Tag Archives: A Writer’s Life

A Writer’s Life: Creating Something New

One of the great things about being a writer, and living an author’s life, is that we can be confident that we’re making a difference in the world.  Each turning point, thrill, laugh, satisfying ending we write, is an act of creation, leaving the sphere of readership a little richer.

The Big Picture

Jean Rhys wrote, “All of writing is a huge lake.  There are great rivers that feed the lake, like Tolstoy or Dostoyevsky. And then there are mere trickles, like Jean Rhys.  All that matters if feeding the lake.  I don’t matter. The lake matters.  You must keep feeding the lake.”

Thinking of the big picture is one of the great methods for getting down to work, feeling the energy that accompanies the understanding that what we do, matters.

I hope you’ll have another brilliant writing week. Cheers, Mel

If you’re a fan of Mel Anastasiou’s writing tips, you might try her pocket-sized writing guide The Writer’s Boon Companion: Thirty Days Towards an Extraordinary Volume. Motivates, organizes, encourages, inspires.

From Pulp Literature Press


On, Beside, Atop the Standing Desk

editorial-writer-forest-smallThe standing desk began to trend on Facebook a while back.  Churchill used one to write and edit.  Learning this, I perk up and look more deeply into the concept.

Companies are still making standing desks.  I don’t care for the look, though. And, I already have a desk with drawers and a flat surface.

So, I look at raising my writing desk to standing desk level.  What if I were to balance  it on stacks of books, once I know what  height it should be. So, I measure the distance between the top of my head and the screen, then subtract the difference between the top of my head and the floor sitting, and standing.  Or something. And come up with a number of centimeters that put my desk in a weird half-space at the window and me working in full view of all my neighbours, which is distracting to creative thought, especially with the desk falling off the stacks of books all the time.

I check out portable Victorian pulpits. Small ones, you know. They do exist, ebay-ers, but our flat is also small, and there is really nowhere to put one except the bathroom, and then the hamper will have to sit on the bed.

But, man, I’m picturing Churchill, standing at his desk to work (when not working in his bath). There’s got to be a way.

So, I measure the kitchen counter, which is 4 cm too short, and find a big wide book that measures 4 cm from the countertop to support my laptop. I put a block of wood at my foot to act as a foot rail, like the ones in wild-west bars. True, I have to clear my laptop away to cook at all, and wipe down my counter to work, but the view of the Victorian pub, sometimes accessorized with Morris dancers, traffic accidents, and magpie battles, inspires me.  And the extra movement and shifting of position, when combined with taking walks outside, helps enhance this happy-brain profession so that it’s a more movement-oriented career.  As well, for those of us working on computer screens, it’s well to know that we’re meant to look up and focus into the distance every few minutes. I find I do that when I’m standing far more than when I’m sitting.

Now, to turn off my wifi.  Lovely.  Oh! Look, a squirrel.

Cheers, Mel

Pulp Literature is running, with terrific rewards, a Kickstarter campaign to startup a boutique publishing house, with Allaigna’s Song: Overture  leading the way to more fantasy, science fiction, mystery, steampunk, and historica titles.

45eeddf5c7712aa1b4db548092c36a3b_originalHere’s where to get it: Kickstarter’s Pulp Literature Press, Something Novel.

Your Writer’s Life: Six Ways You’re Living it Now

summerFew will argue that the path to being a full-time writer isn’t a challenging one, but then it’s also difficult to become doctors and lawyers and such.  I observe that nobody says to those aspirants, as they say to writers, “Ha, don’t quit the day job.” Instead they exclaim, “Wow, a doctor, good for you, that’s a hard career to get into. How are you going to manage that?”

It’s a good question for us to answer anyway.  And it’s a time-management, organizational question. 

Here are six ways to know you’re closer than you ever thought to success in your writing career.

  1. You think and plan both long-term and short-term.
  2. You rely on preparation and love of the craft to write, rather than the inspiration of the moment.
  3. You have already found ways to encourage and give back to other writers.
  4. You think beyond the manuscript to reaching your readers.
  5. You can answer the question, “What’s your book about?” in a sentence.
  6. You devise a way to carve out a few large (1 ½ hours perhaps for drafting and revising) and many small (3 to 10 minutes for planning, polishing, and marketing) chunks of time during the week. These blocks of time may be flexibly scheduled but are certainly sacrosanct.

All the success experts insist that we need dreams of success to help spark action, and time management common sense agrees that if you’re excited about something brilliant and feasible, you’re likely to do the hard work that’s needed to achieve it with efficiency and focus.

I hope you’ll have a terrific writing day today.