Moving onwards and upwards

Well, things are finally moving on for me. I finished my Copywriting course with a merit grade and I’m working on a website and Facebook page to advertise my services. I thought it would be beneficial to join a professional association and discovered there were two main ones in the UK.

The first one; the Professional Copywriting Network starts at just £4 per month or £60 a year for professional membership. The second one; the Professional Copywriters Association costs £95 per year. As I’m just starting out, I decided to go with the cheapest option to begin with and see where that gets me.

I am working on my last assignment for my Copyediting Course, which will give me another string to my bow. Of course, that will mean joining yet another association. But hopefully, it will be money well spent if it helps to bring the money in.

I have two active blogs which I try and write for regularly and I am almost halfway through my Comprehensive Writing Course with the Writers Bureau.

I started this course two years ago, but I actually feel like I’m getting somewhere now. I have nearly finished the non – fiction part of the course – my final assignment for this section is to write a non – fiction book. Where to begin?

I have a few ideas but haven’t settled on anything yet. The problem is, I know about lots of things – but do I know enough to write a book on the subject? Maybe?

So, as well as doing assignments, writing blogs and trying to get my freelance business off the ground – I also work part time. When do I find time for myself, I hear you say?

I suppose I’m lucky that my kids are grown up now. I have more time to myself and can spend all evening at the computer if I wish with no interruptions.

I also try to read every day – one hour with my feet up helps me to unwind. When the brain feels like it’s going to explode from overuse, I will switch the computer off, make a drink and pick up my book. Travelling to another time and place helps me to find myself once again



Where has all my stuff gone?

I have been using a small netbook for my writing for the past couple of years, but it no longer suited my needs. So, I decided it was time to buy something better and went for a new PC.

I bought it on Friday 2 June and spent the next two days uploading all my writing, coursework, photos and music etc. I installed my printer and was all set to go.

Then last night, Monday, I had a very large update, which took about two hours in total to install.

I got up this morning to work on a review of a local fair and my document folder was practically empty!

I checked other folders and discovered most of my photos were also missing, about 150 altogether.

I didn’t panic. I’ve been using One Drive for a while and everything was on there. But when I checked, a lot of things were missing off there too!

Normally, this would have been the time to start having that heart attack. All my work lost!

But luckily, everything was still on my USB flash drives.

Of course, I hadn’t really planned to spend another hour uploading everything for the second time in four days. But at least I still had my work. I’m thinking now of also keeping a paper copy of everything.

Let this be a lesson to you. Don’t keep all your work, photos etc in one place. Have a backup and have a backup for your backup.

I now save everything onto my PC, One Drive and my USB stick!

When Inspiration Hits

Is it just me, or do other writers get inspiration at the most annoying times?

I’ll be standing in a queue waiting to pay for my shopping and I will suddenly think of the ending to an article I have been working on for ages, or I’m sitting in the nurses room at my local surgery, and she has just stuck a needle in my arm to take some blood and I will get an idea for a blog post.  I can even be putting out stock or dealing with an awkward customer at work and unbidden thoughts will pop just into my head.

So, I take a notebook everywhere now. Just a small one, with a pen which fits nicely in my handbag, so I never miss an idea.

But now, I am also waking up in the early hours and can’t go back to sleep until I have written my thoughts down on paper.

It’s actually quite relaxing, writing at that time of night. There are no noisy neighbours playing loud music or watching films at full blast. There is no noisy traffic outside and most of the drunks have gone home. If it wasn’t for the fact that I had to get up for work the next morning, I probably would have sat up all night writing, so after another hour of looking at the minutes ticking by on the clock, I finally slept the rest of the night.

Of course, there are also the days when you sit in front of the computer and can think of absolutely nothing to write!

I’m sure this happens to many of you writers out there, but I now have a solution to this problem. At least one that works for me. I light a black candle (well actually I have two), and say out loud ‘I banish all negative energy and welcome all creative energy.’

It works every time – and before long the creative juices are flowing once more.

Maybe you have your own way to banish writers’ block?

I would love to hear about some of the different things that other writers do. Maybe you go for a walk, listen to some music or read a book? Maybe it’s something unusual?



Notebook Obsession


While cleaning my room yesterday, I discovered I own a total of 25 notebooks.

Now, you might think this obsessive, but as a writer, I consider this quite normal. I have a personal journal, a dream diary, a ‘things to do today’ book, a book for research notes and a general notebook. I also take a small notebook everywhere I go, including shopping and work. Inspiration can hit at any time and I like to be prepared.

My daughter Jess, who is also a writer, doesn’t think there is anything wrong with having lots of notebooks. My husband, on the other hand, thinks I am totally obsessed. This is from a man who has 4 dart boards, 3 of which are sat on the floor as he has nowhere on the walls to put them.

I’m sure there are other writers out there who have lots of notebooks. I would love to hear your stories. Do you have a special one? Maybe one given as a gift? I have a lovely fabric notebook with a flowered cover, tied with a pink satin ribbon which was a Mother’s Day gift from my daughter last year. It presently sits on a shelf with my other keepsakes.

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My Keepsake shelf


New Year – New Start

Well, it’s the start of a new year and I have promised myself that I will be more focused this year. I have set myself a list of writing goals to achieve this year and hopefully, I will achieve at least some of them. I am thinking positively and making time each day to write.

A change of diet and lifestyle is also in order for this year. I have been eating well, drinking plenty of water and eating more fruit and veg and I have even been exercising regularly. For most of last year, I kept making the excuse of being too tired to exercise after a day at work, but the fact is if I exercised more, I wouldn’t be as tired and would have more energy. Something had to change.

After only three weeks, I am already feeling better about myself. I’m sleeping better and am more focused. I feel like I can actually achieve my goals this year.

I have made a good start. My assignments are up to date and I am even slightly ahead with my creative writing course. I am at present, working on some proposal letters to magazines (not as easy as it sounds). I bought a book to help me called “The Query Letter” by Paul Lima (£2.78 on Kindle/ £7.71 paperback from Amazon) which is proving interesting so far. With some work, I will achieve my main aim this year -to get published.

I still haven’t been to my local writer’s group yet; they had to change their venue and moved out of the town centre for a few months. They are still looking for a new permanent venue to hold their meetings, but are temporarily back at the library. So maybe I’ll pop along this month. It would be great to talk to other writers.


My Writing Journey

So, I’m doing a few writing courses; a copywriting course with the College of Media and Publishing and a creative writing course with the Writers Bureau.

I have wanted to write as long as I can remember, but although I attempted to write a novel a couple of times over the years, nothing came of them. I finally decided that I needed some help and signed up with the Writers Bureau to do their comprehensive writing course. This covers everything from article writing, scriptwriting, short stories, poetry ,novels and  even writing for children.

It was slow-going at first, but I am really getting to grips with it now and am thoroughly enjoying writing articles. My tutor Sara is very helpful and encouraging and I now have a regular writing routine fitted around my day job.

I joined a few Facebook groups, including a support group for the Writers Bureau, which is very helpful and I am looking into a local writers group.

I am thoroughly enjoying writing and started to think about writing as a career, but writing that novel will take time. So, after some research, I came across the College of Media and Publishing. They offer many different writing courses, including copywriting, web writing and proofreading and I signed up for the copywriting course.

I am more than half-way through this course now and am finding it very interesting, and hopefully, this will lead to some freelance work, doing something I love.