Monday, December 30, 2013


I watched two Queen’s speeches this year: the official speech at 3pm on Christmas Day, and the David Walliams version in his children’s story, Gangster Granny (which was just as fun for adults, too!). Whilst The Queen in David Walliams’ programme did more dancing than speaking, Her Majesty in the official speech discussed the benefits of reflection.

Reflection is something writers should do regularly, and I know it is something I could do more often. That’s one of my goals for 2014. It’s so tempting, as soon as we’ve finished writing something, to send it off, in the hope of getting good news in return. Instead, we should spend time reflecting upon the words we have written. How can they be improved? Have they conveyed the message we wanted?

Similarly, reflecting upon our ideas enables us to develop them properly. Our first ideas are not always our most original, or our best, so time spent reflecting upon them is time well spent. Whilst an idea may work well in our original target market, a period of reflection could reveal an alternative market where our writing works better, and possibly in a better-paying market!

To help get into the habit of reflection:

- put your idea/work aside for at least 24 hours,
- when you are ready, sit in a comfortably chair (not where you normally write) and read through your idea/work.
- pick up a pen and jot down your thoughts in a notebook. What works well? What doesn’t? How can things be improved?
- put these thoughts aside for another 24 hours, at least.
- when you come back to these thoughts, pick out the strongest comments, or those that mean the most to you, and take it from there.
- come your amended idea/work against the original. Can you see what your period of reflection has achieved?

And on that note, I’ll leave you to reflect upon this thought!

I wish you all a happy, prosperous, creative and reflective 2014!

Good luck.