Hi everyone. How are you? I added a post to my book group about providing a “behind the scenes look” for readers to our blogs, once or twice a month and it has made me think that it’s been a while since I added some photos about my own writing routine!
As you might already know, I write from a small office at home in the evenings and a studio in a nearby town, during the day. My writing buddy, Pepper, is usually asleep by my feet, or creating unusual hairstyles by rolling around in the mud outside. I thought I’d show you some photos of Pepper today. She is twelve now, but everyone we bump into, thinks she’s a puppy. She’s gradually slowing down, but still has a spring in her step. When I’m writing, her favourite place to be is snuggled on my lap with her nose on my keyboard, which isn’t that helpful at all, so I usually pull up a chair and put her dog bed onto that, so she can keep a paw on my knee. Occasionally she’ll see a squirrel out of the window and dashes across the field, but she slows down before she gets near, to let them get away. Then that wears her out, so she lays down and snores for a couple more hours to replenish her energy!
Coffee is also a usual companion to my desk and looking at my photo reel makes me realise how often my snaps of my writing in progress have a coffee cup beside them. I found a photo of the children’s activity books and phonics cards that I designed with my mum, who is also a writer, so thought you might like to see them too. We have written stories about a magical little dragon called Sydney and his family. My mum used to tell my sister and I these stories as children and Mum and I worked on them together, over time, to create a range of products. We are hoping to publish the children’s stories that are part of this range, in the next year.
Have an amazing week! From Lizzie.
It’s holiday season and I’ve been trying to be organised, as the term finishes for this school year. Fitting writing into family life can be great fun, but also a challenge. I write all of my books by hand in A4 green Tink notebooks and then transcribe them onto a computer. This means that I can easily pick my work up and carry it anywhere with me. This made me think about travel and holidays. I do like to relax on holiday, but also find it a great inspiration for my work. Different scenery and a change in temperature can make you feel more at ease and able to let the words flow. I particularly love to write in Spain and France as I enjoy looking at the countryside and the architecture. The U.K. inspires me with it’s history and eclectic styles too.
If you are stuck in any kind of writing rut, perhaps a change of scenery is all you need. I don’t mean two weeks in Cannes, but even working outside or moving rooms for a while with your laptop if you have one, or taking your notebooks and sitting on a beach nearby or somewhere with a good view, might be enough to change your mood and give you fresh ideas.
Top tips for utilising the views nearby. 3 Quick Tips.
- Plan a day where you can take your writing tools to a new location. Sit and take in the scenery and draw inspiration from your surroundings.
- If you are already on holiday, keep a notebook in your bag or pocket. You never know when you might see something interesting, or notice a location that could fit seamlessly into your latest book, blog or article.
- Take photos. These photos can become your own stock photography. Keep them in folders on your computer and instead of buying stock images for promotion, upload your own images into software like Canva to keep costs to a minimum for your own designs. These photos might also come in useful when you are writing about locations for descriptive reference.
Ninja School Mum is currently on Cover Wars. It’s already got quite a few votes and the competition runs until 8am on Sunday. The winner wins a week of promotion for their book, so it’s a great competition for authors. Every person who clicks their vote is seeing all of the lovely covers there.
You can vote once each day via iphone and once via computer or iPad. A big thank you to everyone who has voted so far or is still voting. #TeamNinja
To add you vote for Ninja School Mum click here: Cover Wars
Last weekend I had been trying to manage my work tasks, plus organise Christmas for my family after a week of being unwell. Sometimes my head felt like it was full of too much information for it to be productive at all. After climbing a mountain of wrapping paper and filling the cupboards with two Christmas puddings and various festive treats as we have people coming to stay, I decided to stop worrying about what I had to achieve and do something completely different.
I was probably thinking of a brisk jog with my dog or getting some housework done, but I must have walked past the kitchen and I cooked and scoffed one of the Christmas puddings… it was a very small one… instead! The change of thinking (and probable sugar rush) from the process of stepping away from my work load, managed to clear my mind and I was then able to sit at my desk and complete most of the work I had been fretting about finishing for two days.
We sometimes overload ourselves with useless information that holds no relevance to what we need to do. By thinking of them over and over and procrastinating, we are adding to our own confusion and wasting precious time not doing the things we are thinking about. This week i’m going to try not to overthink and also to not walk past the Christmas cupboard too often, as although it was helpful in this instance, the repeat journey to the shops to replenish what I ate is definitely not the way forward!