I have been a writer from the time I was old enough to recognise that reading was a doorway into my imagination. Poetry was my first foray into the art of the written word. Books were my best friends, my escape, my haven. I am essentially a recluse but this part of my personality is impossible to practise given that I have two teenage daughters, who are actually my friends, my tea-makers, my confidantes… I am blessed with a husband who has left me for golf. It’s a fair trade as I have left him for writing. We are both passionate supporters of each others loves – it works wonderfully…
My heart is currently broken in two. One half resides in South Africa where my old roots still remain, and my heart still longs for the endless beaches and the smell of moist soil after a summer downpour. My love for Ma Afrika will never fade. The other half of me has been transplanted to the Land of the Long White Cloud. The land of the Taniwha, beautiful Maraes, and volcanoes. The land of green, pure beauty that truly inspires. And because I am so torn between these two lands – I shall forever remain crosseyed.
I love talking to my readers so email me if you have any questions or even if you just want to chat…
You must write, and write often. Think of the brain as a muscle and it certainly can do with every bit of exercise we can make it do. The more you write the more you exercise the craft knowledge you learn, the more you are able to experiment with writing techniques. Write regularly, and as much as you can. Join a writers group, give yourself a daily target, and get those words down. Dedicate a time during the day to write, give up a TV program or escape to a coffee shop and get those words down. Remember, all those words add up in the end.
Write down your goals. Map your writing journey out. An hour a day, a 100 words a day, that’s 7k per week that’s a decent draft in 3 months. Write that down and place it somewhere that you can see it every day. If you think this is not something you want to do, that you want to just let the words come as they please then you need to remember that once your book is with a publisher you will have deadlines, you will have limited time in which to churn out your book. And you won’t be able to wait for your Muse to come along and inspire you.
Writers are an amazing bunch of people, always ready to share tips and techniques with newbies, always happy to swop new ideas too. Find the nearest writers group to you and join it, pitch up at meetings regularly, ask questions and remember there are no stupid questions on this writing journey. Facebook and Google+ are amazing places to find writing groups so join in and take as much information as you can get.
Conferences and Workshops
Conferences and workshops are worth so much more than the money and time you sacrifice for it. Attending a conference surrounded by writerly souls, shoulder to shoulder with agents and editors and publishers leaves you with such an intense buzz, it really can keep you going for months in terms of motivation and drive. Apart from that there are the workshops that are so useful with the variety and volume of information you leave with. Believe me, a conference for a writer is an absolute must.
And how can this be called work? Read, as much as you can, find the time, make the time. Reading broadens your horizons, strengthens your imagine, provides you with little idea sparks that one day will come in handy. More especially read the genre you are writing, learn the types of voices readers look for, the types of stories that pique your readers interests, and what could be different that you could offer to your readers.
And what is more important than nurturing the dream, feeding it with the possibility of success. Each milestone you reach, each craft tip you learn, every 10k mark you pass, every writer you learn something from, every goal you achieve, will help you along the road towards fulfilling your dream of publication.
And, as with all things in life nothing can be achieved without a little bit of dedication. Know your goal. Focus on it.