I saw a Twitter thread at the start of the year in which people were discussing the Ray Bradbury Challenge (I’m not gonna share it ‘cos I can’t find it… bad blogger alert, sorry), and it got me thinking. So naturally, I’m going to ramble on about it for a few hundred words or so.
The idea behind the challenge is that you write a short story ever single week for a full year, because it’s not possible to write 52 bad stories in a row. At some point, you’re bound to come up with a gem, right? Continue reading “Quantity or Quality in Fiction Writing?”
I’ve lost my writing mojo, and it’s been gone for a while.
It’s not that I’m short of ideas. I have pages and pages full of scribbled notes for stories I want to write, and stories that I genuinely feel excited about. I’m just not having fun writing them. Continue reading “I Lost My Writing Mojo”
Writing makes me miserable. But I do it anyway, because sometimes it’s just the tonic I need.
I’ve suffered from depression on and off since I was a teen. There have been moments where I’ve thought, “Shit, this thing is going to kill me,” and times where I’ve thought, “Wow, I’m so happy I can’t imagine I’ll ever be depressed ever again.” I was wrong on both counts. I’m still here, but I’m still working on my mental health every single day. Continue reading “Writing Makes Me Miserable: On Writing and Mental Health”
I’m currently querying my first ever novel. It’s stressful, to say the least. It feels like there’s so much at stake and the thought of getting it wrong is horrifying, never mind the fear that the book is just pure rubbish which no literary agent in the history of time would ever be interested in representing. Okay, we’re getting into rant territory now; focus, Ellie. Continue reading “What Querying Feels Like”
Do you like to listen to music while you write? I know some find it simply too distracting, while others need some background noise in order to focus. I’ve even come across folk who like to write in loud, busy environments like coffee shops or trains or planes, but I can’t imagine trying to concentrate with other people’s conversations going on around me. Personally, I do like a touch of music when I’m writing, but not while I’m editing. When editing, I need to completely focus on the words, and I find music, particularly music with lyrics, stops me from taking in every sentence and analysing it to the nth degree to check that it reads right. Continue reading “My Writing Playlist”
Hello? Is there anyone there?
These are two questions I’ve often felt of asking since I first started posting short stories and blogging with earnest here last August. Building an audience from scratch is hard work, and I’ve still got a long, long, long way to go before I’ll feel like I’m reaching a satisfying number of folk with my tall tales. However, over the past few weeks I’ve felt validated in my efforts, and it feels like the right time to reflect on the weeks I spent shouting into the void. Continue reading “Shouting Into the Void”
The second half of 2017 has flown by.
Why? Because I’ve actually being doing something with myself.
Actually, that’s a lie. In the first seven months of 2017 I was working, at a snail’s pace, on my novel, and hoping that maybe one day it would be done and maybe it would be good enough to approach agents with. But I wasn’t taking it all that seriously; it was just a bit of fun. Continue reading “2017 Roundup and 2018 Writing Goals”
“I’m not going to write today. I don’t feel like it. I’m not in the mood, and I can never write anything good if I’m not in the mood. I think I have writer’s block. There’s no point forcing it. I will just wait until inspiration hits me.”
Sound familiar? This drivel used to come out of my mouth at least once or twice a week. Sometimes it would occur every day for a fortnight. And then I created a schedule for writing short stories and everything changed. I learned the trick of forcing my creativity. Continue reading “Ignoring Writer’s Block & Forcing Creativity”
This time last year was around the time that I told myself “You’re gonna write a novel. And you can do most of the first draft during National Novel Writing Month.”
Oh, how naïve I was. It was at this same time that we planned to rip out our kitchen and fit a new one, and not once did my brain realise, while planning either the kitchen design or the novel, that it would be pretty tough to write 50,000 words in the same month as taking on a mammoth DIY project. Continue reading “I’m A NaNoWriMo Failure (Or Am I?)”
One of the first assignments I was faced with at university was to write an essay titled “Why I Write.” I did terribly. The essay was returned to me covered in the red ink scrawlings of a creative writing tutor who probably wondered why on Earth I had chosen to do a creative writing degree. In fact, at that moment, even I wondered why I’d chosen to do a creative writing degree. Continue reading “Why I Write”