They say a change is as good as a rest – but a rest does the job too

Back in April, I wrote a post about not breaking the chain, which involved making sure I did at least one writing-related task every single day. Having started the chain on the 3rd of January this year, I am pleased to announce that I kept it going for 185 days straight. Despite the best of intentions, however, I knew that I would have to break the chain eventually and ended up doing so on the 7th of July.

But I broke it in spectacular fashion and have in fact taken almost a month off from writing…! This was in order to Continue reading

The preferences of a writer’s palate: fancy meal or messy takeaway?

What do you like to see when you open a menu? Perhaps you are attracted to a dish that is described in elaborate language, seasoned with exotic terminology, and served like art on a plate. Or maybe you prefer a more humble bill of fare and don’t mind how sloppy it looks so long as it tastes delicious.

This is sometimes how I view reading books. I would put literary classics in the fancy meal category and more lighthearted material in the messy takeaway category. Both can appeal for different reasons but, like the food they represent, both offer Continue reading

Don’t break the chain: a writer’s mantra

No, this isn’t about spam mail claiming you will have seven years’ bad luck unless you forward it to 100 other people. It’s about motivation, consistency and – after a while – pure obstinacy!

I came across the notion of ‘Don’t break the chain’ in a recent blog post by crime author Catherine Ryan Howard. Always generous with advice, Catherine offered up some productivity tips and one of them was to not break the chain. She recommended putting Continue reading

Giving up on a book – when do you make that call?

Up until very recently, I was a firm believer that you should always power through a book to the end, regardless of its appeal, length or quality. This principle was motivated by a number of factors, including:

  • a simple desire to find out what happens
  • a respect for the time and effort the author has put into producing the work
  • a sense of completion at the end that aligns with my inbuilt impulse to neatly box away everything in life

Unfortunately, I have encountered a book which has forced me to abandon this enduring cornerstone of my existence.

Prior to Continue reading

2016: Time to take stock

Another year has passed which means it’s time to look back over 2016 and assess how it went!

December 2016On a global scale, I think many people are in agreement that the year has been something of a disaster, with regard to both international politics and the loss of numerous celebrity greats. On a personal level, I’ve found it to be a year of bad luck in quite a few different aspects, although there were memorable moments too, including special weddings of very close friends. But, for the purposes of this blog, the question is how did I fare out in writing terms?

My final post of 2015 included these words: “2016 will see Continue reading

What does it signify if you fail to reach your goal?

For some inexplicable reason, I love writing and would like to get published someday. I don’t know where the compulsion came from but at this stage I just run with it, even though I have to admit that it often seems more like a hard slog than a pleasurable pastime.

I embarked upon my quest for publication in April 2013. I began to build my online platform and submitted my work to a variety of publishers and agents. While I received small scraps of positive feedback, my manuscripts were nonetheless consigned to the rejection pile. I knew I was Continue reading

Why historical fiction for me? And which genre for you?

It fascinates me that there is such a range of genres in fiction and non-fiction and that people can be so tempted by some and so repelled by others. Crime, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, historical fiction, comedy, horror, and more – there’s no accounting for taste. Today I’m going to talk about why historical fiction calls to me. But I would love to hear what draws you to your favourite genre too!

Having sampled many different genres over the years, I have come to identify historical fiction as my top choice in both reading and writing. I enjoy historical fiction because Continue reading

Book First? Movie First? Or Does It Really Matter?

I’m really curious to know where people stand on this!

I am primarily a book-before-the-movie person. For me, it’s about experiencing the story in its original format – I want to embrace it the way the author imagined it, not the way the director interpreted it. I do love to see the adaptations afterwards but I prefer my first encounter to be with the words on the page.

When comparing the two versions, I find Continue reading