Tag Archives: writing goals

Announcing My Blog Schedule for 2018…


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Firstly a sincere thank you to all the writers, authors and readers who have dropped by by blog this year – we are 3306 connected people with a love of the written word. My flag counter states  I have 189 countries following me and 252 flags collected. That is pretty amazing. 

thank you

Again it took sometime to decide on what topics I would cover on my blog for 2018. It is always a task not only because once I commit I have to deliver but also that I want the topics/features I choose to be of interest to my followers.

The day and time of each blog post has to be considered – too early in the morning and it will be lost in the morning rush of emails and other notifications, too late in the day and it disappears into the evening chaos of family time. After studying several articles it is best to post on Monday and Wednesday between 9:30 am – 11:00 am, as I traditionally post on these days at 10:30 am I am within those parameters.

Blog Schedule 2018

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Monday:  Investigation in Genre. A look at the classic genres through to the ‘new’ ever developing genres available to writers.  I will be investigating, discussing and hopefully with your help giving examples of genres this year. I would like this feature to be as interactive as possible.

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Wednesday: I was given a writing prompt book for Christmas so will be utilizing these 300 prompts. I hope to create flash fiction or short stories from them. And you are most welcome to write one to share too.

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Friday: Once a month (twice if I have lots of requests) I will host author interviews. This is open to published and unpublished authors/writers. Whether you have been interviewed by me before or not. I want us to support and encourage each other and get to know the writer behind the story.

Message me if you would like to be interviewed via the contact form on the media kit. You can choose which month to correspond with a book launch, event or special giveaway.

Good luck with your writing in 2018.

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Writing Hub -Books, Writing, Tips & more…


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Writing:

My escape on a writing retreat from 18th – 22nd May was absolutely fabulous. Surrounded by fresh spring greenery, bird song, blue skies, fellow writers and delicious food (cooked for us!) what more could a writer need? The photos above give only a glimpse of my time there. I particularly love the A frame cabin – wouldn’t that be a perfect place to have to write in?

Strawberry Creek Lodge may only be an hour or so away from home but it is a different world away from the normal reality of life. This enabled myself and my fellow writers to indulge in the written word, discuss plots, formats and support each other. With an open or closed door policy we could shut ourselves away to write or be open to conversation and walks through the woods and along the creek. The lodge is a magical place where ‘real’ life disappears allowing your creative muse to flourish. 

I did manage to achieve my writing goals at the retreat so that was an added bonus.

  • Final revisions to The Twesome Loop final word count 75,007.
  • Wrote new YA story Bubble the Gruggle word count 8306.
  • Began revisions on The Giving Thief 70,394 word count.

With my writing goals attained I can immerse myself in the ghost writing project and hopefully have the revised draft to my client by the end of May.

Have you been on a writing retreat?

What benefit did you gain?

Did you achieve your writing goals?

Books:

Her Fearful Symmentry by Audrey Niffenegger- I completed this book while on my writing retreat. The ending had a great twist to it and I found the characters to be intriguing all through the narrative. The story contains complicated relationships, past loves, new loves, strange addictions, cemetery walks, and ghosts. 

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Reincarnation by Suzanne Weyn – I began this book at the retreat. It has a unique format and is good research for my novel, The Twesome Loop.

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Writing Tips

Make it your business to understand grammar and language. Do you know a noun from a verb, a predicate from a preposition? Do you understand tense and verb agreement? You should.

My tip: Find a way to escape ‘normal life’ be it a road trip, a mini break at a hotel, or a weekend getaway – it doesn’t have to be far away to achieve the tranquility to write.

Stress Management for Writers…


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.

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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

Coax…


Coax – definition: 1) to influence by gentle urging, special attention or flattering 2) to get or win by means of gentle urging or flattery

There seems to be two decidedly opposing sides to this manner of influence. We can see it as someone fawning and ingratiating themselves for special favors – we’ve all witnessed it either at school or work. Or it can be a way to assist someone with lack of self esteem or purpose to achieve their goals. When we first ‘reveal’ our writing passion it can be with some trepidation. Will family and friends take us seriously? Will they understand? Talking to many writer friends it has become apparent that the ‘coaxing’ comes from both sides. A writer needs to coax their support system into believing their passion is a worthwhile endeavor while the family and friends have to ‘coax’ the writer into following their goals.

When we set our sights on our writing goals, be it writing that novel, getting published or committing to a blog, it is best to break down that challenge into manageable realistic portions. Telling yourself you can write a novel in three months and have a best seller by the end of the year is not only unrealistic but will be self defeating. Instead decide how much time you can manage for actually writing it. As we all know this first draft will go through many changes as we coax the characters and plot line into a polished project. Be assertive in making this writing time ‘your time’ so you are undisturbed. (Easier said than done I know!) However, if you can distance yourself from people who criticize and demean your efforts you will succeed.

Writing
Writing (Photo credit: jjpacres)

Realize a novel or novella is not a ‘quick’ project and the more time invested in it, the better it will become. Whatever your support system – friends, family or writing group – use them for feedback as well as encouragement. We all need coaxing from time to time.

What coaxing have you experienced? One of mine was a new found friend in my writing group ‘persuaded’ me to try NaNoWriMo – this was at a time when the most I had written was a short story! Let’s just say she was insistent but also encouraging and to my surprise I succeeded with that challenge. It was a bit extreme to say the least but it opened the flood gates to my creativity so I’m not complaining.

Out of the Blue – Award…


Oh this was heaven sent for today’s word- pun entirely intended! Azure – definition: the blue color of the clear sky. I had begun to write a poem for it : I got this far.

Color of a summer’s day

Bright and beautiful

 Azure you lighten the eye

 Not cyan nor blue

 A whole new hue

But now I have been nominated for the Liebster Award by Cheryl Fassett – http://cherylfassett.wordpress.com/

I will focus on that instead. Firstly a great big thank you to Cheryl for nominating me and now the rules.

1. Thank your Liebster Blog Award presenter on your blog and link back to the blogger who presented this award to you.
2. Answer the 11 questions from the nominator, list 11 random facts about yourself and create 11 questions for your nominees.
3. Present the Liebster Blog Award to 11 blogs of 200 followers or less who you feel deserve to be noticed and leave a comment on their blog letting them know they have been chosen. (No tag backs)
4. Copy and Paste the blog award on your blog.

Cheryl’s questions:

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1.Are you a blogger at heart or do you dream of writing novels, plays, poetry? What are your writing goals.

My blog came into being shortly after I joined a writers group and it was suggested I write one! I do write novels, novellas, articles and poems as well. I hope to publish more novels.

2.Where have you traveled? Where do you dream of travelling?

Yes I have traveled from my birth place South Africa, to England and then emigrated to Canada. In between I have traveled to Malta, Majorca, France, Switzerland, Italy, &  USA.

3.What are your greatest pet peeves?

People back stabbing others…if you can’t get on with someone then leave them alone – don’t b***h about them.

4.Do you have pets? If so, names please! If not, do you wish you did?

I sadly lost my darling canine companion, Twinkle in November. Not sure I can get another – it’s so hard to loose them.

Twinkle

5.What super power do you wish you had?

To travel through time.

6.What are your favorite books?

Oh wow – how big do you want this blog post to be? All books by Stephen King, James Long, Maeve Binchy & Kate Morton – to name a few!

7.What are you reading now?

The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton.

8.What is your best childhood memory?

I have so many to be honest – I think it is playing with friends in the English countryside during the summer and visits to the seaside.

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9.What were you afraid of when you were 10?

Not much to be honest – I was a real tom-boy and the boys were scared of me. Once I couldn’t find my parents at home and that scared me. My only other scary thing was rhino’s – a recurring dream of being impaled on its horn and it charging through a huge tent. Nope have no idea why – we weren’t living in Africa then.

10.What is your favorite way to spend a day off?

Alone writing – very antisocial.

11.Do you have a day job? What do you do to pay the bills?

Yes I do have a full time job as a credit assistant – not glamorous at all – but I work with some nice people.

Eleven random facts about me:

1. I used to clean gravestones as a kid. 2. I would ‘escape’ the garden with my dog & two cats. 3. My favorite colour is purple. 4. I called my first car “Babe’. 5. My favorite season is autumn. 6. I’m right handed. 7. I love Wall-E. 8. I have a letter from Stephen King on my wall. 9. My favorite animal is a tiger. 10. I always wanted to be a squaw as a child. 11. I’ve seen ghosts.

Now to share the award, please visit these wonderful bloggers.

http://theothersideof55.wordpress.com/

http://ejjudge.wordpress.com/

http://risingwoman.wordpress.com/

http://betweenthestacks.wordpress.com/

http://bookendings.wordpress.com/

http://www.liviaellis.com/

http://thewritersideoflife.wordpress.com/

http://thelongandwritingroad.com/

http://trshaw.wordpress.com/

http://viemagiquesn.wordpress.com/

http://heidiwriter.wordpress.com/

Questions for my nominees:

1. Which season do you love?

2. Do you feel the burn or enjoy a stroll?

3. Dog or cat person?

4. Do you prefer town or country to live in?

5. What is your current favorite TV program?

6. Activity vacation or leisurely beach spot?

7.  Which super hero is your favorite?

8. Which genre(s) do you write?

9. What would you do with $1 million dollars?

10. Given the choice would choose chocolates, flowers or something else for a gift?

11. Gold or silver jewelry?

I hope you have fun with this award.