I don’t know about you but I’m beginning to feel a bit optimistic about the coming months, and that feeling always energises my writing. So this month I’m going to make some suggestions to help you expand your writing bandwidth.

First off, if you are an unpublished writer, I suggest you put yourself out there. Enter some writing competitions. Or if you’re not quite ready to do that, then imagine you ARE going to enter the competition, set yourself the task, give yourself the deadline – do everything except submit. Just meeting that challenge might be enough (and who knows, when the deadline to submit your entry comes along, you may feel brave and confident enough to just give it a go anyway).

The first step is to sign up to some other newsletters which can alert you to competitions. Both Mslexia and Scottish Book Trust send out newsletters which have summaries of forthcoming competitions. There is also a website which lists competitions month by month. Bookmark it and try to choose one competition a month to aim for. It worked for me. There are opportunities for short stories, poems and novels. Try something different. What have you got to lose? And it’s all great experience.

If however novels are your thing, then what you need is to hook an agent.  Here is how I did it. But don’t go there until you are absolutely totally ready, and the best way to make sure that you are ready, is to get feedback. 

Don’t forget as well to have a go at the writing prompt and getting your free feedback, all of which you get through signing up to my newsletter. I’ve started doing writing prompts in Words and Pictures as well – here is the first one which is all about creating characters.

I hope that you now feel inspired….. Let me know how it goes!

How to write

This month’s recommended how to write book is all about inspiring you to create new things. it has seventy five different exercises to stimulate you, but they’re not random. Instead they’re designed to tackle all aspects of writing, from opening sentences to thinking like a writer. A great book to dip into, or to work your way through, cover to cover. And don’t worry about Bertie’s slightly dubious expression, he just felt a bit overwhelmed by the choice. Enjoy!

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