Adulthood Non-fiction Observations Writing

A lock down anthology: when this is all over…

The other day I made time to sit down and read through Writing Magazine. Inside was a lovely idea from Jan Moran Neil for a lock down anthology. It will be called When this is all over… she welcomes a selection of poetry and prose of no more than 200 words. ‘Your thoughts, wishes, hopes, reflections on this time.’

Here’s mine…

When this is all over I will appreciate more. A trip to town, a mini-break at the beach, a hug, a social gathering, dinner with those you see the most, and dinner with those you see the least. I will certainly notice nature a lot more and allow it to bring me much happiness whenever I am down. The natural and pure. Children and mothers, wildlife, the trees, birds, grasses blowing in summer breeze, colours of lavender fields and smells of pollen.

I will enjoy sleep because I now know what it is to be deprived of it. On days when I feel on top form and full of energy I will give thanks, for so long I have been run down during lock down. Clear skin showing my radiance as oposed to spotty stress. A spring in my step and a smile on my face rather than clumping along with a frown.

Never again will I moan about slowness under pressure while waiting in queues. Instead I will understand the meaning of pressure and give the staff a break. I will try not to worry about money. I will endeavour to be kind.

When this is all over I will appreciate the freedom we can so easily be denied. Lock down 2020 – back to basics, simplicity and a love for life.

Now try yours…

Non-fiction Recommendations Review Writing

Writing Magazine: a review

For over a year now I have been a proud subscriber of Writing Magazine.

Each month another issue arrives through my letter box and I indulge in its variety of useful and interesting content. Every issue is packed full and thicker than your average magazine so I admit that sometimes a pile builds up beside my bed of those that are still to be properly read.

I initially skim through, perhaps picking out articles that particularly stand out and read them there and then. I then put it away for a day or two until I find time where I will read through properly and enjoy every minute of doing so.

From competition entries to writing news, author stories and everything else in between, Writing Magazine offers a superb selection of opinions, information and ideas to develop your writing technique.

Since subscribing I have undertaken a writing course, appeared on the letters to editors page, entered numerous competitions, taken on board book recommendations, discovered new writing exercises to spark up ideas and learnt so much about this weird and wonderful industry.

Encouraging, inspiring, informative, interesting, entertaining, witty, realistic and fabulous. That is how I would describe this brilliant and useful magazine. Long will I subscribe and if you’re interesting in writing and reading then you should consider subscribing too!

Non-fiction Writing

20 writing goals for 2020

  1. Enter 10 writing competitions
  2. Finish book 2
  3. Publish my debut novel
  4. Work hard
  5. Encourage others
  6. Finish my Writers Bureau Writing Course
  7. Attempt writing for radio
  8. Write more in different settings
  9. Write some happier fiction
  10. Keep it up with my blog (at least 2 posts a week)
  11. Earn some money from my writing(!)
  12. Attend literary events
  13. Embrace conversations when people are upbeat about my writing
  14. Read more brilliant work of others
  15. Read more around topics like social media, blogging and self-promo
  16. Take myself off to places to gain inspo and ideas
  17. Start another novel???????????????
  18. Read my writing magazine WHEN it shows up
  19. Stay positive and enthusiastic
  20. Keep going
fiction Writing

Dining Room

Dad and I have been waiting for our starter for over fifteen minutes now since ordering and I am beginning to get impatient. The hunger is very real shown through the embarrassing grumbles in my stomach and the angry expression which I can feel upon my face so I try to take my focus elsewhere to forget about it for a while.

A voice beckons from the entrance where the diners have only just arrived, but a man in a black suit impatiently fidgets which I guess is so that he will be noticed by the wait staff. His wife is swiftly tugging at his suit jacket to prompt him to quit the act, but his frustration is showing through the redness and stern expression all over his face. The quiet atmosphere in the restaurant calls for only whispers so though he is speaking soft but firmly, his words appear as a bellowing as if he’s at a fun fare with a homophone attached to his jaw.

Eventually a nervous waitress attends to them when he almost leads her to an available table and pulls out the chair for himself before his gentlemanly duties of allowing his wife a seat first.

A man to the left of the couple is clearly indulging in a similar form of scrutiny as myself as I can clearly see his right eye glaring at them while attempting to act subtle by keeping his left eye focussed on the menu. His hands are shaking as if he is waiting on a first date with a beautiful lady but the rest of his body appears to be waiting on no one. His gaze keeps shifting between the couple and his menu so that when the waitress asks him if he is ready to order, he directs her away to give him some minutes more.

While the couple to his right are ordering with the poor waitress, his attention shifts to elsewhere in the room bringing my focus there as well. It is at this moment that I realise I am no longer people watching but rather following this man and his thoughts.

A couple are quietly but equally loudly showing their affection for one another. The observing man looks concerned at this but the man involved is beaming with happiness and pride. Having already demolished their starters to not miss out on lovingly kissing while they await the mains, the lady sidles up to the man in a teasing manner ending with her sat upon his knee.

So that I don’t look obvious in my observations and because it’s making me a little queasy, I remove my gaze from the two and back to the single man who looks more depressed than before. The couple to the right are onto their mains when I notice Dad’s Mussels coming out.

Recommendations Review Writing

Top 5: advice from a writer starting out

I would class myself as a writer. Yes, I’m a writer. I have had things published both online and in print, but I have by no means made it. In fact, I am at the very beginning of my career (if I can even call it that yet).

I blog (as anyone reading this already knows), I write for an online blog (paid, but not much), I desperately try to get commissioned for more articles for a variety of publications and I am working hard to get my first novel polished up so it is ready to send out.

Whether you’re a writer also, perhaps more experienced (which isn’t hard) and haven’t yet come across these useful materials, or simply interested in the writing industry and want to learn more about it, then here are five helpful sources for you to check out whenever you get a chance.

So far they have helped me, inspired me and deeply interest me. Here goes.

The Bookseller

I came across The Bookseller website on recommendation from a research source that I was using and so far I have found it fabulous.

The Bookseller has been the magazine of the book trade since 1888 reporting on all important news and trends within the industry. I personally have found it so great because like just about everything since 1888 it’s moved on and is no longer just a magazine. Now, with a small subscription fee you gain access to the most useful information in so many different forms.

From the official website bringing breaking news and a blog, to the magazine itself and everything in between. My favorite means of accessing this material is through the monthly podcasts containing interviews with authors, the book doctors giving advice on what to read and why, and comments upon general trends in terms of what is selling as well as useful discussions about the complexity of genre, for example. Trust me, this source is fab.

Writing Magazine

I have subscribed to the Writing Magazine for over a year now.

Although bombarding myself with the amount of information inside each monthly issue can seem overwhelming from time to time, having a glance each month, a longer look at what interests me and a pile by my desk to address when needing information or inspiration about writing is crucial to my work and interests.

Not to mention my letter getting published on the Letters to the Editor page in December, that was pretty cool.

Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook

Since undertaking my degree I have leaned on the Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook as a bible for my future career and a recommendation by every tutor that I had. The huge volume is packed full of everything you need to know from how to write to which agents to approach when sending out your first manuscript.

It contains agent and publisher listings, magazine and newspaper listings, articles about specific topics from the traditions such as writing a cover letter and what to include in your synopsis, to tackling the most current issues like self-publishing.


Twitter is so useful in so many ways. Not only does it keep you right up to date with celebrity gossip, trending news and the latest remarks from Katie Hopkins, but it is very handy in the literary world as well.

I follow every agent and publisher I have ever approached, I follow many authors too and more recently I have been using my personal profile purely from a writing perspective which has in turn increased my following from people within the writing community too.

It is a quick, easy to use and important thing to have both to learn about current writing news and trends as well as upping your following and trying to get both your name and your work out there. Follow me if you wish @MillsWriting


It almost goes without saying but by far one of the most important and beneficial things to do when trying to become a better writer is to read, read and read some more.

Having recently finished a first draft of a first novel, I can tell you from experience and I know that my work is better when I have been actively reading more alongside my writing.

Reading gives you ideas, inspiration, stylistic tips and the chance to discover what works for you and what doesn’t.

So there we have it, just a few ideas for some useful material if you wish to improve your writing skills, learn more about the industry or merely listen to some interesting discussions about books. Enjoy!