The Importance of Good Writing Tools

Today I discovered the long held secret to getting writing done on the computer in the internet age: get a crappy computer that needs replacing – I can’t access the internet on my computer anymore. Troubleshooting was ineffective.
These last few months have been difficult for me. I have been recovering from a serious concussion. This has seriously affected my ability to write anything – grocery lists included, without a great deal of effort that people without head injuries might not consider something they are taking for granted. It has also affected my speech which makes stringing sentences together as eloquently as I once could at times something I would rather not do. It is easier to sit quietly. But I am a fighter.
In December I couldn’t write- anything. It was just too hard for my brain to send the message to my hands to form the words to type on the page. Gradually I started writing words, then sentences. There are days like yesterday where a paragraph is the most I can digitally spit out but it is an accomplishment and I own it. I have to settle for small successes that are really trivial if you don’t have these issues but big steps in recovery for me, as I do.
I worked through and completed the final draft of Witness. It has been sent to several production houses for consideration while I work away at getting an agent for the body of work I have amassed as a freelance journalist, blogger and author.
I am privileged to be in the company of skilled writers in the Ottawa film industry who have helped me keep my expectations realistic as a first time feature writer. That said, I am outlining a second script now and undertaking the project March first to be completed in thirty days.
Another project I undertook was writing a non-fiction entry for the Toronto Star short story competition. It took me five days to write just under 2, 500 words and it is nowhere as articulately strung together as I was writing five or six months ago but it is better than nothing.
It took me twenty one years to learn that a writer ought to constantly be producing work in order to hope for any level of personal or professional success in the future.
It was pointed out to me by a senior scriptwriter that if agents want to see my work and I can only produce one script I may lose out on a valuable opportunity to get picked because contender number two, three or four might have two or more scripts which makes them a more desirable client even if my level of writing is competitively comparative to theirs. (Thanks for telling me that – you know who you are).
Also in the works I have heard back from two publishers’ about my children’s picture book Christmas is Still Coming but I have several more I am waiting on responses from before I share my progress.
Cleaning out my old e-mail the other day I could have kicked myself (figuratively speaking) as I found an invitation to do a signing for the first children’s book I wrote which was published in 2015. I will never know what success I might have seen from that. (The e-mail was two years old).
So mostly, I have been in recovery for my health but I am planning to blog more now that writing is becoming something I can manage for short periods. What writing projects have you been working on? I’d love to hear about your writing challenges and successes.
Ciao for now.

 

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A Writer’s Affirmation

Happy New Year. I am starting 2018 with the belief that I am a good enough writer. I may not be the best writer, I am not yet or may never be a best-selling writer, but my work stands on its own and is comparable and worth only to that which I give it. I am my own worst critic and by the same measure, I am my own best influencer.
I will start the year believing that no matter how many pieces I do or do not sell or manuscripts or scripts that get published or produced that I will have tried my best.
I will not compare myself to the writers to the left and right of me, whether you are friend or foe, celebrity or closet writer. I have realised I am and always will be worthy to be called a writer because I write. Because I answer the call to put words to the page when some never do or will.
I will not judge my success by quantity but quality of my work. I am not someone else, whom may be able to write a book in a day. I am only myself and therefore will only write how much I can according to what I can at the pace I can in the best way I know how.
I am me. I am a writer. I will spend 2018 writing with the aspiration that one day my words will make a positive difference in the life of a reader.

 

Moving Forward to 2018

I am enjoying my holidays. Christmas was well spent with family and winter activities that for a change did not include bringing my notebook and taking notes for plots or future articles. I spent a lot of 2017 focused on family first but also doing freelance photography, writing my second children’s book and finishing up smaller writing assignments.

I hope the holidays are kind to you. Time for me to prepare for the new year ahead.  I’ll post again soon (the absence of writer’s block permitting).

Time to Celebrate

It’s been so long since I’ve written anything I’ve almost forgotten how to do this. Lucky for me it’s just after 3 a.m. and with very little sleep I seem to be able to do almost anything.
Christmas is just around the corner and I’ve had time to partake in almost every Christmas tradition my family has developed over the years from seeing the Nutcracker performed by the Royal Winnipeg Ballet to baking shortbread cookies with the family and putting up the Christmas tree before December first. (These are some of the joys of having young children) and might I add they are growing too fast. Both events and all tradition partaking were good times.
Due to personal matters I’ve needed to take the last few months away from focussing on my writing to sort out other aspects of my life. It’s been trying and still is but I’ve finally managed to start writing again. I have in the past month shopped my children’s picture book manuscript around to a few publishers. (It’s a Christmas story coincidentally) and I will be happy if I can reach my goal of having it on store shelves by next October. It’s a start at least.
A really great story editor sent me really valuable notes on my first feature film script which I am hoping to start the last edit of and shop around to producers by mid-March if circumstances allow. Just this afternoon I worked on a novel that has been under construction for nine years now. I think one of my New Year’s resolutions is going to be…. On second thought I’ll share that list with you in the New Year.
On that note I’m wishing you and yours happy holidays this season. Until the New Year…

Let the Challenge Begin

Welcome   to Day 1, week one of NaNoWriMo. This is the second favorite month of the year for many authors and first time writers who take on the challenge of writing 50,000 words that somehow morph into a novel in thirty days.

This is my second time participating. The last time I participated I came out with the rough draft for Nuka at just over 38,000 words and two years and four drafts later I have a polished version. Unfortunately mostly for personal reasons it will not be published but that’s ok and was my call. For my first novella(which is an okay result for a first attempt at writing a novel in my books) it was the writing process that I savored some days and other days hated the most.

Are you participating? Do you have an idea for a novel? If so are you using an outline or winging it?(If you have no ideas for a plot see the resources I’ve put together for you at the end of this post.)  Have you told anyone if you have accepted the challenge? Have you asked anyone to be your coach – to gently nudge you to write on the days when writing seems like the hardest thing to do? What is your writing routine? How will you accomplish your goal of 50,000 words in 30 days?

Personally, I don’t outline– ever although for kicks I’m going to this time and I’ll likely attend a few write-ins this year ( I hear there’s going to be one ever Tuesday at Oh So Good on  York St. in the market.)  Although to be honest, I’ll likely have my cake and coffee before putting pen to paper. I may write my first draft longhand this round.

I hear there are writers out there who will only allow themselves pleasures like going to a movie or eating their favorite cake at the end of the week if they have met the weekly word quota. Does this sound like you? What was your experience with that method?

Here are a few writing resources to assist you with this challenge.

http://davidseah.com/node/nanowrimo-word-calendar/ to assist you in keeping track of your wc.

https://nanowrimo.org/ (If you haven’t signed up yet or heard of this it’s where the Nanos go.

Looking for a book to assist on your writing challenge? Read, No Plot No Problem by Chris Baty

https://larawillard.com/nanowrimo-resources-for-writers/ for more resources

And, begin!

 

 

Dare to Suck

This is one of my fav posts from 2017

Not My Straitjacket

You heard me. Everyone says, dare to be unique, different, bold, daring, and all those other lovely verbs most of which are vivid descriptions of what a person could be if they applied themselves (as a writer in this instance) or maybe already are or already relate to or know someone with some or all of these character traits. Today my friends, I tell you all, dare to suck. In fact, don’t just dare it: succeed in spades.

Prologue: I was on my way to have dinner with the family when for no reason at all I struck up a conversation with someone about their music. (The giveaway was the guitar case on their lap. It turns out they have a passion for music like most people have for the ones they love. Their passion is intense and admirable. So they tell me about how they became a musician, how…

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