Saturday, 17 November 2012

Nano - Day Fifteen - The Half Way Point

Thursday 15th November

My wordcount today 0
My total wordcount to date 6295
Target wordcount 25005
Shortfall from target 18710

We're at the half way point of Nano. Half of the month has gone and ideally participants should be at the 25,000 word count. Ha Ha. I'm only almost 18,000 words short then. Nothing that an accomplished writer couldn't achieve and sort out. Oh, yes, but I'm not an accomplished writer!

Today there is an all day write-in taking place in Chester. Ideally I would attend, but and yes there always seems to be a but with me - my car is in the garage today and I have to be back at 5 pm to attend the local Writers' Group and I'm going on holiday tomorrow and still haven't packed. I decide not to go and send my heartfelt apologies.

All my good intentions go out of the window and I accomplish zilch, zero, nadda, nothing on the wordcount front. But all is not lost today. When I arrive at the Library for the writing group meeting, we are introduced to a lovely local author called India Grey. She tells us all about her personal writing journey, the highs, the lows and all the bits in between. India (her nom de plume) has written 11 novels for Mills and Boon (don't knock it 'til you try it) and is now writing an historical fiction book. She tells us that she is finding the new book much harder to write. It's more weighty, the plot is more complicated - it's set in duel time zone, she gets easily distracted and yesterday she wrote a chapter with everything set out in her mind and then when it was on the page it was entirely different to how she expected.

I take a sigh of relief - so "proper" authors go through exactly the same things that the rest of us go through then. She is fun and gregarious and answers all of our questions as if she's never been asked them before. I ask about writing discipline - yes I write everyday, except weekends she replies. Do you have a routine for writing? Yes, I spend all day writing. She admits it's probably not that healthy and perhaps getting out more might help. Do you have a certain space where you write? Yes, I have a desk and an office, but India admits it's not always the tidiest of places with books everywhere, sometimes tumbling onto the floor. She tells us about writing for Mills and Boon, how her writing mentor inspired and helped her throughout her writing career, why it might be a good idea to join the Romantic Novelists Association, how distracting Twitter can be and above all not to give up as e-publishing opportunities exist and can be ours for the taking providing we are prepared to market ourselves. She even lets us into the secret of how we might move up the Amazon ranking by getting a bunch of friends to download the book on exactly the same day.

It can be hard at times trying to make it as a writer, but India Grey didn't step on any of our dreams. She held them up there, gave them a sprinkling of realism and told us to keep going. Thank you India.

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