Happy ‘Bit After Easter’ everyone…

I never know what to call this part of the calendar. What’s happening next? Where do we go from here? The religious ones amongst us will probably be tutting, and shouting ‘Pentecost’ at their screens but although I’m no slouch when it comes to Godly things, somehow, a writer needs something more descriptive to sum up the next few months, when everything starts to seem possible after the long, dark winter and even the rejection slips don’t seem so bad. The Romaniacs are asking for your help here, so put on your thinking caps and give us your words of wisdom…
It’s a strange time of year. I’m writing this on Sunday night, so writers who are also parents will be sending the little treasures back to the chalk face tomorrow for a reality check and might be dancing a happy jig at this moment. The thought of a peaceful house and the chance to be at the computer/notebook for more than ten minutes without the need to whip up endless snacks and drive around the countryside as chief entertainments officer is bliss. The rest of us will probably also have at least a touch of spring fever. It might only show itself in a vague tendency to feel new term-ish and sharpen pencils, or the urge to clean out the odd cupboard or even in the need to run around the garden throwing things into the brown bin and muttering ‘Delphiniuns? Geraniums?’ under your breath. It could be more serious and involve B&Q, turps and swearing.
Whatever you call this slice of the year, it’s usually a time of new beginnings. So why am I still sitting here at my writing table, surrounded by heaps of paper, having just poured a beer when I vowed to make my body a temple for the next, erm…week or so? With this problem in mind, here are some of our top tips for seizing the moment and kick-starting your spring writing programme:

Step One:
Clear your desk. Yes, the whole lot. That means everything off, a can of Pledge at the ready and a brutal glint in your eye. Only put back what you need – the other essentials can go somewhere handy, maybe in a drawer or in a basket under the desk. The sight of that bare surface smelling of polish…oooh, I’ve gone all peculiar.

Step Two:
But some new stationery. It might be a set of gorgeous felt tips to help you make notes and to plan your WIP, or a crisp notebook to jot down your latest brainwaves and inspirational lines. Put the pens in a fabulous chunky pot on your (newly cleared) desk. Take a photo. You’re well on your way now.

Step Three:
Sort out the files on your computer so that your WIP is the handiest to find, and any unfinished pieces are easily get-at-able. Then you can sit down and begin immediately at the next window of opportunity. Oh, get me – more cheesy by the minute. But a well-organised documents section will make you feel very smug. In a good way.

Step Four:
Make a list of all the writing tasks you’d like to complete in the next few weeks/months. Check out competitions for short stories, poetry, novels online and in magazines. Someone has to win. Maybe it’s you this time? No, not maybe – of course it is.

Step Five:
Be adventurous. Try a different genre – whack out a poem or two, have a go at something you’ve never tried, even if you’ve always thought it wasn’t your style.

Step Six:
Get yourself some writing support. It could be a writers’ group near you, an online forum, or a group of like-minded friends. If you can’t find one, think about starting your own. If we can do it, anyone can! Whichever way you do it, the right sort of writerly friends can keep you on track, give you a kick up the backside when necessary and love you even when you think everything you’ve ever written is a complete waste of space.

What are your own tried and tested tips to start the spring writing programme?

And please – does anyone have a better name for ‘That Bit After Easter?’

Celia x

8 thoughts on “Happy ‘Bit After Easter’ everyone…

  1. oooh the writing spring clean, I like this! I am allowing myself to skip most of your steps for now as we’ll be moving house and all the cleaning, tidying and DIYing will come my way naturally and inevitably from June, but I love the idea of the computer reorg. X Great post, as always! 🙂

  2. Thanks, Nicky, you sound as if you’ll have your hands full soon? Hope all goes well with the hammering, scrubbing and slapping on of paint! xx

  3. I need a spring cleaning fairy. Mine went on strike and I can’t clean desk until the rewrites are finished. And in 3 weeks (when I hopoe to be finished) I’m not sure what season it will be. Will follow the tips then.

    Catherine x

    • Hi Catherine – the spring cleaning fairy’s nowhere to be seen here either. Will let you know when I find her! C xxx

  4. Hi Celia, this made me smile – yesterday I bought geraniums and started clearing the garden! Oh, and I love that it’s the time of year to buy new stationery… x

    • Maybe a new pencil case? A weirdly-shaped pencil sharpener? Happy gardening, Elle – thanks for dropping by, C x

  5. I have never had a writing spring clean lol. I don’t think I’ve ever had a domestic spring clean either! Though I always wash my mink blankets. I might aspire to a writing spring clean in 2013, I might finally be organised enough to have one by then ; ) Good idea though, but one that’s never ever crossed my mind.

  6. But when you’ve got mink blankets to attend to, that has to come first – I can see where you’re coming from here. I speak as one who hasn’t done the clean yet; tomorrow may be the day…or Thursday… xxx

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s