What month is it?

I had a bit of a shock when I arrived home this evening. I thought I had wandered into a wormhole or something, experienced some sort of temporal displacement. As far as I was aware it was May, Springtime. Obviously I was mistaken, it must be January. I got out of the car and found, to my surprise what looked like snow, all along the bottom of the wall of my house. I touched it. It felt cold and wet like snow does, but how could it be here, in May. Then all of a sudden it started to hail quite heavily. I then realised that the ‘snow’ was probably the remains of an earlier hail shower that I had missed. But hail in May? What’s that all about then? It isn’t even that cold here at the moment.

I went into the house and I could hear the sound of it battering down on the roof and windows. I quite like the sound, but I can’t get over the randomness of the weather at the moment. It’s mad!

Finally it has stopped. I was hoping for nice weather tomorrow as I am going out for the day to start the bank holiday weekend off. Looks like rain probably. Oh well. You can’t let the weather stop you doing what you want to do.

Useful Distractions from Writing

So you have been writing for an hour or so, when you find yourself just sitting staring into space, or out of the window. The ideas have stopped, the flow of words has been halted. It is time for a break. What do you do to try to clear your mind? How do you try to return to that position of constructively writing again?

I like to go and do something different, although I favour something with a creative bent to it. I will usually go and play the guitar for a bit. Others may like to go into the garden and pull up a few weeds or do the washing up. Usually after a few minutes my mind is clearer and whatever was stopping me from writing has resolved itself.

I guess what I am really asking though is, what do you do when you are lacking creativity and need a boost?

As a follow up to yesterdays post, I have reblogged something and written this today. Best of both worlds!

Blogging and Writer’s Insecurity

Interesting post. Who are we writing for?



Edit: This post is now subtitled:

You’re Not Your F%$^ing Blog Stats!

I’ve noticed something. Blogging is a microcosm of the emotions I have about writing in general. This is probably a good thing, because having the blog is helping me deal with my insecurities in small bites, a few at a time rather than being inundated all at once if I just went out and attempted to publish my book without the blog.

Writer Insecurity #1: What if no one wants to read my stuff?

It’s only human to be frustrated when you have something to say and no one to listen. You ever have a really good idea and then try to take it to a friend, coworker or spouse and have them just respond as with a “Ok, sure,” and a shrug? It’s demoralizing when your great idea does not generate the same enthusiasm in other people.

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Reblogging vs Original Posts

Amazing! From my post calendar it looks like I have posted for the last six days in a row. One more post tomorrow and it will be a full week. I can hardly believe it. Well I can. I sadly know that most of those were reblogs and very few were original posts. Needless to say, although I am going to say it anyway, I have finally, after only five months or so, discovered that  reblog button sitting tantalisingly there at the top of my browser. And I just had to press it didn’t I.

So, I was wondering whether there was some sort of Golden Ratio of original posts to reblogs that exists. Mad idea, I know. I don’t want to allow myself to just keep taking the easy option, reblogging other people’s posts. However, sometimes there is just that perfect post, you know the one, that one right there that you wished more than anything you had written. A work of pure genius, or at the very least, damn funny. Either that or one that provides such vital information that you genuinely believe you cannot deprive your followers of it. In this case of course it is your duty to help it proliferate.

The original purpose of this blog was to encourage me to write more. To help me improve my writing and possibly, and that is a big possibly, launch it into the world, sharing it with others. To share my thoughts, scary. Well, that is still the goal, but until that I reach that point I will try to find a happy medium between reblogs and original posts. Hey, what do you know, an original post today.

Reading Update

It has been a while since I have updated everyone on what I am reading at the moment. I have just finished reading ‘The Writer’ by Cristian Mihai which I quite enjoyed. I am still reading Homer’s ‘The Odyssey’, which like ‘The Iliad’, that you may recall I read a while ago is based on the George Chapman translation. Although I enjoy reading epics like this I can usually only take them in very small doses, a few pages a day, and so they end up taking an absolute age to read. I am also reading Stephen King’s ‘On Writing’, which I had hoped to finish by the end of the weekend, but sadly this now looks unlikely, today being the last day of the football season. I am finding this a fascinating read, even though I have never read any of his fiction.

At the moment I am looking to clear the decks of books, with the exception of ‘The Odyssey’, which as I have mentioned will be a while yet. I have just received Raymond E Feist’s final part of the Riftwar Cycle, ‘Magician’s End’, which I am eager to dive into as soon as possible. I have been reading and enjoying immensely this series since it first started in the early 1980s, and now, thirty years later, it looks to be coming to a final conclusion.

Reasearch or Do?

I spend a lot of time trying to learn ‘how to do things’ rather than actually ‘doing things’. I have always been this way. I try to learn all of the basics about a subject. I research academically what to do to, but have always then neglected the implementation. We all know that the only way to learn many things, the only way to get better at them, is to actually do them. How many times have we all heard that the ‘only way to get better at writing is to write’. From what I have garnered the only two rules that really seem to really be important to improve your writing are ‘to write lots’ and ‘to read lots’. Please correct me if I am wrong.

I have found that I am spending less time on both of these activities and have spending more and more time on reading about writing. I suppose that reading about writing is still reading, but I view it as different. Whilst this no doubt has its place in educating a novice like myself I feel that I need to be careful. I need to be realistic about the fact that you cannot learn everything by reading about it, sometimes you just have to do it.

Often when I have an interest I subscribe to all of the related magazines that I can find, buy up every related book on Amazon and see what courses I can sign up to. Consequently I end up not having the time left to actually do what it is that interested me in the first place. I know that finding out all about an interest can be important, but ultimately you have to do it to, not just read about it. I suppose it is a case of needing to do rather than research.

I must be stronger. I will have to limit the time that I spend on this practice in the future and increase the time I actually spend pursuing the activity or interest of choice, in this case writing.

Do others ever encounter problems like this? Spending more time on reading about an interest than actually pursuing it. I would be very interested to find out.

Marketing With Harry Steinman: Part IIII

Another interesting and enjoyable article from Harry Steinman. I recommend reading it

readful things blog

I am beginning to love Thursdays, how about all of you? Time for another round of do and don’t about Marketing with the very talented Gentleman Mr. Harry Steinman.

The feed back from this series has been great, but every author needs a bit of encouragement, so if you feel you have learned something here or are just enjoying listening to the story of another author, please let Harry and I know that you would like for us to continue:) Without further ado–Harry Steinman

 Pantser or Planner?

Twelve Tips to Self-Publish

By Harry Steinman,

Publisher With a List of Exactly One Book

Some authors are “pantsers”—free-form writers who write ad hoc, and then edit like crazy. Others are planners, methodical writers who follow outlines…and then edit like crazy. The best approach to writing is the one that works for you.

Publishing is another story. Only planners succeed. Publishing…

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Beginning of a Hero – Legends of Windemere by Charles E Yallowitz

I recently finished reading ‘Beginning of a Hero’, first part of the Legends of Windemere series by Charles Yallowitz. As it happens, I read this very quickly, for one simple reason. It was enthralling. I felt compelled to keep going, constantly wanting to know what happened next. Unfortunately I had to stop to leave for work, and with only a few pages remaining, it was extremely difficult to put it down. I kept saying to myself just one more paragraph, just one more page. Then I was very nearly late for work and spent the rest of the day waiting to get the chance to complete it.

Please do not be deceived by the title of this post however. It is not my intention to write a review of this wonderful book. There have been a number of reviews written about this book recently that have done the job far better than I could. In particular Ionias review is excellent, albeit with an insanely long title and is well worth reading. I do intend to add a quick review and recommendation to Amazon, and probably to Goodreads too.

I did want to make it known to everyone how much I enjoyed this book though. I thought that this book was great and I really liked many of the characters finding myself heavily invested in them from the beginning of the book.

The ending leaves a lot of unanswered questions for me and a real desire to know what happens next. I am eager for the sequel. So Charles, fantastic job, and when is the sequel likely to be out? I am waiting in anticipation.

Five Star Unicorns of Happy Reviews (also known as my review of Legends of Windemere by Charles Yallowitz) Holy cow this is a really super very long title.

I have read this book too and can heartily recommend it. I am just waiting for the sequel now.

readful things blog

Luke Callindor was born into Windemere’s most decorated family of adventurers. Since his birth, he has been treated with the greatest amount of respect and awe. Now, with a lifetime of training and the reckless cockiness of youth, Luke has set out to prove that he deserves the admiration that comes from being a Callindor.

Luke gets his chance when he convinces a royal messenger to hire him to protect the heir of Duke Solomon. This future leader is secretly attending Hamilton Military Academy, an esteemed school run by the former mercenary, Selenia Hamilton. It is a dangerous secret mission requiring that Luke pretend to be an average student while keeping an eye out for any sign of danger. Unfortunately, Luke has no idea which student the heir is and a demonic assassin is already several steps ahead of him. Finding himself in over his head and constantly in trouble…

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