Tag Archives: advice

MirandaWrites 52 – The Christmas Vlog!

Merry Christmas, lovelies!

Well, it’s been a very strange year, with lots of ups and downs, but one silver lining (pardon the pun) has been the fantastic response from you about the return of my vlogs. For this week’s vlog, I asked for your festive questions – and you gave me some great ones!

Which location makes me think of Christmas? Am I going to write any more novels set in New York? How many notebooks do people buy me for Christmas? These questions and more feature in a very festive vlog with special guests, a #LegoElvis exclusive newsflash (so exciting!) and even a bit of singing from me! Plus, I offer my advice for creating great vlogs for anyone interested in becoming a vlogger.

(I mention Hayley’s vlog – check out her YouTube channel here…)

(Read my Elvis-impersonators-fighting-alien-killer-zombies comedy novel, Elvis vs The End of the World here…)

So get ready for a bit of MirandaWrites festive fun – and thanks so much for watching! xx

Miranda Writes 42 – Moving onto new stories

All this year, I’m vlogging about writing and publishing my seventh novel, A Parcel for Anna Browne. This week, very exciting news about the book and your questions answered…

I’ve had a right old game with YouTube to get this video to upload, so apologies that the quality is not as good as you’re used to. All will be fixed next week, I promise, so bear with me while I do battle with the YouTube gods, Game Of Thrones-style!

Questions this week come from Anna @AnnaMansell and Katy @katynotwedordead (both on Twitter – do follow them, they’re fabulous writers!). So I’m talking about how you can find a good manuscript critique service that will actually be worth investing in; and how to move on to new stories once a book is finished.

Enjoy! xx

p.s. This week’s YouTube-nominated freeze-frame is entitled, ‘Fuzeeeeeee’.

Miranda Writes 41 – SPECIAL VLOG: Finish Your Book!

This year, in addition to my regular vlogs about about writing and publishing my seventh novel, A Parcel For Anna Browne, I’m also doing a series of special vlogs each looking at one aspect of writing…


I meet so many writers who tell me they’ve only written a few chapters of their book and sent it off to agents without finishing a first draft of the whole thing. And others who have written most of the book, but have found it got difficult, boring or something stopped them writing it. It’s a very common problem for writers!

So, in this vlog, I’ll tell you why you should finish your book and talk about some of the things that hold you back. There’s also a scary thought and a Wurdy dare, so you have been warned!


p.s. This week’s YouTube-nominated freeze-frame is entitled, ‘Flat-cap Serious Face…’

Miranda Writes 35 – How do you write when life is tough?

This year, in addition to my regular vlogs, I will be posting a series of special vlogs, each focusing on a specific aspect of writing. For the first one, I’ve tackled something really personal: how do you write when life is tough?

This year has been a mix of highs and lows already. Right in the middle of doing a big edit on my seventh novel, A Parcel for Anna Browne, my beloved 93 year-old Gran suffered a massive stroke and passed away.

It broke my heart and stopped me in my tracks.

I didn’t want to write. I couldn’t think about my book – even though I loved it, even though I’m so excited to be getting to tell the story I’ve been wanting to write for a very long time. How do you write when something like that happens?

I hope this vlog gives some answers.

I’d love to know what you think. And if there’s a question you’d like me to answer in a future special vlog, please comment below or email me: mirandawurdy@gmail.com


WriteFoxy! Writers’ Inspiration Day – the highlights

My third WriteFoxy! Writers’ Inspiration Day has just taken place and it was a phenomenal event. If you missed it (and if you were one of the lucky ones actually there), here are the highlights…


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Miranda Writes 23 – Inspiration, fab fonts and beating doubts

All year I’m making vlogs to chart the life of my sixth novel, I’ll Take New York. This week I’m answering your questions about writing including where I get my inspiration from for characters and stories, how to turn an initial idea into a full-blown novel and overcoming writer doubts!

Thanks for all your fabulous questions! Don’t worry if I don’t answer your question this week – I had so many fab questions on Twitter and Facebook that I’ll be answering them all over the next few vlogs.

This week I’ll tell you where I’m at with my writing, hint at something very exciting that’s coming up and talk about where to start with a novel, where my inspiration for characters and stories comes from and what my favourite fonts are for writing. I’ll  also talk about beating writer doubts (a constant battle for every writer) and how my WriteFoxy! philosophy is helping me overcome mine.

I’m running two more WriteFoxy! Writers’ Inspiration Days and would love you to come! Part writers’ conference, part writing retreat, these days will reconnect you to your love of writing and encourage you to write better, braver books:

Here’s the vlog – enjoy!

M xx

Miranda Writes 22 – plotting, writing advice and Flo!

It’s here, finally! The vlog is back after a brief sabbatical during which I had my lovely baby girl Florence Wren and had to replace my poor old video camera after it finally bit the dust…

So, what’s it like being a full-time writer and full-time mum? Where am I at with work on my sixth novel, I’ll Take New York? I answer these questions in the vlog, together with cracking questions from you on everything from the dialogue and description balance in short stories, how to tighten up a flagging scene (ooh, can be nasty, that…), how I plot my novels, finding a cracking opening scene to what essentials I can’t write without. Oh, and watch out for Flo’s very first vlog cameo!

Let me know what you think! And what would you like me to talk about next week? Leave a comment below or email me at mirandawurdy@gmail.com.


M xx

p.s. This week’s YouTube-nominated freeze-frame is entitled, ‘What’s that coming over the hill…?’

p.s. As this is a new video camera the picture isn’t quite as good as I wanted it to be, but bear with me and I’ll have it fixed for next week.


Come to my first Writers’ Inspiration Day!

I’m so excited to announce that I will be running my very first day conference for writers – The Write Foxy! Writers’ Inspiration Day!

And the best bit is, you are invited!

Write Foxy!

I’ve heard so much about writers at all stages of their writing careers struggling lately and the thing that’s struck me is how many of us are battling to keep sight of why we dreamed of writing stories in the first place. Following on from my 2014 writing resolution to Write Foxy – i.e. write what I love and reconnect with the sense of fun that is so often lost in the sheer hard work of writing books – I am putting together a day for writers to meet, share ideas, be inspired, write and, most of all, remember why we love writing!

The Write Foxy! Writers’ Inspiration Day takes place at the very lovely De Vere Village Urban Resort Dudley on Saturday 1st February, from 9am – 4pm. Refreshments will be available throughout the day and a full buffet lunch will also be included. The day will consist of a mixture of inspirational speakers, networking opportunities and the Write Foxy! Writers’ Room where you can hang out with other writers and work on your own projects. The day will be fun, inspirational and a great opportunity for you to invest in yourself as a writer. The event costs £95 per person and includes all of the above, plus session notes and a goody bag. Places are very limited, so book now to avoid disappointment!


>>> F.A.Q’s >>>

Don’t Just Write: Write Foxy!

A day for writers to come together, share ideas, be inspired and, most of all, reconnect with a love of writing. Part conference, part writers’ retreat, the Write Foxy! Day will encourage you to make the most of your writing, learn from the experience of bestselling authors whilst also providing space for you to work on your own projects. Refreshments will be available all day and a full buffet lunch is included.

Who is the Write Foxy! Day for?

Everyone who writes! Whether you are just starting out, are working towards becoming a published or self-published author or are already published, this day offers something for you.

Will the Write Foxy! Day teach me how to write a novel?

No, but it will inspire you to make the most of your writing, whatever stage you are at. It’s an inspiration day that will leave you fired up, armed with new tips and raring to pursue your writing goals.

What does Write Foxy! mean?!

Write Foxy! is all about writing what you’re passionate about, keeping fun at the centre of your writing and loving what you do. So many writers at all stages of their writing careers struggle with doubts, fatigue, a sense of hopelessness and a lack of motivation: this day is designed to reconnect you to the reason you started writing. If you believe in and love what you write, readers will too!


Taking December off to dream…

This year – for the first time in five years as a published author – I’m taking December off from writing. It’s a whole new experience for me and, to be honest, it’s taking some getting used to…

Me and Bump model the Christmas jumper look!

My treat – a Christmas jumper! This is also Bump’s first photo!

It seems like a daft thing to have to get used to resting, but after the crazy-exciting roller-coaster that has been the last five years of my life, I’ve become accustomed to being busy. Very busy. I’ve generally been writing the first draft of my next book as I’m promoting my most recent novel and that takes me over Christmas, ready to begin editing from January onwards.

This year, after my decision to start again with my fifth novel, Take A Look At Me Now, and having to write the new version in just over a month, I decided to complete the first draft of Book 6 by the end of November so that I could take December off. I needed a break – and also, with a certain Bump on board, I wanted to have some time to enjoy the thrill of expecting a baby.

But I have to say, not writing is weird

I’ve always written. I wrote in the evenings after my day job and at weekends. I wrote in lunch-breaks and on train journeys. I even once wrote in a cinema during a particularly boring film (and was amazed that most of my notes were legible!) Having a ‘real job’ meant I worked writing around everything else and it’s a habit I’ve relied upon since becoming a published author.

But in September this year I was finally able to give up the day job and become a full-time writer. Which was amazing – and a complete ambition fulfilled. Suddenly my head had space to think and I could write at any time of day (or night, which is usually when my brain kicks into gear) and know I didn’t have an annoying alarm at 6am every day to drag me to work. Writing the first draft of Book 6 was a whole new experience because for the first time ever I was able to concentrate on one project, without a frustrating to-do list dangling like a Damoclean sword above my head. I handed it in and suddenly had a whole December to not think about it.

The problem is, writers’ brains don’t switch off so easily…

I never expected resting and not writing to be a challenge. But it has been. My brain, freed from the concerns of a day job, is like an overexcited kid in a fancy dress shop: Look! We could do this! Or This! Or THIS! – as feathers and sequins and cowboy hats and dragon tails are flung into the air. Instead of thanking me for the chance to not think of stories, my brain was adamant that this was the perfect opportunity to write anything and everything I could.

For a while there, it was a battle of wills between my writer brain and me. But then, I made a decision:

December is my dreaming month.

I’m not embarking on any big writing projects and I am resting (fully immersed in awful Christmas movies, twinkling fairy lights and festive tinsel), but I’m allowing my brain to dream. So, if a new sparkly idea happens to pop into my writer brain, I’m giving it space to bop around for a while. There’s no pressure to write it, or see it as a possible publishable object: I’m just enjoying the thrill of entertaining ideas. I’m not stressing over them and they may come to nothing, but I like that they feel free to arrive.

And the loveliest thing? It’s reconnecting me to that initial surge of adrenalin and creativity that made me fall in love with writing in the first place. That made me dream of, one day, writing books that would be read around the world and maybe, just maybe, being able to make a living from my stories. It’s too easy to forget – and I have forgotten over the last five years – what a gift it is to be doing what I’m doing now. Allowing myself time to dream has transformed the way I look at my writing and I’m confident that my future work will only benefit from it.

I would advise any writer – published or waiting-to-be-published – to allow yourself Dreaming Time. I think you’ll be amazed at how productive and enjoyable it will be!

Take a Look At YOU now!

To celebrate the release of Take A Look At Me Now – and Nell’s story of making changes in your life when life lets you down – I asked my lovely Twitter and Facebook followers to share with me how much their life has changed. The stories that they told me are amazing: funny, witty, touching, courageous and downright brave. Read these and feel good about life!

For me, six years ago I was being escorted out of my former workplace with twenty-six colleagues, after we had just lost our jobs. It was almost Christmas, I had no way of paying my rent and was panicking about my future. Today, I’m a five-times Sunday Times Bestseller, have sold over 500,000 books worldwide and am finally doing my dream job of writing full-time. Life has a funny way of turning out…

Me with TALAMN book

@shoefiend1984 4 years ago I’d just been dumped by my fiancé via text and forced to leave my job & move back home, now I’m sitting in Sicily with a successful career, my own flat, my own car and happy with my life!
(Catriona runs a wonderful book blog, Fabulous Book Fiend!) 

@_shelovestoread 5 years ago I would do anything to please other people. Now, I live my life for me and do things that make me happy.
(Laura runs lovely book blog, She Loves To Read!)

@nealdoran Basically it’s been downhill since 2nd place in a Pontins Little Prince comp 35 years ago. Take a look at me now…
(Neal is now a brilliant author – check out his book!)

Neal TALAMN pic

Loretta Livingstone 15 years ago I was almost housebound, and had to rest in bed morning and afternoon. I am still almost housebound, but no longer confined to bed in the afternoons. And I have written 4 books. No way would I have been well enough to do that, even 5 years ago. Life looks good!
(Check out Loretta’s books!)

@minionsofbooks 5 years ago I was unhappy, quiet & hugely overweight. Now I smile a lot more! Live life, love life Xx
(Kirsty now runs brilliant book blog, The Love Of A Good Book!)

Kirsty TALAMN pic

@clareren 10 years ago I became the voice of my 2 year-old son to get him the support he needed. I’m still talking and won’t stop till he needs me to!

@alexalovesbooks I’m married! I’ve also got a stronger sense of what I’d like for my own future, and am building towards it. Take a look at me now!

@lizzie256 5 years ago I was 21 and looking forward to spending the first Christmas with my boyfriend. Today I am married to that boyfriend and we have two beautiful children!

@K8JohnsonAuthor 15 years ago I was a nerdy teenager who wanted to write books. Now I’m a nerdy grownup who does write books! Plus ca change…
(Kate is a brilliant author – check out her books!)

@welshhedgehog 15 years ago I had only just met my husband (to be). Now married 14 years and 3 children later.

@Feetpaintwords 20years ago I worked in accounts. Now I’m a qualified reflexologist, a water-colourist and a writer! Take a look at me now!

@Feetpaintwords Missy would like to say that, eight years ago, she was in Battersea Dogs & Cats Home waiting for a home. But Take A Look At Me Now!
(Could you make a dog or cat’s life better? Visit Battersea Dogs & Cats Home to find out!)

Missy TALAMN pic

@onemorepage  5 years ago I wasn’t a blogger! Take A Look At Me Now! 🙂
(Visit Amanda’s brilliant book blog, One More Page!)

@InessaS This year I decided to do something that I love and I stopped to do in 1994: WRITING stories!

@karamina 5 years ago I was wondering if I’d ever be brave enough to write the novel I’d been carrying in my head.
(Note: Rachael Lucas is now a bestselling author!)

@Lynsey1991 5 years ago I was sat in a college class, no idea what I wanted to do. Now I’m working on what will hopefully be my first book xx

@RS78 20 years ago I was bullied for being a lesbian. Now I’m married to an amazing woman and we’re expecting twins in Feb!!! 🙂

@dazd 5, 10, 15+ yrs ago I was fat n unhealthy, now I’m over 6stone lighter, healthy, slim, no illness and SO happy. Take a look at me now!

@ChickLitChloe 10 years ago I was 17, getting ready for A-Levels and applying to Uni. Now I’m living somewhere else, got a 7 year old+ I’m a TA!
(Chloe also runs a fab book blog – check out Chloe’s Chick Lit Reviews!)

@sam_smith73 5 years ago I was flying as cabin crew, and single today I’m married, a qualified teacher and loving it!

@MrsKRufus31  5 years ago I was in my final year at uni, now I’m married, have 2 children and I’m a qualified nurse 🙂

@Rachel_Fusion now I do a job I love, own my own wellbeing centre am living with the man of my dreams + am writing a novel (although not to be too Pollyanna I do still struggle with CFS but just don’t let it get me down anymore!!)

@MeganInTheSun 5 years ago I had a job I didn’t get on with & no direction in life. Now I’m married, we have exciting plans together & I’m really looking forward to the future 🙂 xxx
(Check out Megan’s lovely book blog, Reading In The Sunshine!)

Jackie Gallacher  10 years ago I was looking for work within the theatre industry and nowadays it’s the sport industry – so many exciting opportunities  xx

Rosemarie Sayer At 39 I’m now lucky enough to be fully congruent & self aware, comfortable in my own skin, yet more cynical!

Trish Tishylou Hills 15 years ago I was still living in Canada, working in a corner shop 20 hours week and had not yet discovered chick lit. 10 years ago I had only just met my partner and still lived at home with my Mum. 5 years ago, I was in a dark place that got even darker for a while but I pulled through it and am happy now. I run my own business and get to review the books I love!
(Check out Trish’s book blog, Tishylou’s World!)

Tara Hooper 15 years ago I left a really toxic marriage and moved back in with my patents. 10 years ago I went snowboarding for the first time discovered a passion. And 6 years ago I was about to marry my wonderful hubby on my 37th birthday!

Claire Fain 5 years ago I was about to start my new career with my current employer as an accountant, 10 years ago I was self employed with my own shop and internet site -craft shop, and 15 years ago I was 5 months pregnant, planning my maternity leave from my first career- bank clerk, and trying to start my own business, not knowing I was going to be giving birth to my beautiful daughter 3 months early(she will be 15 next month). Xx

Sophia Valentine I had attended college for 5 years studying Law, got my Diploma, worked in a Solicitors for 5 years, got a promotion, thinking it was all i ever wanted. Quit last year to work abroad, met someone and been in Ibiza ever since, learning Spanish and working toward getting published. I didn’t have a fro, but I had a dreadful perm at aged 16, which was apparently ‘in’ at the time! Lol!!

Sarah Mellor 15 years ago – 13 years old and 13 1/2 stones (Size 18/20 in clothes). Bullied to the point of needing counselling. Today – 28 years old and 10 1/2 stone (did get down to 9 stone at one point but was too skinny then!) Size 12/14 clothes wearer. Teacher so I can help other young people who may feel like they have no-one and nothing! The years really do make the difference – I may not have the promotion or relationship status I’d like, but I do have a job and family who I love dearly (especially my two Godchildren!) Sarah x

Abbey Ribena Liddle 5 years ago I had just completed my NVQ level 2 in hairdressing and was loving life  and as you can imagine being a hairdresser you have all wacky hair colours..I was 16 and brunette hair but bright pink underneath..crazy but it’s what hairdressers do! 10 years ago I was 13 and was becoming a typical teenager who thought was hard done by as always the one having to go in early while everyone was still out.. I thank my mum and dad every day now that they were strict as it could have turned out worse xx

Gail Ellen Parnell 15 years ago, I was working as an assistant to two managers in Dudley and getting to grips with writing, ten years ago I was zipping round town in my little car after almost giving up learning to drive – it took me give attempts and five years ago, I was working as a CCTV operator which proved to be one of the most eye opening experiences ever.

Julia Rich Was Wright 15 years ago I was in the early stages of a new relationship but had already worked out he was “the one”. 10 years ago I was dealing with redundancies at work (and can feel the tension in my shoulders again just thinking about it). 5 years ago I was adapting to becoming a mummy for the second time (best job in the world).

Louise Louby Skelding 10 years ago I was terrified of dogs, all dogs, and I didn’t like animals, now my whole world is an 11 month old Cockapoo and four little hamsters. Also Animal rights are a passion of mine! I’m a better person for this change.

If you’ve been inspired by these Take A Look At Me Now stories, why not add your own below? xx