Over coffee this morning, we acknowledged the new world order as we find it in January 2021 – the end of the warmest year ever, the pandemic, Trump, insurrection at the Capitol, BLM. Then we set these matters to one side to concentrate on our work as writers and our ambitions for the months ahead.
Here are some of the observations made by our community of writers:
Some want to be more adventurous or more playful, step out of their comfort zone, experiment more.
Others want to knuckle down, focus, get the big project finished.
Everyone agreed that Novel Nights provides an important sense of community; they welcome the chance to be heard as well as to listen.
A self-published writer shared a lightbulb moment: her novel only really became fully a novel when others started to read and talk about it.
And some words of advice:
The first draft is just you getting the story down. Not the time to fret about the elegance of the sentences or where the tension will come from.
Don’t get lost in research, but focus on what you need to find out about and keep writing. Maintain momentum.
Let go the fear.
Try not to self-censor or edit as you go.
Set clear goals to write daily and deliver a pre-determined word count.
Or don’t, if that doesn’t suit your way of doing things.
Some of the books we are reading:
Middlemarch, George Eliot
The Doll Factory, Elizabeth Macneal
Where the Crawdads Sing, Delia Owens
Hamnet, Maggie O’Farrell
The Girl Without a Name, Suzanne Goldring
The Wild Silence, Raynor Winn
Outline, Rachel Cusk
Gentleman in Moscow, Amor Towles
Kindred, Octavia Butler
Word Perfect, Susie Dent
Secrets of a Devon Wood, Jo Brown
One Two Three Four, Craig Brown
A Tomb with A View, Peter Ross
Is This Anything, Jerry Seinfeld
Zen in the Art of Writing, Ray Bradbury
Words are My Matter, Ursula K Le Guin