So we are nearly at the end of January. How did that happen? Oh, you know, one hour followed another, blah blah. It has gone pretty quickly for me.
I spent most of the writing-time I've had this month working on a story for the Mslexia short story competition. It's the one I was having trouble ending but I prepared for that and worked on it as much as I could without smothering it. In the past I've waited until a few days before a competition closes before I tackle the edit, often not subbing it at all because I've left it too late and it's not good enough. Or subbing it in a not-good-enough-state - that's the worst thing. Panic-subbing. Having said that, because this story's end went through so many re-writes, I didn't finish until the closing date itself. S'okay though - I worked at it, and it was the best it could be. Now - it's out there, and I have a sense of freedom that I can work on something else.
So, February's writing focus is on my book-project, and it's a totally different way of writing for me. Kind of. I'll explain - I'm working on a picture book, could be for young adults - though I'm not thinking too much about that yet, I'm just getting the story out. It's been brewing for a while, about 8 months. It started out life as some of my stories do - in my notebook with drawings around the sentences - and it's stayed like that. I mean, it hasn't graduated to the laptop. It feels natural that it has images with it, not always drawings, sometimes simple shapes, lines, or just the text broken up in a way that isn't like this: a sentence following a sentence. Then there are chunks like this: sentences following sentences. I am not thinking too much about how I will market this or what it's potential is. Not yet. I'm enjoying putting it together. As far as the story goes it's fairly loose, but the setting and the main character are strong.
I think, when I said it's a 'different way of writing' - that's not quite what I meant. It's a different thing I'm making. That's it.
And now, to be less about me and more useful for you - I used to list a website called 'Literature Training' as a useful resource for writers, but it has recently become integrated with the National Association of Writers in Education and is called 'The Writing Compass' with a new web address. It's now even more relevant and helpful (and isn't just for writers in education). There's advice on funding and mentoring, listings for competitions and literature magazines looking for submissions, job vacancies... Some of the info will be more relevant to UK-based writers, but the listings include comps and magazines that accept submissions from around the world. Here's the link.