As much as we desire the truth about our writing it can be painful to hear the truth about our work. Of course, it can help us grow and become better, it how we learn and develop our craft. It’s a necessary part of the experience. If I’m being honest, I feel as though I’ve passed a benchmark in my journey, because I’ve dreamed of working with an editor, I just hadn’t expected such clarity from a brief one-to-one at a book fair.
Here’s a fun infographic poking fun at a writers experience of receiving critical feedback from an editor and the emotional process they go through. I hope you enjoy.
What have your experiences with editors been like? Good or bad, let me know if it helped you grow as a writer, you know I love hearing from you.
Thanks for stopping by, until next time, Much Love.
This post I’m changing pace and inviting you in for a friendly chat. So grab a cuppa and settle down. It’s all about workshops, writing groups, dreams and milestones.
Last week it was my birthday and I turned 40, it sounds old… it is old! To celebrate we had a much needed family holiday: Lots of riding bikes, swimming, crazy golf and a selection of rum based cocktails. Yum!
Now that I’m home, I’m reflecting and when I look back on my life I’m not disheartened. I’ve crammed a lot in: achieved and failed in incredible ways. And more important than the past, I still have dreams to fulfill.
Many of you already know of my goal to obtaining an agent for my debut novel, and although it’s had some great feedback it’s time to shelve that story and start afresh. So with the help of my awesome betas I’m changing the sequel into a standalone. Yay, beta’s!!!!
Thank you Ari Meghlen for your invaluable feedback on the opening chapters of Mischief and Mayhem.
In the next few month I plan to start the submission process again.
I’m surprisingly optimistic about this. I learnt an incredible amount from my first novel and who knows, maybe one day it will still be published. Statistics say that on average, an author get picked up by an agent on their third novel. It’s all about perseverance, which is why following your passion is so important. Slogging away at something for years with no recognition or validation is brutal. We need the fire and determination to keep going. Hopefully, you have a few cheerleaders to keep you going!
I’m currently halfway through Rebecca Alasdair‘s YA contemporary-romance novel, Holding Up The Sky. Its beautiful and heart-wrenching… I can’t remember the last time a book made me cry – In a good way. I’ve completely connected with her MC. Rebecca is still looking for beta’s, so if you’re interested pop over to her blog, she has all the details written there.
I’ve joined a friendly little group of like-minded entrepreneurs where I hosted a short talk about copywriting and persuasive writing. You can checkout my previous posts if you’ve missed them. Yes, I was nervous and my voice wobbled a little, but the group were engaged and seemed genuinely interested. I even had a well-timed laugh.
My writing group (there’s only three of us, shh!) is taking shape and we’re set to meet this month. And from those experiences the opportunity to hold my own writing workshops has presented itself. (Aah, run’s around screaming!) I’ll keep you posted with more news.
Exciting times ahead!
Thanks for stopping by. Do you have any news? If so, please share it. You know I love hearing from you.
Today I’m filled with appreciation and love for my fellow writers. All the bloggers, all the twitter writing community, my Facebook friends and my adorable Instagram peeps.
Wonderful people spread over many virtual places. But just because we aren’t connected in a skin and bones, face to face way doesn’t diminish the respect or gratitude I feel towards you all.
I know that we all take the risk as writers to bare our souls, to delve deep under the surface of emotions, to expose that which makes us human.
I’ve struggled this week with a chest infection and the knock on effect of poor mental health. I burrowed away with low energy, a rattling chest and crippling doubt.
Yet the inspiration and positive vibes from my community kept me strong and pulled me out the other side.
So thank you all.
Each week I get such a fantastic response from you all, you share your experiences, your views and most of all your personality. I owe you all my humble admiration and love. Because sometimes we need to simply spread the joy.
Keep dreaming and aim high.
Tell me about your week, how is the autumn season beginning for you. Much Love Xx
“The stories we tell literally make the world. If you want to change the world, you need to change your story.” — Michael Margolis
I often hear writers talk about how young they were when they started writing, how they’ve always been avid readers. And I admire them for that, but my journey was different. In the past, that cast a shadow over my confidence, adding to my writers fraud like complex. Oh my, I’m not a real writer… I haven’t been writing since I was five… or I didn’t complete my first MS at 16.
“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” — Maya Angelou
The first story I wrote was in junior school about an alien coming to earth. The story flowed; words filled the pages of my little red text book. The problem was, I couldn’t stop. I struggled to fit an ending into the alotted time of my English lesson. I remember rounding the story off with a blunt, awful ending. I felt defeated and decided I was a terrible writer.
As a teenager, I stuck to crafting cringe worthy pop rifts and filling journals with my darkest fears and faraway dreams. I didn’t once consider myself a writer. Yet I’ve always crafted stories. I’d stare off into space and daydream: Plotting, planning, defining characters and building worlds. I had no idea that I was writing stories in my mind. I had no need for pen or paper, because I was playing out the tales in my imagination.
“There’s always room for a story that can transport people to another place.” — J.K. Rowling
We have all lived different lives. Beauty doesn’t lay in the repetition of tales, it’s in the uniqueness. Never compare yourself to others, instead revel in your own journey. No matter how difficult or ordinary it may seem… there is splendour in each tale told.
“Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world today.” —Robert McKee
Tell my something about your life that’s special, extraordinary or perfectly simple. I’d love to get to know you a little better.
Until next time, thanks for reading and Much Love xx
I’m so grateful to all my followers and readers. I’m truly humbled by this fantastic community. You’re all supportive, encouraging and willing to connect. And that’s a big deal for me. I adore being an author, spending hours at a time immersed in my imagination, but it’s vital for my sanity to know that you guys are just a few clicks away.
Here are my top 3 blogging tips that have helped on my journey so far…
Consistency. Be realistic with how often you can post. It’s all well and good having the intention of posting 3 times a week, but if life gets in the way blogging will be the first thing to slip. So be honest about how much time you can dedicate. I knew that after family and work commitments my writing came next. That’s why I choose to post once a week and its been maintainable. It’s also been rewarding, beyond my wildest dreams. I’ve made some great friends like Ari Meghlen. Her blog is full of writing, blogging and platform building tips. Check her out.
2. Connect. This is a two-way network. So reach out to fellow bloggers. Read their posts and leave a comment, its more personal than simply liking a post. Although I love it when anyone clicks on the little star.
This week I’ve found two new beta readers K.M. Allen and Uninspired writers. Ladies, welcome to my realm. Take a look at their fantasic blogs full of writing tips.
3. Schedule posts. This tip is for me too. I really need to take my own advice. Organise post in advance. That way when something unexpected crops up, you’re covered. It’s easy to do: Open post settings. Under Status, click on the arrow next to Publish Immediately and a calendar opens up. Then you can set a date and time. When you’re happy with your choice hit the blue Schedule button and you’re all set.
Alternatively, why not re-blog one of your fellow bloggers posts. It’s a great way to stay consistent with your blog and helps to build connections with your bloggers.
Do you have any great tips to share? Let me know in the comments, you know I love to hear from you. Till next time, Much Love. Xx
I’ve spent the past week learning new payroll software, filing VAT returns, writing GDPR policies for my 3 businesses and redeveloping the website for my welding and fabrication business. YAWN!
During that time I’ve missed writing. And yes, my sanity has suffered for it. I’m amazed to discover that even editing my MS helps my anxiety and stops me from plummeting into depression. And the more of my blogging community I discover and supportive you all are, the less embarrassed I am about my Complex PTSD.
So, without further ado here are my top 5 writing essentials I need for working on my WIP.
Tea and lots of it. A good old fashioned mug of builder’s brew and the stronger the better.
Peace and quiet. I can’t write with people around and I don’t have the luxury of an office or even a desk. As there’s just no room in my bungalow. And so I’ve commandeered the dining room table, it’s home to an extension lead, work files, lots of USB sticks, many notebooks and two laptops. One has an antiglare screen for working on my MS and the other has all the tedious software for running the other businesses.
Music. I know I just said peace and quiet – I guess I meant people. I usually play the radio or music channel. Anything with upbeat tunes. I use it as a motivator and a way to cancel out the unnecessary chatter of my mind. It focuses me. I’m listening to Coldplay’s – In a sky full of stars. I get to channel my voice through words, while dancing in my seat. Life doesn’t get any better than this.
My dog. Pulling my attention away from my laptop and getting out in the fresh air is essential. It recharges my batteries and increases my creativity. Yes, I moan about taking my beagle Dexter out, but I always feel better for it. Particularly if I head to the beach or take a river walk.
Lastly, but most importantly is a functioning mind. I skirt a fine line between holding it together and tumbling into despair. And I can’t write when I’m depressed. While it’s not my fault I have psychological wounds or that I’m regularly triggered. Staying on top of the things that help me, is in my control. Things like, exercise, meditation, writing and therapy.
And I’m going to add a 6th. A cat because it’s finally time to bring another one into my life after losing Jasper. While I still hope he returns home, it’s been 8 months and this writer needs a kitten.
And so, there you have it. I hope you’ve enjoyed taking a sneak peek into my life. What’s your number one writing need. Share it with me, as I love reading about you too.
Its been a while since I was last nominated for an award, so thank you Taiwo @ stuffedshelves for nominating me this time. You brought a smile to my face 🙂 I love her blogging voice; you should check it out for yourself.
Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog
Mention the creator of the award and provide a link to their blog as well
Tell your readers three things about yourself
You have to nominate 10-20 people
Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog
Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice; with one weird or funny question (specify)
Share a link to your best posts
So, let’s get on with it!
Three Random Facts About Me!!
I can’t parallel park in town to pick up Chinese food. My husband thinks this is hilarious. I drive around to a quiet street to park. The idea of holding up traffic while I make a hash of my driving is terrifying.
I love to dance to R&B while I cook dinner. Trouble is I have no blinds in my kitchen so my neighbours can see.
I love Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga. I’m really flexible but have shockingly poor balance. Me and the tree pose do not get along.
Taiwo’s Questions For Me!
1. What’s the best thing that has ever happened to you?
Meeting my husband. With him I’ve conquereded two of my life goals, my children and owning our home. Now he’s encouraging and supporting me while I chase my dream to become traditionally published – Thank you hubby. My next goal is pitching to agents at a conference at Bloomsbury publishing house. How to Hook an Agent
2. What do you do apart from blogging? School, job, what?
I’m a partner in a welding and fabrication, I take care of all administrations. I’m a qualified landlord and have three tenants. I also write YA fantasy romance novels, the first is in the submission phase while I edit the second.
3. What’s your best season?
I have two, spring and autumn… not too hot, not too cold, but just right. At these times the forest colours, scents and sounds are amazing. It when I feel most alive.
4. What does your dream life look like?
To own a home in a secluded slice of Wales, continue to enjoy my family and friends and continue to write. One day I’ll be signing books alongside my favourite authors. *Waves at*Sarah J Maas, Neil Gaiman, Marissa Meyer and Lev Grossman. Check out some of my reviews.
5. If you could be an animal, which would you be?
A lioness, because the male thinks he’s king of the pride… but really it’s the female besides him.
I adore the magic of Christmas. The twinkling lights, the scent of pine needles and mulled wine. The opportunity to embrace all that I’m grateful for. Let me shine a light on some of the things that bring this wonderful season to life.
I love the idea of snow. To wrap up in thermal socks, gloves and a woollen scarf. Then head out with my children for a snow fight or to build a snowman. IF it snows, it rarely settles in my coastal town due to the salty air. Plus the reality is very different from the rosy nostalgia of my childhood. The wind bites my cheeks and my toes turn painfully cold. With soggy mittens I head back indoors, proving that my first favourite tradition is and always will be my home.
My second favourite tradition is family and friends. This year’s a stepping stone into a new era. It’s the twentieth Christmas without my mum. Since she passed away I’ve tried to provide an inviting, homely Christmas for my brother and sister. Along with the addition of my husband, two children and a lazy beagle. Recently I’ve severed relations with my toxic father, though he’s never had a roll in my festive cellebrations, the choice still lay heavy on my heart. Until I realised that I have always been the support system in my family. Nothing has changed. Except for the growth of self-respect and a new found empowerment that I had not expected to feel. I’m grateful for my family, the ones who love and respect each other. Whether blood related or not, they are the ones I bind my faith, and love in.
Finally my Christmas tree decorations. Not the process of dressing the bloody thing. That is a stressful event, fraught with nit picking and despair – that’s me – my kids insist on dressing the tree. Which is fine, I just rearrange the babbles when no one’s watching. My favourite tradition is the decorations themselves. It started after the birth of my daughter; I purchased a white rocking horse with babies first Christmas written across the flank. The collection has grown to include a Disney Stich wearing a Santa suit, a second rocking horse after the birth of my son, inherited glass Christmas trees from my nan, a selection of stars, reindeer and candy canes chosen by my children as they grew. I admit that I hide the garish green and red star at the back of the tree. Yet each one has a happy family memory, proving that negative family patterns can be changed. My safe, healthy family is proof of a better life.
I wish you all a very merry Christmas, full of magical memories, filled with laughter and love. Thanks for reading and don’t forget to share your favourite traditions with me.