Sunday, 22 March 2020

Staying Positive...

We all know what's going on in the world at the moment, and it's turned all our lives upside down.

But writers are a resilient bunch, and they've been coming up with ideas to help us all get through the coming months.

Spring is on the way...
You might feel too distracted to write for the moment, but there's plenty you can do meanwhile.

If you're on social media platforms, look out for book promotions; many writers have reduced their ebooks down to 99p or doing a free promotion. Would be good if you return the favour with a review when you've finished.

Indie authors need our support as their print on demand copies are being delayed or listed as not available (on Amazon), which equals no money coming in from them. Meanwhile, their ebooks can generate income and/or reviews. 

Reading time...
If you enjoy reading short stories, then join a new Facebook group, Uplifting stories for crazy times. Follow the link on the Womagwriter blog.

Do you have saved links on your browser or elsewhere on your computer? Now may be the best time to organise them while distractions are reduced.

Do you have a record of all your books- whatever the format- and what platform they're on? If it's not up to date, now may be the time to organise them. Then you'll be ready to make changes, update or plan promotions when normality returns.

How about catching up on those blogs and podcasts you keep telling yourself you must read or listen to...

Have a browse on YouTube and discover all those fabulous writers, experts and aficionados who share their knowledge on their own channels.

I'll be using catch-up services for a couple of TV programmes that I've missed.

If you can go outside, there's always the gardening...

I won't be posting again for a few weeks, but will check in, and read comments and other blog posts, even if I'm away from my desk in another room.

In the garden...

What positive activities will you be doing?

#Stay safe. #Stay indoors. And keep up with the #handwashing for 20 seconds...

Sunday, 1 March 2020

Prompts Can Help...

Prompts 2020 by [James, Gill]
You can find
out more 


March has arrived and spring beckons- thankfully. I may get rid of my lingering cold too...

Do you use prompts to get you writing?

They're a good way to get inspiration during those lean spells, but they can also jog the memory and recall those filed away ideas that you said you would do when you had time...

If you find prompts helpful, then I have two recommendations for you. I have bought both books myself.

First, Prompts 2020 from Chapeltown Books. Alongside several prompts there're pieces on writingcraft and editing a completed piece of writing, along with other helpful items. With 366 to choose from, there will always be something to dip into (and it lists all contributors).

It's only available as an ebook for now, but it's great value and less than the price of a cup of coffee in many high street coffee shops.

You'll find my Christmas prompts in July (there is a reason); one each day from the 18th to the 27th.

By Patsy Collins
I created my list of prompts last year for an exercise at the writers' club, but they remained unused. I'm delighted they have found a home in this book.

~ ~ ~

The other book is by Patsy Collins, A Year of Ideas... 365 sets of prompts and exercises. It's available as a paperback and an ebook.

I bought the paperback for myself as I enjoy having a physical copy available to open at random or browse; you can do that or start from page one and work through, or just choose that day's date...

Have you read any other prompt books that you'd recommend?

Tuesday, 25 February 2020

Dropping By...

A quick update.

Making progress on the novel draft for now, which explains the lack of posts currently.

Sadly I've had to remove the contact form as it's being used for spam. But I can still be contacted via Twitter or on my writer page on Facebook.

I'll be back here on Sunday...

This is now...

Sunday, 9 February 2020

Filler Words... What's Yours?

Ask any group of writers what their filler words are and 'just' is certain to appear. They're those words we write without thinking and don't help the clarity.

Those pesky filler
I'm guilty of using filler words, but I'm picking them up better than last year. Now, even stopping mid-sentence and asking myself, do I need to use that word? The answer, no.

There will be others that need removing in the editing process, but if I can reduce known repeat offenders along the way, it saves time later...

We use many of the filler words in everyday conversation, and according to an expert, in this 2017 article from the Independent newspaper online, those words have a purpose- politeness and processing.  (That explains my use of 'well' in conversations...) :D

Perhaps that also fools our brain into giving filler words a pass card when we're writing drafts?

My top three: so, well, and just. I'm working on negating very.

Which filler words do you have to edit out?

Image created with

Thursday, 9 January 2020

The Self-Doubt Gremlin...

The decorations came down on Sunday and a normal regime began on Monday- my snoozing creativity woke up, but the rest of me was failing to keep up.

I've been dealing with the self-doubt gremlin for a few weeks now. It nearly derailed the mini workshop I was putting together for the writers' club meeting (last night), but I got through it and the gremlin has scarpered.

Weeks of disturbed sleep haven't helped; caused by strange disjointed dreams that had no clear meaning or any sense. I assume my brain was deleting unwanted junk in the memory...

Amazing how beneficial eight hours' undisturbed slumber can be.

There's still lots to catch up on, besides getting back to the novel rewrite; I need to make notes on new scenes before I forget why they're needed and get on with finishing the book I'm reading for research.
No Self-Doubt Gremlins

Meanwhile, avoid gremlins...

Image: with additions in