Daily Life, Places to write, Writer's Blog

Writing and blog progress almost a year on…

As is traditional at the beginning of a New Year, I have been pondering the progress I have made with my writing and, more so, planning over the past year.

In February 2018, I made the decision to take a refresher course in writing before fully embarking on the planning of whichever direction it took me. I signed up with The Writer’s Bureau and enrolled in their Comprehensive Creative Writing course. I chose to tackle the fiction writing part of the course first, thinking it would be my strongest and, therefore, the easiest, to start with.


A published author, Sheila Bugler, was assigned to me as my tutor and I have been infinitely grateful for her kind words and constructive comments throughout. At this stage in the course I am feeling quite pleased with myself, verging on a smugness, as my feedback has been filled with comments such as ‘excellent’ and ‘superb’ and the criticism has been over minor points which I have not found difficult to put right. Much of my grounding in grammar has stayed with me in the many years since I left school, leaving me with the energy to concentrate on content. I sailed through the fiction half of the course, even managing to have some stories and an article published.

The non-fiction side of the course started well with assignments dictating the content but when faced with which publications to write articles for I flailed around wildly. ‘Write about what you know’ was the new mantra. I felt that people wouldn’t want to read about my interests, thought they would find them boring and lacking in pzazz. I am pleased to say I was wrong, and articles ranging from my cravings during pregnancy to my addiction to dancing did spark some interest. I even received feedback from my blog posts about my husband’s kite flying.

Blog posts. Now there was a thing I hadn’t given any thought to. I didn’t even have a blog until midway through 2018. My course advised setting up a blog, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, anything through which I could publicize my future work, even if I didn’t plan on self-publishing. I duly trotted off to my faithful friend, the World Wide Web, researched some blogs and started planning my own. I wanted a neutral colour scheme for my site, so I opted for an almost neutral pH of green/blue. I needed a header which was different but stood out as me. Having cleared my spare bedroom of as much clutter as I could, I had purchased a screen to hide the remainder of my junk. The screen was so beautiful I decided it could be my feature image. And so it is!


In the past few months I have been slowly building my followers and have over 120 blog subscribers, over 1100 twitter followers and my Storytellingdancer facebook page receives lots of likes (when I remember to share my posts). Sharing posts can become a habit and I try to tailor them to the right social media, while trying to build a suitable audience. I follow lots of wannabe authors like myself and it is great to read and share attempts, successes and failures. I started with Pinterest but without having too much to ‘sell’ I have dropped away from the medium, dipping in only now and again when I can be bothered.

In summary, my writing is starting to go from strength to strength, with published articles and short stories accumulating on my desk. My novel, or should I say novels as I have four which I have started, is still very much a work in progress but one day I will settle to it. Maybe when my course is finished and I have more time for it.


I continue to add some of my unpublished poems and short stories to this blog and the relevant pages and the plan is to actually HAVE a plan for my blog in 2019. Watch this space – might still be empty in a few weeks time and then my gears will kick in with a vengeance. All suggestions and tips greatly received from fellow bloggers. I need to plan my blog time, moving between poems, stories, general daily life, dancing, kite flying (my husband not me) and I don;t want to post more than five or six posts a month for fear of driving my audience away rather than encouraging new readers.

For now, as I am on my lunch hour at work, I will be content with one poem per month, one Ceroc dancing post per month and then a topical post too. Even that looks messy – I definitely need to plan this more methodically!







Daily Life, Writer's Blog

Changing Reading and Writing Habits

One thing is certain when I look back at my Kindle reading habits from the past few months, I definitely don’t have a go-to genre. As a writer, you would think I would have at least a good reason for choosing a book but every one I choose depends upon my mood in the moment.


I do read book reviews from fellow bloggers and sometimes I am swayed enough to buy following a particularly good one but I am quite fickle in my choices. I will choose a book because it has an interesting cover – often the cover doesn’t  truly reflect the content and then another day I will read the blurb or (hold the front page) go looking for a particular genre.

I am currently swaying between haunted and ghostly tales or Dystopian fiction. I am a bigger fan of fiction than non-fiction on the whole so that is the loosest genre I subscribe to.

I have just downloaded three more ghost stories but I am currently writing a ghost story of my own so I can be forgiven for calling it research. However, as I was searching a couple of thrillers, my previous favourite genre, caught my eye so they are now on my list. I love to have a list of books to read. In years gone by it would be a pile of unread, ‘real’ books and I do still have a small pile of three or four books beside my bed. I just find using my Kindle is so much more convenient.


I also subscribe to an app which I have installed on my Kindle, called Readly which gives me and four other family members (or four additional devices if I wanted to be selfish) full access to thousands of magazines. So I carry thousands of magazines and plenty of books with me at all times. That’s the thing with a Kindle, the multitude of reading material in one place. On the downside, you can never replicate the feel and smell of a real book or replace the pleasure of turning the pages.


One thing’s for certain, while trying to keep up to date with my blog, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest pages and reading so many books, I am neglecting my own writing time. I need to sort out a timetable to fit it all in. Oh, and then there is the matter of a full time job which takes up a lot of my time!

One day, instead of pushing my published and unpublished short stories and poetry, I hope you will find me advertising the publication of my first novel. Watch this space, but not too closely for now or you will have a long wait!