Monday, 30 November 2009

Current Projects

I cannot believe that today is the last day of November. It's scary to think that we will shortly be in 2010! There must something about these dark evenings that empowers my motivation and creativity as it always seems to be this time of year that I take on new projects and my output increases.

I thought it was about time that I did a post to update readers on my current projects so here goes:

My main project, as of today, is a book review. I have produced book and film reviews in the past for my The Culture Review blog but this will have a much wider readership. I am of course jumping ahead of myself, there is a lot of work to be done before the deadline of next week and I could submit the review only for the editor to turn round and state disinterest, but at the moment, it is a promising lead and something I will be giving my all to.

Also on the agenda recently has been poetry. A few months ago (see earlier blogs) I attended Wax Lyrical and ever since I have been deeply inspired to do more with my own poetry, including increasing the amount of poems I produce. That is something I am still doing and the two poems I read in my last Writers' Group meeting were received with praise. I'm trying to write a couple of poems a week so we'll see how it goes.

I have found one of the ways to find focus in my poetry is to work with a general theme and produce several poems in that area. That's the method I have been using over the last month and it seems to have been helpful. It also means that the day someone says 'lets publish' (I have to think positive with this) I'll have a collection of poems ideally suited to be grouped together in a book.

Finally, I am still trying to break in to the womag market. I admitted long ago that I was vastly niaive in my anticipation of the difficulty I would have in this. My current strategy has been to thoroughly research and examine one publication and just keep submitting (taking any feedback on board of course) until I get somewhere. This may sound like bombardment but I am being controlled about it. Last night I finished the first draft of a story to send out after over a week of researching the magazine. At least, after I do some reworking, I can send it out with confidence that it fits the magazine style and I have done everything I can to ensure that.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Am I a quitter?

So NaNoWriMo finishes at midnight on Monday and how far off am I? Well I've given in. I know, it's ridiculous and it hardly sets the best example. All those hours spent in the beginning wasted. A failure, and I could rhyme off numerous excuses, but there is only one excuse and that's that I just did not put enough into it.

I am pleased to say that I am seeing others thrive with the challenge and getting near to the target 50,000 words . My final word count was just over 15,000. No, not a great achievement in the grand scheme of things and yes I could slap myself for my failings but is it worth it?

Believe it or not I have got something out of NaNoWriMo and that is a reinforced determination and enthusiasm. It has assisted in getting me into the habit of writing again. During these winter months I don't like to lock myself away in the cold of the study I want to be sat in the warm lounge and curled up on the sofa and sadly that is where the writing suffers. Maybe it is because I have 'failed' NaNoWriMo that I am struck with this sense of purpose.

Last night I was at my Writers' Group, something I have missed for the last two months and that in itself gives me enough of a kick up the butt to DO something. Had I been busily typing away to build up my word count I would not have made the group and surely the group is more constructive.

I like to think the words I did manage will not go to waste. I am bound to find some use for them. I think a lot of this writing lark, especially when you are a wannabe like me (it's ok I can take it, until I in publication I am a wannabe) is mainly about the determination to do it. You can be the best writer in the word but unless you spend the time writing you will never get anywhere. So, I may have quit the NaNoWriMo challenge but I am still plodding on with the much larger one- getting published.

And, as for the NaNoWriMo participant logo, I will be keeping that up for now, after all, it's not the winning that counts, it's the taking part.

Monday, 16 November 2009

NaNoWriMo in November: The Halfway Point

It is the 16th of November and we are officially into the second half of the month which means I am half way through my NaNoWriMo challenge. So how am I doing?

Well the word count, which a week ago I was so proud of now look measly. I am depressingly and predictably behind and beginning to consider giving up in advance of failure. But then this is all to be expected. NaNoWriMo is a tall order and despite trying to get ahead of myself in the early stages life has of course gotten in the way.

I do, probably like most participants, feel like I am writing a load of tripe but I think because you are focusing on quantity not quality you do allow your subconscious to take over. Out of 50,000 words probability tells you there is bound to be something salvageable amongst it!

I have a lot of hard work still to do but I feel that the experience has given me the motivation to sit down and write every day and not to get too worked up about the quality at the first draft stage. Sometimes overthinking hinders the creative process.