Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Why I Gave Up on NaNoWriMo

I talked the talk. I was all prepared for NaNoWriMo this year. Even carried out some research which is something I rarely do when writing. The writing process for me is usually a blank Word file and I get typing. Sometimes I have an idea in my head. Or I start with a line of dialogue. I type and type to see where it takes me. Then, in theory, I go back and edit it. Sadly I lack the ability to reach the editing process which is something I need to work on. When I was doing my evening classes last year I had to have a finished product for sessions. Take away that external deadline and I wander around, not doing much. It's the pattern I've followed since I started to write my own stories when I was 10. On an old Apple Mac for those interested. Like a really old Mac that had a screen about the size of your standard iPhone nowadays.

November has been a busy month for me. I started a new job that pays monies. My voluntary work began to pick up and required three days out of my week. I took over the admin for Write in for Writing's Sake.The old social life began to re-awaken. And there's that dirty bugger called Christmas lurking around the corner. Plus the mundane old stuff of making sure I have enough clean clothes to wear (which did become a slight problem last week) and that I was starting to eat properly and trying to ditch a lot of processed crap. Alas eating properly means spending more time cooking. For someone that can't really cook this poses a problem and simple things, like chopping an onion, takes twice as long as it really should.

The biggest problem is that I felt I didn't have enough time to read. I was clocking in 10 minutes at bedtime and cramming some words in during the commute. After waiting for ages, my library requests began pouring in. I wanted to read them rather do writing.

So I said

A good friend gave me the gentle push to stop writing. If I want to go off and do the research then go and do the research. My story is located in a particular time and place. Yet I was throwing in references that were all over the place. As an ex-History student it's important for me to get these things right (write?). If I decide to take part in NaNo again then I shall decide to write a silly story. One when it doesn't matter about time and place and setting. I think I'll have more fun that way.

Goodbye NaNo for another year. I am sure we will meet again.

Monday, 8 November 2010

November: The Month of Activity

November is shaping up to be a busy month. Having a new job means more time to socialise which is always welcome. Alas, Christmas is around the corner. Do you know that November is the last pre-Christmas pay for a lot of people? That scares me a little; especially as I am not terribly good at buying Christmas presents for people. Then there is always that conundrum of "What if someone buys me a present and I haven't get them one?"

I have other things on my mind. Once again I am attempting NaNoWriMo and taking it a bit slow this year. Last time I peaked too early (hit 15, 000 words in the first week then my enthusiasm tailed off after that). Also I had the distraction of Masters coursework which did not help matters. This year I have been writing for 30 minutes which usually sees me hit the bare minimum quota of 1666 words a day to cross the finish line. And I did plan a bit more than last year like outlines for each chapters and character cards to help me keep on track. Writing can be a solitary activity so it's nice to take advantage of the community that NaNo provides.

Him Indoors and I are working our way through Season One of Mad Men. My father has been raving about it but he automatically loves anything that features America in the 1950s and lots of smoking. Personally I have been surprised at how much I am enjoying watching each episode. Usually when I'm watching television I'm texting a friend or on the Interwebs. With Mad Men I am drinking in each piece of dialogue and being enraged at the same time (Him Indoors thought I was going to explode during the episode involving the girls and the lipstick testing). I hope someone out there is teaching the Sociology of Mad Men or at least using the episodes for sexuality and gender classes. Out there, in library land, someone has come up with the great idea of a Mad Men reading list. Unfortunately getting a hold of some books in my local area has proved rather difficult. I may have to wait until after Christmas before picking up cheap second hand copies (if I can get them).

Finally I have to wave the pom poms for my current blogger crush, Ms Alex Wolf. Not only is she attempting NaNo this month but she is also going vegan for a month AND blogging about it every day. Alex has been attempting 101 goals in 1001 days since 1st January 2009. She has been doing amazingly well and I am in awe of her progress. I'm finding her vegan blog to be of particular interest as I attempt to expand my limited cooking skills. My diet is primarily pescetarian but with a lack of regular fruit and vegetables. British supermarkets tend to be rather limited for fruit beyond the standard bananas and apples (at least in my experience). I live a bit closer to an more ethnic area now and the appears to be a wider range of fruit and vegetables available. When I have a bit of time I shall venture out and see what they have to offer.