Writers & Hunchbacks

writing fiction, fiction writing, fiction writing tips, writing fiction tips, creative fiction writing,

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I am writing this as a concern for all of you.  It is official, I have become a hunchback and I fear that all us writer will become hunchbacks alike.

Sitting at a computer is bad for our health; sitting for a long period of time at a computer is even worse.

While I care very deeply about your health and wellbeing, it might be your own vanity is what gets you to pay attention to the problems of sitting too long at a computer.

Hunchbacks are ugly.  They photograph badly and make you look like you’re always nervous.  You might not even know you are a hunchback.  That is when things are really bad.

So how to cure a writing hunchback and make sure it doesn’t come back. Continue reading

Benefits of a Writers Festival; Why you should go

The benefits of writers festival, writers festival, writing festival, sydney writers festival, How to publish a book, how to publish an ebook, book writing software, formatting an ebook, self publishing, uploading ebook, selling ebook

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It’s almost Writers Festival season.  The Sydney Writers Festival Program just came out in the newspaper and it’s time to start planning interstate trips to see your much-loved authors of romantic comedy.  But

But you made such an effort last year… It seems like you only just paid off the debt of buying all those brand new books!

Writers festivals can sometimes be intense, expensive, overcrowded exclusive events.  Locations are hard to get to no matter how many shuttle buses are organised.  The crowds are exhausting to manage and standing in line can leave you bored.  The coffee is expensive and you always end up with nowhere to sit, wishing you were at home reading the Saturday Paper.

So why should you go?  Why should Emerging Writers keep going to Writers Festivals, year after year?  What is the point and what are the benefits?

Here are our top reasons to keep heading to Writers Festivals, even if you don’t feel 100% up for it this year. Continue reading

Failing NaNoWriMo

Writing for NaNo, Emerging Writer, Meghan Brewster,

Writing for NaNo, Emerging Writer, Meghan Brewster,

Failing NaNoWriMo, Meghan Brewster, emerging writer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So I failed the challenge of the National Novel Writing Month – There is no other way to put it.  I fell short of the word target by about 15 000 words. That is a bit less than a third of the challenge.  But I have to tell you though that I was not idle during the month of November, and I am still quite proud of what I achieved.

NaNo reminded me of how easy it is to write once you get out of your own way and sit down to do the work

In the month of November I have finished writing my first Ebook, have a designer working on the jacket, have hired my first editor to work on the project and have updated and expanded the website.  All of this was achieved while organising a wedding, backpacking through Southern Thailand and writing 35 ooo words for NaNo.  (I am smiling right now)

I am not trying to make up excuses for not doing the writing, I am simply saying that regardless of my failure I have had a fantastic month and if it weren’t for NaNo I would not have a great half-draft for my next project – ready to go.

I am so glad I was a part of it.  NaNo reminded me of how easy it is to write once you get out of your own way and just sit down to do the work.  I thought I would spend a month writing garbled nonsense but I didn’t.  I managed to really lay down a strong foundation for my next novella.  I found a few great characters in Thailand and was completely inspired by the location and history.

As well as writing a half-draft of a novella about Thailand, I found that my mind was so receptive to new ideas that I had to start another folder just to keep track of all my new ideas.  Once I was relaxed into the writing I found that I was like a little beacon on the beach in Thailand attracting ideas straight out of the sky.

I just have to try again next year.

Writing in Singapore

The Emerging Writers Diary, Writing from Singapore, Art in Singapore, Meghan BrewsterSingapore is kind of amazing.  Perhaps it is because I did not have any expectations of the city that I have been so thoroughly impressed.

Today I am bringing my two loves together; Art and Writing.  I am doing a little art-writing, if you will?  Fun!  Singapore has got some great galleries hidden around town and yesterday I went and found a few.  Today I am writing reviews, editing and sourcing images – All from a great chinese restaurant in Holland Village, Singapore.

A year! it has been a year since I started writing.

FIrst year of writing, Emerging Writer, Meghan Brewster

22nd September 2013 – This is kind of a big post.  Well, an important post at least.

FIrst year of writing, Emerging Writer, Meghan BrewsterIt has been a year since I decided to leave working in a cafe and start writing full time.

  • Now a year later I am working one day a week in a cafe to get me out of the house and keep me sane.  I had originally planned to not work anywhere and just write full time, but now I know that will never work for me.  I like having a bit of extra money, but more importantly than that, I get a great deal of my ideas when I am out of the house working and chatting with people.  Working at the Cafe sort of feeds my writing I guess.  Writing is now my larger source of income.

It has been a year since I created this online diary and set up this writers website.

  • I am so proud to look back on the last year and see how much I have learnt in such a short amount of time.  When I started this website I knew nothing about how it might work.  I had to look on youtube to watch tutorials and ask Facebook and my Twitter friends

It has been a year since I did any painting of any kind

Now I am going to reflect on they year that has passed, and try to figure out some mistakes I don’t want to make again.

I must make a PLAN for next year.

 

 

IMG_0493Meghan Brewster is a Blogger, Freelance writer and general spinner of Fiction.  She is the founder and editor of The Emerging Writers Diary, as well as Itp & Me, a website dedicated to managing the rare platelet disorder, ITP.  To learn more about Meghan Brewster follow this link.  By making purchases through links on this website you are helping to support a young emerging writer.  Thank you.

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Brainstorm your Plan for Writing

Emerging Writers, Writing, Writers,This post is the second article in a series about making a Plan for Writing for your year ahead.  If you missed the first article you can find it here.

1.  How to Plan Your Writing (Career)

Before you start worrying about the finished plan – let’s start making a mess.  The best thing about brainstorming is that anything goes, so get your brain into a storm and write down everything and anything you can think of.

“It’s not the plan that’s important, it’s the planning.” Dr. Gramme Edwards

I love sitting down with a few old weekend newspapers and cutting out pictures of people doing great stuff.  I collect wonderful book reviews I wish were mine, pictures of book covers with great designs, words, images and colours.  Everything.  These images normally end up stuck in the Planning Diary for a bit of colour.

The following questions are just to help your brain start to dream bigger than you were dreaming a moment ago.

Start with all the fun stuff and answer these five questions first…

  1. What are five things you would write if you knew you weren’t going to fail?
  2. What are five things you would do or start, if you knew that money was not an object?
  3. What are five things you would change about your writing practice?
  4. What would you work on or create, if you no longer wanted to impress anyone?
  5. How would you answer these four questions above, if you were already an established writer?
The Emerging Writer, Writing MotivationThen you need to sit down and really think about these five questions
  1. What are your reading goals for the year? – How much time will you give yourself to read?  How many books would you like to read over the next year?  Are you going to commit to reading the book pages every week?  Are you going to remember to read as much as humanly possible?
  2. What are your writing goals for the year? – Are you going to measure your time in hours spent working or word counts at the end of the day?  Are you going to write every day?  Are you going to set larger goals of manuscript drafts?  Are you going to keep a diary for the year?  Are you going to work on freelance material or only on your own work?
  3. What are your goals for the writing community? – Are you going to allocate time to attend Writing and Writers Festivals?  Are you going to join or continue to meet with a writers group?  Are you going to tell everyone you know you are a writer now?  Are you going to change your job status on Facebook?
  4. What are your rejection goals for the year? – Are you planning on sending your work to a publisher this year?  Are you planning on finding an agent?  How many times would you like to be rejected this year?  Are you planning on giving you work to a friend for the first time?  Or five friends?  Are you going to apply for a job as a writer this year?  I like to call these rejection goals, to help take the fear out them.
  5. What are your education and financial goals for the year? – Are you planning on taking any short courses at a Writers Centre?  Are you planning on buying and reading any inspiring books by other writers?  It is important to remember that Education as a writer is essential and that it does not always come free.  Being a writer and developing your career will cost you.  How much are you willing to spend?  Would you like to have your manuscript assessed by a professional? $$  Would you like to start your own blog?  $$  Would you like to join a union or writers guild? $$

There is a lot to think about but I believe the act of making these plans is what brings all the benefit.  Even if you never look at these again, this day dreaming and imagining will help make it all the more possible.

Goalbook2

My Planning Books

I have two books that all of my plans go into.  One is for the year ahead.  The other book is for the big, distance, impossible dreams.  They are both full of images, notes, writing and rememberings.  It is great.  I brought a huge book knowing that I will be making plans for my writing career for the next 35 years – I want to keep them all together to see how far my ambitions will go.

This might not work for you.  Perhaps you would like to have all you goals written on the wall?

Follow this link to help you sort out what to do with this great brainstorming

3. Finalising your Plan for writing

 

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Finalising your Plan for Writing

Emerging writers blog, THe Diary of an Emerging Writer, Plan for Writing, how to plan a writing career.After all of that brainstorming and collecting ideas, now is the time when you get to decide what is important to you and what you really want to get done next year.  This is the best part.

How to record you Plan for Writing

Not all the things from your brainstorming session will make it into your Plan for Writing.  Somethings you might want to note down for another year or perhaps you would like to make a 5 year plan as well.  That’s great.  Now you can get started writing it up!

When finalising your Plan for Writing, make sure that it is in your own handwriting.  You need to be the one who writes it down, don’t type it up on the computer and print it off – Write it.  It is important that you recognise your handwriting, can remember sitting down and taking the time to write it all out.  It will feel more real, more yours.

Also, if the plan is written in your handwriting it will help you to remember that you made the plan!  You wrote it! And fantastically, this means that you can change it when ever you need to.  It is flexable for whenever you outgrow some goals and achieve others.  One of my goals last year was to make $100 from writing freelance articles online.  My first job paid me $130 for one article a few days later.  I had to reassess that plan and realised I was thinking smaller than I should have been.

How you write it up will depend on where you want to keep it.  Some people like to have it up on a wall where they can see it every day.  While others like to keep their walls free for their story plots.  I like to keep my plans in a big book.  Where I can stick in images, articles and courses I have cut out: a scrap book where all my writing goals are written down.

Where to put it?

The Emerging writers diary, planning your writing career, Plan for Writing, Emerging writer blogsPublic? – The most important thing I can tell you about where to put your Plan for Writing, is that you need to make sure that it is safe!  This plan not only is your guide for the next year, but it contains goals and dreams that might still be vulnerable or romanticised.  You need to take care of them and keep them safe from people who might not understand how important they are to you.

I have been to a lot of houses where people have put their plans up for all to see, such as  in the bathroom, like this picture.  I am not a big fan of this.  It feels a bit too public and almost a little cheezey.  I find these public places can often turn your goals and ambitions for writing into a fad or a phase.  I find it best to keep your goals safe and secure.  Don’t think your are hiding them away, but more protecting them from cynicism, judgement and other people’s fears.

Emerging Writers blogs, Plan for writing, planning your writing careerPrivate? – If you would like to have your Plan for Writing on a wall, I would suggest either your own private bathroom, writing office or behind your bedroom door.

I have already shown you where I like to keep my Plan for Writing.  In a big book.  I like this because not only can I write and stick and tear out things from the book.  This is also the best option for traveling with your plans.  My partner and I are still quite unsettled at the moment.  We are house sitting, traveling Australia and have just made plans to head to Thailand for a few weeks.  I want to be able to bring these books with me.

I also get a chance to see what my goals used to be.  I get to look over what my plan was last year.  I love seeing how far I have come.

Where have you put your Plan for Writing?

Share your ideas for planning the future below.

 

 

By making purchases through links on this website you are helping to support a young emerging writer. Thank you.

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How to Plan Your Writing (Career)

Emerging writers blog, THe Diary of an Emerging Writer, Plan for Writing, how to plan a writing career.
writing plans, making a writing plan, emerging writers, getting organised for writing.

This is me brainstorming

3rd September 2013 – It is time to start thinking about the coming year.  In just four weeks my next writing year begins.  I started writing or decided to start writing on the 22nd of September 2012.  Very soon it will be my anniversary.  Before I started to write last year I wrote down a couple of things I wanted to achieve before I started.  It was just a quick list on a scrap of paper.  I looked back over that list every now and again over the last year, to see how I was going.  This year, I am going to do a much better job of making a Plan for Writing.  This year I am going to dream bigger, be more adventurous, more impossible and more detailed with my plan for my next year of writing.

This morning I am going to spend hours looking over notes, newspaper articles and things I have tucked into old folders.  I’ll make  a calendar and brainstorm what I want to get out of my next year of writing.  I’ll write down crazy dreams that seem impossible alongside small goals I know I will achieve.

Why should you make a Plan for Writing?

“Reduce your plan to writing. The moment you complete this, you will have definitely given concrete form to the intangible desire.” Napoleon Hill

Having your goals and plans written down is one of the easiest steps you can take to make sure you achieve them.  The importance of making a Plan for Writing should not be underestimated.   It is much easier to get somewhere if you know where you are going.  Having a plan will give you direction and help motivate you towards to your next goal.  You will also feel more in control of your writing if you have set your own terms and made your own rules.  You will get to did decide how that career is going to look and feel.  Having a Plan for Writing gives you agency and keeps you in control.

Making a Plan for Writing also will give you the chance to make a Plan B, in case your intended goals turn out to be different to how you hoped.  When you have a Plan B, disappointments are easily managed and you can change your direction more easily.

What to include in your Plan for Writing?

Goalbook2“If you are failing to plan, you are planning to fail.” Tariq Siddique

You can include anything you think might be relevant for the year ahead; think of it like a business plan – A yearly forecast.  What would your business plan be if you had to write one?  What would you include?

I try to include everything I can possibly think of in my Plan for Writing.  I like to cover all the aspects of my writing practice, from daily word count goals to finishing a manuscript by a certain date.  I also like to make a plan about how my writing is going to fit in with the other areas of my life.  A priority check list is a great tool for reminding you what is important and what needs your attention first.  I have also started to plan out a bit of an education budget and a festival attendance plan – but I will get into that more later.

I keep all my plans, goals and notes for the future in two big diaries that sit on my writing desk, picture above.  I love having everything in one big book, but everyone is different.  Where should you keep your plan?  I’ll get to that later too.

Hopefully after finishing your Plan for Writing, you will have a good idea about what kind of writer you hope to be.  You may also uncover what is important to you as a writer.  This will come in handy when making decisions about your writing, as knowing what is important to you, will help you make decisions that fit into your bigger plan.

To get started on your own Plan for Writing, follow these links.

2. Where do I Start? Brain Storming your Plan for Writing
3. How do I put this all together?  Finalising your Plan for Writing

By making purchases through links on this website you are helping to support a young emerging writer. Thank you.

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