Category «Ideas»

Christmas breaking (Mistake #87)

We all need a holiday. I am lazy, so probably need one less than you need one, but after a year when I’ve revised one of my books, ran a major award, was heavily involved in two others, kept up a monthly column in a vegetarian lifestyle magazine, wrote regular features on my specialisms of …

Scratching around in the attic (Mistake #86)

“I can’t think of any ideas!”  “What am I going to write about?”  “I’ve been racking my brains all day!”  Ideas germinate and develop in brains, so you’re not looking in the wrong place when you’re scratching around in your attic trying to find them. But if the search is proving fruitless and you’re getting …

An obvious anniversary (Mistake #81)

You don’t need me to tell you it’s 100 years on from 1914. The War started in August of that year. I imagine there are some commemorative special edition publications due out in August, or sooner. I’ll let you know if I hear of any – though I expect they will be fully commissioned. I …

Submitting a good idea (Mistake #69)

If you’re a new writer, having a good idea is good, but submitting a good idea may not be good enough. You don’t need me to tell you that breaking into magazines and newspapers is hard. Attracting an editor’s attention – merely getting a reply to your emails – is tough enough. And there are …

Net losses (Mistake #65)

I read a tweet last week, on the day of the Wikipedia blackout, by a writer pointing out that journalists might have to actually spend the day doing some proper in-depth research – for a change! – rather than click into the collaborative online people’s encyclopedia and trusting the information they found there. It was …

Republicanism, sportophobia (Mistake #62)

Too many of us are going to be, at this time of year, distracted by Christmas – presents, parties – and then later by New Year – resolutions, more parties – but what you really need to be thinking about over the coming weeks is article ideas for 2012. And what 2012 is going to …

New magazines only (Mistake #61)

A very quick post which I hope you’ll forgive – though it does at least suitably reflect the urgency of today’s advice: drop everything at once and go buy a copy of Woman’s Weekly’s special centenary collector’s edition – if you can still find one. Not because it’s a nice investment for your grandchildren, not …

Agreeing (Mistake #60)

I’m suddenly feeling a bit ambivalent towards … agreement, I guess, is the only word for it, although it doesn’t feel quite right. Agreeness? Agreeance? I see a lot of letters – ie letters to editors, for letters pages – which make a point of agreeing. “I agreed with your article on extreme knitting, and …

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