NaNoWriMo

I signed up to NaNo four years ago, according to my profile. And how many times do you think I’ve participated?

Yep.

Never.

But this year, I promised myself I would finish my Days of Rain novel. I only started it about three years ago…

So, with luck (and hard work) I should have my first draft completed by the end of November.

I won’t lie, I’m very nervous about this whole ’50k in 30 days’ thing. But, I’m sure I can do it. Just hope my brain co-operates!

I’m not sure what the purpose of this blog was, I guess just to say I’m participating in NaNo. I do NOT want to fail.

So, good luck to all you NaNoWriMo participants. Let’s get all those words!

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Sprinting for Words

I haven’t written a blog in a long while. Mostly because I’ve been having trouble finding the time to write, well, anything. Life with a toddler and home to run can, sometimes at least, be all consuming and the last thing you want to do sit at a computer screen. Especially when you’ve forgotten where you going with your tale.

Then I moaned about my lack of enthusiasm for writing on my ‘writer’ twitter (@ANStheWriter — if you’re interested) and someone mentioned a little thing she does called WriteChain. And so I joined in. Everyday I need to write at least 500 words or I break my chain. Each day you earn a new link.
I am actually surprised at how much it has helped me focus and make time for even just a little bit of writing a day. This then lead to a group of us doing daily writing sprints. (#SprintDaily) I have written the most I have written in a long, long time. And, boy, does it feel good!

Currently, I have 9 links in my chain, amounting up to over 9 thousand words. It has restored my confidence that I can complete my first draft, bringing me ever closer to a completed piece of writing.

So, of you’re a writer, struggling to get regular writing done, I highly recommend getting yourself on twitter and searching the hashtags SprintDaily and WriteChain. And now I mention it, you may as well get involved with @FriNightWrites for #WriteClub on a Friday.

Writer Nerves

Whenever I get to a significant plot point in my writing, I start feeling slightly ill.

I’ve mentioned it before on a forum I frequent, but I’m unsure if they understood what I meant. So I will try to explain it here.

Today is the second time this has happened to me.

When I reach a part in my writing that is very important to the overall plot, something that will most certainly move the story along, I get bags of nerves in my belly. I’m unsure why it is. It’s not because I’m nervous its rubbish, or because I’m unsure what to write.

Maybe it’s excitement?

I have wondered if maybe it could be worry of the ‘muse’ slipping from my mental grip.

Either way, it is awfully distracting!

Writing Vs Having a Life

Yet again I’ve been a slave to the evil temptress that is life. Which is quite unusual for me! I did zero writing over the weekend. It was my nieces first birthday, so I was needed in Brighton. My little boy had a lovely day, so it was very much worth it. And on Sunday the sun was shining, so we got the paddling pool out, and splashed to our hearts content.

Monday, I tried to write, but I couldn’t really remember where I was going.

Thankfully, today I managed to hash out over a thousand words. I hit 20k on Friday, and when I told my mum (I’m a child at heart…) she told me she was proud of me. It made me feel so pleased. Knowing that my mum doesn’t think I’m silly for wanting to pursue writing is a really reassuring thing. The good thing about my mum is that she is always honest. She wont tell me something I do is good, unless it actually is. Luckily, she loves to read (almost) as much as me, so she has some knowledge of what makes a good story.

I wont get any writing done tomorrow as I am off to the Zoo with a very good friend (who is, like my mum, a big supporter of my writing.) She has just completed her PGCE in Primary Education, and this will be the first time I’ve seen her in months! We will be watching a Harry Potter movie, or two, while we feast on goodies.

I’m not sure how this really relates to being an ‘amateur’ writer, but I guess it relates to me. And how I see my writing.

I’ve seen many writers talk about sacrificing certain things in life for their writing and it makes me wonder; should I be sacrificing things for it? Could I say to my sister ‘Sorry, I can’t come to your daughters first birthday party because I need to work on my novel.’

And the answer is, simply, no. And I don’t think I could ever sacrifice those things. Does that mean I don’t have the right mindset to be a writer?

One Step Forward…

So, after Saturday’s progress, I have written…. nothing. 

I feel quite bad about it, but I had quite a busy day yesterday — toddler parties and housework… The usual for a mother of a two year old! 

I had in my mind to do some this afternoon whilst the boy sleeps, but it hasn’t happened, and he will be awake soon. Hopefully I shall get some writing in once he’s in bed for the night… 

I felt like, on Saturday night whilst working on my ‘novel’, I was making some serious headway. I am worried that my lack of writing yesterday has taken me away from it. I can’t really remember where I was going next. 

I guess I will just have to read the last thing I wrote over, just to get a feel for it again. 

 

Progress!

Today I made a special effort in my writing. Usually, I get an hour or so in while my son naps. But I can get distracted very easily.

Today, as soon as my son went to sleep, I made myself do a couple of writing exercises from some creative writing books. In total, I wrote 600 words between them. In just 45 minutes of effort. It may not seem a lot, I was proud of myself. They most certainly won’t be impressive, but the knowledge that they are done, and I can go back an review them in a little while and potentially improve them. It’s a far better position to be in.

Spurred by this progress, I managed to write a further 1,500 words of my main WIP tonight. I won’t try to convince myself that what I’ve written is all that fantastic, but what I am focusing on is getting the bare bones down. I’m looking forward to improving every page of it.

Each day, I feel less like a delusional little girl and more like an aspiring author.

The Start of the Tale…

I am writing this blog because, like so many others, I am an aspiring writer. Just to document, or share, my experiences of starting out. A little background then…

I have wanted to write a book for many years. I always thought I would never be good enough, so I never acted upon it. Four years ago, I made a half hearted attempt. Three years ago I made more of an effort. Last January I started taking it more seriously. Then, this year, I promised myself I’d blooming well finish a first draft of the novel I started almost two years ago.

I think a big problem for me, and a lot of others starting out, is confidence. It’s difficult not to delete all you’ve done because you fear it’s pile of poop. I’ve recently joined a forum, and it’s made me see that, yes, it probably is crap. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it will always be crap.

So, I have made the executive decision to just write it. Write it knowing full well that it is pants. The knowledge that you have actually finished something would do wonders for confidence. The level of confidence I would have in myself if I could just finish this one thing, would do wonders.

I am also going to try and write some short stories along the way.