Saturday, 27 April 2013

Tortoise, creativity and promised progress

Morning folks, firstly I’ll make no apology for my somber mood this week – my pet tortoise died after 19 years in my care. I’m literally gutted. I’d bought Georgina as a tiny hatchling back in 1994 and Monday afternoon she died. I was so shocked I couldn’t bring myself to bury her till the next day – which hubby pointed out was most fitting being St. George’s day.  

As you can imagine sadness doesn’t do greatest wonders for a writer’s productivity but it appears it does wonders for our creativity. So whilst, mopping my tears and such like, I haven’t been able to crack on with my draft two but I have noted a million and one ideas that have filled my mind. For those new to my blog, I rely on certain tools to keep the imagination flowing and my note books are an essential part, enabling me to jot down ideas and then return and make additional notes when my mind has churned and expanded them. Believe it or not, but I can something be writing a piece where the initial idea came to me and was jotted down years ago – it has simply been waiting its turn in my creativity queue.

I missed my Grace Dieu meeting this week – due to work commitments – so a slap on the wrist for me. I really do dislike missing such meeting as it gives you a regular fortnightly boost meeting up with other writers. Which in turn, makes me slightly more ‘in need’ of the coming meeting, this Wednesday, with the Mad Hatters. 

So, my plans for this weekend – draft, draft and more drafting! I really feel as though I’ve achieved nothing this week – which in itself motivates me to knuckle down and get back to work.

Remember you can follow me on Twitter @odwyer_author - so join the party and accompany my journey. I usually do Follow Fridays on Twitter, so if you sign up it maybe you next Friday. Enjoy! 

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Draft two, laughter and flute playing

Morning folks – as I write this I feel I have very little to say this week – as only one thing has occurred this week - draft two! I can honestly say that all my thought and energy is being put towards my current project in the attempt to complete my RNA submission. I have promised myself that I won’t be completing the submission days before the dead line which I did with my first ever entry last year.

Regards draft two, I have introduced a couple of little aids that are helping my progress – I have a research pad beside me noting any question I have – I’ll dedicate one complete day to finding the answers, and wherever the research detail needs to be placed I am adding in an annotation bubbles, as reference for draft three. Each draft I produce will have one focus, enabling edit and rewrite in a sequence that should produce a rounded manuscript. I didn’t do this with my first novel ‘Her’ and I paid the price.

Last weekend, I managed to write my university essay which took a load from my shoulders – I just have one exam piece to prepare for late May, though the ideas have already started to flow.

I attended a writers’ meeting on Wednesday evening – it was such a hoot – the laughter definitely flowed, at one point a certain conversation entertained the entire room – which was very funny!  It seemed quite an honour that, in a public lounge, everyone’s ear seemed cocked towards the poets’ and writers’ conversation and readings.

I have always been a creative person: writing, painting and music – I struggle to play the flute as well as I’d wish too, but I find it’s a great accompaniment to my thought process. I believe it also reinforced my inner belief that every moment of practice pays off somewhere, at some time. And, I’ve started to connect this thinking to my writing - the very same applies – every moment I spend writing pays dividend regards improvement, progress and style.

Finally, before I love and leave you, my plan today is to complete school work but tomorrow the entire day will be dedicated to draft two.

Remember you can follow me on Twitter @odwyer_author - so join the party and accompany my journey. I always do Follow Fridays on Twitter, so if you sign up it maybe you next Friday. Enjoy!  

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Congratulations, 24th May and writing groups

Morning folks – it is a beautifully sunny morning here in Warwickshire – so I have already nipped out trekking with the pooch. Whilst out and about I created a few additional lines for the poem I began drafting last weekend - pooch walking certainly gets the old brain thinking and creating. I’m not suggesting you buy a dog simply to improve productivity but I would suggest borrowing the next door neighbour’s dog every now and then. I’d be more than happy to offer out my pooch for extra walks, he couldn’t be in better company alongside a writer or poet, honest.

Anyway, my week. I have to share some brilliant news I heard this week, my writing buddy Helen Phifer has been snapped up by a publisher – woo hoo, go Helen. I’m so proud of her, she’s worked so very hard this last year and it has all paid off. So, full marks to her.

I’ve returned to work after a holiday and so back to the juggling act. But I have also entered the next stage of my writing: draft two. I am trying to read the manuscript with fresh eyes and develop as I can. A few glorious moments of ‘wow, did I really write that?’ have occurred – and I’ve received a couple of new ideas that need weaving into the plot. So far, so good. I just need to keep plodding with this project. I have promised husband, that I will have re-read/edited the entire piece by 24th May.  I shall point out I also have a three thousand word exam piece required for 23rd May – looks like I’ll be busy for the next six weeks! Oh yeah, what’s new?

I’ve had a delightful week at work, teaching the works of Charles Dickens and George Eliot – which has boosted my own creativity plus fed my obsession with literature. I’ve ordered several books which I need to devour in preparation for a university course starting in October – again, all literature classics.

I chaired the Grace Dieu meeting this week, and was delighted with the array of talent produced by the ten attending members – it really was a wide spectrum of genres and abilities – coming together to be appreciated by all. If you aren’t part of a writing group – I really would recommend you join, or more exciting start, one up if your area is lacking in suitable groups. You have to take care that the ‘group’ doesn’t take over your writing time with the nitty-gritty of group organizing but the benefits of attending a fortnightly meeting are huge. 

The coming week, I have a group meeting for Mad Hatters on Wednesday. We have a group exercise occurring at the moment – to write a piece related to a painting. I have chosen John Singer-Sargent’s ‘Lady Agnew of Lochnaw’ – I really need to focus a writing session and get this down on paper rather than it swimming about my head.

Finally, before I disappear to write an essay for my university course – I’ve realised this week that my t.v. viewing changes depending upon the subject and topic of my current writing project. I have discovered that I am literally becoming obsessed with certain ‘leisure/lifestyle’ programmes and have woken to the fact that ‘Oh yeah that’s linked too (inserts project name)’. How funny is the human mind – it’ll always find a way to delve you into more ‘research’ without you even realizing it.

Remember you can follow me on Twitter @odwyer_author - so join the party and accompany my journey. I always do Follow Fridays on Twitter, so if you sign up it maybe you next Friday. Enjoy! 

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Champagne flows!

Hi folks, a very quick update.
Today, 4th April 2013 I have managed to write 10, 847 words in one day, but more importantly I have completed draft one of TFD. I began writing it on 27th December 2012 so it has taken me just 99 days.
I thought I'd share my news, as many of your return each week to follow my blog. I'm now off to open a bottle of champagne, which has sat in the fridge all day, awaiting my finish.
Cheers and night, night. X

Follow up: 6th April. Well what a week! As you can see from above I not only met my self imposed word count of 75,500 I blew it out of the water with another 11,000 and completed the first draft. I'm still in shock, if honest. Thursday started like everyother day has this holiday, up early, breakfast and then to my desk. It started to dawn on me at about eleven o'clock in the morning that 'today or tomorrow, this draft could be finished'. Well I mentioned that little detail to hubby, who asked why? I explained that given where I was with the written plot and the ending (which was in my head) the space between the two was becoming smaller with each hour of writing. Me being a freaky date person asked 'what's the date?' Hubby than said the fatal words that my psyche latched onto 'well its the 4th of the 4th and if you add the 1 and 3 together for the year - you also get four.' That was it, all the fours - from that point tomorrow (the 5th April) was no longer an option.

I literally wrote in one hour blocks, my word count rising all the time - with the end getting nearer and nearer. I just kept going, thinking 'today this will be completed, today this will be complete'. Anyway, in one hour chunks, with a blood donors appointment mid afternoon (at which I spent an hour dreaming) I just kept plodding. It helped that several Twitter followers kept encouraging me with a stream of 'Tweets' it was so nice to know others were rooting for me too. It came as a shock when I surpassed the 8,000 word mark at about eight o'clock on the evening and even more when I clipped the 10,000 mark nearer ten o'clock on the night. By this time hubby had snook into the kitchen and began clanging about, which I later discovered was the beginnings of my celebration cake that he whizzed up in the last hour! Anyway, to cut a very long writing day short, at 10:30pm I called hubby over 'do you want to see me type those magic words?' 'The End' which bless him, he did - I could hardly believe that I'd done it, but I had. 10,847 words in one day and a completed draft one. I still have 14,000 words to play with regards plot additions for future drafts. It was while eating celebration cake and sipping chilled champagne, that I'd dashed out to buy earlier, that I worked out it had only taken 99 days to write. I nearly fell off  my chair.

So, I haven't touched it since saving it to the hard drive on Thursday night. The plan is to wait until Monday and begin the routine of rereading and producing draft two. I shall set myself another deadline regards the completion of draft two and work to that schedule.

One task I am going to do is jot down the method I've used to write this draft - it has certainly worked for me. I will be following 'my pattern' on all future works.

Today, I've already been for a trek with the dog and created a small poem en-route, which I'll type up later. I have study to complete in order to write an essay in a few weeks plus I have school work to plan. So, no rest for the wicked... but yay, I've finished draft one of TFD.

Remember you can follow me on Twitter by searching @odwyer_author - I promise to continue to 'Tweet' as much as I have the last two weeks. Enjoy!