Sunday, October 28, 2018

Not Long to Go!

Okay, NaNoWriMo is only days away; and I've got one question: are you prepared for this month of madly writing like no tomorrow?

Are you ready to sit zombie-like at your computer, on your tablet, at the typewriter (I know some of you still use one, come on, you guys at the back!) and on your laptops, phones and blackberries (yeah, they're great to write on) for the next month while your family and friends ask you if you're okay.

Well, of course you're not going to be okay - you're trying to squeeze 50,000 words out of your brain and onto the screen, paper and anything else you can grab a hold of within a month. At the same time, you're also trying to pay the bills, go to work, eat, sleep, have sex (at some point that will have to happen) and shower too; as well as do the laundry and buy food (look, do a list, it'll help you out; and for the sake of Thor, keep to it).

Anyway, I have plenty of frozen meals I cooked up - and I'll be making more spaghetti sauce (yes I ate the other lot; greedy me!). And I'm skipping Halloween this year. I really just don't have the scare factor right now... and besides we don't get the number of children we're supposed to. Last year, we got only 2 children and were left with so many lollies it lasted us until the New Year. Also, I'm not taking part in the Melbourne Cup either - because I don't like how they treat the horses, it's because of two reasons: 1: I can't afford it and 2: I'd rather be writing a book. Anyway, the horses have been treated that way for over a century, why are people only bringing this up now? Don't answer that... please, I know why. I'm not stupid.

Well, in the past week, I've gotten in and have done so much laundry and put my winter woolies away (I live in Australia, it's getting hot here) and have made sure my house is presentable - at least - to have myself walk through it when I'm a little brain dead from writing over 5,000 words a day. 

Now, I'm still going to go to my art group on Tuesdays as I've found that I do need to be social to keep my writing skills up - unlike last year where I burned myself out writing the 50,000 words and my family thought I was really going to make myself ill. 

This year, I'm prepared. 

I've researched.

I've cooked meals for myself.

I've cleaned the house enough to make it so I don't have to do much around the place.

I'm ready for this challenge!

Are you?

Saturday, October 13, 2018

NaNoWriMo Prep

Not only does National Novel Writing Month tax you as a writer, but it taxes your body and mind in a big way.

You just don't find any time to clean the house, or do anything around the place worthwhile. 

So, this month, seeing it's raining a lot this week, I'm going to get in and clean up the house, make sure all my laundry is habitually put away, there's food I've cooked and frozen - ready to heat and eat - and my second pantry (yep, I have one of those) is filled with everything I need for quick and healthy snacks.

Most of all, I'm going to make sure my home office is easily accessible. I have to put away everything I'm not currently using. This includes any archive boxes, files, books and other things which have been sitting around the place taking up space I need. And it also means I clean up my desk and only have the research books I need within reach for me to look at when I need them next month. 

Next month is going to be a big month for me. I'm hoping to get myself through it without a cold (unlike last year when I did catch a Summer cold) and bust through my 50,000 words faster and more efficiently than ever! 

So, what are your secrets to NaNoWriMo you've found are effective? Well, besides plenty of coffee and ignoring the phone and Facebook... those two are no-brainers. Let's swap notes on things which may work. 

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Research and Prep Time

Before NaNoWriMo even comes around, I prepare and research what I'm going to be writing. Yeah, it's a big thing for me to get in and know what I'm going to be writing about.

For those of you who are starting out on this journey of a book in a month - or even the first or last 50,000 words - you have to get in and do some serious prep work and research before you even write a single word or your book.

I've begun writing a bit of a rough muck-up of what the story will be about... just a synopsys and who is going to be in it, how it starts off (with a bang or whimper?). Or will it be a completely new book or a continuation from a book from last year? 

So, this year, I have a subject in my next book which I know absolutely nothing about - not even my big research books I do have in my collection can help me; because they don't contain anything on this subject. 
This has caused me to have to jump online and Google all my research notes. There's a couple of sites I've had to look into, a few Youtube videos (which looked dodgy and after I watched them, and read the comments, turned out that they were) and then I wrote down all the notes I could - in bullet point style - in my research book. 

Yes, I have a research notebook I use from year to year. It's a small A5 size notebook which has a built-in bookmark and is able to be clipped up to keep it secure. I write all my notes from researching my subjects to rough chapters into it so when it comes time to actually start writing the NaNoWriMo book, I can jump in feet first and know what I'm in for.

My writing will come easier. My notes are right on hand for me. The sites I've bookmarked are on my computer and I can easily just look them up if - and when - I need them. 

This is also the reason why I don't go to meet-ups... all my work and research which is on my browser here at home can't be looked up on my laptop or tablet because I haven't saved them on those. Only my notes written in my notebook can be... and sometimes, they aren't good enough, and my writing comes to grinding halt!

So, for the next month, I'm in research mode - as boring as it may be - because all the research really does pay off when you jump into the office chair and lay your hands onto the keyboard, ready to start in on November's NaNoWriMo... it really does!

Friday, October 5, 2018


The National Novel Writing Month isn't far away - only a month off - and it's time to get your ideas jotted down, your thinktank going, your thought processes acting to see what you are going to write about in November... the international novel-writing month.

Are you going to take part this year? 

If so, well, wonderful... if not, well that's okay, writing every day, no matter how many words you write is just as good no matter if you're taking part in this this even or not.

I've been taking part in this event for the past few years, and only last year did I actually complete it! 

It does take a few goes to complete those 50,000 words in that one month... but it takes dedication and commitment - something we all must do. I must say that there was a lot of coffee involved and a lot of sleep too. If I got in and slept the right amount of hours, and ate the right food, I was going to get in and write the right amount of words every day. Sometimes, I wrote more - and writing more is always good.

What if you've never taken part before and you don't know what to expect? 

Well, don't worry, you'll be fine! There's plenty of contacts to work with in your capital city and in your town no matter where you live on this little blue marble we all home... NaNoWriMo writers are everywhere.
I'm in Brisbane, Australia, and we have groups of us working hard on our books in every part of where I am. But I find that I'm most comfy right at my own desk because I can arrive here right after breakfast, work on my NaNoWriMo book as long as I want to and then get off the computer.
I do find that the internet takes a bit of a back seat in November... don't get me wrong, I do look at it, but not for very long. The normal 3 hours or so I'm there cuts right down to around 1/2 an hour - not even that - and I'm mainly working on my book for a huge amount of the time. My social life disappears during that month as well; but that's what happens when you take on the challenge of writing a book in a month.

So, NaNoWriMo... it's a little daunting. But once you get your head into your own book and work through it all, you'll come out the other end enjoying your writing more and finding that, okay a month isn't long enough in the first year, but after a couple of years, you'll get it and come to enjoy the challenge more. 

I do. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Journals and Diaries

You know, it's been something of a past love of mine to sit down and write - actually physically write - in a proper offline journal.

But of late, I've been too unfocused to do anything near it. For somebody who has been keeping a journal almost every day for over 20 years, I found this weird; until recently when I picked up my current journal and suddenly started writing again.

How this happened was when I bought my new shelving units, then did the last markets for Crafty Pegs and cleaned up and stored away my hand-crafted works for good, I had one broken box and one good box. Well, I decided to use the good box to transfer my 30-odd journals into it. First though, I thought it would be a good idea to number them. So, I grabbed my price dots and looked on the inside sleeve of each one and found I was smart enough to do just that from the start! 

*Phew!* That saved me a lot of time!

Well, after I found I had two 24's and mis-placed #33, all of them are in the one box and looking great - all numbered and in good order! The flat box they were all in now holds my wrapping paper, ribbon and Christmas cards. How cool's that? 

But when I looked at my first journal with #1 on it, I thought it wouldn't hurt to read it... and so I sat down and started on it. Well, it was all about my first boyfriend, the first time I fell in love and first time I moved out of home with him - aged 24 - and I found I spoke and wrote pretty much the same way I do now in my journals. There was one thing that was different:  I put down every single thought that was rattling around in my head into my earlier journals - unlike my later ones, where I have found I hold back a lot of my thoughts. 

I don't know if I've become more conservative or I just don't want people knowing me as much as I used to as I get older. It's weird, isn't it? Also, I think it's the technology which is right at our fingertips - literally - which makes sitting down and writing with pen and paper such a chore. But, now I'm making sure I really do enjoy the time I take to write in my journal... when I think about it, there really isn't anything that interesting on television anyway. Until my next post, happy reading!