Follow up Friday

It’s follow up Friday time – Here’s how Vanessa got on…

Vanessa’s Aims:

  1. Edit first 100 pages of the work-in-progress – I’ve just finished a fairly major re-write, so now need to embark on a major edit!
  2. Work out exactly how the ending of the same wip is going to be structured… because I have several characters to get to a certain point, I keep re-writing the ending over and over, changing it each time. This week will be the week I pick an ending and stick to it!!
  3. Find five new writing competitions to enter in January/February – I’m looking for new flash fiction competitions.
  4. Come up with some ideas for new flash fiction to enter in those competitions!

Sort of… I’ve edited more than 100 pages – I’m up to page 116 and have added a few new scenes. It’s definitely going to need another edit though as I’ve added so many new bits! I’ve printed out the ending ready to work on and made some notes so I’m getting there.

I haven’t written any new flash fiction, but I have found some flash and short story competitions to enter: The Writers & Artists Yearbook Short Story competition closes on the 15th February – it’s free entry on the theme of Ageing and the prize includes an Arvon course. Flash500 (always my favourite flash fiction competition) has a short story competition (up to 3000 words) closing at the end of February judged by Sue Moorcroft, the Bath Flash Fiction Award closes on the 14th February and the Fish Publishing Flash Fiction Prize (both 300 words limit) closes at the end of February

I’m loving having lists to refer to – it keeps me focused! How’s everyone else getting on?

Vanessa x

Added at 13:56 by Catherine who has survived her second week at twin club:

You what? It’s Friday already? Let’s recap on what I said I try to get up to:

  1. Try to survive my first ever zumba class. Well, I did get in the car. I did drive to zumba. I did wonder how I would manage after a busy day. My sat nav took me to a building site. Then I only got as far as a B&Q car park before giving up on finding where it was with only five minutes to spare. I’m going to try harder on this one this week.
  2. Get to the half way point of Novel Two. I have 2K to go so should be able to squeeze them in over the weekend.
  3. Do more organising for book tour/promotional day/launch day for Waiting for You. Going great guns on these. You can find out about the promotional day here with chances to win some great prizes.
  4. Sit still for one hour and read. I did this on Monday instead of zumba.
  5. Try a new recipe. I’ve done lots of new recipes over the past week and very pleased with a 6lb weight loss at my Slimming World group. Just need to keep it up for the rest of the year! 

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Life Cycle Of a Writer: Getting in the Write Mood. Debbie Fuller-White.

It’s timely that it should be my turn to post the Lifecycle of a Writer. A month into the New Year and many of my writer friends have been talking about their writing goals for 2015, planning forthcoming publications or plotting ideas for the next story.

However, my only goal this year (so far) is to make it to the end of each day! I’ll be honest; every day is Groundhog Day and I’ve only written 523 words since October.

Sir Winston Churchill suffered with the black dog. My problem is black crows. crowCopyrightfree

They sit on my right shoulder, pecking and prodding, firmly refusing to leave as I spend endless hours on the laptop, sometimes only managing to produce a meagre sentence or paragraph, which I’ll invariably chew over for hours before consigning to the recycle bin. By the time I’ve finished over-thinking, berating myself and have lost all focus it’s become a self-fulfilling prophecy, proving I have the attention span (as well as creativity) of a gnat,. The crows must be right. No-one’s going to read what I write. I’ll never make it. I’ll never become a published author. Best get back to fannying around on social media or stick some washing in.

So what’s my problem I hear you ask?

There have been times over the last three years or so when I’ve felt like a human battering ram. My Nan (who brought me up from the age of two) died. I underwent major jaw surgery. My husband of twenty-three years left me and our two boys. We had to leave our beloved barn and move house. There was the emotional fallout for the boys alongside my own grief and the utter helplessness of our situation. Add to that money worries, the divorce, my ongoing health problem, my youngest son developing similar health issues … and oh, yes; as if that’s not enough, we now have the builders in, trying to make the house more practical so I can manage better and stay here.

As I type this I can see it’s hardly surprising I’m overwhelmed. I have brain overload. Some people may be able to write their way through their troubles but I can’t when there’s so much going on in my head.

IMG_1014The one thing (as well as the Romaniacs) that keeps me going is the thought of my Nan sitting on my other shoulder, squaring up to take on those crows. Like Jiminy Cricket, she is my conscience, constantly jibbing, jabbing and gesturing, spurring me on. I can hear her now.

‘Ok, you’re having a tough time of it. So do a lot of people. There’s always someone worse off than you. We all have our crosses to bear. You’re having a crisis of confidence? You’re a writer. It goes with the territory. There’s nothing wrong with failing. It’s better than not trying. Didn’t I always tell you, you can do anything you want, if you set your mind to it?  Writer’s block is a state of mind. If you want this that much you need to stop procrastinating. Nobody else can make it happen. Now get yourself a notepad and make a list of all your goals, work out a plan and FOCUS. Finish one project before you start another! Set aside some time every day, even if it’s only half an hour, and write every day. Writers write. It doesn’t matter what you write. Just write.’

Because part of me, deep within, still dares to ‘Believe,’ as she drummed in me so many times, I’m hanging in there. Nan was always right. There’s no such word as, ‘Can’t’ and one thing’s for sure; if I keep doing the same thing, I’m going to keep getting the same results. And a dream is just a wish without a plan.

So, what do you do, when you’re not in the mood to write?

Until next time, warm wishes to you all and happy writing!

Debbie x