Winter weather has arrived in Sydney. Windy, wet and cold with the sun trying to bring its rays out during these last days of autumn. It has hit us with a force after months of beautiful hot weather.
The change of weather is welcome in its newness. Getting out boots and scarves is always interesting after the long warm summer. I wonder how long that feeling will last! But I am enjoying it for now.
Also have to admit weather like this makes writing a lot easier. No temptations to venture out. It is comfy clothes, steaming coffee and inspirational music in the background for me today. Time for another writing update.
An activity loaded month has just passed. My interest and passion seems to grow the more I write and connect with other writers. It’s contagious and like being on a never ending fun roller coaster ride. I am hungry to learn and almost obsessively scouring the web for content and information on writing; reading, learning, expanding my mind and improving my craft. I wish I had taken this up, so much earlier in my life, but I believe there is a right time for everything.
So what has happened since my last update?
1. My book.
⁃ I finished the 2nd edit of my novel. YAY!! Felt awesome, but also confusing. What next? Was at a loss at first, but put the novel aside for two weeks before next step. Good to have a break and regroup your thoughts. Next I will send it out to two eager beta readers waiting for me to get organised. I will also print it up and read it again myself taking notes this time rather that working online.
2. AWC course
⁃ Two months ago I signed up for an online course with Australian Writers Centre on “How to pitch to agents and publishers”. So in my break away from my novel I have listened to all 10 modules and started the homework/tasks. A fantastic course for anyone new to the industry. It is so daunting for a newbie, and this course explains it in easy steps what to do to get yourself organised. I’ve been getting my list together of agents, other opportunities and publishers. Putting all the info in a list (excel) helps get your mind organised. It’s like clearing out your wardrobe. Rather than having all the information you gather along the way just float around your mind and clutter up everything else, putting it in a list gets in out of your mind and readily on hand when you need to refer to it. Love it! Appeals to the planner in me.
3. Booktaster Non-Fiction book review
⁃ Being a reviewer of non-fiction books with Booktasters online I spent the last 4 weeks getting through “Spirituality 103; The Forgiveness Code” by Ivan Figueroa. It took a while to get into the book. You have to be in the mood for this type of book. Once I sat down and read it, I found it fascinating. Some of it more scientific than I cared for , but also some great truths in there; the section on how we can’t change our past mistakes without changing our future. I believe we learn from our mistakes and that shapes our future selves.
4. Sydney Writers Festival
⁃ Attending the Sydney Writers Festival was inspirational. Had fun learning “how a person can disappear” during Jennifer Down’s interesting talk. Got blown away by Tayari Jones; such an interesting author; fun real and entertaining. Can’t wait to read her book “An American Marriage”. After a full day out amongst authors and books, what do you do? Return home with a bag of books to read. I need to take a holiday on a remote island with no distractions to get through my pile. But not complaining. What writer/reader can’t identify with having more books than you can read?
5. Fellowship of Australian Writers
⁃ Attended another fun and educational meeting with our local branch. It is always inspirational to network with like-minded people and a nice bunch to boot. We have our formal meeting followed by a speaker or a writing exercise, then the all important afternoon tea where we exchange ideas on life and writing. Great outlet. The group has nominated me as the Vice President this year and Content Coordinator for their newsletter and media updates for the annual local writer’s festival, Writers Unleashed. A learning curve, but one I am enjoying. Sometimes it is hard to fit it all in on top of full time work, but I get so much enjoyment from it I find time. Even if it means saying no to social events and burning the odd midnight candle sometimes.
6. Positive Thoughts Project
⁃ Now into my 5th month of daily notes on anything positive I have noted in my day. The world is so full of negative news it can be so easy to focus on all the dreadful things that happen. But when we take live being mindful of positive events in our lives, it become a mindset. Like everyone else I have my struggles and I get sad and down, but I believe we shape our reality by our thoughts. Reach for your dreams and they will meet you halfway. Seeking the positives in life and being mindful of them is how I prefer to live each day. This project is such a great way to ensure we live being aware of what we have rather than focusing on what we have not.
A full month again. I may have turned 60, but life has not slowed down for this girl. With passion , curiosity and a love of life this I am marching on with my fingers crossed each day gets me closer to a book deal. If nothing else I am having a ball and learning along the way.
Happy reading and writing month to you all. Thanks for reading to the end of what ended up a rather long update.