Tuesday 9 April 2019

About Writing Stuff

Another drive out today with my awesome instructor, trying to work out how to get into the Aldi car park in Batley. I did okay, and tomorrow I'm going out on my own. I am utterly terrified. I need to sort out a prescription, though, and rather than get the bus (my instinctive reaction), I am going to make a relatively easy journey to a shopping centre. I actually did the drive today, with my instructor, but didn't get the prescription. I'm so scared of going there by myself that I'm going to just have to go for it.

Akasha - I never learned to drive before for a few reasons. I never really had the money (my instructor cut me a good deal, but it was £25 per hour, and I've done a lot of hours), local public transport was excellent and it just wasn't important. I think you are in the US? In the UK it is considered relatively difficult to pass the test, with less than a 50% pass rate, and I think that what you have to do is quite strict here. I took nine months of serious lessons, and that isn't bad, especially as I'm in my fifties and I'm late to driving. But now (once I've got a little confidence) I can take my son, bear, to and from school and cut his commute from over an hour to around twenty five to thirty five minutes. Also it is easier to put a huge bag of books and PE kit into the back of a car than drag it on the bus. Until bear needed the lifts, it just wasn't worth it as there are buses near our house every ten minutes or so during the day and they are really convenient. I'll probably still take them sometimes as parking in Leeds centre is fairly tough.

So, lots of writing stuff going on. Now that I don't have so many driving lessons filling my time, I'm working more towards trying to earn a living as a writer. Most people who write do not make a living from it, so I'm trying to work out what is going to work for me and what isn't. I am under no illusions, but if I can earn enough to run the car and pay all the extras bear would like, it would be a help.

I was told that I should spend at least half the time I have to write in marketing. I'm not good at marketing. I find it all complicated and confusing. But it's worth looking at, especially the free stuff I can do.

I'm starting off learning about Canva. Canva is a site where  you can create your own graphics for blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, emails etc etc. There are a lot of templates, backgrounds, art etc that you can use for free, and I haven't paid a penny so far, but there are also some items that you can pay for. I was getting overwhelmed trying to figure it out, but I took a step back and had a think. The normal, 'start at the beginning and work your way through' doesn't often work with me. I keep trying to learn stuff that way, but finally I'm accepting that I fail at being sensible and that I often do best when just dumped in the middle.

What I have started to do is go on Canva every day and make graphics. I've done mainly Facebook so far, but I'm also trying Twitter and Pinterest. I aim that every day I find a nice quote, make a graphic (some are better than others!) and post it. Canva even allows you to upload it direct to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest etc. This way I'm learning how to use Canva, and perhaps making myself visible. Today I've posted in Facebook (and the same image on Twitter)

And Pinterest

And it was all free. Yesterday (I think) I did a Twitter post which was the most complicated I'd attempted yet.

I have the same aptitude for graphics as the average pigeon has for particle physics, but I'm getting the hang of it and I recommend going and playing if you find it interesting. 

I need to be professional about my writing, which is hard for me, so I have decided that after this week it will be a book review most Tuesdays, or some sort of blog tour, news about my writing or similar. I won't be loading up flash fiction on Thursdays as I hope to save that energy for submitting to magazines and writing novels. I will still aim to upload another chapter from the White Hart every Friday (I have lots of fun things planned for the poor people there!) so there will still be free writing from me. 

And I finally have the push to get that newsletter out. I have joined a group that uses newsletters and encourages people to swap information and links in newsletters and do giveaways so I need to actually get around to getting my own writer's newsletter up and running. I am aiming to finally publish my first newsletter next Friday, 19th April, which will have my news, any swaps and giveaways I have agreed to go in with (sorry! but they may be interesting, I have no idea how it is going to work), a household tip from Mrs Tuesday and some original, unpublished fiction. I've probably worked it out right, and I think I've got all the legals sorted. Please be kind, if you sign up. You can sign up here if you are interested, but as any news will also be posted on here, you don't have to.

Today I have put a piece of flash fiction up on my blog here, which I enjoyed writing a great deal. I can't say that I won't put up other pieces, but I will be focusing on other stuff. 

And speaking of which, I think I mentioned that a piece of mine had been accepted in an anthology. Well, here it is, Dreamscapes, from Cherry House Press, which will be published on April 30th or May 1st, details to follow. I feel very excited.

So lots and lots of writing stuff going on. Thank you for letting me share. 


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