I know that a lot of you are doing NaNoWriMo this month, writing 1,600 words a day during November so you have most of a first draft complete by the end of the month. I think it's a great thing, a brilliant way to get your head down and just write, with all the encouragement that comes from taking part in a mass project.
But I'd like to suggest something slightly different, for another month of the year. I'd like to suggest a month where you do NOT write, at all, but instead do something every day that will help your writing when you come around to starting again.
Some of those things might include reading, painting, visiting art galleries, taking photographs, exercising, drawing, listening to the radio, reading non fiction, visiting museums, watching films, keeping a video diary, talking to strangers, eavesdropping, going for walks and meditating.
These are all things that I know help me write. But these are things that I rarely find enough time for, caught as I am in the busy whirl of writing, working, promoting, teaching and family.
Ever since I started writing books, eight years ago now, I've barely stopped to catch my breath. My first book was published on January 5, 2010. My eighth is out January 4, 2016. And that's going to be the start of my personal NonNaNoWriMo, all being well. A month of no writing of books.
I'll let you know how it goes.