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”
I kicked off 2018 with some banging books. Let’s dig into ’em! Continue reading “January Reads”
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”
Oh, Christmas. You’re a wonderful thing but you’re also bloody tiring and, quite frankly, thank fuck you’re over with so I can get back to my usual routine of reading all the things and writing all the things.
I managed to find a reasonable amount of time for reading this month and it was much-needed after last month’s paltry Reads. I’ll just jump right in, because I’ve read some cracking books over the past few weeks! Continue reading “December Reads”
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”
This month’s reading list is a little lacklustre because I only managed to read one book (“And you call yourself a writer and a book-lover, how dare you?!” I KNOW). Thanks to NaNoWriMo and a very busy work month, I’ve pretty much been shackled to my keyboard and it’s been hellish. But the book I did read was a bloody big ‘un – Stephen King’s It. There be spoilers ahead. Continue reading “November Reads”
“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 month I finally finished the mammoth task of redecorating my living room, a chore which had been ongoing since… well, so far in the past that I can’t even remember when we started. July? June, maybe? A fireplace was removed, ceilings were plastered, walls were painted multiple times, a new floor was laid, doors were hacked down, light fittings were replaced and many frustrated tears were shed. Continue reading “October Reads”
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?)”
I’m not one for writing detailed book reviews, but I do like to keep a note of the books I read so that I can make recommendations to anyone who is looking to get stuck into a new book. I must admit, I’m not exactly keeping tabs of the latest bestsellers and I have a to-read list as long as my arm (or twice as long, at least), so many of these will probably be old news. Nonetheless, these monthly instalments can be a record for me, if nobody else, and if I help you to pick out your next book then all the better.
Here’s a roundup of the fiction I lost myself in as summer turned to autumn and the weather became decidedly chillier. Continue reading “September Reads”