Want To Know My Top Recommended Sites for Writers’?

Photo by Matthew Allard

Photo by Matthew Allard

Today, I thought I would share the top websites/blogs from my writer’s toolbox with you. I’ve been following a number of blogs for a long time now, and these are the sites that I have found most informative, useful or interesting. They are the one’s that I continue to refer to and while I have numbered them, they are not in any particular order of preference.

1. The Write Practice

2. The Passive Voice

3. The Creative Penn

4. Coffintree Hill

5. Guido Henkel

I hope they help you as much as they have helped me.

How about you, what are your top recommended sites for writers’?

Can We Apply Coaching Techniques To Our Writing?

Photo by Renaud Camus

Photo by Renaud Camus

Continuing on from my post “Thoughts on a Page – Are You A Courageous Writer”, I have been reflecting on my coaching course and think I have another learning that can be applied to my writing. When you coach someone you are trying to get them to realize their own potential. It is not about giving them the answers, it is about getting them to work things out for themselves by asking open questions. For example, a coaching session might go something like this:-

Coachee: “I don’t know how to write this paragraph.”

Coach: “What is it that you’re struggling with?”

Coachee: “Well, I don’t know how someone would act under the influence of alcohol.”

Coach: “So what can you do to understand how someone would act under the influence?”

Coachee: “I could get drunk and see how I act.”

Coach: “You could do that… what other options do you have?”

Coachee: “I could go to the pub and watch other people that are drunk.”

Coach: “And what else could you do?”

Coachee: “I could research how people behave when drunk on the internet.”

Coach: “You have some good ideas, which one do you think is your best option?”

And so on…

I got to thinking, how can I apply this to my writing? The answer hit me straight away. I could ask myself questions. If it’s something that I am struggling with, I could do something like the above, but I can also look at it from my characters point of view.

“What would my character do in this situation?”

“What else could he/she do?”

“If they could do one more thing, what would it be?”

“Are those all his/her options?”

Or how about from a plot point of view?

“What would happen if I took my story in this direction?”

“What else could happen?”

If something even worse happened, what could it be?”

Only by exploring the options, can we choose the best course of action. It may be the best course of action for our character or it may be the best course for our plot. One idea may lead us to another better idea. I’m not sure how well it will work, but I am going to try this in my writing. Why don’t you give it a go too? And please, let me know how you fare.

Thoughts On A Page – Are You A Courageous Writer?

Photo by Renaud Camus

Photo by Renaud Camus

I spent a day in a training course about coaching last week and It always surprises me just how much I can relate back to my writing. In this course I covered Managing with avoidance and Managerial Courage. As the topics suggest, one is about avoiding issues and the other is about being courageous and confronting them. I think this can translate to writing, i.e.Writing with avoidance or writing with courage. I think sometimes we are scared to write what we really want to, through the fear that our readers will not like us. I also think this holds us back, because unless we are courageous writers, we will never truly find our own ‘voice’.

What do you think, does courage help your writing?

Thoughts on a Page.

Photo by Renaud Camus

Photo by Renaud Camus

Sometimes I feel like I’m pushing forwards in leaps and bounds with my writing, and then there are the times when I feel like I haven’t done a thing. I fall into the later of the two scenarios at the moment. I know what to do, I know how to do it, I just can’t be stuffed doing it right now.

I come home from work, cream crackered after sitting in front of a computer for 8 hours. I force myself to sit at my home computer for a few hours more. There are distractions everywhere, pulling my attention from the task at hand – my writing. Then there’s the ‘work’ us authors do. The blog posts, the e-mails, FB, reading, critiquing. It all takes us away from our writing. I seem to be constantly asking myself, “Am I making excuses not to write?” I know the answer to that question is yes, sometimes. Other times I’m just too tired and can’t concentrate on my writing.

I find I have so much going on in my life at present that I have to use my writing time to do other things. I’m still trying to sell my old house. I’ve been talking to another agent to try and shift it, it’s been on the market for nearly 3 months now and still hasn’t sold, in what I’ve been told is a hot market. I need a new car, the old one is constantly threatening to break down on me, it takes 4 or 5 attempts to start most times.

These are all first world problems, I know, and I’m not complaining about it. I’m just thinking that I may need to prioritize things and get them sorted, maybe put my writing on hold and stop beating myself up over the fact that I haven’t written anything today. But then there will always be something that needs doing.

How do you do it? How do you keep doing your thing when life takes over?

And The Winner Is…

I just want to say a massive thank you to all who voted on my book covers. The results are in, and oh boy was it a tight race. I have compiled the responses from WordPress, FB and in person from friends. There were two clear front runners out of the five nominees.

Here are the results:-

A received 41% of the votes
B received 11% of the votes
C received 0% of the votes
D received 48% of the votes
E received 0% of the votes

In addition to the voting results, I also received some fantastic feedback, so once again, thank you to all who voted. When I finally publish, you will all know you played a part in selecting this cover:-

Blood Rage cover