Sunday 29 April 2012


Obviously, I don't know but I honestly believe that being a writer is harder than being an author.

At least as an author you've achieved your goal and you've had your work valued, recognised, printed and read.  Maybe when I become an author I'll find that untrue.  Maybe once you've made it the goal posts move and suddenly you find yourself needing to achieve more and work harder to maintain your position.  I won't know until I become an author, so for now, I will share with you why today I feel hopeless.

Some days the need to be read is overwhelming, almost as if the air has been taken from my lungs and I'm suffocating with the need to breathe, the need to be read.  I can't settle at my desk to write, I'm pacing around with tears in my eyes frustrated that there is very little I can do about it but wait.

The voices in my head want to be heard and the worlds I've created need to be seen.  It sounds crazy but its something that only those who've truly been there have experienced.  I know my characters like real people and I've visited my worlds like true places.

Luckily, I am a good self motivational speaker.  I tell myself that I am good which I know I am.  I remind myself that I'm not NEVER going to be published it's just a matter of time.  Whilst I wait I should be entering competitions or submitting stories or articles to magazines or anthologies and continue working on my novels.  I have a plan, I just have to stick to it and be patient.

It's okay that sometimes I don't want to be patient, we all have moments.  We all sometimes need reassurance that we are good, that we're not delusional.  I network with other writers who share my experiences, my feelings, my ambition and for no reason they encourage me and help me no longer feel alone as I wait in line for luck and fate to find me.  I want to see them do well, they have so much talent and people are missing out on experiencing their words.

One day I will make it into print.  I know this because I will never give up.  I will never stop believing, dreaming, imagining and it is this drive that what will carry me to success.

Friday 20 April 2012

BWA Competition

British Writers Awards is holding a short monthly competition where you need to write a 300 word story, poem or song based on their picture by 30 April. This is free to enter. I think I might give it a go.

Wednesday 18 April 2012

Free Courses

Did you know the Open University do 600 courses for free!

There is one on fiction writing I'm going to give a go.

I've always wanted to do a course but the full study ones are so expensive and I don't really have the time to devote to it.

I'm also curious about Latin and some of the history courses.

There is a unit on almost everything. Just Google "OU Open Learning". You sign up for free. You can test yourself and track your study hours.

It is useful if you want to:

1. See if online learning is for you

2. Test out a subject before you commit to a full time paid course

3. Want to learn something new but can't afford time/money to do it.

4. Want to update you C.V. or CPD. Plus the OU have a good reputation.

Sunday 15 April 2012



This week I discovered Opuss in the App store and already (despite a few connection problems), I would say it is the best writing app ever!  It is currently App of the Week in the UK.

What is it?

It's a bit like how Instagram is the Twitter for photos, except this is for writers.  Initially, you think, how is that different to Twitter?  Well, Twitter is for short status updates and often full of links to external sites.  Opuss allows you to write more and  everything is contained in one place - no external links.  Also, it's got a quirky cat and wood themed design that looks really smart.

Write it

To write a post is easy; you just click on the paw print in the middle of the icons list.  This the large one labelled 'Compose' at the bottom of the screen.  Then you title you piece and write away, add some tags, post and your done.  Alternatively, when you signed up, you will have received an email address to send your posts too and these will be uploaded but tends to be slightly slower.  Therefore, you can easily post to Opuss from your mobile or PC.

Read it

The left hand icon 'Feed' with a picture on a dinner bowl is where all the posts submitted by yourself and people you are following will appear.  This feed will become more active as you start subscribing to others.

The 'Top' icon with a picture of a collar on takes you to the screen picture on the left.  This lists all the most highly rated posts for the day, week, month and year.  This is handy for discovering what others are enjoying on Opuss and you may discover somebody new to follow.

The 'Find' button with a little mouse on it is where you can run searches to find things that will interest you.  Click in the search bar to type your criteria (i.e. 'Holidays') and decide if you want it to find Opusses (posts), Authors or Tags.  Then you can search to read something choosing from Everything to something more specific like a poem or a quote.  These categories are then broken down into even more specific criteria (i.e. Joke that is Adult, Animal, Food, Geek, etc).

Account it

The 'Profile' button is all about you.  On this page you can see an overview of your Opuss posts count to date, number of people following you and number you're following.  If you are competitive, there is also a rank number.  Beneath this you can see a News feed, which is worth checking to see if anyone has commented on your work or chosen to follow you (good etiquette is to follow back).  Then there is a Liked feed so you can find posts that you enjoyed reading to read again.  Then there is a Friends page where you can link your Opuss to Facebook, Twitter or your email account to find your friends and get them to join the fun too.  

When you get a notification the app makes a cute 'Meow' noise.  I didn't realise this and spent some time looking for my cat only discover I had a number of notifications on my Opuss.  

The app has also got some entertaining 404 error messages for when connections are lost.  It's not often that an app gets praised for not working but these do make me chuckle and I know the app is fairly new so I just take a break and come back later.  Other members have logged in and out (standard IT reboot) which also seems to fix this.  

The Future

Currently, Opuss is only available on the iphone and ipad (and maybe the iTouch).  There is talk about it being rolled out onto other platforms for everyone to enjoy.  The poll currently is in favour of it being developed for PC use but plans are that it will be available for all mobiles in the future.

Find out more at:

Thursday 12 April 2012

First Draft To Masterpiece

There is no such thing as rubbish writing. Getting your ideas out is the first step to your masterpiece. Without words you will never produce a novel.

Don't restrain your imagination with editing. When the story is flowing it's hard to keep up as the ideas tumble onto the page, racing ahead before scenes and characters are properly formed.

Then, once you have something there, you have somewhere to revisit and work on improving.

Don't be surprised if it takes 20 edits to get it right. Quite often, you can't see the mistakes right away and need to take a break from it. Sometimes you'll need to start a section over from another perspective to make it stronger. Don't be afraid to delete a section completely that has no value to the story.

Scrutinise sentences and change description words; take them out if it's getting a bit wordy or add them in if it strengthens the image. Strike a balance between show and tell.

Then there are the basics such as spelling, grammar, punctuation and the layout of your manuscript.

For me, editing takes a lot longer to do than actually writing the story. I enjoy letting my imagination run wild rather than analysing what it's produced. For others to see the story as I've envisioned, editing is crucial!

Once edited I'm more confident that my novel is marketable and can then send it out to agents or publishers. Still, I do hate editing!

Monday 2 April 2012

Published - My Article

In January, I was forwarded a News Letter from a friend at Scribblers (my local writers group).  The News Letter informed me that an online magazine that supports writers was worried they were not getting any submissions.  I posted about this on my blog to encourage others to submit articles:   

On 20 February 2012, I decided to follow my own advice and submitted an article "Struggle" to Writing Raw for consideration.  On 21 March 2012, they emailed me to say they planned to include it in their April edition but needed me to write a Bio.  So, on the 25 March 2012, I worked on writing my first Bio:

I was very excited as I waited for my article to be published:

I would recommend, to anyone to passionate about writing, to give it a go.  I honestly didn't think I would get anywhere with it but now I'm published.  Next time, I think I'll spend more time editing as I don't think it's my best work but it has boosted my confidence and I'd happily try writing an article again.

Best of all, it was fun and didn't cost me a thing.  

I guess I best update my bio to include my recent published article...