This time last month Chrissie and I were getting the final details sorted out ready to launch our brand new writing linky. We were hoping it would get off to a reasonable start but the reception has surpassed our hopes by such a long way! I’ve found the whole thing exciting, informative, inspiring and touching.
‘Touching’? You might be thinking, well yes – touching, moving, smile-inducing – because it hasn’t been just a numbers game. Our primary motivation in starting the linky was to create a community of writers who could understand, support and inspire each other, and it’s done that, it really has. The comments sections of the posts have been brilliant and there is already talk of meeting for coffee and cake!
So far, we’ve had fifteen different writers linking up (thank you all) but we’re always happy to welcome more. So I figured it was time for a round-up post to remind us all about what we’ve been chatting about and also so that anyone who’s wondering what our linky is all about can find out. Right, without further ado:
One major theme of the past month has been editing (and the highs and the lows thereof). I read posts about this with interest as I know it’s something I’m going have to do ruthlessly with my novel once I get to the end of the first draft! Sophie described her process which involves using star-shaped post-it notes (effective and pretty, what more could you need?!), Chrissie ploughed her way through a difficult patch and ended up victorious, while Mummy Tries took her book to an exciting next level by sending it to a professional editor! (and also to literary agencies – wow!)
Character development was also explored with Sadie describing all sorts of inspiring creative exercises that she’d done over the summer and Nikki sharing both her method of taking characters from her novel and writing them into different situations, and also the great results! These posts both prompted me to try this out myself. Iona also shared an interesting method where she’d created a mood board as a way of learning more about her character and the journey she takes through the book. I never would have thought of that!
Feedback was another theme with Katia sharing three intriguing excerpts from her novel (the first in a trilogy!), Iona posting a lovely story for children that she is working on and Nikki sharing her novel synopsis (which certainly would entice me to read the book). All three asked for constructive criticism. I admire anyone who can put themselves out there like this and pondered how, when and where to get feedback myself (and received hugely useful suggestions, I might add).
People also shared more about the projects they were working on: for Emily it was her second book (she self-published her first earlier this year), for Carol her adventurously titled #nextbigthing (and she kept us hanging for quite a while before letting us know what that was!) and Beth specifically requested a kick up the bum to ensure she entered some competitions she had her eye on (did the kicks help, Beth?)!
We also talked inspiration: Sophie shared some wonderful books she’d found (I now tell myself to ‘take it bird by bird’ if I ever feel overwhelmed) and Mummy Tries wrote about how her book had been inspired by overcoming a difficult past and wanting to share what she’d learnt. Meanwhile Sara had been inspired by our linky itself and decided to find her own writing secret- yay!
Time management was, however, an issue: Morgan was juggling writing with being a SAHM to two young boys (shopping, PTA meetings – I know the drill!), Aimee spoke about getting the balance between writing (particularly as a self-published author) and earning those all important pennies, and I wondered how on earth to make time (amidst the rest of life) for all the different types of writing I want to do. I remain in awe of Chrissie’s ability to tackle NaNoWriMo (for which her countdown has begun), now there’s something that requires impressive time management skills!
And no conversation between writers would be complete without some discussion of self doubt! Aimee wondered (in hilarious fashion) if she could write a different character to her familiar Dottie (heroine of three books!) Emily articulated the subject perfectly though an imagined conversation with the voice of doubt itself and Mummy Plum was doubting herself so much she was struggling to write her book at all (though I’m hoping the lovely comments have convinced her to get going again – her ability is clear in every blog post!)
And to prove that the linky is (despite the name) not just for sharing what we’re writing but also for general musings in that area, Morgan shared a thought-provoking post which asked ‘is the writing bug hereditary?’ , Sara eloquently pondered ‘what makes you a writer?’ and Carol reminded us of how lucky we are to be able to read and write at all.
Phew! I hope I managed to capture what went on – it’s been quite a month hasn’t it?
Once again, thanks to all our lovely linkers and we’re always happy to welcome new faces!
Hope to see you on Tuesday xx