1. What Am I Working On?
It would probably be easier to ask what I'm not working on as I always have several projects on the go:
1. Marketing my book: The Writers' Group Handbook, that will be published on 28th Feb by Compass Books www.o-books.co.uk
2. Sorting out the synopsis, contents and first chapter of my next non-fiction book I'm hoping to pitch to publishers soon.
3. Writing article pitches for different magazines
4. Thinking up more short stories to sub.
I think that's quite enough to be going on with!
2. How Does My Work Differ From Others Of Its Genre?
I write in different genres so this is really difficult to answer. With my non-fiction books, I try to write from experience and not necessarily with qualifications to back it up - I commandeer the help of real experts to add that dimension, although my 14 years' nursing experience and qualifications do help me to open doors.
With my short stories, I read what's out there and try and come up with stories in a similar light and structure but with that added quirkiness that makes them unique and stand out from the rest. This is definitely a work in progress as I haven't quite managed it yet, apart from a couple of short stories sold in Australia and in the Weekly News in the UK. But despite the many, many rejections I'm determined to keep working on it!
3. Why Do I Write What I Do?
Because I have to. I could no sooner stop writing than I could breathing. It's as simple as that. It's like a compulsion with me and if I can't get some writing done every day, I'm not happy. I feel very much at home in my little office typing away and can spend many hours absorbed in my writing when time allows.
4. How Does My Writing Process Work?
Every Sunday I sit down and work out how much time I have available for my writing and where I can slot it in in my busy diary. I work full time in a school, so in term-time I'm a little restricted in my writing time but I don't let that put me off. I also have a family who need my time.
Once I know what writing time I have I draw up a table on my computer and write a diary page Monday - Sunday for a week. Then I add in what else I might have to do, or my family's engagements that I need to be involved in . I then slot in my writing time and type in what specific writing tasks I will do in those time slots. Then it gets blu tacked to my office wall, directly in front of me.
It isn't set in stone but it gives me something to work from and lets me see all my writing projects I need to work on for that week. When I've done a writing task I highlight it. It's a lovely feeling seeing all that pink on my diary sheet!
Once I'm in my office I just get straight down to it after ten minutes or so answering e-mails and going on Facebook. I tend to work in two hour slots then have 15 mins for a break and an hour for lunch and an hour for walk - I need fresh air and forward motion to keep my creativity and my body/mind happy and healthy.
I tend to write a (very) rough draft first, then put it down and away for a few days while I work on something else. I always have at least three or four projects on the go in any one week. I like the variety and I find I get much more done if I do it this way.
I invited Gillian McDade to take part in the Blog Tour and she very kindly agreed.
Gillian McDade is a journalist from Co Antrim, Northern Ireland. She has worked for the past 16 years in the print media, and has also made a critically acclaimed short film. Gillian is a vegetarian who is passionate about animal welfare and in her spare time she reads and writes. Her first novel 'Standing Man' will be published by History Press Ireland. Gillian also writes for the Methodist Newsletter in Ireland.
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