Winner!

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On the first of November, I set out on a challenge to write 50,000 words of a first draft. All of the writing had to be done in the calendar month of November.

Today, the 24th of November, I validated my novel through the NaNoWriMo website and have been officially declared a Winner.

Officially, a Winner has a validated word count of 50,000 words or more.

In reality, the challenge is all about learning one’s own possibilities. A winner is one who can develop a daily writing habit. A winner is one who can sit before a blank screen with a blank brain and still churn out words.

Writing is hard work and graft. Just like any other human endeavour, a winner is one who has realised that perspiration and perseverance are as important, if not more important, than inspiration.

Now, I have two first drafts. I am going to complete a couple of tasks on the one that I have just finished, then print it and put it in a drawer with its predecessor. I have some corporate bits and pieces to keep me busy for a while and I will come back to the first drafts after Christmas.

I am going to catch up with some reading, some blogging and some chores around the house.

First though, I’m going to have another glass of wine.

Perseverance

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Hello there. It’s been a while.

I have been a busy, busy boy.

I am writing this on November 17th.

Just over half way through National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo for short.

Simple concept, write 50,000 words of a novel in a month.

As of right now my count stands at 37,671 words. Ahead of target.

I have learned a lot of things about writing in these few days, which I will undoubtedly share when the month is over. For the moment though, I have this:

Perseverance. Writing is about perseverance.

To write a novel requires nothing more than perseverance. To write a good one? That, I suspect, takes a little more, but to get to a good one, you need a first draft – and a first draft takes…you’ve got it; perseverance.

I began the challenge believing that it was all about the novel. Now halfway through, I realise that the challenge is about the practice of writing.

Creative muse? Pah! If and when the muse turns up, I am sure it’s fabulous. Most of the time however its just me and the keyboard (oh and the dog of course).

I’m off to persevere for a bit.

First draft party!

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First draft of ‘Sean 1’ is nearly complete.

I have been toiling away, determined to finish the first draft of my first novel by the end of October. It is Saturday the 24th and I am a chapter and a half away. With a fair wind, I will declare the first draft done by the end of the weekend.

I am thinking that I might throw a party.

It would be quite a small party; just the dog and I, probably.

To anyone else, it’s not really a big deal. I will print off the draft, put it into a file and then hide it in a drawer. Not really cause for a party is it?

The dog and I know different. The dog and I have sat staring at the screen together, fighting the urge to get on Facebook and watch cats driving cars. The dog and I have argued about whether Sean should eat breakfast or have a shower. (Actually, I am not sure that the dog has contributed much to these arguments, but they have definitely happened.)

All the smart people say that a break is essential before unleashing the inner editor, so into the drawer it will go.

For the statisticians, Sean 1 stands at 51,000 words or so at the moment.

What’s next?

As you may remember, I am throwing myself into ‘Sean 2’. The aim is the write the first draft of the second novel in the calendar month of November.

As a consequence of all this industry, the blog has been a bit quiet.

What do you think of the new look? I’m having trouble posting photos right now, but I am sure that the Tech team will sort me out soon enough.

The idea is that you can use the box top right called ‘Down the Rabbit Hole’ to search by category and therefore only read posts on things that interest you.

Let me know what you think of it.

‘Sean 1’ has taken 8 months. I am putting aside 1 month for ‘Sean 2.’

To quote a friend, “How bad could it be?”

‘When words don’t come easy….’

 

‘When words don’t come easy, I make do with silence and find something in nothing’  Strider Marcus Jones – Poet.

Well there’s a thought. Very nicely put Strider.

Also, what a fantastically poetic name! You had me at Strider.

Right now, words are coming easy in my little corner of Hampshire.

My target is a paltry 500 words per working day, which should allow plenty of time for editing and rewriting before reaching my target self-publication date at the end of April 2016.

By working days, I do not mean days spent in furious concentration in front of a screen; I mean weekdays.

I know from experience that an easy target motivates me to get ahead, to ‘bank’ some overachievement against the inevitable days where the golf course, the pub, or indeed both, are just too seductive to resist.

Therefore, the target is to be at 3500 by bedtime. At the time of writing, I am at 8,017.

Today, one thousand words were in the bank before ten. I rose at six, walked the dog and was at the screen before eight thirty. For the book’s hero, it was Friday night. I have always been fond of Friday night, so words came easy.

Now for all of you…

Oh all right, for both of you:

I am happy to reveal that the hero has been christened.

Sean. Sean for a brother that I never knew.

Now, I am going to have a little look at Strider’s Facebook page and maybe even mosey on to his Amazon page and buy a wee book.

The photograph by the way comes courtesy of Death to Stock. Well worth a quick look too, if you blog.