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Sunday, 28 August 2016

Write Away

Write Away

How many of you write away from home? Perhaps you always write away from home due to distractions, or lack of space. Do you go somewhere before or after work? Are your weekends an escape route to writing?

If you haven't tried writing away from home before, maybe it's time to try it. Personally, I find it energising to have a change now and again.

Here are a few ideas.

Libraries - Most libraries have had to face severe cuts over the last few years, however there are some that have a late evening or two, and most have an area where you can set up with a note book and pen, or even your tablet or laptop in some cases.

Coffee Bars  - These can be hectic, but maybe you're one of those people who can filter out background noise, or perhaps you welcome it. Most cafes have no objection to you setting up and working as long as you buy a drink every now and again.

Public Transport - Trains and buses are good for this, especially the train if you can get a table seat. Go with your notebook on the bus, or try writing on your mobile phone. It's amazing what can be achieved in even the shortest journey.

Waiting Rooms - Be it the doctor, dentist or solicitors. It's possible to get a few snatched words down before your name gets called, and you don't even notice the wait.

Cars - Writing in your car, whether that be on the carpark at work during your lunch break, or a place you've driven to especially.

Motorway Service Stations - Don't rule these places out. It's possible to find a good spot to sit and watch the world go by, and also pen a few chapters of your novel. Or glean ideas for that short story.

Motorhomes & Caravans - Very doable, and with a view that keeps changing.

Outdoor Spaces - Okay, so this one is obviously weather dependent, but worth trying. Perhaps a bench in the park. Or your own personal retreat at the bottom of your garden. I've heard all about sheds that have been converted into writing dens. Or maybe you have an allotment shed? Or a beach hut?

Hotels - It's usual to see people working in hotel foyers, or lounges these days, and again as long as you order a drink or two, you'll find no one really bothers you. Your entire novel could be penned at the Hilton, or at a Premier Inn.

Other People's Homes  - This can work very well, especially if they are writers too. The added bonus here, is you usually stop and have  a writerly natter too. If they aren't writers, then perhaps if you're babysitting, or looking after their home for a week whilst they are away on holiday you can type away for an hour or so.  Be sure to get their permission on that last idea.

Trying out a variety of venues can be fun. Some will work well, and others won't work so well, but all will be a change. Don't assume where you write now is the best environment. Take you writing out on tour, and experience a different setting, different noises, smells and scenery. A writer on the move needs very little these days. Have a bag ready. Laptop, notebook, pens etc Go on, try it this week!

Let me know where you write? And any unusual places you've tried.


Saturday, 20 August 2016

Bringing Order to Chaos

Summer

Hello, it's me again. I know, its been a while, and I'm sorry about that. So what happened? Truthfully, I went on holiday back at the end of June, had a lovely relaxing break, and just couldn't get going again. I've struggled with a lot of other things too, apart from the blog.

Writing still figured high up on my priority list, and over the last few months, I've been doing different stuff. Shorter fiction, which has suited not only my mood, but also the bursts of time I've had available. I wasn't writing daily, and sometimes I missed two or three days. Consequently, not very much got done beyond my shorter pieces of flash fiction and a few short stories.  I did think about things though, because I needed to make sense of what was stopping me.

Trying to fit in a career, family, staying healthy and writing is tough on a good day, and I'm sure some reading this post will know what I mean. Even a couple of things going awry in a busy person's day can be nightmarish. When the to-do list has no end, and we allow busyness to rule us, life feels chaotic! I don't feel guilty for pressing the pause button.

I'm not a full-time writer, and I need to keep in mind that it isn't the thing I do to earn my living. Most writers do not make a living out of writing.  To be a writer you have to write. To be a good writer, you have to write a lot. Okay, I know I'm a writer, I DO write, just not as much and as often as those who choose to make a full-time career out of it. I'm working at getting better, and I know it could be many years before I see any success the way I'm approaching it, but that's okay. I'm going to accept that for now, I'll do what I can, whilst remaining mindful that I'm not in some race, and my livelihood doesn't depend on my writing.

Recently, I've got back on track, on average I'm writing six out of seven days. My target is to do fifteen minutes before the day gets going properly, but it's usually thirty minutes before I stop. At weekends, I do more. My new regime is working for now, I'm moving forward, and have some work, life balance now. Where as before, I felt out of control, and angry that I couldn't devote more time to writing.

Very few of us take enough time out to relax. Yet it's so important to take a break now and again. Try it, if you don't already do it. It's rejuvenating, and need not be months, or even weeks. Just twenty minutes spent sitting quietly will bring a little order to chaos.

I'm back now, and intend to update the blog regularly. Let me know what you've been up to?