What goes on inside a writer’s mind? #writers #writingcommunity #writerslife #amwriting

Writers are simple creatures, we really are. Give us a small, space, make it quiet or noisy depending on our preference, throw in food and beverages every now and then, and we are happy.

A computer and a note pad are always useful as we need something to jot ideas down on…and to write on.

When I’m writing, I forget about everything. In fact, I really hate it when something ‘real life’ important rears its ugly head and demands my attention.

I sometimes worry about myself!

But mostly I worry about writing.

I have two lives. The real one and the imaginary one, and sometimes that line can get real blurry. You find yourself saying things your character might say, and then you wonder whether you are losing yourself inside your character, or if your self is being lost inside the character.

I find it particularly disturbing when I start to sound like the male characters from my book. Does this mean I write feminine male characters?

Do I need to seek counseling?

And what the heck does it matter?

Is there even anything even separating the old stereotypes of men and woman anymore?

Maybe it’s good to mix it up!

Sometimes my mind goes off on a wild ramble…

I forget about real people when I write, but every now and then they pop up and remind me, and it takes me a few minutes to center myself.

I don’t forget about my cats…well one of them anyway because he is extremely noisy and lets me know if there are insufficient quantities of bickies in his bowl.

And writing is such a long process, and terribly frustrating. It feels like every little stage takes forever and it makes you so impatient, and being impatient is not conducive to quality writing…and then you end up editing it to death and feeling even more impatient and frustrated!

But every now and then you write a sentence or a paragraph, and it is so damn beautiful that you wonder how the heck you dragged that out of the sorry ramble that your tapping fingers produced during the other 99% of the time.

You can get lost in that sentence, find yourself re-reading it and admiring it like you’ve just discovered you really do have a soul.

The rest of your draft is still a shocking mess, but you’re a writer, so you focus on the positives.

And then there are other writers. Those appalling folks who keep writing good books that you can’t help but dip into the moment they come out. You’ve written 200 words today, you should reward that effort by reading a couple of chapters from your favorite author’s new book!

There’s a flaw in this plan because no one ever just reads a chapter. Nope, that’s not going to happen.

So in answer to the question, what do writers think about…everything and anything…we walk among you and yet we are not really present.

Don’t hate us, we can’t help it. If you want to know what really goes on inside our head, you’ll have to buy our books 😉

Happy reading and writing 🙂

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Why feedback is so important… #writing #amwriting #writerslife

I was recently reading On Writing by Stephen King. It’s one of those books you dip in and out of and even re-read. While I love his candid style, it is something else within this book that I want to reflect on.

The importance of nurturing young minds

I have always been a reader; my earliest memories are of sitting with my head buried in a book. People would buy me books, my mum in particular bought me a huge number as gifts. I would read my favorites over and over again. I was never much of a writer when young though, and it wasn’t until I left university that I started to dabble in writing myself.

Whenever we come to the writing life, whether as a child, a young adult, or an older adult, we come to it with a measure of vulnerability.


“She (his mother) said it was good enough to be in a book. Nothing anyone has said to me since has made me feel any happier.”

~Stephen King, On Writing.

We all need someone to believe in us.

One someone is usually enough.

Just someone.

Someone whose opinion holds weight, whose opinion matters.

That doesn’t mean feedback should be sugar coated. It must be genuine, and better if it comes from someone who is circumspect with their praise. Most people, young or old, have an inbuilt detector for the disingenuous. False praise will fall flat, but the praise we have worked for will lift us up to a special place.

It’s also about timing. We are all vulnerable at times in our life, and that maybe when we are young like Stephen was when his mother read his first story, and it might equally be when we are older.

So, I am going to amend my above quote and say that there is an importance to nurturing all minds.

All writers are equal and different

I realize everyone is different, and that some writers might need greater nurturing than others. Some might even be comfortable with their own magnificence and need very little nurturing at all.

I think most writers are imperfect perfectionists who are never really satisfied with what they produce and are always seeking to do better.

And I think all writers need someone to believe in them. I know if someone offered me an option to have a hundred dollars or a hundred reviews from people who enjoyed my work,  I would pick the reviews every time.

It doesn’t matter how many books you have written or how successful you are as a writer. Success is subjective, after all. But I love that Stephen Kings greatest source of writerly pride was getting a quarter for his first book from his mother.

The Six Writing ‘Blocker’ Personalities #writing #amwriting #amnotwritingverymuch

Every writer loves to write, but with the best intentions, ‘stuff’ can get in our way.

Here are the six writing blocker personality types. Which is your favorite?

The star

You have an ‘amazing’ story idea, but you become distracted with how ‘amazing’ your life will be once you are a famous writer…

The minion

You have motivation, you have ideas…but ‘real’ people and ‘real’ life is demanding all your time!

The daydreamer

You have ideas, but the ideas are so much fun…and you just want to think about them.

The procrastinator

You want to write, you really do, but there are too many distractions in your life.

Like Twitter!

Or Facebook!

Or a snack!

Or a snooze!

The blank page

You’ve got nothing <sigh>. Absolutely nothing.

The cat wrangler!

The writing planets are aligned…unfortunately, there is something furry lying all over your keyboard.

What it feels like to write a book #writing #writerslife #amwriting

How I feel when I start

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How I feel when I finish my first draft

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How I feel when I read my first draft

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How I feel when I start editing

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How I feel when I finish editing

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How I feel when I ask someone to read it

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Ready for a Holiday #writerslife #writing #amwriting

Sick club…

I’ve not been well for a few months now with a cold and then a cough that just won’t go away. But this is my last week of work and then I am taking a three week holiday. Really looking forward to a nice relaxing break….Okay, and maybe just a smidgen of fun 😉

Back to the blog…

So, I’m well and truly fed up of the sick club and can’t wait to get back to blogging. I have some fun blog posts queued up and will get cracking on them while I am on holiday! So pull up your chair and get the popcorn out!

Happy holidays…

I’ll be in Brisbane for Christmas and New year, and I will also drop a couple of posts of our travels while there. It’s been over five years since my last visit and I expect it will have changed a fair bit. It’s a long flight from Perth, too, so any scifi or fantasy reading recommendations would be appreciated!

Writerly stuff…

When I wasn’t feeling sorry for myself I was busy writing my new book series. I’m into editing now and happy with the way the book turned out. I usually aim for 100-110k and then cut about 10-20%. This time I didn’t quite make 90k in the draft and it’s tracking at around 80k after the first editing cull. I normally struggle to keep the word count down so this is a new experience for me! I’m comfortable with the storyline and will see how it feels as I read. Sometimes gaps become obvious later, but I would rather it was a good 80k than try and pad it out!

Book 2 for the Divided World Series should be coming out in print soon. And Book 3 just needs a final read, so lots coming in the new year!

Let’s get creative…

I’ve had a lot of fun writing the new book. It was nice to get back into the creative side of writing after so long editing and tweaking the last series. But now the draft is done, I do enjoy the editing 🙂

Happy reading and writing! 🙂

Why writers should ‘think’ a little evil #amwriting #writerslife #writing

I thought I would take a little time out from my WIP to talk about writers, and more specifically their evil nature.

Now, I realise that being a writer doesn’t make you any more disposed toward a life of crime, or even being unkind because it certainly doesn’t. Although please never check a writer’s search history because you will soon be convinced we are plotting an assassination attempt and looking for ways to hide the body!

What I am talking about is conflict…because every good book needs conflict…and the only way to think up conflict is…you guessed it…to think a little evil.

Planning evil

Right in the very earliest stages of your novel’s development, when it is no more than a twinkling in the dark pit of your mind…there is conflict bubbling up to the surface.

Without conflict or challenge there is only a…millpond.

I’m going to let you in on a secret…nobody wants to read about a millpond because it’s BORING!

What we need is stormy seas and howling winds, and a few pure evil key plot points to screw our character’s lives up!

Spontaneous evil

So, you kick off your story and you feel you have a goodly smattering of conflict going on when. …WHAM! It just pops in there, another totally evil thing you could do to your characters that will stir things up even more!

You rub your hands together in glee and immediately get down to the nefarious deed.

Barely have your characters got over that little challenge when…BAM! Oh yes, you guessed it, another nasty plot point has hatched in your very evil mind.

Evil Conclusion

Are writers quintessentially evil? Do we take to writing as a way of nurturing evil thoughts that are already there? Or do we develop and hone our evil plot point radar as we write and write some more?

I guess we may never know, but one fact is very well established, a little evil thinking will go a long way to help your writing!

Read a book. Be Happy :) #Writing #amwriting #reading #books

I am going to confess something…I love reading as much as I love writing…and I love writing an awful lot.

So I thought I would share some excellent reasons / excuses to read a little more.

It makes us better writers.

When we read we consciously and subconsciously pick up all kinds of amazing tips whether it is impactful word placement, a descriptive style, or story flow, reading a good book will help it all.

Expands our vocabulary and intelligence.

When we read we expose ourselves to new words, new ideas, and new perspectives. Every time we read a book we have an opportunity to learn.

It fires up our imagination.

When we read we meet new characters and travel to amazing places that can fire up our imagination.

It reduces stress.

Reading is known as a flow activity. This means that when we read we let our worldly troubles go and submerge ourselves in another world. Time passes swiftly…it’s a great way to make things like a boring daily commute bearable.

It makes us happy.

I think this goes without saying, but if you have a book with you adventure is only a few pages away.

“A writer is a world trapped in a person.” #writing #amwriting #writerslife

There is no better curse than to be a writer.

Why constrain yourself to one world and one life, when you can build thousands for yourself?

With imagination you can climb impossible mountains, fly dragons, and win wars.

You can die, and be reborn.

You can solve great mysteries, or create them.

Make people, and then make them hate one another or fall in love.

Send them out on perilous quests that they might, at your whim, win or lose.

You can go with them, or decide to watch them from afar.

Yes, there really is no better curse than to be a writer.