Having been accepted for Flashmob - one of Lancaster Litfest's publications I was invited to a professional development workshop for writers, which reminded me what my own priorities are, helped me set goals and reinvigorated me.
Before going there, I re-read the 60,000 words I've written so far of my novel (untouched for months) to see if it was worth pursuing. It was funny (it's ok, it's supposed to be) and readable and I got excited about it again.
Then, on the train to Lancaster I finished Stephen King's 'On Writing' - a book that is often highly recommended to writers by other writers.
It's a curiosity - part interesting autobiography, part no frills 'how to write' guide from someone who's work I find very readable. Like many writing manuals, the author has strong ideas on the best way to produce a novel, things you must or mustn't do. Fine if it works for him, but it's best to take from writing guides the advice you recognise as appropriate for your own way of working. Some great common sense hints and tips.
- Assiduously avoid adverbs.
And fourthly, I've been reading Elmore Leonard's 'When The Women Come Out To Dance' - an inpsiring masterclass in short fiction packed with sparely-written mini dramas, fascinating characters, evocative locations. (Elmore Leonard's top tips - which also have it in for adverbs - are at the top of this excellent Guardian list of Top Tips from Authors)
So that's what I'm doing when I'm not doing this.