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This Week on Writers Abroad
Category: Site News
Tags: This week writers abroad

Apologies for my absence but I have my son and family over and enjoying some time out... they go home on Wednesday so will be able to have a proper catch up then. Also having problems with Internet access following a violent storm last week. Anyway a quick summary of what's been/is happening.

Alyson has posted a great selection of Monday Muses, including some pictures from her holiday. Something for everyone!

Rilla has written the weekly Blog about the difficulties of persisting with your writing - a familiar dilemma for all writers.

Doreen has posted the minutes of the Formal Chat uestereday and set up the September Writing Challenge. 

Issue Three of Writers Abroad magazine is due next Tuesday, 1st September. The Joomag link and PDF downloads will be distributed later this week. Here is the link to the Subscribe option, now on the mag page also.

We're entering the last week for submissions by WA members to the Anthology... please send to Jo directly rather than Submittable and it would be a great help if you could format your entries with regard to the Editing Guidelines...

I'm sure I've missed loads, apologies...


Persistence and inspiration
Category: Writing

Persistence is necessary to succeed at anything. To get anywhere with writing it is essential. For me that translates into regular activity and some sort of target that has to be followed and achieved.  I write poetry and in general writing poetry requires some kind of inspiration. Reconciling these two sides of my writing-self is not always easy.

Writing poetry that comes from the heart on a set schedule seems to be a contradiction in terms, and yet if I do not have a schedule or at least a regular target, months can go by with no output and one day I wake up to realize that I have slipped out of the writing habit. There is always work to do, e mails to answer, plans to make; always pressing things to do which cannot wait if writing is not given priority.  

I therefore write a weekly poetry blog – this gives me a target that is not too daunting and that is easy to fulfill even when the creative juices are trickling at their lowest ebb. A Haiku or micro-poem of just one or two lines sometimes comes to me at a traffic light or in the middle of a conversation. If I get it scribbled down before it slips away that might be my poem for the week. Often short poems get more reaction and feedback than do longer ones. Today many people take their entertainment bite-sized and a two line poem that hits a cord fits right in. When the creative urge is high I write more than one poem in 7 days and can stockpile for droughts. However, as I like to link the weekly poem to some current event or feeling building a useful stockpile is not as simple as I thought it might be. Some poems are just not right for some weeks. Those reading the poems might not notice that the poem on the blog doesn’t reflect my mood that week, but I do, and it doesn’t feel right.

The hard part is when you hit a really dry period. Usually associated with being busy and in low spirits, though sometimes being busy generates lots of poems and very occasionally feeling miserable can inspire a gloomy poem. The great thing is then, that forcing myself to try to look at things from a poetic angle tends to lift the gloom, and getting a few good lines down defiantly lightens the atmosphere.  Relating back to Vanessa’s blog last week, I find that reading back through rejected poems or incomplete  poems sometimes does the trick, and a poem which at another time just didn’t work suddenly gets a few new lines or a finish that makes it just right.

I love the feeling when inspiration flows. That is one of the great joys of writing, but I’m also grateful for the gloom that can be lifted by writing. In that way persistence and inspiration work together more comfortably than one might imagine.  


This week
Category: Site News

Have you seen Vanessa’s blog on re-using material? I consider myself pretty thrifty in doling out pieces of writing and making sure first publication rights work as hard as possible, but there’s always more we could be doing. I forget what author it was who recommends ‘sell everything three times’ but the provenance is immaterial: it’s excellent advice. A piece in the corner of your hard drive is wasted potential. It needs to be working, hard - and they don’t even charge overtime or need employee’s health insurance. It’s wild out there.

Jo has provided some wonderful muses. I would go for the last picture myself: looks just like the lane near the last house I lived in in the UK. Could think of all sorts of stories for that.

The August challenges are well and truly up and running (where has this month gone?) so dash in and take a look if you haven’t.

On the Bragging stool there are the usual suspects but with exceptional results this time. Anyone who can crack Flash 500 has my respect and Alyson has done this by getting within an ace of the top post. Jill, too, is striding the Bragging Stool and is in the top 10 of the I Must Be Off competition. Our diminutive team here on WA garners so many awards and achievements by the week I have this feeling we ought to get Spandex uniforms made and go out into the world fighting… something. Well done all.

I’m sure I’ve missed lots. Been in an extreme muddle the last two weeks, and would be eternally grateful if anyone can help me out with Important Stuff That Needs Disseminating. As one of my kids put it (in an exam-cramming break) earlier this week: ‘Wait, what? I take my eyes off the news for a couple of weeks and Donald Trump’s running for President??’

Happy writing, all. 


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Monday, August 24, 2015
This Week on Writers Abroad
Recent Blog Posts
Persistence and inspiration
Posted by Rilla Norslund

Persistence is necessary to succeed at anything. To get anywhere with writing it is essential. For me that translates into regular activity and some sort...Read More

Don't reject - re-think and re-use
Posted by Vanessa Couchman

In everyday life, I am a great chucker-out. Living with someone who is the exact opposite has taught me to temper this, but I still...Read More

Safeguarding yourself when writing about local life
Posted by Marit

I am currently working on a story set in the here and now, dealing with the upheavals in people’s lives, the destruction of our landscape...Read More

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