Saturday, 15 April 2017

Camping? Me? No way!

Copyright © 2017 National Novel Writing Month

Gosh I have been a bit lazy about updating the blog lately. Life has just been getting massively in the way. Again! My wonderful plans to fit in more writing around my new part time working hours haven't quite worked out the way I had hoped as the part time hours have only been semi part time taking on an extra days work for a bit of extra money. Hey we all know writing is no way to get rich so I've got to pay the bills somehow!

Anyway, among all the other madness of my life, I've been camping! No not camping out in the forest with no plumbing and creepy crawlies! Where would I plug in my hair straighteners? I've been taking part in Camp Nano. This is an off-shoot of NaNoWriMo which takes place every Novemember. Camp Nano is 30 days of writing in April to help you finish up your Nano project or start another one. Rather than committing to 50,000 words you can commit to a set number of writing hours for the month of April. I thought this would be a fantastic opportunity to polish up draft 2 of the novel. So, I committed to 30 hours of writing this month. How hard can it be? Well, here we are day 15 and I'm already behind with only notching up 9 hours so far this month. 

It all started off so well but then came the Easter break with family things to do. And then there's all the blog and book tour stuff I need to organise..............and yes I am making some terrible excuses! Why am I sat here writing this blog post when I could be working on the novel?.......well apart from being the Queen of procrastination, I'm writing this post in between loads of laundry, cleaning and doing those mummy things we all get caught up in. When I am writing I need to have a good run at it and I simply can't stop and start writing projects during the day. I just need to be left alone for an hour or two to just write! I did manage an hour this morning while all my little cherubs were snoring their heads off. Right at this moment I am trying to write this post with my daughter carrying on a conversation about garden gnomes! As usual I find I am more productive when sitting in the library writing, unshackled from domesticity and mummydom! . I did this a couple of days ago and got more done in 2 hours than I have in a long time.  Sat there among the students all cramming for exams, there I was with my laptop, notebooks and flask of tea!

Copyright © 2017 National Novel Writing Month

Anyway, getting back to Camp Nano............I'm pleased to report that despite already falling behind, the novel has hit 70,000 words exactly this morning. A huge milestone for me. Its starting to change, to evolve into something a little different from the original concept. Camp Nano is making me more disciplined in revising what I have written. Looking at the words on the screen sometimes I often wonder if it was me that actually wrote them. Some have been wonderful and I'm amazed by my talent (she says modestly, trying to convince herself) and some look like one of the PG Tips chimps might have banged them out on the keyboard! I have cringed at just how terrible some of the writing is and often wonder if this writing lark is some form of torture and surely there are better, less painful things I could be doing with my time! Thankfully my cabin mates..............yes I have cabin mates in Camp Nano...........are a great support.

The one thing that the Nano projects brings to the fore is the realisation that I don't do nearly enough writing and that is something I have continually struggled with. Would I be able to write better, faster, or more often if I didn't have any other commitments? Probably. But as we know, life's simply not like that. One good thing though is that I am still attending my writing group at the local library and this is providing some great motivation. In fact, I have entered one of my short stories inspired by a writing prompt at the group, into one of the Writing Magazine competitions. The group is a fantastic way for me to build up my short story collection and I'm thrilled to say that its coming along nicely. I'm going to enter more competitions and maybe even try to sell a few. And, I have 2 exciting events coming up over the Summer which I am taking part in. I can't tell you about them just yet..........I'd have to kill you..........kidding! However, watch this space for more exciting news about them! Keep writing!


  1. Hi Debbie, thanks for sharing your thoughts and 70,000 words - fantastic! Like you I need to have a whole lot of protected time to write. Sometimes in the middle of doing something else I nip into the office and jot something down on a pad when inspiration strikes. But more often than not I do need a whole stretch of time to work. Now comes another thought. It's all very well having that set aside time, but what if you're sitting in front of the PC and inspiration has packed its bags and taken a holiday? Or you do have an idea of the scene you want to write and it comes out as you say, as if a PG Tips chimp has written it? That's what makes writing such a difficult thing at times. But don't despair because if you persevere with what you're doing and refuse to be beaten, it does all eventually come together. I'm also someone who sometimes reads what I've written and think 'wow must have had a moment of genius there' or alternative - 'Lord this awful'. But the awful can be remedied, nothing's set in stone. I know you'll get there. Jo xx

    1. Hey Jo, thanks for your wonderful support as always. It does help to know that other people encounter the same problems. xxx