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I love nice cars!I love nice cars!I'm not the most dedicated blogger to be honest. Social Media is too handy for posting snippets of news and as a result makes me lazy. Being a writer is great fun with lots of different projects coming my way. There's always something new to look forward to and currently I’m editing a very interesting story and am waiting for the final version to come back to me for its final proofread. It’s exciting being part of this debut novelist’s journey to publication.

I’ve enjoyed a trip to the sun already this year, taking in the sights of Malaga city and its nearby beach and port. Obviously I squeezed in a bit of retail therapy too - no point going otherwise!

My next trip is to a wedding (always fun), then a few days in London and after that a trip to New York where I’ll see how they trick or treat in Time Square!

I try to jot down a few notes on every trip, using the hotel notepaper and recording bits and pieces every day. It’s always a surprise when I take out the suitcase for my next trip as usually the notes are stuck in a side pocket and reading over it tells a little story all of its own.

Keeping morning pages is a tip a writer shared with me. A bit like my holiday memos, it’s another simple way of documenting experiences. Our thoughts dictate our mood and emotions. For writers, artists, sculptors etc, overthinking or questioning ability can be damaging.  It can lead to that scary 'blank page' feeling, progressing usually to procrastination and getting nothing done!

Morning pages on the other hand are effortless. If anything, they're great fun and can be as daring as you want them to be! There are no rules, no edits, no critique. In fact the clear advice is that it's best NOT to read back over them. These may form part of plotting a project being worked on. For me this morning, it's updating my website (long overdue). It can be some personal pieces of writing, getting thoughts onto a page and then closing the cover of your notebook and leaving it there. Without realising it, the content of morning pages clear the mind and allow creativity the room it deserves. This technique isn't limited to writing - artists may use it to splash colour on canvas, sculptors to take a lump of clay and have fun with it...

Though fiction will always be my preferred writing choice, 2015 and 2016 took my writing in a new and interesting direction. I was invited to be interviewed by a family whose daughter had a story to tell. Though it was a complete departure from fiction and novel writing, there was something mystical about it and I knew in that first meeting that if I were selected, I was going to say ‘yes’!

Ghost Writing is a privilege, a responsibility to the person the story is being written about and a challenge to any writer to get the ‘voice’ perfect. I learned to listen. I learned to delve into new subject matters. I learned to extend my writing skills to capture the heart of the story being told. I learned discipline and caution and more than anything I learned the power of the written word.

I’m happy to share my experience with anyone who might be broaching a similar project. Drop me an email to mary@marymalone.ie or click on the Contacts page to leave me a message.

Keep writing....it’s magical!