Saturday, 5 October 2013

New Tricks

I've discovered, as a new mother, you need some tricks to get the words down on the page.  Whereas before ER came along I could write as soon as my job was done for the day... Now there is no end to my job, it's twenty four seven!

The first thing I've done is try to identify a time during which ER is asleep, but I am too awake to sleep (no matter how much I want to).  This is usually a brief window after six am.

Secondly I've been giving myself two word count targets a week.  A realistic one of maybe a thousand words and an ideal one which is where I really want to be.  This cuts down the chance of feeling like a failure and also motivates me to at least try and meet the realistic one.

Thirdly, my laptop and I are now casual acquaintances at best and my iPad with the Pages app has become my new best friend.  It's easy to get going, type one handed and put away safely.  I do type a lot quicker on my laptop, but the iPad is better than nothing. It also cuts down on social media procrastination as it takes longer to switch between the windows and I often can't be bothered.

These tricks have helped me keep going as a busy writer and so, to answer that age old question - do female writers need a room of their own?  No, just an iPad and some reasonable targets.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

It's almost Nanowrimo time again!

An author friend often asks me why I do Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month) every year.  He quite rightly points out that I write every day anyway - so why do I need the pressure of a fifty thousand word deadline by 30th November?

I'll tell you why I am committed to Nano'ing every November. 
  1. Writing is a lonely pursuit. Although many people are writing and believe they have a novel in them, very few are confident enough to talk about it.  That all changes every November. I love the write ins and the forums.  They make writing just that little bit less lonely and more of a social pursuit - for thirty days every year.  I also have friends who I have met purely through Nano and may only have a virtual friendship with.
  2. It's a chance to take a gamble and write something new.  If it turns out badly I've only lost a month from my other writing projects.  I have found the best way to approach Nano is with the barest of an idea, maybe a picture or book cover, and just write, write, write. It doesn't matter what comes out, it doesn't matter if I think it is any good or not.  The only thing that matters is getting to fifty thousand words.
  3. I'm grateful to Nano.  Without it I might have more half finished books littering my flat as I kept skipping from project to project, waiting for the one that would be instantaneously amazing.  Writing isn't like that; it's hard and your first draft may suck.  What Nano taught me is the important thing is to finish a draft, without that last sentence you have nothing.  Once it is done you have options, without it you just have lots of good ideas you can't be bothered to finish.
I'm not sure what I will write yet.  I've been looking at pre made e book covers as I want to publish on Smashwords as I go (I've done this for the past couple of years).  I'm tempted by a few random ideas.  One thing is for sure, I won't know what to write until I start tapping away on the first of November and writing doesn't get more exciting than that.