The Tortoise and the Hare

The Tortoise and the Hare is one of Aesop’s Fables. To me, it’s about a hare that is a bit big headed and a determined tortoise, who is slow but due to his determination wins the race. The reason I mention this fable is because it is the way I currently refer to my writing. Yes, I’m writing. After a very, VERY long break. I am actually writing. I’m so pleased with myself.

Anyway, back to what I was saying. I currently refer to myself as the tortoise when I write. I have written probably five days out of seven (on average) over the last two months. At the beginning of September I wrote about my future writing space and then the software I planned to use, but then I went quiet. There were no more posts. You probably thought I was on another long hiatus, when in fact I have placed bum on chair and have started writing again.

Despite what I wrote in September, I presently only use one piece of software – yWriter. I honestly think it’s great. I use yWriter6 on my laptop and I also purchased the iPad version. Now, I can sit in a quiet room and write on my laptop or, at night, I can sit in the lounge room and continue to write (or I can go over what I wrote earlier in the day and make corrections). I use Dropbox to save my work.

This is working brilliantly for me.

As for the tortoise remark. I am only writing around 500 to 600 words a day. Or roughly 2,500 a week. But, for me, that is a no stress, no pressure method of getting the job done. If I start to feel overwhelmed, I stop writing and come back to it the next day. No matter what anyone else things, this method is working wonders for me. The story is getting written. I feel enthused and find myself looking for ideas in what I do and see the rest of the day.

Whatever blocked me, is behind me. I’m writing and it feels good. And my plan is to just go with the flow and write like a tortoise, knowing that eventually I’ll stumble over the finish line.

The Software I will Use

Once I move and set up my fabulous, new writing space, I then need to consider the software I will use to get the writing done.

For planning, I like to use two software packages. The first is Snowflake Pro Software. I purchased the software years ago and swear by it. Of course, you don’t have to buy the software, you can just follow the steps as set out on the linked page. I’ve done it that way too. Both methods work fine. I find using the Snowflake method gives me a clear outline so I know where the story starts and ends, as well as giving me focused details for the middle. If you have never heard of the Snowflake method of writing a novel, then you should seriously consider giving it a try.

The second piece of software I use for planning is a wiki. In all honesty, I can’t remember the name of it, but it is compact and extremely easy to use. I know it’s free and I find it useful in keeping my facts in order. Things like character profiles, setting details, research notes, links and images and anything else I need to keep track of. I hope I still have a copy of it backed up somewhere.

For writing, I also use two programs. One is a blank Word page. I will write and write and write. Filling one page after another. Once I do get into a flow, I can write for hours. But once the flow is interrupted then I find myself writing a word, a phrase, a sentence and then pausing for the longest time before I write another word, another phrase or another sentence. I’ve used Word for many years and love it, because I know what I’m doing with it.

The other software I use is yWriter. I started using this software a couple of years ago for a novel I’m writing for young readers. I don’t use the software to its full potential, but I found it helps me keep focused, and helps encourage me as stats are visible that inspire me to keep to a certain level of writing each day. I didn’t finish that novel and intend to return to it. And, yes, I will also continue to use the software.

Over the years I’ve tried other software, but I always come back to these four. I like them. They suit my needs. And that’s what’s important, isn’t it? The tools we use must be right for us. I use these tools, you might use something else, but as long as what is used helps get the writing completed, that’s all that really matters.

Having said that, it will be interesting to see if my tastes and needs have changed after such a long break. I will have to wait and see, won’t I?

Upcoming Writing Space

At present, most of my belongings are packed away. This has been the case for over three years. However, in October, that will change. We will move into our forever home and we will finally unpack everything we own. It will be exciting to see what we have. It will be even more exciting to see and touch and use our things again.

Amidst the excitement of that, I feel especially excited to have my own writing space again. I’m not sure what that space will look like as yet. I can envision an assortment of wonderful writing spaces. Some include a deserted island with everything I would ever need. Or one of those grass huts suspended above tranquil water, with a beautiful blue sky overhead and a temperature to die for. But I doubt I’ll end up with anything of that nature.

I will settle for a cosy space, that is quiet. It would be nice to have light and airy. And it would be absolutely out of this world to have two screens. In fact, I will not settle for less this time round. On all of this. By that I mean the peace and quiet, the light and airy and the two screens. Not the island or hut over water. No hope of that.

Anyway, my upcoming writing space is taking shape in my mind. I look forward to seating myself in that space in the near future and delving into old worlds and new.