Flower Power ~ A Poem

Flower Power

If I am not your cup of tea,
What makes you think that bothers me?

A jasmine flower would not aspire
To be a snowdrop or a briar.

Yet every flower finds its bee.
It doesn't have to try, you see.

Its perfect self is all it is.
My message to you, dear, is this:

I will not change to match your mood
And so, not wishing to be rude,

Please fly away and find your flower:
Shading mine won't dim its power.

~ Rebecca Woodhead

How Do You Label Yourself?

Here's a new article I wrote for literary e-zine, Words with JAM on the subject of labels and writers. Check it out, here.

5 Steps to Becoming a Novelist

So, you want to be an author? I gave you five steps to writing a novel a couple of weeks back. Now, here are five steps to getting it published.

Find agents and publishers
The standard approach is to submit your manuscript to an agent you find in the Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook, but agents and publishers are people too. These days, you can ‘meet’ them first, online, if you know where they hang out. Find the names of the people you’d like to meet, in the book mentioned above, and look up their blogs. Do not ask questions. Watch for a while. You need to understand what they are looking for and how they think.
Meet agents and publishers
After you have a clear idea of the people you would like to work with, as the relationship you have with your agent and publisher will be a professional one, begin to talk to them. DO NOT PITCH THEM. Comment on their blog posts. Follow them on Twitter, and add to the discussion when it is appropriate and helpful to do so.
Follow influential lists on Twitter, to get a feel for the kinds of conversations that are happening between writers and the publishing industry. One of the most influential writing lists happens to be one of mine – read the rest of the article here (Groupon's blog) but don't forget to come back and comment!

My Video Debut

Here's my very first 'face to camera' video - or at the least the first one that made it to YouTube. Cathie Heath asked to interview me for her blog and I thought it might be fun, having done an audio interview for Brian's blog, to make a video response. I'm wearing glasses too. Bex in spex! Watch it and find out:
  • My very first memory
  • Why writing a novel was a huge accomplishment for me
  • The difference between malnutrition and starvation
  • Why Mary works for an MLM

LinkedIn for Writers ~ The Secrets

In Writing Magazine, this month, I've written about LinkedIn (pages 70 and 71). If you've read it, what new things did you learn? If you haven't got it yet, be quick. They have been selling out consistently this year. My social media series has been really popular. In fact, it has been SO popular that I'm putting together some training right now for later this year, based on these articles.

You may also have noticed that my Word Nerd Monday post for Groupon is about desks and chairs, this week.  I'm doing a mini-series on setting up your writing space, so skip over there when you've finished here and pick up some handy tips.

Meanwhile ... Palaces & Calluses is getting some GREAT reviews. Check out this one from Libri Populus, where my novel is a recommended read!

Thank you SO much if you've bought my book, particularly if you've gone on to recommend it to others. You are an absolute star!!! Don't forget that the book has it's own little site that you can point people to ... palacesandcalluses.com - check it out and let me know what you think.

I LOVE comments *hint*.

Tweet Yourself a Novel!

On Facebook, earlier today, I was having a conversation about the idea that there is 'a book in everyone'. I wondered if that resonated with people. One of the replies was that it did, but that the person didn't have time to write. How often have we all heard (and even said, or at least thought) that? Isn't that the favourite hiding place of the writer? I shared what follows, and it seemed to help some people. I worked it out about a year ago, and it helped a number of people then. Ready for a lightbulb moment?

A novel is a minimum of 50,000 words (non-fiction can be way less). Sounds huge and scary, but... 
  • A tweet is 140 characters. 
  • The average word is 5 characters long (plus a space) so you can fit around 23 words into a tweet. 
  • 2173 tweets = a novel. 
  • That's 5 tweets a day. 
  • If you could find time to write 5 tweets a day - or a couple of Facebook updates - you already have time to write a novel. 
  • In fact, if you've been on social networks for a year or more, you've ALREADY WRITTEN A NOVEL in terms of word count. 
How do you feel about starting that novel now?

Happy Writing!


P.S. I've started a group for aspiring writers here. You're welcome to join.

Royals, Romans, Class, Celts, and Linguistic Tennis

Here's an audio interview I did for The New Author blog, in which I talk about the background to Palaces and Calluses, and explore the reasons why The Cotswolds area is a magnet for writers, why the class structure is tricky to shift in the area, and what The Celts and Romans have to do with it all.

For the blog post that accompanies this, and a discount code for Palaces & Calluses, go to The New Author.

E-Books Are Not Only Found in The Amazon Reign Forest

There are wonderful e-books all over the web. Not all of them are on Amazon. If you are only used to buying e-books on Amazon, it can take courage to step out of the Amazonian jungle, so I put together a little guide to buying my book.  

(Use the blue tab on the side to zoom in if the text is a bit small on the last bit.)