Saturday, 8 February 2020

How To Be A Writer

After a fantastic evening with Weston Writer's Nights on Thursday (6th February), where Jenny Kane, Jan Ellis, Fay Keenan and myself were on a panel answering questions about How To Be A Writer, I thought I would create a blog post.

(Photo taken by Weston Writer's Nights)

I'm concerned that although we've shared the reality of being a writer, which might mean holding down another job too, I didn't want to discourage the fact that if you want to write, you must write. But do not be disillusioned that you may make money from it. You might make some, but not necessarily enough to give up the day job.

Anyway, the evening was fantastic and so much fun, so I hope the audience did enjoy the event as much as we did.

And on that note, I thought I would give a quick summary on How To Be A Writer:

  1. Write! (You can't edit a blank page - so write!)
  2. No ideas are stupid ideas. If you want to write them, then write them! Inspiration can come from anything.
  3. Make time to write, too. Do you work best in the mornings, afternoons or evenings? Write when it's best for you. And without interruptions if possible. 
  4. Find a writing space that suits you and use it. Everybody is different: Some need complete silence (me!) and some can work in a coffee shop (Jenny!)
  5. Find a critique partner or small group of writing friends. It's great to bounce ideas off one another. Writing can be a lonely place, so it's good to get out and be social with likeminded people - those who appreciate and understand you have voices in your head that sometimes won't shut up. 
  6. You must have a thick skin. Sometimes you might have to kill your darlings (as they say). But never delete a book. Put it in a drawer for a while. A change of market might mean it becomes suitable for publishing.   
  7. Do your research. Check who publishes your genre. Don't send your book out to just any publisher as you'll get a bad name for yourself. It's not professional. The same applies for agents, too. Writers and Artists Yearbook is the best place to look, or in a book shop. (Check the books you enjoy reading in the genre you write).
  8. Don't give up the day job, even if you get a contract.
  9. Imprint Publishers don't need you to submit via an agent.
  10. Most importantly make sure you're having fun! 

And if you want the Mars Bar Scones recipe Jenny talked about, you can find it here

If you still have any burning questions about writing then please don't hesitate to contact us via any of our social media platforms. We'd be more than happy to help. 

Remember: if you write, then you are a writer. 

To find out more about Weston Writer's Nights click here!

Thank you to everyone who attended the event. You were a wonderful audience.

Thursday, 6 February 2020

Well, well, well...

Well, well, well...

It's been a while since I updated you on my romantic (or not so romantic) liaisons. Last summer, I met a guy who I thought could be The One. We got on so well, talking about everything! It was crazy.

Then, of course, he ended it saying he wasn't ready for a relationship. I blogged about it here.

This spurred me to do something rather unlikely. With a lot of badgering from my writery friends, I applied to First Dates. (As I no longer have an online dating profile anywhere! Yep, deleted them all.)

Then one month later he came back into my life.

Let's call him #MrWells.

Now, this happened all before Christmas... (And I wrote this post before Christmas but decided it wasn't the right time of year to start ranting about idiotic men ann didn't want to taint the Christmas spirit!)

I'm not sure I want to get into the long and the short of it, only that yet again, he was a man with issues.  (Why do I always find the men with issues?) And with my past experience in counselling, the counsellor in my head now tells me I did nothing wrong. Because I did nothing wrong. (Wait till you hear it).

All I will say is, ladies, avoid men with issues. Do not empathise, sympathise, even dream of loving them, do not fear that they will be lonely. In fact, let them be exactly that. Lonely. They do not deserve you because if they do not love themselves then they will not love or respect you. And to be honest, I think they love themselves a little too much in some twisted way, and will not give two shits about you.

After two weeks of no communication from #MrWells, which I was to assume our relationship had expired, he messaged me via email. Am I to presume he deleted my number out of his phone (as I have done with his if truth be told). An email?!

And all it reads is along the lines of sorry it didn't work out between us. Still no explanation. No thank you for returning his watch. (I'll get to that).

I deleted the email without responding. I felt that as I had nothing nice to say it was best to say nothing at all.

However, you know me, I do like to have my say... so I thought I'd blog about it instead.

Dear reader, do you want to know what he did?

We've had a lovely evening, everything appeared great between us (so I thought). We'd only been seeing each other a couple of months - well it's about 4 months from 1st date, but we had a wobble which really should have told me then to walk away. (See link above.)

We watched some TV (like normal couples do) and went to bed, made love....

Now we aren't familiar yet with sleeping together regularly, so at 2am (ish) it wasn't surprising for him to say he couldn't sleep. However, he insisted he would go into one of the boys' rooms. Now being a lot bigger than me, and my boys both have cabin beds, I suggested I go and he stay in my bed.

But he insisted I stay in my own bed. So I made up the sofa bed in my son's room and left him to it. At around 2.40am #MrWells is entering my bedroom, using his phone as a torch, rummaging around in the ensuite. (Honestly it was like a burglar!) When I ask him what he's doing, he says he's gathering his belongings, he can't sleep, he's going home.

Now we'd made plans to do something together Sunday. In this growing relationship, I'd hoped we would get to spend the day together. So, in my confused and very tired state, I'm asking if he's coming back. I help him find other items that he would clearly have behind otherwise - he's a bloke after all - and see him on his way.

I can't sleep straight away, so I put all the sofa bed back etc. In the morning, I've received a message which says he's "home" at 3.43am. I reply, "Hey best text me once you're up."


I sent his watch back to him via special delivery when my friends said I should just smash it, or just not bother sending it back until he contacted me. He didn't even thank me!

After knowing how #HeWhoShallNotBeNamed had treated me, confiding in him about the counselling, this is how I am treated! I am soooooo sick of it.

Why me? Why do these fucking arseholes come near me?

I wouldn't mind if they were drop dead gorgeous and fit as fuck, but no, they're average arseholes. And I'm so soft I let them in.

I'm really sorry to say this but the next guy really does have his work cut out to convince me he is worth his salt. Because I am DONE!

I am very happily single.