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Staying on track is so difficult in this age of information overload. If you want to achieve your goals, you need focused objectives and targets that you can hit. And you need to become more productive! Tip #1: Wasted time is the silent killer of dreams Be aware of how you spend (or waste) your time. Keep a log for one week. Categorise according to your own circumstances: day job, chores, writing, socialising,...

A Monday is as good a day as any for planning decisions: for the week ahead, or further into your future. Ideally, whatever you plan, your goals should be SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound. There are other suggestions as to what the five letters of SMART might represent: S - sensible, significant, simple, strategic, stretching M - maintainable, manageable, meaningful, motivating A - acceptable, accountable, achievable, action-oriented, agreed, ambitious, assignable R - realistic, reasonable, recorded, resourced, results-oriented,...

My bag is packed and I'm almost ready to set off for a spot of RedPen Training with the Left Bank Writers Group. What is Left Bank? Most of us, on hearing the phrase Left Bank, will think of France and 'rive gauche'. In days gone by, famous artists, writers and philosophers - like Collette, Erik Satie, Gertrude Stein, Henri Matisse, Jean-Paul Sartre, Ernest Hemingway and F Scott Fitzgerald - met in...

Welcome, Patsy Collins! My nag buddy, Patsy, is no stranger to RedPenners.   And she has been my guest on this blog before, back in April 2016. As I'm currently focusing on formatting, I asked Patsy to share her thoughts on this topic, particularly as she's just published a new collection of short stories: No Family Secrets.   Don't you just love the cover? Inside are 25 stories dedicated to her 10 cousins.   Have you noticed how,...

My book launch for EDITING The RedPen Way last Tuesday went brilliantly. I'm still giddy from all the excitement. Hundreds of copies were downloaded and many of you have signed up for RedPen. Welcome! I've had excellent reviews too. All 5 star! Here's an extract from just one of them. A masterclass in self-editing ...

I've not posted in a while, but I have a great excuse: I've been busy compiling with Scrivener and now have three versions of the same manuscript: EDITING The RedPen Way. I've learnt much much more about the power of Scrivener in the past three weeks, but the best bit (there are so many best bits!) is the flexibility of output. I explain below why I had three different forms of output, and I'll...

I'm still busy, busy, busy: writing - and exploring areas of Scrivener I've not had occasion to use to date - like formatting within the Compile option. Great fun! As soon as the first draft of my book is done (next Sunday?), I'll start putting together a series of posts so you don't have to go through the same learning curve as me. I'll be sharing some of my discoveries at the Simply...

This is post 10, the final post, of my series looking at how ProWritingAid works with Scrivener. I hope you decided to trial ProWritingAid and have been working alongside me in exploring its features. One question that I haven't answered so far: How exactly does ProWritingAid work with Scrivener? Simple ...

Step 9 of the Red Pen Editing cycle is to drill down. When you are relatively happy that you’ve fixed the major things – you have balance and structure, you have the right tense and voice, you've worked on dodgy patches, there are no more tasks on your list - it’s time to drill down. How often you drill down is up to you. It's essential before moving on to Step 10:...