Saturday, 7 January 2012

The Positively Productive Writer, a river of stones and dual existence

Good morning, I’m hoping that everyone had a delightful New Year and the recovery from any hangover, is long forgotten.

As mentioned, in my tiny updates, I have had a good start to my creative new year with the completion of a poetry project and acceptance upon the Romantic Novelists Associations’ New Writers Scheme. My debut novel ‘Her’ is as complete as it can be, for my liking, so I am crafting the synopsis to accompany the manuscript.

I have begun my ‘A river of Stones’ exercises which runs for the month of January. I have to say, I’ve usually spotted what my item is going to be quite early in my day. I do class myself as someone that notices the tiniest detail in life’s tapestry, so I’m not finding it as liberating as other may do. But even so, I am using the each day’s ‘find’ as my warm up exercise for my daily writing session. I shall update my stones list each week – see right hand panel.   

Tuesday saw a return to my day job, which steals time like a thief in the night. I am currently part way through teacher training, which is demanding enough, but to be attempting to continue my writing is no mean feat. I am living a dual existence, teacher:writer. But, I am also reaping the benefits of all my hard work, my writing is stronger than ever and my teaching is graded as outstanding – so, long may it continue – well, until 20th July 2012, anyhow. After which, I will have qualified and achieved plan B – which will provide a steady income while I continue to write working towards plan A.

I used my own work in two English classes this week, year 7 and year 10 were given my poems to analyse – of which they did a grand job. It was interesting how their suggestions regards imagery and structure were certainly not conscious ideas that I had whilst crafting the poems and yet, provided  me with a fresh insight into my work.

Tuesday night saw me seeking out numerous short story competitions to enter in order to meet my new resolution ‘six’. I am a little spoilt for choice, as my Writers’ Magazine and Mslexia were packed with exciting opportunities. I also had a tip off earlier in the week regards to a competition in ‘Good Housekeeping’ magazine January issue, outlining their novel competition.

I have consumed a writing book this week, Simon Whaley’s ‘The Positively Productive Writer (ISBN: 978-1-84694-851-0) which is a personal account of how he writes and more importantly, prepares himself mentally for writing. I was pleased to find that we share numerous routines, which I’ve previously thought of as ‘mine’ and almost unnecessary for others to know about only to discover that he has similar routines. I have always kept a running note of word counts, I can tell you on any one day what I worked on, I can even tell you the date on which certain ideas have sprung and germinated – to me it is a detail of recognition supporting the significance of my work. To others it may be a neurotic system of recording, but I have enjoyed reading his book and recognising my own habits. I’d recommend any writer or poet give the book a once over, the smallest gem may be the one that helps you on your way towards success. As Simon follows me on Twitter I have been lucky enough to channel my feedback to the author, much to his delight.

My diary for the coming week: a university tutorial in Coventry on Tuesday evening, Mad Hatter’s group on Wednesday night and Grace Dieu Writers’ Circle on Thursday evening. Knowing that I have three nights booked, I will juggle my writing time to accommodate meeting and travelling times. I don’t usually write in the mornings prior to work but I may have to this week, otherwise I’ll run the risk of producing nothing on those three days. This is without adding my teaching preparation into the time equation – see, I can’t afford to waste a minute. I get up at half five and go to bed at elevenish – in between, I dash about completing the numerous ‘to-do’ lists which culminate in making my current lifestyle. One day – life may be different.

A quick shout out to Germany, who have notched up the most visits this week, closely followed by Russia. You’ll find me on Twitter by searching Odwyer_author - remember you can ask me questions via my Twitter account.

The plan for today is ‘Her’ synopsis – I’m a woman with a mission. Enjoy!

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