As the holiday season is well and truly upon us I won’t keep you… If you celebrate Christmas then I’m sure you have presents to wrap (and maybe even some still left to buy!), food to cook, friends and relatives to visit and rubbish TV to watch! If not then I’m sure you are looking forward to the break.* I just wanted to say thank you, dear readers, for your support over the past year. For your patience when I disappear and don’t blog for a few weeks, for your kind words (comments, emails and even that phone call!), and a special thanks to all you silent readers – without all of you this blog would just be me talking to myself. And I do enough of that at home (I know it’s not just me..!).
So, just for you, here’s a special card to celebrate the holiday season.
Have a great break and I’ll see you back here (I hope!) in January!
*Apologies to all those based in countries that do not have a break this coming week! Don’t work too hard and I wish you all the best for the New Year.
This poem was inspired by Flickr.com. ‘Milking butterflies’ is one of the messages on the photo/video upload page. Much more inspiring than ‘loading’ or ‘buffering,’ don’t you think? Thanks for the inspiration, Flickr!
Orange tip is milking the snapdragons
She takes her time, fluttering around
Behaving at first as though she’s just here to visit
She stops at the roses, delicately stroking the leaves
Inhaling their scent. No, she’s not stopping here…
Onto the snapdragons she glides
Here, she takes her time
Sipping snapdragon milk as she beats her wings
To an invisible drum.
It’s good to be back. If you’re wondering where I’ve been… Well nowhere really, nowhere but inside my head, working on a new project.
At the end of October, I blogged about taking time out from to really get going on my novel, which I started at the beginning of October and initially, did very little about! As some of you may be aware, November was National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), and many writers have been dedicated to completing a 50,000 word novel within the 30 days. If you are one of these writers, and you managed this, I salute you! That takes some dedication and I look forward to reading your novels some day soon.
I have been using most of my blog reading/writing time to work on my novel, but have still kept up with all of my other commitments and so haven’t been able to dedicate as much time as I would have liked. However, over the course of the month, despite starting two new big work-related projects and having a very sick toddler for part of the month, I have managed to write just over 10,000 words. It’s not NaNoWriMo but it’s not bad going either!
At first, I kept wanting to go back and edit my work, which really slowed me down but I have now managed to let go of that and I haven’t even been stopping to break my work up into chapters yet. I also looked at my word count every time I sat down to begin with, and would feel annoyed if I didn’t manage to write at least 500 words each time I sat down. Once I let go of this, I found I could write much more without even realising it. I guess my biggest learning curve this month has been letting go of things. Here’s what else I’ve learned:
- Writing when I really don’t feel like it/have other things on my mind just doesn’t work for me. I’ve been told time and again that ‘good’ writers must write despite this. Well, every time I’ve tried this I’ve written badly. Very badly. It’s just not worth it. The book is in me and it comes out when it’s ready. I give it a certain amount of hours each week and if nothing comes out, then I do some research or refer back to my plot outline instead – that way I’m still working on it even if I’m not writing it
- Reading fiction on the days that I’m writing is not a good idea. I often find myself taking on the style of that particular writer. So I have been reading some interesting non-fiction this month!
- Not blogging, or reading blogs, for a month has freed up a few hours a week, which I have been able to use to focus on the novel. Now that I’ve got the momentum going I am back to blogging (I’ve missed it!), but think I will reduce the number of posts to once a fortnight to ensure I don’t slow down too much on the novel
- I’m making mistakes, but that’s ok. I can fix them later. As a friend recently said, ‘you can’t edit what you haven’t written!’
- I’m not scared any more.
So, I will post updates here from time to time but there’s no timetable for that because I’m taking the slow and steady approach to this novel and the way I see it, it takes as long as it takes. Even if I don’t post any updates, I will talk about it on twitter with the #amwriting hashtag and I’ll definitely let you know when it’s finished!
Thanks for your support!