Carve out a regular writing slot during my weekdays and protect it
I’ve thought long and hard about this one. I rejected joining the 365k writing club because I know that’s not what I’m looking for. I like weekends. I like the fact that they’re different from the working day. It’s possible that I might decide to book at weekend to just write, but I’m talking about finding time in my everyday life to do writerly stuff. So, that means … Monday to Friday.
I am a real duh brain early morning. As I don’t drink coffee ‘cos it gives me indigestion and the de-caff version (which doesn’t) plain doesn’t cut it, I need some waking up time. Tea is great, but it takes a few cups before I’m firing on more than the single cylinder.
Rather than set a fixed time, I’ve decided on a habit tracker in my Bullet Journal. This worked really well in overcoming my slatternly nature to develop a regular domestic habit. I can’t call it a routine as it doesn’t happen at set times, but it does happen … and that’ll do nicely for me as I just want to make sure I write.
Plan/outline a novel length piece of fiction
I have the germ of an idea. It’s totally out of what I consider to be my ‘usual’ style, although I’m not sure I can be considered to have a style yet! Let’s just say it’s rather more chick-lit than I thought I’d ever write. It is ideal for this process though. As it’s only a germ, it requires research – some local history and some not so local.
I’d also hope to start writing it (using my new regular writing slot) before the year is out.
Review existing WIPs and decide which to work on and which to put on the back burner
I have one or two that I’ve dabbled with for a while. A couple which are non-fiction – a memoir based around my father, and my experiences in the world of mature dating; a couple of fiction – one a complilation of short-stories, the other two potentially full-length novels.
Right at this moment, I feel I’d like to continue working on the memoir and the short-story compilation, but it’s been a while since I did any work on any of them, so a little time spent in reviewing them wouldn’t go amiss.
Go to the Hay-on-Wye Book Festival
This is something I’ve long wanted to do, but because I’ve never planned it properly, it arrives and I’ve not done anything about it. This year, I’ve made myself a promise. I’ve also made a promise to a friend that we’ll go together. But if she can’t for any reason, I still am. The dates are in my diary and I’ve been browsing the accommodation website. I’m quite excited …
In the longer term, I’d also like to attend the North Cornwall Book Festival organised by Patrick Gale.
Enter a couple of short story competitions
The other day I saw an article listing a load of these. Most were in the US, but unless they’re restricted to only authors within their borders, I see no reason to limit myself. I’ve been “publishing” my writing on FictionCanBeFun for just over a year, so time to try myself out in the world of competition.
Attend author events
Those few I’ve attended, I’ve really enjoyed. Perhaps I’ve been lucky in that they’ve been entertaining individuals and speak well, if not formally. But I also found them helpful and really informative when they speak of their processes – brain-storming, where their ideas originate from, their research resources and the like.
They’re also great material for a blog post!
© Debra Carey, 2018
Brilliant! If I knew how to embed a gif in a comment, I’d put one of those standing ovation ones :0)
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“Attend author events” … One of the best I have ever attended was with Neil Gaiman in Ely Cathedral. Now, as readers of Second Thoughts on FictionCanBeFun may remember, he normally writes in a genre that is not, to say the least, my cup of tea, but he was fascinating on his life and work and w.i.p. And afterwards he signed books and the queue was more than 20 minutes long, and he emptied two fountain pens; but he stayed until the very last person and it was after midnight when I got home (for an event that finished at 10.00pm!) But, boy! was it worth it.
In contrast was a much lower key event with Jill Paton-Walsh. Horrible weather made for a much smaller audience, but it was a much more intimate atmosphere. She too talked lucidly and interestingly about her experiences especially in the problems involved in continuing Dorothy L Sayers’ Lord Peter Wimsey stories, both from the plot outliens that DLS left and when compiling entirely new stuff.
Two evenings that were very different but both jewels. Go for it!
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Aw thanks David! Now I just have to make them happen 😀
Alan, I am hugely envious of your experience with Neil Gaiman, and what a location! Even though I’d decided this was going to be something I do this year, it’s really encouraging to hear of your excellent experiences. When you’re tight for time, it can be far too easy to be overly judgemental but I’m taking our combined experience to mean that writers – by dint of being interested in so much stuff – make good talkers!