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Dispelling the Writing Blues

January 26th, 2018

You’ve probably not escaped the fact that the third Monday in January has been christened ‘Blue Monday’ by the PR industry. Why blue? Apparently, because the weather is usually awful, our bank balances are depleted, we’ve already failed to keep most of our New Year resolutions and our motivation has dropped to an all-time low (make a note of that last one).

They advise just giving into it and having a ‘duvet day’ instead of facing up to the depressing facts. Well, I didn’t quite do that but I did spend more time than usual browsing the internet. And I’ve come up with a couple of sites that, hopefully, will help you get motivated again and put the January blues behind you.

So here goes…  Back in the eighties I had a phase of reading novels by Wendy Perriam. I loved the way she wrote, but also found her novels fascinating for the way she dealt with sex and religion, in a sometimes dark, sometimes very funny way. One, ‘After Purple’ still sticks vividly in my mind to this day.

So, I was interested to see that on her website there is a list of her Top 20 Tips for Writers. Go and have a look at them. Many are common sense but I thought the final one was particularly relevant: “A writer is never on holiday”! And while you’re there, have a look at some of the novels and short stories she’s published. Perhaps not everybody’s cup of tea, but you could always try one.

Now for something completely different. Flash fiction seems to be increasingly popular and there’s no doubt that you can write an intriguing story in very few words. (The winning entries in our recent competition illustrate this.) So why not take it to the extreme and enter the monthly Txtlit Competition? The theme for January is ‘Caught in the act’ and your story should be 160 characters or less, including spaces and punctuation. There’s no fee for entry (except your standard network charge for a message). Just text your story to 07537 432 432.

Unfortunately, at present there’s no prize money but monthly winners are published on the website and they hope to reinstate a prize fund in the future. Also on the website are useful tips and guidance plus the rules of entry. Have a look at some of the previous winners. I think the November story is great!

Finally, to cheer you up, if you like a bargain we’ve currently got £25 off our Complete Copywriter Course. The offer is valid until 4th February, so why not have a look at the prospectus to see if it’s something that might interest you.

My guest next week is Robin Bailes who won second prize in our 2017 Flash Fiction Competition. He’ll be looking at the difficulties freelances can face when they don’t have strict deadlines to meet!




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About The Author: Diana Nadin

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