Sunday, 30 November 2014

Is there such a thing as writer's block?

As this is the month of November I have been doing the annual NaNoWriMo challenge. As always there has been a mixed approach to this. Mostly the words flow and other times I feel like I have slammed into a brick wall. This got me thinking about writer's block and whether this really exists. 

There have been times in the month where the words just would not appear in my brain never mind the end of my fingertips. To put this into context I have had a busy month. I released my first book in the DI Shona McKenzie series and there has been all the attendant work which goes with this. My time has been taken up with Author events, book signings, and generally letting people know it has been available. Add to this that November is the start of the silly season which is the run up to Christmas. Add to this the stress of playing catch up with my NaNoWriMo word count and I think life just got a bit overwhelming for me. When I felt like this it was difficult to formulate words never mind put them into a coherent sentence.

It would be all too easy to allow this to take over and to say that I could not right. That things were just not working the way I wanted them to. This could quite easily lead to a protracted period of not writing which could be termed writers block.

However, this has taught me a thing or two about myself and my writing. Firstly, I get so many ideas when I am lying in the bath relaxing and not really thinking about anything. Obviously this blasts my mental decision that I cannot write and my mind, left to its own devices, takes over. Going out into the garden and staring at the burn (stream for anyone not in Scotland) has the same effect. It calms me down and allows my subconscious to strut its stuff. 

The second thing I have learned will make me sound plain weird. Still I will throw caution to the wind and tell you. I'm a writer after all and us writers need foibles. I write better if I go into my office and sit down at the computer, dressed in my work clothes and with a pair of shoes on. I think this has to do with the fact I have gone out to work all my life and my mind cannot get over the fact that I need to be dressed certain way to produce. Slippers and a dressing gown are all very well for relaxing, but if you want to do that writing thing, boy you'd better be dressed for the part. 

So overall I have come to the conclusion that there is no such thing as writers block. I just need to free my mind and out the words will tumble.

Now that my mind is unleashed from its fetters I am off to do some writing. DI Shona McKenzie is off on the trail of a killer in book 2 and she is champing at the bit for me to join her.

I would like to finish with a question. What do all you writers out there think about writers block? Is there anything you do to get yourself past it?

By for now bookaholics. See you all soon.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Scottish Fellowship of Christian Writers Conference

We are off to a conference on Bookaholic today. Or rather I was privileged to be a speaker at The Scottish Fellowship of Christian Writers Conference last Saturday. This took place in the lovely Scottish City of Stirling. It was great to meet up with old friends and make new ones. The fabulous Caroline Johnston, seen below holding a copy of my Book 'Killer's Countdown' gave a really interesting talk on using Facebook. Caroline is a fascinating speaker, knowledgeable about marketing, and herself has published a book, 'What if', a YA book for girls. This is available on Amazon if you want to know more. 

Sandra Bain gave a really interesting talk on research for writers. She took a unique approach as she told us what she did wrong during her research and how she would do things differently now. She had me hooked and I was sorry when her talk came to an end. 

I was asked to speak about blogging and I had so much fun doing this. I am assured that everyone else enjoyed the presentation as well. One of the best parts of the day was chatting to other Christian Writers and getting to know more about them and their books. There are so many excellent writers in Scotland and I feel privileged to be a part of them.

The reason my books are all over the pictures is that this was the first day they were for sale. A little premature as the official launch isn't until next week. The picture at the top of the blog is when I cracked open the first box of books which was a very exciting moment. When I was asked to sign the books it took me by surprise but it was such a good feeling. I love being a writer and an author and I am so looking forward to the launch.

That brings another bookaholic missive to an end. What do I have in store for you next time. Drop by and find out. Until then, keep reading. 

Thursday, 6 November 2014

There's Been a Murder

We're taking a departure from the norm today on Bookaholics. I am very excited as I have been featured as the up and coming crime author of the month on the fabulous There's Been a Murder Blog. This is a blog well worth following if you like crime books and I am honoured to be featured. I would love you to drop by and read my interview. You'll find out more about me and the journey to publishing my first book.

The excitement continues as I won second place with a humorous article in the Angus Writers Circle yesterday. My article called 'The St Swithuns on the Undertow Church Newlsetter' was warmly received. I may feature it on a future issue of the blog.

So with all these announcements over, I will leave you to read the blog, and to get back to reading a good book. See you all very soon back here on Bookaholics. Keep reading.