Monthly Archives: March 2013

Happy Birthday, Blog!

Wow!  This blog is now officially one year old.

I shall launch balloons, eat birthday cake on its behalf and consider how utterly terrifying that thought is.  Time passes much too quickly these days.  I guess now would be a good time to reflect on what progress has been made since those early days…

LIFE LESSONS

 JUST WRITE

It may well be hard to appreciate this if you aren’t me, but it was invaluable for me to get out of a certain way of thinking and working.  I used to be obsessed with perfection and, as a result, was never able to finish anything.  I used to look over a story I’d had in mind for several years, unable to move forward because I’d planned too much and for too long.  Since then, I’ve changed my ways.  I’ve moved on to a fresh new project and write in a relaxed, carefree way, just writing scenes to have a draft of them finished rather than scrapping anything which isn’t solid gold.  This has made writing far more fun – and far more productive.

READ MORE

It helps to improve your writing style.

THIS IS IT

This is the route I want to take in life.  No matter what I need to do to get by financially, I never want to stop writing and I ultimately want to be published.  Preferably a lot, and preferably in exchange for money.

I AM GOOD AT THIS

I’m not going to sit here and brag, but equally I’m not going to wring my hands and shrug off my abilities as average anymore.  I’m confident now: I know I am good at this.  Popular opinion, some of it professional, has confirmed that I have talent.  I know I have the potential to make this work and if I keep my ears and eyes open for opportunities, as well as keep my mind open to criticism, I will be published.  It’s just a matter of time, patience and commitment.

WHERE AM I NOW?

My novel is 20,000 words of first draft, which I started in December.  Most of those words actually constitute the bare bones of scenes, which won’t be too hard to fill out, and I’ve worked out most of the plot points.

I have several completed short stories, one of which won a little competition, and two other novels on the backburner.  And I’m writing for a magazine, building my article portfolio, and therefore hopefully about to have my name in print one way or another.

Basically, compared with where I was in my ambitions a year ago, an administrator without a single completed piece to her name, I’ve actually made quite a bit of progress.

SO WHAT NOW?

Looking back, the past year has involved an awful lot of stopping and starting – my switch to a different novel, for a start off.  As such, even though I’m proud of my progress, I need to pick up the pace this year.

GOALS THIS YEAR

I’d like to start entering some short story competitions, especially ones which provide feedback on entries.

Secondly, I’d like to set up a new blog with an emphasis on entertainment.  I’d like to start showcasing some of my work on the web.Third, I want to get published, both in fiction and non-fiction if possible.

Finally, I still want to finish my novel by the end of this year and start sending it off to publishers.

It’s a long slug to get where I’d like to be, but I’m up for the challenge.  Watch this space.


The Verdict…

Time to find out how well I did reaching my target.

And now to explain why I have to work this out.  Well, you see, as soon as I went away for the weekend, I realised I would be writing the fruits of this challenge on Evernote and that Evernote doesn’t have a word count function.

Immediately upon discovering this, however, I realised it was actually quite a blessing.  It made me paranoid that I might overestimate how much I was writing, and therefore not hit my 5,000 word target because I was prematurely resting on my laurels.  The result of this was a huge case of pre-emptive overcompensation to make sure I wouldn’t fall short.

So, what’s the verdict?

At this point, I’d like you to imagine a supercomputer making what the ’70s understood to be computer calculation noises.  For those who are struggling, it sounds like the noise wind chimes would make if they bleeped rather than chimed.  Wind bleeps, you might say.

Anyway, here it is!  Computer says…

It's... not actually over 9,000...

7773 words.  In eight days.

Wow.  I may not have reached 10,000, but I actually doubled my normal work output.  In fact, I achieved my 5,000 word target in just one weekend, look!  And, to be fair, you can only produce so much twaddle before you have to stop and organise the twaddle you already have.  Then you can work out where you are twaddle-deficient and fill in the gaps with adequate levels of additional twaddle.

So, now it’s time to put all this stuff in the folder and start thinking about what needs doing next.

And award myself the sapphire relic, of course.  Nice job, methinks.

Also, determined to read May Contain Nuts before March arrived, I blasted through several chapters last night and am proud to say I have completed it.  Another novel down!  Now to find a shiny new book to read…