Tag Archives: NaNoWriMo

Push me to be productive

WordPress has updated some features I think?

I’m pretty sure there wasn’t a streak counter before, there is one now and that poses both a solution and a problem to me; I am a sucker for maintaining long streaks on various websites, so this will now mean that I will be obsessing over maintaining this streak of blog posts, because of the streak counter.

I have this same problem on DuoLingo it isn’t the lessons keeping me there as much as it is the streak counter and the same thing too, with 750words.com though saying that, I am very serious about learning Italian to fluency. 

I have been learning Italian on DuoLingo now for 432 days!  I do a minimum of one lesson which is 10 minutes per day, to sometimes 1 hour.

I had to give up my streak on 750.words.com because I can no longer afford to pay a monthly fee.  That really grinds me too.

If I am to be a productive person, I mean really productive. I need streak counters and tight schedules set by others, or I don’t tend to take things seriously.    This is how I know, if I am ever published, I would be addicted to writing more than ever, because of the pressures that my colleagues may or may not impose on me to do things.  I at least hope it to be the case anyway.  I guess it will be so, because I do love schedules and maintaining streaks etc. 

I think this is why I tend to finish NaNoWriMo early on the times I do it undisturbed.  I have been unlucky to get pneumonia one time doing this and very unlucky that my son became extremely sick with gastroenteritis another time. 

One thing about me is that when I have been in work, I have become quite quickly a workaholic.  But it takes me a long time to recover if I am released from positions for whatever reason.

I thrive with work and tasks and I literally wither away without it.

The thing is, Paul can be too liberal with me, he isn’t pushy like other people have been in my past and that is both nice and also in some ways bad too.  Because I need someone to nag me, shouldn’t you be writing now?  I mean you have been on Spore now for 4 hours…

I do lose track of time and sometimes I need that wake up call!

“Gosh 4 hours, you sure? shit I don’t have time to do this other thing too, yes, I should write”.

But no, that doesn’t happen here, I lose days at a time by being consumed by games, books and YouTube videos and nobody brings me back to reality, I am alone in trying to figure that one out for myself.

Paul just seems to think and feel that I need to be left alone, to do whatever I like, like some spoiled child.  He does spoil me, lets me get away with far too much and I am not so sure he should to be honest! Though it is nice he is so liberal, it is also very frustrating that he doesn’t seem to remember to help me get back to reality, you know?

I am not blaming him for my lack of focus far be it, but I do feel I need a personal nag machine.

Maybe this will change when Paul gets the Amazon dot, maybe I can program Alexa to nag me?

Worth a try, I think.

Happy Reading! 

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Tidying up ideas

There are lots of papers all around my house of various story ideas that have never been started yet; many of these papers contain less than one paragraph of what that story will be.

I have decided over the next few weeks to start writing in a new offline journal all of these ideas in more details, so that when I want to work on a new story, I am not sitting there flummoxed about the kinds of things I want in that story and forget them altogether for an entirely new idea.

I am surprised to find that I have 354 known ideas so far and not all of those papers are gathered yet!  If I had been asked how many ideas do you suppose you have lying around?  I’d suggest that maybe it were a little fewer than 90, but not 354+, that’s both tremendous and sad, because they’ve been neglected in some cases for as much as 25yrs!  Some of the ideas I had when I were only ten years of age! 

Thankfully a few of those ideas I delayed, because had I of written them all those years ago they would have been garbage in comparison to the fresher stances I have these days towards them.  Sometimes it is best to procrastinate as sometimes the ideas get better or more solid and real.

I was so sure back in 2006 how I wanted a dystopian tribal story to go, but had I of done it back then, it would have been boring and full of plot twist flaws; these days, the ideas have consumed me a lot and they are showing me better ways to form themselves and I find it very exciting and less flawed.  There is more drama, adventure and excitement in the story and more characters have a proper defined role whereas before they would have been better off not existing – basically, they’re starting to add to the plot now rather than act as a page filling distraction, which upon reflection I realised they were back then.

I am trying to prepare myself to put the vampire aside for a while and make a decision on which novel out of eight I’d like to start writing for NaNoWriMo July 2021.  I think there is only really two to decide from really, the steampunk fantasy series or the dystopian tribe.

It is very likely that I will not get any books published until late autumn of 2022, because of certain events going on in the family between now and then – it would make me a little too busy, with the sickness as well, to start a career until that moment.  Things should have calmed down family wise around then; in fact Paul is almost certain of it.  It is very likely we could be moving house you see, as well, not to mention, Paul has promised me that he knows someone with a pregnant bitch, who’ll give us a puppy just in time for my birthday!  It will be a border collie.

Also it’s my Henry’s 11th birthday today!

Anyway until next time, happy reading!

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Gardening & writing plans & books – oh my!

I have only written about one page towards a novel this week, because of sickness, but also because I am reading a little more than normal – mainly magazines based on gardening and permaculture.  I have no energy to garden yet and it is actually quite unlikely I will do much in the garden this year, but I am learning as much as I can whilst I am out of sorts.  I have reinjured my leg twice in the past two weeks and so mobility is now getting affected, I have an old break that never healed properly and the two separate injuries were heavily on this old break.

I have written approximately 5 pages towards the plans of a new novel for April’s NaNoWriMo as I do intend to participate this year.

I have also started writing a non-fiction book based on my current knowledge of gardening and self-sufficiency, hence the extra research too, I want to be thorough as I realised there is not enough of the kinds of information I want out there readily available and I wanted to make it easier for others like me to find.  So far I have written approximately 10 pages towards that.

All of this whilst sick with a chest infection, injured leg, ear infection and the extreme depression caused by the harassment I am getting from my neighbour, which is actually making me scared to go into my own back garden these days.

I am planning to start selling my artwork around the end of the year; there is a local opportunity for me to take up positions in the local art gallery and I am going to snap those up.  I won’t be ready until autumn.

I have also done four half done pieces of artwork this week, there are plans for 6 more, I am trying to do them fast, but they require a lot of layers and drying time so that can be frustrating!

I am also starting a junk journal for the first time.

Whilst I am updating you all, I may as well tell you about some of the books I have read this month.  I have read “Conversations with God” as a non-believer in mainstream religions; I found it refreshing, because to me, it proves all the instincts I had about God growing up are true and valid.  But I had all those ideas beaten out of me because my family can be quite radical about this sort of thing.

I have also read “The library of the dead by T.L Huchu” which I absolutely loved, it was about ghosts and it is a mystery, a sort of detective for the dead sort of supernatural thriller/fantasy.  I found some parts of the story very gory, but it was a fun read and I look forward to reading more from this series – as I think I heard it is a series now?

I read “The Spooks Apprentice” by Joseph Delaney, which I felt was not really suitable for children under the age of 14.  I found it too disturbing in some parts and my son and his entire classroom had this read to him during school lockdown online and most of the children were asking the teacher not to read it to them because of nightmares!  So there you go!  I enjoyed it, but I found it too quick paced.

I am currently reading two other books I got from the library, so I will update you all on those soon.  The Echo Wife by Sarah Gailey and Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor!

So this is a condensed down and short as possible update for you all, hope you all are well and I will hope to post again in a few days’ time.

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My week of writing 4 and updates

I have not had a good week regarding my immune system this week.  Everything has decided to play up again, my ears, my throat, ache in my bones, my cough is getting bad again and before you all start to panic, no it is not the corona virus!  Though I’m scared to go anywhere near a doctors surgery right now, despite a bad chest infection brewing. 

Talking of which I have had the news of 12 individuals I personally know dying of this damned disease this week!  One of which has left a family of 6 children under the age of 19 without a father, it is very sad.

Also recently my mother wrote me a letter trying to get back into contact with me again but failed to mention my uncle (one which raised me off and on a lot throughout my childhood) had also died of the corona virus just three weeks ago, after being admitting to hospital shortly after Christmas.  So that’s how much she cares about re-establishing contact with me where it actually matters; You see, people don’t matter to her, they never have – I mentioned in a previous post about how cold towards sentimentality she is with people and how people can be as easily discarded as items by her.  This proves it; even with her favourite sibling she is indifferent.  I don’t know how people can be that way?

Although I am very disappointed with my word count for the week, the whole fact I did anything at all is amazing, considering it has mostly been a bed bound week for me again. 

I have also had a brand new idea for a horror novel which I am excited about because I think it isn’t something that has been done before, but what will I know?  Anyway, the idea came at me whilst I was reading World War Z which is amazing really because the idea is not zombie based at all.

I am thinking about going into the planning stages for that book between now and April, because I am thinking about perhaps, health permitting, I may join NaNoWriMo.  I found out NaNoWriMo does an April and a July thing too, so I may do the April one this year, whilst this new idea is very fresh in my mind!  I am going to name the project “Bones” whenever I talk about it, so you know what I am on about from time to time. 

I have also decided against a YouTube channel because I have heard rumours than an average 10 minute video can take 7 hours of editing and I hate technology so I won’t enjoy that editing process at all.  Sorry for the disappointment guys!  On the bright-side, I may start posting pics on Instagram finally, well, soon, anyway. 

My word count has been very small this week.  It is as below…

Words towards blog posts           –             1334

Words towards novels                   –              6240

Words towards plans for novels –             647

Words towards poetry or songs –              79

Words towards essays                   –              0

Words towards other                     –              678

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Writers debt and credits

I have recently rekindled my love for writing, like I used to a few years back – I was losing it to be honest but now I think I have my mojo back!  I lost my love for writing back in 2017 after I burned myself out doing 50k towards NaNoWriMo by the 21st of November and ignored all other writing projects and art projects as I did so!

I read in a book somewhere a couple of weeks ago – forgot which one, it may have been a YouTube video now I come to think about it, that when you are a creator and you force yourself to work on one large project for a prolonged period of time, it can burn you out and make you resent creating in the future – I think that happened to me.  The way to ensure that never happens is to work harder for shorter periods of time or have more than one project on the go, or at least some other creative outlet such as painting or woodworking or even music.

During NaNoWriMo of 2017 I ignored everything else but that one main novel for the entire duration – the novel was a novel I had been ten years in planning!  After NaNoWriMo had finished, I hated the book and have never revised it since.

I didn’t draw, paint, write poetry, write anything new towards my blog other than WIP progresses and I didn’t practise any music, language learning or read any new books – just so I could focus on that one novel that I began to hate by November 17th.

To be honest, I have noticed this is a theme for a lot of writers who do that – they never want to write again sometimes after doing this and others can’t bring themselves to write that particular novel ever again or revise it – I am one of those.  But I am trying to get back into revising that novel, because it was a great idea and I loved it before that challenge and I really would love to have this published.  But I do feel that it will be hard in the first few days to revise.  I am planning to revise that book by the end of May.

I have a writing goal of 3k words per day, whether those words are towards a novel, towards the blog, towards an art journal or a poem – I don’t mind, I am just not committing myself to one project ever again like that.  I simply can’t!  I had to stop myself from doing it again the other day based on a suggestion an online friend gave me, but I just can’t do that again.

I am happily working on three novels at once, skipping between works whenever I feel myself getting lethargic on one, just so I get the word count I want by the end of the day.  Today for example, I am near the 4k words mark, seven times I have skipped between writing posts for my blog to schedule for later on in the week in between concentrating on just one of my vampire novels.  It is working so far.

I am also starting something new to spur me on to keeping to my own word count deadlines and that is doing something I call “Writers debt” and “writers credits”.  I make myself write 3k words per day, if I only did 2800 words today, then tomorrow I will have a writers debt and must aim for 3200 words before I finish tomorrow.  However, if tomorrow I write 4200 words, I am in credit by 1000 words the next day, so I don’t have to work as hard because I will only need to pump out 2000 words that day.

I feel it helps because it makes me accountable for my writing and it gets me used to potential publisher deadlines in the future!

Yesterday I was 965 words short of my daily goal, so today my goal has been 3965 words!  I am over that now and I will be in credit of approximately 300 words tomorrow!

Try it, it works great!

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Learning to get around ADD?

I think I have to accept the fact that I have had attention deficit disorder most of my life, but was never diagnosed and still not diagnosed, this is the analysis that a couple of friends of mine have of me as I do seem to be disorganised and easily distracted – look there are butterflies outside my window right now hovering and ducking each other in and out of the lilacs! 

You see, that wasn’t a mock of people who are diagnosed, it is merely an example of exactly who I am and how I think.  Yes sure, I can sit down and write but I really struggle to stay here for more than 15 to 25 minutes at a time; I struggle to do anything longer than 30 minutes.  Watching TV is great if it is a varied show like Gardeners world or sketchy comedy (I think that’s what they are called, where they have mini 5 minute scenes?) I love movies, but I tend to need an intermission every 45 minutes for toilet breaks, getting a drink, or just generally not sitting there doing nothing and for me it doesn’t really matter how riveting the movie or anything else is, I just have this urge to move on for a few minutes and I will get back to that.

When I write I can write 750 words in 15 to 20 minutes, this is not revised and unplanned pantsing style work.  What irritates me is when I start to write a story then go into prose or poetry mode at the same time about the same thing, no I don’t want that to be my thing, but my brain starts to make songs and poetry of my stories a lot, this is usually a sign for me to stop – because I generally start ruining the story by letting it flow like that.  Though I suppose I should just edit those things out after I have done the book?  I don’t want all of my books to be musicals.

So I tend to write in 15 to 25 minute bursts, on days I try to write a set word goal, I need to break this down to 15 to 25 minutes an hour or every two hours until the word goal is completed.  For NaNoWriMo that goal is usually completed in about two hours but spread into three most days because of mental irritation.  This is not three hours of solid writing, please understand that.  I will start writing generally around 9am and by 9:25 I am going for a toilet or drink break and maybe checking social media or a game; then I am writing again around 10:15 till 10:35ish and getting a snack or thinking about checking on the wildlife in the garden.  Then around 11:30 I am writing again and at 11:55 I might start thinking ok, should this be it for the day?  It’s not that I don’t love writing it’s just I tend to overwork and I burn myself out and people usually have to remind me not to overwork!  Because you see there are certain types of animal in this world which have a feast or famine mentality and that is very much like me regarding my writing.

What you saw above was me struggling to write the same story without deviating throughout that whole day and throughout that whole month in NaNoWriMo, so basically it is a normal NaNoWriMo month for me.  A usual day to day writing habit is a little different in that every time I go back to writing it is poetry, writing down intense ideas because I don’t tend to like pantsing everything, then there are diary entries, blog entries which happen rarely to be honest, more ideas flow into my head and I would say around two thousand words a week are honestly going towards just one novel.  Well, I agree with my ADD friends, this can’t go on.  I have to accept the fact I am one of them and learn to cope with it and learn a way in tricking myself into doing more work without so many breaks!

How?

By accepting the fact that the reason why I have so many brainstorms for new ideas is because my brain is easily bored with old ideas, so I need to either learn to write short stories quickly or learn to write several novels at once.  You see, I used to do this before 2010, before writing became difficult – I used to write around seven books at once skipping merrily every half hour from one project to the next, but then I was advised by so many people not to do that as I will be killing my creativity and not putting enough love into just the one I should be working on.  Well, to be honest, I know now, the opposite is true, because since taking on those ideas for a decade now, I barely write and I barely enjoy writing as much as I used to.  In fact I remember last year telling Paul how I think my love for writing has died and that my new love for creating art is becoming more of a thing.  Well, I do with my art what I used to do with my writing; I have/had several art projects on the go at the same time, flitting from picture to picture as the whim took me.  But I realise now, I know me, the people who advised me not to write like that, didn’t know me that well and still don’t. 

So I have decided, as from today, I am going back to the old me.

This worries Paul slightly because I get tired when I try to write more than two thousand words a day lately and back in the old days of my writing I used to throw out double that and sometimes even the occasional 10k a day spout.  But I think I won’t wear myself out if I go back to my old style of writing, flitting from one idea to the other because I am not easily confused with my stories.  I know categorically my ghost story to my vampire story, my mermaid story to my pirate story, my other vampire story to my werewolf story and my deity story to my leprechaun story.  Yes I write many stories at once with the vampire theme, but I know my vampires so intimately I don’t confuse plots, it is difficult because they are so different, the characters are so different.  I know the difference, even if my friends and advisers think I am toying too much with my own mind, the thing is that it builds up slowly for me and so I get to know them intimately like real people or books that already exist if you understand me?

It is like knowing a Fred and an Alice in real life, I know that Fred won’t like Alice because he doesn’t like eco warrior vegans and Alice won’t like Fred because Alice hates people who hunt for sport and wafts bacon in front of her nose.  Fred might be a big business man living in a rural setting at the weekend and lives a party life as a bachelor, whilst Alice is constantly researching climate change and the latest protests, living in suburban Greater London and seeking new vegan recipe ideas; it is as simple as that for me.

Now this isn’t bad, I have written this in forty minutes without vacating the area, but now I really have to stop.  So bearing this in mind, starting my new/old way of writing again, I could be producing more stuff quickly again, which would be amazing!

No more forcing through the same novel day in and day out, I have to do what my brain needs me to do.

P.S throughout all of this writing today, I had also had two conversations with Paul and four conversations with my rabbit.

 

 

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Nano Update 15th Nov 2018

Just a little update on how NaNoWriMo is going on for me, so far so good, I have around 8k more to write and the month is complete for me, though the actual story for me is only half done, the novel is not complete even at 8k more words, I know that and I worry that perhaps I drone on a bit too much with my story?  I don’t know right now and at the moment I don’t care, it’s a good story with twists and turns like no other and I am proud of it; especially as I have been really ill, I mean bed bound for three days ill during this nano event.

Later on I will post something else, keep your eyes peeled.

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Just NaNoWriMo today and 750words.com

1700 words on NaNoWriMo today, that’s all.  Nothing else, except for 750words.com.  Disappointing day really.

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Nano Nano

I have written 12826 words towards my goal all told, today I only added 1764, better than I was expecting considering I am still ill and crawled out of bed just to do these words and 750words.com and the blog posts.

all told today with nanowrimo, poetry, blog post, 750words.com and other things I have written 5261 words today.  Now may I please collapse?

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Nightmare of writer’s block or the stories argument!

Gargoyles, leprechauns and witches oh my, they sit and clog up in my head. No room for vampires they always say, aren’t vampires now nearly dead?
They always have been, I reply, that’s their charm and wonder and grace.
But the others they sit and they frown in despair as though I have slapped their face!
Stop this jealousy, I always cry, it’s the vampires turn not yours
But the leprechauns sit and they chastise me a lot for not allowing them to finish their wars.
Then the witches with their bleak little cackles threaten to curse me if I forget, to add to their stories a little more gory, about a curse they’ve beset.
The gargoyle just moans and groans and cries out words like ALAS! Get on with my story, do not ignore me or I will kick you up the ass!
Now that’s quite enough bad language from you, says I with a determined glare
If I want to sit and write something else, I shall and it’s the vampire’s lair!
Not him again, they all shout and cry once again for the umpteenth time, you have to finish us before you start another story, song or rhyme!
Oh for peace sake, I say in an irate moan, I’ll burn you to ashes if I please, if you annoy me just once more you’re out of the door, stop bringing me to my knees
It is vampires tonight, whether you want it or like, I need to get them down too, so I start on the story, it’s a little bit gory, so the vampire sits in the queue.
Why stop there in my elaborate lair? Asks the vampire looking at me
Oh don’t you start, I say to him, don’t become like the other three!
Just leave me alone whilst I sit and think and sip at my sweet black tea.
Now where was I? I say to myself, oh yes, the miserable banshee!

The poem above reflects on my exact thoughts as a writer.  My stories which are put on hold are literally lining up to nag me to think of them even now I intend to focus on just one or two.  I hope a lot of writers who have unfinished projects agree that they also go through the same thing as me, because if not, then perhaps I need a therapist, ha-ha!

I often struggle with which of my stories to concentrate on day to day; some ideas have been coming on and off the shelf for the last twenty six years, yes, twenty six years!  I have stories about leprechauns, gargoyles, witches, banshees, and zombies, girls cooped up in a mental asylum, demon animals, vampires and many more.  Back in 2009 I decided to make a list of all the stories I had started but never finished past the first draft and the list came to 76; I lost the list when moving house and I have since added to it, I also lost a lot of papers when moving house so a lot of the ideas I started are lost somewhere in time and space.

Due to the motivational archive I found on YouTube recently, I discovered that it’s not that I lacked momentum when I was writing for all these years; I lacked consistency with sticking with something to the end.  I didn’t prioritise which idea I wanted to finish the most and that is what I have been focusing on since mid-September, I have been trying to focus my ideas on just two books and I have set myself a goal, which the archives suggested would help me.  I am to finish the leprechaun novel by June 2019 but the vampire novel must be finished by the end of January. 

The vampire novel I am working on is part of NaNoWriMo, but I know in my hearts of heart that 50,000 words is just too short for the story I am writing, wrimo is merely giving me the boost that I need to press on with it, so I shan’t be stopping at the end of November.  I also found other sites where writers can set their own goals, I found it through http://writetrack.davidsgale.com and there is another one called http://nanocountdown.com/advanced.html  you can set your own schedules and daily word count, it helps keeps you focused.

There will be another, very short post later on today when I have finished writing for the day to update you on how much I’ve done on the monthly challenge and other writing projects.

Ciao for now.

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