The new year, synchronicity and my next book

I like to start every new year with a brand new piece of writing so every autumn I put together a short-list of ideas for my next book and then watch for synchronicities to help me decide which one to go with. This year, as usual, life has given me some prompts.

2013 got off to a cracking start for me when I tutored my first ever Arvon course on ‘Writing for Children.’ I had never previously taught children’s writing because it seemed to me that writing for children was pretty much the same as writing for adults – all the elements of fiction such as plot, settings and characters work in the same way, and whoever you’re writing for you have to target your particular reader.

But being asked to teach writing for children meant I had to really think about not only what is the same but also what is different, and teaching the course turned out to be pure pleasure. I enjoyed it so much that I wrote a new series of evening workshops on writing for children which I taught at the end of 2013.

At the first session, I dug out various books I thought people might like to read, including the very latest book on writing for children, by Linda Newbery and Yvonne Coppard.

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Writing Children’s Fiction, by Yvonne Coppard and Linda Newbery

Flicking through the back matter for more ideas, I discovered that Writing in the House of Dreams is included in the recommended writing blogs, the only one by an individual among half a dozen group blogs. That felt most affirming!

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Then, at the last workshop session, one of the participants mentioned that she’d seen my children’s book, ‘How to be a Brilliant Writer’ in Maeve Binchy’s recommended reading list at the back of her book on writing.

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The Maeve Binchy Writers' Club
The Maeve Binchy Writers’ Club

One of the ideas I’d been mulling over for my next project was a book for adults about writing – just writing, not in relation to dreams. But although I’d wanted to do that for ages, it didn’t seem sensible because there were already so many books out there by writers about writing .

I always follow life’s promptings, however, so with a gleeful click of the heels I’ll be up, up and away writing an adult book about writing to go with my children’s one in the New Year. The various other projects I’ve been mulling over will have to wait until their time is ripe.

What new projects are you looking forward to in 2014? Have you felt prompted by life?

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10 thoughts on “The new year, synchronicity and my next book”

  1. Yesterday, I was considering doing something with an old manuscript of mine, which begins, “Chance? Destiny?” I was mulling the idea over in my mind while I finished reading a novel I’d received for Christmas. And, lo and behold, woven into one of the final pages of that novel were those two words, in that order, with those question marks: “Chance? Destiny?”

  2. A new book on writing is a great idea! I’m looking forward to starting a nonfiction book of interviews with scientist authors. Life events definitely inspire me, especially the news. With a need for better science education, I’m hoping the interviews will encourage people to look into science, as students and as readers too.

    1. That sounds like an exciting project, and really interesting to do. One of my favourite books on dreaming+writing consists of interviews with authors about the way they use their dreams (Naomi Epel, ‘Writers Dreaming’)

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