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Writer’s block…

Posted in Writing with tags , , , on March 15, 2017 by Kate Jack

… is an author’s worst nightmare. It’s when you’re bereft of inspiration and, no matter how hard you try, your imagination seems to have shut down. In fact the harder you try, the worse the situation can become. The emptiness echoes around your brain, spreading darkness and desolation, along with the odd tumbleweed. This in turn raises all kinds of doubts: Has your talent deserted you? Will you ever write again? The thought of not being able to create raises all kinds of fears and engenders a bleakness that fills your life with greyness.

I remember a post I put on my author’s page on  Facebook about writer’s block and someone commented on it. It was made, I suspect, by a rather brash young man. He stated there was no excuse for not writing – what a ridiculous, black and white thing to say! Authors do have a life outside writing and all the problems associated with day to day living: work, family, illness, breakups from the love of their lives, all of which can interrupt the creative flow. This naturally leaves people fed up and unable to free themselves from what seems like an unbreakable pattern. Kate Jack Author Page

But there is light at the end of the tunnel. Writer’s block can be overcome. Personally I go on a reading spree, garnering inspiration from my favourite authors. I even mentally edit books as I read, and feel really smug when I reconstruct clumsy sentences and dialogue written by famous authors. This reassures me that even best selling writers can make small mistakes, so there’s hope for me. And if there’s hope for me, then there’s definitely hope for all you self doubters out there.

Inspiration will return, so never give up, never lose hope, but charge into the fray and write, write, write! 😀

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Time to move on?

Posted in General with tags , , , , on November 21, 2015 by Kate Jack

facebook

When is it time to stop marketing your existing work and get on with something new? The answer seems obvious, doesn’t it? A writer writes and that’s what we should all be doing, but there’s the constant worry that if we stop promoting our work, even for a short time, we’ll be forgotten.

twitter

Then again, once we start marketing, it becomes difficult to stop; it becomes an obsession, at least for some of us. It becomes easier and easier to put any new writing projects on hold and concentrate instead on thinking up new posts for Facebook and new tweets for Twitter. We tell ourselves we’ll get on with writing after just one more post or tweet – hah! Yeah, right.

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And yet it’s odd. For me, the time spent on marketing engenders a sense of guilt, but if I actually write something I feel great. So why is it I default to Facebook and Twitter? Answers on a postcard, please.

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You know what?

Posted in General with tags , , , , on October 2, 2015 by Kate Jack

I’ve decided I’m a grumpy old cow. Why? Well, as regular readers of this blog will know, I quite often vent my spleen about Twitter and Facebook, how some people take advantage and are completely selfish and insular. However, it’s time to give credit where credit’s due. What I should’ve also said is that not everyone on social media is like that. In fact the selfish and greedy posters and tweeters are in the minority, when compared to the generous folk who retweet, share and favourite other people’s posts. In fact they’re angels. 😀

CAAngel

So to all of you, and you know who you are, thank you for making my day. ❤

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What’s the harm in asking for a favour?

Posted in General with tags , , , , on October 2, 2015 by Kate Jack

 

demandWell, it depends on how the askee puts it.  I’ve been using social media for quite a while now, but it never ceases to amaze me how many fellow socialites, be it via Twitter or Facebook, actually phrase their “request” as a demand. It’s as though they think they  have the God-given-right to order someone to read their work. As I’ve said in the past, it should be quid pro quo. It should not be expected for someone to give up their valuable time, without something in return, it’s  only good manners, after all. And I’m not talking money here. 

twitter

https://twitter.com/kateannejack

I’ve lost count how many times I’ve followed someone back on Twitter, only to receive messages asking me to retweet a certain post, or like a Facebook page without any hint that there will be any reciprocation. Like the naive idiot I was, I would comply and message them back, asking for a return favour, after I’d retweeted or liked their page. What happened? Either I didn’t get a reply or, on one occasion, the person deleted my message. I could not believe the rudeness, deceit and selfishness of this individual and I promptly unliked their page and unfollowed them. 

https://www.facebook.com/KatrinaAnneJack

So listen up, all you self absorbed so and so’s, if you want to gain a bad reputation, carry on as you are. If you don’t, then learn to share or you’re probably on the fast track to nowhere.

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Writing schedule…

Posted in Writing with tags , , , , on August 15, 2015 by Kate Jack

…do you need one?
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I know I do. That said, I don’t seem able to adhere to one. The fact I work full-time is a handy excuse that quite frankly doesn’t hold up. There’s always a way to make time for writing, either before or after work, or even both.

early morning

So what’s stopping me? Well, the usual: procrastination, bad moods, old age – the list is endless. That said, I’m a writer through and through and I love it. I love the very fact I can create worlds and characters at the touch of a keyboard, and the use of my imagination. All I really think about are words and what use they can be put to. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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I find it impossible to read a book without “editing” it, and rearranging sentences to “better” effect. Not a day goes by without me tweeting and facebooking about my own work and other people’s. 

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And maybe that’s part of the problem. We’re all aware that nowadays we need to actively promote our own writing, which is all well and good. However, it can become addictive and take over, when we should be writing; hence the need for a schedule. I’m determined to draw up a timetable partly devoted to writing and partly devoted to promoting. After all, it doesn’t have to be either/or, it’s possible to do both.

Writing – here I come 😀

writing

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Do you ever feel invisible?

Posted in General with tags , , , , , , on October 18, 2014 by Kate Jack

invisible-man

Do you ever feel that no one can see or hear you? That no one can even sense your presence? That’s how I feel when I’m trying to market my books, and I’m not alone. There are millions, perhaps even billions of us, all clamouring for attention in a very crowded marketplace.

bazaar

Does that mean we should give up? No, of course not. We believe passionately in our work and should therefore try to give it the best chance we can to get it out there. That said, how? Of course there’s the usual social media outlets, such as Facebook, with its various groups, pages and timelines. But most of the groups consist of fellow writers, who on the whole are, naturally, only interested in promoting their own work. How many times have you seen a post about someones else’s book on their timeline, and just scrolled past it? Then there’s the “like for like” events, which help get your Facebook page some exposure. These are always plagued by people who post their pages, then bugger off, having no intention of returning any likes received. Worse still, there’s the scumbags who like a page, and once it’s reciprocated, unlike those they’ve lured into boosting their page. Why do people do this? My guess is their self-centred ingrates.

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Twitter seems to have a greater reach, but you have to be prepared to spend an awful lot of time retweeting other members posts, in the hope they’ll retweet yours. Then there’s the drawback of following someone, who then messages you offering to “sell” you 10,000 tweeters, or asks you to like their Facebook page, without even having the courtesy to follow you back. Okay, if you don’t ask,you don’t get, but asking someone to do you a favour, with no intention of returning it, is just not on.

twitterFor example, I had a message from one member thanking me for following them, which to be fair, they’d reciprocated. The sting in the tail, however, was that they asked me to read their book. I was quite happy to do this and messaged them back, suggesting we do a read swap; fair enough? I’ve not heard from them since.

So, the moral of this tale is remember you’re not the only one trying to get noticed. Don’t be insular, be prepared to carry out read swaps, return tweets and likes, and you never know, it might just pay off.

reader

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Sleepless in Liverpool.

Posted in General with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 11, 2014 by Kate Jack

tired eyesWell, it’s 05.27 am and it’s the weekend again. Instead of having a lie in, I’m wide awake – well not wide awake – more like a kind of sleep deprived stupor. I’ve given up the fight to sleep, I’m sick of staring at the ceiling, so I’ve turned to my old friend, my computer, and here I am blogging away at this ungodly hour.

I’ve tried tweeting, browsing Facebook, and reading my emails; I’ve even tried working on my latest wip, but I can’t focus. Even as I type this,  my fingers keep tripping over themselves, and the cat’s lying on my feet, cutting off my circulation.

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Maybe I should try reading? Nope, not working. I’ve been staring at the same page for ar least five minutes. Now the birds outside are tuning up for the dawn chorus – great – another reason to remain sleepless.

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Oh, wait, was that a yawn?  Must’ve been, I nearly broke my jaw, my mouth opened so  wide. Screen getting blurry. The cat’s moved. Birds have shut up. Eyelids drooping…zzz

sleep

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