Friday, 17 February 2012

Writing habits - how have you done?

So, how have you been going with your writing habits? Have you got rid of the bad ones and improved the good ones? Here is how I am getting on. The bad news is that I still can't resist checking Smashwords to find out how many people have downloaded The Railway Angel. (Looked on there before coming here - it was 1212). I keep telling myself that to see it going up still spurs me on to keep writing the other Angel stories, as the readers might like that one enough to want more. (I happen to know that the reviewer on Amazon does want more). Excuses, excuses I know.

The good news is I am reading something to do with writing before I write/type, which puts me in the mood to get on with things. I was reading a writing magazine that that didn't last long. Now I am reading something v exciting. Alex Ryder Mission Files. If you want to read something to help you world build, then this book is the thing. It has documents detailing histories of the villains, drawings of the equipment and facilities that the villians had created. I've not finished this yet, but it is great to read. I think once that is finished, I will go through all my reference books and start reading those again. Anything to do with writing will get me in the right frame of mind to write.

Next time I will ask about goals.

Friday, 10 February 2012

Writing habits - Masterclass Part 2

After we had a cup of tea/coffee, I had tea which I don't normally have but it was cold and I needed a hot drink, we went back to work. We got to writing about unhelpful and helpful habits. FB was mentioned a lot, as it would. Bekki said if that is your unhelpful habit then to write down why you go on it. Helpful habits came first. Here is mine: I write down weekly/monthly goals in a pad, I have a pen and pad by my bedside, I have a pen and pad wherevere I go, I visit the WG2E blog every day and comment on it. So, what helpful habits do you have, that you think help with your writing. Then we had to write a list of who/what helps you with your writing: For me it was the WG2E team, the RNA and their meetings, SCBWI and their meetings and maybe my mum. What was more money.
Then on to unhelpful habits. My bad habits were FB, reading mags/papers, going into Smashwords every day to see how many people have downloaded my ebook, procrastination - reading stuff that isn't about writing before I want to write and makes me bored. Distractions were my mum, TV, stressful situations, email and bed.
Then we were told there are four types of habits: self-doubt, timebased, habits and fears.

Then we had to go into pairs again and give each other suggestions on how to help ourselves out of our bad habits. I suggested to Donna to have a mascot that is a reminder of her writing that she could see first thing in the morning. I have my little angel on my computer. Donna suggestion for me was to either write in the morning as I usually write after lunch when I start getting tired, or read something else other than papers after lunch. I have started to read writing magazines after lunch. I think I will get an ereader and read on that after lunch, to get me in the mood.

Then we had to write obstacles to our writing. Mine was appointments and Mum needing help. Then we had to write a list of positive goals. Ie I will... Mine starts: I will read ms after lunch, I will start a diary of my main character, I will read other things later. Then I had written down that I have to tell Mum what I want to do and why.

The last thing was a list of what can help me. I have a diary/lists, FB/Ning and triggers (like my angel). All in all it was v useful and reminded me of my goals and why I write. I keep saying this to myself and I will tell Mum why I want to write when I do. Thank you, Bekki.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Masterclass on Motivation

On Saturday, in the cold weather, I went to a workshop by Bekki Hill, a trained life-coach and fellow SCBWI author. While waiting for our lunch to warm us up, she got us writing straight away. We had to write 100 goals, and if we couldn't do that, 40. We had a slide prompt that we could split the goals into parts of our lives eg writing, personal, leisure and health. Most of my goals were to do with writing. Here are a few of mine: to be known for my YA and romance fiction, to somehow make a living from my writing, to lose weight and keep it off, to exercise more. Then came lunch, which was v welcome to us all. I had grilled chicken, tomato and chips. Our next exercise was to write three goals that we wanted to achieve from our writing (I think that was it, it looks like it from my notes). Here are mine for example: What writing means to me - more friends and something to take me away from difficulties at home. What projects I want to do: YA fantasy series x 2, romance series, romantic suspense novels and my squirrel book. I want to find more time to write, write in different genres on different topics and blog more, and go to more meetings. I would love to do author visits. At the moment I have done library events and blogs.
We had to write three major goals we wanted. They had to be personal (I), precise (I am). Her are mine: I am writing YA fantasise, I am already mentioning it. I am writing romance series and am member of RNA. I write letters to magazines.

Then came values. There are internal values such as honesty. And external ones like expectations and money. Now we had to match our goals and values, to see if they did go with each other. My reply was yes. Goal 3 matched my value of it be something I can do and be known for. Goals 1 and 2 matched the value of entertaining readers and educating them. Giving me pleasure to do so, and it takes me away from home life. I think this exercise came after the one where we had to go in pairs and ask each other what values we had for our writing. Questions such as what do you enjoy most out of writing. What do you want to achieve from writer. What is important to you as a writer. My answers (written by Donna Vann) were: Enjoy: going into another world and creating characters. It's something I can do and be known for. Want to entertain and educate readers, get them thinking about what's going on in the world and what to watch out for. It gives me pleasure and contentment. Being able to help others understand what I write. Most important is pleasure as it takes me away from home life and situations there.

Then we had to write our reasons to want to achieve. Mine: recognition, pleasure and fulfilment. What we thought it added to our life: Security, knowledge I can do something for someone else. Contentment I can give pleasure to adults and children. What do we think it will not achieve and detract from our lives if we don't write: unfulfilment, unhappiness and boredom.

My drives for writing are: Recognition and fulfilment.

So what are your writing goals and values? Let me know Next time I will talk about writing habits, good and bad.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Bird watching

That's the feathered variety, I mean. I am coming in late with this one but last weekend was the RSPB Big Garden Watch, where you looked out for birds in your garden or where you were and recorded it on the website. I did look out but didn't see as many birds as I usually see. Through the back patio doors I saw a robin and a couple of coal tits as I had my breakfast. I usually see more birds than this that time of the morning.

I do write about what birds I see in my garden, for a small press magazine called Creature Features. As well as a series about an unlucky squirrel and an adventorous kitten. The features on the birds is called 'Feathered Friends', and I have recently written a couple of pieces that I need to read through then email the editor with. If you want to see what I have written on birds then I can always add these to my website, which I keep forgetting to update. Just let me know.

Next week I will be writing about goals, values and habits, all that I learnt about in a workshop yesterday.

Friday, 3 February 2012

RG2E launch

Wednesday was the launch for the Readers Guide to Epublishing website, and it is going great so far. The idea was to attract readers to our indie ebooks and give advice and ideas and prizes to readers out there who want to read ebooks. This week they are giving away free ebooks, and I am one of the lucky ones who won an ebook. The showcase lots of genres, from YA (that will be me) to romance, to mystery and scifi. I can't wait to see what else they have to offer everyone, and look forward to becoming a bigger part of the team there.
RG2E is the sister site to WG2E, which is for writers, and I am a member of the team there, too.

So, if you love reading ebooks, and want to find out what else there is out for esp from us indie authors, then drop along to and see for yourself.

Go check it out. You never know, you could comment and win an ebook.