Tag Archives: zaramuse



I am very pleased and relieved to announce that after a long hot soak in the bath the other night, I managed to gather my thoughts and release all anxiety in the lavender-infused steam, and magically came up with –  the master plot to top all master plots!  I’m so happy.  I don’t know where the ideas came from but they just started to flow and flow; it was like a floodgate had opened, and alas I was in the bath-tub without a pen and pad in sight…

But I now have pages of scribbled notes, so I am now feeling prepared and raring to go… COME ON NaNoWriMo!

In fact I was feeling so inspired that evening that I even waffled out a suite 101 article on NaNoWriMo Last Minute Preparation – check it out if you need some inspiration and reassurance of your own.

I would indulge you on the ins and outs of my secret plot, but I’m afraid I can’t (because I think its a pretty good ‘un and I’ll be gutted if anyone stole it from me…)  But I’m sure I’ll be letting slip bits and pieces as the challenge gets stiffer and I need to vent about my characters who aren’t doing what they’re supposed to!

I’m so EXCITED!  Whoop whoop 🙂






I want to start writing novellas…


I know, it sounds like this is me just going off in a completely different direction again, but its not – I promise you.  You see the thing is, I place such emphasis on getting projects just right because I am a cursed perfectionist, that its near impossible to keep moving forward with anything.  And the problem with moving at such a slow pace is that I become restless and have new ideas popping up which nag to be addressed.

But what if I abandoned my perfectionisms and started to write a collection of shorter novellas just for fun?  I could publish them myself on Amazon under a pen-name, which may help me to come to terms with the fact that they aren’t necessarily the pieces I want to be defined as a writer by.  And basically I could just set myself loose a bit and burn some of the creativity that is being suppressed while I am trying to finish off the more serious projects.  At the same time I am being productive in my writing career and building up a new portfolio of published work.  I think its a great idea, don’t you?

Plus Novellas aren’t such a huge commitment are they.  They can range from 20-50,000 words which is much less daunting than a full-length novel.  I think it would be very satisfying to get into the habit of completing stories, and drawing plots to a conclusion.  Because that’s something I haven’t had much practice in yet… seeing as I never get to actually finish anything that I am working on!

It could also be quite satisfying to experiment with different voices, different genres, and different plot-lines, but without the huge commitment of knowing that I have to stick with my choices for 80,000+ words.  Perhaps my novella stories will have a bit more more spice to them, because they will be short and snappy and focussed to a minimum number of characters.  I could even integrate some of my older attempts at writing books, I have tonnes of  enthusiastic ‘beginnings’!

Ooh I’m so excited… I can’t wait to start letting my imagination run away with me on this venture.

I’ll have to come up with a title for my new collection of novellas now.  And perhaps I can split them up into categories or genres like Harlequin Mills & Boons do!  And even use different pen names for each category… oh the possibilities; it’ll be like having split-personalities!

But maybe I should focus on actually writing and completing one first.  Hehe 🙂

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!

Dilution – The New Writers Block


I have a problem. It’s not a terrible problem, I can think of worse; but it’s definitely a problem for me. The problem is this… I have too many ideas.

I know, how crazy of a writer to complain about having too many ideas, right? But you don’t understand the seriousness of this situation. I have SO many ideas, and they keep coming at me. There just isn’t enough time to focus on any one idea, and so absolutely NOTHING is getting done! I can feel the stress rising inside of me as my worst fear is being realised… I am a writer who isn’t actually writing. This is a whole new kind of writers’ block.

Take this blog for example. The last post was written in May. Why? Because since May I have been bombarded by a hurricane of new ideas and projects, and this blog which was created in an attempt to have somewhere to offload, has just been abandoned and forgotten about. There is no time for me to offload because I have too many new ideas to execute!

What am I to do?