July 26th, 2016
I normally don’t have any problem thinking up things to talk about in my blog posts. But this week, for some reason, I was really struggling. So I spent some time looking at writing-related topics on the internet and one interesting site came up: SmartBlogger.
In our Comprehensive Creative Writing Course we suggest that if you write you should seriously consider setting up a website to showcase your work or produce a regular blog. There are two (and probably many more) advantages to writing a blog: if you organise it properly it gets your name out there in front of people, and it also exercises your ‘writing muscle’, making you think creatively, and even giving you that push you need when other writing isn’t going too well. Read the rest of this entry »
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October 19th, 2015
Come on now, let’s get our cards on the table. What, exactly, do we all want out of this ‘writing’ business? Worldwide fame and fortune like J. K. Rowling and Stephen King? Or literary kudos? Maybe one of us could be the next Arundhati Roy, or Lemn Sissay?
Well, to be honest, either would be nice. But the way things are, I’ll settle for a third option: staying home (so I’m here when the kids get back from school) with no ‘boss’ breathing down my neck, making a bit of extra money doing something I love – something I do anyway, paid or not.
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August 3rd, 2015
This week’s video clip is from Meghan Ward, an American writer and editor. It’s only short and I know that what she says about blogging may seem inconclusive: if you enjoy it and feel you can do it well, then it’s a big asset; but if you don’t enjoy it, find other means of promoting your writing.
I agree entirely with this. If you’re comfortable getting into a routine and posting regularly, and you really have something interesting to say about your writing on a regular basis, then it’s a great way to promote yourself and your work. If you struggle with this then you’re perhaps better using other social media platforms to keep yourself in the public eye. Read the rest of this entry »
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July 24th, 2015
First, thanks to Simon for last week’s blog. I really like the idea of ‘Demented Optimism’ – as a writer I don’t think you ever get anywhere unless you believe in yourself and your creations. Such optimism may be demented, but it’s essential!
I read an article recently in the Sunday Times Magazine. It was about a man called Denis Pethebridge – and his 30 years of literary failure! In a leather-bound scrap book he had amassed 338 rejection letters. Starting in 1937 he had sent out articles, stories and novels to just about every newspaper, magazine, agent and publisher in the UK…and had rejections from them all. But did that stop him? No. By 1967 he was planning to start a new volume of rejection letters because the first was overflowing. Apparently he eventually self-published a novel in 1996 at the age of 77 and went on to live until he was 94. In his case optimism, however unfounded, was no detriment to his health. You’ve got to have staying power if you really want to be a writer, and not let rejection get you down. Read the rest of this entry »
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March 20th, 2015
One of the questions I get asked most frequently when I tell people I’m a writer is where do I get my ideas from. It’s not an easy answer to give because in truth, my ideas come from everywhere. Almost anything can spark an idea or inspire a burst of creativity. The trick is to see the potential in these ideas and nurture them into an article or a story.
I’m lucky to live on a boat just outside of Rome, which provides me with endless inspiration to write and create. I’m drawn to the sea and working comfortably in the cabin as I float around really suits my style. I love feeling all the elements on the boat. My work in progress is a young adult novel set under the ocean. When there’s a violent storm and the boat is surging in the marina, I take the opportunity to imagine what it must feel like for my characters below the surface. Read the rest of this entry »
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