a little encouragement
When I first started writing, I published a blog on my website. It helped me to reach out to new readers, was somewhere to organise my thoughts and, in the process of writing them, I found renewed enthusiasm and inspiration. However, time soon became a constraint and it became harder and harder to keep it fresh and updated. There's also nothing worse than seeing a blog which is woefully out of date. I decided, therefore that it had to go, but I didn't want those posts to disappear completely so I've reproduced a few here, as well as other articles I've written over the years.
Some are thoughts I had about certain aspects of writing, while others chart my own personal writing journey which began in 2014 when I self published my first book, Letting in Light. Letting in Light (or Lil as she is affectionately known) was the book I had waited years to write. It was also the book which took years to write as I did so in the moments between working full time and looking after three small children. However, it was also a book which secured me an agent and my first publishing contract. The rest, as they say, is history. Now, some twenty or so books later, I still find it hard to believe I'm able to write full time, earning my living from my work. Reading back over some of these posts has been fun, revisiting my younger self and what I was thinking, but also seeing my struggles as I journeyed along the path to publication. Someone once told me to celebrate every success and it was good advice. Despite being one of the best jobs there is, writing is a hard business but I wanted to include this selection of posts as proof that if it can happen to me, it can happen to you.
Wherever you are on your writing journey, keep going!
in praise of our seasons
For weeks the early morning air has greeted me with varying degrees of heat – mostly warm, various degrees of cloud – mostly clear, and varying degrees of wind – mostly calm, but every day the air has brought with it the gentle caress of summer. Then suddenly, today, there is the first tang of autumn.
the pure alchemy of words
Once upon a time there were no written words. Imagine that. Imagine how scary that would be? No words, none at all, on anything. No books, no song lyrics, no signs, no instructions, no letters, no emails, no Christmas cards. Think of your life and take out all the written words in it, what a different place it would be.
That’s what my writing life is, precious time. Like a lot of other writers, my writing has to fit around being a wife, a mother of three teenagers, and (up until now) working full time. My mother-in-law also lives with us. I get up at six every morning and leave the house just after half seven; I’m at my desk for eight. My lunch hour is a sandwich at my desk, and when I get home, after I’ve cooked the tea etc etc etc, there’s not much of my brain left to be honest.
I've always been fascinated by perspective. Not in the way an artist might be, but the way two people can look at a situation, or scene, book etc and see completely different things. Sometimes it can lead to misunderstandings, and learning of another’s differing perspective can also be quite challenging, particularly when you have already formed an opinion on something. Your original view of it becomes altered and you can never look at it again in quite the same way.
turn towards the sun
I’m writing this post on the 16th January, a day that co-incidentally is the one-year anniversary of my becoming a full time writer. Yes, one year ago today, I gave up the security of a well-paid, full time job and became self-employed. I swapped my suits for jeans, comfy tops and fluffy socks and took the plunge. So, one year on, how did I do?
my personal writing 'rules'
I love reading about the writing routines of other authors, seeing what works for them and what doesn’t. And the more I read, the more I realise how different we are and that one person’s tried and trusted methods are not a great fit for someone else. In fact, it seems as if the only rule is that there are no rules. So, naturally, here are a few of my ‘rules’ – things that are important to me. Some I’m very strict about, and others are simply things I try to bear in mind.
feeling rejected, actually no!
Those of you who are regular readers of my blog will know that in the middle of April I talked about my options as a writer after receiving a glowing report from my submission to the Romantic Novelists' Association New Writers' Scheme. I discussed my thoughts on how I felt about the whole traditional publishing versus self-publishing dilemma. Today, roughly one month later I thought I'd give you an update and a little insight into where I am now.
one week to go
It's Sunday evening as I write this and you know what that means… that familiar sinking dread you get the night before you have to go back to work on Monday. Except that next Sunday I'm hoping it will be noticeable by its absence.
let the music play on
Feel it in your heart and in your soul… Apologies if you now have the Lionel Ritchie song, All Night Long, in your head as accompaniment to everything you do today, but that in itself makes my point very well - that music has an extraordinary ability to stay with us, to be a part of us, it’s a very powerful thing.
keep your eyes open
I often joke about my book characters, saying I worry they’ll go off and find a proper writer one day because it takes me so long sometimes to get their story down. Although it’s a somewhat flippant comment, there’s a very real truth in this statement – that I view my characters as real people. They
to free, or not to free
So just over a week ago I scheduled a KDP select promotion and gave my book away for three days. Was it worth it? Yes, yes, yesss! In fact, yes with bells on, with knobs and whistles on, in fact, yes with extra cream, marshmallows and sprinkles on. It was that good.
So this was me on Thursday of this week. Well, not exactly… but in my head I was, turning cartwheels one after another down the street, accompanied by loud music and fireworks. And the reason for all this joyful outpouring? I need to take you back a few weeks…
So the New Year is well under way, and like most writerly folk I’ve given some thought to my aspirations and plans for the coming year. But rather than going with an outright resolution as in, I will write 2000 words a day, or, I will file all my tax receipts properly and not just throw them on my desk, I decided I wanted to focus on something a little broader. So I’ve decided that I want to be more flexible.
it's national libraries week
This week is National Libraries Week, and what better way to show your love of libraries than to write a book about them… So I did. I’ve been quite vocal in the past about my love of libraries.
my bookouture dream
Today, was the day I've been waiting for for a very long time… Those of you who have read previous posts will know that last year wasn't a great one. It was hugely emotional for many reasons, but through it all I was determined that the one thing that shouldn't