October 28th, 2016
On Friday I went to listen to Joanne Harris (author of Chocolat, amongst other well-known novels) talking about, and reading from, her latest book Different Class.
But it was the question and answer session at the end that I found most interesting. Someone asked her how long it took her to write her books. The answer was anything from three months to five years! The reason she gave for this was that sometimes she ran out of inspiration; she had to have a break while she did some research; or she had to wait for the pieces of a plot to fall into place in her subconscious. What she stressed, though, was that she didn’t feel that any of this time was wasted as she always had more than one project on the go and when a particular piece of work wasn’t going well she turned to something else. A sensible approach for any writer. Read the rest of this entry »
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October 21st, 2016
First thanks to Sophia for last week’s blog. I found her list of online tools fascinating, but confess to being a bit worried by Write or Die. When I came to have a closer look, however, it wasn’t as bad as I’d expected. They’ve even introduced a ‘Reward Mode’. A picture of a cuddly kitten? Images of the designer shoes you’re lusting after? Mug-shot of your favourite author? You choose if you hit your word target. That sounds decidedly less scary than the ‘consequenses’ which they originally threatened if you dared to procrastinate!
This week I’m going to revisit a subject I’ve mentioned before – literary festivals. According to a London Book Fair report there are now more than 340 of them held each year in Britain and Ireland alone. It makes you wonder whether some authors are now spending longer attending literary festivals and beavering away on social media to drum up sales than they are on their writing. If you’re considering giving up the day job to become a full time writer it might be worth considering all the other ‘obligations’ that you’ll need to fulfil. With publishers’ promotional budgets being slashed there’s definitely more required of an author than just being able to turn a good phrase. Read the rest of this entry »
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October 14th, 2016
Being a freelance writer comes with many perks. Flexible hours, the ability to choose who you work with, and even your own paycheck. However, despite these advantages, freelance writing can be more challenging than it might appear. Here are some online tools that can make your job a lot easier.
Despite flexibility, you still need to keep track of all your errands and obligations, not to mention important deadlines. Todoist is a powerful task manager that can save you both time and effort.
- Writer’s Residence
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October 7th, 2016
Yesterday was National Poetry Day – if you took part in any way I hope you enjoyed yourself. To mark the event we’ve been offering £25 off our Art of Writing Poetry course and this offer will be available until 16th October. So if you fancy brushing up your poetry skills, now’s the time to do it.
I live in Rochdale, near Manchester. It doesn’t often get good press. Some parts come very high on the list of most deprived areas in the UK, there was the grooming scandal involving young girls and who could miss the allegations against Cyril Smith the former Liberal MP.
But it’s a town that’s set amidst beautiful Pennine countryside, it has some truly outstanding Victorian buildings and it’s really trying to put all that behind it and move on. One of the many ways it’s doing this is by holding an annual literary festival later in the month. Read the rest of this entry »
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