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The One Where We Beat Ourselves Up - by Liz Carter

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I’d been out of hospital just 5 days, after a nasty case of double pneumonia, when I began to tell myself I was not doing enough. I should be updating my blog, growing my mailing list, engaging more on social media, writing my next book, pitching to editors for articles. I should be doing. Doing. Doing.

It didn’t help when my royalty payment arrived, and the numbers were way way down from the first six month’s sales. For some reason I’d put expectations on myself, expectations that said the book should sustain sales, or I wasn’t doing it right. The fact that sales were far lower sent me plunging into deeper depths of beating myself up. People were telling me to rest and recover, but I was doing ten rounds with my own daft expectations, and coming out of it black and blue - just to add to the multiple canula bruises from my IVs. Thankfully, the lovely people of ACW made me see sense, reminding me that books do this, especially Christian non fiction books. There’s a boost in the first si…

A Room of One's Own by Keren Dibbens-Wyatt

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Virginia Woolf famously said that "..a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction." A concept she then turned into the long essay “A Room of One’s Own”. She was really addressing the difference between the genders. Even in her day (Woolf lived from 1882 to 1941), it was only the very rich woman who might have her own space for anything, and a dedicated space for writing was virtually unheard of.
I’d argue that not much has changed. Men too, especially if poor, have very little space of their own. The middle classes might have their studies, dens and even offices (though not necessarily the time to use them), but a writer living in a one bed council house is a bit different. One of the evils of social media is that I now suffer from summerhouse and den envy.
Fortunately, writers tend to have the imagination to make the best of things. If we don’t have a writing shed at the bottom of our garden like Roald Dahl, or even an actual garden, then, as …

A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT by Liz Manning

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It was our annual service review and my boss had set out the room in preparation: folders with agenda and business plan; water jugs alongside a cafetiere and cakes; and by each place a vase of daffodils with personalised photo. The reverse was left blank and we were asked, throughout the day, to add comments on what we valued most about our colleagues.

It was only my second week back after extended sick leave and I was feeling more of a liability to the team. So I was moved to read what they wrote on mine. Here’s some: ‘always able to bring a new perspective’, ‘a great storyteller’, ‘very special to all of us’.

Encouragement is such an important attribute, isn’t it? But often overlooked I think. I loved that Edmund Weiner recently drew our attention to:

‘A bruised reed He will not break; a smouldering wick He will not put out.’

(http://morethanwriters.blogspot.com/2020/01/bruised-reeds-and-smouldering-wicks.html)

These are some of my favourite words in the Bible. Partly because I ofte…

What's the Plan?

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by Rosemary Johnson
I am writing this blog post at 8.19 (to be precise) on Wednesday evening.  Feeling very guilty about leaving it so late. 
It is said that writers are divided into two categories: planners and pantsters.  In everyday life I am a planner.  During the gales last Sunday, when we were warned we might be without electricity, I was boiling kettles and filling up flasks, getting my washing on, preparing a main meal for lunchtime (in case the power cut came later in the day) and searching out candles.  But we didn’t have a power cut. 
I spent several hours this afternoon composing another piece for this blog, all about daily Bible readings from ‘New Daylight’ and Davidic psalms.  I wrote on, uncertain what each new line would bring.  Some people in this situation would say they were going where the spirit moved them, but I’m an Anglican.  After 400 words, when I should’ve reached the pithy bit at the end, I became painfully aware that there wasn’t one.  What I had a writte…

Keep on Keeping on by Wendy H. Jones

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It seems that a series of unexpected and unfortunate events have been preventing some regular contributors not being able to post recently. When this happens, the contributors are so apologetic and feel like they have let the blog down. This is not the case. As I said previously when this happened, people are what matters and we should be supporting each other. 
Today, not only have I had an emergency hospital appointment but I’ve also been to a funeral. It’s during times like this you realise that writing sometimes takes a back seat. Nothing will suffer. During times like this all you can do is keep on keeping on. Write when you can, take time to heal. 
The hospital appointment was for my eye. I’m in pain and struggling to see. So writing isn’t at the forefront of my mind. So, I’m hoping you will forgive my post today. 
My plea to you is to be kind to each other. Be there for each other when times are hard. Celebrate when we have success. Life is short and precious. Enjoy it and know th…

How to love a writer, by Deborah Jenkins

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This post is for the significant other(s) in your life and is best read loudly while they're washing up/asleep/filled with gratitude after you've finished some loathsome task e.g. cleaning the car. It might also work when you've just announced recent earnings from an article/book/premium bond thereby contributing to the family income.

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The writer is one of the most colourful and unpredictable members of the species known as homo sapiens. A direct translation of the Latin homo sapiens is 'wise man' and the translator no doubt had the writer in mind when this was first recorded in English. Obviously, there are many writers who are women, particularly in the Christian Writing World, so some could argue that here, wise woman would be more appropriate. But wise person no doubt covers us all.

Sensitive and thoughtful, the writer is usually a gentle, compassionate soul but do not be fooled! Writers can be capricious and moody, prone to sudden outbursts and nerv…

Is it about space? By Ben Jeapes

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Hands up who watches Cold Feet?

For the uninitiated, this is a comedy/drama TV series following the lives of five 50-somethings in Manchester. The series initially ran back in the 90s-00s when they were all 30-somethings, then it came back after a 13-year hiatus with everyone having aged – but not necessarily grown up – in real time.

Two of the characters are Jenny and Karen. Jenny recently survived breast cancer, which has left emotional scars that are still healing. Karen runs a publishing company from home. Karen’s company is phenomenally successful, defying all conventional wisdom. It publishes approximately one literary title a year and yet still finances a lifestyle in which she lives in a 4-bedroom house, drives a nice car, eats out as often as she likes, supports a family … Of course, prices are cheaper in Manchester.

And it’s just possible the series editor doesn’t really know much about publishing.

Recently, Jenny tentatively suggested that maybe Karen could publish…