Monday, 26 September 2016

Three writing updates

Hey everyone, hope you all had a lovely weekend! It's Monday, it's cold, it's rainy and so I thought I'd just share a couple of updates with my writing that happened over the weekend:

  • I'm still working on my social media content posts. I've managed to write about half of my notes up for work, but once I'm done, I'm going to have then decide how to present them on my blog. I think there's a better way than me just randomly writing down what happened during the day, but I need a bit of time to figure all that out. So although I was planning on having my first post out wither tomorrow or Wednesday, it might actually be closer to the end of the week (if not next week).
  • Over the weekend I managed to write 1,600 words of my current WIP. It's not the sequel to Synthetica unfortunately - it's my 'throw-all-the-rules-out-of-the-window' WIP. I can't tell you how much I'm enjoying writing this book. Having no rules when it comes to writing is actually incredibly liberating!
  • I didn't get quite as much writing done as I would've liked over the weekend, as me and the Engineer ended up having a long hard look on Sunday at what we want out of life. He wants to start his own business and I want to make a career as an author (so essentially, we both want to work for ourselves). On Sunday we started to put our ideas into practice by, not only making a plan of what we want to achieve over the next few years, but by actually starting the process of implementing what was in our plan. It was incredibly exciting, and enthusiasm for our ideas is essentially what got me through work today. So although I didn't end up working on my WIP on Sunday, I did get to create and write content for the Engineer's business, which is still writing at the end of the day, and that's what I adore doing (and will still look good on a portfolio!).

So that's it for now - hopefully I'll be back later on in the week with the first of my social media content posts, but as I'm also trying to dedicate more time to my writing, don't be surprised if it ends up being next week instead.

Have a great week!

What did you get up to this weekend? How is your writing going? Have you ever sat down and written a plan to achieve your goals in life?

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Creating social media content

I went to work this morning with my hair still wet. Mainly because I wanted to see what it looks like if a hairdryer doesn't touch it, but also because I was super excited to write this blog post and I had to write it before work because I won't have time tonight.

On Tuesday, I got to attend a 'Creating social media content' course for work. I wanted to go, not just because it would be useful for my day job, but also because I was secretly hoping it would be useful for my author life as well. And wow, am I glad I went!

Some of the stuff the woman was talking about I had kinda already figured out, or had a sneaking suspicion I should be doing but wasn't, but it was so helpful to have someone consolidate all this information and tell me in straight terms what social media is all about.

I went home, excited to get cracking and start creating my own social media content calendar. I immediately put some of the stuff she taught us into practice, and I think it's making a difference, but obviously I'm going to have to wait a while before I draw any definite conclusions.

Today, I'll be writing up my notes from the course for work so I can share it with my team, but I'm also going to be writing it up and posting it on my blog as a series to share with all of you. Hopefully you'll all find it useful too - I'd love to share the knowledge I gained and help out as people as I can. You might find it helpful, you might not, but we'll give it a go and see what happens. If there's anything in particular you'd like to know about, drop me a line in the comments below and I'll see if I have any information on it.

Have a great day!

Have you ever attended a social media course? Did you find it useful? Do you think you're using social media effectively?

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Shooting for the stars...

I heard something that struck a chord with me at work today.

A student had gone to an advisor for help about finding work/advice about where to go in life. Now, I didn't hear the whole conversation, I only heard one sentence of what the advisor said before I walked out of the door, but she said:

"All those people out there are shooting for the stars straight away..."

I'm going to assume (which I know is a very bad thing to do, but bear with me) that she was trying to tell the student to work her way up to whatever she wants to be.

It's a running theme throughout our college - we always try to convey to students that college is a stepping stone to wherever they want to go. We can't immediately get to where it is we want to be - we have to work our way up to it.

 I don't know why, but I've been thinking about that one sentence all day. Lately, I've been putting off doing things; telling myself I don't have enough time, or enough energy, or I have to focus on something else first. But really, it's all excuses.

How can I expect to get to where I want to be, if I don't start putting the effort in? How am I any different to the students around me, who want the world on a plate and expect to get something for nothing, if I somehow just expect success to come to me? (Note: not all students are like that - with some of them, I can't believe how much they achieve in one day!)

I'm trying not to be negative when I see people's successes on social media - I don't want to be that person anymore - but lately, I have caught the green-eyed monster rearing it's ugly head once again. But the thing is, the people's whose posts I'm seeing (going on amazing holidays, have their articles featured in magazines, getting promotions etc) - they've all put the hard work in first. They haven't sat around wishing for something in their life to change, and dreaming of the day they could do X,Y Z - they've actually gone out there and done something about it.

It's time to stop expecting my life to happen, while not consciously doing anything about it. It's time to stop dreaming and to start living the life I want to lead.

Everyone has the potential to be whatever they want to be - we just have to take that first step, and then keep going. We might not land among the stars first time, but we'll be a damn sight closer to them.

Do you think hard work leads to success? Do you have any stories of your road to success, or the steps you've taken to start your own journey?

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

IWSG September: Finding time to write and introducing the IWSG Anthology Contest 2016!

Hello everyone! It's been a long time since we last spoke - there are several reasons for this, the main one being that I've been to four weddings in the space of two months (including my own, and one I was bridesmaid for at the weekend). However, I'm back now, well rested (kinda) and ready to write once more!

I have the huge privilege of being one of the co-hosts for this month's IWSG - I'm so excited! What better way to reacquaint myself with you all than getting to visit lots of fantastic blogs?? Your other awesome co-hosts for this month are:

C. Lee McKenzie, Rachel Pattison, Elizabeth Seckman, Stephanie Faris, Lori L MacLaughlin, and Elsie Amata!

First things first - this month's IWSG burning question is: How do you find the time to write in your busy day?

I have a confession to make: I haven't written anything since about June, apart from a brief writing session sitting in the airport on my way back from my honeymoon. Wedding fever and juggling a new job have essentially taken over my life for the past few months, but now that my wedding season is over for this year, I'm determined to pick it back up again. So I've decided to make a pledge to you all to ease me back into the writing game - while I can't promise to write every day, I'm going to write 500 words at least a week. I know this may not sound like much, but I think it'll be a good way to get back into the swing of things for now. And these 500 words don't have to be on my novel - I'm including blog posts in that word count too, so my blog doesn't get neglected either!

And now, onto the exciting news of the day!!

Announcing the 2016 IWSG Anthology Contest!

Last year’s contest was science fiction – parallel world/alternate history, and the result was Parallels: Felix Was Here. This year, we have a new theme and invite all members to submit.

Eligibility: Any member of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group is encouraged to enter – blogging or Facebook member. The story must be previously unpublished. Entry is free.

Word count: 5000-6000

Genre: Fantasy

Theme: Hero Lost. It could be about a hero turned villain, a villain's redemption, a hero's lack of confidence, a hero's lack of smarts, etc. It can be about any kind of hero including superheroes, mythological heroes, unexpected or unlikely heroes, or a whole new kind of hero. This theme has plenty of scope and we’re open to pretty much anything along these lines. No erotica, R-rated language, or graphic violence.

Deadline: November 1st 2016

How to enter: Send your polished, formatted, previously unpublished story to admin @ before the deadline passes. Please include your contact details and if you are part of the Blogging or Facebook IWSG group.

Judging: The IWSG admins will create a shortlist of the best stories. The shortlist will then be sent to our official judges.

Prizes: The winning stories will be edited and published by Freedom Fox Press next year in the IWSG anthology. Authors will receive royalties on books sold, both print and eBook. The top story will have the honor of giving the anthology its title.

We’re excited to see the creativity and enthusiasm that’s such a part of this group put into action. So don your creative caps and start writing. And spread the word!

Our amazing judges this year:

Elizabeth S. Craig
Richard Harland
Laura Maisano
Russell C. Connor
Dawn Frederick
Michelle L. Johnson
Ion Newcombe
Lynn Tincher

Best of luck to every who enters! I can't wait to read the results!

How do you find the time to write in your busy day? Do you have a set writing plan, or do you just see what happens? Will you be entering the IWSG Anthology Contest this year?