Welcome to the latest edition of Draft Mode, a newsletter for creative cookies who want to improve their craft and promote their work. That's you!
Busy time of year, right? I took my week off freelance work to do my home writing retreat and ooh boy, have things been flat out since.
Most of you will know that I also sent Pieces, a pop-up newsletter to document the retreat. That's finished now and you can read all the emails I sent via this exciting webpage. Quick Pieces summary. 13 editions. 9000 words. Amazing feedback.
I'll try and squeeze another Draft Mode in before Chrimbles, but if I don't you can send your complaints directly to all four of my children. Around new year, I hope to send you a round up and recommendations from this most eventful annum.
Enjoy the glorious content below!
PS If you just want an idea of how the writing retreat went and some thoughts on time, read my final Pieces update.
PPS When I'm writing, I tend to keep a stack of ace books nearby, sometimes for research, sometimes for stupid stuff like how do people punctuate dialogue, and sometimes just for sheer comfort! All the books in the image above come highly recommended, either by me or someone who told me to buy them.
Links of the week
Every issue I collect and share the best advice, apps and other shenanigans that I find on my internet travels. Find something useful? Subscribe for free.
I was a guest on episode 3 of a brand new podcast called Prompety Prompt. It's a really interesting concept that combines interviews with live writing exercises. Somehow, I ended up writing about ducks, bread and budgies.
This is a Twitter thread by YouTuber and newsletterer Alex & Books, which comes backed with recommendations from folk who follow him. Some of the suggested books are very familiar, but there were some new to me too.
You're probably sick of me saying that the best way to start building a readership is to publish a newsletter. Esteemed newsletter chief, Josh Spector has put together a post full of practical advice on how to do exactly that.
Hmm, this is interesting. The idea behind this to do app is that you plan your day out according to time-specific chunks. I can see that being really useful if you struggle to stay focused on the same task for long.
OMG: The developer also has an app called Escape 2 that tracks and reports exactly which websites you've spent your time on each day.
Good title, but sadly this article doesn't really tell you how to build a collection. But it does contain some fantastic examples and links to other articles about short story writing that I know you'll find super useful.
I really like this from Lincoln Michel, as it gets to the heart of how I feel about the just write mantra and the constant championing of quantity over quality.
Anyway, isn’t it a little weird to talk about the creation of art like an economist calculating rates of return. Who cares about an author’s Gross Domestic Pages or fourth-quarter word count increase? Tell me if the words are worth reading or not.
On my writing retreat, I 'only' wrote around 1500 words. But writing is so much more than words on a page and it's really quite possible to get things right without drowning in drafts.
Don't tell anyone, but I'm looking at launching a Draft Mode podcast some time next year. Back in the day, we recorded the Write for Your Life podcast with Skype and sticky tape. I'm likely to use Zancastr instead next time.
Tweets of the week
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