If you want to be a writer… write.

This is the mantra I repeat to myself if you want to be a writer… write. Also read.

This is the mantra I repeat to myself if you want to be a writer… write. Also read.

This week I decided to publish some short stories I wrote around a year ago based on characters living in an apartment block. The first one, Pedro, is available to read now. The second, Tsuneo, has just been posted too. It’s a series I became distracted from sometime ago, but I thought it would be a good idea to publish the stories here to see if people would enjoy them enough for me to publish them as a book. So, please read them (they are very short reads) and feel free to criticise. Tell me what you like and, of course, what you don’t.

My aim is to write a thousand-word short story every day. It’s a really useful exercise; sometimes I am happy with the result, sometimes not so much, but the bottom line is that at least I am writing and exercising my brain in that direction.

Giving yourself a daily challenge, preferably a small, achievable one, works wonders. At the moment, I am also working on a book of my photography, so I have a daily photography challenge and a writing challenge. They are both achievable and make me feel like I am reaching towards my goals on a daily basis. I recommend it: whatever it is you need to achieve, set a daily task to enable you to achieve it.

Before I did this, I felt overwhelmed with all of my ideas. Now that I am putting them into practise, I know I will achieve my targets in both my writing and photography. It’s still frustrating that things don’t come together as fast as I’d like, but that’s me, always wanting all my ambitions to be fulfilled by yesterday!

Sometimes I make myself stop to look at what I have already achieved, and it never feels like enough, but I am learning to accept this and enjoy the things I learn on a daily basis. It is true that it’s not the destination that’s important, but the journey. It’s a bit of a cliche, I know. Completion is important. I end up spinning so many projects that sometimes they don’t get completed, but that’s OK. At least they are there to return to when the time comes.

Happily, I now have a copy of the Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook 2023 in my possession, a useful tool in taking my short stories to publications. It’s an investment I know will pay off. If you are a writer or artist, I totally recommend getting yourself this book.

I bought four books this week (including the Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook), three of which will help me with my writing and publishing endeavours, and I have a feeling the fourth one will too. Three of the books came from a secondhand bookshop: The Penguin Dictionary of English Grammar (it never hurts to continue to brush up), The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, and The Book of Margery Kempe. The usefulness of the first two of these books is self-explanatory. The third came about via pure serendipity. Grabbing a quick coffee a few weeks ago with the Norfolk tour guide Paul Dickson, he told me the story of Margery Kempe, a mediaeval Norfolk marvel who, at the age of 40, having had 14 children, embarked on a life of pilgrimage in England, Europe, and the Holy Land. It is a truly remarkable story. It so happened I was passing a secondhand bookshop in St. Giles on Wednesday and spotted the Book of Margery Kemp in the window. Pure kismet!

If you are a writer or have ambitions to write, stick with me. I am writing this blog to help other writers too, simply by sharing the knowledge I pick up along the way. Hit the subscribe button below to be kept up-to-date on a weekly basis with my progress. Feel free to share your writing/publishing tips too.

It’s time to go and write another story. See you again next week. Don’t forget to check out Tsuneo.


Beach huts

Author: Petra Kidd

Norfolk UK is my home, I live in Norwich by the River Wensum where everyday there is something different to see and learn. I feel a big affinity with the river as I grew up in Cambridge, another great river city. My childhood and teens involved many walks along the Cam where we would watch 'The Bumps,' raft races and as we grew older we enjoyed adventures on our punting pub crawls. Growing up in a multi cultural university city definitely influenced my reading choices, I am a big fan of Japanese fiction, love French literature and enjoy Shakespeare. As a young teen I entertained myself with Jilly Cooper and Dick Francis and then became quite obsessed with Henri Charriere's Papillon. At school all I cared about was English, Art and French, in that exact order. When I finished with school I went to live and work in Greece for a wonderful year before returning to study English Literature and Sociology. At this point I read more classics like the Wyf of Bath, Wuthering Heights and Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man plus poets such as Wilfred Owen. My first UK full time job was with Heffer's Paperbacks where I devoured several books at a time, excited by the fact I could borrow what I liked. Bizarrely for me I remember reading The Zurich Axioms, I have no interest in the stock markets but it had me gripped. I can't remember why I picked it up but I have never forgotten it. Heffers introduced me to so many authors, via their books and sometimes in person. It was here I learned about all the genres, it fascinated me that science fiction and horror were so popular, I tried reading it all. Aside from writing letters, it didn't really ever occur to me to write anything myself for many years as I worked my way through a variety of interesting and varied jobs. Then on a visit to the London Aquarium I became struck by an idea so powerful I sat down and wrote my first novel. It went nowhere as really I wrote it because I wanted to. I wrote another novel and again, didn't have the persistance or determination to take it further, I simply enjoyed the process of writing and my characters. Then years later another idea struck me and during a severe bout of Pleurisy where I couldn't do anything physical for months, I wrote the Eight of Swords and The Putsi. This time I published them as ebooks and they became pretty popular. When I fully recovered, I had to concentrate on my business and looking after my mother who has various health issues and the writing went adrift again for many years until 2020 when the Coronavirus pandemic hit the world. March 2020 I moved to my apartment alongside the Wensum to live alone for the first time ever. During the first lockdown I began to write a diary and then the idea for a new set of short stories came to me and in February 2021 they will be published. The Covid-19 Pandemic is not simply a scary virus, it is a historical time and here we are trying to live through it. To many it will feel like a punishment but to me as a writer, in some ways, it came as a gift. Please stay as safe and as well as you can. I hope to entertain you with my stories as we all try to get through this together, even though we are apart. Petra

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