Monday, 30 March 2015

Achey Breaky Heart ...

I have a confession to make.  I am stuck in a writing-less desert and all I can see for miles around, instead of sandy dunes, is blank page after blank page as far as the eye can see.  Yes.  I have Writer's Block.  The problem isn't that I don't have any ideas.  The problem is that I have too many and I am struggling to find one I can commit to without deviating and trying another - thus dooming both.  I know what you are thinking.  You are thinking she can't have Writer's Block that bad if she is doing a blog-post!  And you're absolutely right.  Blog posts, random jottings, haiku and diary I can write, no probs.   Anything else?  Forget it!

When I was a Creative Writing tutor, students often came to me complaining of Writer's Block.  It is true it is an affliction that affects most writers at some point in their lives.  I used to say that there are two ways forward - one is to just give yourself a complete break for a couple of weeks.  The other is to fish out something old and breathe fresh life into it; bring it into the here and now.  The main thing is not to fret over it as that will inevitably make things worse.

So my question to you is this - why don't I heed my own advice?

I am going away for Easter with my Steve.  We are heading off to Yorkshire for the long weekend and I can hardly wait.  I am hoping it will recharge my batteries (I always find the Yorkshire Moors and Dales inspiring) and give me a little break.  Things have been incredibly intense since My Writer was published and then launched so maybe - just maybe - I have burned myself out a little?  I am also finding it terribly frustrating getting Waterstones to take me seriously; although the Croydon branch - bless their literary hearts - has suggested I contact them in June as the branch is currently being refurbished and their events diary is taking a back seat till it is all finished.  So I will.  Of course I will.  The others I shall just keep emailing until they get sick of seeing my name!  I took My Writer seriously, my husband took it seriously, everyone who attended the launch took it seriously and everyone who has thus far bought a copy have also taken it seriously.

Perhaps then it is merely a matter of time?  Maybe we should all take a little hiatus over Easter?

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Let's Get More Kids Writing ...

I wish you could have been at my book launch last Saturday!  It came hot on the heels of a hugely successful Young Writer session which saw FOURTEEN children turn up!  We practically took the Library over!  Or so it seemed as I went hunting for more and more chairs in order to accommodate everyone!  With all this interest there is but definitely a gap in the market somewhere for Young Writers!  I want to get more kids writing.  Writing is the best thing in the world.  Writing preserves old worlds and creates new ones.  It is an opportunity to express oneself.  It is the opportunity to entertain, to share, to inspire.  And writing out of school is so different to writing in it!  I am so lucky to have been inspired and encouraged by a writer I knew as a child who just happened to be my favourite teacher at school.  I want to get the word out there.  I want kids to want to write!

As for the book launch itself - well - it was totally amazing!  I had a lot of people turn up and I sold a lot of books and donated two to the Library.  I am now pestering Waterstones to let me do some signings.  They are being a little slow off the mark - this is the second time I have had to contact them.  But I know they'll pick it up because they support local writers.  I just have to pester pester pester!

Cannot wait now to get out there and do more craft fairs, more signings.  Let kids (and grown-ups) read My Writer.  The magic is in the words!

Sunday, 15 March 2015


Things are going absolutely swimmingly re: the book launch!  I have made bookmarks to give away.  I have sent out invitations.  I have heard the book is already being re-sold on Amazon.  This is great!  I have been tweeting about it, mentioned it on Linked In , have an incredibly clever nephew who is going to set up a Facebook page - and just about all my Young Writers are going to come along, too! So don't forget - My Writer  is now on sale!  Let's get more kids Writing!

So what else?  Oh yeah - I am working on some new ideas but this time I will  get picked up by an Agent!  I am going to go through my Children's W & A Yearbook like a trojan!  Someone somewhere will suddenly realise what I have to offer in the way of writing.  And I haven't forgotten about The Epic or the Yucketypoo books.

Boy - I am so fired up today!

See you on the 21st!

Monday, 2 March 2015

Ready Steady Go ...

Last Thursday I took delivery of 100 beautful copies of My Writer, all pristine and untouched by human hand.  They look amazing and I still can't quite believe I have actually done it!  And quite a few people are coming along to the launch on the 21st, so it will be good for the library as well - another reason to prove how vital they are to the community so STOP CLOSING THEM DOWN!!

Had a great session with my talented scribblers on 21st February.  Thirteen came along and it is so good to note how we seem to average between nine and twelve most sessions.  Can you believe it is almost a year since the group was re-launched?  How did that happen?  Did I blink or something? All joking aside though, I am absolutely thrilled by the fact that not only did Addiscombe Young Writers survive its first major setback in October 2013, it continues in 2015, to grow and thrive and gather momentum  - and I have heard of a couple of similar groups possibly being set up in other parts of the country which is truly awesome!  Making  Creative Writing as cool as the Arts and Sports is precisely why I started the group in the first place.  All children are born writers.  Nothing quite matches their innocence, their imagination and their belief which is exactly why their skills should be nurtured and honed from as early as possible.  

So how are you guys anyway?  Hope you are still Writing away and preparing for success and a sense of achievement!  I have been working my way through The Epic of late (remember that?  Go back a couple of years and you'll find a blow by blow account right here in this very blog!).  I don't know why.  I just picked it up the other day and began to read.  and I read,  And read.  And read.  And I have come to the conclusion it is FAR TOO GOOD to waste.  And if I think that - normally my own worst critic - then I happen to believe others will too.  Hey ... keep an eye out.  I might even put a bit of it in my next Post ...