Saturday, 18 August 2012
The August Challenge: N M Browne
Although I have been writing for years, I am not very good at working consistently, or indeed at all. I can always find something else I'd rather do.
The internet is a disaster - I used to spend hours on RASFC - a usenet forum frequented by some very interesting writers which taught me a great deal: I could justify that because I did indeed learn a great deal and lost hours to vaguely literary chat or 'cat vacuuming'. Then I moved on for a while to 'Absolute write water cooler', which was less enlightening, but still distracting. I missed my old friends from RASFC who had migrated to 'livejournal' or 'facebook' so obviously I spent time there too. It is after all important to keep up with friends, not just because friendship is worth while in itself but because its helpful for writing - conversations are inspirational, revelatory, informative and so I am also available for dog walks, coffee, lunch, afternoon tea and early evening drinks ( especially early evening drinks.) I have even been known to resort to housework or shopping (always for tedious things that I can justify as being entirely necessary) to avoid the business of constructing sentences.
I only ever produce books by tricking myself into work. I have used the alarm clock thingy on my computer to force myself to write for fifty minutes without distraction. When that doesn't work I bribe myself with coffee, chocolate, wine and I set myself public challenges like producing a certain number of words a day.
I didn't have a very productive 2011 and 2012 has been worse so I set myself the task of writing the first draft of a chick lit novel in August.Why? I can hear you ask and it is a good question. It is mainly because I've never written one before and I don't usually do very much in August. Anyway, I am a couple of days behind schedule as I've taken a few days off, but I am at 40,000 words in and hoping to knock the rest on the head before September. It isn't very good ( what a surprise) but actually I don't care - you can't edit air and sometimes you just have to get those words on the page. I'll let you know how it works out.