Wednesday, 26 January 2011

A New Record?

I think I have just broken a record! No not my beloved Slade Album from the 70's but the speed that I sent off a pitch for one of my children's stories to getting an answer back from the publisher!

At precisely 4.30 pm I sent of an enquiry email pitching my children's book and by 4.41pm precisely I had a 'Yes we will read it' email back! What a great service. At least I feel that I am sending stuff out again.

I know it doesn't mean anything but it did give me the feel good factor and so at precisely 5.03 pm my book had gone winging it's way to seek a future.

It's just knowing that someone is prepared to read your work that gives you confidence, it certainly motivated me into delving into my new 2011 Writers' and Artists' Year book to find a willing recipient of my non-fiction book which I am determined to get out by January 31st!

Here goes!

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Grow Your Writing!

I spent a good three hours in the garden this morning and feel it is true that any form of physical exercise also helps to stimulate the mind. I felt so inspired as I was clearing old rubbish and burning it to start a fresh new year. This is so similar to my writing too. The bonfire is about clearing away all the stuff that has been cluttering my space and having a nice clear desk to start getting creative.

Even though the ground was too hard to dig, I cleared the area and managed to find my vegetable patch that had been lying dormant for the last few months. With a bit of care and hard work, I raked away most of the rubbish and now have a fresh bed to start growing things. New ideas - just like when you have a clean piece of paper or a blank computer screen in front of you.

As I moved around the garden and noticed things, I felt inspired with all the new birth that is already starting to appear.

And even though the ground is hard as iron, new life pushes through.
As writers, we are just like a garden. Constantly growing new ideas despite the set backs and conditions we have to face.

As long as we put in some time and hard work to nurture our ideas, hopefully they will grow into prize winning specimens.

Good luck and get planting!

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Buying some time

I recently bought some time. It was quite expensive and had to come out of my annual salary but it was well worth it.

I chose this picture because I felt like my writing time was a bit like a jigsaw. I was trying to find bits of time to write and of course it eventually comes together (this clock really does work) but I felt like I needed larger chunks to get on with major writing projects.

With all the bad weather recently and snow that refused to leave parts of South Shropshire, I was finding it a struggle to get into work on time and wanted to leave early. I applied to reduce my hours on a temporary basis until the nights get longer. They agreed and so when I started back after Christmas, instead of feeling the usual weekday blues, I felt great knowing that I would be getting home early. I wanted to really use the time effectively so when I get home at 4.00 pm I can write for and hour and a half and still have time for the usual routine of sorting my animals and cooking tea.

Last week I managed to clock up a total of 8 hours on my non-fiction book. That is like a whole working day that I spent completely on my project which is now almost ready to submit. I hope to send it out into the world by the end of January.

I realise this extra time will be short lived as I return to my full time hours in March but until then I intend to get my money's worth with my new purchase and hope that it will pay off in the long term.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

A 'Clucky' Day!

I had some lovely news when I got home today. One of my articles has been published in Practical Poultry Magazine.

It was such a lovely surprise as it was accepted way back in 2010 and I feared the worse, but on reaching home I had a lovely message on my answer phone from the owner of the Wernlas Collection for rare breed poultry. I had done a very enjoyable interview with him which featured some of the most unusual chickens I had ever seen.

To my delight he told me it was in and that he was very pleased with the result. He even informed me of another new publication that may take submissions, so I feel very positive about the year ahead and my writing activity.

It really did restore my confidence in my article writing again and to get out there and ask if I can do some interviews. That old saying is so true - 'If you don't ask, you don't get' I intend to do a bit more asking in 2011!

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Me and my inspirational shadow

Isn't it magical how inspiration can just suddenly hit you sometimes when you least expect it?

I was messing around with my horses this morning, which I do twice a day every day of the year but today I got that wonderful feeling of inspiration, another idea to put into writing purely from my hobby.

My oldest horse, Chad really struggles to eat his hay these days as it is too hard for his ancient molars to cope with. He eats well but I wondered if there were any money saving ways of getting him to eat more. I had been thinking about it for a while and today I discovered a way of making my own Chaff which is like a finely chopped Hay/Straw mixture. I won't bore you with the details but it worked, he chomped his way through a huge bucket full and gave me the most slobbery kiss possible to say thanks.

The great thing was that I immediately drew inspiration from my exercise and thought I may turn it into an article at some stage. I got the photos and the evidence that it works - just need a nice editor to take an interest and say yes!

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Creating your own map

I am always quite scared of going through a field of cows, they can be such un-predictable creatures, yet they didn't stop me going for a glorious walk this morning. In this case I was able to walk around them and go another way but sometimes it may be necessary to take a chance and go along your planned route as long as you are safe.

I really intend to hold onto that thought with my writing this year and want to aim for all my writing goals despite the hazards that may crop up on my journey.

I have learned so much during the last year about writing in general and also myself.

When I came close to success with a publisher wanting to see all of my work, I got excited about the thought of success but that made the rejection harder when they said NO! When I had picked myself up, I thought about what I had actually achieved. I had made a huge break through in that I was not mad for trying to get my novel published and that a major publisher said they like my style, so that is worth celebrating.

In 2011 I want to stride out, maybe without a map on some occasions as though guidance is important, you have to go with your gut feeling sometimes. I shall be doing that as often as I can and not be deterred by those horrible hazards that get in the way of writing such as time, motivation and the confidence to never give up if you are rejected, create your own map and perhaps just try another way!