Whisky, Words and Goal Setting

JuraThe calm before the storm – that lull after Christmas – was just that. And now I am in the eye of the tempest! Hectic-ness!

My class has started up again, my work for the charity is going full pelt (two meetings in various parts of the country today, although luckily one of them was in a shopping centre so I was in heaven, afterwards! SHOPS! Civilisation!) and I currently have four Writers Bureau assignments in my inbox, waiting to be marked.

But enough of my moaning! Here’s some news of a writing competition:

Winning Words

Those lovely people at Jura whisky are running a writing competition based on 5 different themes over the next few weeks and it’s free to enter. The current theme is ‘Happily Ever After’ (sorry folks, but we’ve missed the first two themes, which were ‘Travel Adventure’ and ‘Into The Wild’). You can see the top 6 entries in each category on the website and each one is attributed to its writer and ‘adorned’ (ooh, nice word) with a cute little picture.

The rules are a bit sketchy (well, I can’t actually find any – can you?) but you can submit up to 1000 ‘characters’ (not words!)

Once all themes are complete, voting will open for one lucky writer to win a three-night trip for two to the isolated Isle of Jura (erm, I’ve just thought – is that a prize or punishment?! No, I’m joking. It would be great. A kind of writing retreat. Best not to go in winter though, eh?)

Why not have a ‘wee dram’ to get you in the mood and then submit your ‘happily ever after’ themed tale? (do you actually like whisky? I force it down on Burns Night but it’s not my tipple of choice…!) But, ahem, of course, Jura is probably delicious! (And other whiskies are available..)

The Railway Man

In other news and still on a bit of a ‘Scottish theme’, I went to see the film ‘The Railway Man’ on Saturday, based on Eric Lomax’s memoir of the same name and a true story. Well, it’s a bit harrowing, to be honest. I had my hands over my eyes and ears (not simultaneously) at various points in the film and I cried buckets. But it was good, you know. (but take tissues, if you go).

Writing Resolutions

One of the things I’ve got my class to think about this term, is ‘New Year’s Writing Resolutions’. A couple of them resisted the idea.

‘Writing’, one of my students said, ‘is a hobby’ and he doesn’t want to have targets of so many thousand words a week. He wants to write when the mood (or muse) takes him and if he’s not in the mood to write, then he won’t. And of course, that’s fine but if, like many people, you want to see your work in print, or enter competitions or try to get a novel finished, I think most of us benefit from some ‘goal setting’.

And if you want to see some impressive goal setting, just have a look at the targets Wendy Clarke’s set herself for 2014. And, what’s more, I have every faith in her achieving her goals!

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6 Responses to Whisky, Words and Goal Setting

  1. Wendy Clarke says:

    Impressive or just plain silly! Anyway, thanks for your faith in me, Helen… Better get writing.

  2. Perhaps the student resistant to writing to a target is taking ‘writing for pleasure’ to its natural conclusion. If being made to write takes out the joy, perhaps he’s right to resist.

  3. philippabowe says:

    A busy January for you – keep you from getting cold!! Writing resolutions, yes: Wendy, yours look great! I generally think they’re a good idea, personally I get more done when I have goals and deadlines, which sounds contrary to the romantic idea of spontaneous creativity, and of course the well of creativity bubbles away regardless of resolutions, but drawing from that well and giving the ideas and inspiration it provides concrete form needs discipline and a framework… so far this year I have managed to write something, even if only a sentence, every day, inspired by being told about an interview with Jerry Seinfield who recounted how he marked a cross every day he managed to work and after a while felt he couldn’t break the chain…so I have been proudly marking my crosses every day (my sister, writing a play, is doing the same, and finding it doing wonders for her discipline). Very simple, but apparently effective…and my main writing resolution for this year is to finish the novel I started with Nano. Here’s to all our resolutions for 2014!!

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