Archive for writing

Writing conscience.

Posted in Writing with tags , , , , on March 30, 2017 by Kate Jack

When an author stops writing, for whatever reason, the lack of creativity is replaced by feelings of frustration. This is, of course, bad enough; but then guilt comes along to gang up on you too.

Guilt for not writing. 

Guilt for procrastinating.

Guilt for making oneself false promises; eg: “Oh I’ll start my new book tomorrow – definitely” – yeah, right. You know damn well that you’ll keep on avoiding your computer/pen paper, until the guilt grows to the size of Mount Vesuvius and you finally blow your top!

So why do writers put themselves through this torture? Your guess is as good as mine; maybe we’re all sadists. But what’s even more baffling is that when we do get our noses to the grindstone, the sense of accomplishment and satisfaction we gain far outweighs all the shenanigans we get up to, trying to avoid what we know must be done. The feeling of smugness, the self-satisfaction, and above all, the stroking of our egos when we write, what we consider to be a masterpiece, is sublime. 

What’s really annoying is it all starts out fine. We get a brilliant idea for a story. We plot it all out and then everything grinds to a halt. The idea’s there, the characters are formed, there’s nothing to stop the creation of a new piece of writing art; but then, and this is the maddening bit, we feel we can sit back on our laurels and let the ideas percolate, until we’re good and ready to start. Days turn into weeks, weeks to months and sometimes months can turn into years.

 

So come on people – listen to your writing conscience and stop sitting on your hands. Get up out of your chair, switch off the TV, lock the kids in the garden shed, send the old man/woman down the pub, and get WRITING! 😀

Oh, and whatever you do, don’t get involved with Spider Solitaire – it’s fatal!

The Silver Flute Trilogy

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Writing is a legal high…

Posted in Writing with tags , , , , on March 20, 2017 by Kate Jack

…and a lot better for you than actual drugs 🙂 The sensations of achievement and satisfaction a writer experiences, when a new story or novel is created,  can be wonderful – even euphoric! 

I think this is due to a feeling of power, engendered by the act of creating worlds and characters only the author can control. In general we have very little leeway over our outer lives, but by evolving places, situations, people, and so on, our inner lives come totally within our jurisdiction and  no one else’s. 

Having said that I have, from time to time, lost control slightly when my story line has deviated from the route I intended it to take. Characters have altered their own personalities and made their own decisions. Of course this is probably my subconscious prompting me down another, often better route. This can be annoying though, particularly when you think everything’s going swimmingly and you’re brought up short by these mental intrusions; but ignore such promptings at your peril. They will nag away at you, until you give in and at least try out the alternative suggested by your internal editor.

However, altering plots and characterisation halfway through, means you have to check and recheck the continuity of your work and make sure any alterations made gel with the rest of the manuscript. I’ve often made the mistake of altering a situation a character’s in, only to find that it doesn’t match up with what went on earlier in the story. So make absolutely sure that everything is linked properly and the story doesn’t become derailed by even a tiny change, because you can be certain the reader will spot it 🙂

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My left foot.

Posted in General with tags , , , , , , , , on September 20, 2016 by Kate Jack

bandaged-foot

As some of you may know, I recently had an operation on my left foot. Because of the nature of the procedure, I have to rest it for the next few months. This has meant I’m housebound at the moment. 

crazy

Confinement to my somewhat small house has driven me crazy from time to time. After all, how many DIY programmes, repeats of Time Team, and Escape to the Country can a person watch without losing their sanity? However, there has been one thing that has stopped me going on a one woman rampage, or in my case, hop, and that is because I’ve really got quite a lot written of my current work in progress, Elawyn, book one of  the Songstress Trilogy. Gone, albeit probably temporarily, are my procrastinating ways, and it feels great! 😀

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It’s also distracted me from wanting to smoke, the cause of my problems, although I am using an e-cigarette to help as well. It’s just a pity that it took something so traumatic to focus me on what’s really important – my health and my writing. 

kj

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Do you love your job?

Posted in Writing with tags , , , on July 4, 2016 by Kate Jack

 

writing

I do! 😀 No, I don’t mean the job I do for a living, I mean writing. And it is a job, a highly pleasurable job. I consider it to be my real career, one in which I take genuine pride. Yes, some of my earlier works could stand a little improvement, but this just goads me on to get better, to craft and create and to obtain as near perfection as I can.

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Writing is one of the few things I treasure in my life, apart from friends and family, of course. I’ve never had a “day” job that I’ve enjoyed, most people don’t, unfortunately. But from the moment I wake up, and throughout the working day, writing is mostly what I think about; anything else is just a distraction. Obsessed? Probably, But I wouldn’t have it any other way 😀

kj

The Silver Flute Trilogy

silver flute trilogy

#Amwriting

Posted in Writing with tags , , , , on May 19, 2016 by Kate Jack

writing

After a long, long hiatus, I’m finally writing again and boy does it feel great! 😀 I’ve spent far too much time using the excuse of “promoting” my first three books, The Silver Flute Trilogy that I’ve neglected my WIP, The Songstress Trilogy . Now don’t get me wrong, Self-promotion is essential for writers these days. However, when it takes over to the exclusion of everything else, it’s time to take a step back and reconsider one’s actions. 

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So I’ve cut back on my tweeting and Face booking and am concentrating on what’s really important – writing. What did surprise me, was how easy it all came flowing back. Of course I had to re-read what I’d already written, to get back into the feel of the story, but I was pleased to find that I didn’t procrastinate and spend too much time on that. Instead I got on with adding new chapters, which was helped by the plot notes I’d already made when I first embarked on this particular writing journey.

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So for any writers out there who are currently stuck in a writing rut, for whatever reason, all is not lost. You can get back on track and you may be pleasantly surprised, as I was, at how easy it might be. 🙂

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Does being a writer sometimes feel like a….

Posted in Writing with tags , , , , , on May 7, 2016 by Kate Jack

burden

…burden, one you can’t put down?

Sometimes plotting out a novel feels like climbing a steep hill. Even if you know what you want the basic story to be, filling in the details can be like pushing a boulder up the that same hill.  Why is it that the prospect of writing sometimes feels so onerous?

Sisyphean toil (3d isolated characters on white background series)

If you don’t write, you feel guilty and can’t stop thinking abut it. If you do write, you can’t wait to stop; what the hell is going on?

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Authors, no matter what the genre, are a peculiar bunch. We live to write, yet loathe it almost as much as we love it. Weeks, months, even years, can go by before we put pen to paper,  or go anywhere near a keyboard. Half finished works haunts us with their accusatory pleas to be finished. Ideas ferment in our brains,  pestering to be brought to life. Yet still we procrastinate, tormented by our own “inadequacies.” 

Procrastination

Of course not everyone has the luxury of being able to write full time. Things like working, running a house, looking after kids, all get in the way.  That said, when time to write does present itself, do we take advantage of it? No, not always.We continue to sit in the rut we have carved for ourselves, fretting away, thinking about writing, instead of actually doing it. Why? Damned if I know.

And yet the irony is how good its feel when that first draft blossoms into a fully fledged story. 🙂

rut

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silver flute trilogy

Excuses for not writing

Posted in Writing with tags , , , on April 14, 2016 by Kate Jack

writing

Considering I love writing, I often find “reasons” for not doing it. Odd? Yes indeed, but I suspect I’m not the only writer to succumb to this strange malaise. I think part of the reason is the thought of having to put my brain in gear and spark some neurons into life. In fact let’s be honest, in my case, it’s down to sheer laziness.

brain

Some of the feeble excuses I’ve come up with in the past, are: writer’s block, lack of inspiration, not in the mood, and so on and so on.  I’ve even been known to tackle the ironing, rather than sit down at the keyboard.

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And yet when I do write, I feel so much better, I feel as though I’ve achieved something. I think part of the reason that I churn out these excuses, is that I don’t have a set writing routine. I tell myself that it’s because I work full time, but that doesn’t really wash. Plenty of writers have to work to support themselves, but still manage to write on a regular basis. I can’t even put it down to lack of ideas. My imagination is pretty active and almost everything I see and hear in my daily life, supplies me with material to write about.

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So what’s the solution to my laziness? Well it’s like taking exercise in a way. You start off by doing ten minutes exercise and gradually build it up. Even if I wrote for only a few minutes day, it’s far better than not writing at all. So it’s time to gird my loins, boot up the old laptop and forge ahead (fingers crossed).

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silver flute trilogy

 

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