Monday, 7 January 2013

Writing is the only profession...

Writing is the only profession where no one considers you ridiculous if you earn no money.
- Jules Renard
So the year has properly started – if you were fortunate not to go back to work last week - I am sure you are back now. And it’s difficult isn’t it? Working, getting rid of the festive fat and writing. You kind of look at the year ahead and if you are not in the right frame of mind you think: arghhhh another year to get through. Gosh that is so pessimistic – I must be suffering from SAD! Well I admit I felt like that on my first day of work when I thought – another year of trying to fit everything in. But then I went to creative meditation (see last post) and I discovered that it doesn’t always have to be go, go, go. I am making space for Calm!  I am also creating space in my life to achieve the things that I want to do. It’s all about the ‘just being’ and not about the ‘do, do, doing’. So in my last post I wrote out a list of things I want to achieve this year and today as I started thinking about these things I thought what can I share that has helped me improve my writing. Trust me my writing has come a long way since GT – you will see when I publish The Bittersweet Vine. But if you are looking to improve your writing (maybe that’s on your list of things to do this year) here is what I have done and I continue to do:

1) Read books of the genre you are writing. It’s inspirational and you can see what you like to read, the style etc. Of course you will have your own style but you should definitely write what you like to read.
2) Read books/articles about writing. For example Google the ten best writing blogs. Sign up for their newsletters and get their free e-book on some aspect of writing. There are some good ones out there- just click on the on-line resources label on this blog for some good recommendations.
3) Improve your knowledge. Yes Google is great on checking information but you cant beat a good reference book. If you are writing about murder etc – go and get a copy of forensics for dummies- unless you are a CSI.
4) Write…. Short stories, new novels, free writing (basically any words that come in to your head)
5) Observe. I only found this out at the end of 2012 – but keeping an observation, sights, sounds, smells book is a must for any writer. Because even if you have a great memory - just write feelings/observations down- you never know when you need to dip into the book!!! Do it
6) Pay-it-forward – I was overwhelmed by the number of people that bought GT when I first published it. So buy something one of your friends are selling- its tough out there and we all need a little help- it will come back to you. And if none of your friends are setting up businesses support local! Yes use the corner shop, visit the local butcher etc
7) And finally… and I say this whilst hanging my head in shame… brush up on your grammar. Yes this goes against everything I said two years ago but life is a journey, okay, and sometimes you learn along the way. I have learnt the hard way – that grammar is important. Yes I was ignorant to begin with but at least I found out. And it is never too late to learn something new.

So you probably know the above! If you don’t then yay for me because I hope with this blog I am helping writers… and another thing if you are thinking about writing…blog!!!! Just do it. It is liberating and you learn a lot along the way. Happy January everybody…. This year won’t be another slog because this year I know more than I did last year and I am learning to ‘just be’… this year is going to be a good year!