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About the book
This story is told through two POVs. The MC is Silver, and the other is Eden. Their missions are similar – to find their mother – but their journeys are different.
Silver is a very loveable character. She is a gynoid that was raised within a human rebel camp. She knows very little about her kind, and embraces her mission and all the challenges it encompasses. Her training involves rooms with virtual scenarios but real life consequences.
Eden is a human with a mechanical heart. He grew up within the cruel gynoid queen’s castle and trained as a tinker. Although he isn’t in a jail or guarded, he isn’t free. When he finds himself outside the castle walls, he takes the opportunity to escape and find his mum. This leads him on an adventure of pirates, sirens, and man eating giants – just to name a few.
If you love fantasy and adventure, and want something a little different, this is well worth checking out! Plus, the cover is stunning and there is character art inside.
Both the above sites are currently free to join. Writers post their stories (content) and readers enjoy it, comment, and rate it.
I also included in the books about when Ocean Heart has been given away free. This isn’t something I can do all the time.
I also reminded people that Ocean Heart can be ordered in by libraries. If you have a library card, you can borrow and read Ocean Heart if your library stock it. If they don’t, you can ask them and they’ll need the ISBN.
I hope you enjoy the chapters enough to treat yourself to a full copy. I also look forward to connecting with you on either platform or social media.
This post was really popular last year, so I decided to revamp it and create a series of editing posts.
I love writing. It is so liberating to allow the words to flow out however they may come. But, this means they need to be tidied up later. And, I’m not a fan of editing. Without further ado, here are my tips to make self editing easier.
Take a break from your project
Don’t start editing as soon as it is written. When your writing is still fresh, you will be too close to the text that and will miss mistakes as you know what it is meant to say.
By distancing yourself, you’ll read it with a fresh perspective.
Set Goals & Create Trackers
After giving your novel space, this is the next thing you should do. Setting yourself a target is what will keep you going through your edit. Break the task up into manageable chunks and it will seem less daunting.
I will soon share a post about how I use a spreadsheet for this but for now, here is an example of my paper tracker. Seeing your progress is extremely rewarding and motivating.
I always copy & paste to a new document so I don’t edit the original. This helps protects your work if you realise you cut something you shouldn’t have or find the new version isn’t working.
Change the format
There are several ways to do this and it will result in you seeing the novel from a different perspective.
Print it: I currently don’t have a printer at the moment so can’t take advantage of this one but having a hard copy will enable you to read it in a. You have the added bonus of being able to write notes on your document.
Change the font: Different fonts have different vibes and some fonts will make identifying mistakes clearer. On this note, you may find certain fonts help to be more creative when writing. I would recommend cursive or italic for creativity and sans or serif fonts for serious editing.
Audio: If you have software that reads your text aloud, this can help you hear mistakes. You can also try reading it aloud and see if you stumble over and of the text or parts that don’t flow right.
Today there are no excuses for misspelt words. Every modern word processor program comes with a basic spell checker built in. However, it won’t pick up the misuse of words if spelt or used correctly which leads me on nicely to my next point.
This is so important. A spellcheck is following rules of the English language but when you read it you may find you’ve used the wrong word or the sentence in not saying what you intended. For example, ‘do’ and ‘don’t’ are spelt correct but mean the opposite. Whilst proof reading you will also identify ways to strengthen weak text. I also will highlight text I need to return to look at again.
This is a browser app. On the website I copy and paste the chapter I’m working on into the app. I tend to proofread in this app as it highlights weak words like those ending in ‘ly’ and passive words. It also highlights complex sentences which you may want to simplify for your readers.
It grades your writing. You don’t necessarily want a high grade. If your novel is graded high then it might feel like a chore for your readers. It actually is more enjoyable if it is a lower grade.
Hemingway will slap you in the face with your over use of ‘just’, ‘that’ and other unnecessary filler words.
Next, I paste my chapter into Grammarly. This focuses on different qualities in your writing and always makes further suggestions. It often picks up on my over or under use of commas.
It is an advanced spell check but it is following a set of rules and sometimes writers like to break these rules. For example, it might identify a character is not speaking in a grammatically correct way but maybe I want them to speak like that. This is why you must always review the suggestions.
I prefer the browser version to the mobile app.
Find & Replace
Use F&R to replace name changes or look for repetitive words. You can also use it to check for mistakes with spacing.
I used it to check my formatting for speech so I get it to find ” in my manuscript. I’ve also used it to change a name throughout my MS.
I used Save the Cat during my edit to check the pacing of my story.
Based on the original length of the novel, I calculate where in the story different beats should happen. For example, by doing this I was able to identify that my start was too slow so I looked at what was unnecessary to cut.
You’ve spent a lot of time working on your novel so ensure you back it up. There is nothing more upsetting than discovering you lost it.
Easy methods to back up is to save to more than one location: Pc/laptop, USB, Google drive, email yourself.
Once you think it is perfect, it’s time to get a second opinion. Here are a few options to consider:
Editor: Do your research to find one that you would like to work with. There are also different editors for different stages of your book.
Mentor: Work with an experienced author to learn from them.
Critique Group: Join a group of writers to exchange novels and give each other feedback.
Share Online: Post on sites like Wattpad to see how your novel is received.
Beta Readers: Find a group of readers and gather there feedback on your novel (can ask them to complete questionnaires).
Some feedback will be based on personal opinion. Writing is an art after all and you can chose to ignore their suggestions especially if it is pulling you away from your original vision and voice. But if several people are raising issue with the same part, it is likely that they have a valid point. They have taken their time to read your novel and help you, so respect their input and consider their feedback.
Do you use any of the above methods? Have you any tips to add that I missed?
I’ve have recently received my novel back from a developmental edit. The feedback has been unbelievably useful and my novel I once thought was close to ready is now requiring a lot of work.
The editor wasn’t harsh. In fact her feedback is what I have been craving for year. It is like having a best friend who understands what you are trying to achieve and has the skills to help. She has been honest with me about what is and isn’t working and even even shared resources to help me.
For the November 2019 NaNoWriMo there was a new revamped website. I am going to start with how I got on using it and how it affected my NaNoWriMo experience.
All the old information had transferred over except connections. I sent invites out to those I remembered and added some new ones I made via other social media sites. If you would like to add me, I am Redfae on NaNoWriMo.
I still feel the social side of the NaNoWriMo site isn’t really working for me. I can’t figure out the forums but I didn’t have much time to explore them. Maybe they will get easier to navigate as the site develops.
OMG! I love the Stats. I used to have to create spreadsheets to record where I was with my word count and calculate if I am on or off track and how many words I need to do to keep up but the new website does this for you and can tell you cool facts like when and where you like to write.
I found it really motivating to see my overall progress It helped to visually see when I was falling below the line and knew I needed to step up the pace.
You can choose between a bar of line chart. In the above chart you can see my overall progress. I started off ahead of target but after an unfortunate week and a spell of not writing, I struggled to stay on track and then fell behind target. The rest of my NaNo progress is trying to get back on track. On a positive note, you can see that I didn’t give up and the line does keep going up even if it’s not as steep as I needed.
The last few days I really pushed myself to catch up and managed to write 6k on the final day! That was my best daily word count all month. This bar chart really highlights the days I skipped. Those days were detrimental to me reaching 50k, but sometimes I need to take a break for my own well being and I didn’t want to burnout.
Here are links to my weekly writers diary for you to learn more about how my NaNo weeks went (click on the picture):
Here are the last final two days of my writers diary:
Fri, 29 Nov
I dropped Noah off at school. I then needed to call the doctor about Aria’s shoulder making an odd popping sound (they booked me in for a call back). I had to call Very because they had sent me my order twice and charged me twice – no thank you. Once that was done, I decided to take Aria to a local playgroup as she missed out last week. I kept my phone on so I could hear if it rang.
When I was about to leave the playgroup I saw I had a text from the doctor’s surgery to say they had tried to call but there was no answer and I needed to call if I still wanted to be called. It was odd because there was no missed call on my phone. I rang to get put back on the waiting list. Although Aria isn’t in any pain, I want her to be seen as she is always doing crazy stuff all the time and I worry she may have hurt herself and just not let us know.
Finally, I got a call back and had to accept an appointment when Aria usually naps. I dreaded I was in for a grizzly afternoon but she wasn’t too bad at the doctors. In fact, being sleepy probably helped as she wasn’t tearing up the place. The nurse that saw her wasn’t concerned about Aria’s shoulder and said to keep an eye on it. If Aria appears to be in pain then take her straight back otherwise hopefully it will go on its own (I’m to keep an eye on it for 1 to 2 months).
I then did school pick up and as Noah was trying really hard to be good, I took him to a local sports club that he has been banned from (by us) for four weeks. Noah got so excited at the class that he was bouncing off the walls, crazy, embarrassing, very naughty. Needless to say, the ban is back.
We got home and had dinner. Then I got on the PC and forced myself to write although I was still quite upset about earlier and feeling a little put out that I am so far behind and unlikely to make 50k. I am now aiming for 40k. I did pretty well and ended the night at 39k. I feel motivated that I can meet my new goal tomorrow.
Sat, 30 Nov
My husband let me have a lay in which I used to write an impressive 2k, on my mobile phone, in bed. It made me feel great knowing I have achieved over 40k today when I thought it would be impossible as I have a very busy day planned. One appointment cancelled, giving me a little more breathing space.
My husband took Noah to get his hair cut. Then, I took both children for a Christmas photo shoot. I booked it because I really struggle to get nice pictures of them. They are both full of energy and struggle to stay still.
Sadly, Noah was still in his silly mood. He was photo-bombing Aria’s pictures and running in-front of the light and casting shadows. He was messing around with the props and climbing all over the furniture and trying to touch the very expensive camera. The photographer polite and patient with him but I am not hopeful that we managed to get any pictures – I now have to wait and see. Once out, I asked Noah why he did it. He was ‘excited’ and he wanted more pictures.
Aria was no angel either. She didn’t want to stay on the set or sit still – this is the reason my pictures of her are a blur or she’s half out the shot. I really felt like giving up and then I saw a cute picture of her on my phone that I took on holiday. I posted it to Instagram and it shared to Facebook. One of my friends commented “She’s gorgeous but she would look even prettier without the dummy x”. It broke my heart. I thought it was a cute picture and I was being judged for allowing my baby a soother. People are always judging parents and I was at breaking point. I wanted to send her the study on Sudden Infant Cot Death that showed dummy use reduced cot death by 90%. Yeah she might not look pretty with it, but she’s happy, she’s safe, she’s sleepy and I have a photo of her. But, I didn’t fight back. I was exhausted, feeling like a terrible mother and I just cried.
My husband gave me a prep talk and helped me feel better about myself. They are both going through tricky stages. Noah will learn to control his energy. Aria is just running everywhere and climbing everything because she’s discovered she can and the novelty will wear off – hopefully, soon before she hurts herself.
I got on the PC straight away and decided to write to see how close to 50k I could get. I finished at 45,062 words. It might not be 50k but I a damn proud of myself.
World Indie Warriors Live
Another massive achievement for me was going live on Facebook. I did on the World Indie Warrior Facebook group and hosted a live write in. It was lots of fun and really motivating.
I don’t know about you but Monday are meh. But, getting online and chatting with other writers reminded me that I am not alone. I am part of team. This indie community is so supportive and we cheered each other on. We shared what we were working on and I read out samples of their projects that they share with me (including some very steamy scenes).
As I completed chapters during NaNoWriMo, I posted them to Wattpad. You can read them here in my novel Diamond in the Sky. I warn you it is a real first draft!
I’m really pleased with the progress I have made and can see me finishing this novel. NaNoWriMo estimates it will be finished by 5 December but it needs to be more than 50k to be done.
I am going to continue writing it whilst Jewel of the Sea is getting edited. That’s right! I paid for an editor for my birthday and I am taking those first steps to publish my debut novel. Wish me luck.
I created this cover in Canva using an image from Unsplash.
Another busy Friday. At drop off I chatted to the mums who are organising Noah’s joint party (it’s there kids birthday too and our kids are all friends). We got nattering about what was left to do and who was doing what. Luckily, I didn’t get asked with anything -yay!
I was then late for play group and in desperate need of cat food. So, I decided to do a Sainsbury click & collect order so I didn’t have to traipse around the store – I really don’t enjoy shopping. I also needed a gift for a party Noah was attending after school and added it to my order. I was feeling super savvy as I sat back and enjoyed the rest of my morning.
Then Aria came with me to an afternoon work Christmas meal. I couldn’t make the evening one, nor could some of my colleagues so we decided to have our own mini get together. We went to Shelly’s which is a student run service restaurant. It enables the students to get valuable experience alongside their qualification. The students handled Aria amazingly. She was a terrible rude customer, pointing and shouting nonsense words. They played catch with her cracker that she kept tossing and demanding back. They cleared up her mess as she nibbled food, then threw it on the floor. They did it all with a smile and kept my little diva happy. Aria embarrassed me as expected but the students really impressed me.
Aria fell asleep in the car and I had a few minutes to pack a change of clothes for Noah before the school run. I picked Noah up and we went to collect my order from Sainsbury’s. When we arrived I was told the phone lines were down and they couldn’t process my payment. We waited 20 minutes before I had to go to get Noah to his friends party. My fabulous plan quickly unravelled. I had to apologise for not having a gift but hopefully bring it at pick up. Luckily when I returned to the store the problem was solved and the guy who greeted me couldn’t apologise more.
I then rushed home to let my husbands best friend in. Then I was back out to collect Noah.
I wasn’t able to use the computer so I wrote on my mobile, writing over 2k.
Sat, 23 Nov
Today has been busy. I tried to return a baby sling to the sling cafe but it’s closed so I have tried to find out where to return it now. Instead, I headed into town and delivered a bag of clothes to H&M to receive £5. They were all things I couldn’t sell I.e stained or odd socks. They break the fibres down and use them to make new clothes for their conscious collection. It’s the first time I did it and loved how simple & rewarding it was.
The afternoon flew by and before I knew it it was time for Noah’s party. It was lovely to see all the children playing together – we really didn’t have to do much. Plus people wanted to play with Aria so I got to sit down – such luxury. I was grateful to Chloe & Helen, the two mums that shared hosting the party. They really are a blessing in my life.
We got home late with the kids (past their bedtime). By the time they were tucked up I didn’t feel like writing and broke my writing streak. I was disappointed in myself later. I should have written something, even of if it was only a sentence.
Sun, 24 Nov
Today, we had family visiting. We hurried around to get out and see them (met up at my mum’s home). There is something wholesome and lovely about being with people you’ve known and loved your whole life. We got Aria home for her nap and then I spent time talking to my husband. NaNoWriMo has left him feeling a little neglected. We also got on the computer together to do a little Christmas shopping.
We had a lovely day but the time flew by and when I finally got the kids to bed and was able to sit at the PC, I didn’t feel like writing. Oh no, I was ready to procrastinate! First I browsed online shopping sites making wish lists I never intend to buy. Then when I open my word document, I had to stop to get a snack, then a drink, then another snack. I was chatting on social media. Until, I realised what I was doing and stopped myself. I managed 1k before bed. I needed a lot more!
Mon, 25 Nov
Today flew by. I ran around after a tiny whirlwind trying to keep the house in order. When Aria finally napped I had too much to do that I didn’t have time to write.
After school, my family cane over to visit and Noah made them his first ever mug of tea (with supervision).
I had trouble getting Aria to sleep but once she they both went to sleep, I jumped online to host my live write-in on World Indie Warriors Facebook group. We did two 10 minute sprints and it got me in the mood to write. One of my friends sent me a steamy extract from her novel which was rather distracting but I still managed to write 1.5k.
Tue, 26 Nov
Today was my long day at work and everyone is talking about getting ready for Christmas and I am not ready.
Once the kids were in bed I spent the evening browsing online and deciding what to buy.
I write zero words. Boo!
Wed, 27 Nov
Today is my short work day, but I get no lunch break and as soon as I finish it is a mad rush to get the kids.
Today is my mum’s birthday so we popped over after school pick up to see her.
I didn’t get to write until the kids were in bed. I made sure I did.
Thurs, 28 Nov
Today, was my long day at work. It was an odd day. I saw a student I hadn’t expected, and I didn’t see the student I planned to see. I had a bizarre lunch but managed to write 500 words.
I was glad to get home and see my family. Once the kids were in bed, I relaxed in the bath. My husband was surprised to find me in the tub and not writing. I explained I am not going to make 50k. He gave me a mini prep talk. I got on the PC and ended up with 1.5k.
Week one total
To be on track I need to have reached 46,666 so I am behind.
Finishing the second week my grand total is: 36,567 words.
I’m 14k behind with only 2 days left. Although it is possible to write 7k a day it is unrealistic for me. I have a really busy weekend coming up so I will only get to write in the evenings. I’m going to push for 40k though. Wish me luck…
Today was a non-pupil day meaning Noah was off school, so I had to energetic children to entertain. I decided to also take my niece and nephew out as their mum does a lot for our kids. With a full car of kids, I took them to a soft play centre to wear them out. The older kids were great and helped keep the little ones busy but I was constantly on the go.
When we got home, Aria napped and I used the time to support Noah with his homework and make important calls.
My husband needs the PC tonight so I am using the time to update my blog on my mobile and read a book.
Sat, 16 Nov
I’m very conscious of the fact that I need to catch up. When my husband took the kids out for a walk I jumped at the chance to get on the PC achieving almost 2k before lunch.
I really enjoyed what I wrote. Chapter 13 overlaps the epic battle from Jewel of the Sea at the end of the book. Where Mariah was unleashing her powers, Kya is at her lowest point. It was fun to write such a powerful scene from such a hopeless perspective and feel anyone that has read Jewel of the Sea will notice the stark contrast making the chapter very different between the books.
Aria was a little difficult to get to sleep and wanted extra cuddles. We think she’s having a growth spurt or teething as she’s extra hungry too but I finally got on the PC and added another 2k.
Sun, 17 Nov
We’ve had a very chilled out day today but this afternoon we discovered Aria has a rash on her body. We think it might be a heat rash so we stripped her off to cool her down.
I also spent a lot of my writing time chasing authors for their bios, profile pics, book photos and blurbs, etc. Back in October, I volunteered to create the World Indie Warriors catalogue to help promote their books to potential customers. I asked for details before NaNoWriMo started so I could finish it before this started but it didn’t happen. I’m really enjoying the creativeness and playing in Canva. It reinforces the feeling I would love to work in graphic design but I have no idea how to get into it.
Mon, 18 Nov
The rash hasn’t gone. So the first job of the day was to get her an appointment. I had to wait for a call back from the GP to decide if they will see her. It left me in limbo, watching my phone, waiting for the call but when they rang they offered 3:50pm. I knew this would be a rush with the school run so we hurried straight there and arrived with only a minute to spare. In my haste, as I leaned into the car to get the changing bag, I caught Aria’s forehead on the corner of the door. At first I thought it was nothing and gave her a kiss as we ran to get checked in. Then Noah needed a wee so i got him to the toilet. Whilst we waited for him I noticed the massive bruise swelling up before my eyes. By the time we got called in, it looked terrible. The GP was lovely and checked her over and gave me advice for head injuries (just in case) although he felt it wasn’t as bad as it looked. Then he checked out her rash (the reason for the visit). It turned out to be an allergic reaction. He gave us a prescription for that – a non-drowsy one because of her bump. Then I explained how she won’t take her chocolate laxative as she doesn’t like the taste so he did her a prescription for the plain which she we tried as soon as we got home and she loves it – yay.
After all that drama, we decided on a McDonalds for dinner. I know its not healthy but… happiness.
Once the kids were in bed, I jumped on World Indie Warriors Facebook page to host my live write-in. We had a great productive social and some people shared some steamy snippets with us. It got me back into my writing.
Tue, 19 Nov
We had a very exciting morning with Noah loosing his first tooth. He went through a kaleidoscope of emotions before becoming excited about the tooth fairy coming.
This then made us late and we were in a mad rush to get Noah to breakfast club and myself to work on time. When i arrived at work, I discovered I had forgot my purse and my stationery. I found a stray pen and my accounts debt showed me how to create a pre-pay card & got my husband to send me his card details so I could buy food.
With no money to spend at lunch, I was focussed on writing and got over 500 words written.
Bedtime was lots of fun with Noah telling his teddies to protect his tooth and only let the tooth fairy take it. Noah was eager to go to bed and agreed to put his tooth in a dish at the foot of his bed as daddy was worried it might get lost under his pillow.
My first job tonight was to email Jewel of the Sea to my editor. Then, I added another 2k to Jewel of the Sea before bed.
Wed, 20 Nov
The tooth excitement continued this morning with Noah waking us up to announce the tooth fairy has been.
Today was my short day at work with no lunch break so I didn’t get to write. I was then in a mad rush to pick up Aria, then Noah.
Noah’s school had a book fair so we had to check it out. I got 7 books for £10 and a percentage from the book sales will go to the school to buy books for the children! Win win!
Aria was in a dangerous mood climbing everything. She seems to be collecting a daily bump or scrape. I’ll be pleased when this stage is over but I fear this daredevil will only get more adventurous – eek!
I couldn’t relax until the kids were in bed. I wasn’t feeling my story tonight but I tried. I tried to encourage myself with chocolate but once the chocolate was eaten I decided to call it a night. I had almost achieved 1.5k so that’s not too bad going.
I ended my day going to bed and enjoy Crown of Conspiracy by Kara A Weaver.
Thurs, 21 Nov
It was my long day at work but I managed to write in my lunch break. After work I was tired and unmotivated to write. In total I wrote 2k. I wanted to write more but the words were not coming.
Week one total
To be on track I need to have reached 35000 so I am behind target. No surprises there.
Finishing the second week my grand total is: 27,471
I’m 8k behind but feely oddly hopeful i can still do this. I somehow need to write 2.5 to 3k per day which isn’t impossible. I’m still pleased that I’m writing and pushing through the tricky parts of the novel.
You are going to want to save this blog post. This post is going to share all the links to the previous hashtag series in one place but it’s going to do more than that. It’s going to share my final tips to help out any writer getting started on Instagram.
Have a public profile
If you are looking to connect with writers and promote your writing, then you need to be visible. If you make your content private people won’t be able to see if they want to follow you.
Complete your bio
Tell people what you are about. If you are a writer/author put it in you bio. I feel I need to add some more detail to mine but it’s way better than nothing.
Create a Link Tree
Instagram only allows you to share one link. Link Tree is a clever site that enables you to link to a page where you have listed all your links. This is useful to sign post people to your other social media accounts (I.e. Twiter, Facebook, etc), your website and/or blog, and sign up to your news letter.
Make use of the name space
I only discovered this recently but when you fill in the field for your name you can also write “author” or whatever else you want to be identified as. This gets picked up by search engines.
Don’t exceed 30 hashtags
You can have up to thirty hashtags on your post. Every hashtag helps you get discovered. However, don’t only use the most popular hashtags. These are good as the hashtag will have lots of followers but your post could get lost in the volume.
Mix up your hashtags
Don’t use the same hashtags all the time. Instagram will think you are spam and ‘shadow ban’ you for using a hashtag too frequently. This means that the algorithm won’t favour you and you are less likely to be seen.
Use different volume hashtags
I don’t know the technical phrase for this but this is what I mean. Some hashtags are very popular I.e. #writersofinstagram (275k posts) . Using a hashtag like this means your post could get lost in the volume as your competing against lots of images being posted frequently with the same hashtag. However, popular hashtags also have more followers and you could be spotted by someone you’ve not connected with yet.
Low volume hashtags tend to be more niche. For example #writersblocksucks has 1k+ posts. People searching for this are likely interested and your post has less competition. Recent posts stay near the top for longer.
Follow hashtags that relate to things you are interested in. This will help you to see what others are posting and discover new accounts to follow & engage with.
Create a hashtag collection
Note down hashtags you find useful. It’s useful to store these on your phone so you can copy and paste when you need them. To discover more hashtags to add to your list, look at what others are using that post similar content to you. So, if your a poet, what hashtags are other popular poets using?
Take part in follow loops
Choose a loop that feels relevant to what you wish to achieve, I.e. similar interests. Follow the loop rules but remember if someone is posting content you don’t like, you don’t have to follow them. What you should not do, is follow to unfollow – it’s just bad etiquette and not how you engage with others.
In addition, a lot of people have ‘follow apps’ to tell them when someone does that. Plus Instagram will detect accounts that follow and unfollow a lot and delete them as they will think you are a bot. The same goes for liking then unliking lots of posts.
I have an iPhone and love certain apps for creating content:
Unsplash has so many free stock photos.
Canva is easy to use to create images and add text and embellishments.
Typorama is great for addding text.
B612 has great filters for taking selfies or animating pictures.
Preview to see how your posts will look in your feed prior to posting.
Planoly to schedule posts enabling you to create your posts ahead of time.
Try new things
I have figured this out over the last few months by daring to try new things. Social Media and trends are constantly changing and you need to move with it. Keep it fun and do what you enjoy. You may even start a new trend.
THE HASHTAG COLLECTION
Click the picture to go to the part of the guide you want to read.
Stay true to yourself. People like personal posts, so post selfies. It’s social media, be social. But, don’t get hung up on followers, likes, comments, etc. Remember, if it gets too much, you can take a break. Writing is what is most important to a writer.
One last tip that works for everything… Create a Pintrest Board to save useful tips and advice.
I had the worst nights sleep. Aria was up every hour – maybe she’s having a growth spurt. We had to wash & sterilise her bottles in the middle of the night as we ran out. We heard Evie have two seizures. And, I had a killer headache, borderline migraine.
In the morning, Rob was going to take Noah to school so I could have a little lay in but it’s hard to sleep with all the noise of people rushing around so I got up. Sadly Evie had a seizure while Noah ate his breakfast. It was the first time he has seen it.l, although we told him she is poorly, it really upset him. Afterwards he claimed he was poorly with a tummy ache and begged to stay home and watch Evie. I let the school know what happened as I couldn’t be sure if he was ill or expressing his sadness, either way he wasn’t going to be any good for class.
I had wanted Noah out the way as we needed to pack for our holiday and help my mum with how to care for Evie and give her medicine. We managed to get it down in time and Noah appeared much better now he had cheered up – phew (he’s usually ill in November).
We arrived at Forest Holidays. Unpacked, ordered pizza, got the kids to bed – Noah was a little tricky to get to sleep as he found the new sounds disturbing. Once they went to sleep my hubby and I enjoyed the hot tub.
Sat, 9 Nov
We woke up after a brilliant nights sleep and our first breast at our lodge.
We headed to the Forest Retreat and got details of the “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt!” trail. Noah read the map and lead us through the forest. He answered the questions, wrote down the answers and read us the field facts. I was very proud of him. We then returned to the Forest Retreat to claim our prize – a copy of the book that inspired the trail. We then stayed for lunch.
Aria was tired and fed, making her a happy content baby that agreed to go down for her nap. Once asleep, we let Noah check out the hot tub. He loved it. He was ready to get out just as the timer went off for 20minutes which is the max allowed for safety.
Afterwards, I tried to get on my laptop to write but it decided to do an update! Why does this always happen when you have limited time? Once done, I managed almost 500 words before Aria woke.
We had a chilled out afternoon watching Incredibles 2. We had dinner, put the kids to bed and then I spent time with my husband. I was then tired and read Crown of Conspiracy by Kara S Weaver before bed.
Sun, 10 Nov
Both kids slept like angels. I gave them breakfast but Aria was in a naughty mood and made so much mess. While I cleaned the dinning room & kitchen, she headed off to the bathroom to throw toilet paper everywhere and empty the bin. She brought me a dirty nappy she had opened to alert me to the next disaster.
We went for a walk before lunch where Aria threw away her hat – no idea where it is. We had lunch, she slept, Noah and I took advantage of the hot tub.
Now, I’m trying to write but do you think my laptop will turn on? It’s been charging all night and now… playing dead. I’m going to have to write on my mobile. Grrr!
Later, we watched a film, had dinner, put the kids to bed and enjoyed our last night here together.
Mon, 11 Nov
I didn’t want to leave the forest but it was time to travel home. Mum gave us an update on the cats and Evie had a bloody paws. It looked like she’d broken her back claws during a seizure. I rang the vet and as she wasn’t in pain and the blood was dry, we agreed to keep her home as bringing her in could cause more distress. The meds seem to be working.
We unpacked, I did laundry and prepared for work. I knew Ofsted were in so I wanted to double check my plan for the day except… where was my diary. I was in a blind panic, cursing myself for unpacking my handbag to use it for a day at the spa. It took me a full hour to figure out where it was. It was then dinner time, putting the kids to bed and then… going live.
Yes, tonight I finally did it. I logged onto World Indie Warriors Facebook group and did a live write-in. We chatted about our projects and writing and did three writing sprints. Once finished I was excited about my novel again and super proud of myself for braving the camera.
Tue, 12 Nov
Today was my long day at work. It felt even longer with Ofsted in as many people were tense, making sure their lessons were perfect. I think everyone did well and I’m silently confident.
Tonight I added over 1k to my word count. I would have liked to have done better but my neck is in pain (I think I slept on it funny).
Wed, 13 Nov
Today was my short day at work. It doesn’t mean I get more free time. As soon as I’m home I’m busy with the kids. Tonight, Rob & I we’re busy wrapping presents for Noah’s birthday. By the time always done I had no time to write.
Thurs, 14 Nov
Today, is Noah’s birthday but I had an early start at work so he only had time for one card and present before breakfast Club.
I expected to be visited by Ofsted today as they have not yet seen me or any of my learners but they didn’t. Although, lots of my colleagues were visited. Today was my last day of work for the week so I will find out how we scored next week. However during my lunch break I wrote a few words and emailed them to myself.
I finished work late so when I got home it was dinner time. Noah waited for me before unwrapping his presents and having cake before bed.
I’m conscious that I am falling behind so I made sure I write tonight. Adding almost 2k to my total.
Week one total
Finishing the second week my grand total is: 14,783
To be on track I need to have reached 23,333 so I am behind.
I’m 9k behind so it is doubtful I will catch up in time to make 50k but the important thing is the progress I have made and will continue to make. I’m not giving up and even if I need a few more months, I will finish this novel.
This morning my mum had Aria but I wasn’t free as I was busy having a check up at the hospital. I tried to jump on the computer to get some writing done before Aria was returned to me but by the time the housework was done, she was home.
I was worried I was never going to get to write today but once the kids were sound asleep I wrote an impressive 2,280 words before heading to bed to enjoy Crown of Conspiracy.
Sat, 2 Nov
My husband let me have a lay in today, except… I didn’t sleep. I was on my mobile making a start on my next chapter and almost got the first 1k done. Great start to the day.
Aria went down for a good nap this afternoon and I stole the opportunity to get writing. My word count is almost at the 2k mark.
I struggled to get the kids to sleep but I wasn’t too worried because of the steady progress I had made throughout the day. Once Aria gave in and went to sleep, I wrote some more but decided to go and read in bed instead of burning myself out too early in Nanowrimo.
I’m very pleased wit my 3,012 words today. I think this will be the daily count to beat.
Sun, 3 Nov
I didn’t have the best start today. Aria decided not to nap and then one of my cats had a seizure.
Evie used to have seizures as a kitten and they thought she had epilepsy but the drugs she’d take would make her drowsy. As she was young and they weren’t often, the vet suggested we see if she grows out of it and she did. She’s been fine for about 7 or 8 years, possibly more. She’s fine now the episode has passed but I’ll take her to the vets tomorrow for a check up.
I was feeling sad about Evie, exhausted because I hadn’t had a break and in no mood to write. But after dinner, Jodie held a spontaneous writing sprint on Facebook. I decided to join in and after three 5 minute sprints, I had my first 700 words of the day. I ended on a cliff hanger. It got me back in the saddle and realised I can do this!
The kids went to bed well and I finished day 3 adding 1975 words.
Mon, 4 Nov
First job of the day was to book my cat into the vets. The health of my family (including my fur babies) will always take priority over my writing. It was only recently I realised that that rule should apply time too. Recently, I’ve also been making sure I’m taking care of myself too. Evie is booked in for 12:10.
The vet was lovely. She checked Evie over and took her bloods. Then went over how to care for Evie whilst having a seizure and when to bring her in as an emergency. I had a little cry when I got home as I’m worried about her but we’ll get the results on Wednesday.
Aria napped and I wrote 600ish words.
I was supposed to host the live write-in on World Indie Warriors Facebook page. Moments before I was due to go online Evis had another seizure. I was moving furniture to keep her safe, then sitting with her whilst she came around and I totally forgot about going live. Thankfully Michelle Raab jumped to the rescue and hosted the session (with a little support from Jodie, her son and a microwave). After the evenings events I just didn’t feel like writing.
Tue, 5 Nov
We had an awful night where Aria was very unsettled. I was up every hour and then had an early start for a long day at work.
Work kept me busy and at lunch I went into town with my colleagues. When I came home I was busy with this kids as my husband nipped out for his dads birthday. Aria didn’t want to go to bed but after two bottles of milk she gave in to her weary eyes.
Then I was free to write but I hadn’t seen Evie all day. I found her hiding behind the sofa and wondered if she’d been scared by the fireworks or had another episode. I coaxed her out with her dinner then spent the evening snuggling on the sofa.
Wed, 6 Nov
Today was my short day at work but as soon as I was done I had my kids.
The vet rang to say the blood tests found nothing wrong with Evie. We discussed what to do next. They could do a scan but whether this finds something or not, the outcome will be to prescribed the same meds and this unfortunately is a trial and error thing to find the meds that work for her. We decided to go straight for the drugs and pick them up tomorrow.
Evie’s seizures have got worst. I think worrying about her is wearing me out even though I don’t feel like I’m thinking about it. I didn’t feel up to writing but wary that I am falling behind.
I sat at the computer and managed to write nearly 2k and posted it onto Wattpad.
Thurs, 7 Nov
Today, is my birthday!
There was a mad rush to drop off the kids and then my husband and I attended a spa for a day of relaxation. It was just what we needed. I made great progress reading my book.
When I got home I opened my cards and text & called people to say thank you.
I don’t know why but relaxing wears me out.I’m shattered. All I did this evening was check in on social media where I discovered some writer friends had shared my pics to help people discover me and my blog. They are good to me.
Week one total
The first week is done and my grand total is: 9,921 words.
To be on track I need to have reached 11,666 so I am a little behind.
If you’ve been following my blog you may have noticed that this year I’ve been really enjoying Instagram. I recently achieve 3,000 followers and I created next months #WIWOctober photo prompt for @worldindiewarriors.
My idea for this post was to share my personal collection of hashtags but as I started writing it I realised it was getting too long! So, I have broken it down into a series of posts.
I am going to start off with tags associated with writing communities I have connected with via Instagram.
Tags for writing communities
There are lots of people looking to connect on Instagram. Here are some of my favourites and tags associates with them:
World Indie Warriors
This is a great group for any creative or indie looking to collaborate and make meaningful connections. This supportive group share tips, resources and support each other’s growth.
Follow @worldindiewarriors and join their group on Facebook. Use hashtags: #wiw #worldindiewarriors
Founder @michelleraabwrites also encourages the use of the hashtags #readersheart #everyonehasastory
Hustling Writers Community
This group is aimed at anyone that aspires to be an author but has to juggle writing alongside other commitments making your dream the side hustle. There are people working full time, studying, parents, carers etc but they are all dedicated to squeezing writing in wherever they can.
This is a networking group to connect creatives together. There is a good mix of artists, writers, musicians, etc. If you would like to meet fellow creatives follow @lizthewritingwiz and join her Fellow Creative Minds group on discord. Use the hashtag #fellowcreativeminds
Authors Challenge 2019
Follow @debratorreswrites and pm her to take part in her monthly challenge. She will add you to an IG chat group so you can get to know other authors taking part in the challenge.
Use the hashtag #authorschallenge2019 and post pictures for the daily picture prompt.
Tags for Wattpad
One of the most popular online platforms for sharing writing is Wattpad so it is no surprise that people are posting to IG about it. You don’t have to follow @wattpad but it is a great way to stay up-to-date regarding the platform.
If you are a Wattpader (reader/writer) here are some tags you may find useful.