thing about being a published author?

The best thing is people reading and enjoying your work. And it’s lovely when they get in touch to tell you they’ve enjoyed your book, you can’t beat that feeling.

… any downsides?

The downside is people not enjoying your work, although obviously you can’t write for everyone. In fact, having no one read your work is probably worse. Someone who’s taken the time to read your book, not enjoyed it and taken the time to leave a critical review is actually a positive because at least your work made them think. If no one’s reading then that can be dispiriting. And makes you question why you’re doing it!

What’s next for you? Is novel no. 3 in the pipelines?

Yes it is and it will be a mystery / thriller with a historical setting. I’ve spent some time on the ideas for it and there’s a huge amount of research to do but hopefully I can start writing it very soon.

What would you say to people wondering whether to pursue their writing dreams?

It’s clichéd, but never give up on your writing dream. If you’re not getting anywhere with it then change the way you approach it. Look at what you can do differently. If you want to make a career of it then you need to take it seriously and be completely determined and learn to get over the self-doubt which cripples all writers. That said, lots of people write for pleasure and may not want the world to read their work. In that case you should just enjoy it. In fact you should always enjoy it, even on the bad days!

Thanks Emily and good luck!

Linking up with The Prompt at Mum Turned Mom – this week it’s ‘To be a…’ which fits nicely with this interview: ‘To be a… published author’.

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Nikki Young Writes

building confidence – #WhatImWriting

Confidence can be a slippery beast. As a writer, I find it can ebb and flow like the tide, rushing in to joyfully knock me off my feet when I’m in the zone (‘Yes! this is going brilliantly!’) and then retreating to the horizon when it comes to showing my work to anyone else (‘Argh! They might think it’s rubbish!’).

waves darkAdmittedly, I’m getting better at keeping my feet wet these days. When I first set up this blog two and a half years ago I published two posts, didn’t mention to anyone that I’d written them (I’m not sure I’d even joined Twitter at that point) then within 24 hours I took them down and ran away from the blog for a whole year… and all because I was too scared of people reading ANYTHING I’d written. Even when I finally plucked up the courage to start writing and publishing posts, it took me a while longer to start posting any of my poetry or fiction because, well… what if people hated it? What if they confirmed my darkest fears and said, “Think you can write?! Ha! You’ll never get anywhere!”?

But I finally took the leap and did post my creative writing and people weren’t like that at all; they were lovely. And that’s one of the things I’ve found in the blogging world over the last eighteen months, in general, people are just that: lovely. They leave lovely comments and send lovely tweets. They support you and appreciate the support you offer them. They become your friends. Oh what a lot of time and worry I could have saved myself if I’d assumed that from the start!

I was thinking about this last week when I was lucky enough to find myself at a confidence building/media training workshop run by Jon Hammond. Now, you might be thinking ‘confidence workshop? Is that the sort of thing where you’re forced to do horrible exercises that make you really uncomfortable in order to overcome your fears?’ And I did have an awful thought en-route to the workshop that maybe I would be made to stand on a rooftop shouting “I’m a strong, confident woman!” to passers-by. Eeep. But thankfully my fears were unfounded and no rooftop declarations were necessary to ensure the sense of confidence I came out of the session with.

statue in paris

NOT me making an announcement from the top of a building (although the likeness is uncanny).

Jon spoke about human beings’ natural fear of new situations (which makes sense from an evolutionary perspective) and how such situations can send us into ‘fight or flight’ mode. Just as our ancestors would have reacted to the approach of a woolly mammoth with fear, we now view the prospect of public speaking – or often any other event that involves a crowd of unknown people – with the same fear. We spoke about how counter-productive this is – you’re never going to give the best presentation or make the best impression on people when you’re viewing them as a hoard of marauding beasts that need to be escaped from or jabbed with a spear!

Although the workshop was based around public speaking I think this idea applies equally well to confidence about writing. Ok, the actual writing bit doesn’t usually have us running scared but what’s the point of being writer if no one ever reads anything we write? And it’s the ‘being read’ that normally provokes those flight or flight responses. Sometimes we give up before we’ve even tried, view our potential readers as those scary beasts and don’t even put our work out there.

He's coming to get you! RUN!

He’s coming to get you! RUN!

To overcome some of this, rather than seeing an audience as a threat, Jon suggested that when meeting new people – or putting ourselves in front of an audience of any sort  – we think of them as friends. That we approach them as ourselves and not put up a false-front based on how we think we should be behaving. That we don’t wind ourselves up beforehand about how awful it’s going to be but instead tell ourselves ‘oh, this is going to be enjoyable, I’m going to have some lovely chats.’ or something of the sort.

Obviously this is easier said than done for those of us who tend to lurk by the snack table at the back. But thinking both positively and logically, the chances are, when you approach people in a friendly way (rather than avoiding conversation and hoping to be mistaken for a pot plant) they will reciprocate. As I discovered with blogging, despite my fear of looking like a talentless idiot, most people don’t remotely treat you this way. If you’re friendly, they’ll be friendly back. And before you know it you’re just talking to friends and, well, what’s scary about that?

Let's be friends (but maybe not lick each other).

Let’s be friends! (But maybe not lick each other.)

Still, when Jon first encouraged us to take this approach I think there was a certain amount of ‘yeah, great, but that’s easy for you to say, you’re all confident and stuff – this comes naturally to you’. And who could blame us? But nope. Turns out Jon’s shy. You’d never believe it because he doesn’t act like it. He doesn’t act like it because he’s realised this approach works and he’s used it… and in using it, it’s become second nature. You know that whole thing about ‘when you act a part for long enough then it stops being acting’? That. Only all you need to do is act like the natural self you are with family and friends. You’re just having the confidence to be that you with people you don’t know.

Another thing that helped me here was Jon’s message to ‘be your audience.’ Whether you’re doing a presentation to a room full of people, going before a small interview panel, or submitting a book to an agent, think of things from their point of view. Put yourself in their shoes. Empathise. It’s much easier to make a connection with people that way and the idea of them as friends immediately feels more genuine.

There was masses more involved in the workshop (and Jon has written a book about his methods if you’re interested) but a final message that resonated for me was if you’re nervous about a situation or a decision, to challenge yourself with, ‘what’s the worst that could happen?’. Many of us live our lives held back by various fears, imagining somehow that if we say this or do that then someone might laugh at us, or be mean, or that we’ll feel stupid etc. etc. ad infinitum. The reality is often far from this and we could be missing out on all sorts of positive possibilities: that someone might find us funny (in a good way) or be kind to us or make us feel really clever or appreciated. We miss out on so much because we’re scared. I know I have done.

But not anymore!

Well… at least let’s say it’s the start of my journey to that destination anyway. I was certainly on a bit of a high after the session. I felt really inspired and imbued with a sense of, ‘Yes! I can do this! I WILL get published!’ Half way through the drive home I almost pulled into a layby to record the awesome ideas of awesomeness I was convinced would take me to my own book signings within the year.

Of course I calmed down and reality set in. Book signings are still a distant dream and my ideas now seem only tinged with a glint of awesomeness rather than being being the all-out dazzling awesome I considered at the time. But, BUT, that little tinge is enough. The fire has been lit under the idea and it’s now flickering away enticingly. A plan has begun to form in my mind. It involves limericks and illustrations and self-publishing. It involves educating, developing and promoting myself. It involves ‘becoming my audience’, working out what they need and how to give it to them. And most of all it involves not being scared.

What’s the worst that could happen? The worst that could happen is that I never have the confidence to try.

And that, my friends, is quite simply not an option.

***

***I just wanted to share this stuff with you. This is not in any sense a sponsored post (although Jon, If you’re reading, I do like After Eights ;) )***

Muddled Manuscript

 

Linking to #ThePrompt which, this week is “To be a… “. Confidence is all about the ability to be whoever or whatever you want to be! (this post also could have fitted with either of the prompts for the last two weeks too but I didn’t get it written in time… )
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what I’m writing – week thirty-five

typewriter butterflies badgeWelcome to week thirty-five of ‘What I’m Writing’! Thanks for sharing your posts with us over at Muddled Manuscript last week – I loved reading them and, as usual, you were inspirational!

If you’re new here you might be wondering what #WhatImWriting is all about. You can find all the details here but the short version is my co-host Chrissie and I are both writers who love blogging about our writing processes and reading about those of others. Our linky is for all you fellow writers, poets, bloggers etc. out there to share posts about what you’re writing (and all your hopes and fears, triumphs and tears) with a group of people who understand what you’re going through. April’s #WhatImWriting roundup post can give you more of an idea of the sort of posts we share, but really anything goes!

We also have a private group on Facebook that all linkers are welcome to join. It’s somewhere we can share work and have a chat about all things writerly (and whatever else we fancy really). It’s a ‘secret group’ so you’ll need an invitation to join and I send these out to all linkers. That said, we’ve had a few issues with people’s invitations going AWOL recently so if you’d like to join and haven’t received one just leave me a comment – thanks!

We welcome linkers old and new and if you’d like to join in there are just a few suggestions for taking part:

  • Link up any post (old or new) that is to do with writing/blogging etc. 
  • Please either use our badge on the post (copy and paste the HTML code below) or link to whichever one of our blogs is hosting that week. We will share your post on Twitter in return.
  • Read and comment on as many other posts in the linky as you can. What I’m Writing has developed a lovely, supportive community and we’d love you to join in :)
  • If you’d like to tweet your post feel free to use the hashtag #WhatImWriting. If you tweet us a link to your post @writingbubble or @rantybeast then we will RT.

Over to you – I look forward to reading your posts!

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learning curve – #WhatImWriting

Last week I was feeling a bit flat, I’d been doing too much and achieving too little and it was all rather frustrating. This week, things are looking up. I’m still longing for more time to write (and fewer evenings where I just want to go to sleep) but I’ve achieved a fair bit nonetheless.

laptop and notepad

One of those achievements was finishing some beta reading and giving feedback. I’d like to thank Iona for letting me read her manuscript (I know from experience it’s scary putting your work out there in that way) and and also for the fantastic way she responded to my comments. I had been nervous about it because beta reading is not like blog commenting. Your job is not to merely accentuate the positive but to give constructive criticism. You have to figure out what isn’t working (and there’s always going to be stuff that doesn’t work at this stage) and then – eeek! – tell the writer that.

As part of my normal routine I read a lot of books and and observe authors’ writing styles. Along the way I notice things I might change or have written differently (is it possible to be a writer without doing this I wonder?) Given this, you might think beta reading would be a fairly straightforward task – just more reading and analysis with a bit of feedback tagged on the end. What I didn’t count on though, was how it would feel to actually give that feedback  – the conflict between wanting to be nice and the knowledge that niceness isn’t actually helpful at all.

Of course there was plenty of positive stuff to say, and I said it, but I knew it was my job to be critical too and that was tough. I’ve done a little bit of beta reading before but this was the first whole book I’ve provided feedback on so it was a big learning curve for me. It was a very useful challenge though, that I’m sure has helped me as a writer. I suspect there were problematic aspects I noticed as a beta reader that are also present in my own writing but which go unnoticed simply because I know my own work too well. I now feel I can approach my editing with more knowledge and experience and fresher eyes (if that makes sense?). Anyway, I really appreciated having the opportunity so thank you Iona (and congratulations on your book)!

This week I also started making amendments to one of my picture book manuscripts. I’ve loved getting caught up in Millie (my main character)’s world again but I’d forgotten how much it can trap me in my own head. We went for a family walk on Sunday afternoon and the whole time we were walking I was thinking up rhymes and trying to find a decent-sounding, non-heavy-handed way to get the point of the story across. As soon as we got home I had to dash inside and make copious notes. Sometimes I feel I’m not present enough as a parent when I’m in ‘writing mode’ – it’s like my brain won’t stop no matter how far I get from a pen or my lap top. Is it just me? That’s why I like doing the my limerick challenge with my boys – involving them with my writing makes me feel less guilty about my obsession with it!

Other achievements this week: I wrote two limericks, blogged about my kids language development and got two interviews with authors lined up! I’ve sent questions out and am looking forward featuring their responses on this blog. I’ve posted author interviews in the past and I’m keen to do more in the future – I learn so much!

All in all, a much better week than last week. :)

Muddled Manuscript

what I’m writing – week thirty-three

typewriter butterflies badgeWelcome to week thirty-three of ‘What I’m Writing’! Thanks for sharing your posts with us over at Muddled Manuscript last week – I loved finding out how you were all getting on. I haven’t got much writing done this week but I did manage to put together April’s #WhatImWriting roundup post in which you’ll find links to loads of fab posts that were shared last month. Pop over and take a look!

If you’re new here you might be wondering what #WhatImWriting is all about. You can find all the details here but the short version is my co-host Chrissie and I are both writers who love blogging about our writing processes and reading about those of others. Our linky is for all you fellow writers, poets, bloggers etc. out there to share posts about what you’re writing (and all your hopes and fears, triumphs and tears) with a group of people who understand what you’re going through.

We also have a private group on Facebook that all linkers are welcome to join. It’s somewhere we can share work and have a chat about all things writerly (and whatever else we fancy really). It’s a ‘secret group’ so you’ll need an invitation to join and I send these out to all linkers. That said, we’ve had a few issues with people’s invitations going AWOL (I think they’re being eaten by the big mail cruncher in the sky) so if you’d like to join and haven’t received one just leave me a comment – thanks!

We welcome linkers old and new and if you’d like to join in there are just a few suggestions for taking part:

  • Link up any post (old or new) that is to do with writing/blogging etc. 
  • Please either use our badge on the post (copy and paste the HTML code below) or link to whichever one of our blogs is hosting that week. We will share your post on Twitter in return.
  • Read and comment on as many other posts in the linky as you can. What I’m Writing has developed a lovely, supportive community and we’d love you to join in :)
  • If you’d like to tweet your post feel free to use the hashtag #WhatImWriting. If you tweet us a link to your post @writingbubble or @rantybeast then we will RT.

Over to you – I look forward to reading your posts!

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park – #WhatImWriting

Last week, after finally getting the feedback on my manuscripts I’d been waiting for, I was feeling motivated. The editors comments had given me a boost (albeit with an awareness that there was work to be done) and all your lovely comments added to that feeling – thank you! So there I was, raring to get going on the editing… revving up the engine… brum, brum, brum…

parking

Bruuuugggggggeeeerrrrkkkk, splutter, splutter. STALL.

Oh dear. It was partly due to having loads to catch up on after a really full-on few weeks, but also because I was waiting for a decent-sized chunk of time to dedicate to the manuscripts and there just wasn’t one.

Maybe I should have used the snippets of time I had available, but it’s been a couple of months since I even looked at my picture books and really wanted to be able to devote myself to them not just dive in for the odd half hour here and there. So, I’m afraid the car stayed firmly in the garage.

I did manage a blog post on toddler conversations and the #WhatImWriting April round up though so that was something at least. Perhaps the vehicle isn’t broken, it just needs a bit of attention to get the engine purring smoothly again.

It’s been a weird week though hasn’t it? The general election result threw me (and that’s putting it politely). It’s kind of sapped me of my energy and left me questioning all sorts of things. Wondering how society fits together is not proving to be conducive to making my words fit together.

And now I can’t for the life of me work out how to finish this post. I’ve been at it for an hour (seriously, I keep typing and deleting, typing and deleting). I’ll just go. No more car metaphors, no more words.

Writing Bubble

What I’m Writing – April Round-up

Another month has flown by! Time for the #WhatImWriting April roundup!
typewriter butterflies round up

As ever, thank you so much to everyone who linked up, I’ve really enjoyed all your posts. I’m also loving our little Facebook group which is brimming with advice and support (and off-loading of stresses). If you’re a writer/poet/blogger/*insert preferred writing category* and you’ve never linked up with #WhatImWriting before, what are you waiting for? It’s become such a lovely community due to our wonderful linkers. Here’s my summary of this month’s posts (and I think the categories I used in my last roundup were helpful – for me at least! – so I’m going to use them again):

Progress and Success

  • Katia at Funky Wellies Random Thoughts shared some exciting publication news!
  • Zoe at Little House Lea was finishing her novel and brimming with other ideas too!
  • Emily Organ showed us her new book covers - wow!
  • With the publication of her book coming ever closer (it’s out now!) Aimee Horton talked about the editing process.

Procrastination and Frustration

Motivation and Inspiration

Writing Process

Writing Tips

  • Emily Organ shared masses of useful tips she’d picked up at the London Book Fair – thanks Emily!
  • I shared my tips for finding time to write in the school holidays. (I may have locked myself in the bathroom to write the post… ).
  • Nikki Young suggested some great writing exercises to help boost creativity and get through writer’s block – I’m still planning on trying them out when I find the time!
  • Chrissie shared her top tips for coming back to a writing project you haven’t touched for a while.

Rumination and reflection

Humourous

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As always, there were masses of great posts and I couldn’t include them all in the roundup but I hope this is a useful reminder of (or introduction to) our #WhatImWriting linky. Thanks so much to everyone who joined in, you’re all amazing.

finally feedback! – #WhatImWriting

I’ll cut to the chase – a few days ago I received the manuscript feedback I’ve been waiting for! Yes, after seven weeks, three days, six hours and seventeen minutes (I may have made those last few numbers up) my inbox finally pinged with the editor’s opinion on my three picture book manuscripts!

picture books

And?

Well, it was pretty good! I mean, there’s stuff I need to work on, little bits to tweak in one of my stories, some alterations in another one and the third one possibly needs a large-scale re-think… hmm… but overall I was pretty pleased. It’s given me work to do without being too outfacing and also given me the sense that being published one day isn’t such a ridiculous dream. Well maybe – even writing that last sentence makes my self-doubt demon prick up his ears. But if he decides to launch an attack on my self-belief I now have this sentence (from the editor) to throw at him:

“You have three imaginative stories here, with a buoyant, humorous writing style and verses that read easily and well.”

I’m hanging on to that.

Anyway, I now have plenty to focus my attention on and the beginnings of a plan of action in my head. I know it’s going to be a long road to getting published but I feel I’m just that little bit closer now. And I’m determined to find some time this week to focus on the manuscripts. Life’s been so hectic recently but I think I’ve spotted a writing window later this week and intend to grab it! Carpe diem and all that.

Writing Bubble

what I’m writing – week thirty-one

typewriter butterflies badgeWelcome to week thirty-one of ‘What I’m Writing’! This week has raced by (in the sunshine – yay!) and I don’t seem to have got any writing done at all… and having just looked ahead in my diary I can’t imagine I’m going to get much done this week either -ah well! I’ll see if I can slip a limerick in there somewhere shall I?

Anyway, enough from me – on with the show (i.e the cut and paste bit):

If you’re new here you might be wondering what #WhatImWriting is all about. You can find all the details here but the short version is my co-host Chrissie and I are both writers who love blogging about our writing processes and reading about those of others. Our linky is for all you fellow writers, poets, bloggers etc. out there to share posts about what you’re writing (and all your hopes and fears, triumphs and tears) with a group of people who understand what you’re going through. My February Round-up should give you a flavour of what we’ve all been up to recently.

We also have a private group on Facebook that all linkers are welcome to join. It’s somewhere we can share work and have a chat about all things writerly (and whatever else we fancy really). It’s a ‘secret group’ so you’ll need an invitation to join and I send these out to all linkers. That said, we’ve had a few issues with people’s invitations going AWOL (I think they’re being eaten by the big mail cruncher in the sky) so if you’d like to join and haven’t received one just leave me a comment – thanks!

We welcome linkers old and new and if you’d like to join in there are just a few suggestions for taking part:

  • Link up any post (old or new) that is to do with writing/blogging etc. 
  • Please either use our badge on the post (copy and paste the HTML code below) or link to whichever one of our blogs is hosting that week. We will share your post on Twitter in return.
  • Read and comment on as many other posts in the linky as you can. What I’m Writing has developed a lovely, supportive community and we’d love you to join in :)
  • If you’d like to tweet your post feel free to use the hashtag #WhatImWriting. If you tweet us a link to your post @writingbubble or @rantybeast then we will RT.

Over to you – I look forward to reading your posts!

Writing Bubble

 

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