Category Archives: Writing

Writing Quote of the Week by Christine Duncan

I had to laugh when I read this one!

“Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.” E.L. Doctorow


Accidental Writing

I’m late this week because I’m in the middle of a chicken pox attack and feel exhausted. But what I want to say is – have you ever accidentally written a book?

You see, I had an idea. That’s not that unusual, I often do. Usually I sit down and start to write it and it fizzles out and goes nowhere.

But this time it kept going. I didn’t plan ahead. I didn’t plan any of it. But it just kept going. I thought it’d be a short story but it kept going. Then maybe a novella but it kept going. Eventually it kept going until I had produced a book.

It needs a lot of editing and work, but I have produced an entire book almost entirely by accident

The House at Baker Street by Michelle Birkby

The Women Of Baker Street

Sent from my iPad

Writing Quote of the Day by Christine Duncan

Truthfully, I had another post prepared for today–but I realized it was a rant. All of you folks who feel free to call other people names (deplorables, stupid, right wing, left wing, progressives! Pick your name folks!) because they don’t agree with you, should feel relieved.

I was steamed by yet another fellow citizen who condescendingly spoke about yet another person who disagreed. I’m over it. Learn some manners. And maybe some humility. And while you’re at it, learn to discuss the issues. Really discuss. Hear the other folks. Let them hear you–because you are treating them with RESPECT. The answer to any question is usually somewhere in the middle and that can’t be reached when you are name calling or condescending.

So… back to writing. Here’s the quote of the day. “A synonym is a word you use when you can’t spell the other one.” Baltasar Gracian.

Do The Research

Research. If you are doing anything that is based in any kind of reality whatsoever, do the research.

I did a lot of research this week, first in the archives of the Metropolitan Police Museum and then online newspapers.

Not only did I find facts I needed, I found facts I didn’t know existed. I found new stories, I found background information, I found proof of what I thought had happened and I found a whole pile of inspiration.

It’s okay to leave the research until after the first draft, if you’re in the zone and don’t want to stop, but do it before editing. You’ll discover so much

The House at Baker Street by Michelle Birkby

The Women Of Baker Street

Sent from my iPad

Writing Quote of the Week by Christine Duncan

“Whenever I am asked what kind of writing is the most lucrative, I have to say, a ransom note.” H N Swanson

Writing Position

Slightly odd subject this week – your writing position. I mean your actual physical position.

You see, when I was a little girl and was learning to write I would rest my left arm on the desk, and then rest my head on my arm and write with my right hand. I was basically lying on the desk. I liked this position. I was comfortable and rested.

But my teacher told me off. You couldn’t drive a cat in that position so don’t write in it. Even at six I knew driving a car was not the same as writing so why couldn’t I do it comfortably? But no, I sat upright.

And that started a lifetime of bad back, hunching over the paper, sore wrists, terrible handwriting and being too tired to write after twenty minutes.

Recently I found myself sliding into the old position again. It was restful and comfortable. My hand seemed to suit the way it could glide over the paper now. My handwriting, not having to be forced into a an unnatural angle, became readable. I wrote for hours.

So the story is – don’t be fooled by all those books and diagrams who tell you a certain position is the right writing position. Find your own. Slumped in the chair, bouncing on a yoga ball, hanging upside down from the rafters. Whatever works best for you.

The House at Baker Street by Michelle Birkby

The Women Of Baker Street

Sent from my iPad

Fitting It All In by Christine Duncan

It was yet another article in yet another writer’s magazine about how to make time for writing. I’ve read a million of ’em. I’ve tried a thing or three.

I still feel as though I don’t have enough time. And yes, I am aware, that all of us have only 24 hours in a day.

I already watch less TV than the national average. Is it really 5 hours and four minutes? I don’t believe it with an eight hour work day, a commute, dinner to make, kids to tend. How is that possible? I usually fit in about two, at night after dinner when I’m just too tired to move. I check social media at the same time, and usually the weather too, plan the next day’s clothing and dinner, and clean up the dinner dishes during that time too.

I can’t get up any earlier–4 a.m. some mornings, a little later the others. I don’t want to give up any sleep–I’m tired.

I barely fit in my running. How are you doing it, folks? How do you figure out what to cut out? How do you find time to write?

I guess for me, it will have to come down to spending a little time figuring out what I need. Sigh. And figuring what to cut out. That is really the trick, isn’t it?