ACW

ACW

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Counting Down the Days by Fiona Lloyd

            It’s that time of year again: already it seems like people have been talking about it for weeks. I promised myself that this year I would be more organised and start my preparations well in advance, but it still looks like I’ll be doing stuff at the last minute. Now that I can count down in days, it’s beginning to feel real.

It's far too early to be thinking about this...
            And no, I’m not talking about Christmas. At the moment, my thoughts are full of NaNoWriMo, which runs for the whole month of November. I took part for the first time last year, and was amazed at how beneficial I found it (although I need to be honest at this point and explain that I didn’t get anywhere close to their suggested target of 50,000 words).

            What was most helpful for me was simply the fact that I had given myself permission to prioritise my writing. Some days, I wrote before work, or sat with my laptop in the car while waiting for an after school club to start. I realised it was easier to avoid settling down to an evening of watching rubbish on the telly when I knew that my online word-count needed a boost.

I'm not sure I've got many words left!
            It would be nice to think – having discovered all these extra snippets of time when I could put pen to paper – that I could have continued at the same rate once December arrived. This didn’t happen: however, eleven-and-a-half months later, I know that I’ve still written far more over the last year than I've done in previous years. I've completed the first draft of the novel I was working on last November, and I’m busy culling adverbs and other unnecessary / over-used words with a ruthless determination. 

            So now I’m gearing up for this year’s attempt, and wondering if I can match (or even exceed) my 2014 total of 20,527 words … would anyone care to join me?

(PS. You can find me on NaNoWriMo as Grace Foster, with a picture of a pair of flowery Doc Marten boots next to my name.)



Fiona Lloyd works part-time as a music teacher, and serves on the worship-leading team at her local church. She enjoys writing short stories, and is working on her first novel. Fiona self-published a violin tutor book in 2013, and blogs at www.fjlloyd.wordpress.com. She is married with three grown-up children. Fiona is ACW's membership secretary.

10 comments:

  1. We all look forward to, and dread, this time of year in equal measure. Thanks for the reminder

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    1. Looking forward to buddying up with you again, Wendy.

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  2. The same happened to me - I did NaNoWriMo a couple of years back and although I didn't finish the 'quota' I wrote so much more than I normally would and it did eventually lead to the novel I'm writing/rewriting (!) now. It was a real kickstart. The other thing that changed my attitude to novel writing was watching a documentary in which Ian Rankin 'wrote' a novel while being filmed through all the different stages, and I realised that even the big-timers go through the same struggle. And I've just found the documentary's on Youtube! It's really worth a watch. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9FkHgEkVkSY

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    1. It's always reassuring to find that established authors struggle, too. I'll have to look that clip up. Thanks!

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  3. I did NaNo for the first time last year and found it really helpful. I didn't hit the target but I got into a writing routine and the new novel kickstarted. I'm tempted to try again this year...

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    1. Glad to hear it was helpful for you, too, Dorothy. Maybe I'll see you on the NaNoWriMo site next weekend?

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  4. Hi Fiona, I've signed up (as Millie Reads) but can't work out on the website how to connect with buddies. Can you help?

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    1. Hi Janey, I've added you as a buddy. If you click on the search button at the top of the page, you then have the option to look for an author's name. Once you've found them, click on their name, and you are then given the option of adding them as a buddy. Glad you've taken the plunge!

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  5. I really miss NaNo, and am very tempted to do it again this year. I've had three attempts: one reached 26,000 words, one about 10,000 and the last barely got off the ground as I hadn't been very realistic about attempting it while in charge of small children. I still haven't completely made up my mind not to, but I think I'd have to get up jolly early in the morning to make this year a serious attempt.

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    1. It'd be lovely to link up with you, Amy - let me know if you decide to go for it.

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