November is over

At the start of the month I decided to join some other fellow writers, from Cafe Aphra (who have a blog and facebook page), and set my self a writing challenge, of writing 1000 words a day for the week days (weekend writing is just way too hard). So that was a grand total of 22,000 words.

And I have only managed 15,000 – so 5,000 short of my mark.

However, I am going to declare this a success and I am very happy with it. Firstly, as Octobers tally was a miserly 4,000. Secondly, I have gotten over a bump in my story – where I felt I was stuck in the same place (or in this case, day) or ever, so the 15,000 words has really moved the story on. Thirdly, writing is (at the moment, anyway) a hobby, and life happens, November has been a very busy month and it hasn’t been easy to fit everything in.

Plus, on top of writing my story, I have written 18 blog posts and two articles for online magazines – a restaurant review for Ulsan online (which can be found here) and a travel article for Bucket List Publications, which I am still waiting to here back from.

At the end of every project, it is worthwhile having a brief reflection and there are some definite lessons learned here. I do work a lot better with a target and I am going to try and have enough self-disapline to set one each month. However, this target is not rigid and can be altered as the month goes on (I am still aiming for the 22,000 but I have now given myself until we leave for the UK on the 14th), writing, for me, is a hobby and hobbies are supposed to be enjoyable, they can be tricky or frustrating but they shouldn’t be a source of stress. I work a lot better early in the morning that the afternoon and if I can get to the computer by eight, and not faff around, I can get loads done and I also get more done on Mondays and Tuesdays than any other day.

I am off to alter my word count spreadsheet for my new target and then I really will stop procrastinating and get down to some writing.

 

November writing challenge

A friend and fellow writer is setting up an online community to support and encourage women who write, Cafe Aphra (they have a blog and Facebook page), and this November they are running a month-long writing challenge, similar in style to NaNoWriMo, but a lot more flexible – you get to set your own goals, which can include working on an established piece of writing.

So, should I join in? Here are my pros and cons.

Pros:

  • My story is dragging it’s feet at the moment, this might give me the push I need.
  • I really enjoyed NaNoWriMo, and felt huge pride when I completed the challenge.
  • I am away from home, where my writers group was, and haven’t found anyone here to write with yet, so an online community might work well.
  • I have the time, I am just not using it.

Cons:

  • November isn’t the best month.We have a week school break (when we are heading up to Seoul) and Richard is in Singapore the following week. The weeks Richard is away I tend to organise more during the day, meeting for coffee, going for walks,  etc…, as otherwise I can go days without speaking to adults.
  • I can set my own target, which means I can set it really low and easily do it.
  • I am lazy and very easily distracted (oh, what is that over there?). Simple as that really. Do I want to commit myself to a daily amount of words?
  • During the NaNoWriMo, word count was king and I got a lot done, but now I need to consider the structure of the story, how it all hangs together, getting the tempo correct and fine tuning the writing. Can that be done with a daily target?

The cons are all just excuses, aren’t they? What month is ever the ‘right’ time? And as for being lazy/easily distracted that is exactly the point of signing up.

OK, I am going to do it! Now I just need to decide my target. I have a first draft that I am going over so I am not writing fresh new words, so it some ways it is easier I can occasionally copy and paste sections in, but other times the first draft has got into a real tangle and needs to be completely rewritten. I don’t want it to be too low – I need to pick up speed and start getting somewhere, but also too high and I will fail, or I will rush and loose quality. Hmmm, tricky. Time to take the plunge.

I am going to write 1000 words a day for five days a week, which is 22 days, so 22,000 words. Bringing my total for the second draft up to 46,000.

Wish me luck.