My Day Off

What really happens when I give myself a ‘day off’ from my writing?

Would you really be surprised to discover that I usually spend it writing? Seriously!

Let me walk you through my process of a recent experience where this happened.

I’ve been a bit on the sick side, for a few weeks, thanks to bubs beginning childcare and bringing home dreaded lurgies. Then there was the Easter break, and his first birthday that weekend, plus I’ve had books published, and running an online workshop. I love it. I love being busy. I don’t love being sick of course. It meant that I was run down. And after finishing the first draft of a novella, and meeting that deadline, I decided to have a bit of a break. In particular, I was going to take a full day to myself, which never happens now I’m a mum, to rest and not write, or do anything writing related. I decided that I needed this self-imposed break a few days ago. Just for one day. It’s not a lot of time, but for me it feels like it. I was completely looking forward to it, and trying not to feel that little bit of guilt which tends to come when doing something like this for yourself.

With the day stretching out in front of me, I decided to take my computer with me – just encase. Lucky! My muse came. Or I felt a burst of inspiration. I didn’t feel so tired anymore. Suddenly I had the energy to want to write.

So, I did.

And I wrote and wrote and wrote.

And the good thing about a day off, is that I don’t do word counts. I’m not goal focussed. I flip between three to four different projects. I’m completely in the creative flow in all its whims and touch of chaos.

And I’m in heaven.

This, for me, is the best day off!

Lilliana

Writer’s Journey with Vicky Adin

Today I have historical author and genealogist, Vicky Adin sharing her creative journey as a writer. Thank you for sharing your love of history and writing Vicky.

What, where, why?

Two separate incidents started me thinking this week. The first was a post by Nora Roberts on “Here’s how I work”.after she became embroiled in an appalling plagiarism mess involving 85 books and 36 authors. That alone is bad enough, but the fallout generated questions surrounding her methods, output and honesty. Nora took to the web to explain herself. I find it sad she feels she has to justify herself at all, but I was extremely interested in her methodology.

Now, in no way do I wish to compare myself with Nora Roberts, but I was pleased to read she, too, spends time ‘staring into space’ and ‘looking stuff up’. I wonder if that is a common trait among authors? I write historical fiction and I ‘stare’ and ‘look things up’ all the time, and while she didn’t use the word pantser, she starts at the beginning and keeps going until she reaches the end, which is also what I do.

In contrast, I tend to re-read what I wrote yesterday, fiddle with it a little bit if something jumps out that says ‘fix me’ and then I carry on. I let the story unfold in my head as I write or sometimes the characters have to have their say about the directions I’m taking. When I’m writing (and I don’t produce more than one book in a year) then I write every day solidly. While the book is away being edited, I work on the marketing and promotion. No-one, it seems, can sell books without a profile and it takes work to keep up that profile and books before the readers’ eyes. Once the editing stage is complete and the book released, then it’s back to writing again. There’s always a new story to delve into.

Which leads me to the other aspect of my writing I often get asked about. Where do I get my ideas? For me, that is easy. I’m a genealogist. I love digging into the past, searching through records, and reading old newspapers online. From that, an enormous number of ideas pop up. Tiny snippets of information will lead to a whole story line. A job – lacemaker, sugar boiler, costume maker, journalist, soldier – can often become the starting point. Other times, it’s the location: Ireland, Wales, Cornwall, but I always end up in New Zealand. On one occasion I found an article about the discovery of a long, lost painting by a Cornish artist hidden behind another painting. The research into the art world of the time was fascinating, and when I discovered links to New Zealand, the story fell into place.

My wonderful husband recognises when I’m in the zone and doesn’t disturb me other than to bring me coffee or wine (depending on the time of day) until I’m back in his world again. Often when we are driving anywhere, silence descends as my mind drifts off into whatever world or era I’m writing about at that time. I do an enormous amount of research to ensure the facts are correct and then wrap the stories of everyday life around the events of the time.

I love history, I love people and I love writing. I love my job. It’s a perfect combination.

Vicky

A fan of historical novels since her teenage years, Vicky Adin writes New Zealand based stories about the tribulations and successes of the people creating history as it happened. As a genealogist, she uncovers some amazing stories of fortitude and endurance and of love and hope. She combines her love of research and writing to weave together family sagas in a way that brings the past to life. Her books vary in format from dual-timeline. She waits for the characters to tell her how the story will unfold. Married to her greatest supporter and best friend for nearly five decades, Vicky has two children and four grandchildren. She holds a MA(Hons) in English and Education and enjoys travelling – especially caravanning and cruising; the opposite of experiences. Her writing has been compared to Catherine Cookson’s stories. Check out her website, books on Amazon, Goodreads, Kobo, facebook, and Instagram.

 

 

 

My Creative Processes ~ Bob Goodwin

Today, I have guest writer Bob Goodwin, giving us some insights on how the creative process works for him. Thank you for sharing your writing journey Bob. And I agree, wine isn’t such a good influencer on writing, but coffee is!

 

My Creative Processes

by Bob Goodwin

Some writers have a regular highly organised routine. I know writers who cannot do anything between certain hours on certain days as this is exclusively their writing time. For me, I am disorganised – any day, anytime on different devices at any place I happen to be. I have lean periods when I write very little for weeks at a time, then I write every day for just as long.
I often like to walk around aimlessly when thinking about a plot twist or a new character. If anyone was watching they think I needed treatment!
I do have a few writing dislikes – no closed-up rooms – at the very least I want to see out a window. After 10 pm my creative brain wants to do some creative dreaming. TV must be off, but music can be on, not too loud, and this can at times be inspiring. While I enjoy a red wine from time to time, I know that alcohol and half-decent writing do not mix! On the other hand, a good coffee is always welcome.
My somewhat disturbed brain gets lots of ideas from different sources. My past 35 years in mental health has been a major contributor. People watching is something I find intriguing, and I find myself making up macabre stories as I look around. Looking at the ocean never tires me – this is uplifting and stimulating. As hinted to above, my dreams also aid my creativity. They can, at times, be very disturbed and gruesome – of nightmare quality. Yes, they do wake me up, which is good because I can then remember them. Over many years they have happened so much that I am now able to quickly reset my brain and settle back to sleep.

Bunya Mountains
This is my holiday house at the Bunya Mountains – great walks – amazing wildlife – wonderfully motivating

While I have written some drama and comedy, my main genre is suspense thriller fiction and I am currently editing novel number 5. The last are a trilogy. Finishing book 5 was quite an emotional experience, more so than any other. Farewelling characters that I have spent several years with was harder than expected!
I have also written many one act and short plays, screenplays and short stories. My website is http://storiesandplays.com/
A big thanks to Lilliana for inviting me to prattle along on her blog.

Bob Goodwin was born in Nottingham, England and moved to Australia when he was 7 years old. He has spent over 35 years working in various areas of mental health – including Psychiatric Institutions, Mental Health Inpatient Units, Community Mental Health Services, Mental Health Rehab & Residential facilities and Telephone services for Mental Health Triage.

Bob started writing in 1987 and, aside from his novels, he has written several One Act Plays, short plays, feature length screenplays and short stories. Bob is an independent author and has self-published 4 novels thus far – the 5th is just around the corner! Bob has an active family life with 7 children, 14 grand-children and one great granddaughter.

No Ink!

I can’t believe this happened! I’m usually so organised, especially when it comes to pens. And when writing with a fountain pen, there’s a little more to consider like having spare ink cartridges. There’s nothing more frustrating than running out of ink when writing, more so when I’m in the flow.

So I couldn’t believe it when I went to change my ink cartridge, to find that the spare was indeed used, empty! I can see the funny side to all of this. And as much as it pained me, I switched over and used another pen – not the look I like in my journal, but it really doesn’t matter. Now, I do have a fresh ink cartridge in my handbag, ready to go.

 

Lilliana

Pen Surgery

This is the last thing I’d expected to be doing when writing in a café. Pen surgery. This is a first for me even though I write with a fountain pen (though often I write with a bic ball point so I don’t have this issue).

Luckily I came prepared with spare ink cartridges so the surgery could be completed quickly and surprisingly mess free.

So I could get back to the task at hand ~ writing.

Lilliana Rose coffee clip art steam

www.lillianarose.com

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New Notebook Excitement

There’s a joy and excitement in beginning a new notebook, especially for a new project. The proof of the new inspiration? In this beautiful notebook, there are now penned four poems in a raw handwritten state. All in one morning sitting of writing. I couldn’t have asked for a better outcome from my muse, who in this case is the notebook.

A great way to start a new notebook. This is fresh inspiration in abundance.

Lilliana Rose

www.lillianarose.com

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Happy New Year!

It seems that every year is a big year with lots happening, the good, the bad and the ugly. As we say farewell to 2017, I’d like to take a chance to reflect on the year that was.

Three top things that shaped my 2017 are:

3) Beginning Café Pondering blog

2) Starting up a journaling group on Meetups, Inspirational Journaling

1) Teaching ESL students

Of course inspiring family and friends, but that goes without saying 😉

There are so many other things too that shaped my 2017. The little things that whispered softly and can be easily over looked. Like how I made friends with the lady I shared an office with at work. But it was more, we shared creative endeavours, and encouraged each other to write and be creative. There was the signing off on my research proposal for my PhD. A writing workshop over a weekend in Sydney with the HayHouse publishers. Becoming an Aunty again. Starting art classes, with Splashout Art. Publishing my poetry book Fading Farmer, which I had held completed for two years unable to release out into the world. Plus so many other events I can’t quite remember, the ones that were negative and ugly which I will keep from here, as I am looking to release those events to move on to the new year. Like some of the world events, the ones that rock you to the core, the ones that cause the tears to flow, the ones that leave imprints on your heart.

As I remember the ‘good’ and forget the ‘bad’ I turn my attention to 2018.

What am I looking forward to? Right now, there are so many new doors opening for me, some of which I don’t know yet, it is difficult to see ahead for what may come in the following months.

I’ve managed to narrowed the list to three main things I’m looking forward to:

3) Presenting writing workshops (to make sure I do this, I’ve scheduled a Travel Writing workshop early February!)

2) New writing endeavours, writing more ‘life writing’ works.

1) Continuing my research on my great grandma, for my PhD, and learning more about my heritage, as well as growing and extending myself as I study.

I’m also looking forward to meeting new people, sharing my experiences in real life and on blogs with people. Continue my art classes and developing my skills with oil paints. To write more poetry. To simply write and journal and find the flow in life that nurtures me as best I can.

Starting a new year can be daunting. I don’t have a day job to rely on. I’m looking. For now I’ll have more time to write. The horizon ahead is wide with the haziness of the unknown, the forecast continually changes and I am constantly reminded that I’m not in control. But by focussing what I’m looking forward to helps me to move past the fear of the unknown, and allows me to deal with not being in control, because at least I can adjust how I respond to the situations. And by being grateful for the year past, and particular events, and interactions is a positive way to say goodbye, and move on.

Please share what you are grateful for in 2017 below in the comments and what you are looking forward to in 2018.

May 2018 bless you,

Lilliana Rose heart clipart

www.lillianarose.com

rose clipart

 

Fountain Pen Joy!

I treated myself to a new Lamy fountain pen. I can’t stop using it and I’ve switch to more handwriting just so I can use it!

This treat to myself is definitely paying off in creative currency! The ideas and flowing along with the words.

The iced latte is a change because it’s a hot spring day and I’m in need of a cool drink as well as my daily caffeine hit!

Lilliana Rose

www.lillianarose.com