Tag Archives: how to write a novel

NEW POST: Top five writing tips #amwriting

Welcome to my new post: Top 5 writing tips!top5

How’s you? You like change, right? Well, me too. And so to this new post. Top 5 writing tips is here to  replace my previous ‘Diary of a hopeful author’ a) because tis time for, you know, a change, and b) I’m so busy (disorganised) this is a quicker route to me still blogging to you.

The reason, though, for this change malarky, is good. Honest. My thriller book The Spider In The Corner Of The Room is due out next Spring/Summer 2015 around the world, and my head is absorbed in writing book 2 now of the trilogy. But not a lass to forget anyone, I had to rethink the blog thing so I could, well, keep in touch. And, ta-da! Enter the top 5 tips. See? Hmmm….

So, every Wednesday, I’ll attempt to post my top 5 writing tips of the week related to where I am in my own writing process, sort of. You get the idea. I’ll give each tip post a theme, basically, and hope it gives you a literary leg up, as it were. So, without further a do, here goes on the first one. Cue drum roll…


TOP 5 WRITING TIPS: Writer’s block

Stuck in a writing rut & can’t get out of your funk? Me too! Here’s my top 5 tips on how to get your writing mojo back….

  1. Get out! Go on. Go! Sometimes just getting some fresh air can reboot the brain, helps you think through ideas. I like a run…
  2. Tell yourself positive things. Keep saying ‘I can’t do this?’ Stop! Now. You hear? Now write down positive stuff that you can keep referring to, like ‘Yes, I can’ (thanks, Barack) or, ‘If others can, so can I’. You get the idea.
  3. Just write anything. And I mean anything. We try to get it right first time, but that’s not really required. It’s easy to edit a full page of words than a blank one. Who cares if it sucks first time round? Mine always does. So just get it out then edit later. That can sometimes kick start things.
  4. End the day in the middle of a scene. This will maintain momentum, even leaving an unfinished sentence can kickstart the next day’s writing.
  5. Give yourself a break. If all else fails, walk away, come back later. Just like an athlete, too much training will wear you out. Take a break, regroup, have a party – whatever it takes – then go back. You’ll feel refreshed. And perhaps slightly hungover. You’re welcome!


Any top tips on writer’s block? Great! Share them with the group!



**Out tomorrow “Thursday Thoughts” where I post my latest Gazette newspaper column to my blog…**

Diary of a hopeful author: How sports mantras can help your writing

It’s “Wednesday Wafflings” when I post the latest entry in my Diary of a Hopeful Author…Photo of a Diary

So, there I was, at Christmas, up a mountain. I was bricking it. I could see over the edge. It was snowy. My skis were on and in my hands were my poles. I was with my ski school team and, bar the odd tumble, all was safe. So why, oh why did I lose it? And I don’t just mean lose it, but totally and utterly melt right on down and get scared on the mountainside.

The reason was this: I told myself I couldn’t do it. That’s it. No more, no less. I mean, sure, the previous day I had fallen off the edge of a chair lift BEFORE I had even gotten on it. And yes, my backside, along with my skis, were sticking in the air. And of course, the nice French ski lift operator laughed and said, ‘I will take a photo.’ And, indeed, the only way to handle it was to stand, smile and wave. But that was then. Standing on near the top of a mountain with a long way down? This was now. And I was not liking it.

So, two things happened. First up, I realised I was being an idiot. Why? Because I was telling myself I couldn’t ski. Trouble is, when that sets in, that negative thought, like a germ in a petra dish, it grows. Until what you have immobilises you and you f**k up. Second, was someone (our instructor…) said I was a chicken. He was being funny. We got on really well. But that was the thing – he’d clocked me, knew what I was like. You tell me I’m a chicken? Then I’ll show you…

And then it happened. I got down the mountain. And the day after that. And the day after that. I got down by telling myself, ‘I can do it.’  (and by making chicken noises…Got some strange looks) I got down by reminding myself that if I fell, I could get up. And if anyone – anyone – called me chicken, I’d show them just what I could do. And, tell you what, I had an absolute ball in the process. The best time ever.

I’m at home now. My limbs are in one piece. My mind is rested. I re-began the final editing of my book last week. And that is when I realised something: that I was better at knowing how capable I was; that anything was possible. Skiing had taught me something about myself. It had taught me that if you think positively, you can do it. You can, quite literally, conquer mountains. And that it is a whole heap of fun on the way.

So, on that note, I give you, below, a link to the mantras that sports people use for running (my favourite sport) to get them in the right mind set for a race. My advice? Adapt them for yourself and use them when you hit a low point in your writing. Feel you can’t write a paragraph, never mind a book? Feel as if there are so many authors out there better than you? Then apply a mantra. A positive mantra. For running, they use ones like: ‘Be steady. Be strong.’ Or : ‘Better. Faster. Stronger.’

Because you see, whether it’s running or writing or getting a promotion at work, a bit of positive thinking can help you go a long way. Or, in my case down a mountain (or to a big book deal!).

So, mantras: required. Broken limbs: optional.


Out tomorrow “Thursday Thoughts” where I post my latest Gazette newspaper column to my blog…**