Stay in And Write Month with London Writers’ Club – January 1-31st, 2011

Thanks for reading about our very first SIAW month. January is a time for change, for inspiration, for doing something new – but it’s also cold, damp and dreary and the sofa is the place to be.


To motivate you, Stay In And Write is 31 days of writing ideas and inspiration. You will receive an ezine each day of January with angel-prods, writing exercises and inspiring advice from editors, publishers, agents and authors.  We’ll also dip into our writers’ black book of links to give you further information, resources and contacts. 


So do join SIAW and give yourself a month to focus on your writing.  You can get going on that book you’ve always wanted to write or be motivated to keep going if you’ve already started. 


Sign up for the 31 Days of free writing tips via email   


If you’ve missed the first week don’t worry you can catch up here with them below.    

Here are Day 1 to 6.  But don’t forget to sign up so you’ll get your daily ezines for the rest of the month. 


Enjoy them. Happy writing. 


Jacqueline Burns and Kirsty Mclachlan

London Writers’ Club 


Day 1: make a mood board

Make a mood board – it’s not all about words, sometimes you have to evoke a feeling, a mood, and a tone with pictures. Rip up all those mags from over Christmas and make a file or stick the pictures up on the wall. Make a list of your favourite words and places, they might inspire you. 

Day 2:  write from your heart

Write your first draft wtih your heart. Re-write with your head. – From the movie Finding Forrester

Today start to write your first draft, if you’ve already started writing, start a new chapter or act as if it’s your first draft – just write without thinking too much about what you are writing and write it quickly. Write a page – a paragraph – or if you have more time, something longer. Leave it alone to stew and then in the evening, go back to it and see what you’ve written. You may have to throw away 90% of the words or just snip at the corners.

Day 3: what emotions are woven into your story?

Apparently, there are 7 universal emotions: anger, contempt, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness and surprise. If you fear writer’s block is around the corner take your main character and think about what would happen if you made him/her feel each of these 7 emotions – how does that change your story?

Day 4: wrist warmers and writers’ treats

The lovely, Jessica Ruston, author of  Luxury and To Touch the Stars  has given us the following tips for January writing – we especially like the wrist warmers…..

 1/ Buy wrist warmers.  They allow you to type unhindered while stopping your fingers from seizing up with cold.  An essential.  

 2/ I operate a complex reward system to get me through writing difficult/dull bits, I treat myself like a small child, or pet, in need of constant encouragement and treats.  January is too bleak to use the ‘stick’ part of the equation.

 3/ Speaking of which – do your tax return as early as you can in January i.e. this week, otherwise it will haunt you throughout January until you race around on the 31st, panicking and scrabbling for receipts.

 Jessica’s new book  To Touch the Stars is out on the 3rd Feb.

And she is teaching a writing course which starts on 22nd Jan for 6 weeks – booking and info available here:

Day 5:  do it for love

Write without pay until somebody offers to pay  Mark Twain

 When you’re just starting out it’s hard to decide where to begin. So don’t ‘decide’. Just start writing. 

 A blog is a good place to start exercising your writing muscle. You don’t have to have a book deal in mind or have a specific publisher as your target – write to find your voice and your subject and the business stuff can come later.

Day 6: 

Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart  William Wordsworth


If you don’t feel passionate about what you are writing, no one else will.  Find something that excites you, that isn’t a struggle to write. There’s no better way to ensure you feel enthused and to infuse your writing with that passion for the reader. Never write what you think you ought to. 







4 Replies to “Stay in And Write Month with London Writers’ Club – January 1-31st, 2011”

  1. Great tips. Really inspiring! Love the mood board and trying out emotions perspectives. Thanks. I’m a great sofa writer (as you can see on my The Life Book Amazon video) but sadly, word of warning, it can play hazard with your back. Keep cranial osteopaths number handy – or don’t sit there for as long as I tend to! Good luck, Nina

  2. Hi Nina – glad that you are enjoying the tips – we’ve enjoyed putting them together. Although perhaps we should include a few stretching exercises to help along the way!


  3. Lighting a favourite scented candle when I sit down to write and then blowing it out when I’ve done 1000 words works really well for me.:) Corny, I know, but psychologically it works. It’s like turning on a switch.

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