Why We Compare Ourselves to Other Writers (and How We Can Stop)

 

by Lauren Sapala

For writers, there are two proven harmful effects of engaging in too much social media. (And let me say first that I’m guilty of overindulgence myself—it’s easy to start out with the intention of quickly checking Facebook and Twitter and then get sucked into a black hole and come out dazed and woozy on the other side.) But if you can keep these two harmful things in mind before you even go in, your chances of coming out unscathed are much better.

First, it’s a time suck. Every writer knows that. Social media is a hungry beast that wants to feed on your precious minutes. There are many ways to combat this, and many articles to be found on social media itself about how to combat the evils of time-sucking social media. That’s the easy one to overcome.

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How to Research a Location You Haven’t Actually Been To

 

by Helena Fairfax

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, or read any of my books, you’ll know how important setting is to me in my writing. In this post about Richmond Park, for example, I wrote about how I tried to combine the setting for The Antique Love with the theme of the book, and how I used the setting to reveal the strengths and weaknesses of my characters.

So far I’ve been able to visit most of the locations I’ve used in my books. My settings range from Edinburgh to the south coast of France, and they are all within easy reach for me. But sometimes it’s just not possible to get to the place you want to write about. I used to agonise about this. I like to “see” exactly what it is my characters see.

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