03 Apr 2017

Journeying Lord Of The Rings-styley!

I’ve been struggling with writing again in the last few weeks.  I may have been positive and upbeat in my last post, but once the rejections start rolling in and you read articles about how celebrity authors are shutting children’s authors out of their own trade you can very quickly feel like writing to get published is pointless. In fact, I’ve even decided that it’s not over-dramatic to compare the…

01 Mar 2017

Five Top Tips for Agent Submissions

I’ve just finished a whole month’s worth of preparation for agent submissions for my YA manuscript and I learnt SO much from the process that I really wanted to share some of it! 1. Do thorough research I looked at the website of every single agent on Querytracker who was currently accepting YA submissions (450+ agents from the UK and US)!  It was time-consuming, but essential in order to become more familiar…

15 Feb 2017

Taking The Plunge

I’m teetering on the edge of something at the moment, have been for aaages in fact: looking at what I should be jumping into, considering it, pacing along it, but too nervous to take the plunge. We can all feel this way.  Whether it’s sliding into a cold swimming pool, starting a conversation with a stranger or standing on a wooden platform high up in the trees, ready to step…

31 Jan 2017

Give Up Work, Pursue Your Dream?

At the beginning of January I went back to work – the paid employment type – for the first time in 5½ years!  When I took voluntary redundancy in 2011 it seemed like the perfect opportunity to take a year out to pursue my long-held-but-neglected dream of being a writer. That year has stretched a loooong way.  It took me two years to really get going with any writing.  Once…

17 Jan 2017

You’re A Fake, Baby

Chatting with a friend about last week’s blog post I was reminded of the biggest lie in our society about beauty. It would be bad enough for our self-esteem if we were aiming to look like, and judging ourselves against, the most beautiful people in the world.  But what we’re usually comparing ourselves to when we look at models and celebrities – especially in print – is a complete unreality. Even 25…

10 Jan 2017

I’m So Ugly

“I’m so ugly” was a frequent thought in my teens, closely followed by the similar “I’m not as pretty as her” when comparing myself to friends or other women in magazines and on TV. Self-esteem is a mahoosive issue for teens, especially for girls.  While I desperately wish that young people could see how wonderful and beautiful they are, in all their uniqueness, convincing them of that is often near…

04 Jan 2017

How Do You Define Success?

Unsurprisingly a new year is a great time to set goals for the year ahead and to wish people health, happiness and success in 2017. Success = the accomplishment of an aim or purpose (dictionary definition) But what does success mean for you personally? When my shoulder tendonitis was at its worst and I’d spent 3 days in my pyjamas sat on the sofa because the pain and painkillers were wiping…

23 Dec 2016

Passive Receiver or Engaged Analyser?

Apologies for not having posted last week, although with the busyness of this time of year you probably didn’t notice.  I sustained a nasty shoulder injury a couple of weeks ago and spent most of last week in a fog of excruciating pain.  One of those days was even more unpleasantly enhanced by an opiate painkiller daze.  Coleridge might have written Kubla Khan on opium, but I ditched it after just…

07 Dec 2016

Where Have I Been and Where Am I Going?

Almost exactly a year ago I wrote this post about where I was at then and what I hoped might happen in 2016. I’ve discovered over and over again that “every step on a writing journey takes a LOT longer than you think”.  I’ve confronted and been thwarted by numerous Threshold Guardians.  I’ve definitely gone into the Inmost Cave and am having a bit of an Ordeal if I’m honest. When…

29 Nov 2016

So, What’s Your Book About?

On the Saturday afternoon of the SCBWI conference I gleefully skipped along to a workshop on Pitch hoping to nail an answer to that question.  It was great session, led by a brilliant tutor, but…rather than gaining any clarity I ended up spiralling into greater confusion. Partly it’ll have been because I can’t work creatively in a classroom environment.  Partly it could be that the partner I was working with…