Joining in…

Yesterday I said I would talk more about the novel plotting course I have been on. It is held at The Bristol Folk House. The reason I decided to take a weekly creative writing course was because my Open University (OU) degree did not specifically cover novel writing (I think it’s covered at Masters stage) and to keep my hand in. When I completed my first OU Creative writing module I was fired up, had all these big ideas about a book, a blog, competition entries and then after a few weeks it fell by the wayside as my focus turned to the other subject I study – music. I didn’t write anything for about a year. In May 2018 I finished the OU advanced creative writing module and decided to book up writing events to keep me focussed. One of those was the novel plotting course that my OU tutor, Rosemary Dun teaches at the Bristol Folk House.  Rosemary is a traditionally published novelist, an encouraging coach, straight talking and font of all creative writing knowledge. She teaches masters in creative writing too so the course was a real bargain in my eyes. It was run over six weeks and my notepad is simply bulging with novel plotting information. What helped me immensely was the weekly (optional) homework Rosemary set. This kept me focussed and I found that through this I had a new insight or idea every week. The course finished with us producing and sharing a synopsis of our plot. It was great to hear all the other ideas and I was surprised at how different they all were.

In addition to the novel plotting course, I have met on various occasions with my writing pals and whilst this involves a lot of Prosecco and cocktails we do get to chat about our respective projects and learning. I also attended The Bristol Festival of Literature which inspired me to start my blog and an event Writers and Artists, ‘How to get published’ organised by Literature Works. This coming year I’ll be going to literary festivals in Weston super Mare, Gloucester, Swindon and back to Bristol and to any more I can fit in. And I’ve signed up for Rosemary’s next 12 week course at The Folk House ‘Get your Novel Written.’ That weekly input is so important to me. 

As I said, for me it’s all about keeping a hand in, networking and if anything else ‘feeling’ like I’m a writer…walking the walk, talking the talk so that one day I will wake up to find I’ve become that writer I want to be…just like magic (okay through blood, sweat, tears, resilience and a lot of hard work.) 

If you are close to Bristol – here is the link to the Folk House courses

and here is Rosemary’s page:


Goal Setting

I met up with writer pals yesterday and we set our writing goals for the year. It is common for me to set goals for all areas of my life. I do this all year round, however, tend to focus on this more when the New Year is approaching.  One of my goals is to keep up my blog. It was all going great with the daily blogging but studying took over my life. As already mentioned I am finishing off my degree with a music module – I find the subject difficult, yet fascinating and it absorbs me. However, whilst the blog has been pushed to one side, the writing has not. I have continued to attend a weekly novel plotting class, more on that tomorrow, today I want to talk goals.

As I said, I have used goal setting for many years – for over half of my life. I find it focusses my mind and pushes me forward. Once I have written a goal down on paper I feel like it is a real thing, I have just lain an egg which has potential to grow. If it is not lain, thought of, or imagined I’m unlikely to work towards it. The good thing about setting goals with my pals is that I have others to hold me to account. ‘Hey what happened to you entering that writing competition?’ This can give me that push, or just be a reminder if I’ve not looked at my goals for a few days. I think it is very important that I only share goals with people I trust – with my ‘cheerleaders’. Other people can steal my confidence. There are so many people I already wish I had not mentioned my novel writing to.  (The ‘Oh here comes JK Rowling!’ ‘Wait, what? You’re still writing that book?’ Yes it does take more than a few months grrrrrrr.) Sharing goals with my pals, the ones I trust and admire, inspires me when I see what they have achieved.

Having penned my ‘writing goals’ yesterday, my next step is to write out my plan for each of those. To chunk them down into easily manageable parts and then plot the processes time wise. This is something I learned after reading the great book ‘Awaken the Giant Within’ by Tony Robbins. The process takes time but I find it worth it. It makes me feel less stressed when I see a path and a plan. It motivates me when I am able to tick things off the list. My first goal is to have goals written and set out with plans for all areas of my life, before the clock strikes midnight and we pop over to 2019!

Is anyone else writing their goals? If so any tips? And good luck.


In the beginning

I attended Bristol’s Festival of Literature this week and took part in an amazing workshop taken by the brilliant Amy Morse. Amy describes herself as an Authorpreneur and she helps business’s develop their online presence. This is the start of my social media journey. I have recently completed the first draft of my first novel. As stated by Ernest Hemingway ‘The first draft of anything is shit’…and that is where I am at! I joined the Romantic Novelists Association ‘s New Writers Scheme and had this first draft critiqued. I cringed sending off a ‘first’ draft however was heartened that there were positives and I had some great feedback. I am in the last year of my OU degree and studying a collaborative music module with Trinity Laben Conservatoire. Music is a bit of a passion of mine and it can distract me from my writing. With that in mind I have decided to follow some advice given by Amy Morse, to do one small thing a day towards my writing goal. I am posting my journey and hope that by doing so, I will feel that in some way I am being held accountable. That my goal of making a living as a writer is being put out there and I will keep my mind focused on my goal. I have started with setting up a blog so forgive the starkness of the site….I thought rather than wait until I have the hang of WordPress….I’d just start here…