Sunday, 25 August 2013

Guest Blog - Writer Events Q&A with Siobhan Muir


For the last in my series of Guest Blog Writer events Q&A, I bring you Siobhan Muir.

I met Siobhan (online) through my participation in her weekly Flash Fiction challenge #ThursThreads, which she still hosts.

Siobhan is an extremely successful author, and - in her words - writes kick-ass adventure with hot sex for men and women to enjoy. She believes in happily ever after, redemption, and communication, all of which you will find in her paranormal romance stories.

Siobhan’s recent release, The Beltane Witch, is the second book in the Cloudburst Colorado series. Her free read entitled A HellHound’s Fire introduces the first book in the Cloudburst, Colorado series. She has also published Nota Dragon’s Standard Virgin and Queen Bitch of the Callowwood Pack through Siren Publishing, and Her Devoted Vampire through Evernight Publishing. 

I do have a copy of ‘Not a Dragon’s Standard Virgin’. As yet I have not had a chance to indulge myself, but I look forward to it, as having read Siobhan's flash fiction writing, know her to be a great writer. 

Meantime, Siobhan is far from a novice at writing events, and shares some very valuable insight on her experience. Enjoy.


What was your first writing event? (writing group, writers conference, book fair etc.)

The first writing event I went to was the local meetup group of the Las Vegas Writers Group (original name, I know). I learned several things about writing, including met an agent who really liked the look of werewolf romance Queen Bitch of the Callowwood Pack. She gave me plenty of pointers for my query letter and on writing in general. She didn't end up taking it, but she did help me get it out there and published. The first conference I went to was Arizona Dreamin' in their inaugural year. It was terrific and I met so many people who have been great connections since then. That's where the attending publisher asked for Queen Bitch of the Callowwood Pack in its entirety.

Did you go alone (to Writers conference)? 

No, I went with a friend. We drove down from Las Vegas to attend the event in Phoenix, Arizona.

When you went did you go with a specific plan in mind, or focus? did you structure the day, or did you just go and see?

I was so new at the business of writing at the time, we both went down with a few things we wanted to see, but in reality it was more like a free for all. We didn't try to meet with publishers or authors, we just interacted with them on the fly and even met a romance cover model who was there doing a shoot. It was a very good experience and gave me a sense of what all I needed to do to get my books, name, and presence out there for more than just readers to see.

Can you go to a writers conference without a specific focus? Can you just go and look?

Yes. You can go to just hang out and interact. You can go for specific classes/panels, or you can go to meet your favorite authors and have your "fangirl" moments. :D I don't usually go with a specific focus in mind because there is so much going on and opportunities show up when you don't have a schedule. I ended up pitching Queen Bitch of the Callowwood Pack to the attending publisher at Arizona Dreamin' that first year just because I stopped by and asked them about their company. I interviewed them to see if I wanted to send my book to them. And they wanted it. I didn't plan to do that. At Authors After Dark in 2012, I was standing with one of my favorite authors, Cat Johnson, and they had planned a Voodoo field trip around New Orleans's French Quarter. I hadn't signed up, but there was space, so I got to go on the field trip and interact with other authors along the way. It was spectacular and so worth the unplanned serendipity.

What did you gain from it personally?

Too many things to name, but mostly the connections to other authors and readers. I've learned many writing tips as well, from those who have been doing this longer than I. But the most important thing is the connection. You make friends at these conferences and see them during the year there, but they interact with you online and if they have a bigger readership than you, they can share your news and help you reach more. The conferences are about connections and interactions. This business can be cutthroat, but it doesn't have to be. Most writers are really nice and willing to help each other out, especially of you connect with them in person at the conferences. I try to go to two a year, budget permitting, and I hope to increase that number as my name gets better known. I LOVE meeting people, readers and authors.

Have you ever gone on a writing retreat? If so, what are your thoughts/experiences?

I haven't been to a writing retreat per se, but I have sat in a room with my other writing friends, silently ticking away at the keys. It can be both wonderful and motivational, and completely distracting. If you want to talk to your friends, it’s hard to get any writing done, lol. But in terms of being stuck on some plot point or another, it's great to be around other writers.

For someone starting out, or wanting to go to one and not being sure, what advice would you give?

When you first go to a writing conference or retreat, be prepared to get less done than you hope, but more done than you fear. Also, it's okay to excuse yourself if you need time alone. They can be overwhelming with a lot going on. You don't have to go to every event of every hour of each day. There will be something going on, but you're free to take a look around the city you're in or take some time in your room alone. Pace yourself. These are high energy and exciting events, and they can take a lot out of you, but they are really fun if you measure out your energy for all the things you want to do. I highly recommend going to your first conference as a "reader" just to experience what all is happening. It's a great way to meet authors and professionals in the business. :)

Siobhan will also be attending the Hot Mojave Knights Romance Reader Event in October (2013)


Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Soul Search - MWBB

Last weeks Mid-Week Blues-Buster entry, brought me a 2nd place. I was quite surprised by this as it is a very short piece, and there were a LOT of other brilliant entries. My favourite was actually the winner, but I am grateful I wasn't judging it! 

Despite being a song by The Police, who I really like, I found this song hard to write for. It was also an unknown song to me, as it was only released in the US. Invisible Song was released in the UK at the same time. I came up with something a little bit more romantic than my usual, but with a whole spiritual, other lives, psychic theme to it. It turned out quite well.


The prompt song this week was:
“Secret journey” by The Police


Lucille stopped in front of the subtly lit signage, knowing it was the place she had seen in her dream. The pull within her was strong; the excitement in her core peaking.

She entered the club and no one at the door batted an eyelid. When shown the card at the cloakrooms she knew she was in the right place; the image on the other side burned in her mind. Her response was met with a quick nod and smile.

When she walked inside, the music made her feel like she had walked into a time warp; its singular note filling the room. The people stood around as though waiting for something, and for a moment she wondered if it was her. Then the beat started and the dancing resumed.

When she approached the bar, she was handed a drink. She sipped it and delighted in its accuracy. Speech was rendered useless here, allowing the music to permeate.

Her mind was flooded with images and thoughts. The eye contact she made drew her in, engaging her in dialogue, tapping a previously untouched depth within her. She had finally arrived. She was among kindred souls.

Lucille looked round for him, he had to be here; he’d been the main player in the dream, going by the name of Rohan. And then, as if on cue, the people in front of her parted and there he was, on the other side of the dance-floor, standing with a group of people.

He looked round as though someone had called his name – and she realised that maybe she just had. The smile that spread across his face when he saw her, made her soul yearn. He wasted no time crossing the room to reach her and embraced her like a long lost lover.

When their lips touched her mind reeled in a white light that filled her entire being. When they broke apart she held his face, and looked deep into his eyes. Moments from their past lives flowed like an exchange of ideas, as they caught up to the present. They had found each other again.



Sunday, 18 August 2013

A-Z Book Survey

A writer friend of mine, Ang, brought this survey to my attention, which was started by Jamie, of Perpetual Page Turner blog fame. Then as more of my writer friends did others I had put mine together. 

I love finding out what my writer friends read - even though often I have no idea of the books or authors. Here's those I've managed to catch so far.

Ang, Laura, Eric, Lisa, James, Jeff, Beth, Nick, Jenn, Andy, Jules, Leslie, Kate


Author(s) you’ve read the most books from:

Stephen King, James Herbert, Clive Barker, Terry Pratchett, Raymond Fiest, Agatha Christie.

Best sequel ever:

‘Domain’, by James Herbert.


The last in the Rats, Lair, Domain, trilogy. Superb book, great crescendo and wraps it up perfectly!

Currently reading:

‘11/22/63’ – Stephen King

11-22-63_uk_cover_hd

(bit behind, still catching up on his latest)

Drink of choice while reading:

I tend to read in bed, so I don’t tend to have a drink, but it would be water if I did.

E-reader or physical book?

Physical paperbacks are my favourite book type. I did get an ereader for Christmas, which was great because I could download a lot of books that are only available as ebooks - and also finally read The Plant, by Stephen King, which I’d had for 10 years already!

But travelling with an ereader is not practical, as the battery time is too short, and also when flying you have to put it away during take off and landing, which is when I need a book the most! So I will always pick the paper version over the ebook when I can.

Fictional character you probably would have actually liked to have dated in high school:

The only one that comes to mind is Ruarc from ‘Gaea’s Chosen: The Mayday Directive’, by Cara Michaels. Total heart-throb!

Glad you gave this book a chance:

‘The Da Vinci Code’, by Dan Brown



Totally hyped book, but I am glad I decided to read it. The writing could have been better, but then his wife is a publisher so it didn’t have to be! But the story was good.
Hidden gem book:

I have to go to a self-help book for this really. I had this book in my possession for ten years before actually reading it.

'Unlimited Power' by Tony Robbins.


It teaches you how you can change and/or take control of your thinking to be more successful in any way you choose. Although I am not sure I would have been ready ten years ago for it.

I
mportant moment in your reading life:
Back in the early 1990’s, when I was writing my first novel, a new friend read the first few pages of it, and asked me ‘Do you read a lot of Stephen King novels?’ I then showed him the bookcase full! But it told me that I was copying a style and this was not a good thing, as I needed to find my own voice, so this made me realise I needed to read other authors.

Besides that and my brother handing me a copy of The Wasp Factory, by Iain Banks, saying ‘Read this, cuz you read too much of that horror stuff’ – clearly he hadn’t read it, as it is one of the most disturbing books I have ever read, and put me off the author completely! (well, I lie, I have two of his Sci-Fi novels under Iain M Banks sitting on my shelf, but as yet unread).

J
ust finished:

‘The Selkie Spell’, by Sophie Moss.



Brilliant book, totally gripped throughout.

Kind of books you won’t read:

Non-Fiction, stories about people’s lives in any given situation – unless autobiography of someone I am interested in.

Catherine Cookson, Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte – those type of historical romance, or ‘life as it was then’ type of books. They just don’t rock my boat. I struggle to read those types of books. I have done so when studying English Literature at college, but I would not choose them for enjoyment.

Vampires, anything romantic vampire related – with the exception of Salem’s Lot by Stephen King.

Anything religious based, with a religious theme/message, such as ‘Christian books’.

Longest book you’ve read:

Probably ‘The Stand Uncut’, by Stephen King at 1168 pages.

The Stand (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)

Although ‘Under the Dome’ was not far off at 1072 pages.

http://www.allisonandbusby.com/info/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/under-the-dome-1.jpg

Major book hangover because of:

‘We have to talk about Kevin’ by Lionel Shriver



I started attending a book club to try and diversify my reading, by reading other authors and genres. When we read this my first child was a young baby, and the story moved me so much I used to just go and stand by his cot and look at him, and think about how my actions, or non-actions, as a mother could affect who he turns out to be. It was a brilliant book, and I would recommend it.

I have never seen the film, besides not being a fan of Tilde Swinton, I also do not like seeing films adapted from books – especially after reading the book. Seeing the film ‘Misery’, based off Stephen King’s book, killed the main character I had in my head after reading it, although ‘The Green Mile’ & ‘The Shawshank Redemption’ were brilliant films and books.

Number of bookcases you own:

There are three here in the loft, and a giant one in the lounge. And my kids have one each in their bedrooms too!

One book you have read multiple times:

I never have time to re-read books - I don't know how other people do! I still have over forty unread books on my shelves! But, I did read ‘The Waste Lands’, and ‘Wizards & Glass’ twice.


The third and fourth novel in the Dark Tower Series by Stephen King, in preparation for the next three from the series he brought out ten years later!

Preferred place to read:


In bed before sleeping, or on a train.

Quote that inspires you/gives you all the feels from a book you’ve read:

‘Perhaps you saw what place our universe plays in the scheme of things — as no more than an atom in a blade of grass.’ – The Gunslinger, Dark Tower Series, by Stephen King.

The relativity of size; it blew my mind!




‘The killer of life is not death, but disenchantment.’ -  from a short story in Cemetery Dance Magazine, (I think – still trying to find it!)

This quote changed my perception on life entirely!)

Cemetery Dance Magazine Subscription


‘We dream of a world we could have, and wake up in the world we have.’ The Squirrel that Dreamt of Madness by Craig Stone.

The accuracy of this resonated completely with me, and I am hell bent on making the world I desire my reality.

squirrelthatdreamtofmadness


Reading regret:

I just don’t have much time, so not many I regret. Only one comes to mind ‘Cupcakes and the Centre of the Universe’, by Whitney Moore – although the concepts were good, it was a lesson in bad writing.

And despite loving several of Dean Koontz’ books, he tends to repeat characters and character dynamic from book to book. Makes for shallow reading and gets a bit tedious.

Series you started and need to finish:

The Foundation series, by Issac Asimov. They are so political, and hard to get into; I’ve only managed three of them.



The Seal Island Trilogy, by Sophie Moss, read the first one – ‘The Selkie Spell’, now need to read ‘The Selkie Enchantress’ and ‘The Selkie Sorceress’

Three of your all-time favourite books:

All time?  Oh god...ermmm...

‘The Talisman’, by Stephen King

http://pyrajane.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/talisman.jpg

‘Weaveworld’, by Clive Barker

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/7/7e/Weaveworld.jpg|

‘Nobody's True’, by James Herbert

Nobody True

Unapologetic Fangirl for:

Self-help books. I have a large quantity of them. Wayne Dyer, Tony Robbins, - even Dr. Phil in my collection. Life has led me to them as I have needed their contents to survive, and now they are my life blood. 

Very excited for this release more than all the others:

‘Gaea’s Chosen: Heavenly Bodies’, by Cara Michaels. I seriously can. not. wait.!



Worst bookish habit:

Book sniffing! I just have to!

X Marks the spot: start at the top left of your shelf & pick the 27th Book:

‘Rama II’, by Arthur C Clarke & Gentry Lee
 

This is from the Rama Series which consists of four books. It’s the most brilliant series I have ever read!! If you love Sci-fi of any kind, this is worth reading.

Your latest book purchase:

‘Joyland’, by Stephen King

Joyland
Zzzzz… Last book that kept you up way too late:

All books keep me up late, because otherwise I will never finish them!


*NB. All covers are of the copy I have, which are often old ones.








Dially Picspiration - No.7 - Changing the Rules

Today my seventh Daily Picspiration entry went up.

The photo immediately gave me the scene I wanted to write, and was quite a significant to the story. I see this as the 'middle' of the plot, as it throws up the challenges for the next part. It will be interesting to see what comes next.

You can read 'Changing the Rules' here.

Friday, 16 August 2013

Guest Blog - Writer Event Q&A with Sophie Moss


My next Guest on my Writer Events Q&A is Sophie Moss. I noticed that she was off to the Romance Writers of America (RWA) conference and was doing a book signing there, so I wanted her input.

Sophie is the author of a wonderful series of books called The Seal Island Trilogy. I have recently read The Selkie Spell, the first in the series, and was totally gripped. It is packed full of magic, mystery and romance. It drew me in and held me there the whole way through. I will soon be embarking on the next two; The Selkie Enchantress and The Selkie Sorceress. All three are available in ebook and in print copies.

Sophie is now busy working on her next novel ‘Wind Chime Café’, the first in the Heron Island Trilogy, due for release in November.

Sophie has been to a few RWA conferences, and here’s what she has to say about them. Enjoy.

What was your first writing event? (writing group, writers conference, book fair etc.)


Romance Writers of America Annual Conference, 2004. I had just finished writing my first romance novel!
Did you go alone (to Writers conference)?

I went to my first two RWA conferences alone. I've been to about five since then and have made a number of friends along the way. Now I have someone to share a room with and people to meet up with when I arrive. That said, I try to branch out and meet as many new people as possible once I'm there. It's all about networking!

When you went did you go with a specific plan in mind, or focus? did you structure the day, or did you just go and see?


For my first two RWA conferences, I did not go with a specific plan in mind. I went to learn. I attended mostly workshops on craft. I would not be where I am today if I had not taken two workshops that completely transformed the way I write: "Goal, Motivation and Conflict" by Debra Dixon, and "From Identity to Essence: Love Stories and Transformation" by Michael Hauge. After I'd completed a few manuscripts, I attended more workshops on how get published. I scheduled appointments with agents and editors and tried to pitch my stories. Now that I'm happily self-published, I focus more on networking, meeting other writers, and taking workshops on self-publishing.

Can you go to a writers conference without a specific focus? Can you just go and look?


Absolutely. Everyone is at a different stage in their career. Some writers are beginning to work on a first novel, others have completed a novel or a few novels but aren't sure which direction to go in in terms of publishing, others have several published novels and are looking to network and pick up marketing strategies. You can easily float around and absorb all kinds of information without having any set plan.

What did you gain from it personally?


Knowledge and friends!


Have you ever gone on a writing retreat? If so, what are your thoughts/experiences?


No, but it sounds fun!


For someone starting out, or wanting to go to one and not being sure, what advice would you give?

Try to find a conference that caters to your genre. Go with an open mind. Smile and be friendly to everyone. Sit with strangers at lunch and ask lots and lots of questions.

***

You can read about Sophie’s recent experience at this year’s RWA conference on her website





Thursday, 15 August 2013

Five Sentence Fiction - Fabric

  Lillie McFerrin Writes
Lillie McFerrin's Weekly Flash Fiction Prompt - 'Fabic'
 
dscn4237

They watched him intently as his hands moved back and forth in a blur. The brilliant colours of the fabric he was weaving reflected the luminosity of the place, and the happy, vibrant people they had found within it. They worked in sync and messed together as one. 

They felt privileged to witness such creation and simple, successful living, something lost in their busy lives. He felt privileged that they had taken time out of their busy lives and were interested to see it. 




Thursday, 8 August 2013

Guest Blog - Writer Events Q&A with Cara Michaels


Returning again to my Writer Events Q&A, I approached one of my favourite Independent Self-Published Authors, Cara Michaels. 
 
I was captured by Cara’s lead character Gemma Bryant in her series ‘Gaea’s Chosen: The MaydayDirective’, and ‘Gaea’s Chosen: Event Horizon’. They are fast paced Heroic Science Fiction novellas. I loved them so much I read them twice, and now I’m eagerly awaiting the third: ‘Gaea’s Chosen: Heavenly Bodies’, which is due out soon. 

Cara has also written ‘Their First Noelle’ – a steamy, fantasy romance, and is about to release a new novella, ‘Black Out’ – a paranormal thriller.

Here’s what Cara has been up to in the Writing Events world.

What was your first writing event? (writing group, writers conference, book fair etc.)

My first writing event actually took place here in my town. Color me shocked when I discovered a town best known as “that place where Tampa and Orlando commuters live” held its first Authors and Illustrators Festival in September 2010.

I’ve also been to MegaCon, which is more an all-around festival packed with cosplay, movie and TV stars, writers, artists, and all sorts of craziness. There was even speed dating. Apparently that’s a big thing at these events, since I’m heading to ComicCon Tampa in a few weeks and they’re having it, too.

Most recently, I attended Arizona Dreamin’. I tagged along with one of my writing besties, Siobhan Muir. AZ Dreamin’ is a writer/reader event where (like Hot Mojave Knights) readers get to interact on a much more social and intimate level with writers. I had an excellent time and met some amazing folks. Again, it was educational for me to see how more established writers interacted with readers and learn about their creative processes.

Did you go alone (to the Writers conference)?

For my first, I almost didn’t go at all. I’m not much for diving into new events with lots of people, especially alone. But it was a free, street fair shindig, so anyone could just show up and browse. I figured it would be fairly painless. 

When you went did you go with a specific plan in mind, or focus? Did you structure the day, or did you just go and see?

I mainly went to see. Call it burning curiosity. I had just completed the early drafts of Gaea’s Chosen: The Mayday Directive. I was considering going out on a limb and independently publishing the title. So I gathered my courage and headed downtown to meet the local talent pool and find out a bit about their experiences.

Can you go to a writers conference without a specific focus? Can you just go and look?

As an attendee, absolutely. The writers are eager to meet potential readers and even make new friends. As a writer featured at this year’s Hot Mojave Knights conference in Las Vegas, I’m learning there’s quite a bit to prepare for when you’re part of the event.

What did you gain from it personally?

As a writer on the cusp, so to speak, it was a great experience for me. I was surprised to discover so many new and established writers living around here. I also learned about some local writing groups. I’m still friendly with a few folks I met, too.

Also, and perhaps most importantly, going to the festival broke my writers’ conference/fair/convention cherry, lol. I could see myself being one of the authors myself. And I could imagine attending bigger (and air conditioned) gatherings.

Have you ever gone on a writing retreat? If so, what are your thoughts/experiences?

I have not. They sound fun in theory, but I’m not certain how much I’d get done.

For someone starting out, or wanting to go to one and not being sure, what advice would you give?

Check for local events. They are a great and generally inexpensive way to dip your toes in the conference/fair waters. I found out about the one in my town the day it was happening and jumped in my car thirty minutes later. I had a great afternoon for the cost of five minutes in gas and a pint at the Irish pub on the same block as the festival. September in Florida is still wicked hot enough to drive a girl indoors for a cold libation. ;)



Tuesday, 6 August 2013

No Good For You - MWBB

This weeks Mid-Week Blues-Buster had the most amount of entries - a total of 16. And there were some incredible pieces. I have to say I was quite relieved to not be listed in the Top 3 this week, as I feel I have been in the limelight, with 4 wins and many placements, long enough.

But I really liked my piece for this song, which was very easy to write to, and from one of the saddest stories in the music business. I followed the lyrics quite closely. I hope you like it too.

   The prompt song this week was:
“You know I'm no good” by Amy Winehouse
 

I saw it as he swung you back on the dance floor. Not many would have, but I was looking. It was just above your elbow and it brought an image I wasn’t proud of.

As he swung you again I took a closer look; it had scabbed over. So what was it, a couple of days old?

It wasn’t there earlier in the week, I knew that. I’d kissed every inch of you, like I always did.

You smiled at the guy as he spun you round, and I saw it then; you, him, on his lounge carpet. You on your elbows straddling him. Maybe you bent to kiss him and slipped, or was it the movement? Rabbits came to mind.

You threw you head back and laughed when he dipped you, but when you saw me your smile faltered. I picked up my pint and took a sip, not taking my eyes off you.

The song finished and you came straight over to me. Leaning down to kiss me I took the back of your head and made it a deep one, giving you a wink as we broke off. And you smiled that smile that was just for me.

I glanced over to see the guy looking. I looked back, murder in my eyes. He knew the score.

You went off again this time to chat up the girls, and I relaxed, letting you have your time and enjoying a chat with the lads. Time shifted. I saw you dancing with him again. Okay, correction, he was dancing with you and the girls. Still, I didn’t like it. He was too close.

He saw me looking and just looked back. I wasn’t happy.

I glanced over at the lads and checked they’d seen it. They had. He had no idea what he was doing. But I wasn’t worried about him, I was worried about you.

You glanced over too and I winked again. You smiled. I was okay with that. So I moved to the bar and got us some drinks. I took them to the dance floor and cut in, stepping right in front of him, giving you, your drink, and dancing with you for a couple of seconds. I whispered in your ear and you flicked your tongue across mine. I kissed your neck and left you to it.

When the slow songs started you were across the room with the girls. I saw you look round for me and I laughed beckoning you. But as you walked to me he was there again, pulling at you to go with him. You glanced at me and I waited. What were you going to do?

And I saw it then, that look; that indecision, and I knew then as I had always known, that scab was no accident.

I moved quickly and reached you in a couple of strides, my hand wrapping round your arm, covering that scab.

“She’s coming home with me mate.”

He puffed his chest at me and glanced at you. You gave him a sympathetic smile and nodded. He didn’t argue, walking to the door with the rest of the departing club goers.

As the lads passed me they patted me on the shoulder reassuring me that the job would be done.

I led you out, my hands never leaving you. And in the back of the taxi I took your elbow, turned it over, and kissed the scab. As my head came up, our eyes met. The sadness in mine palpable, letting you know I knew. Your eyes were wide, but you turned them to gaze out the window as we pulled out of the parking lot.

I put my hand on your leg and you covered mine with yours as a tear rolled down your cheek. I pulled your hand over to my leg and put my arm round you, pulling you into me and kissing the top of your head.

Some would say you were no good for me, but it was me that was no good for you; I let you do whatever you want, but I love you, so what can I do?


Daily Picspiration No.6 - The Net Falls

On Sunday the 4th of August my sixth Daily Picspiration entry went up.

I liked the photo, it made me think of a scene I wrote in the original novel for the Jester. It again enabled me to explore the characters and some of the background. I had hoped to lead on from the last instalment, but I wasn't able to, instead I am weaving a few strands together.

You can read 'The Net Falls' here.





The 3 F’s of Writing – Fiddling, Faffing, and Fear


Here I am with another post about writing and the struggles that writers face – well writers like me anyway.

Some would say that Fiddling and Faffing are pretty much the same thing, and fall into the same bag as procrastination, but I feel that fiddling is a little bit more constructive in that the intention is to do something - and you do, but not necessarily anything towards your writing. 

Fiddling for me consists of jumping back and forth between social networks; chatting to writer friends; reading friends flash entries or blog posts, and coming away feeling as though I have been busy and done something. I could even make a convincing argument (and have) that I did DO something, but it would be a con. 

Faffing (one of my all time favourite words) is, on the other hand, more about simply ‘thinking’ about doing writing related stuff – like this blog post. And even sitting  making lists, and feeling as though I am about to do something creative or effective, but in the end I just become overwhelmed by how much there is to do, or how much I want to do, and end up doing very little – maybe not even fiddling.

But often the basis of both of these – as well as the procrastination that many writers experience - is based off Fear. 

Fear of what? I hear you cry. 

Fear of not having anything to write.
Fear of what you do write being rubbish.
Fear of failing to achieve recognition about something you’re excited about.

And then there is the BIG fear, the opposite of the above:

Fear of success. 
 Fear of finding you can write, and good stuff that people want to read.
Fear of getting your work noticed.
Fear of having an agent/publisher interested.

You see, if we don’t really try, we don’t have to find out that we can’t do it - or worse, that we can! Because if we do, we risk finding out that it isn’t as good as the fantasy we have about being a successful writer. But then what if the fantasy does happen? What if an agent or publisher does want our work? Then we have to produce it - and under a deadline! And then what if they want to make lots of changes, and it no longer feels like it’s our work? What if we sign up for something we can’t do, or don’t want to do? What if it all goes wrong? – or worse still, what if it all goes right?!

And on, and on, until you overwhelm yourself.

Fear paralyses us, and often we just want to stay in our comfort zone of fantasy and ignorance, and not really push ourselves. We nurture our fears by telling ourselves lots of lies, about both our own writing, and other people’s. There are lots of what if’s, from the ‘my writings crap’ to the ‘who would want to read it anyway’, or ‘what happens once it’s published?’ to ‘do I have more books in me?’. But if we really want to have our writing read, on a global scale, we have to push through those fears and take the risk and come out of our comfort zone. We have to live on the edge and feel the adrenaline, because, after all, that’s what feeds the very writing we want to produce, isn’t it?

When dealing with this fear, I find informing myself helps; seeking those that know and have experienced what I want to achieve, and asking them how they did it, and what it’s like and all the ‘stupid’ questions that I lie awake pondering.

The only time we fail, is when we stop trying.

And then, as Yoda says, ‘Do or do not, there is no try’! (sorry couldn’t help myself).

So then I tell myself, stop your fiddling, stop your faffing, push through the fear and GET ON WITH IT!

A writer, writes.