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Finding Time to Think and Write

June 27th, 2014

First, thanks to Jackie for last week’s blog – it certainly shows that it helps if you know the potential market for your book and can demonstrate this to the publishers you are approaching.

I recently came across a good quote from Abraham Lincoln: “Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.”  These days, that’s very true of the writing world.

I’ve just heard that in addition to NaNoWriMo there will now be JuNoWriMo – the same idea (write a novel of 50,000 words in a month) but in June rather than November. At this rate, it could end up with every month being included – so why not scrap it and would-be novelists use a bit of self-discipline at any time of the year!

Trying to get 50,000 words on paper in a month is a huge undertaking – and I do understand (and applaud) the idea behind it.  But it doesn’t leave you much time to just sit and think. And the value of this to a writer can’t be denied.  I’m a keen gardener and over the last few weeks of wonderful weather I’ve been out there digging and delving as much as possible. In addition to a neat lawn and plenty of happy plants it’s given me plenty of thinking time.

But what if life is too hectic, or you never seem to get any quiet space to yourself?  You could always consider a writer’s retreat.

Arvon offers retreats, as well as courses, at its properties in West Yorkshire, Scotland, Shropshire and Devon. One-day and residential retreats are available at Urban Writers’ Retreat or you might want to try Retreats for You. And a really beautiful location is Connishead Priory in Cumbria where you can join the Buddhist community for retreats of various lengths.  Of course, none of these are as cheap as your own garden – but they may allow you to get some ‘thinking time’.

Finally, don’t forget that our 2014 Short Story Competition closes next Monday – so you’ve still time to enter. Prize money is £500 for the winner with £300, £200 and £100 for those in 2nd, 3rd and 4th places.

Coincidentally, our Course of the Week  next week is  How to Write for Competitions – and Win.  I know it’s a bit late for this year, but it might inspire you with some ideas and provide tips to improve your entry for next year – and with the usual £25 discount it’s worth looking at.

Plus the short story tutor on this course is Esther Newton, who will be my guest blogger next week, telling you all about how she put together a collection of her award-winning short stories and has turned them into an e-book.




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