Prepping for NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo is just days away and I’m looking forward to getting stuck in!

Today, I finished the first draft of book 3 of my contemporary romance series, which means I’ve hit my first writing goal of the year. The ambitious stretch goal was to finish the entire series and that’s where NaNoWriMo comes in.

Book 4, the final, here I come!

I love NaNoWriMo, even the years I don’t hit the 50k goal. If nothing else, it’s a way to motivate myself to try and write every day – and a way I can explain to family and friends why I’m shutting myself away for a while to get my thoughts on paper. For some reason, I find they accept my writing time a lot easier when it’s part of an internationally recognised event.

Good luck to my fellow NaNoWriMo’s, and I’ll see you during/after November for an update!

Reading vs Writing

“The biggest mistake people make in life is not trying to make a living at doing what they most enjoy.”Malcolm Forbes

I’m trying, believe me.

The writing goes on. So does, I admit, the reading.

Average word count per day as it stands: 559(.28)
Words written YTD: 11, 745.

Reading, though, is proving a distraction. I had a conversation with a writer friend about the pros and cons of reading versus writing:

She’s of the mindset that reading is something that writers shouldn’t do too often for fear of it influencing their work/taking away from the time they actually spend writing.

I agree that reading can detract from your writing time so you’ve got to be careful – maybe use it as a treat – but I don’t think it influences your work as a writer, or at least in a negative way.

Reading can be a useful tool for a writer. Not only can you see examples of the various writing styles that are out there but if you find a genre you love reading, maybe it’s worth trying to write in that genre, even if it’s not one you’ve considered before. (I read everything hence I try writing everything. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.)

Point of view, too, is also something writers can learn through the medium of reading. I used to say I’d never enjoy reading first person so would never try writing it; recently, I’ve found myself reading more first person than third person and I’m really enjoying it – I’m even considering trying my hand at writing from a first person perspective (once the LWL series is done and dusted, because if there’s something else I’ve learned recently, it’s that I can’t have more than one story project on the go without my brain getting all befuddled.)

Thoughts from any fellow writers out there?

Do you find reading a help or a hindrance when it comes to writing?

Let me know!

Words, words, words

If you want to be a writer, it’s important to write.

It might seem blatantly obvious but a lot of wannabe writers seem to think they can make it as a novelist without committing the time and effort into doing the main element of writing: getting the words down on paper, or on screen.

Yes, there needs to something said about rewriting and editing and getting a finished product you’re happy to share with the world at large but you can’t rewrite something that isn’t written in the first place. You can’t edit a blank page.

A lot of wannabe writers, myself included, struggle to find time to write among the day to day duties we have no choice but to take part in. Working at a day job is necessary for anyone who needs to financially support themselves or their families, which can leave you stressed and tired and the last thing you want to do at the end of the day is sit down and force yourself to write.

But if you don’t, you’re never going to get those words written.

Now, writing should be fun. I’m a big believer in that. So when I say ‘force’, I don’t mean make yourself sit down and try to put pen to paper if you really, really don’t feel happy doing so. But if you want to, you’re just feeling a bit tired and it’d be easier to play around on the Internet or watch TV, why not try to push yourself just a little so you can get something written?

Any progress on a novel is good progress, and a step towards completing that all important first draft.

Finding the motivation, the willpower, to sit down and write can be a struggle at times but keep reminding yourself that your novel isn’t going to write itself.

Set yourself small goals. Achievable goals. I’ve mentioned on here before that I’ve set myself a goal of 500-1000 words per day. On a working day, it’s more like 500. On a weekend, 1000 is within reach. Some days I won’t hit 500, other days I’ll hit more so my average daily word count for this year so far is 531 words.

It might not seem like a lot at first glance but over the course of the year, that’s 193,815 words all trying to tell the stories that currently exist in my head and that’s far better than 0.

New Year’s Writing Resolutions

I’ve set myself a challenge of writing between 500 and 1,000 words per day this year.

Some days, I’m sure I’ll fall short. Other days, I hope I’ll do more so those bad writing days don’t impact my goal too much.

Yesterday, I wrote 1365. Today, 835. Total for 2017 so far: 2200.

I had written more for today, but ended up scrapping a load of scribbles when I typed up what I had written in my notepad. (I also ordered two more notepads in the Paperchase sale as motivation for more writing on the go – unrelated but not entirely so to the rest of this post.)

I think I’ll be happy if I manage to finish my current WIP (book 2) and the next novel in the quartet this year. Ideally I’d get book 4 done, too, but I have to be realistic. 2+ books in one year when working full time might not be feasible.

That said, I’ve also been looking at alternative working options. Freelancing. It’d be hard work to make a living from it at first but I think the payoff of being able to work flexible hours might be worth it. Something to think about, something to consider.

What are your writing resolutions? If anyone would like to share them so we can support each other in our 2017 writing goals, please do get in touch 🙂