Notes From a Bore

Not that bore again talking about her writing!

Please bear with me. Currently, I am a bore. Many of you know that I’ve been working on a non-fiction book for teens and, basically, I have thought of little else. (Except for Year 5 lesson material and general mum stuff which may or may not be a more stimulating topic for a blog post) However, this is a blog about writing so about writing, I write.

Being a fiction-loving type of writer, I’ve surprised myself with how much I enjoy the non-fiction genre and once I get my head out of the galaxies of research and procrastination (there’s absolutely no time for the latter!) it’s a pleasure to write and this project is turning out to be a valuable learning journey. 

1. I’m glad I didn’t say no.

I’d just completed my first children’s fiction book and was contemplating the routes to publication. I got as far as buying the Children’s Writers’ Year Book when this opportunity literally dropped into my lap. My first reaction was flattery (Oh heaven, the vanity of wretched fools!*) but I quickly bumped down to earth with thoughts of inadequacy, inexperience, and the ten million dollar question: do I really want to do this? It is so different from anything I’ve done before. But I rolled up my sleeves, said yes, and got myself a co-writer.  

2. Working with a co-author is brilliant

Sarah is one of my teacher colleagues and has lots of experience in confidence issues due to her work. Two heads are indeed better than one! We bounce ideas off each other and chat quite a lot but we’ve reached the conclusion we just need to write the blooming thing!
Two heads are better than one

3. Getting started was a teeny bit tricky at first.

Sarah and I were faced with this mammoth task (it does feel mammoth if you haven’t done it before) and despite having a pretty clear synopsis and plan we were having conversations like “Which bit are you going to do?” and “Um, how do you think we should write this part?” Eventually, we threw our hands to heaven and just started to write. It was a good start.

4. Everything always takes a bit longer than you think it’s going to

Actually, if you focus and stop procrastinating, it’s not too bad. It’s ok to play one or two games of Scrabble with the children but five is extravagant. Just get on with it.

5. Don’t stop reading. 

Reading is my relaxation time and my inspiration. I have four books on the go at the moment; The Valley of Lost Secrets by Lesley Parr which was recommended on the ACW Children’s Writers Group which I love and have nearly finished; The Possibility of Difference by Marcus Green for research for another book I’m working on; Sue Russell’s Thorn of Truth which I am meant to be reviewing and it’s brilliant but the print is so tiny, I keep putting it down. I’ve actually just purchased my own copy and will begin again – apologies for the delay, Sue; and finally The Story of Marriage by John Bevere just to remind me that I am married and I need to remember my long-suffering husband once in a while. 

6. A Real Job

Writing is a real job and it’s imperative to treat it like one. No more fitting it in in-between episodes of Grey’s Anatomy.

7. Editors

Having an editor to work with is amazing. She will help you with all sorts of things like understanding the book contract.

Writing - It's a real job.

 *Measure for Measure, Shakespeare

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