Tag Archive | Mac

How to beat writer’s block

NaNoWriMo: The Curse of Being Prolific

I’m delighted to welcome Elle Amberley to the Write Now! Coach Blog. Elle is a super-prolific author who writes in both French and English. Enjoy!

The Curse of Being Prolific by Elle Amberley

Writer’s block? What’s that?

I often hear about the dreadful writer’s block, sounds horrible. I always fear of it landing on me and enveloping me in its gloom. Yet, it’s never happened to me.

On the contrary, I seem to have been blessed, or cursed, with an overactive brain. I say blessed because of course I absolutely love writing and crafting new stories.

So, why would it be a curse, I hear you ask.

Well, imagine, it’s the middle of the night, the whole house is finally quiet and you’re lying there, tired to the bone, desperate to shut your eyes and go to sleep. And yet, you can’t, that mind of yours keeps wandering through the night, opening more and more doors.

That’s me I’m talking about by the way. My long suffering husband will at some point sigh, switch the light back on and pass me pen, paper and my Mac, if that particular night is very productive.

Truth is I have far too many ideas, files full of them for my next projects. Maybe this is one of the reasons I now have two pen names, because no publisher can keep up with this flow.

I always have several novels on the go and switch from one to the other as inspiration strikes or as publishing constraints demand. And maybe this is the secret, I never get a chance to get bored with one project. It also keeps my writing fresh, to me anyway. The only problem is I’m over-stimulated.

To make things worse I also started writing in French, which is rather bizarre but there you go, I never do things the way I’m expected to. Writing in French happened by accident or rather following a trauma. I felt such grief but was unable to express it and writing in another language unlocked these emotions I had kept hidden. It has also helped me developing as a writer.

As for NaNo, I wish you all good luck. Last Christmas I did my own NaNo in one week. 70,000 words to be precise. This is how I like my first drafts, fast and furious. Once I have an idea in that thick brain of mine, I’m gone, nothing can stop me, not even the flu. In fact, I could say I was in a trance.

About the Author. Please visit my website Elle Amberley Author to find out more about me and don’t hesitate to drop me a line. I’m always very happy to hear from readers or fellow writers. You’re very welcome to follow me on Elle Amberley Twitter and Elle Amberley Facebook where you will find updates and details of book signings.

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Living in fear, and writing about it

Living in fear, and writing about it


Elle Amberley

Having your name out there in public can be a frightening thing for some, especially for us denizens of the internet. Mother and author Elle Amberley talks about fighting that fear and coming out as a writer and about her new book Nowhere Left To Hide.

This madness possessing me, the one that stops me in my tracks, forcing me to write, so compulsive and obsessive.

I’m a mum first and then an author. I’ve been very good at hiding the writer side of me for the last few years using a pen name and keeping my private life well out of my professional life.

So why am I coming out now under a new pen name? Why was I not content with being known as the hermit author on the other side of the Atlantic?

I’ve stopped being a wuss? Well, let’s just say when I started I was scared, I had been living in fear for years. I broach this in my latest novel but also I’ve been talking more publicly about my own experience and grown more confident.


Imagine living in fear for most of your life, your first memory being of terror. Dreaming night after night of escape plans, only to be woken up by your worst nightmare.

Writing has been a wonderful healing process and talking about it helps, sharing with others has surprising rewarding benefits. I still have lightbulb moments when I get a better understanding of past events, where I can see how people are sometimes driven to do what they do, or fail to (re)act.

Furthermore, time has passed and the nasties have got older, time to let go of the childhood ghosts. As a teenager I ran for my life, I escaped several times until I realised I had to go further away in order to get on with my life. This time I escaped for good and ended up on the other side of the world.

I always find it easier to express myself through my writing and also on my own blog than on other people’s. I suffer from the Great British reserve and fear to be seen as a “look at me” type. Truth is I really suck at promoting myself. But I’ve been asked to do interviews and nudged to go on Facebook. God, I was dreading that and yet, in only three months I have a fantastic group of friends and so much support.


So this is how I came to write Natasha’s story. It is not my story although there are similarities. I wanted to show “victims” do not have to accept labels, we can all break the cycle. Sartre said that we always have a choice. Indeed how we react is up to us, we can lay down as victims or pick ourselves up, live to see another day and grow from it.

Nowhere Left to Hide is not a sad story, but a positive one. You will not find graphic details in my book but you will meet a strong woman who is determined to turn her life around. She is not a victim, she’s a fighter and a go-getter.

Writing for me is fun, it’s what I enjoy the most. I can write anywhere, I even have to stop the car sometimes to get hold of my notebook. Nobody around me bats an eyelid, well not the people who know me anyway. The others I wouldn’t notice, my head is down, I’m in my own universe.

Characters speak to me and yes, I used to fear for my sanity. Is this normal, and what is normal anyway?

The good news is men in white coats have not come to take me away yet. A friend of mine, who also happened to be a novelist, once told me “You’re not mad, you’re creative.”

I like the sound of that, that’s my excuse anyway.

I’m always very happy to hear from readers or fellow writers. You’re very welcome to follow me on Elle Amberley Twitter and Elle Amberley Facebookwhere you will find updates and details of book signings.

Nowhere Left to Hide now on Amazon


About the author

Although she is a British author, Elle Amberley likes to dabble in French too and hopes to resume work on her French novel when time allows. She also enjoys writing articles on women’s issues and whatever she feels passionate about, as well as poetry. A follow up to Nowhere Left to Hide is due for publication in Spring 2012.


Nowhere left to hide Elle Amberley

Nowhere Left to Hide by Elle Amberley 

Described as “A heartfelt tale, told with a deft touch” by novelist Rowan Coleman.

Sometimes sad, sometimes funny, sometimes romantic, this much awaited novel is a story of hope, fighting against the odds & the determination to do the right thing.


‘Lyrical from start to finish, Elle Amberley embraces the essence of women and friendship in Nowhere Left to Hide. Natasha, a young poet and writer, is wise beyond her years, as she lets us accompany her on her year long journey from England to the sunny coast of Southern California as she finds courage, her true calling and love.’ Ana Lewis, Founder, WomenontheVerge.net


This post was originally posted here : Guest post on Heather Sunderland

Please visit Heather’s wonderful blog, many thanks to her for hosting me.


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Does creativity flow better with a pen and paper?

Pen and paper or laptop? Does it matter?

A recent article suggests that writing longhand is better for creative writing.

Really? Is it not more a matter of personal choice and what works best for the
individual writer?
I always used to write in notebooks first then I got my beloved Mac.
It's made my life so much easier and it's also much faster.
That said I still have notebooks all over the place which I use constantly.
I guess I make notes which I can then use when I'm writing my first drafts
but also as and when an idea pops up.
I will confess to being a bit of a fetishist when it comes to notebooks, I just love them.
Recently I have talked to and interviewed many fellow authors about this. It's really
quite interesting to see how it differs form one writer to the next. We all our
little quirks and personal preferences.
One thing though every writer I know has notebooks of course, that's almost a guarantee.
So what about you, pen & paper or toys? as one commentator put it.

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Thank you Steve!

Steve Jobs shows off iPhone 4 at the 2010 Worl...

Image via Wikipedia

How sad to read the news this morning.

As soon as I switched on my Mac, Steve Jobs was everywhere. I look around me and I have so many Apple gadgets. Yes, I love Apple.

My Mac changed the way I write.

A few years ago I was struggling on a PC, most days I cursed as my screen froze and I wasted precious time. Back then I thought Apple was a lot of hype and expensive products until I played with one.

I can still remember that day when I was shown what you can do on a Mac, how fast it was.

I had tears in my eyes as I realised I was getting one and how much I desired it, how it would transform my life. Yeah, I know I’m the emotional type. The event even inspired a passage in a novel to be published next year.

So, yes, it has transformed my life. I can take it anywhere I like, it loads super quickly, I can have however many windows open I want… I just love it!

As an author and a busy mum time is precious, ease and convenience just as much. Learning to use a Mac is child’s play. There was no need to dread the learning curve.

Like many people I’m sad to hear the news. Nowhere near as sad as his loved ones and friends I’m sure. He was a visionary and left his mark in this world. Rest in peace.




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My writing haven…

Where do you write?

In my dreams I have this vision of myself writing in a peaceful setting, a little summer house perhaps in my secret garden.If the weather was nice, you’d find me amongst the roses.

In real life, I write here, there and everywhere.I’m always on the go or simply running around after the children.

Truth is, I love being surrounded by my children and luckily I am able to look after them, home-educate them and somehow throw a little writing in the balance.

Often friends visit and wonder how I get anything done.I’m sure it looks like chaos to them but I’m used to it and as long as the kids are happy, that’s fine!

A little peace

There are times when I do need a little peace, just to hear myself think and not juggle so many balls in the air.I’m not terribly disciplined most of the time, although when needs must, I can be.I’m also a frustrated perfectionist .

The perfectionist in me clashes regularly with the go-getter me.


I’m always amazed to hear how other writers commit to their writing as if it was a 9 to 5 job.I’m not at all like that and I am a very messy writer.

I write in bouts, often wondering how I’m going to reconcile all these little sparks and make something worthy of it.

I’m forever stopping and starting, a page here, a few words there, several notebooks everywhere, my laptop almost always switched on.

Thank goodness for Apple

I’m a Mac user and Apple convert.A laptop that springs to life, the minute you lift the lid, my dream come true!So whenever my daughter or son clamour for my attention, I put the lid down, ready to start  as you open it again.Ah, technology!

I do have a dedicated place though where I store all my writing tools and bits and pieces but most of the time I just carry it all in my laptop bag together with notebooks.

I told you, I’m a messy writer, what about you?