Tag Archives: writing

Blessings

Sometimes we take things for granted. I think I have had enough lessons in my life not to do that, but sometimes it’s hard not to. I think the pandemic has been an opportunity for some to sit back and take stock of what really matters. Do you like your job? Are you happy in your life? Are you where you want to be?

Since I was young I always thought about work as something I wanted to do and enjoy and not something I had to do but it is not always possible to think that way, I appreciate that. I feel blessed to have found the thing in life that makes me truly happy. To be a writer; to get up every day and do what I love is truly a blessing.

While at the moment that is not paying the bills; writing still is, in that I get to enjoy working with other writers… until the day comes when I can just write 🙂

We have to enjoy life; I took a big wage cut many years ago now for the dream and I have never looked back and never regretted a single day of it. Sure, I seek more financial freedom but I know it will come, and I also count every blessing and enjoy every day of the ride.

If something is not working for you in your life, change it. Do it now.

Be happy.

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Is it the calm before?

It’s a strange time for all of us at the moment, as we attempt to return to normal amid lots of reported new Covid cases. I have to say, I tend to stay in my own little happy bubble: writing, editing and of course going to the gym! I am thankfully double vaccinated but careful. I think staying fit and healthy is essential for our well being.

I have been a full-time editor and writer for eleven and a half years now (who can believe it?) and I mentioned in a previous blog post how I had needed to adapt my work, thereby introducing my mentoring bubbles this year. This has kept me going but there is a strange quiet on the work front these past few weeks. I do have one or two mentoring clients but that’s about it… where has everyone gone? Is this a Covid effect of the world opening up or something else I wonder?

Being self-employed is for me (and my other half) a complete blessing, but when work is quiet… it can be a worry. However, ever the optimist, I know it will pick up. I think this is only the second time I have had a lull like this since I have done this.

I am using the time to write more and I think it’s true to say any writer never runs out of things to do. I also have a proof read for next week as well, a small one.

For anyone interested in a full critique of a novel I have a 25% discount in July, so take advantage of my quiet time. Email me.

Whatever happens in life, I think we must all stand back and count our blessings. I have a lovely home, family life… and do the best job in the world. I am truly blessed. I love my writerly life.

Stay safe everyone!

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When you get ‘possessed’ and it’s only 5.30 am

I am close to 9000 words into the sequel novel and I am coming up for air. It’s odd when a chapter writes itself in two hours. Oh sure it will be edited and tweaked probably a million more times, but it’s flowing, good and fast like the Hudson River.  If that flows fast?! Just popped into my head. I think it, I write it. Where does it even come from?

Starting a new novel usually takes longer, finding the character’s voice, and his or her quirks. I have talked many times on here about how you need to create flaws and mannerisms and tics that make your character feel real. And while some you plan, most appear — by magic. What I had never thought about before was how nice it is to write characters that are already fully formed. The thing about a sequel is you already know your ‘people’, well the key ones at least, so their voice comes so much easier. And that is what I am finding now.

In addition, picking up the story threads six weeks on means I also know what happened to my people, and by way of a quick but not overdone recap for those who have not read book one (even though you hope they will have read book one) means you can process what happened. And the plan I have drafted means I also know where this is heading. I know the function of each chapter. Only now come the surprises.

It’s interesting how many things happen as if by magic and certainly there has been some of that since I started to work on this sequel. This morning is a case in point when my favourite flawed character with the most distinctive voice ends Chapter 4 in a way I have never actually planned. Oh, the thing it relates to was going to happen in this chapter, but not quite this way. And this is what I was talking about last week: when it surprises you but feels right, then it should surprise your reader.

So I thought I would share before I go back in to tweak.

Writing is a powerful way to lose yourself to find yourself.

And I am now possessed.

And that, for now, is all.

cartoonwriter

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Tunnel Vision

It was such a great week last week after the ‘new agent news’ and finally feeling as if I knew what I had to do next. So I found myself up and working at 5 am every day, after a break from that for a while, and fully in that zone: that fully immersive state we all relish if we can get in there! It does mean everything else falls away around you as you write, and some mornings I was aware of the hubby speaking until he probably realised I was not ‘in the room’ and off he’d go and next thing a coffee would plonk down beside my computer mouse. I have him well trained!

So edits under guidance completed along with new synopsis and off to my agent. I am now doing something I have never done before. Working out the plot intricacies of a sequel! I had always intended a sequel to this novel (not saying which one yet) but had not quite worked out what would happen. I spent three hours at 5 am scribbling and thinking. I am not there yet but something is slowly emerging! I often find I need to look the other way for a while to see it clearly as if plots like to take shape just out of shot. My mission for this week is to get something together and find my EUREKA plot moment when I realise what it has to say. And to be ready to start writing it!

Writing is a process of many stages.

  • Planning: advice? Never force it; let it come when it wants to, just nudge it along as I do not recommend waiting for your muse either.
  • Writing new material: is the really exciting part and my fingers get a buzz when I am in that zone. I think that is probably the most exciting phase. This is when the true magic happens and often things you could not have planned!
  • Editing: I relish because it helps your work to take shape and become something so much better than that first draft. And if you are lucky enough more magic creeps beautifully in 🙂

 

Many many rounds of edits later it might or might not be ready but it has to reach a point when you MUST let it go and if you have been working on the same thing for too long — rest it and write something else. We can get too close to it. My advice for anyone wanting a career as a writer and intending to find an agent and a book deal needs to let one novel go and work on a new one, especially when new to it. Get a critique, get solid editorial feedback and learn how to improve — but when you have reached that point know when to rest it and work on something new, taking those newly acquired skills with you. Agents want you for a career, not a single book. My fourth novel was the one that was finally deemed good enough to find a publisher.  But nothing is ever wasted because you have something to later work on.

So that is me, just wanted to pop by to report in mid-editing a manuscript for a client!

That is all. Happy Writing! Happy Week!

Books HD

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Feeling Buzzed

A short post this morning, I do not Blog every day for fear of repeating myself but the good news this morning as I am about ready to submit my Japanese POW story! This is the most personal story I have ever written and I was thrilled with the way the folks reacted to it. They absolutely loved it and it made them cry. Oops! I generally advise against sharing with family, especially when starting out, as a more neutral and more ‘writerly’ opinion is usually best. However, since this one is so personal I felt I had to. They were also able to comment where something was inaccurate! And hunt for the elusive typos!

I love that feeling when something you have been working on is finally coming together. I get a buzz in my fingertips and a sense that I am absolutely on the right path with my life!

With a lot of work on my whiteboards and a busy day with walks and gym, I don’t always set aside as much time to write as I would like. So I have been trying to do some in the morning as usual but the new goal is to work Monday to Thursday with Friday as my writing day. I also work Sunday so I think that makes perfect sense to me. It is not always possible but I am going to work longer hours the other days if I need to. I also had a weekend in Brighton last weekend at the beautiful Air BnB we love in Withdean Park. So while the man was on a yoga course during the day, I got to do what I have not had the chance to do for a while… and that is just to write! I got the first full draft of the story finished that way and after a week of tweaking and refining, I think it is there. After the gym, one more read and I will send it out into the world.

The new mission now is to work on the short story collection that comes out in July! Then back to the Chutney novel and my mission to find a new agent. This is the year!

How about you?

follow your passionWhat are your writing dreams?

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Taking stock

Sometimes all you need to do is stand back and look at your life and appreciate just how far you have come to see where you’re heading.

A lot has happened this past month and now I am beginning to get back down to earth and focus on my writing and my editing work. I have work scheduled into April so all good 🙂

I am also still working on the new short story since there is a looming deadline I would like to meet. It’s an odd week as I have a touch of the lurgy and so under advice from the lovely Mr B I am not at the gym! NO!!!!!! I feel fine (ish) but the cough is doing my head in!)… but I am sure the world will not implode if I miss the gym for two days! But I do need to write!!!

If you need a reality check stand still and look at what you have because I promise you there is always always something to be grateful for ❤

That is all. Enjoy your day folks…

 

A photo of us (in glasses) as we read our own vows after the real ones! I am not sure I have achieved the I promise to try to talk less though!

Us 3Debz and Mal with The Revd Canon David Tudor, 19.1.19, St Nicholas Church, Canvey Island, Essex

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Passion and only passion

The only way to feel a real connection to all that you are and all that you aspire to be is by following your true passion.

I have said that many times but it is so true.

I see so many people moaning about things in their life instead of counting their blessings. We all know life can throw tough things at us and there will be times when smiling and getting back up proves to be a real challenge. And you know what, some days it is okay to wallow. But know one thing — in the end, it comes down to choice and mindset.

I make a commitment to myself to follow my heart in all things and that no matter what I would make sure I was enjoying the ride, and learning from the mistakes. I have been working for myself for some nine years this year and it still never ceases to amaze me that I can do it and I can pull together a reasonable enough living to at least pay my bills. And we do have fun and get away, have date days, have meals out. But if pennies are tight we do other things and there are plenty of free things to do. Life is not about how much we spend but how many moments we truly engage in, it’s about how we spend our lives ❤

My husband also follows his passion and has for all his life. If he had followed what other kids from his estate were doing when he was growing up, he might have walked an altogether different path in life. He did not want to end up in trouble, so he built a gym in his shed and made a dream, one that he achieved. He knows about the need for passion, in all things. That what you might not be rich in, financially, can bring much greater rewards in the richness of life.

There can only be one way: following your passion.

The financial rewards will come, but as a side effect and should not be the reason for doing something.

If you love what you do it will never feel like work, right?

It’s been a busy week and I am now taking work on for April and beyond. If you need my services as an editor, for some structural editing through to proof-reading or you need some one-to-one mentoring or fancy taking part in some small group mentoring to finally work on that novel or collection of short stories then please contact me and we will launch the mentoring this spring/summer. Please email me if interested writer@debzhobbs-wyatt.co.uk

If you have passion, then you have drive and if you have drive you will always succeed.

Never Give Up.

follow your passion

 

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When the Leaves Drop

I love this time of year.  I love the chilled air and the crispy leaves. I love that feeling of the seasons changing, I embrace it. What about you?

It’s been a strange but exciting year of change for me. I am still writing but the focus has changed a little. After ten years or more or less full on then, I guess, we do need times when we make other things priority. Right?

I’ve still had some short stories published and been working on the British novels, but unless you pursue it with undying passion then not a lot happens. Don’t we know it. But life is good and as we approach five years since the release of my debut (yikes!) I am getting itchy feet. I need to see another novel out there. So I guess my mission after my wedding for 2019 will be just that. I am ready.

I think it helps at times to have distance and to rethink purpose. I love that saying that ‘being a writer is like having homework for the rest of your life’. So true. Right now I feel as if there is something I am supposed to be doing but I am not! Like I am not living my dream. Then I have to stop and remind myself: I am a writer but life changes. That is life.

And good things will happen, it just needs ‘life to happen’ to have something to say about it.

So come on the journey with me and let’s see where it takes us next.

So what am I reading? Bereft by Chris Womersley… have been reading a lot this year and enjoying it 🙂 This is great writing.

So… have an amazing week and enjoy the change. Embrace it.

Autumn

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Passion

I started this blog some time ago now, and I kept it every weekday. It became a place where I write whatever came into my head; about writing primarily and sometimes personal stuff, but mostly about writing.  My first passion.

But, like all things, there are times when you get busy with other stuff (writing related in my case usually) and so I decided to have a little break from it.

I am now up and blogging and thinking ahead, to this strange but beautiful writer’s road. This is going to be a truly amazing year, in every way. On a personal level with wedding preparations for next January; and on a writing level as edit the newly named Chutney novel!

I have a new look website, some of you may have seen: look here and I am focussing more on mentoring too, so look at that page as well!

www.debzhobbs-wyatt.co.uk

There are all kinds of exciting things in my head and so I will be back and sharing.

Message me if you want me to feature something in particular on here about writing and books or indeed if you want to tell me about your new book or your own writing journey.

I believe it all starts with passion: with doing what you love every single day.

I have it; my other half has it.

Do you?

I will leave you with a YouTube clip of an interview my other half gave last week about his passion. It might be about his work and not writing, but it shows the value of experience and passion.It cuts off at the end, maybe deliberately… have a look.

Right now, after reading since five (currently reading The Humans by Matt Haig and loving it)… Mal is next door doing yoga. We start early in this house.

So be like us: indulge your passion and embrace the new week!

More tomorrow!

 

Enjoy, comment, share!

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Self Editing: Eveything you need to know

I had planned a post at some point similar to this, but when I read the talented Sharon Zink’s page I decided to share it.

Sharon is an amazing writer and I have had her on my blog. She also does the same job as me in that she offers manuscript appraisals; the same level of detail.

So I decided to share this link because it really is a masterclass in writing and everything on here is exactly the kind of thing I say to clients all the time when I assess their manuscripts…

Take heed fellow scribes!

I am now about to write the homecoming chapter on Pelicans… this is exciting, it’s the final chapter when we reveal the last of the missing pieces… and it’s raining so I am loving the sounds of rain on the roof as I write! The morning goes pitter patter… ❤

Have a wonderful day everyone!

http://sharonzink.com/writing-tips/all-first-drafts-are-sht-so-heres-a-masterclass-on-self-editing/

 

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