I am continuing with my 2021 goals and have submitted to magazines, contests and anthologies this year. It is not only a learning curve, but also a way to expand my writing skills. Every writing experience increases our skill set and knowledge. As writers we are always learning. (or should be!)
In the last couple of weeks, I have been accepted to be part of an anthology 25 Miles From Here, which will be published in September. My short story A New Home will be included.
I also have three articles published (or scheduled) for Opal Writers Magazine and website, with another pending. These articles allow me to write non-fiction and also share my knowledge with the writing community.
I was also honoured to assist in the promotion of a new movie, Back Home Again. It covers the the wildfire evacuation of Fort McMurray and the communities resilience.
And I was also delighted to win a book giveaway by Densie Webb. A lovely novel arrived in my mailbox, which will be added to my TBR pile.
In preparation for my presentations/panel at the When Words Collide conference, I have invested in a headphone/microphone set. I trialed it as I hosted the monthly Writers Circle on Tuesday evening, it works well. It is more professional and cuts out a lot of background noise too.
My latest book news is four of my books (The Twesome Loop, The Commodore’s Gift, The Rython Kingdom and Rython Legacy) are all available from Daisy Chain Book Co bookstore, Edmonton.
I would love to hear about your writing related accomplishments so far this year?
1. Does writing energize or exhaust you? It depends on the project and on my readiness to tackle the subject. To be open and vulnerable in my poetry and life writing requires risk and that frightens me sometimes. On the other hand, my best work helps me let go of my fears. 2. What is your writing Kryptonite? Family crises, mood swings and poor self-discipline.
3. Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym? No, but now that you mention it, it might be freeing. 4. What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer? Writers Foundation of Strathcona County are encouraging, accepting and creative. 5. Do you want each book to stand alone, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book? All of my writing is focused on writing as a tool for personal growth. 6. How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have? Too many! Poetry (Pipers Dream); Family history and memoir (Home and Away); Novel (Mile Zero); Nonfiction (Writing with Inner Child; Diving the Sea of Emotion; Process of Perspective). 7. What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book? Research is one of my favourite activities because it reflects my love of learning. Non-fiction and fiction – reading on the subject. Google on specific aspects. Symbolism.
8. How many hours a day/week do you write? Not enough. I’m aiming for 2 hours every morning. I am very inconsistent and that is something I am trying to correct. 9. How do you select the names of your characters? Usually some symbolic aspect of their personality. For example, in my novel the main character Claire is becoming more enlightened. 10. Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre? Personal writing is self-expressive and spiritual. Poetry is symbolic. All my writing is aimed at finding life’s depth, meaning and purpose.
11. How long have you been writing? Poetry since 1974 and life writing for at least 30 years. 12. What inspires you? Nature. People. Mindfulness. Life events. New ideas. New insight. 13. What projects are you working on at the present? Blogs. I’ve neglected my website for the past few months so I want to update and add new ideas. Final edits to my book of fairy tales, which is coming soon! It is called “Life is Not a Fairy Tale” and will be released by Dream Write Publishing before Christmas. 14. Share a link to your author website. http://kathiesutherland.com/
Kathie Sutherland is the author of Things We Keep, a memoir in essay form, and a self-published author of several poetry books: balancing Act; Shadow Girls in the Spotlight;Wind in the Trees; and Seeking Asylum. She is presently completing final edits on a collection of Fairy Tales, and has several large writing projects in the works including a “self-help” book and two life writing workbooks.
Kathie is a well-traveled and observant student of life with 30 years of writing experience. In the past, she has facilitated journal writing workshops. Currently, she acts as a Story Listener for elderly Lodge residents as they share life stories and she facilitates a reminiscence group there.
Impenetrable – definition: incapable of being penetrated, pierced, breached or broken into
When we think about new directions in our life, there is a tendency to fill our minds with ‘what if’ and ‘should I’ thoughts. Fear of the unknown is nothing to be ashamed of, embrace it. Consider the rock face. Solid and seemingly impenetrable but over time tiny pebbles moved with the force of water, can wear that rock down. At first it is only a shallow dip but then it becomes deeper and deeper until eventually a hole through that rock face appears.
Whatever goals you want to achieve, they can be realized with thorough research and planning. The trick is to make small steps towards it instead of trying to get there in one fell swoop. ‘Mighty oaks from little acorns grow’ – yes, it is an old saying but nevertheless true. Take time to contemplate what you really want and visualize it. Once you have the goal clearly defined work your way backwards.
What do you need to do now to get there?
Use a graph or a timeline for your goal. Once it is set out visually it is easier to focus and plot your progress. Each step takes you nearer to your ultimate goal and that is encouragement we all need.
My goal for 2014 is to develop my freelance writing business. I have some doubts – time management, bidding on jobs, building a portfolio – to name a few. I have begun researching other freelancers and gaining knowledge from their expertise and experiences. I have already created a freelance binder where I am filing useful articles, blogs, and any information that is useful. My aim is to be as confident as possible before embarking on this venture. Plunging in blindly will result in failure, so time taken to prepare is an investment. To date, I have collaborated in creating a Vision Statement for the local Council and written articles on a wide variety of subjects on Strathcona Connect, an internet magazine. My blog post per day for 2013 has also given me valuable experience in creating interesting articles from just one word! I don’t expect to be able to leave full time work for quite some time but gradually I will build my business to the point that I will be able to.
Do you have goals for 2014?
Did you achieve your goals for 2013?
How did you plan for them? Care to share your technique?
Hiatus – definition: a break or pause in the continuity of action
Have you noticed that there are more and more bloggers taking ‘breaks’ from their blogs lately. When I put the word hiatus into the’topic box’, it brings up a long list, and that’s just in the blogs I follow. Are we burning out? Is the constant pressure of having to blog, having an adverse effect on us? Has the first bloom of enthusiasm begun to fade?
Yesterday, I spoke about time management – but is it more than just time we are lacking? Is the need to write captivating and interesting blogs straining our creative minds? Shouldn’t we be using that creativity for our novels not our blogs?
Can we divide our creativity into sub-sections? Should we? Surely our creative energy should be focused on our current project(s), isn’t that where our real attention should be? Are our main projects suffering because of it?
As my 2013 commitment continues, I can attest to having worries concerning my current WIP’s, the draw of a post a day leads me to my blog first rather than my manuscripts. Sometimes I am ahead of the game with several blogs drafted but at others, I lapse and panic when I realize I have to write one. My only consolation is that I only have to post per day for 2013 and can reduce the amount of posts next year. I’m already on day 222 for 2013, only 143 to go!
What are your thoughts on blogging versus manuscript writing?