Daily Flash Fiction Challenge: An update

For the past few years I’ve done my best to maintain a work life balance. I’ve worked hard to be fast and efficient at my job so I’m able to fit more into my working day, limiting the amount of work I have to do outside of working day.

However, this new year has been getting busier and busier at work. My to do list will soon make me look like a short arse in comparison, (and I’m six foot four). Ultimately this has led to my work-life balance going a bit out of kilter, in favour of work. Lots of hours, and when I’m not working, I’m mentally exhausted.

It’s why I’ve gotten behind on writing again, and it’s annoying. I know I’ll catch up, but it’s a blow when I’m trying really hard to write everyday. And it’s not like I don’t have time, it’s that after a long day I don’t have the words. I write what i can, and that’s usually at least something each day, so when I come to catch up, like tonight for instance, I can follow through on the idea I had.

It’s not going to get better until Spring is gone either, but I’m not surrendering the challenge, I just have to acknowledge that some days I’ll miss target, some days I’ll have to double and treble and quadruple up, and realise that’s okay.

So for those that read my blog, (hey, lovely to have you here), bear with me, eventually normal service will resume.

P.S. Yes, in the time I’ve taken to write this I could have caught up – but no one’s perfect.

P.P.S. To those that balance writing everyday with work, university, zoo keeping child rearing, and what not – you have my full respect. You do amazing things.

NaNoWriMo 2009 is a go!

Weeks of anticipation, preparation, and nerves have finally lead to the start of NaNoWriMo 2009.

It started at midnight, and so did I, or close enough (what I actually did was start the procastination early, by waiting an hour to start while I worked on a spreadsheet to track my writing… erm oops). Anyway, today I went to Café Latino in Leeds, met up with another writer doing NaNoWriMo, and we got to work properly on writing our novels.

I’d like to say I’m target, but I’m about four thousand words short as it stands, and annoyingly I’m currently averaging a very poor, and very slow four hundred and fifty three words an hour, I’m not really sure why, the ideas there. Hopefully when a few more characters turn up, and we get some good interaction (not just phone calls), the words will start to flow.

My ideal is to do ten thousand words a day at weekends, with an extra five thousand on a Friday night. Now I know this isn’t entirely sustainable, which is where week nights come in, they’re my bonus rounds where I can pick a few extra on the word counts, but I can also take some time to create and organise notes, drawings, and do plans to help me at the weekends. The weekend and Fridays plan brings me to my target of one hundred thousand words, across two stories – and thats where I need to focus my efforts.

I don’t really need to feel too bad about not hitting target today, this Sunday is an extra, above and beyond the plan, so any words today, just help take a bit of pressure off later on. However, aside from a few chores, and writing this entry I’ll be writing right up until bedtime. Sadly this year there won’t be any bus writing, my little netbook is still out of order (bang out of order as it were), and I’m confined to using my seventeen inch monster laptop which is just about portable, if I’m writing in a café, or some such, not really something I can sit on a bus with.

I am feeling really confident about this year though, I’ve got a good plan, and some great ideas. There’s a lot of pressure, but I write better with pressure, its how I made it last year,  when I did 80% of my novel in just ten days, right at the end.

I’m going to try and fit in time to keep writing here, this is what my blog is for, writing, and discussing writing, and this is the month I’m going to be doing lots of it, so i’ll have plenty to discuss.

To all everyone doing NaNoWriMo out there, I wish you all the best of luck.

Block Breaking

In the words of Shirley Manson (of Garbage), "My head explodes, and my body aches," why? Because I’m trying to overcome writers block, and it takes a lot out of me. Its akin to smashing my head against a brick wall for hours at a time.

Why would anyone put themselves through that? Is it worth being a writer if you are not very good at it, and in fact can not write a blessed thing? It is without a doubt a masochistic tendency of writers to try and write through writers block. However it is worth it.

What I’m trying to do at the moment is warm up to NaNoWriMo, I’m taking on the insane challenge of entering twice this year. Two targets of 50,000 words – which I’m definitely capable of achieving, but only if I write. Indeed daily its a requirement of about 4,000 words (with room for creative breaks).

So banging my head against a brick wall ia just warm up, next month I’ll be peddling a bike at twenty miles per hour into brick walls, and clinging on for dear life in the hopes I don’t get knocked off in the process.

I’m confident though, because despite the block, the ink is flowing. It might only be hundreds of words a day, but clearly that its any words per day after struggling with none is a great thing.

Bring on the impossible challenges. Speaking of which, throughout November, to help push myself I’m going to be giving myself little challenges, characters, and scenarios to include in the stories I write. There are already some over at NaNoWriMo.org: York & Leeds for my region. Will keep you posted on how that goes, and feel free to suggest challenges at me, the more the merrier.