All a Writer Wants for Christmas…

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An updated dictionary? A new laptop? A stylish writing desk? A comfy writing chair? A virtual assistant to help keep the virtual scraps of paper under control? If only it was as simple as wishing for our two front teeth. These days, with a quick trip to the dentist, it’s an entirely possible dream. Reference books, computers, furniture and PAs are just as achievable. But a writer’s wish list is a little harder to fulfil.

Time
When you’re working and raising a family and keeping a house clean and maintaining a network of friends and trying to find some you time amongst all that, trying to find some writing time can be near impossible. And if you’re confusing you time for writing time, then you’re doing either yourself or your writing an injustice.

Time is essential to writing and every writer wishes they had more of it. Continue reading

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I’m Running Out Of Ideas For Blog Posts…

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Over the past year and a bit since starting this blog, I’ve written a lot. At the beginning it was easy. I had so much material that had never been seen anywhere except writing classes and quite a bit more that had never been seen at all. Bit by bit, I would dole it out along with whatever else I came up with along the way.

I still have plenty of novel chapters, poems, song lyrics, creative pieces in reserve. But posting them all would be indulgent. So I try to sprinkle them sparingly throughout blog posts that offer something more to others who also write.

And I always have opinions, so a steady stream of articles and advice on writing and editing was the inevitable result. Until this month. The ideas boards were starting to get empty. The remaining ideas on them were starting to get less inspiring. I had to admit a hard truth. I was running out of ideas for blog posts… Continue reading

The Stories Around You, Stereotypes And What You Find When You Scratch The Surface

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For months now, the top of my ideas board has been occupied by the following yet to be explored (until now) idea for a blog post:

“Taking inspiration from the things you see around you every day (myself as murder victim or suspect – what could the police tell about me from my house?)”

For some reason, I kept focusing on the bits and pieces tacked to my refrigerator including photographs of and drawings by various nieces and nephews. And, of course, what these things say about me is that even though I’m single, I am part of an extended (and still growing) family and I am loved. But recently something happened that made me realise I’m too close to the subject matter. Not able to see the forest for the trees.

Because being an aunt is not my defining characteristic and upon entering my house in the event of my unnatural death or to arrest me for someone else’s, the fridge is not the first thing the police would notice.

No, the first thing they would notice is the nine cats. Continue reading

The Benefits Of An Ideas Board

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Ideas Board

I’ve written before about my ideas board. I’ve had it since July when I went out with the specific purpose of purchasing an actual whiteboard to replace the scraps of paper I was writing my ideas on and struggling to keep track of. It now has pride of place in my bedroom (where I do most of my writing); in fact, it’s sitting on a bedside table that is no longer at my bedside but between two windows across the room so I have a good view of it at all times. (There’s a lamp abandoned forlornly on the floor.)

As writers, we can sometimes lose sight of the little things that help make writing easier. My big picture was to write a lot of blog posts. But the small step of buying and implementing the ideas board is what has helped me to do it. Here’s why. Continue reading

Don’t I Know You From Somewhere?

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In some – but not all – books, a disclaimer appears in the first few pages proclaiming:

“All the characters in this book have no existence outside the imagination of the author, and have no relation whatsoever to anyone bearing the same name or names. They are not even distantly inspired by any individual known or unknown to the author, and all incidents are pure invention.”

But what if it isn’t true? Continue reading

The Ideas Generator

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I’ve posted previously on when inspiration comes to me and how I turn it into an idea for what to write about. But I know some writers still struggle when it comes to brainstorming for the next great story.

As I was trying to sleep one night (which is when almost all good ideas strike), I had an idea for how to generate ideas. It’s a seven-step process that can be applied to a lot of stories already out there, which is why I think it will work for developing new stories.

Continue reading

Inspiration

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Anyone who knows me will know I alternate between two social personalities when it comes to my writing. The first is a chatterbox who will go into exquisite (and sometimes exquisitely painful) detail about whichever piece of my writing I am chattering about. The other is a secretive scribe who resists efforts at engagement by family, friends and co-workers because I don’t want to bore people (which is what the chatterbox sometimes does). Continue reading