Your blog, Mandy Eve-Barnett’s Official Blog, appears to be getting more traffic than usual! 90 hourly views – 1 hourly views on average
A spike in your stats
A huge thank you to my 3206 followers for making my blog the writing community I so wanted to create.
I will continue to investigate, share and help writers near and far with an ever changing blog covering different aspects of the writing life. I love to inspire, support and encourage.
Happy Anniversary with WordPress.com
You registered with WordPress.com 6 years ago.
Thanks for flying with us. Keep up the good blogging
Wow I didn’t realize I had been blogging that long!
Thank you to all my lovely followers for sharing this writing journey with me. I appreciate every one of you.
Thank you all for liking, commenting, participating and above all returning to read my blog.
I hope to grow this online writing community throughout 2015 and still have plenty of room for writer/author interviews this year. Just drop me a line. I’m more than happy to adapt posting days/dates to aid with promotions/book launches etc.
Your blog, Mandy Eve Barnett’s Official Blog, appears to be getting more traffic than usual! 29 hourly views – 2 hourly views on average
The excerpts, short stories or poems I will be publishing on my blog this year are a collection of writing exercises, National Novel Writing Month and WIP novels and prompt responses. I would be happy for you to share any of your snippets with me too. Please abide by the copyright on my written work and those of my contributors. As a writing community we must protect and support each other in our endeavors.
My first poem is apt for the time of year – Winter.
Creator of Winter
Her cloak glistens and sparkles in the moonlight
Intricately made from icicles and snowflakes.
Gliding across the sky, flakes fall behind her
They increase as they tumble
Blown hither and thither by the breeze
Coating branches, grass and houses alike
With a thin white gauze
That builds layer upon layer
She is cold to the touch
But not cold of heart
Spreading a glistening white cloth
For all to play in and enjoy
Her eyes are the purest clearest blue
With skin as pale as the snow she creates
She is a glimpse in your eye
A sparkle in the twilight
Do you have a winter themed story or poem to share?
A big celebration today as I write my 600th blog post…I’m stunned that I’ve managed to make this milestone.
So how should I celebrate? A glass of wine? Leaps of joy? Well both of these to be frank.
How do you celebrate your blogging milestones?
When I began this blog on 8th August 2010, it was to give myself an author platform, which at the time seemed rather precocious as my writing career had only just begun. With support and encouragement from my mentor, Linda J Pedley, and the members of the Writers Foundation of Strathcona County, I have exceed all my dreams of creating novels, blogging and launching my freelance business. The subsequent years have seen me on a steep learning curve, filled with new experiences and finding and sharing with people I would not have known existed otherwise.
A blog is so much more than a place to spout your opinion or showcase your work, it is the portal to a community.
Thank you all for following my blog, for your comments and reblogs and for accompanying me on this journey along the writers path.
Long may we continue – learning, sharing and supporting each other.
I am sure all creative people have experienced today’s desk diary word – Vacuous – definition: empty of or lacking ideas or intelligence. I must clarify not the lack of intelligence bit but certainly the ideas bit…
It always interests me how other writers are inspired or have strange habits which assist them – there are commonalities of course – dreams, overheard conversations, a photograph or a life experience. Other slightly stranger inspirations are:
The ancient Greek writer shaved half his head. Ensuring that by looking so idiotic, he would stay home and work, instead of facing ridicule in public.
The A Doll’s House playwright hung a huge oil painting of his greatest rival on his study wall. Inspiring him to strive to better his enemies.
Franz Kafka – Too Much Cake
Kafka allowed himself to eat a whole pineapple upside down cake when he finished a story. He did not share any of it!
Mary Shelley – Pet Snake
Shelley’s pet 23-foot-long boa constrictor was housed in her writing studio. With the snake wrapped around her shoulders she would write until the snake became restless and began to squeeze, then she stopped writing for the day.
I cannot lay claim to anything this weird, mores the pity. Maybe I can cultivate something? Are you willing to share your ‘strange’ habit?
Inept – Definition: 1) not suited for the occasion: inappropriate 2) lacking in skill or ability: incompetent
No matter at which point we are in our writing journeys, feelings of being inept plaque us. We can all make a long list of insecurities and worries about our style, skill level and current Work in Progress. My question is – if we didn’t have these uncertainties would we be a ‘better’ writer or not?
Striving for perfection can easily become an obsession and our work will suffer for it. There is a fine balance between a polished piece of work and a ‘ruined’ one. On the other hand expecting an agent or publisher to over-look editing and grammatical errors because we feel our manuscript is unique is a major flaw. Reading as a professional would, is the key, although this in itself is a difficult task after spending months if not years creating our story. We are engaged with the characters and their conflicts and struggles. They have become ‘real’ to us and the story runs in our minds rather than on the page. This is the crux of the problem – are we actually reading the words or playing out the story?
The Internet is full of writing tips as we all know but some recurring ones on tightening up a manuscript have commonalities.
- Leave the manuscript unread for a period of time.
- Read the story from back to front – chapter by chapter.
- Focus on one aspect of editing at a time. i.e. grammar, plot lines etc. (I’ve even heard of one author printing her manuscripts on different colored paper for each revision!)
- Have other people read it and critique (honestly).
- Send a section to a professional editor.
- Take advantage of a local Writer in Residence for feedback.
- Read a section out loud to your writer’s circle and ask for comments.
However, feelings of being inept are not just limited to our written work. Are you confident in public speaking? It is one thing reading to a group of people you know but what about in the public domain? Author readings are a great way to present your work and create interest in your stories.
- Practice the piece you are going to read in front of a mirror.
- Take care in your selection of clothing, depending on the venue and audience age.
- Choose a section or chapter with lots of action or intrigue.
- Remember to look up at your audience and gesticulate.
- Project your voice and don’t mumble.
- Don’t rush – this is the hardest!
- Be prepared to answer questions at the end.
The above tips work well for live interviews as well, either on radio or television. You may have some flexibility with these if they are not ‘live’ and can re-take the whole interview or a part of it.
Social media is another avenue of uncertainty for many writers and authors. Cherishing your work in a desk drawer is great but if you are serious about releasing it into the public domain you need to invest some time into this resource.
- Research what type of social media, authors in the same genre are using.
- Carefully investigate the multitude of options available. There is not a ‘one fits all’.
- Pick the sites that best suit your level of commitment. (How much time you are willingly to put into them as it can take over your life if you let it!)
- A blog is a useful tool to increase your profile. Decide on what theme, style, subject and frequency you can fulfill.
- Link to similar genre writers on web sites such as Twitter.
- Utilize your personal sites to connect to groups.
- Utilize ‘sharing’ sites, such as Networked Blogs and options on other web sites. i.e. WordPress.com links to face book, twitter and Google +
Conquer your feelings of ineptitude with your ‘writing’ support system, whatever that entails. Whether a writing circle, close friends or family that encourage you or virtual supporters – reach out – you’ll be surprised. Remember to offer support back too – it is not only very rewarding but expands your writing ‘community’.