New beginnings

There is something about September that brings me back to blogging. That ‘new year’ feel, I suppose, that I get far more at the start of the academic year than I do each January. This is natural to me. Harry is at school now, James and I both work at universities, and I am studying again. Until my phone took over my diaries would always run from September to August. There is also something about the autumnal days setting in that brings the anticipation of NaNoWriMo and the motivation to write.

So I am giving this blog another chance. This may be a bad idea, what with my Masters resuming in a few weeks time, but right now I am feeling psyched. I put the boys to bed, ate my dinner while watching James’ flight to New York on FlightRadar24 and suddenly within an hour I had written 500 words and submitted it to a flash fiction competition. Last week I submitted a short story to another competition. This needs to continue. I have only entered short story competitions on a few occasions – last year I vowed to do one a month but I got caught up in other things. Stupid of me really as one story was long-listed and the other short-listed, which was obviously a big boost with regard to my confidence and my ability but not, it seems, to my motivation.

I have so many ideas at the moment and my brain seems so much more open to inspiration than it has been in a long time. Writing short stories is allowing me to get outside my comfort zone (fantasy) and explore different genres and writing styles. One big idea I had when reading last month’s Writing Magazine (this month’s arrived today and thank goodness for six hours on a train next weekend because I still haven’t finished last month’s) I think I will adapt to be my NaNo project, partly because it ties in with my Masters so might, theoretically, make it easier to work on both at the same time. Basically, an article in the magazine made me question why I never write about what I know. I’m not sure my stories have ever been set in a hotel or a cafe, or if any of the characters have worked in those places like I have. I certainly have never covered issues of sustainability and social responsibility, even though this is what my Masters is all about. And it is not like any of these topics, settings, and characters are boring! So this year’s goal is to write a story encompassing what I know. Let the planning commence!

I often read advice to new writers that a good starting point is to write about what you know. If you write, do you find it easier to write about what you know or to explore other avenues? If you don’t write, which way would you be more inclined to take?

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4 thoughts on “New beginnings

  1. I usually write about things that interest me. Usually that means I start out knowing very little, do research, and then by writing I come to know how I feel about the things I learned. I don’t know if this is the best approach, but it keeps me motivated and interested in my writing.

    • I think that is a great approach. I tend to write a lot of fantasy so it is hard to say where my ideas come from but I guess I am inspired most by other writers, different religions, myths, and particularly nature. My best writing, in my opinion, is that which is most heartfelt but I wouldn’t say I am writing about what I know, more like, what I feel.

  2. I like to say that I write what doesn’t exist. šŸ™‚ Fantasy is the best thing for me, because I get to make up all the rules. I can create the world. Any history is mine for the writing. No worrying that the geography is incorrect, or the style of speech and dress is out of place. I make it all up as I go, and in edits I can solidify the entire world.

    • That’s what I love about fantasy. I’ve just been rereading my series (half an unedited and still unfinished) and l have surprised myself with my own imagination. I keep thinking there is no way I wrote all that!

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