NaNoWriMo Approaches

It’s that time of year again. The time when I decide whether or not to take up the November writing challenge. I did it last year, won and have spent ever since trying to make my effort into something readable. I’m still working on it and its grown to over 90,000 words as I try to get it to a suitable ending.

In the past, I’ve always struggled to start or got bogged down in the middle somewhere. Lost focus or lost interest or just found that time had overtaken me and then it was difficult to get started again. I’ve been lucky to be able to use Scrivener to break it up into manageable chunks and lately I’ve started using Ulysses, which does the same but in a different way. In fact, I’m writing this in Ulysses as it allows me to post straight into WordPress and onto my blog. Easy.

I need to make up my mind shortly though as that will give me time to research and plan during October. Although I’m pretty sure that things will be busy for me in that month so as you can see. I’m a long way from deciding as we head towards the end of September. Have to wait and see I suppose.

If I abandon my 90,000+ word project for a couple of months whilst I indulge myself on NaNoWriMo will I ever start it again? On the other hand, if I do that and then come back to it will reading it again guide me to a suitable ending? Dilemma – I’ll let you know.

Blogging Habit

I’ve come to the conclusion that I’ll always be an infrequent blogger. I only post a blog post when I have something to say, as opposed to those who feel they have to post every day. I have nothing against those who wish to do this but it’s really up to them. I always think I’ll do more blogging but it never actually happens as other things take precedence. I’ve spent the past few weeks trying to finish my NaNoWriMo novel and am still to complete its first draft. Even though I’m over 100,00 words it shows no signs of concluding. I’m not sure if this is a good or a bad thing!

Then I’m writing short stories and entering contests regularly, something I promised myself I would do this year. Blogging seems to be falling a poor third in the race for my time. I’m not complaining, its never been my desire to have hundreds or thousands of followers or to earn any sort of reputation or living from my blog, although I do realise that is possible.

I like a story prompt, but they inspire me to write fiction, not about me as I’m pretty uninteresting anyway (say awww), no don’t- please.

So I’ll continue with my sporadic and often disjointed posts, when I feel I have something to contribute and hopefully people on the same wavelength as me will find them a. Amusing  b. Thought provoking  c. Now what is c?

 

Well That’s Another Year Gone – Almost

And now we welcome the new year. Full of things that have never been. - Rainer Maria Rilke

I realise that there are still some days left in 2015, and Santa has still to pop down chimneys all over the world, but I have already begun thinking about life in 2016. I never make New Year resolutions as they are just there to be broken, but I do try to plan ahead and think about what I may achieve in the months to come. Here is my list so far:

  • Write something every day, even if it’s just a shopping list.
  • Finish the first draft on this years NaNoWriMo novel and then put it away for a couple of months.
  • Enter more writing contests; something I’ve failed to do in 2015, except for a couple in December.
  • Read more books, whenever I possibly can.
  • Read more of other blogs and comment.
  • Blog more regularly, and about different things.
  • Continue eating a low fat diet as it’s really working for me.
  • Step up my exercise regime; I know I’ll need to after Christmas.

Those are things that I think of for the time being, but there will be lots more to add in the coming months. Around this time of year, it seems that the world is looking backwards. We are bombarded with reviews of 2015, of what we did in the past year and what our achievements have been. I try not to do it and many years ago developed this mantra, which is probably a mixture of other peoples quotes, but it works for me.

The past is past, it cannot be re-written or undone. Learn from it and move on.

Steve Cripwell

I hope you all enjoy the festive season and have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Finished

‘Read a lot, write a lot, always’

 Stephen King

Today I hit the 50,000 words plus barrier at NaNoWriMo. In fact, I finished today on 52,105 words with nine days to spare. Big sighs of relief all round. This year, however, I intend to continue with my novel as I feel it needs completing. The characters  are still growing and telling me the story so I’ve settled on trying to pound out an achievable 2,000 words a day, as there is so much still to be said.

In previous years I’ve stopped once I’d finished writing in November, thinking that was my achievement done for the year. What I actually discovered was that walking away from the story allowed it to die, as I went on to other projects. Flitting about like a butterfly. I then found it impossible to get back into the story and into the heads of the protagonists and my muse left me, staring at a jumble of words. So this time I plan to keep going and to keep the characters alive. At 52,000 words I don’t feel  I am even half way towards my novel’s first draft and I have set my goal at completing that.

I don’t know what will happen but I am resolved to write something every day, and continue to build it into a completed first draft. It’s a good feeling to complete the November challenge but this year I shall keep it going.

Good luck to all others out there, still writing and heading to 50,000. I’m  with you and will continue updating my word count until the end. Keep it up you’re doing great.

Happy NaNoWriMo Eve

 

NaNo banner

Well tomorrow is the start of 2015 NaNoWriMo and all the preparations are done. We just have to wait for the green light to glow and we can begin writing. I’ve just realised how unprepared I am. I’ve been developing character profiles, plot scenarios and conflict ideas all month. I know exactly how to start it, who will be involved in the first scenes, where those scenes will take place. In fact, this time I’ve done the most preparation I have ever done but it still doesn’t seem to be enough. I know from previous experience the enormity of the task ahead and that has just become clear to me.

I’m having that moment of self doubt. That will I, won’t I feeling, that can undermine confidence and destroy any chance before I start. I won’t let it because I’m stubborn. I’ve always been like that. I gave up smoking after over thirty years of consuming up to forty cigarettes a day. I gave them up ‘cold turkey’. I just stopped because I won’t let things beat me. That was over twenty years ago and I’ve never had, or wanted, a cigarette since.

So I’m determined to start tomorrow and not stop until I’m a winner again. If my computer fails (It shouldn’t as it’s new) I’ll continue on my tablet and if that packs up I’ll do it on my phone or even someone else’s phone. Luckily it’s all saved in the cloud so access from different things are possible.

As I said before I’ve done way more preparation than ever before, on anything. It just doesn’t seem enough. The next few days will tell me if my fears are founded or not.

Good luck to everyone entering, remember to support and encourage your writing buddies and I’m sure we’ll all be winners before December comes rolling in.

Rocking NaNoWriMo with Scrivener

I read this recently and thought it might be useful for other scrivener users

Are you planning to tackle 50,000 words for National Novel Writing Month in November? Here are some of my favorite Scrivener features for staying on track. Annotations/Comments When you get stuck i…

Source: Rocking NaNoWriMo with Scrivener

Writing – A Solitary Occupation

Dictionary

For some of us the actual process of writing can be a solitary occupation. Usually we share what’s been written, once it’s finished. Sometimes we share parts of it with others during the formation of the story or article. It’s possible to share an idea with others and absorb their feedback before the writing even starts, but the actual pen strokes, key presses and thoughts behind them are usually something done alone. Does this mean that we have to be lonely then? I think not.

One of the great benefits of NaNoWriMo is that you are and feel part of a huge worldwide network of writers. I suppose that same group of writers are working on projects on any given day or month in any year, the difference being that in November every one of these writers have the same goal; to write 50,000 words in 30 days. It sets us all a deadline and, for once, we share that deadline with hundreds of thousands of fellow writers across the world.

Good luck to all who are entering NaNoWriMo this year. It is hard work and there will be times when you will feel like giving up when life gets in the way, as I did the first year I tried it. Remember there’s a huge supportive group of writers out there who are happy to give you and to receive from you the encouragement needed to win through.

If you’re interested in the challenge head to the web site http://nanowrimo.org/ and register your interest. On there you will find similar groups of like minded people, some living close to you. They hold regular writing meets throughout the month and can help with the loneliness suffered by some whilst writing. You can find a writing buddy and via the web site check out how they are doing with their word count compared to yours. Then you can send them messages of praise and encouragement if needed. I found my buddy invaluable during last November.

So, 50k words in 30 days; it’s only 1,666.66667 words per day. How difficult is that?