Saturday, 19 March 2011

Keeping My Head Down

It's been a busy few weeks. The day job has been mad, but I don't want to talk about that for simple reasons of self-preservation.

A while back I joined another online writing group. It has been transformative. My output has doubled, tripled, more. There have been writing competitions designed to fuel the idea factory and to push up the daily wordcount, and the crits I am getting back (and sending in) have completely changed the way I look at my own work. I would recommend joining a crit group to any struggling writer. I'm in three, now – two online (Codex and BSFA's Orbiter) and, of course, Wirral Writers. Right now I'm involved in a competition which, this week, required 1000 words from me. Now okay, that is not a lot. 1000 words a day is do-able so 1000 a week sounds easy. But here's the thing, they have to be good words – edited words, words that I can't go back and change; and secondly, I've been playing in a show all week. (Bugle Boy, at the Gladstone in Port Sunlight. A musical about the life of Glen Miller. Come and see it. Last night tonight) This has meant ten hours at the day job, stuff some food down, then out to the theatre. Home quite late, so fall into bed. When to write? Well, I get 30 minutes each day for lunch, and to get away from the phones I skulk off to the coffee shop in M&S. (I love writing in coffee shops – don't know why, I think it's the company minus the distractions) But there was a sale on, and for two days I couldn't get near the place. Then I had trouble getting online to upload the story. Aargh! So it went down to the wire, but in the end I made it, I got my 1000 words done with mere hours to spare. They are posted and done. Next step will be to read what everyone else has done. Loving it – even if I come last I can use the feedback.

Saturday today, day off, so Sarah and I are in Bodnant Gardens. While she sketches I blog, catching up on my much neglected social networking. Difficult because the sun is out (Hey, I'm not complaining, it's lovely) but the brightness settings on my netbook are knackered. So typos are entirely the fault of reflected solar radiation, and not the author.