Tag Archives: National Novel Writing Month

It’s almost time for a little NanoWriMo action…


Its been a long time since I last posted and I have had a few adventures (crikey, many posts worth of stories to come…). I thought this was an opportune time to update you on my plans for November. You see I am planning to take part in a thing call NanoWriMo. Not heard of it? Well you should think about checking out their website (www.nanowrimo.org).

NanoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is essentially a competition or a ‘call to arms’ for writers. It challenges you to write 50,000 words in the month of November. It doesn’t have to be anything special (although we all hope our own contribution will be), just a first draft really.

I first heard about NanoWriMo after I’d started writing and I was actually too late to take part in it in 2012 as I didn’t get the writing bug until early 2013. Because I thought it was a cool undertaking I did my own 50,000 words in a month writing challenge and managed to punch out the first (albeit very rough) draft of the first three episodes of the Adarna Chronicles. It felt like an amazing achievement even though it took many more months to get ‘Empire Under Siege’ and ‘Phoenix Rising’ into publishable format and ‘The Great Bear’ isn’t out until the end of the month (over a year after the first draft!).

In November 2013 I had a young baby to look after and so it just happen that November (so no ‘official’ NanoWriMo).

This year i’ve decided to go for it, my project is entitled ‘Bird of Paradise’, it’s a full length novel and the follow up to my novelette ‘Paradise’ (which was actually the first thing I published). Will I make it to 50,000 words? Who knows (I have an hour a night in which to do it!) but it will be an adventure along the way.

If you ever thought about writing or if you are seeking some motivation, why not jump in and register on the NanoWriMo website? You never know, you just might discover that best seller that you always knew you had in you…

Good luck!


My personal NaNoWriMo just couldn’t wait

So before I started trying to write something, I read about this thing called NaNoWriMo (yes that’s how it’s written!). This is a competition that encourages prospective writers to go for it and see if they can write 50,000 words in a month. Of course, as fate would have it, they only do it every November, and I couldn’t wait to get started. So one day in the middle of March I started to do my own, personal, NaNoWriMo. Easy peasy, I thought on the first day, no problemmo. 

Rather unfortunately I hadn’t taken two factors into account:-

1) I work about 60 hours a week. This means that after I get home, have dinner with my rather lovely pregnant wife (six months today!- hello Wifey! (she reads the blog – I have to be nice to her otherwise she might make me stop blogging…… Please don’t tell her I said that!….)), after dinner and other sundry exciting tasks (empty the bin, stack the dish washer, do the washing- oh joy). I get about an hour, maybe ninety minutes if I’m lucky, to actually write something.

2) I read everywhere I looked that I needed to have a presence on the internet -utilising social media- if I wanted to have any hope of getting my work noticed, and this held true whether I self published or (hope of all hopes!) got a traditional publishing deal. Little did I know that by doing this I would further reduce the amount of time that I had to actually write. So far I’ve written two blogs on my experiences of social media (my extensive experience of social media and my first four days in the bloggoverse), essentially I am now completely addicted to twitter et al. Gonna write more on that in the future, believe me there’s plenty to say (stay tuned for another exciting installment……..).

The two factors above had a serious impact on my ability to get the job done. 50,000 words for an untried and untested newbie is, believe me, an enormous task (conscious here that many of you have probably done this already and are chortling away at my naivete). It went all the way to the wire, sweat dripped from my forehead, splattering on the keyboard as I completed the task with less than an hour to spare (OK slight exaggeration but it was quite hot in the lounge that night).

I’d spent years telling myself that I had a book in me (not literally, obviously– I would imagine they’re quite difficult to swallow and I don’t want to think about the other possible point of entry….). Every time I thought about writing something I reasoned my way out of starting. You don’t have the time, you’re not good enough, who would read the drivel that comes out of your brain etc etc. Yet now, as I write this blog, I’m past the half way point on my first novel.

The reality is I found the time, despite the fact I thought I had none. I scrounged it up at the end of the night, on the train (there’s a story to tell there, believe me). You name it, I was writing in every spare moment. The difference between this month and all the others of my life? I didn’t watch as much TV- that was all. Everything else continued as normal, I still went out, I still saw my friends, hell- even my wife is still speaking to me (oh thank-you god….).

The moral of this (rather serious for once, sorry about that- will return to the funny- promise) story from a newbie writer? If I can do it anyone can. Simple as that. Also- try out a target- 50,000 words in a month, whatever, it doesn’t matter, it will keep you focused on the task at hand.

If you like this blog then don’t forget to check out the others, or even follow (there’s a button on the top right- it says ‘follow’ on it, which is quite helpful really)…….. you never know you might not regret it.

PS- note to self from subconscious (because it knows you will read and re-read this blog at least 10 times, you are. after all, the top visitor to the site)- Stop all this flippin blogging and get on with the novel you great TWERP. You may have finished the first 50,000 words of the first draft but you still have to finish the novel and then the real work will start, (you have to edit and re-write and edit again and again). Don’t you dare rest on your laurels now (and while we’re at it- who the heck do you think you are telling other people how to do it when you just started yourself? That’s just flipping arrogant, that is……).