Tag Archive | NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo 2012 – T Minus 1 Day

It’s NOVEMBER tomorrow. How did that happen? Seriously, we’ve had 10 months this year! 10. I can’t believe it. And now it’s NaNo again. AGAIN. So I have to start (choose to) writing another novel tomorrow. Um, eek!

That paragraph got me thinking about this year. It’s been pretty good. I got promoted in February back to a job where I have responsibility, feel like I’m making a difference, and one that has manager in the title. Since leaving the hotel, it took me 4 1/2 years to get that Manager title back. That was 3 1/2 years of floating about, not really knowing what I wanted to do, and 1 getting the experience in Facilities Management to get the job. It’s been a long road, but it’s been fun, and I’ve met some great people, and now I’m in a good place.

This week is my 4th week in another position. Another promotion, although only tiny this time – my title is the same, but I’ve got my own building, rather than assisting someone for part of the week, and having my own the rest of the week. Woop! It’s going… well… OK. It’s not going to rock my world, but I’m going to get some great training, and some great experience. I hope. The site is really quiet, so, I’m going to be able to do some writing while I’m there, daily. Woop! I just need to get over this mental hurdle I’ve got that’s saying it’s going to be a rubbish site! It’s not, it’s going to be good for my career, and for my writing! What more can I ask for?

Lets move on and look at my goals, and how I’m doing with them:

Writing*: 100 words or NaNo plotting 5 days. On Monday I did quite a bit of plotting. I still don’t know what’s going to happen in the second half to make it to the end, which is worrying me, but I’m hoping I’ll get there. Part of me thinks that I’m just not clever enough to think up some good thriller/mystery plot points. Part of me wants to hit that other part of me for thinking that though. We’ll see. I guess a good thing on this is if I know what’s going to happen in the first half, that will probably be 40,000 words, so I’ll only need to worry about another 10,000 to get through NaNo. Of course, really, I don’t want to be thinking like that. I want to finish this novel, not stop at 50,001 on 31st October.

I was saying I did plotting on Monday. On Tuesday, I realised I should do some writing, so when I got in and was tidying up, I started thinking what I could write. I decided I’d write a bit from my main character’s recent history. An afternoon with her niece. 350 words. Boom. Not 1,667, but not 100 either! I ALSO did some plotting.

Nothing yet today, but it is early (plus, if I’m 100% honest, this blog was written on Tuesday night, so definitely no Wednesday writing or plotting!)

Goals, come on Helen, concentrate!

Writing: 1,000 creative words posted on my blog. Not done yet. I’ve just (literally this second) decided that this week’s words, will very fittingly be the first 1,000 ish words of my NaNo novel, on Thursday. It fits well because in my head Thursday is fiction posting day (I guess it comes from my One Thousand Thursday idea, which I’ll definitely be doing in November!!).

Blogging: 1 book review, 2 check in posts, and the writing post. I reviewed Case Histories by Kate Atkinson yesterday. This is my first check-in blog. Still time. As above the writing one will be Thursday. Next week I’m going to reduce this goal down to 1 check-in per week. I’ll still aim for 2, but with NaNo, if I don’t have time for both, I’m not going to get worried about it. I need to focus on the 1,667 words.

Exercise: Gym or run x2. I nearly went to the gym yesterday, but I left work quite late, so decided to go today instead. Will do something at the weekend, or maybe Friday. We’ll see. Yesterday, when I decided not to go to the gym, I decided to walk to the next tube (not the closest one), in the end, I walked to the one further than that – over 3k, and over 200 calories. Not bad, especially not bad for someone that couldn’t be bothered to go to the gym!

Eating: Fasting 1 day (500 calories), 1400 calories 5 days. Didn’t count Monday. I think I did OK. No idea though. Tuesday I got 1,222 calories, so really happy with that. I’m going to try today as the fasting day, but I’m not sure, because I’m planning on going to the gym, so I should really eat to give me energy for that. I dunno.

So there we have it. I can only count 2 days, but they’ve been good days so I’m very happy. Lets hope today goes well, then I’m kicking off NaNo tomorrow. Woop!

*Note – of course from tomorrow, my writing goal changes to 1,667 words EVERY DAY!

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Sunday Check-In, Good and Bad

It’s just days to NaNo. For the last 3 years, October has been the most productive month of the year, not so this year. Usually I think I need to get ready for writing 1,667 words a day by consistently writing daily. I think I kind of forgot that this year. Maybe this year I’m going for resting before NaNo!

Lets look at my goals this week, and how I’ve done:

Writing: 100 words a day on 5 days, or NaNo prep on those days. I did some prep on Monday and Tuesday. That is all. Just a few days left till NaNo, so I guess I’m doing a lot of prep in the next few days. Storyline, character names, character personalities, etc. etc. I’ve got a lot to do! I can do some tonight, it’s not too late.

Writing: 1,000 words creative writing posted to my blog. SUCCESS. On Friday I posted a story I wrote last year about Aliens and microwaves. That’s £5 in my fund from the boyfriend.

Blogging: 1 book review, 2 check-ins and the creative blog. Done, done, done! Woop!

Exercise: Gym or run 2 days. Pass.

Eating: ‘Fasting’ 1 day, 1,400 for 5 days. I did the ‘fasting,’ although I managed 623 not 500 words, but it was still good, so happy with that. Not so happy with the other 5 days and the lack of counting over those. How about I try again this week?

 

I like these goals, so I’m going to use them this week. Well until Thursday anyway. Thursday –  Sunday my writing goal will be 1,667 words.

Usually, I’m feeling good about NaNo, but this year I’m just feeling a little dread. I don’t know if it’s because I’m not doing chick-lit, and a little worried that I’m not going to be able to do this thriller/black comedy thing. I don’t know if it will have any comedy. I don’t know if it will be a thriller. All I do know at the moment, is that it’s called Love Authority. At least I’ve got a title, that’s better than the one I started in 2009, it’s still called ‘Holiday,’ with the ”.

On a final note, My Christmas cake is in the oven. I’m really excited, it’s the first one I’ve ever made. It’s going to be in the oven for another couple of hours. Unless I had it on too high a temperature for the first 2 hours. Oops!

Enjoy your last couple of days of freedom before NaNo if you’re doing it!

Another New Goal

I know it’s more than halfway through the week, but I need to adjust my goals. Not massively. In fact, it’s not so much adjusting, as adding to.

My current goals are (with this week’s progress)

Writing – 100 words a day for 5 days, or work on prep for NaNo for those 5 days. Monday – lots of prep for NaNo. Tuesday a little prep. Wednesday none. That’s fine, I’m going to try to work everyday for the rest of the week, because Tuesday’s prep really wasn’t up to much!

Blogging – 2 Check-ins for ROW80, 1 Book review. Monday posted a book review (The Snowman by Jo Nesbo), and now toady’s check-in. OK, so the check-in is late, but better late than never!

Exercise – gym or run twice. Not done anything yet. Planning to go to the gym tomorrow, and running Saturday, but not too confident on that one.

Eating – 1400 or less calories a day for 5 days, 1 day ‘fasting’ (500 calories). Today is my fasting day. I’ve had strawberries, blueberries and yogurt. I’ve got salad for lunch, and vegetables in tomato sauce for dinner. My stomach knows I’m dieting even though I would have had that for breakfast anyway – it’s been growling since 10am (I only had breakfast at 8am!). Lets not think about the other days where I should have eaten 1400 or less.

Those are my current goals, which I’m doing ok with. Now, my extra goal.

Blogging – post one blog with my creative writing a week.

This was my boyfriend’s idea. A few years ago, I used to take part in Fiction Friday, where you were given a prompt, you wrote for at least 5 minutes from it, then you post it. Yes, you post what you wrote, you didn’t even have to edit or anything.

It was scary at first, but when I’d done it a few times, I got quite used to it. It became, dare I say, easy to post my stuff. It was great, because I was getting comments on my stuff, but more importantly, I was doing that getting my stuff out there thing.

Boyfriend pointed out yesterday, that I haven’t posted any of my writing for months, or maybe years, which means when I’m in the position of sending out my manuscript to get an editor, it’s going to be even more terrifying than it could have been when I was posting stuff weekly.

Therefore, he’s decided that for every week that I post some writing (not including blogs) of over 1,000 words, he’s going to put £5 in a pot for me, to spend on anything I want. Oh, with the exception of anything I NEED, because I should be buying that anyway. Woop! Do I not have the best boyfriend in the world?

So now I have another goal this week. I’m excited, but also a little scared. That’s another think I need to think about. However with NaNo round the corner, it’s going to be ok. I hope!

Speaking of NaNo, I’m going to the London kick-off party this evening. I can’t wait. I was debating whether to do NaNo this year or not, but the thought of the parties and events was enough to make me want to! Forget the writing, it’s about the social life, right?

Mid Week Check-In

I do hate doing this. I’m writing a post, being all positive about how well I’ve been doing, because I am, and because the last few weeks have been terrible. I hate doing them, if then the next day, or the day after that, I stop being all productive. Lets just hope that doesn’t happen.

My weekly goals are fourfold this week – writing, blogging, exercise and eating. Lets take them one at a time:

Writing – 100 words per day. Monday 144 or something. Tuesday – no writing, but spent a lot of time thinking about my (potential) NaNo novel. And doing a little plotting on paper. Yeah, it’s not words, but I’m counting it as a success for Tuesday.

Blogging – 2 check-in blogs (Wednesday and Sunday), 2 book reviews, and another blog. obviously I’ve got the Wednesday check-in blog tick. I also reviewed All That Glitters by Ilana Fox yesterday. So far, so good.

Exercise – gym 1x and run 2x. I’m going to the gym tonight. Not sure how I’m going to fit in the 2 runs though. I’m going out tomorrow night, and will be too hungover on Sunday, which would leave Friday and Saturday, but I shouldn’t really run two days in a row. Well, I can, that’s probably a bit of an excuse. No, it’s not really, you do need to give your body time to rest after exercise. Oh well, I’ll work that out later. Important thing here, I’m going to the gym tonight. First time for… (other than the 1 exercise class I did the other week) way too long. Months. Still, I’m going. That’s great!

Eating – eat well and ‘fast’ one day. I must be eating well, because I haven’t really exercised this week, but I’ve lost 1lb. I’ve not been recording it, but I  haven’t been REALLY bad. Yesterday was supposed to be my fast day, but that went wrong when I went to Tesco on the way home, and got sweets for my boyfriend (who was ill at home). Wouldn’t have been so bad, if I hadn’t eaten some of the sweets, or bought some chocolate, that I also ate. Oops. Today can’t be the fast day as I’m going to the gym, nor tomorrow as I’m going out so will have a glass of wine, or two. Maybe Friday? Maybe Sunday? Hmm. Look at the good bits, I’m eating well.

So it’s going well. I’m likely to mess up the doing well, but usually October is a good month for me (with the pre NaNo ”I haven’t done enough this year/ must finish novel before NaNo starts” madness). I’m hopeful.

Yes, so I’m doing NaNo again. This will be year four. So far I’ve ‘won’ each year. Year 3 is the one that lots of people fail, so having passed that is good. This year, I’m not very confident about my novel. Yeah, I’ve only been thinking about it for a day, but I’m just not sure. It’s not my usual chick lit, so I’m not too confident, plus, I don’t really know what’s going to happen. All the novels I’ve got that I’ve written well in NaNo have been plotted out before 1st November. The one time I didn’t bother, I finished the 50,000 words, but was still only at the beginning. I need a plan.

With two weeks to go, I can’t start stressing about it yet. Probably once I start the planning, it will go swimmingly. In the meantime, I just need to get the time to do it, and try to get some writing in too. With shorter working hours, that shouldn’t be a problem. She says…

Checking in Late

I’m so confused with days at the moment. I woke up thinking it was Tuesday. Could not work out which day it was. This is because I worked last week, then straight from that, I started volunteering as a London Ambassador for the Olympics on Saturday, and have been doing that since. I’m lost.

I’m also really tired. Yesterday (I knew it was Sunday yesterday!) I totally planned to write, and to check-in. The problem was I was so crazily tired, I got home, had a quick sit down to get some energy, made and ate dinner, read a little, then fell asleep on the sofa. No writing for Helen. I’m even more tired today, I sat on the sofa after work and fell asleep straight away for nearly 3 hours!

I think it’s better falling asleep earlier, because it means I’m awake later to write this blog, and to do some writing – which I WILL do.

You may have guessed that stressing how tired I am is leading up to an admission of guilt – I’ve not been writing. I know I did some last week, late last week, but I can’t remember when. The good news is that when I’m writing, I’m generally writing more than my 150 word goal, often up to 250, 350 sometimes even. So writing isn’t a problem, getting down to it is (as always).

As I have been so tired, I’m really not going to beat myself up about it. Especially since I’m doing lots of walking. Exercise isn’t a goal this time, but I need to get back doing it, so if a few days I do lots of exercise, and don’t manage some writing, you know what, it’s fine.

I emailed The Man of My Dreams to m boyfriend the other day. He said that he’d start printing it out slowly, over a few days at work. I feel like when I’ve got a hard copy of that, I’ll get moving on it again. I want to read through it, to see how it flows, and where I need to change it to towards the end, to get it to the end.

I’ve also been feeling a want to start writing ‘Holiday’ again. And maybe to find a proper name for it! Every summer for the last 3 years, I’ve spent a few months on it, so I’m feeling a little lost this summer not. However, I’m more into TMOMD, so I think I should stick to that. Maybe I’ll do NaNo then jump into Holiday after. Like I ever do ANY writing in December!

I can’t start thinking about that now, not winter, not when SUMMER has finally come to London. I’m sat here at 10:30pm with every window in the flat open because it’s so damn hot. It’s great, except I’ve not been drinking enough water so have had a few headaches over the last few days. It’s brilliant not to be  working working (real working that is) in this weather, but to be outside in it. The last two days I’ve been down at Southbank – which if you don’t know London is this area near Waterloo station on the south bank of the Thames, with so much going on – restaurants, shops, street performers, book stands, a food market… loads. It’s brilliant year round, but in the sun – it’s just amazing. And I’ve been there, in the sun, helping tourists. Awesome!

Anyway. I need to go and do some writing before boyfriend gets home and interrupts me (doesn’t that sound like it would be his fault – rather than mine, he he!).

ROW80 Check In, and Meeting Chris Batty

I’m actually thinking Chris Batty should really be CHRIS BATTY in that title, don’t you? I’ll cover the CHRIS BATTY thing, then move on to the check in (Because we can probably all put guesses on where that particular one is going).

So the other week I got a Facebook invite to an event for NaNo yesterday. NaNo being in November, I was thouroughly confused, until I opened my eyes and read it properly – Chris Batty was coming toLondon. Chris Batty of ‘I invented National Novel Writing Month’ fame. THE Chris Batty. How cool?!

So Sunday rocked up, I managed to get over my hangover from the day before (wine tasting inLondonBridge, hard to attend without a hangover!), and get down to The Mad Hatter (the coolest name for a pub), to meet up with the NaNo crowd, and CHRIS BATTY.

I may have got there an hour late, but Chris had about 40 people to get through (that was a guess, I have no idea how many people were there). He was making his way anti clockwise round the group, from my right. Awesome, I could sit with my friends, and wait for him to come to me.

A couple of pints of cider were drunk in the hour or two it took him to get round to my group of people, luckily not enough to get me drunk, but enough to make me nice and relaxed.

Chris sat down with four of us and started asking us all aboutLondon.

Luckily the other four are quite chatty nice people, which gave me a chance to sit there and swoon for a bit Yes guys, Chris Batty is pretty hot. He also, as it turns out, is very chatty, and really really nice. I was not the only one to leave the pub with a Chris Batty Crush.

Our group talked about the Jubilee (as a foreigner probably would), about where we lived, and then finally about NaNo.

NaNo is such a huge part of our lives (not just the four of us he was talking to at the time, but many, many more in the NaNo London crowd), that it was so awesome to chat to the guy who thought it up. It really was like meeting a celebrity.

Our time came, and Chris moved on (I wasn’t bitter, not at all). Only once he’d gone, I realised he’d spent most of his conversation chatting aboutLondonand us, not himself, or inventing NaNo, or anything.

We got a chance later though, when he came to sit with another group of us (musical chairs in the pub due to air con being turned on). Did we ask him much about himself though? No, we talked about Hackney (where he was staying),Londonbuses vs tubes and stuff.

I’ve come away thinking he’s such a nice guy, not to mention HOT, but not really feel like we got to know him. I guess I was kind of expecting him to do a stand at the front and talk to us thing, then questions and answers or something.

Still, I’ve met Chris Batty. How cool is that. I didn’t have his book to get him to sign (I STILL haven’t bought it!), but my friend did take a photo of him and me. Unfortunately, she’s now inMorocco, so can’t email it to me, so I can’t add it here. As soon as I get it you can bet your ass I’ll be sticking it on Twitter, Facebook, and right here guys.

Anyway. After all that excitement – ROW80.

Ahhh, ROW80, yes. Well…

I’ve done some writing today. I got home from the Jubilee Garden Party (in the rain, not so much fun), thinking about something. I realised it would make a good story, so wrote the beginning of it. 350 words. Saturday, Friday and I think Thursday were… well, blank. I was too tired when I thought about writing to do anything any of them. It’s fine, I’ve written today, I think that’s my habit, not a few days not writing.

I’m still not feeling 100%, so haven’t been exercising, and have been at events for the last 3 days, so not been watching what I’ve been eating. Regardless, I’ve lost 4 lb in just over a week. Woop! Imagine how much more I can lose next week when I am feeling able to go to the gym or running, and am watching my weight all week.

Apparently I have other goals. Seeing as it’s now one in the morning, and off the top of my head I can’t remember them, I’m going to leave it there.

I feel like this week is going to be a good one for me (even though I’m going to be distracted for a couple of days when boyfriend gets back from his round Europe travels!). I hope it is for you too.

Ps. It’s too late to edit this, please ignore the bad grammar etc etc, I’ll do better next time I promise!

Still Here, Just Not Doing Much

I am still alive, I promise. I’m just not blogging, or checking-in for ROW80, or actually writing, or keeping up with any of my goals. Why? Well I’m not really sure. I’ve got some excuses though – whether they are actually excuses, or real reasons why not, I have no idea.

I started my new job 3 ½ weeks ago. My old job was very, very easy. I could pretty much do it with my eyes closed. This job is different. I have responsibility, I have lots and lots to learn, a ton of different people to meet (and remember) and more work than I can handle.

I’m loving it, but it’s exhausting me. For the first time in maybe a year, I’ve been (sometimes) buying ready meals because I just haven’t always had the energy to cook when I get in. Also, obviously not had the energy to go to the gym. What is good, is that getting the bus to and from the tube to work is pointless – the traffic across Blackfriars Bridge is so bad, that it’s as quick to walk. That means I’m walking 40 minutes a day. Not including walking between my buildings or when I go to head office. Not bad.

Of course there’s this other little excuse, and I don’t know if that had happened because I’m so tired, or if I’ve let the tiredness be the excuse – I’ve really got into Heros. Yeah, that TV series that started years ago, yeah, I know like EVERYONE watched it back then, but I didn’t. I didn’t care. Boyfriend made me watch it a few times while we had dinner (classy us – we don’t have a kitchen or dining table!). I didn’t care much for the first few episodes, but then I really got into it. Really.

We’ve reached the end of the first series (boyfriend has the first 3 series on DVD), so I’m finally able to do something, other than watch it, and think about it for most of my other waking moments (other than when I was working!).

I’m sure I have more excuses, but I can’t think of them right now. Do you want to know what I have done? Not much granted, but every little helps.

On Saturday, I did half an hour work on my writing course. Who even knew I was doing a writing course? I can’t remember when the last time I did anything for it was, but I’m going to put a guess out there at over a year. A year. How mental is that?!

What prompted it? My Mum restarting hers. Originally, back in the 1990s, my mum started doing a writing course. She got a little stumped at the first assignment, and it stayed there. But it put an idea in my head. 4 years ago, I turned that idea into practice, and started doing the same writing course as she had. I got a lot further than she did – maybe assignment 4 or 5 (out of 20), but then I got distracted with NaNo and actually writing novels, and so I let it slip. Suddenly a year (plus) had gone by without doing any.

My mum recently decided to carry on with the course. Or restart it. Her talking about it, and getting excited about it made me think about mine, so much that I got it out at the weekend. I know 30 minutes isn’t a lot (especially as I’ve not done any since), but it’s a start. And to be honest, right now 10 minutes would be better than nothing, so 30 is pretty damn good.

I’m on the writing a novel chapter. I’ve read it all before (over a year ago), but think it’s pretty good and important so am reading again (I need to have read it to do the assignment). The assignment a the end of this chapter, or section, is writing a fully plan for a novel. I’ve decided that, although I’ve written a lot of The Man of My Dreams, I’m going to take a step back, pretend I haven’t, and write the plan for the assignment. Woop!

I also  something really useful from what I read on Saturday. It recommends that while you’re writing your novel, you SHOULD take breaks and write smaller things – short stories. It says that because writing a novel is so hard and long that it can start to get you down. Writing short stories can keep your mind fresh, and give you confidence that you can finish something etc etc.

Whenever I’m in ‘novel writing’ mode, that’s all I write. I don’t let myself write stories, or anything other than blogs and the novel. Right now I’ve been writing TMOMD since November 1st and I’m still ¾ of the way through it. That wouldn’t be so bad if I hadn’t have done NaNo and written 50k in November – it means I’ve done about 23k in 3 months. Bad! Right now I’m feeling a little downhearted about it. It just seems to be going on and on (originally I planned it to be 70k, I’m 3 over that and have a LOT left to write).

I’m going to follow the advice and do some short writing things. Maybe not stories, maybe just bits and pieces from random word generators (which is how I got into writing short stories). Hopefully it will a) get me back into writing and b) get me feeling fresh about TMOMD again, and make me want to go back and finish it.

I’m not going to say anything about my goals. They’re there. I’ll try, but I sometimes wonder if trying too hard makes me stay away from them – weird I know, but then I’ve never professed to be anything but!!!