Digging Deep to Write Every Day


A writing teacher once told me that the only real way to write, to be a serious writer, is to write every day.

To dedicate yourself to the cause. Working from home makes this goal a lot easier, but there are days when finding that motivation is tough.

But – I’ve learned to “dig deep,” as they say. To write even when I don’t want to, when I don’t feel like it, when I’m tired or even when my creative brain is burning out. How do I (try and) keep writing? I just write something.

Once, I used to work on just one thing, one story at a time. If I got stuck, I would try a writing prompt, but they didn’t ignite my passion in the same way. I tried word-count minimums, schedules and deadlines, but that didn’t keep me motivated either. And it didn’t help much when it came to things like working out character/plot/story problems.

What does work for me, I finally discovered, is having a few different narratives on the go. A literary novel, a speculative short story (or three), a sci-fi/fantasy fiction blog. I kind of rotate between them, so that if I’m not in the right headspace for one, I can least work on the other. Which makes it easier – and more motivating – to write every day.

Image courtesy of khunaspix at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

In the sky. Not a plane.

In the sky. Not a plane.

I saw it with my own eyes, coming down, whirling. I ran, not away from it, but towards. From it grew a mammoth garden; flowers and vines, trees and roots. I built a house there of stone, and lived under leaves, until a great wind came and blew the world away.


(Start with a #sixwordstory; then expand into a #sixtywordstory)

*Image courtesy of photoexplorer at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


What’s the One Book Ending You Always Remember?

Does the ending the really make the book? I was reading one from the vault on Book Riot and I’m torn.

On one hand, you can have a mind-blowing book with an ending that’s lacking (even if only on a personal level); you enjoy the read, but the ending isn’t quite what you’d hoped.

I experienced this recently when I read Hilary Mantel’s brilliant book, Bring Up the Bodies. I loved every word I read, but the ending left me just a teeny bit unsatisfied (I’m not sure why, will have to go back and analyse more deeply). That said, I’m still desperately looking forward to the third novel.

On the other side of the coin, there are novels that might not be as captivating throughout, but whose endings resonate entirely.

For me, this book is John le Carre’s the Constant Gardener (spoiler alert: you may want to stop here if you ever plan on reading this novel).

The final words of this novel have stayed with me. For a decade, word for word. It left me hanging, it made me think. It put my on the edge of my seat – and then it ended, mid-action. You know exactly what is going to happen to Justin, and yet you don’t know. You can’t know, but you are left to imagine.

I didn’t love the Constant Gardener as a whole. I enjoyed most of the read, but I found the narrative a little long-winded at times, and it is by no means my #1 book.

But the ending in itself is what made the story for me. It’s gritty but magical. Revealing but mysterious. Inevitable, but shocking. Really, everything an ending should be.

I wish I could “republish” it here and now, but I don’t want to ruin it for anyone.

What’s your favourite book ending? The one that’s always stayed with you, that you’ve always remembered?



My Online Fantasy/Sci-Fi Novel is Teaching Me Things

It’s going well so far. I’m really enjoying writing it, treating each ‘chapter’ as a little exercise in flash-ish fiction, and also working out the bigger story picture and how to tell in terms of the characters (probably the part I love most about writing!).

It’s strange how online writing and publishing is completely different to working on novel offline. A few things I’ve learned along the way …

– Writing fiction regularly is tough work! Especially when you’re aiming to publish once a week or so. I always feel like I’m pressed for time and chasing my tail. But maybe that’s because I’m a perfectionist and I want to revise, revise, revise everything a hundred times.

– Publishing the story online, as you write each bit, forces you to think about the bigger picture very early on. At first I had dreams of simply making it up as I went along, but with a complex plot like this, it’s just not possible. And it’s difficult, because I know I won’t be able to go back and revise or change the main storyline or relation/order of events later on.

– What’s better – perfecting or publishing? I wonder a lot. Is it better to just get something out there, even if it’s not perfect? Or is it better polish and perfect before you publish? This is in no means my best fiction or writing work, and naturally I lean towards the latter. But at least it keeps me writing … ! (?)

If you haven’t had a chance to check it out yet or follow it, you can do so here: https://lastdarkness.wordpress.com/

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Last Darkness, Last Earth – First 3 Chapters Now Live!

Exciting news! The first three chapters (plus the three opening prologues) of my online sci-fi narrative, Last Darkness, Last Earth, are now live!

Here’s an excerpt:

From the black depths of space, they come. Gargantuan ships hovering shapes against the dark haze.

In the night, she watches them from her window. They each remind her of ghosts, big and black in the night sky. They are bigger than she ever imagined, each a world of its own.

These are our saviour ships, Elia, their keeper, tells them. The Federation has come to take them, comfort them, transport them across the galaxy to some station that will keep them safe from the war… (more)

Last Darkness, Last Earth began many years ago, for me, as a creative writing exercise in flash fiction and action-adventure. An earlier version of opening chapter (Chapter 1) was originally published in the Australian speculative fiction magazine, Antipodeon SF.

Looking forward to your thoughts and feedback!

Last Darkness & Fairy Tale Fantastica!

And I’ve been neglecting my blog a little! This isn’t to say, however, that I haven’t been writing. Since last year, I’ve been working adamantly on my novel, Victory of the People (literary crime), as well as a couple of new short stories

And … I’ve successfully launched my two new blogs! They’ve been in the works for a while, and so I’m proud to say they’ve finally gotten off the ground in 2016. Here’s a little more about them:

Last Darkness, Last Earth is an ongoing sci-fi novel with three female heroines. So far, the opening three prologues are up! I’d love some feedback (and follows!), especially if you’re a fiction or sci-fi lover. You can read the first chapter here.

Fairy Tale Fantastica is a blog site dedicated to writings and commentary about fairy tales and fantasy. Check out my lastest posts on the Origins of Cinderella and the Art of Disguise in Fairy Tales.

Thanks for reading!

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