The Rhythm of Life~~by John Nedwill

By the time this is published, we will be almost a year into the official declaration of the COVID-19 emergency in the UK. Since then we have been in and out of various stages of quarantine, we have been isolated from our friends and families and we have lost so many people on the way. It has not been a good year for so many of us.

I am one of the lucky ones. In the last year I have lost income, but I still have my job. I don’t see my friends any more, unless it is over a Skype chat. I miss seeing people and going to places that I used to spend time at: cafés, galleries, museums, that sort of thing. However, as a writer I still have one place I can go – my imagination.

Or I used to.

Like many others, I now work from home. The place where I used to sit and write in my notebooks has now become my office. I spend too much time there. What was once my sanctuary, the place where I could go to get away from things, became a place that I had to be, nine hours or more a day. As a result, my writing suffered. When you spend so much time in front of a work-supplied laptop, the last thing that springs to mind is to spend more time in front of another laptop, trying to write. As days blurred together with no way to distinguish them, I decided that I had to do something to get part of my life back. So, I established a new routine.

Every weekday, I am online to work just after 6:30 am. I spend my time in front of their screen, my radio tuned to something vaguely engaging – Radio 4 or Radio 4 Extra for preference. Then, come 3 pm, I stop. That’s it. No more working for the day. I put the work things away and go out for a walk. It gets me out of the house and clears my head. I get back home by 4 pm and get out my Japanese textbooks and language lessons. Until 5 pm, I am immersed in my language studies. After that, it is time to cook dinner and spend time with my daughter. There are days that she is the only other human being that I see.

After 7 pm, it’s time to socialise. There is the usual round of friends and family to talk to, and the (now weekly) meetings of the local writing group on Skype. A couple of nights a month I get together with old friends to play games over the internet. And some nights I write.

It’s not as much as I used to. And it took me a while to establish a new routine where I had time to write. But I am writing regularly and – with the help of friends – getting the feedback I need to keep writing. I have something that works for now.

There’s just one thing that bothers me. One day this is all going to end. And that means I am going to have to establish a new routine.


OMP Admin Note:  John Nedwill is a writer, OMP Network member, and a regular #OneMillionProject Blogger.  His work can be found on Wattpad.com and in the One Million Project’s Short Story Anthologies published in February 2018.


Our short story anthologies written by over 100 writers are now available (links below) with all proceeds being donated to the charity organizations our group supports.

If you are a Kindle Unlimited member, you can read the complete anthology for FREE, and KU proceeds are donated along with the proceeds from the sale of our anthologies.

Our volunteer authors love to see reviews, and every review helps to make the One Million Project’s books more visible to Amazon customers, assisting us in our mission to raise One Million Pounds / Dollars for EMMAUS Homeless Programs and Cancer Research UK.

LINKS

myBook.to/OMPThriller

myBook.to/OMPFantasy

myBook.to/OMPFiction

myBook.to/OMPVarietyAnthology

Do You Really Need An Author Website?~~by Akje Majdanek

Back when Wattpad had a writer community I used to spend a lot of time there, and after they shut it down I moved to the new community. It seems to be pretty much the same people asking the same writerly questions, like How do I get a traditional publishing deal?

The answers are always the same: first go to Publishers Marketplace, QueryTracker, or Duotrope and find an agent.

But the first step really ought to be: build a professional looking website. Why? Because the first thing an agent generally does before taking you on is to find out more about you. Are you a popular author? Do you write anything that would sell big? How much of a following do you have? What kind of social network presence do you have? And a question that’s becoming more pressing these days: are you a liability because you’re a badly behaving author who’s been involved in an internet scandal?

To find out, the agent will google your name and see what comes up. After all, even though the controversy over American Dirt helped make it a bestseller, those in the industry don’t want to actively court disaster. If you’re a hothead with a long history of attacking reviewers, they’re probably going to give you a pass. The first thing that comes up in a Google search should be your author site so they know you’re a serious writer, and it ought to look professional.

Have a gander at some of my favorites:

Stephenie Meyer
Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Judy Moody
Emily Martin
Cassandra Clare
Ben Okri
Shel Silverstein
David Arnold
Vince Frost
Jennifer Egan
Julie James
Elinor Lipman
Jane Austen

Yes, even a dead author can have a gorgeous website, and so can you! It’s easier than you think. Jane Friedman, Joanna Penn and Joe Bunting have written excellent guides on how to do it, and there are probably many more guides online.

I built mine on NeoCities, although I don’t recommend that you get a free one like I did. For one thing, there are usually bandwidth limits with free sites. But I’m dirt poor so I had no choice. You can always upgrade later when you get moolah. WordPress is a good possibility since they offer both free sites and paid, and most of the web runs on WordPress. Squarespace is another popular host.

Things you might want to put on your site:

■ a biography
■ a link to your blog
■ a contact page and list of your social networks
■ blurbs and excerpts from your books
■ a list of scheduled events (lucky you!)
■ news, updates and FAQs
■ book trailers, videos, podcasts
■ your favorite book quotes
■ mood boards, face claims, playlists
■ deleted scenes
■ essays, short stories, early work
■ share your favorite links and resources
■ give them a peak at future releases
■ let them subscribe to your email list

There are probably way more things you could add; just think of what you’d love to see on your favorite author’s site. The important thing is to give your readers, or potential future readers, a good idea of just who you are and what you write. Your site is a great way to brand yourself and get them interested in your work, so be yourself and have fun with it! If you love it, they’ll probably love it too. (*^-‘) 乃


Remember the books you had to read back in high school and college? Books like Animal Farm, Catcher in the Rye, Anna Karenina, The Crucible, To Kill a Mockingbird, A Prayer for Owen Meany, Jane Eyre and a hundred other deep, profound, thought-provoking reads? And remember how you said, “My gawd, those were the most boring books I’ve ever read in my life. I swear I’ll never read anything with literary merit ever again. From now on it’s nothing but sparkly vampires for me!”

Remember that? So who’s writing brilliant stuff like that today? Who’s writing the books that future students will complain about in the universities of tomorrow?

Akje has no idea, but she’d love to find that author, buy him a bottle of Beam and plagiarize all his work. (#^.^#)

Links:

Amazon

Dreamwidth

Twitter

NaNoWriMo

Wattpad

Goodreads


Our short story anthologies written by over 100 writers are now available (links below) with all proceeds being donated to the charity organizations our group supports.

If you are a Kindle Unlimited member, you can read the complete anthology for FREE, and KU proceeds are donated along with the proceeds from the sale of our anthologies.

Our volunteer authors love to see reviews, and every review helps to make the One Million Project’s books more visible to Amazon customers, assisting us in our mission to raise One Million Pounds / Dollars for EMMAUS Homeless Programs and Cancer Research UK.

LINKS

myBook.to/OMPThriller

myBook.to/OMPFantasy

myBook.to/OMPFiction

myBook.to/OMPVarietyAnthology