Sowing seeds and planting trees

Here’s a tip if you are writing, but not sure what to write about.

It’s not a new idea. I certainly didn’t invent it. I have heard it be given various labels. And it is remarkable how often it works.

If you face a writing challenge; if you are a bit stuck, then simply do what writers are supposed to do: write. You might be amazed by the results.

Some people call it “free writing”. 

Just start writing - anything. It doesn’t really matter. Just get something down on paper or on the screen. Let your mind roam, free. Don’t edit. Don’t correct. Just see what emerges. See what happens.

When I used to make the daily commute between Dorset and London on the train, I would often make it my morning challenge to write that day’s blog post before reaching Waterloo, usually beginning with no idea whatsoever what I was going to be writing.

Today, I decided to make a start on a piece I want to write for something later in the year.

I have been struggling with how to take it forward. Nothing was developing as a story that I liked and that would fit the brief. 

“I will give it an hour,” I thought. All I had was an opening line that had popped into my head: “And this is me and him at...”  

So I began with that, and added a bit, and a bit more, and a bit more... and an hour or so later I had more 1500 words written, and the outline of a story I am happy with and can work on.

So it works. It is also how I wrote this post.

There are other things I could have been doing, of course.

I probably should have been out and about trying to find more stockists for the book (to join our most recent addition, The Posh Partridge cafe, in Dorchester); or trying to stir up more publicity (to add to the nice little article in the Ashley Cross News, and the long awaited article in the Daily Echo, promised for this week); or chasing up on various people who haven’t replied to emails; or even planting the weeping willow that sitting in a pot in the garden. 

But I didn’t.  Today, I sowed a seed. Tomorrow I’ll plant a tree. 

(Surely that could be printed on a poster).


A great afternoon at the fundraising event for Blandford Literary Festival at Marcia’s Farm yesterday afternoon. Some random readings, Indian head massages and a great atmosphere in the bar. There really are some cool people in this world.

Sales: 77

Bookshops: 67

Other: 126

It's hotting up

I won't bore you with just how cold it is here in my little office, but it is hotting up on the competition front.

I am just waiting for a little more feedback on a few entries and we will be able to finalise and communicate which entries have made the shortlist.  

We are aware that means good news for some, and not for others, but veryone should receive an email within the next day or so.

It may have seemed something of a long process to some, but we want to do it thoroughly and we do rely on volunteers to help us.  They have done a wonderful job.

Their selected entries will now go forward for further consideration by a small panel, and we will decide on the final stories for our anthology of Dorset shorts within the next few weeks.

Thank you again to everyone who has entered. We have been offered up a great range or styles, topics and ideas - and we feel ever more confident that it will result in a book to be proud of.