The Mud and Stars Book Blog

thoughts from a girl who spends her days in other worlds…

Confessions of a Writer Tag

on November 7, 2015

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I’ve been tagged by the lovely Aura @ Oxford Writers Lounge to do the Confessions of a Writer Tag! I’m by no means a published author, but I do love to write in my spare time, and with NaNoWriMo going on right now (which I’ve had to start a week late due to life getting in the way…) I thought I’d give this tag a go! Please check out Aura’s blog, and also her awesome book Secrets of Oxford, which is available on Amazon.

In case you were wondering, the photograph is of the beautiful antique miniature writing desk my boyfriend bought me for my birthday this year! The writing paper and quill (possibly the most pretentious purchase I’ve ever made, but whatevs) are from Scriptum, a magical little shop in Oxford full of old-timey writing goodies, which I keep forgetting the name of because I just want to call it Flourish and Blotts, tbh.


1) When did you first start writing? Was being a writer something you always wanted to do?

In primary school I loved writing stories, although apparently I wasn’t very imaginative, because I ended every single one of them with the same sentence; “And then, they all went to McDonalds.” If I ever finish writing a novel, I’m actually kind of tempted to wrap it up with a trip to McDonalds, in homage to little-kid me, and her authorly aspirations.


2) What genre do you write?

I haven’t finished a novel, but the short stories I write tend to be a blend of surreal/psychological thriller. I’ve posted a couple on this blog – The Crow and The Box – if you’re interested in checking them out!


3) Can you tell us a little about your current work in progress? When did you start working on this project?

The novel I’m working on right now is a YA contemporary romance, and my main characters’ names are Calvin Rayes and Olly Branwell. I don’t have a title yet. Most other novels I’ve started have been dark and depressing, so I wanted to write something warm and uplifting for a change. I’m still in the planning stage right now.


4) What was the first piece that you can remember writing? What was it about?

I wrote this classic poem as a child:

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That’s copyright, y’all. No stealin’.


5) What’s the best part about writing?

Editing! I like polishing up my writing and making it sound better. I’m never happy with my first draft (but who is?!)


6) What is the worst part about writing?

The feeling of being blocked, staring at a blank page or screen and wondering how the hell you’re going to fill it with something that isn’t shit!


7) What’s the name of your favourite character and why? (This can be from another author or your own work. Book crushes are perfectly acceptable here as well.)

Bridget Jones! I love that she’s not just a humorous character, but also complex and full of contradictions; she’s constantly striving to be taken seriously, yet almost seems to enjoy playing the person everyone thinks of as a little bit ridiculous… she’s a proud feminist, yet desperately wants to find a man (and worries about whether this makes her less of a feminist). To me, she’s deeply relatable.

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Image via Giphy / Tumblr


8) How much time a day/week do you get to write? When is the best time for you to write (morning or night)? How much time a day/week do you get to write? When is the best time for you to write (morning or night)?

I struggle to write after a day at work, and I’m good for nothing when I first wake up in the morning! Weekends tend to be my most productive. I’m not good at writing in small scraps of time; I need a whole day to get into the flow of a story.


9) Did you go to college for writing? Or if you haven’t been to college yet, do you plan to?

I did an English Literature degree, but my final dissertation was in Creative Writing! I wrote a gothic retelling of the myth of Oedipus, from the perspective of the mother, set in 19th century England. If you want to read it, you’re very welcome, although it’s a bit long to post on here.


10) What bothers you more: spelling errors, punctuation errors or grammar errors?

Spelling errors are the least forgivable, because that’s what spell-check is for!


11) What is the best writing advice that anyone has given you?

Turn off your ‘inner editor’, and just write! (I am bloody awful at doing this, but it is good advice!)


12) What advice would you give another writer?

Plan before you write, and work out how your story is going to end! Every time I’ve tried to write without a clear plan, I’ve written thousands of words worth of waffle, before abandoning the story altogether.


13) What are your favourite writing sites or blogs that you turn to for help, tips or encouragements?

I follow tons of authors on Twitter, and lots of them have blogs where they post writing tips; there’s so much good free advice out there!


14) Besides writing, what else do you enjoy doing? What are your hobbies?

Blogging (I know this is also writing, but it’s a separate activity to my fiction writing), binge-watching Netflix, and sleeping.


15) What is the best book you have read this year?

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Reviewed here.


16) What is the best movie you have seen this year?

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So clever. So adorable!


17) What is you favourite book or series of all time? 

tess

The most devastating but beautifully written book.


18) Who is your favourite author?

Cassandra Clare! I obsessively read everything she writes and I’m in love with the world she has created!


19) What are your plans for the rest of the year in terms of your writing?

NaNoWriMo probably isn’t going to work out the way I’d hoped, so my goal is just to finish planning my novel by the end of November, and then get writing!


20. Where else can we find you online?

Twitter. I’ll be opening a Wattpad account soon too!


I’m not sure who to tag for this, as I don’t know how many of my book-blogging friends are also into fiction writing, but if you are, consider yourself tagged! Also, if you’re doing NaNoWriMo this year, let me know! I’d love to hear what you’re working on this month 🙂

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34 responses to “Confessions of a Writer Tag

  1. Aura Willow says:

    Firstly I am jealous of your Scriptum writing set. It is Muggleswick Flourish and Blott! Best shop in Oxford for sure. Also I mainly feel depressed now as I have no money to go and buy stuff in there 😦

    Amazing post though, love the poem – damn that copyright! I’m going to McDonald’s!

    Glad you like editing as Secrets Halloween is coming your way very soon.
    Thanks for the links, love ya xxx

    • Aura Willow says:

      Muggleswick? What the he’ll autocorrect – therefore spellcheck is not always God! 😛

      *Muggles

    • mudandstars says:

      Aww, this gives me birthday present ideas for next year… 🙂 Thanks, glad you liked the poem haha, I have got a whole load more where that came from, which I may post at some point because they are rather weird and funny! I got your email with Secrets, will have a look at it as soon as possibl! Also will reply to your texts sooon, I haven’t been good at communication this week as my brain is melting from all the new job stuff haha! Love you too lady xxx

      • Aura Willow says:

        Ooh exciting stuff – I cannot wait to read your poems! You can seranade me next time we meet up!

        I have been thinking about you all week – text me and tell me all about how your first week went! Xxx

  2. Scriberblog says:

    I’m participating in Nano this year. I can’t really explain what my novel is about. There’s still so much to write. I guess the only thing I know for sure is that it’s about greed.

    I can’t wait to get started on this, thank you for tagging me.

    p.s. the poem is adorable, was it published?

    • mudandstars says:

      That sounds interesting, what kind of genre is it? I always struggle to explain what my stories are about, usually because they start one way and end up something completely different! Look forward to reading your answers if you decide to do the tag 🙂 and haha sadly the poem was not published! I have a big folder filled with all the embarrassing things I wrote as a kid, and I dug this one out of there – I may post some more on here another day!

      • Scriberblog says:

        For a young girl to have written that poem is pretty impressive. I dont know if I was that good at expressing my thoughts at a young age. Writing wasnt something I was drawn to. It was art.
        I’d say its High fantasy. And yh my story has completely changed its path. It’s so hard to explain it. I had to explain what my novel was about in a job interview and it freaked me out, but this was the first time I wasn’t uncomfortable describing it. Everything clicked, it revolves around peoples choices and how much does greed play a part in peoples decisions and how thats affecting everyone around you. That’s essentially what its about.

        I’m probably going to wait till after Nanowrimo to do the tag. I’m slightly afraid that if I put it off for too long I might forget about it. I hope I don’t though.

      • mudandstars says:

        Aww thank you for saying that about the poem! That sounds really good – are you aiming to finish the whole thing during NaNoWriMo? How’s it going so far? Mine’s not going so well as it’s been a busy month so far, but I’ve managed to get a lot of planning done, so I’m happy with that! And don’t worry, I’m always forgetting about tags too I have a bit of a backlog of them, so I’ve started keeping a list which seems to help 🙂

      • Scriberblog says:

        Thank you, I’ve been working on it since last year. Developing the plot, characters, everything. Theres so much to learn and everytime I learn something new, my story changes.
        I’m hoping I can finish it within this month, but I’m not worried if I dont, I want to hit 50k.
        I haven’t written in a week, I’m hoping today I can write a significant amount.
        At least you have the planning done, writing gets easier if you get that out of the way. Try Nano sprints on twitter or nano word prompts in the forums. That should help inspire u to get that word count up.
        Thanks for the tip, I’m going to start doing that.

  3. _forevermint says:

    I love your answer to the first question! A trip to McDonalds is not how I imagine many stories to end xD And I would totally love to read your gothic retelling of Oedipus! It sounds so interesting *-*

    • mudandstars says:

      Haha me either – I guess I must have just been obsessed with McDonalds as a kid or something! And thank you – you’re very welcome to read it if you like – just drop me your email address and I can send it to you 🙂

  4. Tricia says:

    I love that your “happily ever after” was “and they all went to McDonald’s.” My little kid self would have TOTALLY understood that everything was perfect.

    I would LOVE to read that gothic retelling of Oedipus. It sounds fascinating!

  5. Annelisa says:

    I so want to visit your ‘Flourish & Blotts’ shop in Oxford! I have pens with different nibs, and several antique writing blocks and inkwells, but I still haven’t taught myself to use it!
    If you know your book’s going to end at MacDonald’s, imagine all your characters have just reached the grand climax, and are now heading there…maybe that’ll help you know what they did just beforehand and what to work towards 😀

    • mudandstars says:

      Ooh you should, it’s an amazing shop! It kind of feels like stepping into the past – you completely forget that it’s 2015 outside. You’re not alone – I have not taught myself how to use that quill either, it’s really difficult! When I first tried it out, I was just scratching it against the page and achieving nothing!

      And haha, McDonald’s is the perfect place for a grand climax!! Or not… 😀

  6. Annelise B. says:

    Omg, this was awesome! I got very interested on your currently work ❤ Would you mind telling me a bit more about it, please?? And kid-you was awesome with endings, putting the all "they lived happily ever after" to shame! Everyone knows that true happiness is only found at McDonalds, haha! ❤
    ps: I'm an amateur writer, am I tagged? LOL

    • mudandstars says:

      Haha, exactly, McDonalds is the happily ever after of our generation!! And yes please do feel free to do the tag, would love to read your answers! That’s awesome that you are an amateur writer too, have you ever posted any of your stories on your blog? Would love to read them! And I’m so happy you’re interest in my current story I’m working on!

      I’m still mostly planning at the moment, although I’ve written a couple of scenes whilst I was inspired! It’s about a boy called Calvin who goes off to university, and he is in a bad place because his best friend Jen (who he was in a relationship with), died in a car crash the summer before he was due to start college. On the day she died he ended their relationship because he realised he could never feel the same way about her, so he is basically feeling horribly guilty and that he doesn’t deserve to be happy and move on. He moves into a university house with 4 other people, and one of them is a boy named Olly, who he starts to develop feelings for, but because he’s so messed up over the death of his friend and feeling guilty about wanting to be happy, he holds back from letting anything happen between them. But he slowly starts to realise that he has never felt this way before, and that he DOES deserve happiness, and he should be honest about who he is!

      This was probably not a very good explanation haha, but you’re welcome to read some of it once I’ve written the first few chapters! I’ve almost finished planning, and I’ve got 2 weeks off work at Christmas so I’m so excited to start writing!!

      • Annelise B. says:

        YOUR STORY TOTALLY ROCKS!! OMG! *—-* I really wwant to read it when you have the first chapters, please please please count me in!!! ❤ ❤ And thanks for the tag, will do, haha! ;D I never posted anything on my blog and my original stuff saddly is in brazilian portuguese 😦 But I do have a short story about Elsa, from Frozen, and Jack Frost, from Rise of Guardians, that is in English and ready, haha! It's less than 40 pages long, as I wrote it earlier this year in the middle of my classes, oops! If you get interest in my pairing up, I can send it to you 😀 (it's okay if you don't want to, btw! It's fanfiction, after all, haha!)

      • mudandstars says:

        Aww thank you, you are very welcome to read it when the first few chapters are ready!! And your Elsa and Jack Frost story sounds awesome, I love the idea of that pairing, and there’s nothing wrong with a bit of fanfiction haha 😀 If you are happy to share you can send it to my email address (it’s on my ‘about’ page) as I would love to read it 🙂

      • Annelise B. says:

        Thanks so much! I’ll be here cheering for you! ❤ And I will send it to you for sure! I just need to see if I finished editing, as there were lots of typing errors, haha! (I don't like to stop my line of thinking when I'm writing, so I have to be serious about editing later, haha!) But it will be my pleasure for you to read it!!

      • mudandstars says:

        Yay, can’t wait to read it!! 🙂

      • Annelise B. says:

        I’m in the middle of the story already (editing), I think I’ll have it ready on the next weekend! I’m so excited to show you, haha!
        Btw, the tag went live today at the blog o/ Thanks again! ❤ https://anneliselestrange.wordpress.com/2015/12/19/confessions-of-a-writer-tag/

      • mudandstars says:

        Yay I’m really excited to read it! 🙂 And I will check out the tag now! Sorry it has taken me so long to reply by the way, I had such a crazy busy couple of weeks with finishing work for Christmas and then family stuff, but I am slowly catching up 🙂 Are you on holidays now too? If so, I hope you’re having a great time 🙂

      • Annelise B. says:

        That’s okay, my life is insane right now as well, haha! I’m on holidays as well and staying over at my uncle’s place without a pc to call my own. NIGHTMARE 😂 But I’m having fun and I hope you are too! Happy holidays and a lovely new year for you, my sweet friend 💙

      • mudandstars says:

        Aww, I know how you feel – my laptop died over Christmas, so I had to keep using my dad’s computer. Thankfully I went out and bought myself a new one – it will be so nice to be able to finally write blog posts without my laptop crashing every 5 minutes!! Did you have a nice holiday? Happy New Year! 🙂

      • Annelise B. says:

        Ooh, at least you got a new one, right?? 😍 and my holidays were fantastic, I want to play this again, haha! I’m home since Saturday, but my younger cousin is with me and I am crazy taking him to sightsee in my town. We shall leave again in half an hour or so, I am so dead tired! Hahaha. But anyway, I hope your holidays were good too despite the pc incident 💜💜 Love you!

      • mudandstars says:

        Glad you had a good holidays!Sounds very busy! Mine were quite tiring too as we had family over most days and I went away for a few days at new year too. I think I need another holiday to recover from my the holidays, if that makes sense!! Xxx

      • Annelise B. says:

        I TOTALLY NEED ANOTHER HOLIDAY TO RECOVER, HAHA! LOL I’m really tired from all the comings and goings, haha! But we can do this, we are in this together 😉 #highschoolmusicalmoment

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