Posted in First Novel

6 Tips to keep your book on track

Over the past few months I’ve started experiencing a strange feeling. It’s the type that makes you hot under the collar, and it’s all to do with my writing.

At a coffee shop last week I hurriedly washed down a hot chocolate just so I could get home and carry on writing. Sometimes the feeling is so overwhelming that it frustrates me. But all is not lost, I’ve been learning to manage it better. Hope this works for you.

(1) Visualise the finished book


While you may not know what the book cover looks like right now, visualise. Visualise it sitting on the shelf of a book shop or part of someone’s personal collection. I’ve been known to pop into local bookstores just to see where it would sit snuggly.  It’s the end result that drives us on

(2) Don’t sit in silence

Some say it’s best to stay quiet about your work until it’s finished. Here I mean your nearest and dearest. By way of general conversation I’ll keep my family, friends and work colleagues up to date.  Talking about my writing, my progress spurs me on. It keeps the fire inside me burning. By talking I feel in touch with my work and this excites rather then frustrates.

(3) Get fresh air, get me time

I find time out is key and that’s not time away doing chores. Taking walks, any distance or in any weather opens up the lungs and refreshes the body. The stimulation results in fresh ideas flowing through your mind. Ideas that can come from the sounds of the outdoor.

(4) Change your scenery


Try not working from the same fixed location. I don’t use a laptop much for writing and we have one of those all-in-one computers. I variate the locations for when I want to write. To compensate for not using a laptop I often hand write sections and chapters. To really mix things up I have a collection of notebooks. Some are yellow paper, some grids and I’ve even used a dot notepad. But the most important thing is to work in different places, indoors and out.

(5) Writing blocks don’t need to last hours

My holiday for the festive period started on 23rd December. From this date to when I go back (2nd Jan) I identified the days that I would dedicate to editing my draft novel. What I find is writing in shorter blocks help. I could sit for a couple of hours at a time but in the past found it has a negative effect; but one size doesn’t fit all. My preference is 45 minutes at a time or maybe a set number of chapters. After which I’ll take a break, play a few games of table tennis if the kids are home. Making writing enjoyable and in manageable chunks.

(6) Never think why it’s taking so long

I started writing my current (and first) novel in December 2015. As I type these words I have finished the final draft which has gone through many iterations. I am hoping 2020 is publish year. But over the past few years I’ve often heard the words book finished yet? Why is it taking so long? While this can often deflate you, don’t be deflated. Don’t say to yourself it’s taking me too long but say look how long I’ve been committed to something, I’m proud of myself!

Every person has a story in them, you just need to put pen to paler and let it out. #happywriting

Posted in Writing

My reality of writing

A gentle breeze floats in through the narrow gap of the bi-folding doors. Its grey frame embedded within the wooden structure of the lodge.  I have a small wooden desk upon which my laptop sits. Pushing back on my chair the view in front speaks out to me.  Absolute calmness, peace, tranquility, time it says to me oh so quietly. A rise smile works across my face, yes peace at last. Now I can write, edit, re-write at will and without interruption. The silence will bring night and then day and I will happily keep tapping away.

But in reality mine, like many others is not this Utopian scene.  In truth, all writing efforts are squeezed between coaching, helping with cooking, cleaning, ironing, kids homework, resolving of issues, travelling, comedy writing and performing. 

                                                 Yet those are the moments I will cherish when my milestone is achieved. In each of those moments when I am away from my writing, the urge grows in me even more! May the flame continue to burn bright. 

Posted in First Novel

Invitation Accepted

Book update: An Austin, Two Singhs and The Road

Extract Ed2

Inder and Gurcharan Chhatwal, like many other Asians before them,  toiled with the thought of leaving their homeland to come to England in search of work. Post the Commonwealth Immigrants Act in 1962,  this meant obtaining a government-based work voucher; some were successful, others not so lucky. But this story wouldn’t have existed if the brothers weren’t successful in obtaining their voucher.

Enjoy the snippet on this post, the authentic work voucher obtained by Inder Singh Chhatwal in 1963.

Voucher Front

In the coming weeks I will be visiting the multi-cultural town of Slough to better understand what life was like during Inder and Gurcharan’s time, also hoping to visit the houses where they were renting when they first arrived.

Related posts: A Story needs sharing

Posted in New Year

2012 – it’s all about Simple Tasks, not New Year’s Resolutions

On the 31st December 2010 I wrote a post around how I would be identifying simple aims for 2011 and not referring them to New Year’s Resolutions.  Why?  Well I looked up the definition of New Year’s Resolutions and it didn’t quite fit with the whole logic, I mean I don’t have any habits that I would want to change…

I then went on to submit a couple of follow-up posts on my progress, well put it this way, I was not shifting mountains.  For your amusement, these follow-up posts can be viewed here > Summary of January 2011 and Q1 2011, on trackNote: I produced no further summary of updates between Q2 – Q4, I guess I just got swamped with life’s speedy ride.

Anyway, again, it’s that time of the year and we are all probably drafting up a list of New Year’s Resolutions, but not me.  My simple aims will be achievable, I hope.

Before I begin, here’s a very brief summary of my simple aims from last year, only three, one major, two minor.

1.       Developing my business idea – In full flow. [Complete]

2.       Covert my audio tapes – too many, I am keeping them as is and also a tape deck, so I can listen to them when I feel like.  [Void]

3.       Convert my VHS tapes – I have trimmed this down to our wedding VHS tapes and this is being rolled into 2012, see below.

So, here’s my Simple Aims for 2012 – what’s yours?