Friday, April 14, 2006

Three confessions

I did say I would let you know how the no-book-buying has been going, especially as we were heading off to Waterstones to take our son to meet Kipper. I know Kipper wasn’t actually signing them (perhaps if he’d had smaller paws . . ), but we managed to escape having successfully resisted buying any books, which I was pleased about for about five minutes before the guilt swept over me. I had attended an event a bookshop had organised and I didn’t even buy a book. The horror. I have definitely never, ever done that before and felt truly terrible. But I spied redemption as a sign loomed in front of me like a second chance. An Oxfam book fair. Well . . . that was for charity, and second-hand. So that didn’t count as book buying. And I felt especially good when I saw the light in their eyes as I staggered through with my purchases. I probably didn’t exactly need two carrier bags full . . . but I do confess a particular weakness for second-hand books, which will be the subject of another blog soon (will we/won’t we have a small second-hand shelf in the shop??). Anyway, that’s two confessions out of the way. The third is that I do actually write as well. One of the reasons behind the bookshop thing was I felt it was a good sort of a job for an aspiring writer to do. In his talk Tim Waterstone said half his staff would be scribbling away in quiet moments, so I am obviously no alone in this. I had planned this blog to point aspiring writers in the direction of good help on the web. But as we seem to be getting quite a few published authors visiting the site I was having second thoughts as I am still at the bright-eyed-and-hopeful, just a couple of short stories published stage. But what the heck. My first recommendation is a site I have recently joined. http://youwriteon.com/. There are several writing critique sites out there, but many suffer from a few too many very new writers and no-one offering that much by way of constructive criticism, probably because it is an expensive commodity. http://youwriteon.com/ is supported by the Arts Council, giving members the opportunity to review and rate another member’s opening chapters and the highest rated chapters receive a free critique from literary professionals - and there is a self-publishing element that I hope has big potential. It’s a great way to read the wonderful selection of stories in every genre and get a fascinating inside view on what all those fantastically imaginative other writers out there are doing. I have recently bravely posted my first chpaters. A very nerve-racking business, particularly in view of the high standards. I already feel I have been far too mean and critical of all the work I’ve read and hope anyone reading my stuff is going to be gentle. category tags:

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