Mandy Eve-Barnett's Official Blog

Inspiration for Writers & Building A Community ©

Stress Management for Writers…

November 30, 2015
mandyevebarnett


We all tread this writing journey with a certain amount of trepidation. Even the most successful authors have concerns. Will my novel be good enough? Is the story strong? Will I get good reviews? Have I written my best? Is there another novel inside me?

It is human nature to agonize over these worries but with support from family, friends and a writing group you can lessen them.

how-to-relieve-stress

What makes you most anxious in your writing life?

Unfortunately, stress has a detrimental effect on the creative process so we must try to elevate it. There are a few simple methods to help us.

Firstly, walk away from the project and find somewhere quiet to take some deep breaths. When our body is stressed it tends to hyperventilate with short low breaths. Breath slowly and deeply. If possible, take  a day away from the project – obviously this isn’t always possible – but try to take at least an hour. Time away enjoying something else refreshes the brain.

If the thought of leaving the project adds to your stress, take notes of how you want to proceed. They will help get you back into the mindset and you have a reference to guide you. Focus on each step instead of overwhelming yourself with the ‘whole’ project. Give yourself a reasonable time frame.  If it helps map out each step from start to finish – you have set goals per day, week or month – but ensure you have factored in extra time for each one. That way if a step takes longer than anticipated you still have a buffer of time to complete it.

Write in another genre or create a short story to refresh your mind. Find a writing prompt to try – it can be a picture or a set of words. Let your imagination go to a new subject.

Clear any clutter on your desk or writing space. A clean tidy space allows you to concentrate better and stops any distractions. I regularly clean house on my desk.

Do you have any tips you care to share on lessening stress and accomplishing your writing goals2015-08-31 17.38.12

A Host of Writing Events – A Busy Author’s Life…

November 26, 2015
mandyevebarnett


I tend to say Yes much too often to requests to attend book related events. But I quantify it by saying – if you are not ‘out there’ how will people know about your books and your writing? So I agree and enjoy the experience. An added attraction for me is meeting book lovers and other authors and writers as well as experiencing new places, and new people. All of which gives my writing Muse more fuel for more stories. A win, win situation.

Let’s take this month – November 2015.

My writing group’s monthly sharing meeting, Writers Foundation of Strathcona County- 3rd November. I hosted and started a new format for the meeting.

Writers Foundation Strathcona County

Pandora’s Boox, Olds, Alberta – Book launch for a couple of author friends, Barbie-Jo Smith and Malcolm Mills. I accompanied my publisher, Dream Write Publishing. – 14th November.

Pandora Boox  14Nov2015

Business Seminar, Strathcona County, Alberta – attendance for my freelancing business. 18th November.

Carbon library Christmas Fair, Carbon, Alberta – set up my table along with fellow authors, Linda Pedley, Barbie-Jo Smith and Malcom Mills. – 21st November.

Carbon 1 (1)Xmas Market

Common Ground Cafe, Sherwood Park, Alberta – Author reading. – 25th November.

Common Ground

Radio interview with CKXU Productions, University of Lethbridge – 27th November.

AuthorInterview

Christmas in the Heartland, Strathcona County, Alberta. Reading Christmas themed stories to the general public. 29th November.

Xmas in Heartland

As you can see I’m a busy author who juggles full-time work, family, home and other events with my writing life.

How do you juggle your writing life?

 

 

Interview with Karen Probert – Adept Short Story Writer…

November 23, 2015
mandyevebarnett


Karen WITP 2014

How did you come up with the titles of your books?

The working title while I was writing ‘Fragments of Lives’ was Chunks of Life. It sounded too harsh, too heavy. Pieces of Lives sounded too even and Slices of Lives sounded like serving pieces of pizza or cake. Because no one character is in each story and each story is just a piece, often rough around the edges, of a life Fragments seems descriptive of the contents.

With “Colouring Our Lives”, I wanted to use Colouring Outside The Lines but it has been used often by other authors. I polled friends and other writers and the consensus was to use “Colouring Our Lives” Each story in this book has a predominant colour associated with it.

Fragments

Is this your first book? How many books have you written (published or unpublished)?

“Fragments of Lives” is my first book of fictional short stories.

“Colouring our Lives” is the second, both have been published by Dream Write Publishing. I’m working on a very long short story, which may turn into a novel if that is what the characters want – the working title is “Bloodlines”.

How much of the book is realistic?

Although all my stories are fiction, the characters and scenarios in them are realistic and believable. I don’t write fantasy or sci-fi but about innately human characters in realistic situations where there is tension or an attainable goal being pursued.

Of the characters you have created or envisioned, which is your favorite & why?

Although I have no favourite character I often portray characters who are flawed, as we all are in some ways, but have the strength to live their lives thoughtfully and with integrity.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

Yes, there are always improvements that could be made.

What is your favorite part/chapter of your book/project? The thought process. Hmmm.  A story begins with just one sentence or piece of dialogue. I just start there and follow the character’s lead. Once that story is written I go back, fill in, add other characters, or adjust the setting. I add details to embellish the idea of the story.

Colouring Our Lives

What do you enjoy most about writing?

My favourite part is creating the characters – what are their beliefs, how were these beliefs formed, how are they living their lives and making those lives work? Yes, they always have flaws or something has happened to them to change their perspective but they carry on. Not all of that information may be available to the reader, but it is in the back-story.

What is your favourite theme/genre to write?

Realistic fiction.

Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it?

Probably I would never write about war or destruction. I could not write about a dystopian world where there seems no hope but only despair.

Do you nibble as you write? If so what’s your favorite snack food?

I neither eat/nibble nor listen to music while I write – quiet and calm allow me to concentrate best.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

The most difficult challenge for me is to make the people in the stories interesting but to also keep them like ordinary, real people that the reader might meet in everyday life. Each one has to have a secret or a flaw or be in an extraordinary circumstance that makes them act the way they do. That’s what holds the reader’s interest.

Have you ever hated something you wrote?

Many times an idea has not come together. It isn’t that I hated what I’d written but that I was disappointed that I couldn’t make the idea work.

Can you tell us about your upcoming book?

“Bloodlines” is about anthropologist, Hannah, of middle-Eastern descent who marries an African American whose genealogy is suspect, but whose family believes it is pure back to African slaves. Hannah is trained to follow the evidence and do the research. Doing the background research for this has been fascinating – everything from the gene causing red hair to Chilean bats – and I hope that comes through when I get to the end of the story. This story is purely fiction, but it could be true.

Links :

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100010543031395

http://www.dreamwritepublishing.ca/authors/karen-probert

 


Development of a Writing Space…

November 19, 2015
mandyevebarnett


My first writing space was the dining room table. Obviously, not a perfect scenario as I would have to clear all my writing paraphernalia away, but it was a start. I would type for hours on my old laptop sitting on the sofa, at the dining table, perched on a bench while children practiced sports, at the local library – in fact anywhere I was allowed to write.

With a reorganization of the dining table end of the living room, I purchased a real writing desk. Coupled with my laptop there was an extra screen and a new desk organizer.

New Writing DEsk 001New Writing DEsk 003

Since then I have extended my writing space several times to include  more shelving, a new laptop, and an ever-evolving inspiration wall. The wheeled suitcases are packed with books, promotional items, display stands and table coverings for events. Ready at a moment’s notice!

Typewriter in situDSCF1974

Desk 20152015-08-31 17.38.12

new laptop

 Next on my wish list? A study of my own so I can shut myself away from the banal television shows and the constant noise!

One way or the other I will succeed.

How has your writing space developed?

Stress Blocks Creativity…

November 16, 2015
mandyevebarnett


We all tread this writing journey with a certain amount of trepidation. Even the most successful authors have concerns.

Will my novel be good enough? Is the story strong?

Will I get good reviews? Have I written my best?

Is there another novel inside me?

It is human nature to agonize over these worries but with support from family, friends and a writing group you can lessen them.

stressed

What makes you most anxious in your writing life?

Unfortunately, stress has a detrimental effect on the creative process so we must try to elevate it. There are a few simple methods to help us.

Firstly, walk away from the project and find somewhere quiet to take some deep breaths.

When our body is stressed it tends to hyperventilate with short low breaths. Breath slowly and deeply.

If possible, take a day away from the project – obviously this isn’t always possible – but try to take at least an hour.

Time away enjoying something else refreshes the brain.

If the thought of leaving the project adds to your stress, take notes of how you want to proceed. They will help get you back into the mindset and you have a reference to guide you.

Focus on each step instead of overwhelming  yourself with the ‘whole’ project.

Give yourself a reasonable time frame.

If it helps map out each step from start to finish – you have set goals per day, week or month – but ensure you have factored in extra time for each one. That way if a step takes longer than anticipated you still have a buffer of time to complete it.

How do you cope with stress?

This link has some great ideas – http://theadventurouswriter.com/blogwriting/8-stress-management-tips-for-writers/

What are your de-stress methods?

Take A Break Mug Showing Relaxing Or Tiredness

Blog at WordPress.com.