Writing companion of the week
This is one of the books that started it all for me, back in the 1980s when I didn’t have the first idea how to go about writing or submitting or learning or anything. I borrowed it from the library first, and then in 1988, when a new edition was published, I splashed out and bought my own copy.
There are some exercises for exercise sake in here, but there are also some useful exercises that both got me going and were reproduced in my own writing classes (yes, I used to be a teacher too, an adult education tutor teaching creative writing and various computer literacy classes).
And the book is still on my shelf. This is a scan of that copy, which you can see is quite creased due to use.
TEACH YOURSELF CREATIVE WRITING by Dianne Doubtfire was reproduced in 2003, when the author died, by one of her ex students (and a Brummie), Ian Burton. I don’t know what that one is like and would personally try to get hold of an original if possible. But if you’re happy with the new version, there’s a link here – but, sadly, no Kindle versions.
I’ve had a very successful week. Lovely-already-boss sent me 3 new books to edit, and there’s the promise of another he’s currently chasing. Lovely-recently-new boss came back from his holidays and confirmed he wanted me to crack on with the remaining 2 books I have in for him. And a lovely-brand-new boss who tried me out with a proofreading job 2 weeks ago has come back with another this week, but this one is for “light editing”. I could have taken a longer job from him, but with us breaking up on Thursday for 4 days and him wanting them back next week, we agreed on a mid-length job this time.
This means I now have 3 regular clients, all publishers, all editing or proofreading. And this, in turn, means no more job-board surfing for me – or not for editing or proofreading work at any rate.
In the past week I’ve submitted 2 jobs: 1 book and 1 collection of short stories. And in the coming week I have at least 2 books to turn around and get invoiced.
I am happy with my editing lot. :-)
CATCH THE RAINBOW
I had a bit of a block on CATCH THE RAINBOW when the whole premise behind my government conspiracy theory completely fell apart. However, following a stern talking to by the poet, and some good advice from writerly friends, I think we’ve overcome the problem. As a result, I started writing again on Monday, only a few hundred words, but it’s a start, with another few more hundred words yesterday. Hopefully today I’ll get another good session in.
Fiction writing course
Today, I really, really want to spend an hour on my fiction writing course. I do have a lot of other work to do today and I won’t be able to fit in any extra time after 5pm (usually while the poet cooks tea) because we’re orf out almost immediately. But if I stick to my time slots, I should manage around an hour today.
Work in progress
I had a 4-day week last week, I have a 4-day week this week, and another 4-day week next week, due to jolly days and holidays. It will be a shock to go back to a 5-day week the week after. But this, of course, means I have to fit a lot more into the time available.
As I say, I have 2 books that need to be gone over the next 7 days, I want to do more work on CATCH THE RAINBOW, and I want to fit in some study time. And then next week, I start a whole new regime.
DIARY OF A SCAREDY CAT
I started the diary of a scaredy cat just under a year ago, on 16 September. My working year always starts in September. I think it’s a throwback to either my school and college days, or to my own teaching. But every September, the new jobs used to come in, the new classes, the new academic diary, of course, and so on.
Last September, after quite a long break, I was desperate to get back into the swing of writing for myself again. I’d been so preoccupied with earning money in order to live, that it was easy to get out of the habit of writing for myself.
However, with the help and support and management expertise of the poet, with a lot of hard work on my part, and with the diary as a sort of progress journal, I seem to have finally got into a workable routine of doing my own work in the mornings and doing everyone else’s work, if I have it, in the afternoons.
So, with my new working year starting on Tuesday (it’s 1 September), it’s time to get more structured, more organised, more prolific, more disciplined.
I like doing the diary, though, so I think I’ll carry on but in a new guise – concentrating more on the writing side and less on the editing side. Writing companion of the week will go – I think I may have exhausted my supply for now – but I might still have a writing companion of the month.
With that in mind, watch out for DIARY OF A FREELANCE WRITER next week, and thank you for coming along on the ride with me thus far. I hope you found it as useful as I have.