Friday, 17 April 2020

A new book

In these days of Coronavirus, the support and camaraderie of friends and colleagues is invaluable, and I've been blessed with more than my fair share. I'm relatively lucky work-wise, being a freelancer who operates from home most of the time anyway, but my sympathies go out to those in less certain circumstances.

Writing is, of course, a very solo occupation but in these unsettled days, when people are dying daily and everyone's life is turned upside down, it has become almost a life-line. I've taken a lot of heart and encouragement from the emails of writing friends and the network of writers on social media sites like the RNA Facebook page. At times like this, social media really does what is is supposed to do - connecting people in a positive and healthy way by sharing stories that keep us optimistic and hopeful that this will be over sooner rather than later and that life - and writing - will be back to normal.

One of the positive things for me personally to come out of the lock-down are Joanne Grant's editorial coaching videos, which she is running every Monday morning on Facebook throughout April. Having been in the doldrums for several months and wondering where my writing is going, if anywhere, I tuned into the first session and found it really helped to focus my thoughts and intentions.  Just writing down the weekly goals Joanne asks us to set ourselves and thinking about the tips she gives got me out of the stupor and back into the study.  The result being that I began a new book this week and, for the first time in a long time, feel very excited about my characters and their story.

I don't know where this book will end up yet or whether it will be my first foray into self-publishing, but just getting up in the morning and sitting down to writing, however little - and it is very little at this stage - makes the whole day better.

How are you coping with writing in the lock-down?

Keep safe and well xx

Sunday, 22 March 2020

Light and Dark

It is ironic, that with the lovely spring weather arriving at last, so does Covid-19.  And it's not just ironic but idiotic and incomprehensible that yesterday Snowdonia saw its highest recorded visitor figures ever!  Other tourists spots in Britain, like Cornwall and Scotland, and seafronts everywhere, are also being inundated by visitors, who haven't quite got the message it seems. Being stoic is one thing; but selfish and stupid quite another. Coronavirus is here, it's spreading and it's a killer, so stay at home people and help keep those who are less resilient among us safe!

Granted, self-isolation isn't much fun but there's nothing wrong with enjoying the sunshine in your own garden or taking a walk in your own neighbourhood, maintaining a safe distance, which I've just done today.  The sun does make things seem less dark, and seeing nature blooming all around is a reminder that life continues in its cycle. This pandemic will pass eventually and life will get back to normal.  Until then, stay well everyone xx

Sunday, 19 January 2020

New Decade, New Direction?

It was a lovely clear, crisp and sunny afternoon today in the Dyfi Valley, so I ventured out for a walk, following a part of the Wales coastal path.  The sun was warm on my back and there were hardly any people around, just the sounds of the waders and geese across the river on the RSPB wetlands of Ynys Hir.

I do love this time of year - at least when the weather is like it is today - because January heralds the start of a new year and all the possibilities that holds.  And 2020 is particularly significant as it is a new decade and a good opportunity to look back over, not just one year, but ten years and see how far we've come, or not!

Sitting here now, looking at a spectacular sunset, I am thinking a lot about my writing and how that has fared over the last decade. The rejections, of which there have been plenty; the 'almost theres', of which there have been some; the beginnings of books which, initially so promising, never got beyond three chapters; and the industry one-to-ones, which veered between encouragement to indifference; and at the end of it all, publication seemingly as far away as it's always been.

It's all part and parcel of the life of a writer, of course, but sometimes, inevitably, we look back, take stock, and wonder if we're on the right track at all. Happily, nothing is ever wasted in the business of writing and growing as an author is part of the wonderful journey towards that hoped for publication contract.  Overnight successes are as rare in writing as in any other career but, even after twelve years of writing, giving up isn't an option.  Perhaps a new direction might be the way ahead for 2020?