The Writing Life


Life as a writer

by Annette Young

Someone asked me the other day why I write. It’s not a simple answer, it’s complex because it is such an integral part of me. When I tried to explain that I couldn’t halt the sway of characters or ideas that popped into my mind, that I lived and breathed my role as a writer because not only was it my career but I truly loved it and needed it, I could see them mentally calculating my sanity, or, at the very least, wondering how I was able to function in the real world.

But this is both the joy and the plight of the writer.

We are firmly contained within our own thought processes and life outside of our creative imaginings is often not as vibrantly rich or as fulfilling. I’m often guilty of switching off and slipping into my own make-believe zone as a potential whopper of an idea comes to mind. I often return to the present wide-eyed, wondering what I have missed. 

Not everyone can understand what it means to be a writer. Certainly, some people may not be supportive of your creative drive. This is because it is an alien occupation to many. It’s isolating and, time-consuming. You need to slip into the story-line, see it and feel it and become a watcher on the side lines of your own story. For family and friends, your writing passion may be just an annoyance, it takes you away from the family unit, it means you don’t listen to them or notice when those little jobs need doing. Often there’s a disbelief that it is possible to support yourself or to make a living through the written word. But whether you are as yet unpublished or, have started to carve out your niche as a writer, it’s more about the enjoyment of writing and of being able to satisfy those creative urges.

I think this….write because you need to, write because it feels good and write because you cannot imagine ever doing anything else. 

Writing Tip of the Week 32

Rage in creative writing

Using anger in fiction is a seriously great way to engage the reader and to help progress the story-line as long as you do it right. You can’t just write a passage where the characters seem to be angry and hope that you have conveyed the emotion, you have to feel the anger to be able to do so. Cast your mind back to a time when you felt sheer rage, so much so that you felt the pressure was a tangible part of your being and you thought you might explode if you didn’t get that angst out. This is exactly how you need to feel to be able to write it. I am not suggesting that you wait until your next bout of anger, but you can recall the memories easily enough and it’s that experience that you are after. Try it and see. You’ll have your story and characters come to life far more quickly. 

Writing Tip of the Week 31


When writing fiction, just remember that your readers need to engage with your characters so give them one to believe in, to connect with and to cheer on as the character overcomes all of the main obstacles planted skilfully in their path. There must be something likable about the character though, so that the reader wills them on, investing in their development by giving up their time. 

Writing Tip of the Week 25


Writing tipHere’s a quick writing tip – if you write on a part-time basis, you will forever be trying to find the time for your writing and nothing is more frustrating than having a day off so you can indulge your creativity and then the words will not come. The best way to avoid this is to prepare your creative pursuits the night before. Have a list, some opening sentences, some ideas…anything that will fire up your imagination. It’s typical that when we have little time, that’s when the creative inspiration mocks us, but a little organisation, and you can be ready to write the moment you awake and, you’ll be more productive from the word go.

Writing Tip – Go Back So You Can Move Forward

Writing tips

Annette Young - Authorby Annette  Young

We all need a little help and encouragement sometimes. Even with all of my years of experience writing for myself and for clients, it’s still nice to get some really positive feedback.  A few of my more recent clients did just that, they rated my work and said that they absolutely loved the articles I had provided for them. A little bit of encouragement goes a long way and I have to admit, it’s a good feeling.

But if you haven’t published any work yet or, if you have not started writing for clients, how do you know if your work is good, or, if it is getting better? Well, of course there’s my evaluation service which gives you a comprehensive breakdown of your fiction, articles or book, but here is a writing tip that most of you will be able to utilise even if you have limited experience;

Take a look back at your first pieces of writing and analyse them. I can almost guarantee that you will see a massive improvement if you compare it to your recent writing samples.

I did this a few weeks ago. Having moved house, I had the joyous task of sorting through some boxes that had been stashed away and as I did so, I uncovered my trusted case which holds all of my early writing samples. These date back to the 1980’s and continue into the ’90’s so you can imagine, it’s easy to look back and compare. I spent a few hours taking a trip down memory lane and each piece of writing, now faded and fragile, brought back sharp memories of those times.

Now, I always (modestly) thought I could write and write well but when I look back at those early stories which were submitted to women’s fiction magazines, I can quite see why they were returned to me with a no-thanks. The same with my articles.

Although I didn’t see a drastic improvement at the time, I can now. That’s a great feeling by the way and it confirms your belief in your writing abilities. So, my tried and tested writing tip is to rummage through your old manuscripts and take a long, hard look at your early efforts, now compare them to your recent writing attempts and you will see just how good you are.

What better incentive is there to carry on writing?