Words from the Writing Desk – Getting Organised

New Year is always a great time to make new plans. Let’s not call them resolutions – that’s just asking for trouble. I always get a spring in my step as I contemplate all the projects I want to start, and relish the prospect of having a full schedule of exciting ventures.

For a while now it has been on my mind to set up a proper, dedicated writing area, because sitting on the sofa with my laptop balanced on my… well, lap… is not really an ideal way to write. Too many distractions, most notably the TV, and the sense that this is not a real “work” place.

So this weekend I compiled a list of all the things I need to set up my Writing Desk and went into town to buy them. Nothing grand, just a few notebooks (one for each of my projects, in which I can scribble down hand written notes when I am away from the computer) a ring binder in which to keep my “To Do” lists and schedules along with notes and tips, new pens and other bits and bobs. My “desk” is the dining room table, which is fine because we don’t use it every day, and when we do I can easily “airlift” my stuff away and then move it back after eating.

I feel better now, like I have all the equipment I need to achieve what I want this year. I feel ready. One of my plans for this year is to Blog more regularly and frequently, so I will keep you all up to date with my progress and the highs and lows of my writing year. I’ll also be blogging more about my travels, past and future.

My first job today was to update the spreadsheet of competitions I have to enter. Now that I feel I won’t miss any, I can relax. A few days ago I entered a poem into two competitions, and coming up next are two short story competitions (Writers and Artists and Bath). Bath is one of my favourites; well run, friendly and informative. I am really looking forward to working with them again. Deadlines for the two are the middle of February and the end of March, respectively, so I will be putting my head down and getting on with it for the next few weeks.

Hopefully I can make “Words from the Writing Desk” a regular feature, with tips and ideas to maybe help others with their writing goals and ventures. Anyone who has any words of wisdom, advice, or stories to tell about your own foray into the writing world, please feel free to email me at dublinwriter@hotmail.co.uk or post a comment below, and I will be happy to include you in my blog and/or hand over a blog entry to you.

For now, I must press on. Completely fabricated worlds and events do not make themselves up! J

Contest Waiting Game

Waiting is the hardest thing. I’ve always been impatient; why wait until tomorrow when you want to know now!

So this week I think I will know if I have made it to the top three of the Writers and Artists Short Story Competition. They have narrowed the 1500 entries down to a shortlist of 20. Those 20 people will not know if they are on that list until AFTER the event in London on 26th March, at which the two runners up and the winner are going to be announced. Only those final three will be in the know and contacted.

After the event, at which the three top stories will be dramatically read by actors (pretty cool!) the list of the top twenty will be published on the website.

So, I think if I don’t hear anything by email this week then that will be it. But at least on 27th March I will have the dubious pleasure of peeking at the list and seeing if I at least made it to the final 20.

And then, if the news is not good, at least I will be able to use my story in another competition.

Got to look on the bright side.

(PS. Found out at 5pm today that I did not make the shortlist of twenty! They published it sooner than they said.)