Openings 12th January 2010

My very first blog. There’s so much advice: make a contract with your reader – they have to feel there is something worth investing their time and effort in. Raise a question. How to start? Who’s the main character? Well, me, obviously. Or is it you? Make your reader care. Provide a hook. Give a sense of place. Is the prose any good? Does the title catch the imagination? There are so many things to be aware of – and no, it’s not advice for writing a blog, but for writing novels and short stories. But surely, it holds good for blogs as well?

I admit it – I’m a blog virgin and it’s harder to start than I thought it would be. I can’t shake off the feeling that it’s arrogant to expect people to want to read my thoughts. But hey, if I carry on like this, I’ll talk myself out of writing it at all – exactly the trap I warn my writing students not to fall into. And I have got a specific purpose in writing this blog, so here’s what it’s going to be about.

First, it will be about my self-publishing journey with my novel ‘Unravelling’. It’s difficult for new writers to get taken up these days, unless you’re already famous in another field, so more people are turning to self-publishing. It might be something you’re thinking of doing yourself, so I hope to give some insight into the process, with its highs and lows.

Along the way, I’ll write about writing – ideas, techniques, tips: any thoughts that might be helpful to those of you who write, or are thinking of doing so. I’ll also mention anything I’m reading that seems especially good. And I’ll tell you about my own writing – I’ve entered a short story, ‘Feeding the Cat’ for the Fish story competition (I’ve been shortlisted for Fish twice before, so …) and I’ve just finished another story called ‘Garden of Antipathy’. I’m also beginning to rewite a previous novel ‘The Piano Player’s Son’, so there’s plenty to keep me busy on the writing front.

There, I’ve done it! My first blog. I feel as if I’ve done my day’s quota of writing. And for a writer that seems to be the main worry about writing a blog – you spend valuable writing time doing it! Even Stephen Fry, arch-tweeter, has abandoned Twitter, so he can devote himself to his writing. Looks like I might have created another thing to worry about.

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  1. elly says:

    I write a diary every night and I think it stimulates thought and encourages the flow of ideas. I don’t see it as a waste of time but a part of the creative process and a way of regulating it. I often get ideas for my poetry from the diary writing, so please don’t see it in this negative way.

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