Monday, 28 November 2011

Fifty Thousand words and change!

I did it! I completed my novel. Two days before the deadline.

I've validated it on NaNoWriMo's site - they actually credited me with three hundred words that Word didn't recognise but even without that I'm safely over. I even ended the story the way I'd planned.

I've written a novel... It's a rough first draft. Not publishable - not yet; but it is complete... Well. Mostly...

I'm sure I will write more about this in days, weeks and months to come but for now I just want to say a huge thank you to - you helped me write a novel. You helped me achieve my oldest and original goal.


By rights I should not be posting today. I told myself I would only post if I hit my daily target word count and I'm still aways off it.But I hit my weekly target on Saturday so that is excuse enough.

I wanted to share this post by another NaNoWriMo participant: lightonwings. She wrote it as an essay towards a university application explaining how working towards NaNo over the last few years has enabled her to learn how to better manage her time; to continue to value and spend time with family and friends; and also achieve her goals. She fully deserves to succeed.

NaNoWriMo Update:
Todays word count: 1,550
Total words: 47,676

I now have just a smidgen over my daily word target to complete 50K. I can do this! I will do this!

Friday, 25 November 2011

NaNoWriMo: A rough week

I scraped my word target today - the first day all week!

NaNoWriMo Update:
Todays word count: 2,310
Total words: 44,626

I cut back this week. Work needed to be a higher priority. I still got up at 5am every morning but tried to not stress when I fell short of my target 2,300 words. As a result, I kept writing and managed over 10K words this week and have managed to meet work targets as well.

It has been a hard week though. I felt like I was going nowhere with the plot. Felt I had gone off on a tangent. Wondered if I was only half way through the story and would struggle to complete it once November was gone.

I'm planning to keep writing. Bring the daily target down to 1,000 words a day and get up at Six instead of Five each morning. I want to reach a definite ending, to bring my main characters story to a close but don't want to spend too much longer doing that. I've got ideas for other characters. Other plot threads I want to explore but they are not essential to the core story and I know if I get started on those before the main story is finished - I'll struggle to tie it all together.

Tomorrow is catch up Saturday. I'll spend a couple of hours writing. I'd really like to spend the whole day and complete the [insert appropriate age related word here] novel but I have other commitments I've been putting off...

If you are writing, how has your week gone? If you are working on some other goal - how do you motivate yourself to keep going during your tough weeks?

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Is this a bog I see before me...

My favourite sentence so far in my novel:

"If they do not have a bog, one will be provided for them."

Spot the spelling mistake in the sentence above - if you can...

NaNoWriMo Update:
Todays word count: 1,750
Total words: 40,286

It has not been going well. For the third day in a row I have written less than my target word count and progressively less:
Monday: 2162
Tuesday: 1860
Wednesday: 1750

I didn't have a sick cat (Link may only work if you are signed up with NaNoWriMo) but I did have a loose tap. Tried fixing it this weekend and ended up wasting most of Saturday and all Sunday; shutting off the water for too long; removing all the pipework under the kitchen sink; and in the end buying a new tap. B&Q did rather well out of us this weekend.

So much for a needed break...

I can still meet 50K by the end of the month but I won't be blogging again unless I hit my target 2,300 words in a day.

What obstacles are in the way of your goals? What is tiring you out or holding you back?

Friday, 18 November 2011


I feel like I'm already out of sync with my countdown. By the time I come to write this update, I've already written my target words and I'm now thinking about the next eight days...

NaNoWriMo Update:
Todays word count: 34,514
Total words: 2,444

I am loving the graph. Easy to love when you're on track but discouraging when you're not. I do find that measuring my progress like this helps me to keep going. How about you? What motivates you to keep trying?

And for all you parents out there who haven't yet seen this... and for anyone who remembers being ten... enjoy:

Thursday, 17 November 2011

NaNoWriMo - I've donated, have you?

Last of the big spenders I am: only $10 but still - if everyone who participates donates then National Novel Writing Month can continue to support us as we write our novels.

NaNoWriMo Update:
Todays word count: 2,300
Total words: 32,070

I guess this means a 30K shoutout. Pump fist in the air... I'm starting my ten day countdown now. If like me you are only writing on weekdays maybe we can shout it out together - TEN...

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Follow me on Twitter...

...if you want to see a succession of links to my blog!

I'm not really getting Twitter yet. Seems like Facbook but without the fun. Is it something that can be explained or do you just have to get it?

My Twitter username is Frozbie - same as my NaNo username. It was once unique but now I apparently share this with a Mexican dog and someone who plays World of Warcraft... It isn't me, honest!

NaNoWriMo update:
Todays word count: 2,502
Total words: 29,770

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Monday, 14 November 2011

NaNoWriMo - day fourteen

NaNoWriMo update
Todays word count: 2,373
Total words: 24,908

Half way point so close I can almost smell it. Not sure what a half way point might smell like: blue-berry pie; marshmallow ice-cream, Shetland tablet... Got my sweet tooth on!

Beautiful sunrise this morning. Worth taking a short break to enjoy...

How are all you NaNo novelists getting on out there? Good to hear from Ruby - just keep writing and you'll make it!

Friday, 11 November 2011

Lest we forget to remember the fallen

NaNoWriMo Update:
Todays word count: 2,320
Total words: 22,535

A friend sent me the following text and images. I don't have time myself to fully consider everything I feel about Armistice/Remembrance Day - except to say that I support our soldiers. They sometimes get it wrong - but then, so do I. They do not choose the conflicts they will fight in - we do: either by voting in politicians or by our apathy and choosing not to get involved. Yet they fight for us, whether at home or abroad, to protect us and to protect our interests.


The soldier stood and faced God,
Which must always come to pass.
He hoped his shoes were shining,
Just as brightly as his brass.

'Step forward now, you soldier,
How shall I deal with you ?
Have you always turned the other cheek ?
To My Church have you been true?'

The soldier squared his shoulders and said,
'No, Lord, I guess I ain't.
Because those of us who carry guns,
Can't always be a saint.

I've had to work most Sundays,
And at times my talk was tough.
And sometimes I've been violent,
Because the world is awfully rough.

But, I never took a penny,
That wasn't mine to keep...
Though I worked a lot of overtime,
When the bills got just too steep.

And I never passed a cry for help,
Though at times I shook with fear.
And sometimes, God, forgive me,
I've wept unmanly tears.

I know I don't deserve a place,
Among the people here.
They never wanted me around,
Except to calm their fears.

If you've a place for me here, Lord,
It needn't be so grand.
I never expected or had too much,
But if you don't, I'll understand.

There was a silence all around the throne,
Where the saints had often trod.
As the soldier waited quietly,
For the judgment of his God.

'Step forward now, you soldier,
You've borne your burdens well.
Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets,
You've done your time in Hell.'
Author Unknown~

It's the Military, not the reporter who has given us the freedom of the press. It's the Military, not the poet, who has given us the freedom of speech. It's the Military, not the politicians that ensures our right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It's the Military who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag.

If you care to offer the smallest token of recognition and appreciation for the military, please pass this on and pray for our men and women who have served and are currently serving our country and pray for those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for freedom.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

NaNoWriMo shoutout: 20K reached!

NaNoWriMo update
Todays word count: 2,320
Total words: 20,215

I've reached twenty thousand words! That is forty percent of the way through or two fifths if you prefer fractions. I only need another five thousand words to get to the half way point.

I'm starting to get some momentum going in the plot. My hero has been attacked and defended himself and, well, maybe that's enough for now. Part of me wants to share what I've got but another part of me knows it is just not ready. I am thinking that I'd like to put the first ten thousand words up on Authonomy but I will want to at least have a sense check and quick edit before I do.

How is life out there in NaNo land? Any stories to share?

How about your other goals? This experience is a real game changer. So many goals can be broken down into daily targets. Doesn't matter whether you are building something; repairing something; creating or even cleaning - if you set a target and work at it each day - you can achieve your goal.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Saying sorry to my bank

I admit it - I get things wrong. I make mistakes; I forget.

I forgot to pay my credit card bill last month. My online bank wrote to me after the deadline for paying was past to advise me - again - that I needed to pay.

I couldn't believe it. I went online, looked at the statement and saw a charge of £12 and interest of £6. Not a huge amount of money but things have been tight with a lot of large expenses recently for our roof and trying to pull money together for solar panels.

I thought the bank had made a mistake. I wrote an angry letter demanding a refund. They were very polite and gracious. They asked in response if their normal email reminder could have been filed in junk mail, or if I'd changed my email settings recently.

I had reformatted my laptop and restored my email but I didn't believe that I had lost any emails. Turned out that the reminder email was there - buried inbetween a horrendous pile of junk mail in my inbox. All of it unread. The result of a stressful few weeks when dealing with email was the last thing on my mind.

I got it wrong.

I ate my humble pie and wrote an apology to the bank. I was rude. I had falsely accused them. It was tempting just to try and forget about it but that would have eaten away at me. I expect the companies I deal with to act professionally and admit when they have made mistakes. I have a responsibility to do the same.

NaNoWriMo update:
Todays word count: 2,382
Total words: 17,895

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

NaNoWriMo - hitting the wall

Todays word count: 2300
Total words: 15,513

Another struggle. Just scraped together my word count taking half an hour extra that I don't really have out of this morning. Need to shovel down some breakfast and get ready for work.

Hope all you other NaNo'ers are doing well. They did say the second week was going to be tough.

Monday, 7 November 2011

5 A.M. Stop moaning and start writing!

Todays word count: 2347
Total words: 13,213

I took Sunday off and I would encourage all my fellow NaNo'ers out there to take a day off from writing each week. If I write every day I might get better at writing every day - but if I don't take a break on a regular basis then the quality of my work suffers.

Not that my Sunday was particularly restful. I slept poorly Friday and Saturday night. I took my son to a Judo competition Sunday morning and spent a couple of hours on the edge of my seat watching him fight. It's a scary thing - watching your child knowingly walk into a fight - even a supposedly defense sport like Judo. There wasn't a whole lot of defending going on!

He did himself proud winning five out of eight fights and gaining two silver medals as they asked him to fight in two groups to make up the numbers in the second group. He went in with the right attitude - telling me he was going for a gold medal. I'm sure that with that attitude and continual practice - he will get that gold.

If you are taking part in NaNoWriMo then I'm sure you will have days like me when anything seems preferable to churning out that daily word count. Whatever you have commited to - stick to it. Keep writing. You will get there!

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Movie making on the cheap

Goal 81: To direct a movie

Spotted this BBC article: How to make a movie for just £15,000 this week.

Unfortunately it doesn't actually tell you how - more that it has been done. Still, that is a good thing to hear for anyone - myself included - who would like at some point to have a go at directing a movie.

NaNoWriMo update
Todays word count: 1,154
Total words: 10,866

I'm not writing at weekends, except for the Saturdays I do... My body clock is adjusting gradually to earlier mornings and I had a thought that if I woke early I might get a thousand or more words in before the day got really started. I'm pleased with adding another 1,154 to my overall word count. I'm now passed 10K!

Quick fist pump ;)

I'm trying not to think about the rest of the month. This week has been seriously stressful. Getting up at 5am week days and then working late several nights to bank some time so I could pick my son up from his return from a week away at an outbound adventure centre. He seems to have had a blast!

I had a fear yesterday that I'll hit my 50K target before the end of the month and realise I'm only half way through. If I can't keep the pace up at that point I'll lower my daily word target to 1,000 words a day and push on. This isn't just about a notional 50K target. I want to finish the story. I'll only achieve my number one goal of writing an enjoyable, bestselling novel if I complete one! The Great Scottish Land Grab doesn't have to be a best-seller but if I complete it, I'll have more confidence to complete another.

The more novels I actually finish, the more chance I have of publishing one. The more novels I publish, the more chance I have one will sell well. This is a marathon, not a sprint. I'm looking forward to Monday. Mostly ;)

Friday, 4 November 2011

What's your number?

To celebrate the news that world population has reached 7 Billion, the BBC has an amusing tool to help us find out how many people were alive around about the time we were born. My place in the grand scheme of things is below.

What's your number?

NaNoWriMo update:

Todays word count: 2644
Total words: 9712

Today was a good day! Managed my target 2,300 words in less than two hours writing. I had a flow going and could have kept writing. That felt very good after the struggles yesterday and the day before. Approaching 10K now. That will be 20 percent complete!

I'm buddied with StaceyM. Like me, she is blogging her way through NaNo. She hit 10086 words yesterday, go StaceyM!

Thursday, 3 November 2011

NaNoWriMo - day three

Todays word count: 2380
Total words: 7068

Over two and three quarter hours today. Thought I would never make the target. Woke at 4:15 and really should have just gotten out of bed then! Going to be a rush to get to work now!

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

NaNoWriMo - day two

Todays word count: 2310
Total words: 4688

Found writing tough going this morning. Woke at 4:45am but could not get out of bed. Took me two and a half hours to hit my target word count.

Update on roof - we've been told our roof is non-standard construction and is not strong enough to take solar panels.Quite a disapointment.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

NaNoWriMo day one

Todays word count: 2378
Total words: 2378

Managed to get up at 5AM but took me until 7:30 to reach my target word count. I'm internally editing too much before I write. I'll need to lower my desire for perfectionism if I'm to reach 50,000 words this month!

If you are taking part in NaNoWriMo this year, how is day one going for you? What is your strategy to reach the goal?