Archive for the ‘Nanowrimo’ Category

Perspective 2

Posted: January 23, 2009 in Nanowrimo

As a result of the last post, I decided to go back through my notebooks and back-fill my blog. What an education! I see entry after entry for October: I’m so tired; I’ve lost my pens/ diary/ phone; I’m feeling irritable… What is obvious from even a couple of months’ distance is that it’s the beginning of the SAD season. I always feel like this in October. I feel like creating a Page: This is what you feel like in October – it will pass.

The other thing I noticed was this on 31/10/08:

No.1 Absolute Priority is to stick to writing one thing for 30 days, averaging 2k per day, that’s 60k in a month. This is absolutely 100% possible. And it will give me such a boost. What I will do is I will create a fantastic reward.

Choose from the following:

  • A digital camcorder
  • A long-haul holiday
  • £500 to spend on homewares, appliances, etc
  • A pair of cashmere lounging trousers and jumper

And did I do it? I completed the task but did I get the reward? The nearest I came was buying a reduced cashmere jumper from TK Maxx clearance sale.

Now there are arguments about whether rewards are counterproductive, replacing intrinsic motivation with extrinsic, but it’s indubitable that promising a reward and then withholding it is demoralising. Why should I ever believe anything I say?

Blogging as perspective

Posted: January 23, 2009 in Nanowrimo

One thing restarting the blog has done – unexpectedly – it has given me a sense of perspective. Depression/ SAD/ mood disorders are like having your own personal gang of Red Guards to bully you into self-denunciation. They’re fanatical, unhinged – they make you write in mile-high letters with an eyeliner brush: I’m useless, I’m a waste of space, I’ve never achieved anything. It’s nonsense – poisonous, demoralising nonsense – but the Guards are blocking your view, so you can’t see your achievements.

It was a shock when I opened this blog and viewed the last entries. I was about to embark on NaNoWriMo – write a 50k-word novel in a month. I was doubting my ability then too.

Well, just so as you – and more importantly I – know, I did it. I wrote 50k words. I finished Montjoyesse (working title), the sequel to Mayhem and Magique, something I’d had on the go for years unfinished. I also decided to make a proper effort with M&M getting it out to readers for crit.

November is Nanowrimo (notional novel writing month) where thousands of people commit to writing a 50,000-word novel in 30 days. Since one of my problems is actually finishing something before I wander off onto something else, I thought: I must be able to stick at it for a month, surely.

So here I am about to embark on the 30-day novel-writing binge, and here on this blog I’ll log my progress. It should also serve as a real-time experiment in how-to write a crime novel. So you should encounter such gems as: how to start; what to do when you can’t think of anything; plotting problems; boredom; events, dear boy, events; research and what to do when you haven’t done it.

watch this space