Finding a Writing Companion #writerslife

A writing companion is something I’d never really thought I needed. I always assumed that I’d end up chatting more than I’d end up writing. Here’s the thing though, I now don’t know what I’d do without my writerly friend.

When we first started talking she was a human I liked, but eventually I got to know her, and gradually we started to hold each other accountable for our work, chatted about our projects, and bounced ideas off each other.

If you are looking for a someone to write with here are a few things to look out for.

  1. Make sure you get along with that person, if you can’t talk to them normally, chances are you’ll end up offending or annoying each other when one of you is tired and unable to word things as delicately as you might otherwise do.
  2. Make sure you can handle criticism and dish it out. There’s absolutely no point in having a writing buddy if you’re just going to praise each other all the time, because you don’t learn from that.
  3. Listen to the advice that is given. You don’t always have to agree with it, but it can lead to you thinking about things in other ways and get a fresh perspective.
  4. Make sure you can actually work whilst you talk to them. If you’re chatting instead of writing, that’s missing the whole point of a writerly pal.
  5. Make sure that you work with someone you can say- I’m off to work now- and they will understand.
  6. Don’t use them as a one way advice machine. There has to be give and take, listen to them, help them without thought of reciprocation. A friend in need and all that.
  7. On the other hand, make sure you find a writerly pal that also lets you talk. It has to be a two way thing.

If your’e not sure that a writerly pal is right for you, here are a few unforeseen highlights.

  1. You have someone to share all the highs and lows of writing with, especially when you’re at a point where you can’t tell the world what you’re up to- having someone you can tell is liberating.
  2. You get excited for their successes. It’s nice to see friends succeed generally, and when they can tell you their successes you end up being genuinely chuffed for them. Especially since the chances are you will have been with them throughout their journey.
  3. Friendship. You may have good friends, best friends, and partners, but a writerly friend is ALWAYS happy to talk about writing and books. You don’t have to worry about boring their pants off, but they are just as nerded out by the whole thing as you are.
  4.  When you don’t want to write, or feel you can’t, a writerly pal can help you get back on the writing horse. You will have to do the same for them, but in the end you bolster each other

I cannot overstate how nice it has been to get to know my writerly friend. Cheers Melfka!

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Writer’s Fatigue- Taking a break from your WIP and getting back to it.

General fatigue, and an increase in activity for my day job, (like somehow I night light as a writer, as if it’s a super power, and I’m a caped crusader) has halted my writing for some time now.

I have decided that this week I will to leap, or at least belly flop and scramble, back onto the proverbial saddle.

Luckily I left past me some notes so I know where to take off from, the trouble is that stepping away from a wip and coming back to it, sometimes my writing style has changed. It usually depends on what I’m reading as to how it’s affected. At the moment it’s Harry Potter, so my writing becomes a little playful, if it’s sci fi or fantasy I tend to zoom in on the scenery. Unfortunately if I’m reading a book that’s not as well written as as it could be I sometimes catch myself straying into some of the habits I’ve read.

If that is the case I have to stop reading that particular book.

It’s not so bad if I’ve been working on a story for a while, I can get into the feel of it pretty quickly, but after having stepped away I’m more susceptible to these outside influences.

Of course there are upsides, I’m more alert to flaws that I may have missed by proximity, but by and large it’s a bit of a struggle to get back into a story sometimes.

What tricks do you have for getting back into your writing stride?

My Penmanship Sucks #writerslife

My penmanship is so bad I once spent an enjoyable afternoon coming up with ways to describe it with a friend. Alas, I can’t remember any of the terms, but there you go.

I have no excuses, although this post delves in to some excuses I might make, I have no injuries to explain my poor calligraphy, unlike the lady I got this topic from (Shannon A Thompson)

When I was at school I used to write so small my English teacher would complain she couldn’t read it, so I had to learn to write larger. Beforehand I’d thought my writing looked rather neat. Once I started to increase the size of my writing however, I realised that my handwriting had in fact not been neat, it had just been too small to tell how bad it was. I’d say I must have been writing in font size 6. Anything would look neat at that size.

I’d also learned to write joined up, because that was the fashion at the time. Another habit I had to kick later on, when I found out that it ‘was not the done thing’.

From time to time I feel like I need to improve my writing and, if I try very hard, I can make the individual letters look nice, but the whole effect looks childlike because it’s inconsistent.
It doesn’t really matter because I don’t write very much, most of my writing is done on a keyboard. Now my hand begins to cramp up fairly rapidly when I put pen to paper, and my thoughts flow too fast for my hand to keep up, which means my scribing will often start out fairly neatly and quickly dissolve into an illegible scrawl.

I may just go back to joined up writing, to find my style again, after all, there’s no teacher going to tell me off for it now.

On Waiting for Feedback *bites nails* #writerslife

I have one book finished!

I finished it last year, and I should have celebrated, but it’s finished with pending edits. I’ve been waiting for other half to give it a friendly read, and last week he put it on his kindle.

It’s a lot of self control to not bombard him with questions, but has been reading it and says he’s enjoying it, so yay!

Now all that needs to happen is for a) for him to finish reading it and b) for time to miraculously appear so that he can reread it on a word doc and edit it, so I can move on to the next phase- working through his edits, and then the one after that- getting other people to read it for the test phase.

Still, it’s another hurdle being hurdled.

How do you deal with your waiting for feedback nerves?

The Joy of Words- Cellar Door

logolepsy, graphic design, heart, word obsession, writing obsession, reading obsession, love of words

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about words, and not in the “I’m editing a book ” sense but words that bring me joy to hear.

My favourite word is Phenylalanine (Pronounced Fen E La La Neen), it’s an amino acid. I can’t remember which one, but it’s just such a fun word to say out loud.

Also, ever since someone said these are the most romantic sounding words; Cellar Door.
It’ll take a mo to appreciate it, but once you think about it it’s kind of a beautiful thing. It just rolls off the tongue, and invokes such vivid imagery. It’s one of those innocuous ones that you don’t tend to think about until someone points it out.

The last one is Cardigan, but only after hearing a Portuguese woman repeat it with such delight, she rolled the r and gave it such a joyful lilt  it sounded much more exciting, I’d previously thought of it as a rather stuffy word, but now I can’t hear it any other way, and it always makes me smile.

Which words bring you joy?

logolepsy, graphic design, heart, word obsession, writing obsession, reading obsession, love of words

Logolepsy- An Obsession with Words- http://bit.ly/2hkjDzR

First Post of 2017

typography, graphic design, glasses, graphic design, geek

 

I wasn’t going to blog for a while, but today I needed too, just for the sheer heck of writing. My WIP isn’t going to be finished for some time and it’s all editing, I love the story, but sometimes it’s just nice to write for the sake of seeing new words.

So, whilst I’m here I might as well tell you my PLAN. I PLAN to stop creating art for the time being, in order to practice some more. I have a load of ideas, but I want to refine my skills before I take them any further.

I also plan to finish my fantasy WIP this year, it won’t be published, not until at least two of the three main books are written. (That’s three central books, and seven books in total that will precede and come after the main three)

Why not just start from the beginning you may ask, well, there is a reason for that,  not a very good one I’ll admit, but I’ve only recently formed the idea for the others, and the first of the main three is nearly written, so I don’t see any reason to drop it to start from the beginning.

So that’s my PLAN, loosely anyway, I’ve set myself goals, and a to do list and everything.

Wish me luck, and see you on the other side!

Thwarted by Foliage- World Building.

A Wave of Purple Flowers http://bit.ly/2bU0i8g

A Wave of Purple Flowers http://bit.ly/2bU0i8g

This week I sank my teeth back into editing, as much as I like the process, tightening up sentences, killing off unnecessary words, seeing my story come to life, there are times when Aaaaaaarrrrrghh!

My Aaargh moments are usually about plant life. In my WIP there are woods nestled at the foot of a mountain range, I dislike conifers, so I’ve tried to steer away from them, but in so doing I’ve made life harder for myself. I would have given up on the idea of avoiding conifers if my MC didn’t need to hide so much. Conifers generally make the soil acidic and there’s very little growth underneath them.

I had to do a lot of research about the types of trees and shrubs that would survive in mountainous area. I also needed to find trees that would provide cover to hide in. All of this is a bit headache inducing, so I didn’t edit as much as I had planned, but it’s more info to add to the world building guide, so there is that.

Luckily I have friends on the webs who have been kind enough to throw information my way.

Thank you internet friends!

World Building- How to and What do?

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I’m scaring myself this week with being organised. I finally got fed up with having scraps of information scattered around in word docs, and so I decided to amalgamate them into an… *drum roll* excel spreadsheet!

That’s right, all my character descriptions, time lines, sayings, history, and general world building will now be in one single excel spreadsheet, spread over several pages.  Not a medium you’d perhaps thought of using for world building, but it seems to be working.

It means I don’t have to have umpteen word docs open that I have to scroll through, it means I can easily search for the info I’m looking for, easily reacquaint myself with my story after the long breaks, which seem to accompany my writing. I can use hyperlinks and colour coding, I know right? The utter excitement.

However, once I have the spreadsheet set up I can make it blank and save it out for other projects.

The story I’m using it for is a trilogy with two spin off stories, and putting this sheet together has given me an idea of how to write the sequels I’ve had in mind. So it’s already been worth the time to construct it.

It’s also helping me stick it all together so that the world won’t be inconsistent.

What world building methods do you use?

 

A week in Art- When Life Happens and Art Doesn’t

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This week, well this week didn’t go according to plan creativity wise.

Life took an unexpected turn and creating things took a back seat. This is not a bad thing; life does happen, and this week was fun, so there are no complaints from me. This week has been a bit of an unplanned holiday for me, and I think I needed it.

Still, I didn’t get nothing done.

I have written a two and a half thousand word halloween story that has been submitted to an anthology.  I don’t know if it’s been accepted yet, but if it does get rejected I’ll publish as part of a book of short stories.

Society6 have had a revamp of their website, so a lot of my free time was spent rejigging, repricing, and reorganising existing art work. Unfortunately now their graphics are glitching, so I have to wait for them to finish troubleshooting before I feel safe touching anything else.

A lot of people say you need to create something every day, write every day, draw every day, but it’s not a luxury that many people can adhere to, life just happens.

In fact it’s not really all that good for you to never take a break. Even if it’s something you love to do, if you need to take a break from it, do.
There’s nothing that can kill a passion for something quicker than forcing yourself to work on something when you’re not in the mood.

Yes, it  feels good to break through writer’s block, and you’ll feel impatient to do it, but if you’re blocked, take a break, come back to it refreshed, and then try again.

Writing is Weirdly Like Knitting

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Image from mauriceangres on Pixabay

So I was having a conflab with Melfka, and something weirdly accurate came of it, so here is our reasoning as to why writing’s like knitting.

Me: I think writing’s like trying to untangle a pile of wool. There’s a ball in there somewhere, you know there have to be two ends, but it takes some doing to find them, and hell of a lot more time to detangle it.

Melfka: and often you just cut a piece out of the middle.

Me: And then, for some unknown reason, you end up with six balls of wool of slightly different types.  Two of them are smaller balls, not quite useful to make it by themselves, but may one day be used for something. The rest are neatly coiled and stare at you, daring you to try and knit with them.

Melfka: Yuuup. Also, that scarf you were making, turns out to have become a hat in the process.

So there you have it, writing is like knitting.

Thoughts?