What a week …

DebE —  February 17, 2012 — 2 Comments

Or, rather … what an end to a crazy week. Hmm. No. I’m not so sure it’s over, yet.

OK, here goes. (I’m on caffeine, so bear with me). Last week, I learned new stuff about writing (Thanks, Janice) and I set about implementing what I learned in my WIP. This meant MAJOR re-writes (good-bye scenes I was really quite attached to …). The problem with doing this now is we start reviewing in the “First Three Chapters” group I am part of next week! Eep! OK, that’s fine. Breathe, you can do this. And … you know what? I was doing it. At over 2,000 words per day, I was doing it. The end of Chapter 1 is done. Chapter 2 is done. Most of Chapter 3 is done – thanks largely to the fact I can reuse some old stuff here.  And, I even finished a short story (~2000 words)  for a competition yesterday. Yeh man. I am a MACHINE.

So, the two competition stories I did over the last couple of weeks? They earned me two 3rd places. Not too shabby, huh? OK, so they weren’t major, prestigious writing comps, but that’s OK. It’s nice to prove to myself that I can write to a prompt and do alright. Especially when the story I write is away from my WIP. As a novelist, I get worried that I’ll only ever have one story in me. This is it. Once I’ve sent these characters out to play, I’ll be stuck. I’ll never write anything again. Oh woe is me.

So, I encourage you to play with short stories. Find a few competitions (writing.com is great for it … but I’m sure there are others) and challenge yourself.

Even better than placing in competitions is getting feedback – in-depth feedback – from an enthusiastic reader. And I found one today.

I woke to two glowing reviews: one for my first two chapters and one for the supporting character interview with Jonas. What a great way to start a Friday. Only problem was it was followed by a toddler waking too early and then setting about getting grumpier and grumpier because batteries should be a toy, and mum should pull them out of the toy bus so he can play with them, yes she should. No, she really shouldn’t. But, I’m gonna cry! That’s fine. See, I’m crying! OK, you do that. I’m still crying! I’m still ignoring you. No, don’t ignore me, mum! Ignoring you. Don’t you love me any more?

Once I put the little tyke to sleep for the morning, I thought I might make myself feel better by reading those reviews again. But, guess what? There was another review – this time for my short story “Oasis” (under Other Work – Challenges on this site). It, too, was very positive. That’s a story I had a lot of doubts about, so it’s great getting some positive feedback on it. I feel better about it, now.

Anyway, those reviews really helped. Go on. Go pat a fellow writer on the back today.

(And, fellow writer, don’t be afraid to share your work – it’s probably better than you think it is).




Deb E was born in New Zealand’s North Island, but her parents corrected that within months, moving south to Dunedin and staying there. Childhood nights were spent falling asleep to cover versions of Cliff Richard and the Shadows and other Rock ’n Roll classics played by her father’s band, and days were spent dancing to 45 LPs. Many of her first writing experiences were copying down song lyrics. She graduated to scientific reports when she studied a nematophagus fungus in the Zoology department of the University of Otago, trading all traces of popularity for usefulness… then traded both for fiction. Mum of one human & four fur-babies.

2 responses to What a week …


    Wow, all that writing while raising a child. You ARE a machine.


      I put my ability to get that writing done down to having a good routine re: daytime sleeps for the toddler. He knows that when mum reads his story, then changes his nappy, it’s time to start rubbing his eyes and start feeling sleepy. We both know where we’re at at certain times of day and can work the rest of our plans around that – whether that’s a walk to the park, or a drive to the dog park, or a walk in the gardens, a play at the baby gym, or just playing around home or getting baking/housework done. Routine, routine, routine. I am a convert.
      Something does have to give, however – and housework is my lowest priority. We live with it.

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