Tag Archives: a-muse magazine




Its official, I am in panic mode.  NaNoWriMo madness commences in just 6 days and I haven’t so much as lifted my eyes in anticipation of any thoughts whatsoever about what on earth I am going to write… and I’m already beginning to waffle!

50,000 words in thirty days and night (don’t forget the nights!) and I haven’t even got a starting point.  This is not good.  Wing it?  Well it looks like I don’t really have a choice now, do I?  Unless I can rustle up a master plot over the weekend, which is never going to happen.  But then, if I can’t rustle up a simple plot over a whole weekend, what makes me think I can rustle up 50,000 words in a month?  Panic stations!

What makes this situation all the more nerve-wrecking is that I am in the middle of organising a NaNoWriMo Panel for my magazine, on which five or so NaNoWriMo participants will be sitting so to speak, during the entire month of November, and contributing to a joint column/dialogue on the highs and lows of the experience.  What’s so nerve-wrecking about that?  I hear you ask… Well I’m one of them aren’t I!  I’ve gone and placed myself on a panel of commentators and will now have to discuss my panic and anxiety for the entire month – in public display of all my magazine’s readers.  I clearly didn’t think this through…

I mean what if, God forbid, I don’t complete the challenge?  What if all the other writers on my panel complete the challenge and I am the only one who fails miserably?  How on earth is that going to affect my credibility as a writer… and the editor of my magazine for that matter?

I think I need a cup of tea!


My world of writing: positive news :)


Goodness me!  Following on from my last post, I am very pleased to say that things are certainly looking up on the writing front…  I was fretting about the slow pace of contributions to my magazine – A-MUSE Mag – but it was all in vain because all of a sudden I am being overwhelmed with new and returning contributors, so I’m definitely feeling the buzz and creativity again, and the mag is beginning to look very healthy – phew 🙂

More good news… two of my suite101 articles – How to Choose a Writer’s Workspace, and How to Keep a Writer’s Notebook –  have been chosen as Features for the Fiction Writing Section of the website, and one of them has even been nominated for an Editor’s Choice Award, for original content apparently… woohoo, very exciting!  So I have decided that perhaps I have found my blogging niche – articles on the craft of writing – it makes sense.

I am running a new poetry competition in the magazine too which is a lot of fun – I love reading new entries.  The new theme is Autumn is… and I am having visions of lots of leafy pics for the anthology.  The first Anthology, I have to say was very beautiful.  Its theme was inspirational poetry, and I titled it – Life’s too short.  Look for silver linings – and I published all of the winning poems alongside uplifting pictures of clouds with silver linings.  I must say I am a little nervous that I won’t have enough entries to choose from though.  The competition is only running for three weeks – I may have to extend it.  If you fancy entering a poem or too, feel free… 

Aside from all of that, I don’t have much else in the way of writing news.  Except that Na NoWriMo is drawing near and I still having begun to think about what I’ll be writing… despite writing a post on Plot Outlining for the mag.  I’m beginning to feel the pressure…

Where have you all gone? :(


I had a bit of a guilt trip earlier this evening after watching a news feature on TV about the exploitation of interns, particularly in the media industries.  I began to wonder if the reason my regular magazine contributors have disappeared off the scene a bit recently is due to them feeling exploited.  Paranoia has officially set in.

I remember when I was writing for an online magazine about a year ago and not being paid.  I did it because I enjoyed it and loved the fantasy of being a little Carrie Bradshaw writing my little articles on relationships.  But then when I was chosen to be a paid contributor and I committed myself to writing five articles a week at £3 a pop.  I started to feel resentful which dried up my creativity, and soon gave it up.

I don’t offer any form of payment to my contributors at A-MUSE Magazine, simply because the magazine doesn’t make any money to give.  I edit and run the magazine without being paid because its my baby and I love it, and I hope that contributing writers love to write and are submitting their work with that in mind, and not feeling like they are being used.  My intentions for A-MUSE was always for it to be a collaborative creative space, and I am upfront about that from the outset.  But I can’t help wondering where my lovely contributors have gone…

Of course people have busy lives, me included.  I am aware that a week is a much longer time to A-MUSE than it is to them.  I guess I will just have to focus on trying to fill the gaps myself for a while until I get some new writers on board.

Oh if only I had funding… or a cloning device, and I could clone a nice little teams of me’s!

Nanowrimo – I have signed myself up – eek!


I am aware that it is completely bonkers for me to be announcing this, but it has to be done.  I missed out on all of the fun and madness of last year; and I promised myself that this November, no matter what my circumstances are, I will jolly well be taking part!

So I have signed myself up to NANOWRIMO – National Novel Writing Month a month in advance so that I can set about conjuring up a detailed plan of action ready for when the countdown begins.

I figured that despite the numerous other writing commitments I have dedicated myself to, including the fact that I am about to embark upon the final year of my degree; if I at least have an exhaustive plan of what I intend to write when the time comes, then the likelihood of me losing the plot – and by ‘losing the plot’ I don’t mean the plot of my story, I am referring to my sanity – will be somewhat decreased.

Anyhoo, I will be updating my progress here of course, and all of the Nanowrimo posts will be archived in the relevant sect. (See sidebar)

I will also be writing a number of related articles here and there – namely on my magazine’s creative writing group blog – CWG.  So if you are taking part in the Nanowrimo challenge too then you can subscribe to that blog and help to breathe some life into the Creative Writing Group with your comments, guest posts, links and other contributions.


NANOWRIMO – What is it all about?

Nanowrimo is the National Novel Writing Month which takes place once a year during the 30 days of November.  It is a crazy, hectic, absurd month where thousands of people from all over the world get involved and attempt to write a novel in 30 days.  The challenge  is free, although donations are appreciated.  The general idea is to lose yourself in creative abandonment and just go for it – not worrying about perfect writing, but just keeping up with the word count and finishing 50,000 words by the end of the month.  It is a great incentive for those whose inner-editor prevents them from completing first drafts.  Plus there is that wonderful motivating sense of being part of a team of writers, all striving towards the same goal at the same time.

You can find out more about how the challenge originated and sign up for the challenge yourself  here.

If you are taking part and recording your November struggle in your own blog then leave your links and details in the comments section under this post and I will publish them in A-MUSE Magazine to help drive some traffic your way, and mine…

Good luck!

(And good luck to me too.)



Magazine Melodrama…


“If those girls at Cosmo can do it then so can I!”

This was my defiant line of thought at the beginning of this year, after my one month work experience opportunity at Cosmopolitan Magazine Online got cut short due to the unforeseen limitations of my Jobseekers Allowance agreement.  I had been assisting a small team of three staff girls and a freelancer in the running of the magazine’s online website, and I realised that a career in publishing wasn’t necessarily the daunting skill-packed mystery I had previously given it credit for. In fact, why couldn’t I do it myself?

So I set about creating my own online magazine which I excitedly and haphazardly launched last Easter 2011.  I called it…  A-MUSE Mag and coined the tagline – Be Inspired, Be Entertained, BE!  My vision for the project was clear – I wanted to provide the opportunity for aspiring writers like myself to experiment with their craft and be able to have their work published in an online magazine and creative community.  I also wanted one place in which I could advertise and link to my own online writing, which at the time was all over the place, and consistently left me feeling confused.

The problem of course is that one’s own enthusiasm and vision doesn’t necessarily reflect through others, especially when you are not paying contributors to contribute.  It is tricky to express to contributors that they’re not quite hitting the spot with their content, when you’re not paying them for their efforts.  So I have turned a blind eye to my perfectionist streak and allowed contributors to pretty much submit what they like, and with a few tweaks here and there I have published it.  Sometimes I try to steer the content into the direction I want it to go by requesting a re-write in an email packed with apologies and positive suggestions.  This has brought attention to certain things, which is great; but unfortunately only momentarily.  Generally speaking, the magazine is just not what I want it to be yet.

I often fantasise about being able to write for all of the sections in the magazine myself; but this is strictly fantasy, because I would have to be superhuman to pull it off.  I have tried to contribute my own writing here and there, but there just isn’t the time.  I feel like my creativity is being stretched and tugged in all directions half the time, and the result is silent panic at the prospect of being creatively ripped apart.  I guess this is why successful magazines have a small team of editors who manage their own sections, and come together in weekly meetings to discuss trends and brainstorm new directions.

Maybe this is something I should think about doing.  Instead of trying to do it all by myself, perhaps I need a tight team to bounce ideas off.  But where on earth would I get a team of editors who would be happy to do all of this without payment?  And to what extent would I be able to deal with them teaming against my original vision if it happened?

I have one or two more pressing writing-related projects to focus on at the moment; namely my novel which is due to be submitted to the Mslexia Competition in a couple of days, and my script treatment for the start of my final year of Uni.  But I think once I have sorted these two things I will have to sit down (yet again) and re-think A-MUSE Magazine – before I do what I usually do, and give up in favour of starting something fresh and new!