Getting Competitive

I decided that whilst I work on my book, I’m also going to cast the net wider and do as much writing as possible in order to perfect my style and maybe try and get a few smaller pieces published online or in magazines to get my confidence up. So, I’ve decided to enter my first ever writing competition! It’s just a small competition and I know I’m unlikely to get very far but I’m excited by the thought of actually having my writing read by someone in the industry and so have put my book to one side for a few days whilst I write my piece. It’s a piece for adults rather than children, with the theme of Aging and a maximum word count of 2000 words. I only came across the competition yesterday and woke up in the middle of the night with ideas for a piece. I got up a quickly jotted down my ideas (I seem to always get ideas just as I’m going to sleep, I must remember to keep a notepad by my bed) and then started writing today. I’m about 800 words in so far. With my book I would have written much more than 800 words in a day but I’m discovering that writing short stories is much more difficult. With restrictions on the word count every single word really does count and so I’m doing a lot more thinking than writing with this piece. I’m already finding it such good practise though. It’s forcing me to think more carefully about every single thing I write and once this piece is done I’ll definitely be going back over what I’ve written of my book so far and making sure that every word is relevant. I’m hoping to finish the piece tomorrow and then have the weekend to edit it and send it off. Then I’ll be looking out for more competitions as I can already feel the benefit of entering them.

Happy writing! x

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Where do I begin?

Since I was a child I’ve always toyed with the idea of being a writer but I’ve never really taken it seriously. When asked, age 9, to write about what I wanted to do when I grew up, I very firmly stated that I wanted to be a children’s author or illustrator. Writing is something I’ve come back to over and over again throughout the years but for some reason I’ve never committed myself to it, keeping it locked away as an unreachable dream. Every now and then I’ve taken it out from the dusty cupboards of my mind, had a little play with it and then carefully locked it back up again for another day, another year. It has taken until now, age 30, for me to finally be ready to commit to my dream and to make it a reality. That sounds rather cliché doesn’t it? Making dreams a reality! But at some stage, when you’ve tinkered around with several different careers and never really found something that keeps you interested, it’s time to do something about it, and perhaps looking back to those childhood dreams, when we were unencumbered by stress and worry and doubt, and thinking about doing something with them is the way to go. We shall see!

After weeks stuck in the house ill, feeling sorry for myself, I’ve finally discovered that I have the motivation and the focus I’ve been waiting for to bring one of my many ideas for a children’s story to life. For a few years now I’ve had plenty of vague ideas for stories floating about in my head, but this is the first one that feel confident that I can start and actually finish. So, I’ve started writing my first book! I’m 2,000 words in, have a long way yet to go, and so far am undaunted by the task ahead of me. I’ve read plenty of advice for first time writers and yet somehow I’ve not yet been put off by the many warnings and signposts of ‘turn back now!’ and ‘danger ahead!’. I’m happier than I have been in a while and that’s all that matters at the moment. It’d be nice to make a bit of money along the way if it comes my way, by whether I do or not, at least I am following my dream and giving it a shot at the big time once and for all.

I decided to set up this blog for several reasons. For one thing, it’s a good way of making sure that I am writing regularly and keeping the momentum going. I also figured there are probably many people like me out there, who have been toying with the idea of writing but have struggled to find the courage, and so I thought it may be interesting to hear about my experiences and maybe even share a few of your own. Writing is a difficult and lonely task and so the more support that fellow writers can give each other the better. Largely though, this blog is a way of hopefully keeping myself sane throughout the book writing process. I fully expect to succumb to writers block, self-doubt and general insanity whilst writing my first book and so hopefully by offloading some of the stress online, I will be able to save myself from going completely round the bend!

So if you’re curious to read the possibly increasingly mad ramblings of a first time writer, intermingled by a few book reviews, short creative pieces and general musings on life, then please do follow this blog. All I have to offer is an insight into my mind, make of it what you will!

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This is me.