100K in 100 days – a challenge

Writing books is hard but it's fantastic when they end up looking like this.

Writing books is hard but it’s fantastic when they end up looking like this.

I’ve been working on a novel and in January I tried a 100 day challenge where members of the group try to write 100,000 words. I knew I would not be able to complete that challenge but I decided to see how many words I could write. I aimed for one page a day minimum and overall, I managed to that, missing only a handful of days in total over the 100 day period. I managed to make it to over half of that word count and was very happy to do so.

I’m now looking forward to the next challenge which I believe starts in July. Why not try it? The group is on Facebook, but the daily word counts are stored in a spreadsheet elsewhere.

Unblocking Writer’s Block

A cup of tea, anyone?

If you’re stuck for something to write, or something to write about, why not try this prompt?

Take a small notebook and go and sit in a café. Write about anything which attracts your attention.

For example, why not try people watching? What do the other people in the café look like? What are they wearing? What do they order? How do they eat/drink? What can you smell – the aroma of the coffee you’re drinking? Does your tea look like dishwater? Is anyone watching you – if so, are they staring at you or watching you when they think you can’t see them? Don’t leave until you’ve filled at least one page of your notebook.

A fellow writer called Joseph W. Richardson gave me this tip. I’ve written several pages each time Ive gone out for a cup of tea. If it doesn’t work for you, then at least you managed to get out of the house and enjoyed a drink!


Writing Exercise

IMG_3104If you’re stuck for something to write about, take a look around you. Describe what is in your favourite room in the place where you live. What’s there? Is everything where it should be? If not, why not? Describe the colours, the textures, the sounds around you. What do these remind you of? Did you choose them yourself, or are they a glimpse into someone else’s taste? Why? How do these things make you feel, and why? What is your favourite thing in the room? Is it an item, a colour, a texture, a material, a smell, a piece of furniture or a piece of jewellery you keep in that room? Or is it the view from the window? Why is it so special to you? What memories are connected with it?

Out of all these things, choose something to write about. For example, about the memories connected to your favourite item from that room. If you choose to try this exercise, try writing as many words as you like, until the piece feels ‘finished’ to you. Then shake it up a little and try writing it in a different tense, or changing the point of view.



Mirror, Mirror: Alternative Point of View

I am sure the Queen will appear again soon, with her illusions and delusions of grandeur. I have never seen anyone so vain before. There is no denying it, the nasty old witch is the fairest in the land. But I cannot help wondering what the King would say if he were to discover that his wife is a six hundred year old hag who finds her youth and beauty in potions and spells.

It is not only the Queen who suffers from the disease called Vanity. Her husband also comes to admire himself. ‘How handsome are you?’ he asks as he struts around, preening like a peacock. Ugly duckling would be closer to the truth.

I lost count long ago of how many women have looked into my frame and dreamed of being the most beautiful. Oh, if only I could tell them what I really thought of them! ‘Tis a pity I am not allowed to speak to anyone but my mistress.  There is much I could have told them. But it is probably just as well…

Things can get so tedious and predictable sometimes. Methinks ’tis time for a change. Here comes my Queen.

‘Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?’

My shimmering pane, have I got news for HER, today!


Getting Started With Writing

The first step to writing is to actually start writing. Do that and you’re well on your way. It sounds easy. I know it isn’t. We find a million ways of procrastinating and doing anything but write. But you must start getting your story down. It doesn’t matter how: on paper, in a notebook, onto a laptop – anything you prefer. Or try drawing a mind map or spidergram of ideas and things you want to tell the reader about.

Once you have these basics, you can start building on them. Work out what works best for you:

– work on one idea at a time

– get notes down for anything you can think of, as you go along

– a combination of both

It’s all about experimenting and finding out what works best for you. Try it. If it doesn’t work, try something else.

You never know when ideas or writing snippets and opportunities will come your way, so always carry a notebook to jot things down so you don’t forget.




Welcome to my website.  Here, you can find out a little more about me and what I’m up to, and read my blog posts.  You can also read some extracts of my work: poetry and narrative; and see photos or videos of me in action.  See also what I like to read in my spare time. If you’re stuck with your writing, take a look at ideas and suggestions on my site, for example, check out the inspirations and writing tools.