Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Nano - Day Twenty One

Wednesday 21st November

My wordcount today 0
My total wordcount to date 7739
Target wordcount 35007
Shortfall from target 27268


I'm not sure quite why I'm posting my Nano updates on this Blog any more. After all it seems that this is just an opportunity for me to let you know just how far behind I am with the whole Nanowrimo thing. Perhaps this will be the last post (cue bugle) and so my aim to publish my Nano experience will go the same way as the writing itself.

But hey, let's not get too despondent about the whole thing. Let's review the positives which are:

  • I did complete Nanowrimo last year and was a "WINNER" and I have the certificate to prove it
  • My Nanowrimo novel is my base for my current novel
  • I have written over 7.5k words during the month of November to date which in itself could be classified as a success for me
  • I've learnt not to beat myself up over this stuff
  • It's been fun getting involved with some of the people I met last  year
See it's not all bad is it?  And today was great day with much to be thankful for. I can only describe my lunch at the Crown and Castle at Orford as a little piece of heaven on a plate, I've read books, drank coffee and relaxed in a warm cozy house while the rain beat down outsides. Oh and I've played around with the layout of this site and hope that you like it. Although of course I'm not sure if you're out there or if anyone is reading any of this nonsense I write as there's not been any comments. I'm quite friendly really so if you'd like to comment - I'd love to hear from you. And yes, I've created my own Avatar for the site. It seems that I've become Velma from Scooby Doo. It's probably the glasses that do it - although of course she was always known as being the brainy one that solved the crimes!

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Nano - Day Twenty

Tuesday 20th November

My wordcount today 0
My total wordcount to date 7739
Target wordcount 33340
Shortfall from target 25601


OK, so I'm way way behind target wordcount now, but today I just don't care. I'm not going to feel guilty about it or worry about it or anything about it frankly. Today I've planned some of my character conflicts although I'm still a little uncertain about the timing and what order they occur. I need to sort that out and pretty quickly in order to progress with the writing. I've also decided to read last year's Nanowrimo novel. It is after all what my current novel is based on and I believe it would be a good idea to review what I can use and what I can't use. At the moment, I am pretty much writing fresh content every day with an occasional burst from the original version. But there might be some salvageable stuff in that tome of 53,000 words.

So that's what I've decided and although it's not progressing my wordcount, it does feel like it's progressing my novel, even if after reading it all, I decide it's a load of old tosh and nothing can be used. At least I'll know and not keep thinking about it.

Monday, 19 November 2012

Nano - Day Nineteen

Monday 19th November

My wordcount today 0
My total wordcount to date 7739
Target wordcount 31673
Shortfall from target 23934


No writing in bed this morning and no writing whatsoever.

To date during Nanowrimo, I've been writing different scenes rather than writing sequentially. The scenes are ones that interest me and ones which I hoped I wouldn't get stuck on. But it seems that despite my best efforts that's still occurred. I realise that I haven't sorted out some relationship conflicts between three of my characters and until I do so, I can't continue. These characters interact regularly in the novel and right now I'm not sure if they are supposed to be happy to see one another or arguing or ignoring one another. Until this gets resolved, I'm a bit stuck. It seems that tomorrow may require some planning.

Nano - Day Eighteen

Sunday 18th November

My wordcount today 783
My total wordcount to date 7739
Target wordcount 30,006
Shortfall from target 22267


I wake up today with a perfect excuse not to write - that being that it is our 17th wedding anniversary. But instead, I once again write in bed for an hour before rising. I've even taken my laptop up to the bedroom in readiness. This was a good move although I do still need to get up for tea and a quick bowl of weetabix - both which come back to bed with me. This really is the life.

Today I know that I will not return to write. On some days there really other proper priorities rather than the ones that I put in front of my writing. Today is a celebration of 17 years of marriage and I intend to spend the day with my husband. The weather is glorious. There are blue skies stretching further than we can see, the temperature is warm for the time of year and the sun shines down on us. We are blessed in many ways. We walk, talk, share a delicious light chocolate brownie, laugh, drink presecco toasting each other and finally we stand by the sea and stare at the stars realising that the Universe is mighty vast but thankfully amongst it all we managed to find each other.

It is a perfect day in all ways. Beautifully simple and simply beautiful.



Sunday, 18 November 2012

Nano - Day Seventeen

Saturday 17th November

My wordcount today 661
My total wordcount to date 6956
Target wordcount 28339
Shortfall from target 21383


I wake up in Suffolk. I can hear the seagulls squawking from the comfort of my bed and rather than get up and engage immediately in the day, I grab my laptop and write in bed. This is nice I think. I'm sure I could manage this every day while I'm here. I write a total of 661 words before I rise for breakfast and a shower. It's not major progress, but it's something rather than nothing and it makes me happy.

My husband and I head out to Orford to browse the delights of the country market and we come away with a dressed crab, a rosemary foccacia and half a dozen eggs. After a walk round the town (which frankly doesn't take long) and a stroll to the quay and back we head to the Pump Street bakery - just voted Suffolk's cafe of the year for 2012 for capuccino and something flaky and delightful. We find just that and in addition sit opposite a charming couple. He was in textiles and chats happily to my husband about his years in the industry and she who I find out is called Suzy turns out to be a writer, editor and proof reader and worked in the publishing industry. Naturally we get onto the subject of writing and THE NOVEL and spend a happy half an hour or so in discussion. I love meeting people this way. I love the fact that you get a brief snapshot into someone's life and then they're gone forever usually, but you have had this tiny spider's web connection into their life and them into yours. That's what usually happens, but in this case Suzy invites me to a literary lunch taking place on Friday while I am here in Suffolk. She tells me that Anthony Horowitz and Meg Rosoff will be speaking and taking questions and it sounds too interesting an event to turn down. I'm not sure I have an outfit with me to attend a literary lunch, but I'll cobble something together or perhaps it gives me a perfect opportunity to buy something new.

The remainder of the day is filled with a visit from my husband's brother, eating a hearty portion of fish and chips, a long stroll along the promenade and crab sandwiches in front of the telly. I'm not far from finishing "Room" and I've also made a start on reading "The Hunger Games", both very different books but both enjoyable and although no further writing takes place today, I'm excited at the prospect of receiving an impromtu invite to see two writers speak later this week.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Nano - Day Sixteen

Friday 16th November

My wordcount today 0
My total wordcount to date 6295
Target wordcount 26672
Shortfall from target 20377


It's Friday and I am going on holiday today - hurrah! We are not leaving until midday and so potentially there is time to write, or there should be. That is of course if you don't wake up with further dental problems. I'd just like to reiterate this again. Do not under any circumstances suffer with any dental issues during Nanowrimo. Another emergency appointment takes place mid morning, preceded by last minute packing dilemmas and then we are in the car and on our way to Suffolk. It's a mere four hours away. When we arrive, we decide to take a stroll, unpack, eat and then we crash. It's been a long day and the travel albeit straightforward coupled with the dental tension has drained me. No writing today and frankly I don't care and I'm not going to feel guilty about it (honestly).

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.

Nano - Day Fourteen

Wednesday 14th November

My wordcount today 0
My total wordcount to date 6295
Target wordcount 23338
Shortfall from target 17043


I'm up late today and know that I have a full day's meeting ahead. I meet my colleague and we have a wonderfully creative day reviewing workshop content, discussing our plans for the future and looking at beautifully designed vision boards. But by the time I get home, I don't have the incentive to open my laptop and start work on my novel. Zero wordcount today. Also why do they have to put Professional Masterchef on TV at this time of year. I'm obsessed with it and so sacrifice writing time and instead watch professional chefs compete against one another and mess up technical cooking challenges. It's great TV but not aiding my writing career.

Nano - Day Thirteen

Tuesday 13th November

My wordcount today 997
My total wordcount to date 6295
Target wordcount 21671
Shortfall from target 15376


So, yesterday wasn't a bad day. I did at least write and added to my wordcount. Perhaps I can do the same today. Today disappears in a bit of a blur, but I have a one hour slot available to me during 5 pm and 6 pm. I tell myself that it's not long enough to really get going and so think about closing down my computer. But then another part of my brain kicks in and suggests that actually I could write solidly for that hour. It tells me that surely some progress can be made in an hour. I spend a few minutes with a Nano angel on one shoulder and the Nano devil on the other arguing the toss. Today the angel's voice of reason wins me over and I write for the hour slot I have available. Actually, it's pretty productive time and yipee I've actually manged to write two days on the trot. All is not yet lost.


Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Nano - Day Twelve

Monday 12th November

My wordcount today 1595
My total wordcount to date 5298
Target wordcount 20004
Shortfall from target 14706


Today I'm up at 6.30 am and surprise my husband by appearing downstairs at this time - something he rarely sees. I am part of the great unwashed tribe this morning and not looking my best, but in pjs and slippers and hair still warm and fluffy from bed, I open the computer and make a start. An hour and a bit later I've added 1595 words to the wordcount. I have a busy workday ahead and so am not sure if I'll be able to add any further words today, but as I sign off and jump in the shower I feel inspired and motivated.

I've started a new chapter of my novel today and enjoyed writing it. Perhaps this is the start of a new chapter in terms of getting up and doing this for the rest of November and beyond. Time will tell.

Nano - Day Eleven

Sunday 11th November

My wordcount today 0
My total wordcount to date 3703
Target wordcount 18337
Shortfall from target 14634


Once again I have great intentions of getting up and writing but once again these intentions turn into nothing. I do, however, enjoy a wonderful walk in the Cheshire countryside with my husband and the weather is glorious. How can I stay inside on a day like today? Even my husband comments that he is happy that we took the walk but he knows it kept me from writing. It seems that life is constantly about making sacrifices - in order to do one thing or achieve something, you have to let go of something else.

Tomorrow is day twelve and I have fallen desperately behind now, but I'm ever the optimist and still believe I can do it, if I really want to.


Nano - Day Ten

Saturday 10th November

My wordcount today 0
My total wordcount to date 3703
Target wordcount 16670
Shortfall from target 12967


No writing today. No excuses. That's it for today.

Friday, 9 November 2012

Nano - Day Nine

Friday 9th November

My wordcount today 0
My total wordcount to date 3703
Target wordcount 15003

Shortfall from target 11300

Week one of Nano is now well behind me and still other priorities stand in my way. Does this mean that I just can't cut it as a writer? Will I always find other things to do rather than getting down to writing?

I remember stories about Will Self getting up at 5 am in order to write. He'd write until 7 am and then get ready and head into work. That's commitment for you. Do I have that commitment? It seems not at this point in time. Come on Angela. I chivvy myself up. There's still time if you put your mind to it.

I browse the local Chester region statistics. I am 38 out of 50. That's good and bad. It's bad as I am a long way behind, but good that in fact that are others like me and some who have written fewer words than I have. I'm not sure how I feel about that, but at least I'm not in position 50 - that might jolt me into action.

What's ironic about all this is that I have probably written more words in this blog explaining my lack of progress than I have for Nano. It's a funny old world.

Nano - Day Eight

Thursday 8th November

My wordcount today 0
My total wordcount to date 3703
Target wordcount 13336

Shortfall from target 9633

Day Eight arrives and with it comes priorities not of a writing nature. Well, I say that. It does require writing, just not Nano writing. I am finalising some training and have agreed to submit my documents today. I spend the day writing up notes and case study material and editing what I've already prepared. It's good stuff, but sadly hasn't increased my wordcount.

Now that I am almost 10,000 words behind, it feels like a long journey ahead. But I know last year that I wrote 10,000 words in two days, so it's still possible.



Nano - Day Seven

Wednesday 7th November

My wordcount today 0

My total wordcount to date 3703
Target wordcount 11669

Shortfall from target 7966

One piece of advice when undertaking Nanowrimo - try not to have dental problems or any health issues or have to go to work or anything really that is going to stop you from writing. That ok? Think you can handle that. Well I certainly can't as I wake up to more dental issues requiring an emergency appointment. Frustration over the teeth situation is not conducive to sitting at the screen and being creative and so I put my mind to more physical tasks this morning to take my mind off things. Perhaps once the treatment is over this afternoon, I can get back to it.  Ha Ha, no that's not the case - pain and creativity also do not sit comfortably it seems and as I feel wretched I give up on the idea of writing today.

And here endeth day number seven.

Nano - Day Six

Tuesday 6th November

My wordcount today 1644

My total wordcount to date 3703
Target wordcount  10002

Shortfall from target 6299

Day Six starts well. I write some words first thing in the morning and then have meetings to attend so have to get on with real life. The words I've written this morning inspire me onwards and I am now of the frame of mind that I can do this. Yes, I'll be able to catch up. Everything will be fine.

I even manage to attend a write-in for an hour or so and add some more words to my total from this morning. I feel a bit better.

Monday, 5 November 2012

Nano - day five

Monday 5th November

My wordcount today 0
My total wordcount to date 2059
Target wordcount  8335

Shortfall from target 6276

Right, write I think this morning. I'm back home. I'm in my own space. There is nothing to stop me writing this morning. All I have in the diary is a dental appointment at noon. So I have until at least 11.30 am to write and then also more time this afternoon. Great News.

So why when I leave for the dentist at 11.30 have I not written one word. Procrastination is a terrible thing. Yes, I have done some other things - sorted and sent some emails, written my to do list which of course includes as my number one point - write 1667 words per day for Nanowrimo.  What an irony!

This afternoon it is then. I'll definitely be focussed. I'll definitely write lots then. Maybe I could even catch up. That is until I realise that actually the dental appointment is quite painful and quite tiring and it leaves me with little energy other than to do the food shop. There's still later this evening. Perhaps I'll get a few words down on paper then.

It is not to be. Teeth still hurt and make me want to crash out and feel sorry for myself. Day six awaits tomorrow.

Nano - Day Four

Sunday 4th November

My wordcount today 1002
My total wordcount to date 2059
Target wordcount 6668

Shortfall from target 4609

Hurrah! This morning, I get up and before I shower or do anything else, I sit down to write. It takes me approximately an hour to write a thousand words. Boy, I think so if I sat down for 7 hours, I could write 7,000 words. Does it actually work like that? Maybe.

I am tempted by a Vintage Fair that is taking place locally and before I know it, I am wandering around a village hall looking at hand made christmas tree decorations, vintage tea sets and jelly moulds and I am eating a very large slice of carrot cake. Lovely.

The afternoon brings two choices - head into Chester and meet up with the other wrimos who are meeting for the write-in or go and see Daniel Craig in Skyfall with my husband and a friend. Guess who won?



Nano - Day Three

Saturday 3rd November

My wordcount today 0
My total wordcount to date 1057
Target wordcount 5001

Shortfall from target 3944

I wake at 4.30 am and lay for an hour in the semi darkness, semi-consciousness of thoughts. I am tempted to get up and write but I'm in someone else's home and it seems rude to be wandering around in these near dusk hours. I try and go back to sleep but plot threads are on my mind. I'll remember those when I wake up I think.  They play over and over in my head until I feel forced to write them down. I don't want to forget them now that they have shown themselves to me. And so, I switch on the light, fumble about for my notebook and write them down. Once it's out of my head and on the page, it seems easier to return to sleep and so I wake again at 8.00 am.

I know this morning I have agreed a coaching session with my friend before I leave and then I have a further two and a half hours drive home. Plus I haven't seen my husband for a week. I don't think it's feasible to think that when I arrive home I will be writing. And it's not.

Oops - starting to feel behind now. I tell myself we are still in early days and everything will be fine. I also try not to look at the threads on the Nanowrimo site - the ones that tell me some people have already written 10,000 words, but of course it's too late. I've seen it now. And I also look at the wordcount for my fellow regional participants and feel a sense of disappointment when I realise they are way ahead of me - well most of them anyway.

Nano - Day Two

Friday 2nd November

My wordcount today 0
My total wordcount to date 1057
Target wordcount 3334
Shortfall from target 2277

It's day two. I awake early again and think about getting up to write but that's as far as it goes. Knowing that I have to make a two hour journey to Cambridgeshire later today, I ease myself back into sleep and get up at 7.45 am. This morning I choose to visit an old friend and walk in the sunshine by the sea. I won't get a chance again for a while and it's such a beautiful day. It won't take me long to make this journey this afternoon I think. I'll write while I await my friend's return home from work. It will be fine I think. I'll do it then.

I leave at 2 pm and the sat-nav tells me I should be at my destination at 4.22 pm. That gives me about an hour and a half to write when I arrive. Only what the sat-nav doesn't account for is an accident on route and then a broken down car. My arrival time jumps to 5.55 pm. Hummm that seems to have wiped out my writing time today.  The result no progress made but a nice evening with my friends.

I feel a bit guilty about not writing today, but it's early days and I know that I can catch up - can't I?

Nano Nano

Day One - Thursday 1st November

My wordcount 1057
Target wordcount 1667
Shortfall of target 610

It's the 1st of November and Nanowrimo begins. I'm staying with friends in Norfolk but I'm awake early and so decide to get up and make a start. This year I have a plan and so I know what's on the writing agenda and this helps.

It's a good start and I write 1057 words before my friends get up, put the radio on and start making breakfast. We are heading out for the day, but I feel confident that later this evening I'll write more. After all I am feeling good about the start I've made and I don't have to write many words to reach today's target.

Later after a fish and chip supper and a long day walking round the shops in Norwich, I think up lots of excuses not to write any more today.

Tomorrow is another day and I can easily catch up...

Nanowrimo

So it's Nanowrimo time of year again.  The event kicked off last week on Thursday and I foolishly signed up again. For anyone that doesn't know Nanowrimo stands for National Novel Writing Month. The premise is that once you sign up, you commit to writing at least 50,000 words of your novel during the month of November. Last year I finished at just over 52,000 words although I have to admit 10,000 of them were written in the last two days. A deadline does have its advantages!

I have signed up this year in the hope that it will help me progress my novel. A commitment to write as well as having to input wordcount that is visible to others is a good incentive and after all I do want to finish this novel by the end of the year (big sigh).

In addition to getting online support, you can join regional forums and attend write-ins with others that are attempting Nanowrimo too. Seeing others with full-time jobs, families and priorities clocking up their wordcount and whizzing past your efforts also acts as a darn good kick up the backside. It's also a lot of fun to be around other writers and to all be in the same boat with familiar issues.

As an additional incentive to jump start my writing, I've decided to update my progress on this blog in a kind of Bridget Jones style, so keep watching to see how I'm progressing and if you're doing Nano too, please say hello and let me know how it's going for you in the comments.