I want to tell you about a new website from the people at Paragraph Planet. You may have come across it on Twitter, but if not it is called writing workout. Here you can find timed writing exercises. There are four of them - warm up, random, randomisers and junior (for young writers). Each section gives you a word or situation and you write against the clock. These exercises remind me of those days when my writing group used to meet by the river and we had timed writing slots with words we had either put together by word association or our leader had used for that weeks theme.
Having seconds slip away before your eyes certainly makes you panic! You either get on with it or you stare at the ticking down with a blank mind! Working this way really works for me. The first time I worked this way, I found I wrote something I would never have written without this. I've always been one to stare at a page and have no idea where to start. It was rather throwing me in at the deep end, but I am so grateful because it seems to have cured me of the 'stare into the lights' phenomena.
If this sounds what you might need to kick-start some writing, then head over and give it a try.
As for my own writing, I have been waiting for things that were about to happen. One of these was the publication of The Poetrygram Annual 2020 from Helen Cox Books. My copy arrived about a week ago. My poem, Slowing, is published in this. I also heard from The People's Friend that they are going to publish the two poems I sent them last year. They will appear in their Fireside Book 2022.
Submissions have been few. New writing is difficult. Mainly I have been writing poetry and little flash stories. Being outside is a necessity for me right now, so with the better weather finally making a show of itself I have been in the garden weeding, clearing, cutting the grass. There has been ample time for sitting on my garden bench and reading! And I've taken up jogging again, six months after I said 'no more'! Yet being out early in the morning with the birds singing and the sun coming up, there is nothing better.
I have so many pieces of work waiting to be edited, yet I cannot bring myself to start on them. For now physical work outdoors, whether gardening or walking or jogging works for me. But when the muse hits, like after jogging this morning, some lines get written.