Hello and a very merry Snowpocalypse to all! Here in my part of the country we're not only blanketed in snow but also freezing fog at the moment, which means that the view from all my windows now has one feature and one only: white. It's a bit eerie, like waking up in another dimension. I'm simultaneously looking forward to and dreading walking the pooch later on. Let's hope I don't fall down a hole or anything.
But enough with these culturally inevitable meteorological meeblings! I have more important fish to fry in the form of a bunch of reader emails that I rather stupidly put into a special folder to look at later and then promptly forgot about. Some of these have been waiting a couple of months for answers - sorry, guys! I'll work through them over the next couple of weeks.
However, what a lot of them have in common is that they ask multiple questions which I've actually already answered here or on my website. So to save time with the most straightforward ones, I thought I'd round up.
Sherry, you asked how I knew I wanted to be a writer and how long it took for me to get published. The answers to those questions are here.
Gemma, you wanted to know if I could read your story and give you some advice and the answer to that one is here.
Scott, you also wanted me to offer you some general writing advice on a few topics, and for you I think the best thing would be to start at the beginning of this blog and work your way forward, since I've covered pretty much every topic under the sun right now - if you get to the end and find that you've got more specific questions that haven't been answered, please do email me again.
Arabella, you wanted to know how to deal with being unable to finish stories and getting discouraged, and I think the blog posts here and here should help.
Thanks to all of you for emailing me, and the very best of luck to each of you with your writing! And to the others who are waiting patiently for a reply, I thank you for your patience, and promise I'll get to you soon.
It seems like some questions and some topics are pretty much evergreen, and every young (or older) person who emails me has their own individual variation on them. I'm wondering if maybe I should make a page here or on my website, rounding up all the writing related posts I've done by topic so that people can go down a list until they see the issue they'd like help with, click on a link and get taken to all the relevant articles. What do you guys think about that? Would you find it helpful? Or are you happy just clicking on the tags to find what you want?
Let me know what you think - and remember that I'm happy to answer questions from the comment trail as well (and those are less likely to get put into a special folder and lost, natch).