Posts Tagged ‘positivity’

Yep – it’s submission season once more.

I thought I’d aim for 3 a week but then my real brain came into use and reminded me that I would probably not do that, and would then feel a failure. The reality is that I have to have my husband sit with me and do submissions to read things through together in case I muck it up, which limits the number I can do in a week!

I have sent it out though. And oddly, it felt much less stressful than it did two years ago, when it caused me anxious days and sleepless nights waiting for a response which never came. Now, it’s a bonus if it’s picked up, but not the end of the world if it isn’t.

There’s a lot of great writers who never get published, and a lot of terrible dross that does: it’s probably as much luck as judgement getting anywhere in the literary world!

So now I’ve started, I feel good about that, and can expend some energy on new tasks. Watch this space on that one, I have an idea and I might plan it out a bit with you guys!

You may have noticed it is another very late night – I had drama group today so was out late – and I am trying to get more quality rest so I am leaving it there for tonight with an apology for two rubbish blogging days.

But I’ll be back tomorrow sharing my reading jaunts with you – watch out for a bit of a classic!

Happy writing,


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This week I’ve started working on the second Family Tree story. This has involved starting to plan a timeframe, individual circumstances and storylines, mapping out what has happened in the intervening period between the end of the last story and the beginning of the new.

It is far from a finished plan, but it feels as though it is slotting together quite naturally and I am looking forward to building up the storyline. I need to finish re-reading the original story to make sure I have all details correct but I have a good idea of where I’ll be going and that’s a real pleasure.

I have also arranged to go to a crime writer’s convention with a couple of other members of my writing group. This came about from a twitter post I saw from a recently published crime writer; I thought it was a great opportunity to develop what I have done with the whodunnit and get a feel for a wider writing experience.

My next step with that story is to pick up on the police procedural side and start to get that right. If you like, I have the bones of the story now, and it’s time to make sure those bones form a proper skeleton!

I also think going to a writing convention in and of itself is a great opportunity to hear how other writer approach difficulties, how they plan, what they have learnt in their journey towards publication… As a genre I am still getting to grips with, I am really excited to see what I can learn.

So this has been a good week. I am really buzzing about building contacts and enjoying my writing again; I have a little more time to write over the next few weeks, and I have a plan for what I want, and need, to do.

If only I felt this buoyant every week!

Happy writing,

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I’ve said before that in my first revision of the Woods novel, I have a lot of red writing where I am tracking all my changes.  Although it can feel intimidating and demoralising, I am trying my hardest to put a positive spin on it.

At the moment, the spin goes something like ‘if it’s red, that means I didn’t just delete it, so it must have had some value’.  It’s a hard sell, I’m afraid…

So today I thought I’d explore some of the positives of editing and cheer myself up.  Hopefully these examples will make you feel better when you’re editing and revising too!

1. Your story is being developed.

Whenever you enhance, correct, improve a section, you are helping craft the story you’ve wanted to tell – it won’t be that story at the first attempt.

2. You are enhancing your vocabulary

During editing stages, you become much more specific with your choice of words, and your thesaurus will become a close friend.  Editing gives you a chance to pick the word with the most weight for the image you are creating.

3. You can correct mistakes before anyone else sees them

We all write things down that make no sense, or have words we can never spell, or mix names up sometimes.  Revisions allow you to correct the worst of it before passing the work to a critical friend or professional editor for review.  But don’t worry if there’s a few left – that’s normal too!

4. You can check your characters

When you revise you can pick up on character quirks that don’t fit the personality you want to convey, or you can correct elements when they come across as more or less sympathetic than you want.  You can make sure they work with each other.

5. You can change technical elements

I’ve changed viewpoint character and tense at the revision stage to make a story more effective; sometimes you need to read through a first draft critically to see these changes are needed.

6. You can improve your work

You have to have a first draft to work from, but from there on you can do what you like to make the writing the best you possibly can.  You can make a work to be proud of, that you can happily share with others.

So there you go, a few points to help me work my way through many thousands of words!  I’m going to bear these in mind as I drag myself through the editing.

On Sunday I’ll have the new timetable ready; it’ll be editing-heavy but at least I can look at today’s post and know it’ll be worth it.  One day…

I hope these help you, but if you have your own positive slant to put on editing, please share it in the comments!

Happy writing,



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Anyone who has read this blog for a while will know that whenever I have a period of successful writing, it’s often followed by a period when I struggle to produce anything.

This week is one of those less successful weeks.  In terms of hours worked, I’m really far behind and have a lot to catch up on. In writing terms, I am not fluid and I am not happy with how things are coming together.  All in all, writing has been a stretch.

It’s not exactly writer’s block – more writer’s detour.  In other words, I’ve known what I want to write, and when I should be writing, but it’s been hard to focus my attention on the target, and the ideas themselves are as insubstantial as fog.

So I spent some time reflecting on the good things that have happened this week, to give me a bit of a boost.  Things like my Christmas tree going up, and the first flakes of snow, and the plans for family gatherings over the holiday period.

It often helps me to think about positive things, and this has been no exception.

OK, so I’ve only added a few hundred of my 15k words to the novel – but it’s a start, and now I’ve had a break I can go back to it refreshed.  And the poem isn’t going as well as I’d hoped; but now I’ve spent some time thinking about family, and love, and I can go back to it reminded of the mood and tone I wanted to convey.  Most importantly, I’ve thought about how far I’ve got with both pieces of work.

The key thing is not to give in to the bad writing days, but to accept them, learn from them and move on.  And – sometimes – you can use those feelings of frustration in a story or poem…

With all this positivity in mind – I’m going back to work!

Happy writing,



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