As I write this (on Wednesday night), my eyes are bleary, my head is filled with jam and my bed seems like the most beautiful place in the world.
But, I can’t go there yet.
Because, you see, writing this blog entry is a Nicola MorganTM Work Avoidance Strategy. I am hours away from the end of a word marathon – Nanowrimo style. A rough draft of a novel in 31 days, to be precise.
It seemed like a ridiculous idea when Ally Kennen suggested it to me; find a group of writers willing to write 50,000 words in a month and log their progress in public (it’s actually a yahoo group, but still, your word count is there for people you’ve never met to see!). But, a group was duly found. And, for the last just-under-a-month, we’ve been hard at it. Some have dropped out, some will carry on after the month is up, some will hopefully hit 50,000 and be able to watch Eurovision guilt-free.
It’s been a really interesting experience. There were some people who thought it was a bad idea – the quality will be so bad it will depress you; real writers have to let the story come in its own time; you won’t have time to think through your choices properly.
All valid points.
Especially, the point about the quality, boy oh boy, that one’s true alright.
But I have learned a lot about myself as a writer.
First of all, writing has to come top of my to-do list for the day. No nonsense. It’s my job. Full stop.
Second, if it can’t come top of the to-do list, it can still be fitted in. Even on a really busy day, a fifteen minute burst can produce 500 words. Three of those in a day will move the novel on by one scene.
And, finally, I really like working with other people around me – even if they’re virtual people. I like the support. It feels a bit more like ‘going to the office’. I think it would be lovely if there were writer’s studios, in the same way as there are artist’s studios. With a water cooler. And a photocopier. And dress-down Fridays. And Christmas parties...
Oh dear, I must be more tired than I thought.
But, I can’t stop, I’m on 47,690 words and my MC is stranded in the desert, a nomad army surrounds him and the water's run out...and I’ve only ‘til the end of Thursday to rescue him.
Elen's Facebook Page