Tag Archives: writing time

Writing Hub -Books, Writing, Tips & more…


writing-hub

Writing:

Well my creative writing took a backseat yet again but I did manage the update my ghost writing project and completed my conference presentation so feel pleased there are both completed.

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I am co-hosting the senior residence writing group on Thursday so can escape to the library for a couple of hours before to return to The Twesome Loop. Having found a fantastic cover artist I am thinking of a design for the book cover. It will take some careful thinking to make the cover reflect my characters finding their past selves in an Italian villa, that’s for sure.

I did add more story to my ‘extra’ project – yes I know isn’t four manuscripts enough? Well obviously not because my children’s ‘alien planet’ book has been gaining in word count!

As many of you know I am a multi-genre author and my current WIP’s – are all in various stages of completion. They range from cowgirl romance to thriller to reincarnation romance to speculative fiction, added to that the above kids book. Never a dull moment in my brain, I can tell you.

Do you have multiple manuscripts/ideas formulating or clambering for your attention?

Books:

The Faraday Girls by Monica McInerney

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Loved the characterizations in this book, each sister was so unique, so defined. Here is my Goodreads review:

What a wonderful narrative. Lots of characters interacting, conflicts, sibling rivalry and unexpected twists in the plots.
Monica weaves such a artful tale of four sisters brought up by their father – family traditions, a surprise niece/daughter and global travel.
A book I would re-read for sure.

Now onto a book I have been looking forward to. It has started well.

The Other Life by Ellen Meister

The Other Life

Do you have a recommendation for a alternative life, reincarnation or fantasy?

Do you want to hook up on Goodreads? Follow the link on the side bar to my account.

Writing Tips:

Let go of your inner editor. When you sit down to write a draft, refrain from proofreading until that draft is complete.

Proofread everything at least three times before submitting your work for publication.

Print this one out:

You are a writer so own it and say it out loud: “I am a writer.” Whether it’s a hobby or your profession, if you write, then you have the right to this title.

Writing Hub -Books, Writing, Tips & more…


writing-hub

Writing:

I am pleased to announce I completed the two beta-read & editing assignments given to me and both authors were happy with the feedback. One will require me to re-read once certain details are confirmed for legal consistency and correctness.

Another project – ghost writing – is proceeding well and I am waiting on some input from the client.

As for personal projects I made progress on my reincarnation romance, The Twesome Loop this past week and the word count is over 80K – so that makes me happy. There is still some polishing to do. A surprise road trip with my dear friend Linda this weekend will give me uninterrupted writing time to do this. Love when we can escape on a whim! I had to plead for a rain check with another friend for a proposed meeting this Saturday but she was accommodating. Thank you Kathie.

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The new book cover for my fantasy romance, The Rython Kingdom is in the hands of my publisher and should be ‘live’ in the next couple of weeks. All in all I am happy with my progress and writing life.

How are your projects progressing? Care to share?

Books:

I am really enjoying this book – it doesn’t give up it’s secrets quickly that’s for sure.

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What are you reading? 

Do you review books on Goodreads? Why not follow me for my reviews and books just click the link on the side of the page.

Writing Advice:

“You never have to change anything you got up in the middle of the night to write.”Saul Bellow

So is this true? How about you?

I know I have ‘dreamed’ scenes or story ideas but always improve on them when awake.

Social Media Pros and Cons for Writers…


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This post was created due to the fact I was worrying about what to write for today’s post while perusing my Facebook and finally noticing two hours had ‘disappeared’ – without me really understanding where that time went! As this study shows it is not an uncommon problem.

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So how do we market, connect and sell our books without being sucked into the social media vacuum? We all know we should be writing not viewing cute videos or scrolling down page after page of posts. Yes, we need to interact and promote but how can we balance our time?

Many sites promote keeping to a schedule – even putting a timer on to force a switch off time or using an app that shuts down the media page. We can be overwhelmed with too many sites – but if we choose carefully and link the actions to the most relevant ones to our specific theme we can save time. A blog post can automatically be shared to Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, etc. this saves us precious writing time.So also setting our social media sites with sharing options cuts down our physical interaction time without reducing its effectiveness. The trick is to identify which sites work best for your particular message and keep to them.

Here’s a great link about that very subject :  http://www.webdesignrelief.com/social-networking-sites-for-writers/

I tend to burst on social media early morning and late afternoon (interspersed during the day when possible). My ‘bad’ time is weekend mornings when I am catching up. This is my danger time and the one I have to forcibly limit myself. If not, I am berating myself for ‘lost’ time writing. Avoiding the lure of social media results in a project started, revised or finished and that is worth any writers time.

When is your ‘danger’ time or times? 

How do you limit your social media time?

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Writing Retreat in NaNoWriMo Month…


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My good friend, Linda and I escaped for a wonderful long weekend of writing on Thursday night to Jasper National Park. Our cabin was perfectly situated for us to enjoy peace and quiet. We find it companionable to write together as we share the passion for the written word. Hours may pass and we have not spoken a word, just typed a lot! This mini writing retreat was perfectly timed to give us both much needed time to devote to our respective NaNo novels.

I have many demands on my time with work, volunteering, home and family and so treasure pure writing time. However, Linda has even more demands as she is a publisher (Dream Write Publishing) as well as an author and volunteer and much more! Due to our shared discipline we managed a substantial word count even when we treated ourselves to a trip through the park into Jasper itself on Saturday. We were extremely fortunate to encounter stunning wildlife and the opportunity to refresh our connection to nature.

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Mountain goats

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A browsing session in a couple of souvenir shops gave us gifts and I found a perfect promotional item for my upcoming Western romance, Willow Tree Tears. A figurine of a female barrel racer – my protagonist.

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Barrel girl 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We experienced the trip down to Jasper in rain and darkness on Thursday night, bright sunshine and magnificent mountains on Saturday and a large snowfall on Sunday morning greeted us. Each experience was inspiring and special. Returning to our normal routines was difficult – we could have stayed a lot longer but we have our spring writing retreat to look forward to – so let’s start counting the days.

What get-away has given you writing time?

Where do you go?

With whom?

Good luck to my fellow NaNo participants.

 

 

Friday – A Relief But How Much Can You Cram in Over the Weekend..?


Friday

Friday is the day many of us yearn for all week – probably not the best way to live our lives when you think about it but there it is, the phenomenon that is the weekend versus the week day slog.

When we have a writing project and a full time job, the lure of our narrative is strong – in fact it can give us a real feeling of dissatisfaction with our normal routines. We ask ourselves why we are ‘wasting’ time on other things when all our muse wants to do is write. I have experienced this dilemma many times, as I’m sure have you. In fact, just this week, I managed to squeeze in two blissful three hour editing and revision sessions prior to evening meetings. The temptation to ‘skip’ the meetings was hard to resist but I did – I have another compulsion to stand by my commitments!

 So how do you balance the ‘real’ work week with your ‘writing wishes’?

Do you cram in as much as possible over the weekends, in defiance of chores, commitments or family?

It is not always easy to shut ourselves away with laptop or pen and paper. Our story’s characters chatter to us, ideas for the plot or next crucial scene emerge at the most inconvenient times. All of these add to our frustration but maybe it is best to understand our compulsion and make small adjustments to our routine to accompany them.

Can you get up earlier than the rest of the household or maybe stay up later?

Can you escape to the local library, cafe or park for a few hours?

Can you dedicate a period of time each weekday or weekend to writing, when your family will leave you alone? 

What strategies have you applied to help your writing schedule? Care to share?

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Quote – “You can’t write a novel all at once, any more than you can swallow a whale in one gulp. You do have to break it up into smaller chunks. But those smaller chunks aren’t good old familiar short stories. Novels aren’t built out of short stories. They are built out of scenes.”
—Orson Scott Card

So today’s prompt is? You’ve guessed it – an idea on making time to write.

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Juggling Family and Writing Commitments…


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Many of us have to juggle family commitments while writing. Finding the ‘perfect’ balance between the two is always a challenge. You may be in the depths of a scene when a small hand lands on your lap and pleading eyes look up at you. Can you delay the toddler’s wants for your own? Do you crumble and leave the narrative in the hope you will remember the details later?

No matter what age your children are or how involved your partner, there is always a demand for your attention. There will be times when you just want to immerse yourself in your creativity, undisturbed. These three blog posts cover some of the emotions and stresses felt. As well as tips on how to organize your time productively.

http://thewriteconversation.blogspot.ca/2013/07/prioritiesjuggling-family-commitments.html

http://itsjustalittlething.wordpress.com/2013/10/22/on-fighting-sentiment

http://thewritersalleys.blogspot.ca/2010/06/juggling-summer-days-and-writing.html

Juggling Summer

How do you manage to juggle your family life and writing life?

As your children become older, is it easier?

Can you rely on a partner, friend or family member to entertain while you write?

What tips can you share?

The Ideas Come – Sparsely or Densely…


Sparse – definition: not thickly or densely planted

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This post is, in some ways, a continuation of yesterday’s theme. When we are experiencing new places, people, cultures and the utter relaxation of a vacation, there is only a sparse amount of time, energy and actual willingness to distance ourselves from it all to write. The lure of vacation treats is strong – just go with it – refresh mind and body. I experienced this when I was in England. Apart from initializing pre-written and drafted blog posts once a day, I did no writing whatsoever for the whole two weeks. This is extremely rare for me but there was so much to enjoy and numerous people to see that it was not foremost in my mind. The bonus, of course, is the numerous photographs I took and events I experienced that can be incorporated into future projects.

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It is thought a ‘problem’ to have too many ideas – they densely populate our minds. Crowding out each other and jostling for attention. It can be frustrating when we are embroiled in a current project. We hastily jot down the details of the new idea, too frightened to leave it to chance that we will remember it later. This removes our mind set from progressing with our existing work, if only for a short time. These ‘breaks’ can either be a good thing – returning refreshed and with renewed vigor or a bad thing – lured into the new project and dissatisfied with the WIP.

How do you handle the sparse and dense periods of your writing life?

P.S. the top graph is for Chris McMullen who loves writing problems shown as mathematical problems! http://chrismcmullen.wordpress.com/

A Writers Bane…


Desultory definition : 1) marked by lack of definite plan, regularity, or purpose. 2) not connected with the main subject; 3) disappointing in progress, performance, or quality.

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Well this is certainly a word we can all relate to. In a perfect world we would be allowed to write, create and dream up our stories without interruption. But real life has a habit of intruding – laundry, housework, meal preparation, time with family…well you get the picture. I will admit there are times I just want to be left alone, in a Greta Garbo kind of way!

So let’s take each numbered definition at a time. Number one – lack of a plan, regularity or purpose. Whether a casual writer or a professional one, time to immerse ourselves in our creations is important.  To enable us to have that time we have to engineer ‘writing time’ in any manner that works within our individual life styles. Maybe, like me, you work full time, have children at home and a household to run. Where can you squeeze in writing? This is dependent on a great many things, such as the age of your children, how stressful your job is and how much ‘help’ you get from your significant other.  With careful planning and a schedule you can balance wants and needs. You may display a ‘do not disturb’ sign on the door of a room you can escape into, plug in head phones or leave the house altogether. Whatever works for you is best. The main thing is to have the understanding  of your family that ‘writing time’ is an important element in your life.

Number two  relates, I feel, to character building. As we delve into a new character and his or her struggles, we need a real sense of their character, likes and dislikes and how they would react to certain situations. If we cannot connect with them the plausibility of their reactions will suffer.  Whatever device works for you go with it. Character sketches, research into personality types or people watching are all great ways to know your character better. This will ensure whatever obstacles they come against their reaction and coping skill level will be believable.

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The last definition is one we all know and is related to our self belief in our abilities. We have all berated ourselves at one point or another when a plot does not work, a deadline is not going to be met or we are unhappy with how we have written something. Take heart in the knowledge that no-one is immune to these thoughts and feelings. Use your support system to help you. This might be your writers group, a mentor or a supportive family member, whatever or whomever it is don’t consider yourself alone. Reach out and bounce your ideas off them, receive their encouragement willingly. You may have to revise a character, a story line or perspective but you can do it – just believe your muse is with you.

Have you suffered with desultory feelings? How did you overcome them?

It’s Your Passion – Take Charge of It…!


Finding something that excites and engages you is a rare gift. For writers (published or not!) the ability to immerse ourselves into words and create entire worlds with them is truly wonderful. No matter which genre or genres you write, you are the creator, manipulating  characters, plots, story arcs and more. Techniques are as diverse as there are writers and authors. I free flow 90% of the time but planning your story has its merits as well as I am finding out with my latest project, Ockleberries to the Rescue. (The result of last year’s National Novel Writing Month challenge) Just remember to listen to that little voice; your muse; as stories can become an entity all their own, bringing new details, characters and story lines into play.

There are many of us who have to ‘fit in’ our writing time into day jobs, family life and other distractions but I have found if you ‘AVOWAL‘ your passion, you can organize proper writing time – more importantly uninterrupted writing time.

So for those of you who have not heard of the word AVOWAL – it is today’s desk calendar word. The definition is ‘an open declaration or acknowledgement’. May I suggest you declare your need for writing time and explain it isn’t a passing fad, a little hobby or unimportant. Time for yourself is important and given the opportunity it will make you happier and therefore make their lives happier. (It isn’t really blackmail – is it?)

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Another important part of a writer’s life is finding a group or writing circle, where you can share your passion, give and receive support and encouragement. My group has changed my life dramatically and I can say I will never leave! We have local but also virtual members, who are spread across Canada, America, Australia and Europe. Our web site gives everyone access to writing challenges, the opportunity to share our work, receive feedback and even has a  chat feature! http://www.wfscsherwoodpark.com

If you don’t have a circle or indeed would love to start one, may I suggest a couple of books to help you start?

http://www.dreamwritepublishing.ca/products/get-set-boost-your-writing-journey

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Take charge of your writing life…it is your creative outlet.