Maker Time

Maker Time

Lockdown affects us all differently. I’m amazed by the way some people are filling their time, whether it be learning a new language, doing some DIY or catching up with their reading. For me, I’ve been able to make huge strides with a novel I’m currently working on. Who knows whether it’ll see the light of day in published format, but what the experience has emphasised for me is the importance of Maker time.

Testing, Testing, 1 … 2 … 3

Testing, Testing, 1 … 2 … 3

I’ve been reading a lot recently about being a dictator. (No, not one of those authoritative types who’s clearly too big for his boots.) I’ve been looking into the art of dictating some of my writing to my computer. For those with Windows computers, the Dragon Naturally Speaking software is king (and a rather expensive one at that!). Being and Apple user, dedicated software solutions are extremely limited, although Dragon’s creators, Nuance, now offers a mobile version for a monthly subscription (still pricey!), which…

Read More Read More

You’ve Got Mail

You’ve Got Mail

What makes a good author email newsletter? Two authors tell me how they keep in regular touch with their readers. Mailing lists. Every author should have one. Why? Because once we have our readers’ email addresses, we control how and when we communicate directly with them. We’re not reliant upon a traditional publisher’s marketing strategy, or another company’s platform, like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

Changing Times

Changing Times

Hello! Remember me? Probably not, and I wouldn’t blame you! Things have been a little manic recently, and I’m not just talking about Covid-19. (I do hope everyone is safe and well.) Some of you may recall that for the past three years I’ve been working three days a week in an employed capacity, for the Diocese of Hereford, offering grant advice to churches looking for funding (mainly for building projects). It’s been an amazing time, and I’ve learned a…

Read More Read More

Asset Register

Asset Register

Do you know where all your assets are? (Oo-er missus!)  Seriously, though, do you keep a list of all of the books you’ve written(both traditionally published and self-published ones) and which markets they’re available in? It’s so easy to think that you’ll keep a track of everything, but when I decided to formalise things by putting it all down into a small spreadsheet, I suddenly discovered I’d missed several markets with one of my self-published books. 

Interstitial Journalling

Interstitial Journalling

Inter … what? Stitial. Interstitial. It means the bit in between. I’ve been journalling for a few years now, and a few months ago I came across this term: Interstitial journalling. It’s about journalling between activities. The idea is, when you finish one writing task you journal about it, and then think about what you need for the next writing task. What’s the next action you need to take to get started on it? The idea is that keeps you focussed on your…

Read More Read More

2020 Vision?

2020 Vision?

We’re approaching that time of year again, when it’s common to look back over what we’ve achieved and think about the future. But when it comes to thinking about that future, it’s easy to come up with a list of writing-related goals … but are they the right goals? Here’s an excerpt from my Business of Writing feature in the latest issue of Writing Magazine (out now!). Goals are a complete waste of time, if you don’t have a vision. As my…

Read More Read More

Focus on Cake!

Focus on Cake!

Last weekend it was our writers’ group’s annual retreat. I was staying near Abersoch, found near the end of the Llyn Peninsula, in Wales. There were thirteen of us in total and we all turned up on Thursday evening fired up for three full days of writing, before departing again on Monday morning.

More of Alex’s Mistakes

More of Alex’s Mistakes

Fellow writing advisor Alex Gazzola has just published his latest book in his Mistakes Writers Make series, and this third in the series is called 50 Mistakes Writers Make. The first two books focussed on common mistakes beginner writers make. This edition considers mistakes that more experienced writers might make.

Deadlines: The Death of Perfection?

Deadlines: The Death of Perfection?

I owe you an apology. It’s been several weeks since my last post. Things have been … well, a tad hectic recently.  This time last week I was having breakfast with the Archbishop of Canterbury. And between 8.39am and 8.59am I and my colleagues demonstrated to him the new online resource we’ve been creating over the last year for churches. (It seems the planning that goes into Archbishop visits is similar to that of Royal visits.)

Words are our Assets

Words are our Assets

It’s that time of year again for me when the latest royalty figures (and payments) arrive for my first published book, One Hundred Ways For A Dog To Train Its Human. It was sixteen years ago (crikey!) when it first hit the bookshops, and it’s a reminder that words are our assets. Those 5,000 words, written earlier in 2003, are still generating an income for me today (albeit a much reduced one than sixteen years ago!).