Sunday, 6 January 2019

The Wisdom of Women


I am in awe of the depth of wisdom displayed by my lovely group of writer friends, most of whom are women. They cut through my bluster and waffle and procrastinating nonsense with their razor like wisdom and set me off on the right track with a song in  my heart.

I posted about my dilemmas surrounding naming my podcast on our Facebook page. In the blink of an eye they were back with hard and insightful questions that really got me thinking about what this podcast is about and why I want to make it. They stopped me from paralysing myself with indecision to the point where I give up on the project. They made me feel supported, valued and loved.

What a bunch!

So, I am still determined to get the podcast off the ground and I'm not going to wait until I have a suitable name. If I do the chances are I will never be happy with anything I come up with and the whole project will die a quiet and lonely death.

I have decided that the way to go is to make a pilot episode, test the waters, see how I sound when chatting away. This may or may not get sent out into the world but I'm determined to at least try. I'm almost finished planning what I want to say and if I can summon up the courage I hope to have something recorded by the end of the month.

Deep breath...

So that's where I'm at, plotting and planning, trying out something new. If this venture ever sees the light of day and stops being a secret vanity project I'll post details here and you can have a listen and laugh at my Brummie accent.

Monday, 31 December 2018

Thinking Ahead

It's that time of year again when folk start to make plans for the New Year. Making resolutions which most of them will have forgotten by the start of February. I used to do that too until I decided to stop putting all that pressure on myself, knowing that I would fail. The law of averages said I would be one of the millions who failed to keep those unrealistic resolutions and if there's one thing I've learned over the years is that I am quite capable of failing without any extra pressure!

So boo to the New Year resolution and I for one will not make them anymore. But there is something about the turning of the year which draws us to reflect on the year past and make plans for the coming year. So I will spend some time thinking about what I want to do next year, what I want to look back on and celebrate in twelve months time.

Firstly, I have been planning to start my own podcast about writing and using it as a vehicle to share my own writing. This is an exciting and also scary time but I feel up to the challenge and secretly I'm rather looking forward to trying a new venture. As of yet it does not have a name which is another task for the New Year. I'm calling it Johanne's Writing Podcast at the moment which covers exactly what it is but isn't all that exciting!

Which brings me neatly onto the second thing. I want to try sharing my writing a bit more than I have done in the past. I want to get into the habit of submitting something each month. Realistically I know that this doesn't mean I will get something accepted every month but I feel it's time to stop being so reticent with my writing. I need to give it wings and see if any of it will fly. So watch out for news of submissions and hopefully some successes.

Lastly I want to watch less and listen more, to watch less and read more. I have a bad habit of watching too much TV, chewing gum for the eyes. Most of it washes over me and doesn't enhance or enrich my life at all. So next year I want to listen to the radio more, engage my brain and leave time to contemplate and read.

So, no resolutions that I know I can't keep, just some vague thoughts and a more 'professional' attitude to my writing. Here's hoping for success and good news for all of us in 2019!

Monday, 10 December 2018

Dang and Blast It!

So, I've decided to start a podcast in the New Year. I'm excited about it and starting to get organised - not looked at the technical aspects yet but I've recruited a reluctant tech guru to help. All's well then, surely?

No!

I've got to come up with a name, haven't I? And how hard is that!

Every idea I have had seems to have problems. Too negative, doesn't say anything about me, twee, not memorable. You can see the problems, can't you?

It's driving me bananas.

I've started looking at other podcasts about writing or by writers and they all seem to have the word 'writer' or 'writing' in the name so maybe that's something I have to consider. But that's not got me any nearer to finding a name which I like and think says something about the theme and content of the podcast.

Maybe I'm over thinking it. Maybe I just need to pick a name and run with it. Perhaps it's not the deal breaker I think it is. I could always change it later if I don't think it's working.

The name I'm toying with at the moment is Catching The Writer's Imagination. I'm not sure, it seems a bit long but it's the best of a bad lot at the moment. Thank heavens I've got until January to sort it out!

What do you think about the name? Let me know in the comments.

Saturday, 24 November 2018

Valuing What I Do



I've returned from a weekend retreat with a bunch of talented, supportive and funny women with my batteries fully charged and my head full of ideas.
As usual I fear the dwindling of enthusiasm and the fall back into the Pit of Despondency.
So I'm thinking of ways to keep the momentum and keep the enthusiasm going. I have been pondering what value I put on what I do and how this impacts on my state of mind with regard to my writing.

Last weekend was wonderful. Meeting old friends again, laughing and sharing a convivial time in a stunning setting with beautiful food was just the tonic most of us needed. But we have to return to the real world and I confess to not writing a word since I returned home. Why is that?
I have spent a lot of time thinking. I have been thinking about things that were said at the retreat and things I have noticed since I returned.
As usual I shared the writing I did during the weekend, guided by prompts from Gilly. I explored some of my feelings about my parents and how even after eighteen years I still miss them. But I didn't share anything that I had written in depth, nothing that I had invested time and effort into. This made me curious about how I value my writing.

I am a reluctant sharer of my words. That is an odd thing to say for someone who loves telling stories and inventing characters. Why don't I get my writing out there more? I think it's because I don't value it as much as the work of others. Last weekend we heard some beautiful writing and spent some time discussing it, workshopping it and appreciating it. I didn't share any of my work in this way and I think it's because I thought everyone else's writing was better than mine.

This week I have been giving this some serious thought and hence I am writing a post about it to clear m own mind. I love the sound of my own voice, I love reading stories aloud but rarely use my own stories for that. I think if I am to progress as a writer I need to let go of some of my 'babies' and let them fly in the world. After all, doesn't all writing need its reader?

So I am going to try something different. I am going to try podcasting! I've looked into this before and done nothing about it but this time I'm determined to give it a go. I intend to write some short pieces that I will read out on a short podcast and let my words go, to sink or swim in the real world. I also want to look into the possibility of doing some self publishing, online stuff for kindle and other e-readers. All this will happen in the New Year, fingers crossed and you will probably get fed up with me banging on about it then as I start the marketing and publicity.

So you heard it here first. There will be a big leap of faith in the New Year and I'm already thinking of excuses why I shouldn't do it, so wish me luck!