Posts in My Writing
My writing projects for the month of June

Last month I wrote about what my writing projects were going to be during May. I never really thought about doing this again for the month of June but it was fairly successful and I learned from it so I'm going to go ahead and chat about what worked last month and what I'm going to work on this month.

So, as a quick recap, I've come to the conclusion that the best way for me to work is to divide the month up into projects. Not to have deadlines or to get so many words written in a day. But to say, this month I'm working on 'x'.

Last month my two main goals were

1. to increase the amount of blog posts I write

2. to work on my novel.

I achieved both. But maybe not quite as productively as I'd hoped.

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My Writing Projects for the Month of May (and why working on projects in monthly 'chunks' is more efficient for me )

My writing projects for the month of May 2018 || What if, at the start of every month, I gave myself one big or a couple of small projects to solely work on that month? How would this affect my writing output?This way I won’t worry about the other ideas I have that distract me. I can simply write those ideas on a list and schedule them in for another month.

This blog post details what I’m working on, creatively, during May.

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What we, as online creatives, can learn from the Zoella Advent-Calendar-Saga

As I start to write this on the morning of Tuesday 14th November 2017 the fall-out from Zoella's advent calendar is ongoing. In fact, it's pretty much taken on a life of its own.

If you haven't heard about all the drama essentially Zoella's lifestyle range has released a luxury advent calendar, a twelve days of Christmas one - so with 12 doors -  and the contents are, well, not very expensive. For example you have some sparkly confetti behind one door, a small candle behind another, seven stickers in one and a small cookie cutter behind another. And for twelve gifts like this you pay £50.

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No more novel procrastination?

I'm sipping coffee whilst staring out the window. I'm scrolling through social media, from Instagram to Twitter, to Feedly, to YouTube, to Pinterest even to the dreaded Facebook.

Not many people online. Probably all working. Or writing. Damnit.

I should be writing. I've just read through a rough outline of my novel. I got excited. I got more ideas. I started to think about writing it. 

But I don't pull out my notepad or the rest of my notes. Oh no. 

I just carry on scrolling.

And now...I'm writing this.

What the hell is wrong with me?

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My WritingHelen Comments
Writing about not writing

My head is like the today's sky which was smothered with an eerie Sahara sand. Casting a strange sepia light onto the earth below. I want to write, I see glimmers of the red sun, and clear skies in the distance, but however long I drive I can't quite reach them.

I took last week off. And half of the week before. And when I say off I mean off writing, off blogging. At first I tried other creative pursuits. I recorded film, I made my Instagram Stories mini-films, I read magazines, listened to podcasts.

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My WritingHelen Comments
What I learnt about writing online from Zoella and other YouTubers

My husband laughs at me. My teenage son rolls his eyes. And my daughter, she's eight, asks 'are you watching Zo-ella, again?' She's already learnt the art of taking the Mickey.

And, to answer her question, yes. Yes I am. As I write this I'm watching Zoella's Vlogmas from 2016. Her countdown to Christmas by vlogging every day in December. And I'm thoroughly enjoying it.

During Vlogmas we see her house dressed up with Christmas trees, we see her laughing hysterically with her friend Mark and supermarket shopping with her boyfriend, Alfie. We open her advent calendars (yes, plural) with her, see her takeaways and her oh so cute black pug, Nala dressed in various seasonal outfits. It's all very tame, very homey and it's certainly not an expletive or action packed video. She bakes banana loaf, goes to garden centres, describes what clothes she wearing and puts on make-up whilst chatting to her audience. Her more recent videos, where she shows her (incidentally, gorgeous) new house, has time lapses of her tidying cupboards. 

You might be thinking...huh? 

I know. I understand.

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How I'm outlining my novel

I've successfully managed to not write my novel for many months. In fact, I think late 2016 was the last time I went near it.

As I say in this week's video (below) this is because I've been busy with my coaching business and new websites and my head cannot take on too many projects at once.

My fiction writing is always the first thing I drop when my head is full. I wish it wasn't but, by dropping it, I don't have to the voices in my head constantly telling me what a rubbish writer I am. Who wouldn't want to get that out of their head?

But I've been encouraged to give it another go. 

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Four Books That Have Shaped My Life

They're sitting in a pile on my desk next to me as I write this. One is quite literally falling apart. One is very pink and about sex. Another is a book for children and the fourth a women's fiction novel with Brownie Guide badges on the cover. As innocent as these four books look sitting quietly on my desk, they all have one thing on common.

They have all had a profound impact on my life. They've shaped my life, helped create the person I am and have led me to this writing/mentoring career. Which, quite frankly, I find fascinating.

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Five Things I've Learned from Launching a Mentoring Business

It was just over a year ago when I had the idea that I'd like to help other writers market themselves using social media. At the time I had just created this blog, my Instagram presence was less than one thousand followers, I had a love/hate relationship with Twitter and Facebook and had very little experience with other platforms. So what on earth made me think I could do it?

Well, my background is in marketing, so that knowledge I had. And I could see the potential of this online world. I was looking around the internet and there were people, often millennials, leading the way in communicating to different audiences.

There was Zoella with her vlog that captivated thousands and thousands of fans. Or Instagrammers that had tens of thousands of followers, who were now transferring into blogs and video. Some were earning good money from advertising. Others were writing articles in online magazines. Or speaking at conferences. Or getting book deals.

The internet was driving change.

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