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. 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. 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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