Robots Writing by Christine Duncan

I usually take a look at writing news before I sit down to write this blog. Sometimes, it sparks an idea. Occasionally it just makes me depressed. This was one of those times as much of what Google deemed writing news had to do with some computer writing the news. Seriously, it isn’t bad enough that everyone who ever graduated first grade believes they can write, and seems to want to tell me so, but now I have to compete with computers?
Not long ago, a friend was telling me how her about to graduate from High School daughter had decided to become a writer. She wanted me to tell her how to go about it. I looked at my friend in horror. “Do you really want her to become a writer,” I asked. “Do you know what the odds are that she’ll ever make enough money to support herself that way?” It turned out this particular friend had been paying attention to my whining er, thoughts about the monetary compensation. She was hoping I’d discourage her daughter.
I mean, yes, since the advent of e-books more people are being published. And that is encouraging. But how many of those people are making any money at it? And now we have to contend with robots. Sigh.

Bad News

I had some bad news today, news which majorly impacts on my writing career. All I want to do is curl up in a little ball and sob.

But this sort of thing happens to writers all the time, especially now. It happens, we deal with it, we move on.

So whilst I will curl up in a ball and cry, I shall only do that this evening. Tomorrow I will take a breath, and think about what to do next. I shall work harder, or differently, or whatever I need to do.

And I shan’t give up. I think the trick is, never stop writing. Never.

The House at Baker Street by Michelle Birkby

The Women Of Baker Street

Sent from my iPad

Blurbs by Christine Dunca

I have been one of those authors who constantly worried about blurbs. I have written them over and over again, searching for the perfect wording. But recently I started noticing my own book browsing and what attracted me, and didn’t.
You know what? It is definitely subjective.
I was in the bookstore the other day, when I rejected a book based on a blurb after only four words. They were “Jen. an aspiring actress….” That was it,folks- Four freaking words. I don’t like reading about acting. I can’t tell you why, but there it is.
Based on that observation, I went on Amazon to see what my triggers are. Turns out I was just as quick off the draw when the heroine was a hero. I want to read about women. I identify more easily. I don’t want to read about college professors either. I just can’t relate. So based on this, I am much less worried about my blurbs. Everyone has their preferences, right? I just need to write the blurb in the style of the book. Those who like that style and the female protagonist and the mystery, will read the book. I hope.

That One Thing

What’s the one thing that absolutely stops you writing?

Recently I changed my day job. The new job took two hours to get to and two hours home, everyday. That was a huge chunk out of my writing time, so I downloaded relevant apps on my phone, and worked on the bus.

As it turns out, I can write, and edit, on my phone. I can write on the bus. I can write amongst quite a high level of noise. The one time I absolutely could not write was when I was cold. If someone left the window on the bus open, and I froze, I could not do it.

I’ve heard other people say noise stops them, or smells, or the room they’re in. What is the one thing that stops you?

As for me – I work closer to home now, which is always warm and toasty.

The House at Baker Street by Michelle Birkby

The Women Of Baker Street

Sent from my iPad

Happy Easter Everyone by Christine Duncan

Best Time To Write

I have an optimum writing time. The time of day when I am relaxed, yet alert. When the ideas coalesce in my head and the words come easily. When everything just flows.

The problem is, my optimum writing time moves. For a while, it was three o’clock in the afternoon, which worked out ok.

Then it became six o’clock in the morning, which wasn’t too bad if I wasn’t working – I could always go back to bed afterward – but if I did have a job, I had to keep one eye on the clock, and that’s never ideal when you’re trying to lose yourself.

Currently it fits nicely between The Archers and Eastenders. (If you’re not in the UK, The Archers is a radio soap opera and Eastenders a TV one). I’m currently obsessed by both and there’s a fair chunk of time between them when I can write.

But what happens if it moves again? It it becomes 2am? And why does it move in the first place? Colin Dexter used to write for two hours in the afternoon, listen to The Archers and then go to the pub. Why can’t my creative subconscious settle down into a routine like that?

The House at Baker Street by Michelle Birkby

The Women Of Baker Street

Sent from my iPad

Stories to Soothe the Soul by Christine Duncan

It’s been a bad week, hasn’t it? The chemical attack on Idlib provence, the American bombing of Syria as a warning against such attacks, the rerouting of war ships to North Korea, life right now seems both precious and scary.
Usually, when things are tense, I can bury myself in my writing. It helps me to calm down and helps me to feel that bad as things are, there will be good days again. But sometimes, I just can’t write. Either I am not involved enough in my own projects, or my mind is just too wound, but I can’t settle enough to write anything that feels cohesive.
I’m feeling that way this week. I can’t write. I’m going to go find a good book and bury myself in it as I did when I was a kid. It won’t be anything with a bunch of tension. It will be something soothing, something… uplifting where people overcome bad times, obstacles, set backs not with super powers but with a lot of work and discipline. I need a story like that right now.