What Else Do Writers Do?

Sometimes one has to step back and take an inventory of the direction of one’s writing activities. Note that I don’t say writing ‘career’ as it doesn’t feel like I have one. Does whether I am being paid for writing or not have anything to do with that? Time will tell.

Recently I caught myself out procrastinating, and I’m glad I did. As I hovered in the backroom of a particular social media platform waiting for someone else to be making something happen, (to suit me), I remembered the reviews I have wanted to do. That’s currently at least three books, and a fourth counting an August uni assessment. It also requires reading the books first!

Writing isn’t just about anticipating acceptances. It’s about writing reviews, whether for other writers, blogs or publishers. We indie authors all help each other, right?

So I need to sort my writing activity out. Currently I have several bits of work on the go, ie: short stories. Is this wise? Should I work on one thing at a time, or dive into a  multi-tasking of writing projects? Like reading, I have about six books on the go, and that’s not including kindle. Is there a writer who just sits down and does one thing at a time? Maybe there is, and they are writing a novel? Something I am decidedly not doing as I’m happy with writing short stories, microfiction and poetry.

So keeping to the theme here, what do writers do when they are not actually writing? And I’m talking about writing-related tasks, not eating, sleeping etc..            Apart from actual writing, writers do a lot of other necessary things to keep their productivity afloat. This includes:

1) Engaging with other writers and publishers on social media. This needs discernment or time is lost.

2) Preparing work to submit. This includes finding beta readers, editing and layout, and sending submissions off to a publisher. Can take up quite some time.

3) Research. I am currently researching ideas for a poem which is something I’ve not done for poetry before.

4) Keeping notes and notebooks, preferably in a well-organised manner.

5) Writing the blog. Say no more…

6) Reading. This is an absolute requirement, not just for escape and sanity, but for ideas, comparisons and refreshment.

7) Reflecting on rejections and learning to tolerate them as part of the process. It can be a bitter pill, (disappointment), but it’s silver lining is that it moderates ego (ouch!) and so whilst learning new ways to improve one’s writing, it also helps you become a better person.

8) Doing interviews or interviewing other writers.

As from tonight Melbourne goes into stage four lockdown, so I’ve found that the best coping mechanism is to get really creative with my time. Some friends are doing it with food, as in making new dishes, bread, etc. It’s good to make friends with your mind, and do some meditation or mindfulness. Lots of Zoom calls and some interesting webinars are available too. (Writers festivals etc..)  Make it easier. 💟🕯🔥😊🔥🕯💕

Time for the Mask

Here’s July already and Melbourne has again gone into lockdown, masks are being encouraged, and I have ceased my day a week of health care work with intentions of more paid writing work coming to me. (With some effort of course, Rome wasn’t built in a day).

Masking up in pandemic pandemonium

Am continuing to challenge myself by delving into new areas of writing world. This has meant 1) seeking out or being sent to publishers with whom I have not previously submitted my work, 2) plotting out some short stories and microfiction in new (for me) genres, eg: crime fiction and 3) THE most exciting, reigniting the flame of writing poetry.

YES! I wrote poetry for years and no,  I treated it badly, and therefore didn’t keep much if it. Now, however it seems so special, easy and…..appropriate to write. So I’ve been doing that and have submitted a few so far. 

June and July have also been a time of attending some online writers festivals and other writer-learning sessions. Doing one on crime fiction this weekend with Dave Warner, and another on ghostwriting in a few weeks. Always more to learn….

Shout-out to Paper Djinn Press, and Umair for moving this venture foward. Looks like a breath of fresh air for fantasy and sci-fi writers. Good luck! And another 💜 to the generous and prolific Black Hare Press, most happy to know that Dean is back and smoothly cranking it up. I was so pleased to receive my contract from Fantasia Divinity for the Earth of Oblivion anthology, which includes two short short pieces I wrote, Mudwitch and Grounded. Coming soon. Such a great cover! 💚

Really enjoyed writing a couple of micro stories for this (above) anthology too. Thanks for accepting,  Kelly Matsuura. 💜 When I spent about nine months travelling around SE Asia, it changed my life in many ways, and this is the beginning of writing about it. These two were inspired by a Buddhist temple in south Thailand and staying on Nusa Lembongen near Bali.

Stay safe! And keep away from all peaceless situations, unless as you can help improve it. 🌹 Good luck! It’s more than half way through 2020 and a lot has been seen and understood. 🌳

May Mooching

Time for a blog post to share some news and views. May has almost ended and we’ve been in Lockdown now for 2-3 months. As has been suggested by many, this time of isolation is good for those who are naturally hermit-like and introvert. This is a part of me for sure, however not the full picture. I like being around people, I like to go out and I like choosing activities that take me into another environment for the newness and refreshment it brings.

Still, this enforced time of being at home has been useful and productive with my writing, finishing stories and submitting them, seeking out some new publishers and gaining further momentum which my main publisher, the fabulous, prolific Black Hare Press.

There’s also been the study of Narratology in this past few months, although not a favourite initially, has turned out to be useful as well as interesting. (Would the idea of analysing text previously caught my attention? No. But now it does.) Just need to plan and complete the 3000 word final essay now, and onto the next unit which is a look at short stories. Yes!

Here (above) are a few anthologies which are publishing one of my stories, or microfiction.

One of the most fun pieces I wrote lately was about a huge live-in robot called ‘The Magnificent General Vici Galactos’ This was accepted into BHPs Lockdown sci-fi series.

I will try and do a monthly blog. Promise. Take care and stay tuned in.


Boredom isn’t my thing… Lately.

Actually I do recall being bored… I don’t like it. It’s a fed-up ‘let me out of this jail’ kind of feeling and I never came to terms with it. Maybe I should have honed in on it with the right mindfulness technique. Oh well, over with that one.

So why don’t I ever get bored in these past couple of years? I started to write more seriously. Yes, I’d always written, be it poetry or paragraphs or plot themes. Now it was becoming more substantial. I had a need to get published, and share what I write. Put it out there into the big world. And the best way, of course, online and independently. Welcome to the world of Indie Publishing – you will like it here and life will never be the same. So that put an end to any old strains of boredom that may have lurked menacingly on the horizon.

And now, with the sudden emergence of what they are calling Covid -19, I am finding myself working from home and also hardly leaving the house. A trip to the supermarket every few days brings new things to see, and the walk every 2 days is having significant advantages. I just made a mind map of my ‘Time Takers’- things I do which hold my time. Here it is.

Meditation routine – starts early each morning, then includes a Webinar at 6.30am, connecting with individuals or in groups on platforms like Zoom or Google Meet etc..ongoing throughout the day.

Uni work – currently studying a unit on Narratology in my post grad Cloud ‘Writing and Literature course. ‘ This keeps giving me fresh ideas on my second greatest love *WRITING.*

Writing – I write speculative fiction, poetry, dabble in crime/psychological fiction and the odd paranormal romance. Love it all. It’s not my full-time work so I’m a bit more low key on promotion on social media, but am part of several online writing groups and especially Black Hare Press which is full of interesting, unique, and ‘no flies on me’ writers. Love it!

That’s not all I do, but will hold it there as lunch is ready and this is getting a bit long and detailed. 😻

Out soon: Pre-release:

Rajastan Rocks

I’m here in India – Mount Abu Rajastan, doing my annual trip which is a time to get back to the real core me and tune into the deeper understanding of 1) Who am I? 2) What am I doing? and 3) Where am I going? (especially in 2020). Deep reflections indeed. Spiritual is necessary in these chaotic times. (Even if just to still the chaotic mind.) 💛

In the past 10 months I’ve had great success in getting my writing work published as well as branching out into other areas of Speculative Fiction that I may not have previously considered. A huge shout out to Black Hare Press for being an indie publisher with the strong ethic of encouraging and supporting emerging writers. 💜

So the year ahead looks fast, exciting and wrought with possibilities. However, I’m understanding the need for balance and even more, the required self discipline to keep the most important thing of all steady, stable and flourishing: My Inner State of Mind. Love to all. Some pics of Indian art at the meditation retreat I attend. 🐼

Rangoli artwork of a yogini
Powdered colours
Dining area lit up at night for Shiv Ratri
Wall mural art in dining area
Read more

Catching Up

A quick post here seeing as I have been non-communicado for several months. My excuse is being busy, but that’s a tardy one. It’s usually about procrastination, but enough of that. I’m back. And regular, so here it is. My February 6th 2020 rant.

Today I am quite excited! A few reasons for this, and the main one being is that today, after I do some driving and work for 3 hours, I will sit myself down at one of my libraries (I visit 6 depending on my location on the day), and freely, easily and wholeheartedly write. Write, write and write! And I will endeavour to complete one Work in Progress. I have 2 WIPs – short stories and another to edit and 2 poems to be added to the edit list. So I will lap up 3 hours at the chosen library and seriously immerse myself in it. Can’t wait!

Have had work accepted in several anthologies of late. Take a look. Adios.

Month of NaNo

With good intentions in 2019 I took a dip into the NoNoWriMo aims and intentions. The plan was to ideally write 30,000 words, (not the 50,000 they suggest) but life had other plans so I ended up with a 2000 word story about power and control (see the Duchess Klara), several drabbles, (accepted into two anthologies to date & waiting to hear from several others). Other WIP includes a take on a famous fairy tale and a novella about a man who wants eternal youth.

These are some of the upcoming anthologies I have pieces in. 🔴 ❤ 🔴