Sunday, 26 April 2015

Ten out of ten - effort and progress

Following my delightful weekend at Live, Breathe, LOVE writing! with the talented trio Tamsyn Murray, Miranda Dickinson and Julie Cohen - I pledged I'd restart my early morning writing session. The 5am wake-up call that had been long forgotten in favour of the lunchtime slot at the day-job plus the evening session. Anyway, Sunday night I set the alarm before going to sleep and damn it, the device is accurate to the second: it rang at 5am!

Monday morning 5am isn't my most glamorous but I prised myself from beneath the duvet and walked to my writing room. I was greeted by a beautiful dawn chorus and a sultry sky. Within seconds the time of day was irrelevant and I was editing. I worked until six o'clock then readied for the day-job. I'd done it, it felt good and for the rest of the day, I metaphorically patted myself on the back. So I managed three writing* sessions per day, Monday to Friday - I say writing I'm actually not at the writing stage but you get my drift.

Each day was a delight, a real pleasure to do, accompanied by the dawn chorus and a sultry sky - the difficult part is that shrill alarm and rising to a vertical stance. So... my plan for this week is to repeat as last week: Monday to Friday 5am, lunchtime and evening sessions.

Friday afternoon I rewarded my efforts by visiting my favourite shop: the stationers, arriving home with a bounty of goodies for my writing room.

Saturday morning began with the instruction to self 'to tidy that room' and I did, armed with bin liners, Mr Pledge polish and my faithful Dyson. I was shocked by the amount of wasted paper I had lying about in piles around my writing room but I did manage to find two poems that I'd written but never typed. I also found two scribbled ideas for novels - double bonus!

With a little shufty about regards furniture and reading books, I have created more space and more places to balance the new pile of waste paper for the up-coming six months. All in all, one cracking day of organisation and later writing.

A tiny addition to my writing arsenal is the countdown date/clock that I've downloaded to my Ipad. Boy, oh boy, a visual shock seeing how many days I given myself to finish this project.

For this week, I've awarded myself 10/10 for effort and progress :-)

* writing - anything to do with my current project be it planning, editing or musing.

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Live, Breathe and LOVE writing – confirmed!

Ever needed an extra boost of writing inspiration? As I near the end of my current project I felt I needed a little something to refill my ‘inspiration tank’ guaranteeing I reach the finishing line. I chose Tamsyn Murray’s fabulous ‘Live, Breathe and Love writing day’ held at the Theobald’s Park hotel, near Cheshunt, London. Her guest speakers for the day were Miranda Dickinson and Julie Cohen - what more could a girl want to boost her flagging creativity?
Eleven other writers, a mixture of experience and genres, arrived fresh faced and bushy tailed to participate in the day long course. Tamsyn began by expelling negative thoughts with a smashing talk filled with inspirational quotes and anecdotes of success.  I won’t go into detail as I wouldn’t wish to ruin the day for you, should you wish to book and attend, but one particular quote hit a chord with me.
Miranda Dickinson provided us with the all-important writers’ survival kit – piece by piece. Again this was a very thought provoking session which gave me a boot up the ass regards certain aspects of my routine that I have possibly neglected or abandoned in recent months. That will be rectified!

Julie Cohen’s session was a practical delight as she filled the room with post-it notes which immediate made my stationery loving heart sing. I know, sad isn’t it? Anyway, she showed me yet more ways that I can use the little blighters to help regards planning and even synopsis writing.

My immediate tasks following the course:

1. Delete my ‘epilogue’ and create chapter ninety

2. Purchase yet more coloured post-it notes

3. Revise my personal writer’s survival kit

4. Complete the final stretch of my project

5. Re-watch the film ‘The Jerk’ – such a funny movie.

I highly recommend booking yourself on any of these writers’ courses – not only do you receive much needed knowledge and a motivational boost but the trio revitalise your creative spirit with  humour, humility and their genuine friendship.
For further details please visit their websites - you won't be disappointed...

Miranda Dickinson

Julie Cohen

In addition to this fabulous course, I was given the very best start to my creative weekend by Late who arranged for a surprise envelope to arrive at the hotel prior to my arrival. Imagine my confusion whilst checking in when the reception lady said 'You've got mail' - I don't think so, sweetie. She was right. Marvellous Mary of  the 'make magic department' belonging to Late had sent me lovely new fountain pen... with a little note saying 'isn't this a novel way to start a great weekend' - Mary, you were so right! It just shows the simplest of gestures in our busy lives can truly delight.
It made my two night stay a delight enhancing the one day course into a mini writing retreat for myself - it would have been rude not too.