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Persistence and Belief

It's been a week of flirting with an idea, a flighty and maddening one, making for a very off and on relationship, but now I think we may finally be settling down together.

Last weekend, I had a notion for a short story, which I liked very much. In just a few seconds, I could see how it would start, develop and end, with a little twist, and a side order of wry social commentary.

On Monday, I started writing it. The beginning went well, the middle section ok, but the ending just wouldn't work.

I tried again on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, and still the darned denouement refused to come.

By Friday, I was inclined to dump the entire idea and start work on something new, but found I couldn't. It just kept nagging at me.

I'm a firm believer in following your instincts, so come Saturday I had one more try at thinking my way through it... and, at last, saw what the problem was and how to resolve it.

I've started re-writing and happily it seems to be working now. Hurray and relief!

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Justified Fun

I'm establishing a warm and loving relationship with a new phrase which I think describes much of this writing life very well - justified fun.

This weekend, as a local author and journalist, I was invited to open a beer festival here in my dear Devon...

BEER fest.jpg

I did a little modest book promotion, then some (less modest) sampling of the produce. I even had an idea for a new short story and some elements of a character while I was there.

You might just call it a research and marketing afternoon... in other words, justified fun!

Look at all the other privileges writers enjoy. The access we're given to places and people in order to write about them and the places we go to. We tell stories to entertain, inform and amuse.

Then there are the book festivals, writers schools and talks, the travel and people we get to meet. All very sociable, and all lots of justified fun.

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The Pleasure of People Watching

There are many fine arts that go into being a writer, but for me one of the most important is having an observer's eye.

I set myself a challenge this weekend - to toddle into my local pub for an hour, have a pint, and do nothing except watch people. 

The task was to gather as many ideas for quirks / elements of character, details of setting, and thoughts of stories as I could.

In essence, I was people watching, and it was a great pleasure. I did allow myself one diversion from simply watching, because I just couldn't resist this photo -

dog and beer.JPG

One drink for me, one drink for him, it's only fair... that'll make it into a book before too long.

Anyway, the score card from my one hour challenge came out like this -

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The Dreaded Resolutions, a Joke, and a Confession

I resolved I wouldn't make any New Year Resolutions, so here we go with five of a writing kind -

1. To pass on more of what I've learnt, both as an author and journalist, and both to youngsters and adults.

I love teaching; it's the legacy thing, a sense of doing some good in the world. When I help a young person into a career in the media, or a fellow writer to get published, it's one of the most joyous feelings I know.

2. Write a romance novel.

I can't be bored in life, for me that's a cardinal sin; there's far too much of it to explore. That means trying something new and happily writing offers so much in the way of options. I've never attempted a romance novel before, so here we go...

If only I understood about love and relationships, but hey! I'm working on it and life presents endless possibilities.

3. Write more jokes for Twitter.

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