Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to you all! I hope you enjoyed the festive celebrations. We had a quiet time, as usual, but did have a couple more visitors than last year, which was a lovely surprise. I have an inkling that 2012 is going to be a more sociable year for us. Let's hope so!

I don't usually make new year's resolutions, but as the old year draws to a close, my thoughts turn to what has happened in the past year and what I'd like to improve or do differently in the year ahead.

My main focus will be my writing. I realise that I enjoy writing to a set time limit, typing fast and furiously, writing from the heart. Write-Invite is brilliant for this and I shall continue to enter their weekly competitions: http://www.write-invite.com/
I've recently been working with Sharon Birch, a writer I discovered through The Yellow Room. We set each other writing exercises a few times a week, agreeing on a time of day to send each other a list of prompts or themes and to spend half an hour (or less) writing. We then send each other our pieces (although there's no pressure for either of us to do so, if we don't want to) and offer an opinion, if we feel like it. It's quite a casual arrangement, but seems to be working well for both of us. It certainly makes me write something without interruption for at least 20 minutes. I always try to write a complete piece. I know I can then go back and edit or expand whatever I've written. I'm so grateful to Sharon for sharing this experience. It's proving invaluable to me.

I don't really want to write about my novel here, as I'm struggling with it. I had a brainwave today, however. Having discovered I love writing to a list of prompts and can easily produce something half decent of about 500 words in half an hour or less, I've decided to incorporate my novel characters into whatever I write. Hopefully, this will help me to get back into the story and move it forward. We'll see!

Biddles, who printed QWF for many years and have printed all of The Yellow Room issues, have said they're no longer willing to do so. This is after problems with two recent issues when some characters appeared in bold type for no apparent reason. It is going to take a long time to find a replacement printer at a reasonable price. I'm not sure when the next issue of the magazine will appear. All quite depressing, but I'll soldier on!

A resolution I'm determined to stick to is not to diet this year. At all. That's another long story, which I won't bore you with here. However, after being on and off diets since I was 14, I'm living proof they don't work and you end up bigger than when you started!

I plan to keep running, but at my own pace. My foot injury won't allow me to do a huge amount, but little and often will be my new running mantra. I also plan to take baby steps to get our house in order, for example: cleaning out just one cupboard a week. Hopefully, by December 2012 the place should end up looking more presentable.


Susan Elliot Wright said...

Great - a realistic and honest approach. I'm not dieting either, just trying to be a bit more restrained. Great idea to incorporate novel characters in your writing exercises - good luck, and keep going!

JO said...

Enjoy 2012, Jo - I hope you find joy in the middle of your sensible plans for the new year.

Rachel Green said...

Well done you.
I generally write a lot of flash fiction using characters from my novels and it really helps to flesh them out.
I know Sharon well from various writing forums. She really is a marvellous writer.