This is my first post in 2019 and I will have to start on a slight negative. I am 12 days into the month and I have been watching tv in the office and haven’t managed to get much writing done. Although I have been doing some of my favourite procrastination, world building.
Tomorrow is a new day… blah blah woof woof.
I am going to try and catch up with my writing magazines tomorrow so I can plan out the short stories that I need to get done for the competitions. I also need to plan out some post son this blog that are more articles rather than the journal type posts that I normally post.
All in all I need to get off my lazy ass and start writing properly.
Wish me luck.
It’s almost time for the obligatory plans/goals etc etc…… But this time it’s different….. he says!
On a serious note, I have been very disgusted with the amount of time I have wasted this year on procrastination. Too much TV, films, sitting at my computer doing nothing much. I used to have kids or family as an excuse but I haven’t had that for a long time. My youngest is now 15 and my wife works as well so I no excuse for not writing other than I obviously haven’t got the right motivation. People always say if you wanted to do it you would do it, and they are right, I want to achieve my goals but I don’t have any excuse for why I haven’t achieved them.
The biggest form of procrastination that I currently do would save me a great deal of time and allow me to start achieving something. So… I need to stop watching TV in my office, I can save that for family time or watching with my wife. When I am in the office I need to be either writing/reading or playing my games (limited time as well) This is the only way I am going to achieve what I want to achieve.
So, how do I get to where I need to be?
- I am not happy with my writing and although I would like to get some kind of direction from a teacher I cannot afford to do any courses. I think I need to start using some of the “how to” books I have bought to improve my writing.
- I need to start entering the short story competitions in the writing magazines I subscribe to, this will help me greatly with managing a word count and is a great experience. It also allows for the opportunity to get published.
- I started watching the Brandon Sanderson course videos on youtube and found them to be helpful. I need to schedule in time so I can get these all watched as they should help with my writing.
- Plan out and develop a novel from the start and regularly work on it. Aim for a finished draft by the end of 2019.
- Blog more…. I need to ensure I am posting on here more as it is regular writing even if it is in this journal style. Maybe a weekly post on progress as this may push me to ensure I have achieved something as it will be going up on here. Of course that may also mean posting the blog in palces so that I actually get people to read it and perhaps push me to update.
Thats the plan for now and it will need some further planning so that it’s likely I can follow through with it. I am good at planning and say I will do something but maintaining it over time has always been a challenge.
It’s the 6th December so this is a bit late but happy to say that I managed to complete NaNo 2018. Really happy that I managed to keep it going this year. I had steady progress throughout the month. I also think that this year the writing group and the Darlo NaNo group were a great help, constantly pushing each other and using the Discord chat program to write together when we were not at meetups. I wrote another Novella sized story in the Shattered Worlds sci-fi universe. Don’t get me wrong, in true nano style it’s a load of rubbish and will need lots and lots of redrafting and building up. But it’s a framework for me to work with and it had me writing almost every day, something I would like to carry on in a limited manner. It really does highlight that I want to write more and I can do this when I am working towards something.
So, what now?
There are several things I would like to do moving forward. I am not comfortable with weaving narrative and dialogue and when I write it looks wooden and stunted, two people stood still talking, so I need to look through the many how-to books I have and choose one that is going to help me with this, then I need to work through it consistently.
https://youtu.be/N4ZDBOc2tX8 I also want to complete watching the Brandon Sanderson writing series of youtube videos as they were helping and I found them to be very interesting.
The last thing I want to start doing is actually reading my writing magazines before they are months out of date and anything interesting I find has already passed me by. I can then look at completing at least one writing competition from each one monthly. Doing these should help me hone my writing.
Anyway, that’s my update, for now. I need to go to work and earn some money.
See you in the funny papers….
Before I started Nano I had this great idea to vlog it, record some videos and then at the end I could do one video to upload to my channel. My journey so to speak. What is my progress you ask… nothing, as usual, my plans have gone to pot. I also had the idea to post to this blog during to keep all my interested readers (haha) up to date on my progress. Given my last post was Oct 29th saying almost there and this one is Day 11 I am sure you get that this also didn’t happen.
But… I am proud that I have managed to work on my Nano novel constantly, usually, by now I am behind and starting to think about quitting. Well not this time, my outline is helping greatly, which is the plotting side of me. Then when I start a chapter the pantsing side takes over and the story is evolving as I go. I am quite enjoying the process this time and although I need to keep it up I am not feeling the pinch as much as usual.
Part of this is the writing group, they keep me motivated and on our Discord channel, we do word sprints which I find really helpful. So here’s to another nano win.
Wish me luck 🙂
It’s almost time, close to the end of the month and I am away with the wife. My outline is incomplete and I still need to get the rest of the chapters ready. We get back Tuesday night although I won’t have much time then as we also have the cinema that night. This leaves Haloween, as well as taking her to Flamingo Land I will need to make time to get this outline finished. By the end of the day, I need to ensure I have a good idea of where the story is going and how I am going to get to the end I have planned.
I am feeling positive about this one and I have already earmarked every Sunday so that I can go and meet up with the writing friends to make sure I am making good time.
I am really wanting to ensure I do it this year. No excuses….
Internet issue is “fixed” so I can now access the blog from my own network, this means I can post just in time to start talking about NaNo. If you were to look back over my posts at this time there will be a lot of sweeping statements about getting it planned out and ready and smashing it. If you have read any of them you will also know I am a master procrastinator and have only finished NaNo once in 9 years, since I managed to get it completed I have been consistently disappointed in not being able to get it done on the subsequent years. But…. this time it will be different… blah blah….
On a serious note, I hope I can kick myself up the butt and manage to get something done this time. It would be really nice at the end of November to hold up another short novel in the shattered worlds universe. We shall see. For the last few months, I had been doing lots of notes in a new notepad on a fantasy world I have created and was really getting into it, but when I started thinking about NaNo again I invariably returned to my favorite genre, Sci-Fi. I have read through 13th Earth – Before the Dawn and familiarised myself with a few points and for the last week or so I have been planning another story in this universe. the provisional title is From the Darkness – A novel in the Shattered Worlds universe. This will be set in what I would consider the present day and at this time Humans are a major player in our sector of the galaxy and have formed the Interstellar Alliance (IA) which consists of many races. They are in a fragile peace with the Gikari who’s territory neighbors Alliance space. Without giving away plot points the story follows a man who is living a life he doesn’t like and is trying to find a way out when he is dragged into something bigger. War threatens from the Gikari and from the Humans old enemy the Auroch who are now active again.
Well, that’s a rough idea of what I am going to start outlining over the next couple of weeks so hopefully, I can commit and get it done this time.
I know this will sound like an excuse but I have tried to get onto the blog about 3 times since the last post to get something up and my internet seems to have started that thing where I can’t access my own sites from the home network. I have logged this with my service provider and am waiting for them to come back with something….. In the meantime I am in Waterstones cafe at the moment and although I should be doing some actual writing I am starting with this.
Today’s agenda is planning, I have got myself a paper diary and the plan is to start setting myself writing and exercise goals and then stick to them. Using this diary to track daily wordcount and goals.
Something that was suggested a long time ago was to put in a big goal and then work backwards with milestones that need to be achieved, this way a large goal is split into smaller tasks that seem easier to achieve but all contribute to the overall goal.
I am going to do this both for NaNo and also for my writing in general. I also have the competition handout for the writing magazine and I am going to put the competitions in there and plan in time to get them done.
As normal I am good at making plans it just whether I stick to them.
I have loved reading for as long as I can remember, I was always in the school library when I was younger and all throughout school. When I grew up my love for reading just got better as I now had the money to buy more books.
When I had kids I think I should have done more to get them into reading, I took them to the library and tried to encourage them but none of them had the same level of interest that I have always had. My youngest daughter reads some, but nothing like what I do. When I am trying to “sell” reading to friends or when I am trying to get my older kids to read something I often use the reason on the image in this post (which I found on the Bookstr facebook group) So I thought it would be a mention. I am not sure how most people read but to me, the words on the image are just what happens. I become engrossed and instead of just reading the words I am living the story, playing it in my head like a film.
This is one of the main things that makes reading such an amazing thing, the ability to transport myself away to other worlds, to live other lives and get to experience wonders I will not live to see in my lifetime.
I watched a film last year at the cinema (Goosebumps) where the original books are not to be opened as they contain the monsters. I would love to pick one of the books off my shelf and be able to enter the world of that book. Walking the midlands from the Sword of Truth or Exploring Mikidemia from the Riftwar series. Stepping onto the Rocinante with Jim Holden.
Ah well I can dream…..
It’s getting close again although it shocking to say that. Can’t believe how fast the year is going, nearly September and I am signing up for some free workshops and taster courses to do in September. One of them is meant to help with preparing for Nano. I always seem to struggle for some reason with nano and only one year have I managed to finish. I really would like to complete it again and add another novel (that needs major rewrite and editing) to the shelf. Would be nice to get some feedback as well as that is one of my major anxieties with writing, I read my staff and think it’s rubbish. A normal writer problem but something that I feel feedback would help with. This is one of the reasons I considered a Creative Writing degree as I would get that mentoring and feedback and hopefully bu the end of something like this I would be relatively comfortable with my writing. But costs and circumstances have meant I can’t do this just now.
So instead I need to look at other options to do something to get me more comfortable with my writing and something to help me work more on structure and dialogue. Making sure that instead of making plans and saying what I am going to do, do it! then update on what I have been up to and what I have done to further my writing career.
In the meantime, I will be getting ready for Nano and try to ensure I have a proper fleshed out plan and characters this time so I don’t stall at any point. I love weaving the stories and worldbuilding but this can also be a major source of procrastination for me and I need to balance this with actually producing something as well.