Writing group and accountability update

The writing group that I started with a friend had its second meeting a few weeks ago. It was good to get together and talk about writing with like minded people. One of the ideas a member came up with was to set our own targets and then be held to them in the group, sort of a metaphorical kick up the butt.

I liked the idea and I set myself a target, this has had two effects, I have actually sat down to write and am about half way through the first draft of the story. The second point however is that I haven’t kept to the target. Now although I would have liked to stick to what I said I would do I am at least glad that this has got me doing some proper writing.  Although I cannot go to the next meeting I am going to put up the post for the targets for the next meeting and this time I am going to put more effort into meeting it.

All in all it was good to get together with some other writers even though in that actual group we didn’t do much writing, it was more a meet and greet.

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Technology vs Procrastination

I have posted quite a few times about how I procrastinate and in the writing magazines I often look at where other writers work, some in cafes, on the couch, in the garden some in offices I have tried a little of all of them with different results depending on situation.

I have an office to myself at home so you would think I would get lots of work done there. This could be the case if I didn’t watch too much TV in there, or browse the internet, or play games… you see a theme here. I have too much in there. Many computers and screens, tv, books etc. So although I am in there allot I don’t get much writing done.

We recently had a writing meetup for the group I am part of and in that couple of hours I got more actual writing done than in the last few months, looking forward to the next one but I also need to get myself int a routine of getting some actual writing done. Not just planning all of the time like I normally do.

 

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Writing Meetup

I have joined a few writing groups over the years and they all end up where no one talks for weeks on end and nothing seems to happen.

So, this year I started a writing group with a fellow writer from one of the other groups. Called Northern Writers, I didn’t want to have something that was limited to one town, at the moment there are 8 members and although quite quiet there is some participation.

Sunday 4th we had our first meeting, there was only three of us due to availability but it was good to have a writing meetup. We met in William Steads in Darlington from 09:30 until around 1pm and I have to say I was more productive in those few hours than I have been in the last few months. Something about being in a place with people that like to do the same thing as me and being away from distractions made me focus on what i was doing.

We are already planning the next official meetup and I am planning on maybe going back there myself to do some writing. As I have said in the past it seems daft to have an office to myself and still need to leave the house to do some work without distraction.

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Sigh…..

When I was writing everyday there was no literary gems as such but it was a way of getting me writing everyday, since I stopped doing that I have stopped doing everything. That isn’t what I was hoping to get from that exercise. I was hoping that would get me into a routine, suffice to say that didn’t happen.

NaNoWriMo

We are now into August so we have 3 months until November NaNo. Since I did the other one two years ago I have been wanting to use the time to succeed again. 3 Months to properly plan and outline a story. Plenty of time you say….  provided I can get my writing life into gear.

So todays goal, choose which universe to do a story in. Dragon Lords or Shattered Worlds. Fantasy of Sci-Fi??

Then blog blog blog!!

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Why can’t I plan properly?

It’s really annoying, I know when things are due to start and yet I am never ready (writing related) I have been talking about Camp Nano for a few weeks and yet it was the start yesterday and although I have a bare outline I don’t have an outline and I have brought my material down to look through today and I am thinking I need allot more planning time.

Characters, I have some names and a bare family outline but nothing deep about them or anything on their friends of the people that are going to share their adventures.

The world, I have a basic map and some city names but nothing concrete and I need to really plan ahead to make sure when I start writing it’s clear I am living in a world thats established. they say readers can tell when your telling a story from a world you have thought out, rather than something that you are pulling from the air as you are writing. I mean either way of doing it can work depending on what type of writer you are. I need to have a plan, I can’t pants it!

I am wondering now if I should not bother with camp nano and then still do the project I was wanting to do and ready for November. Then again isn’t that just a cop out this early in the process.

Problem is I have the great write series and I was going to use them to get me to a better place with my writing. I am a victim of wanting to do all of this at once and because I want to do all of this at the same time I get none of it done.

I am going to continue planning today and see if I can make the decision if it is worth trying for nano as I don’t want to just write drivel as I am not prepared, but I also don’t want to not do it and then settle back into the habit of doing nothing.

I was toying with the idea of planning my evenings as if I was attending a course, so I have structured time for doing learning and structured time for writing/films/family time.

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30th June 2017 – Finish and Where now?

Well, when I started this I didn’t think I would manage to keep up with it. The post I have made throughout the month have not been long ones, most of them have just been small diary format. But it has got me writing something every day and that was the point.

Not entirely sure where to go from here, I want to keep writing regular but I also want to write something more meaningful on here. Not really the place for normal fiction or anything so I think rather than diary type posts I may need to come up with some proper article ideas and write something meaningful.

 

Maybe something that is around 1k words and 4 of them in the month. I will have a think over the weekend and see if I can come up with something to do some articles about. Actually looking forward to getting some real meaty stuff on the blog.

We shall see, I will be doing some deciding tomorrow.

I’m just glad I stuck to what I said I was going to do for once. I only missed one day, which is annoying, but I posted it the next day.

Write on!

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29th June 2017 – Cinema

I have made a post previously about the monthly card I pay for with Cineworld. Last year I saw 80 films and I was aiming to beat that this year.

So far this year I have seen 45 films and its only June, people at work and friend laugh at how much I am at the cinema and I have had it pointed out that when I say I have seen so many films that I have paid for the year already they say its not as good as that as how many would I normally go and see, so I have the added expense of fuel and snacks…. But, I go with a couple of friends and we take turns so I may only drive one out of three visits. I have stopped getting food at the cinema a long time ago as It was getting expensive. I have a bag with some boiled sweets in and this is generally what I have when I go. I dont know what it is about being at the cinema that means I have to have something to eat. I can be sitting at home and watch two films and not feel the need to have something to eat.

In the next could of weeks its Spiderman Homecoming and then War for the Planet of the Apes. Both really good looking films and I can’t wait to see them both.

If I was to pick a film this year that has stood out it would have to be Star Wars – Rogue one or Guardians of the Galaxy 2. Both amazing films, only problem is the amount of time you have to wait between sequels….

It’s been a quiet few weeks for films but I need to get back into the swing of it, I was enjoying all of the films we have been to see and we have missed a few of the smaller ones as we haven’t been going much. This may be fine as I wouldn’t normally see films like this but from past experience I am robbing myself of potentially good films. I think of all the filsm I have seen there is only Ghostbusters that I was disappointing with.

Will have to see about getting back into the groove of seeing them. Even if it is on my own.

 

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28th June 2017 – Misspent Youth – Peter F Hamilton

On the family day out on Saturday we ended the day in Whitby, so I could visit a second hand bookshop there. While I was there I saw Misspent Youth again, I had previously not bought it as I wasn’t sure if I had it. But now that I can check my collection with the Goodreads app, I did just that and realised that I didn’t actually have it.

So I bought it and as I was waiting for the wife and kid started reading it out in the sun. By Sunday night I was over halfway through the book and by Monday I am 3/4 through. If I hadn’t been to work I would definitely been finished.

This does happen when I get a book that really grips me, and this one has done just that. Not even a space sci-fi type of book its set in our near future and centres around the first man to get a new rejuvenation tech, making a main his 80s around 25 again. It follows the results and then how people treat him afterwards and how his life turns out. I am not done with it yet but its definitely been a book I have enjoyed as I have read it so quick.

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27th June 2017 – Family Time and Apes….

Its so hard to get kids to watch anything with you these days. War of the Planet of the Apes is due out in a week or so, to get ready me and the wife sat down to watch number 1 (Rise) and then as we were in the mood number 2 (Dawn) The 13 year old daughter made a big thing about not wanting to watch it and then when she came down half way through proceeded to sit down and ask questions, then watch the rest…. kids! So they all ended up staying to watch the second one.

It’s strange now to watch this remake, with the film and CGI technology being what it is now they have done a fantastic job with these films. The 2001 remake was terrible and although I found it ok at the time, when I went to go back I hated it. No where near as good as the current reboot.

The originals however are amazing, always loved them when I was younger and even though when you watch them now they are dated they are still amazing films. I think I need to watch them again now, although I will wait until after I have seen the new rebooted one.

All in all, a good night with the family but watching both of them back to back took some time, tired now and so I am going to do this post and then go to bed 🙂

 

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26th June 2017 – Camp Nano Planning

Camp Nano planning….. Or lack of it….

This months project is Dragon Lords – Exile.

I have a whiteboard next to me with a base outline for a 25k Novella that will cover some backstory for this years NaNo story. This is the plan, but if I don’t put in some time for planning I will not be able to get a start on the challenge and another goal will fail before I have started.

I am planning on a good outlining session this weekend. As long as I can get a good description for each chapter and make sure I have enough to say I will get this project done.

Would be good as I haven’t done the Camp Nano before.

Short but sweet…. and just in the nick of time as well.

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