Writing + editing at the same time – A bad Idea?

Now here’s a thing – my current target is to increase my word count of my WIP by c 5000 words per week. That seems to me a realistic target and on that basis I SHOULD have a finished first draft within a month. (I wanted it for Christmas, but hey, January would be fine.) My normal practice is to start each day by re-reading the last few pages I wrote and do a little light editing as a way of getting me back into the mood of the piece and then move on to fresh writing. Some days it works better than others and I can fly along (well if you can consider writing 1200 words ‘flying’.) Other days I struggle to grind out 500 words.

But this article Drafting + Writing + Writer’s Block has got me wondering. Do we in fact use a different part of the brain for these two functions? I don’t know enough about brain function to know, but I think I should try to find out. Because if this is true it could be a game-changer (and I might even get that draft finished sooner than I thinkā€¦)

So if anybody out there knows the answer to this question, please tell me. And if you’ve got any experience to share I’d love to hear it.

Weather, word count and (the vagaries of) WordPress

Yesterday it rained, seriously rained, and not realising that an online friend was living in France I got worried when she talked of a forecast of another week of heavy rain. Not good news, I thought, contemplating our own impending family holiday in the UK. Screenshot 2014-07-09 13.43.30 Huge relief this morning to wake to glorious sunshine (and to realise my mistake regarding said friend’s location.) And to find on a 15 day forecast (likely to be unreliable I know, but still) that we should have some dry days next week, even if not a heat wave.

Screenshot 2014-07-09 13.50.06The rain yesterday was helpful in one respect though – it started me on a read-through of current WIP, which turned into a light edit, which I quickly realised was cutting a significant number of words from the total, mostly in ones and twos. That is a very good feeling, as cutting away the slack is always satisfying, almost as satisfying as getting new words on the page.

Today I managed that as well, tackling an event that I’d been putting off writing about for some time. I’m not quite finished yet, but pleased with the way it’s going and though today the word count is going up and down, i’m keeping track both of cuts and new writing and correspondingly encouraged on both counts. Screenshot 2014-07-09 13.52.06

And WordPress? Well, I’ve been trying over the last two weeks to re-vamp my rather boring website / blog to make it more user-friendly and, I hope, more colourful and interesting. Having solicited advice I was asked why I had blog posts on my home page and was told I should try to separate them and leave my ‘landing page’ uncluttered.

Once I’d worked out what ‘landing page’ meant, I googled for WordPress help and found clear instructions for what I wanted. (Extremely clear – I managed at first attempt.) However I found that WordPress defaults to posting onto the home page, so now I’m wondering, is there a good reason for that? Should I have changed? Or was it just one of the vagaries of the WordPress system?

On a roll I thought I’d tackle the issue I really want to solve – how to have a page with a contact form on it that would allow anyone visiting my site to leave me a message and their contact details. There does seem to be an ‘Add Contact’ button – only problem is, although the preview shows a blank form, when i upload it onto a page it miraculously becomes pre-populated with MY details. Not what I want at all.

Screenshot 2014-07-09 13.54.20So if any of you technically savvy folk out there can help, I’d be very grateful…

Paying for Cover design – money well spent?

2-second read from the Writers and Artists Yearbook – 2 things a self publishing author should pay for – https://www.writersandartists.co.uk/2014/02/respecting-your-reader-what-services-should-you-be-paying-for-and-why1

I totally agree. So was glad to have a mainstream deal which meant these were done. (But even then an eagle-eyed friend spotted a few errors in the final text.) There could have been many more. As for the cover – I love mine and the designer spent quite a lot of time playing around with ideas I had given to the publisher and producing images to go with them – I saw c 15 options, I don’t know how many he/she discarded before I got a chance to look at them, but the end result (I think) is fabulous.

What do you think?