Monday, 30 September 2013

The 30 Day Trial

I've been reading Bryan Cohen's book, Sharpening the Pencil, essays of writing, motivation, and enjoying your life. It's very good. It's got me reaching for the pencil - ok laptop - on more than one occasion. One of the pieces is a step by step plan to 30 days of success. He talks about how you can be overwhelmed by goals, such as setting out to write a novel, and that breaking it down into smaller goals is the given advice. He doesn't hold with this. It's still the same huge goal disguised as a series of smaller ones. So he decided on the 30 day trial - similar to a 30 day free software trial. Basically you set your goal - writing for a set period of time or a set number of pages per day - and you do it for 30 days straight. Then you quit. Only when the 30 days is up, you're more than likely to be so fired up that you carry on.  And because there's an end date it doesn't seem so daunting. I would add that, NaNoWriMo aside, you don't try to write the whole novel in the 30 day period. That's unlikely to go well. But the idea is good.

So, I'm going for it. In October I will write for 30 minutes a day. Every day. Without fail. It may not be words of a novel; it may be a blog, short story, plotting ideas for new stories, anything writing related. Facebook doesn't count. Sadly. I'd be sorted if it was.

I'm looking forward to it actually. As I'm not working on a specific novel at the moment (waiting for Lovely Agent to get back to me re Lovely Novel) so it'll be interesting to see what I end up with after 15 hours of writing. I'm hoping to come up with new ideas, sparkling stories, and lots of inspiration for future projects. We'll see!

Monday, 16 September 2013

September - the month of new things!

It's been a long time since I wrote a blog post. Bad. I know. But so many things have happened. Some good. Some bad. Some weird. More on all that later on when there is something concrete to say.

In the meantime, it's September. The month that always means new notebooks! Who can forget those new school year exercise books? The ones you were going to write in really neatly? I've always loved September. New things, new season. September's sort of like New Year but without the pressure. I have new notebooks. Field Notes. Yup. Not Moleskines. (Although I await my new Hobbitses.) I have a new pinboard. I have - wait for it - a new story! Oh, yes. AND it's a fantasy.

But back to the old one, which is actually new as well, only it's all done. So I finished my novel. Mudlarks. It's not bad. In fact I'm very pleased with it. It's gone to Lovely Agent, so now I wait. I've been sensible and have written an outline for book two. I have an outline for another story in a similar vein. But I'm not writing them. That would be foolish until I see what sort of reception I get for Mudlarks. Did I say I'd finished it?

So, new stuff! I'm writing a fantasy. Who'd have thought it? It's got good stuff, it's got bad stuff, it's got weird stuff. It kind of mirrors my life! Oh, how I'm enjoying the freedom. It's such fun! Maybe I'll never finish it. Maybe I'll never show it to anyone. Maybe that's why I'm loving this so much. See, that's the thing about new stuff, new seasons, new notebooks, new Scrivener files. You can do whatever you like. You can be a new writer!

I'm beginning to feel that this month really is a new year for me. To be honest, 2013 has not been ideal so far, but I'm starting to feel optimistic. I'm starting to feel the excitement of the new, the hope, the thrill, the moment when you catch your breath and feel that anything's possible.

Happy New Year to one and all. May your new notebooks be filled with words - wise words, silly words, beautiful words, nonsensical words. I know mine will be!