Move your Muse!!!

I don’t know about you, but if your muse is anything like mine, she spends most of her time daydreaming and making daisy chains  – forgetting that we had an appointment at all!

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If you’re feeling sluggish and struggling to get going, try motivating through pictures.

I’ve recently been taking part in the Friday Fictionerrs, flash fiction contest (If you’re interested in taking part please see Rochelle’s page here).

It’s a great way to wake up your senses and sharpen your focus.

The smaller your focus, the more imagery you’ll create.

Don’t be afraid to be poetic, it will bring beauty to your prose.

Have fun and Happy Writing!

 

Image above courtesy of www.photl.com

I know places!

Today is Prompt Day for “Blogging 101”.

We needed to create a post from a prompt on the Daily Post. Mine was; PLACES – Beach, Mountains, forest or somwhere else.

This got me thinking about my ideal place to write.

“A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.”

– Virginia Woolf.

There are many posts about where we writer’s choose to write. But, if you are anything like me, you’re hearing the call to your native land but are financially incapable of owning more than a pencil.

Therefore I have to pretend. Luckily, as a writer and Procrastinator extraordinaire, I am extremely good at this. So here is my IDEAL place to write.

Please feel free to come in…

My vanilla-coloured house nestles between pink and warm malted terraces like a neopolitan. Its bay window opens out onto the quayside. Ropes bounce against the masts of yachts called things like ‘Dreamcatcher’ and ‘The Marianne’. They make a delightful ‘chinking’ melody.

Seagulls zoom through the air. Their signature squawk, like a childs play horn, carries on the air as they look for unsuspecting tourists carelessly eating sandwiches. The scent of seafood drifts through the open window from the fresh fish stand across the harbour. Cockles, salty, with their yellow frill and muscles that seem to still hold an entire beach full of sand when you put them in your mouth. 

The swish of gentle waves lapping at the keels create a kind of lullaby and I close the window – because I’ve got work to do.

I lived in Weymouth when I was a child and my memories of hot summers on the beach, sand sculptures before they were trendy and walks to the ice cream shop at the end of the pier (sadly gone now) still live with me .

I hope to get back there one day (maybe I’ll win the lottery!). But in the meantime when I want to disappear, I put on my music, close my eyes and I’m there.

Where is your IDEAL place?

I’m a failure!

It’s something we don’t talk about enough, but without it we’d never experience our biggest successes.

Failure is what drives us to do more, be more and push ourselves beyond the limits we thought were possible.

“When people succeed they tend to party, when they fail, they tend to ponder”

                                                                                         – Tony Robbins

Each time I send out a piece of work thats rejected, I’ve found one more way not to do it. And as a result I keep honing, polishing and adapting. And I will continue to do so til I get a yes, partly because I’m stubborn and partly because I believe if I bug them enough they WILL give in eventually 😉

Failure is something we don’t focus on enough in life and yet it’s what gives us our greatest strength. If you’ve ever shown your work to your third year english teacher you’ll know that nothing can ever make you feel that insignificant again.

So when you fail, hold your head high, celebrate with your hands up and shout it from the rooftops, because you’ve just taken one step closer to your success.

And if you don’t believe me, take it from a lady who knows!

This is me!

The children are all napping, so I have a few rare moments to complete my first assignment for “blogging 101” without something being thrown at my head.

I am a mum of three boys, one of which only has two speeds, ninety miles an hour and stop. Most of my days are spent referreeing, playing superheroes and talking to myself.

In the evening I morph into a normal human being, (well the closest thing to it anyway). Tea drinking, writing and pretending to not watch the telly.

I started a blog to build my online presence and improve my writing skills. I mostly write about writing, as I’m not very good at anything else, and some would argue I’m not very good at that either.

Organisation is a big thing for me as I have so little time. If I find a method that works I like to let other people know in case it works for them too.

I’m hoping to take my blog to the next level and actually post more than once per millenia. Consistency has been a life-long issue for me. Therefore I welcome any advice or tips if anyone has any to share.

Thanks for reading!

Make a MAP!

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Happy New Year everyone!

And what a start it’s been. I’m working on a new online magazine, writing stories, editing a book and preparing a new short story serial for publication, my head is spinning.

But in truth I’m never happier than when I’m busy. And as I have the attention span of an infant it bodes well to have a number of projects on the go at any one time.

Last year I worked and the results were mediocre at best. I had periods where it seemed I did nothing but work – completing a script with a co-writer being one of the highlights for me – but there were also times where I didn’t seem to be working at all. Instead I became some kind of sofa monster, guarding chocolate like a griffin guards treasure.

So instead of engaging in the tradition of making resolutions that I have very little hope of keeping, I decided to make a MAP. Not the drawing X’s and staining paper with tea kind – although that would have been fun, but a Massive Action Plan.

A Massive Action Plan is where you come up with your desired outcome and then list a load of ways you can achieve it.

So first I came up with my outcome;

‘Create a portfolio of work that I can be truly proud of and enjoy the process.’

Then I brainstormed as many ways I could think of that would help me achieve this outcome. Now it’s unlikely I will do them all. But if I can complete, say even a third of my list, will I have achieved my outcome?

Absolutely!

So now I have a list of roughly 35 viable things I can do this year to not only increase my output but also improve my chances of publication. This includes, sending a short story out once a month, sending out poetry that has been languishing on my hard drive since the dark ages and working on my fiirst short film.

Now what I need is a plan so I can measure my progress. A list is all well and good. But at the moment it still remains almost a wish list of what I’d like to give a go.

So I go through my list and pick out six things that I’m committed to working on for the next three months. I write them down and come up with small steps I can take towards their attainment.

For example; Make a short film.

  1. Write character Bio’s
  2. Brainstorm with co-writer and outline script.
  3. Begin working on first Scenes.

…and so on.

The more specific your steps, the better your chances of reaching your outcome.

Now I assign each step a date to be completed by. This way I can begin to measure what I’m achieving and by when. If, after two months in, I find myself behind or (in the very unlikely event), ahead. I can adapt my plan accordingly.

It doesn’t matter if my plan changes. Most of the time it does. All that matters is I have a way of measuring my success. This also reduces the chance of me getting to the end of the year and finding myself not even having started, staring at my wish list with a feeling of desperation and craving for cake.

Now I find myself two weeks into January and I’m already two thirds through my list for this month. Not only has my output exploded, but I’m building momentum.

I don’t know if this will work for anyone else, but its certainly given me the boost I needed. I would love to hear from anyone who gives this a go. Did it work? Did you follow your steps? Hopefully we can all creat our MAPS and eventully achieve the ultimate goal…

…taking over the world, (followed by best evil plan laugh!)

Good luck everybody, I hope the new year brings you adventures, opportunities and chocolate…lots and lots of chocolate!

Into the Groove

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It’s that time of year again.

The kids have gone back to school and the house returns to something less like an explosion at Legoland.

I rush to my desk, eager to start work. Reaching for my laptop, I switch it on, the screen opens and…

…Nothing!

I stare at it again, waiting for words to magically spring to mind. Spots start to dance across my vision and a pain creeps across my forehead. An hour later I’ve made a shopping list, looked at Jamie Oliver recipes and bought a pair of jeans.

Another morning well spent then!

The entire school holidays consisted of me making notes on scraps of paper, endless planning grabbing every minute I could. Then when I finally get more than twenty minutes to myself I spend it studying the mating habits of the South American Sloth.

Feeling very sloth-like myself at the minute, I wonder what the hell is wrong with me. Do I have some kind of mental deficiency? (On second thoughts probably best not to pull on that thread). Did I bang my head too many times when I was a child and my focus simply fell out?

Whatever the reason, I can’t get rid of the feeling of total hopelessness and an intense need for cake.

It’s not writers block, it’s not even ‘writers can’t be arsed’ (as Jane Wenham Jones so aptly named it.) It seems to be a complete inability to function on a writing level at all. I’m not even sure I should be trusted with a pen of my own.

We have just welcomed a new addition to our family, and while I’m sure that this has something to do with my lack of focus, I’m running out of excuses.

I rang a writing friend for a bit of moping and it turns out she was experiencing the same thing. So it got me thinking about ways we could kick start our writing. I come up with three ways to try. By the end of the week I had one completed short story, with ideas for two others, I created a writing schedule for a screenplay and I was feeling a lot less like sticking my head in the oven.

So for anyone struggling to get back into their groove, here are three ideas to get working. Good Luck!

  1. Write something new.

The pressure of writing on working projects, a couple of which are very near completion, gives me palpitations. So I opened a new page and just started writing. I poured anything that was in my head onto paper. Eventually a story began to emerge.

  1. Write a list of WHAT I want to work on and WHY?

There’s nothing like purpose to get you excited about a project. But having goals aren’t enough. You also need to know WHY you want them. This way when you start to flag in the motivation department you can go back to your reasons and feel the flood of purpose all over again.

I listed down all the projects I want completed by the end of the year and why I want them. By the end of it I couldn’t wait to get working.

  1. Schedule and plan.

Creating a writing routine is great and gets momentum going, but you also need a plan to work to. Otherwise you are back to staring at the screen, resisting the urge to pour tea over the keyboard.

I created a writing schedule around my family, and then wrote out a very basic plan of what I would work on and when. Now there is no need to sit in front of the screen wondering what to write because I already know.