March: Spring into action.
Despite the gloomy state of the world – or maybe because of it? – it’s time to put on a brave face and march forward to a new and exciting writing future. This is much the same message as I made this time last year when I suggested you entered competitions, looked for an agent, whatever it was that would drive you forward, and some subscribers got int touch to let me know that this had been helpful. Here is the link to that newsletter which had some practical suggestions.
My big move for this year was to volunteer as one of the two regional organisers for SCBWI Scotland (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators), and I’m excited that part of this role will be to bring lots of events to the writers of Scotland. Watch this space! Most events are open to all, but SCWBI members get a discounted price, so if you’ve been considering joining, now might be the time.
I’ve never thought of myself as a ‘guru’ but this was the label I was given in a recent interview about the best way to blog. Even though I hate the sound of my own voice, I didn’t think the interview was too hideous, and I hope some of the ideas are helpful. I also wrote about working smart on social media in a blog back in 2019, if you want some more information about some of the things I mention in this interview.
A lot of my expertise in this area has actually come from my lovely daughter Josie, who works in digital marketing, and who helped me set up this newsletter, amongst other things. So my first event as network organiser for SCWBI Scotland is to get her along to a virtual event to spread her knowledge. This is open to non-SCWBI members; you can book here. And if you want a bit of cheering up, here are some recent interview for Words and Pictures. Sally Walker’s illustrations are a delight, while Emily Ilett is a prime example of what can happen if you do put yourself out there and enter competitions, as she achieved publication as a result of entering the Kelpie’s prize.
How to write
This month’s recommended how to write book will be of particular interest to you if you’re intending to have a go at the writing prompt.
You may think you know about character arcs, but this book goes deep into the whole idea of how character links with and drives plot, and will be a great help whether you just want something to dip in and out of, or whether you want step by step help.