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Category: Productivity

Success Is Built On Habits

Success Is Built On Habits

As writers, it’s important that we come up with fresh new ideas on a regular basis. However, we’re wasting our time if we don’t do anything with them. Much better to have a habit of developing ideas and then either writing them up (if it’s fiction) or pitching them (if they’re non-fiction).

Tandem Teamwork

Tandem Teamwork

Inside the May 2019 issue of Writing Magazine is my Business of Writing piece about Writing Tandem. We know that writing partnerships can work well in some writing formats, such as comedy (particularly sitcoms), films and even theatre work. But what about books?

Happy 2019/2020 Financial Year!

Happy 2019/2020 Financial Year!

Saturday was a financial admin day for me. Oh, the heady world of being a writer! For me, Saturday marked the start of the 2019/2020 financial year, and therefore the end of the last financial year. While many people use the end of the calendar year to look back on their achievements, I also use the end of the financial year to look back too. 

Zzzzzzzzz

Zzzzzzzzz

Sleep. We all need it. But do we get enough of it? And if we don’t … could it be affecting your writing business? How creative do you feel after a bad night’s sleep? I recently read Matthew Walker’s Why We Sleep and can thoroughly recommend it. It’s a fascinating read (and one of those books that is so well written it’s an easy read even though the subject matter gets quite complicated at times). How many times have we found ourselves…

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Giving Up? Or Taking A Pause?

Giving Up? Or Taking A Pause?

The latest issue of Writing Magazine carries a piece by the brilliant Patsy Collins (who runs the Womagwriter blog) concerning changes at Spirit & Destiny magazine. This magazine is now taking all rights in material, including fiction. As a result, some of the writers Patsy quoted in her piece have said that they will no longer write for them. (Note, some last minute editing as the publication went to press means the sentence about those writers not writing for Spirit & Destiny could…

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2019 London Book Fair

2019 London Book Fair

This year’s London Book Fair takes place between 12th and 14th March at Olympia. Like many of these events, if you’ve never been before it’s worth making some preparations to ensure you get the most from your visit. Time will fly!

The All-New Kit-Kat-Crunchie-Creme-Egg Mash Up

The All-New Kit-Kat-Crunchie-Creme-Egg Mash Up

I know I’m getting old when I see an advert on television for a popular confectionary treat that’s got a new added twist (Peanut butter flavoured Kit Kat Chunky, anyone?) and I think to myself, ”Why can’t they leave products alone? Why do they have to keep messing about with stuff?” However, there are times when an update is needed, and I’ve been working on two over the Christmas period (one is still under wraps at the moment). 

Away Days!

Away Days!

If you read my Business of Writing column in Writing Magazine you may recall that I’m currently working a Short-term temporary employed contract for a couple of days a week. Last week, I had to reacquaint myself with the joys of the Staff Away Day, when everyone in the organisation gathered together in a village hall (in the middle of nowhere) to make complete fools of ourselves. There were the usual team-building exercises: people being blindfolded and others describing pictures…

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Festive Frustrations

Festive Frustrations

As Christmas draws closer, I thought I’d look back a couple of years to when I chatted to three writers about how they manage their writing businesses during the festive period. In the world of paid employment December is one long month of office parties, Christmas lunches, and arguing with Health and Safety about the fire risk of the red tinsel framing your computer monitor. It’s an entirely different matter for writers. Working in our isolated garrets means the office…

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How To See New Readers For Old Ideas

How To See New Readers For Old Ideas

As part of the Shrewsbury Literary Festival, one of the The Guardian’s regular contributors to the Country Diary series, Paul Evans, spoke about his new book: . He explained how the publishers, Batsford Books, were keen to re-vist some of their earlier published works with a view to updating them for a new, modern readership.

The Business of Retreating

The Business of Retreating

Last weekend I retreated. It’s an annual thing with the writers’ group I go to. Three or four nights, somewhere cheap (well, we are writers!), which is usually in Wales, and an opportunity to immerse ourselves in one or two of our current writing projects. It’s always interesting watching how other writers work. Whenever we go anywhere new, the sense of exploration overwhelms us. Then there are the midnight walks to beaches, and the evening social gatherings. But at some…

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Do We Really Need MS Word?

Do We Really Need MS Word?

When it comes to the business of writing, one of the most important tools is the software we use to collect our words and thoughts and put them into some sort of order. For years, this has been Microsoft Word, and its .doc and .docx file types are the industry standard when it comes to submitting to publishers. So I was interested to read this post on the Guardian’s website, about how Word is losing its shine, even in large…

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Writing Naked

Writing Naked

Have you ever written naked? No, I’m not talking about those times when you can’t being bothered to get dressed in the morning (although, perhaps that might influence what you write). Instead, I’m talking about being free to write what you want to write. SJ (Sarah) Banham has just published a book of writing prompts, which she’s called Writing Naked, that are designed to undress writers from the fashionable constraints we sometimes put ourselves under, if not the constraints of…

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POP Implications

POP Implications

Getting published is one thing, but getting paid can be an entirely different matter. Historically, many magazines have paid for items on publication. So if you write an article for the August issue of a magazine (back in March, and submit it in April) you will be paid for it in August. Some magazines pay 30 days after publication, which could mean payment may not arrive until September. There’s a growing trend for newspapers to do this, which is causing…

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Smile for the Camera!

Smile for the Camera!

If you’ve read my Business of Writing column in Writing Magazine (and I hope you have), you’ll know that from time to time I chat to other writers to gather their thoughts and expertise on a subject. Right from the start of the column (and for those of you who are counting, I’m just putting the finishing touches to the 52nd article), the editor asked me to obtain head-and-shoulder photos of the writers from whom I obtained quotes. (Perhaps he…

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