Back to School

Black and white sketch of a lioness, illustrating a story of courage in returning to a work in progress

After ‘winning’  NaNoWriMo 2016 with 50,012 words, to say I burnt out would be an understatement. Today, 9 months after the grueling 1700 words per day and just a day before commencing the 3rd Draft Novel Writing Course with The Writers’ Studio is the first time I have looked over what I wrote, and much of it ain’t pretty.

Below are just a few scenes I edited in celebration of this return to my work in progress. It will be an intense 7 months, but somehow I don’t think it will be as crazy as November 2016.

Why the lion? Aside from why not, I’m a Leo, it has taken some courage to commit to this course, and this was a beauty we saw at Melbourne Zoo a few weeks ago. I may be projecting but I think there was a yearning in his expression- for the wild? for the plains of the Serengeti? for her true nature to shine? for that complete novel in the not too distant future? Continue reading

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6 Lessons from NaNoWriMo

Over the course of November, I wrote 50,012 words towards my novel, pieced together as:

  • Scenes for the first 5 turning points and first step of the 6th turning point of my WIP
  • A prologue
  • Off-shoot stories about some of the cast of characters who are part of my protagonist’s journey.
bar graph showing daily word count during NaNoWriMo 2016 for 10000hoursleft, finishing at 50012 words on November 30 2016
Source: screen grab from 10000hoursleft’s NaNoWriMo account

In addition to NaNoWriMo, I completed a writing course, applied for 5 jobs, and fulfilled family, work and personal responsibilities. The writing milestones are personal highlights of the past 12 months. Funnily, when I co-wrote my first post of 2016 (on maintaining goals), I hadn’t set out on this path, conceiving these goals in the final half of the year (and working on them in the last quarter), giving me a more tangible target than my previously vague goal of progressing my WIP over the year (it is never too late to start a ‘new year resolution’!).

Here, I share lessons I learnt about myself, my writing, and the writing process. Continue reading

NaNoWriMo Widget

NaNoWriMo 2016 Participant widget with word count

This post is idea 101 out of 101 Ways to Procrastinate During NaNoWriMo. Look out for my eBook for the 100 other ways. It is a pretty cool widget though, being dynamic, meaning the word count updates and the image changes, including ‘PARTICIPANT’ changing to ‘WINNER’ once I reach 50,000 words. Right, those words won’t write themselves…

NaNoWriMo Week 3

NaNoWriMo 2016 week 3 update goals word count novel writing
Source: Screen grab from 10000hoursleft’s NaNoWriMo account

Another week. I am holding on to that line with all my might. I found the tail end of week 3 particularly difficult, but am pleased that I persevered. The greatest challenge I am facing from now till the end of November is the curve ball that life has thrown, with my non-permanent role at work being advertised as permanent as of Thursday, along with many non-permanent roles in the branch of the organisation for which I work. The deadline for applications is December 1, coinciding a little too neatly with the remainder of NaNoWriMo. Just when I thought my main challenge was boredom with my story, having established that time wasn’t a barrier to hitting the daily target. Continue reading

NaNoWriMo Week 1

stats from NaNoWriMo week 1 10000hoursleft migratory patterns magical realism
Source: Screen grab from 10,000hoursleft’s NaNoWriMo account

NaNoWriMo is going well! I am surprising myself even! A dip in performance yesterday due to shifting focus onto finishing up my writing course work (which is related to the novel I am working on). Words were placed on the page, but not counted- like when you do a good deed that nobody witnesses, but still leaves you with a warm fuzzy feeling. So far, I am just above the line in the bar graph above, meaning I am ahead of the daily average over 30 days to meet the 50,000 word target by November 30.

Being limited in time I can allow for comments, I have preempted some of your questions and thoughts on studying the stats above. Continue reading

Writers Write, Right?

NaNoWriMo shield logo for writing goal with november natinal novel writing month 2016
Image courtesy of National Novel Writing Month.

I have a goal! The title and accompanying image might give a hint as to what it is. I am working towards finishing my second draft novel writing course by the end of October (it has been on hold since April). At the end of the course I’ll have a solid synopsis, which will allow me to get real value out of NaNoWriMo 2016: tackling the feat of completing a novel (or at least 50,000 words of it) over the course of November.

To borrow from a tagline on Camp NaNoWriMo’s site, the event is:

An idyllic [writer’s] retreat smack dab in the middle of your crazy life.

Yes, if I can’t have a beautiful mountain top cabin with a view of a cascading waterfall, the accompaniment of bird song and fragrance of spring blossoms and a perfect coffee, I’ll take the virtual version. Continue reading