So this week my studio time has mostly been cleaning (totally my fault, of course) but I’m looking forward to having space to work in again.
I’m working 6-7 days throughout February, but have been blessed with two public holidays, so I spent public holiday #1 catching up on admin. Fun times, I know, but it’s an important part of running a creative business and something I am oh-so-slowly getting better at.
The next series, set in The Caretaker Series’ far future, is going to be illustrated by… me! So I’ve started a few sketches for that. I’m not sure where I’m going yet with the illustrations so at the moment it’s exploration stage.
As I wrote the draft for book one of the new series, I could tell how much I’ve improved as a writer. Things that took effort have become easier, and my primary weaknesses (telling not showing, character development, and lack of description) are cropping up less. I’ve started to get some feedback from beta readers (like test or critique readers) and so far it’s been really positive. It’s been fantastic to feel the change in myself and my writing, and to have that affirmed by honest, encouraging readers.
Being further along the writing path has obviously contributed to this, as has my ability to read fiction with an eye to application. When I like (or dislike!) something in a story, I try to tuck it away to sneak into my own writing.
Steal like an artist, right?
But also, writer friend Mark Vrankovich lent me a book that helped him in his own work. The book is Stein on Writing. Stein (Sol Stein, that is) is a ‘master editor’ and gives immediately usable advice and suggestions to improve writing of any genre. Highly recommended!
Any progress I’ve made has been in snatched moments (I don’t know how people do this writing thing with full time jobs and families!) but I have had a little time to daydream about my work in progress – a very important part of the writing process!