Tag Archives: non fiction

The Productivity Problem #MondayBlogs #Amwriting

Original Photo by Craig Garner on Unsplash

I had all these plans. Plans for my second non-fiction book to be about heroes or maybe characters more generally.

But like Lennon said,

“Life is what happens while you’re making other plans.” 

And no matter what I do, it’s not characters I’m thinking about. It’s productivity. I mean, just two weeks ago, I wrote about productivity and Cal Newport’s book Deep Work.

I guess now I understand the phrase write what you know. Productivity is where my focus is at, so writing about anything else is proving difficult. Continue reading

4 Things That Develop As You Write More Books

I finished my second book (kinda). Yay, go me. By kinda, I mean it’s all but on it’s way to beta readers, which means it’s had a big edit and a proof from me and Mr Grammarly, the cover is done (cover reveal coming soon) and the blurb is looming like a nasty plague eyeing my self-doubt hungrily in the corner.

I thought, given it’s my second book, and it feels like a milestone, I’d do some reflection. I’ve done a couple of these posts, one when I finished my first book (9 Secrets Successfully Completing That First Draft), and another after all the editing and completing the second draft (13 Things I learnt From Completing Draft Two)

This post is entirely selfish and just my observations about the development of my writing process, maybe you’ll find it useful, or maybe you can have a good chuckle at my incompetence.

The book I finished is 13 Steps to Evil, my non-fiction writing craft book that will teach you how to craft Superbad villains. Continue reading

Authors – Find Your Book’s Inner Truth & Hook Readers For Life

Once in awhile, you read a book that changes everything.

For me, it’s usually the ones that make me grip the kitchen counter because I need a minute to get a grip of the quivering and bug-eyed daze I’m in. In those seconds, I have a literary, emotional or philosophical ‘O’. A synchronizing of minds with my Muse, its heart beat, pumping in time with mine, pouring inspiration, epiphanies, and unadulterated universal clarity into my consciousness.

Sometimes I just smile, because the epiphany I had, is a small emotional win. Like the fact that when you can’t heal from something in your past, it’s because you haven’t let it go. If you want a scab to heal, you have to stop picking it.

Other times, the revelation is much more significant. I physically pause for thought because the story has just reiterated how inconsequentially small my life is in relation to the infinite enormity of the universe.

I like to think of these moments of pause as reaffirming moments of philosophy and truth. When it happens, that book stays with me forever. That author has single-handedly changed a part of me. Forget meditative yoga retreats and six-week long vows of silence. All you need is a bloody good book, with a bloody good book truth buried inside it and that’s enough to open someone’s mind, shove a whisk in it and jingle jangle their brain cells into a new alignment.

I want my books to have a book truth because I want to give somebody else that moment of clarity and change the way they view the world. If everybody could change just one person, maybe the world would be a better place. What I do know is, whenever an author has done that to me, I’ve read everything they’ve ever written. Isn’t that every author’s dream? So here’s a few lessons I’ve learned about book truths.

Continue reading

Learn To Read Like A Writer – Read What You NEED

Learn To Read Like A Writer - Read what you NEED

I don’t mind admitting I’m a selfish reader. I’ve always read exactly what I want for no other reason than, I felt like it. So I never paid much attention to whether or not it was useful or beneficial. But now, as a writer, whilst I still need some of that escapism by falling into a good book, I’ve come to realise I also need to read to aid my writing – and I’m not just talking about non fiction books that teach you writing skills. This is part one in a two part series, looking at reading like a writer – reading what you NEED and reading what you WANT. Continue reading

Book Review: Uglies by Scott Westerfeld


Uglies Book Review

It has taken me an inexplicably long time to read just one book. I am actually a reasonably fast reader I can sink a few books in a week if I have the time. Alas, baby Black has prevented this from happening, and shamefully, not only is this the first book I’ve finished this year, but worse this particular book has taken me way over six months to read. Tut. But huzzah I have finally finished it.

I have only (from memory) written one other book review, for A Disturbed Girl’s Guide to Curing Boredom, because I loved it so much I felt compelled to write about it on amazon and goodreads and such like. Continue reading

The Reading Like a Writer Series #1 – Reading Non Fiction

Reading like a writer series

I don’t need to tell you that if you are a writer, you need to be able to read, and read well.

You need to be able to read for the love of it, to glean inspiration from it, to pick out strengths and weaknesses from it, and to critique it in order to learn from it. The other lesson I have learnt is that you need to be able to read both widely across varied genres as well as reading deeply into the genre you write.

This is the start of a set of new series for my blog, this one in particular is on reading like a writer.

This first post is on:

Reading Non Fiction 

I don’t even pretend to be a non fiction reader. Can’t stand it. Much to my father’s – who is a purely non fiction reader- disgust, I am a out and out fiction reader. I have no shame in losing myself in a story, delving into the characters, and disappearing into new worlds. I struggle to read non fiction because quite honestly I find it boring, I hate the lack of story and complete absence of characters.

However, in the last month or so I have come to realise that this way of thinking is a smidgen naive. Here’s why:

I recently developed an interest in space, physics and the concept of ‘alternative history’ more specifically the ancient astronaut theory. Just an interest mind – I haven’t suddenly converted to anything odd!

Anyway, the only way I could find out more was to research online, which I did, but everything I was finding out seemed to lack depth. There were articles, and opinions, and some interesting pictures. But I couldn’t quite get the detailed knowledge I wanted. Cue the search for Non Fiction books. The first two non fictions books I have found and started reading are:

A Brief History of Time‘ by Stephen Hawking

&

Aliens in Ancient Egypt‘ by Xaviant Haze

Both fascinating and giving me the depth I was seeking. But more importantly I already I have a million ideas for new stories. One of my pledges for this year is to read more, but in particular Non Fiction. I won’t be reading just non fiction because its too heavy and I would fail miserably. I want to read a minimum of 12 books this year, a far cry from the 2 or 3 I could sink a week before baby black was born, but still. If I do at least 12 this year I would be ecstatic.

What have I learnt about starting to read non fiction?

1. Non fiction (can – depending on what you read) provide interesting facts, ideas, new thoughts, new lessons, new concepts, new everything.

2. It can open your mind to completely new… everything. It will lead anyone with half a cell of imagination into world upon world of new ideas, places and characters.

3. You learn from it, and in topics your interested in

4. You build knowledge = building skills = more ideas = better writer

5. You can find new hobbies or interests and even better, build knowledge of those areas

Does anyone out there read non fiction? If so, what types of books/topics? How do you find reading non fiction versus fiction? If you don’t read it, then I hope you try a non fiction book this year, trust me when I tell you slogging through is absolutely worth it, if nothing else, to improve your writing.