Today I’ve written 700 words. All of which were done during my lunch break. I’ve passed 12k now and am not even going to hit 20k. I’m not happy about this, but I can live with it.
The last few months have been super busy but for all the right reasons. The biggest, and only, downside is that I haven’t been able to keep up with writing. I’ve had a couple of big failures (okay, not that big but they suck) where I’ve felt pretty desolate. One thing in particular recently dented me pretty hard as I realised I’m not capable, or maybe ready, to be a person in my writing community where I can be somewhat of a leader. After I had that revelation I came the closes to quitting writing that I’ve ever been. Even to the point where I had two major writing related commitments that I was going to complete and then quit.
I’m past that feeling of desolation though. I’m feeling energised and I’m having ideas again. I need to find a better way to make the most of my time though. That’s something I’ll be working on in the near future.
I often find listening to podcasts quite inspiring. Especially when they’re talking to someone who is working their arse off to get to their goals. An episode of The Horror Show with Brian Keene featured writer and musician Matt Hayward and each time I hear this episode I can’t help but be inspired. Please clicky the link and see what I mean.
Good evening folks. I’ve written about 1100 words today, despite a few hurdles that tried to get in the way of words being put down.
What I’d like to talk about tonight is the picture below. That notepad has had recorded in it almost every word I’ve written since early 2014. That’s over a million words of fiction. Stories published in five anthologies, and a lot of words that will never see the light of day. I was going to say there was a lot of failed stories amongst those words, but although they may never see the light of day that doesn’t mean they failed. They taught me lesson after lesson about my craft. I’m a touch shattered right now (head cold), so I’m not going to start listing those lessons. No matter how crap you may think your writing, or painting, singing, or whatever passion you have. Those hours of practice will make you better.
So, we are just a few days away from this years NaNoWriMo. I’ve got my regional kick-off party this afternoon which I’m really looking forward to, and one last meet of a regular meet organised by an ML on Wednesday.
I am really excited for this years NaNo. Last year got derailed by life, which could happen at anytime to be fair.
This year I am going to fo do something a little different. Last year I had to write a short story for an anthology which I had a very short window to have it done in. Thankfully it was one that I had an idea for anyway and was able to get it done. But it took me away from NaNo. So this year I’m going to write a short story collection. I think some will be very short, barely a thousand words. While others may get up to novella lengths. I’m doing this partly to be flexible. If I have a sudden submission I need to do (I’m not expecting to but you never know) then I can add that story as part of the collection. Another factor is I always get to a point where I hit a wall. I’ll find a plot hole, or the story comes to an end 15,000 words before the 50k. So if I get stuck this year, I can just switch to another story and get rolling again (hopefully!). There is also the chance that one will catch fire and then if that happens I’ll role with it for as long as I can.
All I want to do preparation wise before Thursday is figure out which of the story ideas I’ve got I want to (and am ready to) start first. Some ideas are already quite well thought, others are just one sentence.
It also allows me to crack on with my main project as well. I can always write scenes in my NaNo file and then copy and paste those scenes into the projects main folder.
I am going to be hosting a couple of write-ins this year in my region, which is something I’ve not really done before but I’m looking forward to it. Being an ML (Municipal Liaison) is something that appeals to me, but I work long hours and need to get my head around my own time management before I commit to being an ML.
This will be my eighth NaNoWriMo, I’ve hit 50k three times in the previous seven years and I do consider myself a veteran. I know it’s good to write more than the minimum when you can as there will always be days where you won’t hit the 1666 or get a zero word day. No matter how well you plan, life can get in the way in ways that you have no control over. And, this is important, it doesn’t matter if you don’t hit the 50k. What matters is you just write. Put words down on paper or into the digital world. Don’t worry about editing. Don’t worry about whether it makes any sense. Don’t worry about how many words more others are doing (some people can write at unbelievable speeds). Just write your story. Worry about everything else after NaNo. You can’t edit nothing.
Just a really quick little post before I get off to sleep. I’ve written 540 words today. A few words here, a few there and boom! A decent word count for a busy day.
If you scroll down my feed you’ll see a post I reblogged from The Horror Show With Brian Keene where the guest was Matt Hayward. Hearing his story was really fucking eye opening and inspiring. It really got me thinking and I really need to up my game. I need more determination and focus. I do get these things but I loose them easily so I’m going to focus on keeping them. The way I’m going to start is with a simple and small list of five things I want to do this week. I won’t list them here, simply because it’s late and I’ve not got it to hand, but these five things are very achievable if I keep my head.
Each one of these little pieces of wisdom from Amber Jerome-Norrgard is very spot on. A few in particular struck a cord with me in a way that I wouldn’t of been able to appreciate five years ago. Some of them are obvious, and almost common sense, in a way but I for one don’t always see this in a conscious way. So to have them written in front of me makes them very bold thoughts that are currently running around my head!
A few did tickle my funny bone and a few I wish I could put on billboards on major roads!
I do seriously need these in some sort of sub-dermal electronic tattoo on the inside of my eyelids and I get a random one each time I close my eyes.
So this year I made my first expedition into FanFiction, and I’ve loved it. I probably learnt more about writing while working on this FanFiction piece than I have done in the last two years.
If I look at what I learned most then I am looking at history, background, the depth that makes both characters and stories great. Those are things that I feel I lack in my own work. In the FanFiction world I’ve been playing in I’ve found it really easy to write a story because I’ve got an entire world already mapped out. I’ve got characters who I love and know what their motivations are. I know the history that has led the characters to the key points of their lives. I know what their motivations are, what their goals are. I also had in my head where I wanted to take the story and this is me doing that. So that has helped.
This has all shown me that I do need to do a lot more work on my background details. The simple things like character histories is something that I had barely thought about. I’d thought about things like where they’d grown up, and what their family had been like but I hadn’t really appreciated how that affects the characters and their take on the world until this FanFiction piece.
I’m trying to get some of these lessons that I’ve learnt into the planning details of what I’ll be working on in the future. It’s not been as easy as I thought it would be but I’m working on it.
I’ve got to get some work done on this piece of FanFiction and I’ll be looking to get it wrapped and onto the next story in that universe that I’m thinking of starting in the next twelve months.