New Year Resolutions

We’re well into January now and all those good intentions should be firmly taking route. Dry January, Gym visits, Smoking patches, and the dreaded Diet , etc means we should all be feeling pretty good about ourselves and our new regimes.

Sadly, for most of us, that will not be the case. My promise to myself (I find it easier not to proclaim my resolutions to anyone but myself.) has already fallen at the first hurdle. My 2018 To-do-list is topped by:

Write a blog post every week.

Second is: Edit a scene from the first draft of my novel every day.

Both of these, sadly, have failed to happen as life, like so often happens, has gotten in the way. So I’ve managed neither of those but I intend to change that and pretend that today is New Years Day and in my new world calendar I’m starting as I mean to go on.

So everything is reset, my new list is on track, I feel inspired and renewed and all is well with the world. Perhaps.

Failure at NaNoWri Mo

Well its suddenly December and November has passed with all it’s usual flourish. The end of lighter evenings and the falling of the leaves mark the seasons passing towards winter and all that will bring.

But this November, for me and lots of others across the world it meant NaNoWriMo and my first attempt at this writing marathon. I did all the things which were recommended beforehand. I told all my friends and family that I was entering and so would, probably, not be very communicative during the process. I planned my characters, scenes and story almost through to the end as people said I should. Okay, I missed the first day due to attending a meeting at the other end of the country but once I did start the words flowed and I was off; like a racehorse released from the starting tape.

It started really well but then after about 15,000 words my characters began to take on their own persona’s and started to dictate to me what they would do and it wasn’t the way I’d planned. I began to introduce new and unplanned people who were now shoring up the story. Then when I had to leave it for a couple of days I found it difficult to get back into the heads of these additions and because now I was beginning to feel the pressure of the second week I knew that I was writing just anything to achieve my word count. I promised myself that I would only go back and edit in December but by the third week I may have just been writing lines for a school punishment.

‘I must write 50,000 words in November’

‘I must write 50,000 words in November’

‘I must write 50,000 words in November’

So I lost the plot and procrastination took over and it all stalled. Reading back over the 23,320 words I finally reached I found that a lot of the text needs to be shelved and there is probably only about half of it which is usable in the future.

However, I take from this several things. It was a positive experience and I enjoyed the fact that, although I understand that millions of writers across the world are writing as I tap out these words, it felt like we all started together and had a common goal. Also, I did try writing in a way totally outside my comfort zone. I feel the satisfaction of having tried it and although I failed I don’t feel, at all like a failure. I enjoy writing for pleasure and this felt a lot like work to me so, at times, I felt under pressure to work as a trainer but then I had to write a word count every day.

So back to normality (well my version of normality) and roll on next year.