Insecure Writers Day – September

Yep, it’s that time of the month again (no wise cracks please lol) and for some reason, I feel it’s come around really quick this time….weird lol


So it’s IWSG Day and this will be the 6th consecutive month that I’ve participated. If you haven’t joined, please do (see the tab above) as I can’t recommend it highly enough. It’s been great, and I’ve met some lovely bloggers πŸ™‚

Sooooo, where do I start? What am I feeling insecure about this month? Actually, wait for it, nothing! Lol. Yep, you heard right, zilch, nada lol πŸ˜‰ Well, ok, there is something but more on that later πŸ˜‰

I think I know the reason why I’m feeling so good…. SWANWICK! I enjoyed it last year, which was when I attended the first time. But I came home feeling totally inadequate and out of my depth. Come on, who wouldn’t! Sitting in the bar, having a drink with Iain Banks and feeling in awe of Meg Davis and Emma Darwin as they mingled.

This year was different. This year I still had respect for all these authors, agents and tutors, but, I didn’t feel so inadequate or intimidated. I didn’t feel that they were somehow “better” than me. I even spent a couple of early mornings sitting on a bench chatting to Meg while we both smoked lol.

So what changed? I dunno….lol…..I have a couple of theories πŸ™‚

1. I’m more confident in my own work.
2. I’ve got used to mixing with these people and realise they’re “ordinary”?
3. Blogging, connecting with other writers, forming a support network, and feeling that I’m part of a huge family of writers that spreads across the globe.

*grins stupidly and is filled with a warm fuzzy feeling*

So I came away with a sense of support. I came away with a smile on my face, and a determination to succeed πŸ™‚

Then, last Wednesday, I had an e mail from The Faber Academy (who are part of Faber & Faber the publishers in London) to say that I was being offered a place on their Novel Writing course. When I applied back in early July I had to submit 1000 words as an example of my work. They had 52 places on their London courses for 2012 so they decide who gets a place based on your writing. I sent them the prologue and first couple of pages of But Not Forgotten. So I guess they liked it lol. I’m excited, but bloody terrified!!!!!! I’m worried that there will be high standards, that my work won’t be up to the calibre of the other students. Silly really, because Faber obviously see something in my work that I don’t lol.

Sooooo, my advice to anyone who is feeling insecure today? DON’T GIVE UP! KEEP WRITING, NEVER STOP! Even if it’s only 1 sentence a day. Mistakes and crap writing is what we learn from. If its not working, put it aside and try something else. Don’t bin it, it’s part of your journey. And if you ever get chance, do try to go to one of these Writers Summer Schools. Over the last 2 years I’ve met people who have been attending Swanwick for years! I can see me being one of those, definitely πŸ™‚

And if you don’t believe me, read what writer/tutor Simon Whaley has to say about these events πŸ™‚

I’m away from home today (I’m in Birmingham lol) so I may be a little late visiting other IWSG members, but I’ll get to as many of you as I can later πŸ™‚

So what are you feeling insecure about today? I’m all ears, and available for hugs and finger wagging if required πŸ˜‰

The Last Full Day

I finally got to bed around midnight last night, and had the best nights sleep ive had all week! lol

As i’d decided not to do the 2nd lot of courses i spent the morning with my feet up…literally (wrapped in a cold water soaked towel) and did some writing, and reading. Get me, i should get a gold star.

I did attend the talk this afternoon, which was “A Problem Shared?” and involved a Q & A session with some of our speakers and course tutors.

Pictured from left to right: Kate Walker, Simon Whaley, Alison Chisholm, Malcolm Chisholm, Irene Yates, Lynne Hackles, Stephen Wade and Brad Ashton. Jane Wenham-Jones kept them all in check for the duration πŸ˜‰

Some interesting questions from the audience but i couldnt think of anything to actually ask lol. Oh well, i’ll probably think of something later πŸ˜‰

After the panel session most of our delegates went off to the workshops, but i sat on a bench (in the shade of course) and read my book.

Ive decided to go home straight after breakfast tomorrow as my feet and ankles are still swollen and another gnat bite has appeared 😦 I dunno, what a state to get in. I just need to get home now and sit with my feet up all day lol… sure that wont be difficult. Will go to the Drs on Monday if theyre no better *deep sigh*

Tonight, its the CWMBACH Male Choir and then the farewell party. Ive been told i have to wear a dress, so yes, i do have one. There is no way i’ll be getting me feet in those bloody high heels though lol πŸ˜‰

Slumming It

Well, ok, perhaps its not that bad, but, its not what im use to lol πŸ˜‰

Student accomodation, is, sparse….as you can see…


But, i have a fridge for my chocolate, and an internet connection. Thats the necessities taken care of lol

Its been a good day πŸ™‚ I have sunburn, i know where the local Spar is (i had to find it when we realised we had no milk or teaspoons) and i met up with an old Bookcrossing friend i havent seen since 2006!

Dinner (salmon and salad) was nice. I purchased 4 books from the book room (already!) and put faces to lots of online names ive seen on a regular basis on the SSS.

The evenings speaker was Simon Whaley who’s very entertaining talk was entitled “Sandwiched Between Kate Adie and Nick Hornby”. Its basis, comparing writers to olympic athletes and involved showering the audience with chocolate coins! πŸ˜‰

Im currently back in my room whilst most of the other delegates take part in a Quiz Night. Im shattered, and that 1 glass of wine i had before dinnerΒ has gone to my head lol

Tomorrow looks like it will be hectic, but great fun. Im really looking forward to my course with Kate Walker, oh…..and breakfast! πŸ˜‰

Notebooks – Finding What Works For You

Firstly, thank you so much, everyone, for your suggestions yesterday on how to get myself motivated, I really appreciate it πŸ™‚ One thing I realised (along with many others!) is that I need to be more organised lol… I’m hoping this will help πŸ™‚

I usually skim read The Writers Forum magazine when it thuds onto the doormat…..stick it in my pile of TBR magazines and then forget about it for 3 months. But this month, an article by Simon Whaley caught my eye so I just had to read it πŸ™‚

In Notebook Know How, Simon explains how he has different notebooks for different things. Now, I’ve always been the one notebook for everything kinda gal. But reading Simons article made me realise that yep, he’s right, I can never find anything lol. I’m now on my 13th notebook, and though I can mostly remember what was in a previous book, I haven’t got a clue what was in say, book 4 lol

So as from the beginning of May I started working with 7 notebooks, all at the same time. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking, 7 is a bit excessive, but, I can’t seem to cut it down to any less than that (Simon himself says that he has 6). Here are the books I’ll be working with:

Ideas Book – Where I’ll put ideas for stories, titles, articles I’m interested in, name ideas for characters, blog ideas and useful web site addys.
Prompts Book – Where I do my daily prompts.
Characters Book – As you know, I do a lot of characters, so a notebook dedicated to them will make it a lot easier when I’m trying to find one.
Goals/To Do List Book – I’ve decided to start each week with a set of goals, so a notebook dedicated to them would make sense.
Novel Notebook – A notebook dedicated to my current WIP novel, anything and everything that relates to it.
Dumping Book – The book that I take to my writing class and take out and about with me for free writing sessions.
Nano 2012- I’ve prepared a notebook for my A-Z characters, so I can add stuff that I come across which might be useful.


Simon says (i lovethat!) he uses his dumping book and then at the end of every day transfers the information into the categorised books. He says the transfer process also gives him an opportunity to develop the ideas further. Yeah, I can see that, extra work yes, but good to go over stuff I think.

How many notebooks do you work with and why?

I’ll let you know whether it was a good idea or a bad one in a couple of months LMAO πŸ™‚