Writing Space

And How To Set One Up

June 12

Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

I read a question that was asked on Quora earlier, about how to make a writing space. It got me thinking. There are so many different kinds and variations of writing space, which all depend totally on the individual’s personal tastes.

Some people like a very empty, clear and minimalist desk, with just their computer on it. Some can only write long hand. Some use a mixture of the two, and some like a very busy, almost cluttered work space.

I think I probably fall somewhere near the last category here. My writing space is in my bedroom. My bedroom takes up the entire top floor of the house. I have it partitioned, so that I have a craft room and a dressing room on one side, and then my bed, and writing space on the other.

So, my writing space, basically consists of a square of tables, with a small gap so that I can get into the middle, where my chair is. I have multiple screens, so that I can have all the things pertaining to my current wip visible whenever I want it.

I also have a number of books. Many are on book shelves, which surround my writing space, but I also have several piles on the tables, and these are the ones, which I tend to refer to while I am working. I also have a number of notebooks, and any number of pens and pencils lurking on my desk.

The thing is that sometimes, I like to work on a screen, and sometimes, I like to go a bit more old school, preferring to use pen and paper.

I strongly believe that there is room for both, and I generally just try and see where my mood is leaning. The only thing, in my mind, which is non-negotiable, is that I must show up.

We can spend as long as we want creating the perfect space to write, but if we don’t actually show up and get the work done, then really there’s no point in any of it.

I guess I’m not really answering that question very well, but I don’t think that there’s any kind of magic formula for a writing space. As writers, we’re all so individual, and it is only through some level of experimentation that we will find what works for us.

But really, when it comes down to it, all we really need is ourselves, a willing mind, persistence, dedication, and something with which to capture the words dancing within us.

What do your writing spaces look like? Let me know in the comments.


If you’d like to get updates from me once a week, you can click here… 🙂


Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.

Accountability

And Why It’s So Important

Photo by Renáta-Adrienn on Unsplash

For a long time, my life wasn’t my own, and revolved around someone else. I’m not saying this to try and get sympathy, or because I resent it, but it’s just the truth. This is the life of a carer. This was my lot.

The thing is that now; as I am becoming accustomed to not being a carer, I am having to re-learn what I’m doing with regards my own personal goals, and I am having to re-learn how to structure my time now that I’m not having to fit things in around my caring responsibilities.

Just lately, a very good friend of mine began studying again. She has been using timers to make sure that she is getting a certain amount of studying done per week. This seems to really be working for her, and so I decided to try a similar sort of thing.

However, I have found that working with a weekly target doesn’t seem to work for me. If I have a bad day, I can talk myself into the idea that there’s no possible way of my meeting my targets, and so I give up and start again.

So, this time, I am trying the same tactics, but I’m totalling up my hours for the whole month, and I’m hoping that this way, I can actually stick at it.

Accountability is so important here, especially with us writers, whose only goal setters are ourselves.

So, I’m posting this here as a practice in accountability, and this is my promise to myself that I will write another post on the 20th of June, where I will hopefully be able to tell you that I have succeeded and hit all of my targets.


If you’d like to get updates from me once a week, you can click here… 🙂


Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.

Journaling

Journaling

And why I keep one.

I have kept a journal in one form or another, since I was about ten years old.

I remember when I first made the decision. I had told my uncle that I wanted to be a writer, and his response (apart from telling me that there would be lots of rejection), was to tell me that if I wanted to be a successful writer, then I would need to start the practice of keeping a journal. I stated that very day, in a little, spiral bound notebook, where I had to write the date myself.

I don’t look back at those journals often, but its a nice feeling, knowing that they’re there.. pieces of my younger self, preserved in paper form, within a book.

My way of journaling has changed, grown, and developed over the years. At first, I only used words; Now, though, I use a mixture of words, poetry, and images. I’m still learning about new, and different journaling techniques. I don’t honestly ever think that I’ll stop learning, and you know what? I’m totally okay with that.

Over the years, my journals have been supporter, confidante, and friend, sometimes when I felt like I had no-one.

The thing is that having a journal means that you always have a way to get all of those horrible, messy, nonsensical thoughts out of your head, and, trust me-it really works.

I don’t know if you already journal, or if you’ve never even considered it, but I would really, highly, recommendit. It is a lifelong practice for me, and I can honestly say that it has only ever served to enhance my life.


Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.

Timescales In Writing

Timescales In Writing

An Experiment

Photo by chuttersnap on Unsplash

I’m taking a writing course, and at the moment, I’ve been looking at genre fiction. The thing is that, while I’ve looked at genre fiction before, and I know what it is, something in the notes made me realise something that I’ve not really considered before.

That something, is time. Most of my writing projects have taken place over a seemingly infinite time period. What I mean here is not that I allowed myself infinite time to finish a piece (obviously, that would be ridiculous) but that the stories themselves don’t seem to have a specific time frame for me to work with.

I plan to change that. Today, I begin planning a novella in parts. Seven parts, to be exact. The idea is that each part will cover one day. The story will, therefore, be told in the time span of a week.

I have a few ideas bouncing around at the moment, but nothing particularly concrete, and you know what? I’m actually okay with that. While I will plan the story, I am quite happy to give my imagination free rein to come up with the story that it wants to tell. My only restriction is that it must all happen within the space of a week.

I don’t know how long it will take me to write this, but I will keep a log during this time, and hopefully I will update you soon.

Have any of you ever come up against this? Have you written something set within a specific time frame?

Let me know in the comments. 🙂


If you’d like to get updates from me once a week, you can click here… 🙂


Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.

Bluebells

Bluebells

A Sign From Nature

Photo by Jez Timms on Unsplash

About seven years ago, I began writing a project. This became a novel, which I actually completed. I put it to one side so that I could get some distance before I went back into redrafting.

Now, life got in the way and I spent a bit more time away from it than I’d planned, but when I went back to it, I found that the ending that I’d written had gone missing. I was heartbroken (if you’re a writer, you’ll understand this), and I simply gave up on it, leaving the now, unfinished manuscript where it was.

Now, this is where it could have ended, and I thought it had. Until Good Friday…

I’d had some new bookshelves installed, so I took the opportunity on Good Friday to sort out some of my books and notebooks (who doesn’t love a nice, neatly ordered space?).

While I was doing this, I happened to find two notebooks, with the original manuscript for my long- forgotten novel. I was happy, but simply shelved them once more.

The following day, while out for a walk with my furbabies, I saw a bluebell on its own, just beside the path. I smiled at it’s beauty, but thought nothing much more of it.

The day after that, I saw two bluebells, and the day after that; a cluster of them. Then, while I was on the phone to a friend, she mentioned that she had millions and millions of bluebells in her garden.

I expect you’re wondering why these bluebells were so important to me…

Well, the thing is that the main character in my manuscript is named Bluebell.

Some might say that this is a coincidence, but for me, I choose to see it as a sign; a sign that now is the time to go back to this project, and to start redrafting it, so that’s what I plan to do.

I’ll post little updates on how it’s going, here and there, but the message I wanted to share here is to not ignore hints, no matter how subtle they may be. Notice everything, and when you feel that little prod, trust your instincts.


If you’d like to get updates from me once a week, you can click here… 🙂


Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.

Camp NaNoWriMo

Camp NaNoWriMo

The Beginning

Photo by Angelina Litvin on Unsplash

Well, yesterday, I began a month-long writing challenge. National Novel Writing Month that runs throughout the course of November, has been going for a number of years now. I have participated several times, but this year, I thought I would try their spring challenge, titled “Camp NaNoWriMo”.

The principle is basically the same. You write throughout the month of April. You have support from a huge network of peers, who are also doing the challenge. The difference is that you set the target. You can write anything you want, or finish off a piece you’re currently working on.

The thing is that there is an added freedom in this challenge, which isn’t there with the November variant. So, I thought I’d give it a go. I’m hoping that it will jump start my steps back into writing, and that I can actually get something fully drafted by the end of the month.

So, I’ve picked out my projects, and made a start. One is the story of a teenaged girl whose father is arrested for being in a relationship with one of his students, but this isn’t just any student, it’s her best friend. The story picks up just as this becomes public knowledge and Allie (mc) sees her father arrested. We will then follow Allie as she walks the path of a pariah; a girl marked with a sin that is not hers.

I’m really looking forward to getting on with the story and to writing freely for a while. I don’t intend to plan too much, because the story has been inside my head for a long time, and I have a fairly confident knowledge of where it is going to go.

I also intend to work on a middle grade fantasy about a dragon school; a dark YA fantasy about a girl who can pass between her world and a world inhabited by daemons; a short story for the writing course I am doing; and the novel that I’ve been working on for the last year.

I know it seems like a lot of projects, but my mood is very unsettled at the moment, and after talking with a good friend, who is a huge inspiration to me, I have decided that it’s okay to have multiple projects to work on.

I’ll keep you guys updated, and if you want to join me on the journey, drop me a note in the comments. J


If you’d like to get updates from me once a week, you can click here… 🙂


Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.

Introduction

Introduction

Commonplace Book Project

Photo by Joao Cruz on Unsplash

Recently I have been following @shauntagrimes Commonplace Book project online. I highly recommend that you check it out, if you haven’t already. I have found it fascinating how one simple thing quote can lead down a rabbit hole of research.

The whole idea is incredibly inspiring to me, and seeing as I want to start dedicating more of my time to my writing, I thought I would take Shaunta’s idea and run with it.

There are so many quotes; so many beautiful words in the world, and so many that I have found great comfort, and meaning in, which I would like to spend some more time exploring, and I think this would be the perfect place to do this.

So, from now on, I intend to publish regularly in this publication, and I hope that you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy researching and writing it. 🙂


If you’d like to get updates from me once a week, you can click here… 🙂


Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.

Descriptions

Descriptions

Adventures In Novelling

Photo by J. Kelly Brito on Unsplash

As a writer, descriptions are something that is fairly important to me. I am constantly trying to come up with new ways to talk about things.

There are so many words in the English language, and so many of them have been placed together in certain patterns in order to describe things, but really, what we need to do is to try and look for any possible different ways to illustrate the images that we’re trying to create in the minds of our readers.

Sometimes I find that these words are more forthcoming than at other times… and sometimes, trying to find that ‘right’ combination of words is like trying to get blood out of a stone.

The thing is, that there’s no telling when the good and bad days are going to come. All we can do as writers is to be constantly trying to expand our vocabulary, and to be ever vigilant to try and catch the words when they float by us.

Something that I am going to try and do is to keep a collection of phrases… snippets of words that come into my head, in the hopes that I will one day, be able to say that I have found the exact ordering of words for the description that I want to write.

The thing that I find with descriptions, and it’s something that I am as guilty of as anyone else; is that I only ever seem to utilise one or two of the senses, rather than looking at using all five of them.

As writers, we need to be overly careful to make sure that we use every one of the senses, because this is the way in which we experience the world, and so, it follows that it should also be the way that our characters experience the world; to not do so, is to render our characters almost as disabled in some way.

So, when writing our descriptions, we must try and make sure that we talk about what our characters can see, hear, smell, touch, and taste. These little details are the sorts of things that will add flavour to our writing.


If you’d like to get updates from me once a week, you can click here… 🙂


Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.

Plotting

Plotting

Adventures In Noveling

Photo by Green Chameleon on Unsplash

While I am already working on my current novel, an idea for another series came to me. It has been calling me away from writing my current work, but as an abstract idea, this is not very helpful.

I want to focus on my The Girl In The Mirror (Current novel), but as the story gets into the middle of act two, it is getting increasingly dark, and sometimes I am finding that there are days when I need a little ‘light relief’ when it comes to writing.

So, rather than force this idea into the box that it keeps popping out of, I have decided to plot it out, alongside working on my novel. I know it doesn’t technically count as writing, but in a way it does, because hopefully, when I finish my CN, I’ll be able to dive straight into this one, with a clear idea of what is supposed to happen in it.

I’m hoping that this will also prevent me from being worried about finishing a writing project, because of the “What next?” anxieties. I’m going to see how it goes, but for now, I’m enjoying it, and feeling very inspired.

The method of plotting that I am trialling is called the Snowflake method, which was designed by Randy Ingermanson. I’m going to review this method fully once I’ve completed my plan, so I won’t go into full details here, but if you want to check it out, all you need to do is google ‘snowflake method’ and you should find a number of articles about it.


If you’d like to get updates from me once a week, you can click here… 🙂


Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.

Click Bait

Click Bait

A Haiku

Photo by Sergi Kabrera on Unsplash

Fake news on the net,
Catchy headlines require “click”
& Content doesn’t match.


If you’d like to get updates from me once a week, you can click here… 🙂


Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.