So here we are again, at the end of another year and once more, like nearly all writers, I am doing a look back at the year blog post and, in terms of writing, what a year it has been. Right, after that really long sentence let’s begin.
I always start off by reviewing my targets from the year. I specifically kept them simple in 2016 to avoid disappointment and another year of failure, simply put all I planned to do was ‘do some writing’ and I certainly did that. It is probably clearer to look at my three successes…
Poetry – as you may know I am bad at poetry, but that has never stopped me writing it! I managed a whopping six new poems that included topics such as Nintendo, love, Star Wars and not being able to write well. I have never had a repository for my poetry so decided to make one rather that it just sitting on this blog. That meant that ‘Bad Poetry you probably never want to read’ was born. I popped in my older poems that were on this site along with the new ones. As it is a work in progress it is only available on wattpad at the moment. You can read it here. There was to be a seventh poem for the year but nanowrimo took over and it was abandoned. Please feel free to ignore my poetry but if you do read it can you leave a review? It can be good or confirm my belief that I am terrible at the medium.
A Close Shave with Destiny – I finally finished my first draft of the story I started in October 2015 for Movember. It turned from a 5000 word short story to a nearly 40,000 word novelette. I finished it just before the start of nanowrimo so it still needs a proofread and a cover created. Expect it out in paperback and ebook format in 2017.
The Fifth Coin – this was my story for nanowrimo, which I am happy to say I won thanks to sticking very close to the target daily word count. I really like the story and have pushed myself to keep writing it in December, although not at nano pace. I am now on 60,000ish words and only have three chapters to write to finish the first draft, two of which I am already half way through. I hope to have it out next year as well.
So overall nothing published but a lot of words down, the most in any one year. This is largely thanks to Google docs which allows me to write from anywhere. I often sit for five minutes and add the odd hundred words which does add a little to a novel and keeps you in the flow. In fact I am writing this blog post on Google docs on my phone whilst my daughter is asleep in my arms.
Right on to next year, there is a lot I would like to do but the ‘just write something’ idea worked really well this year so I am keeping it. That said, in an ideal work ‘A Close Shave with Destiny’ and ‘The Fifth Coin’ would be published and I would have started work on something else as well as a few more poems being released. We will see though!
Thank you to everyone who has supported me this year, I look forward to 2017 in the hope that it is good for writing. Thank you to new followers through the media hop set up by Raimey Gallant, I do look at your posts even if I rarely comment. I do hope you enjoy this blog and find it useful. Anyway, to every out there good luck in whatever you do next year, unless it involves hurting kittens, then I am afraid I cannot condone it!
Two pieces of good news regarding my writing, this using my phone and Google Drive is really helping me to get more words down, you should try it! Anyway, here is the news…
- ‘A Close Shave with Destiny’ first draft complete – yes, I have done it. The story that was started in October last year as a 5,000 word short story for Movember is complete, well the first draft is. It is now a little under 40,000 words and has turned into a novella. My next job is to edit it and create a front cover. I have decided that I will put it up for sale for Movember. I intend to make a hard copy using CreateSpace, as well as a Kindle version, and will donate any money I make to Movember. It may not be up for a little while because of good news number two…
- I’m doing NaNoWriMo again – with the use of Google Drive on my phone I feel a lot more
confident about doing NaNoWriMo again this year. I have a really exciting idea about a story, it does involve a lot of research though. I have started the planning process and have more than enough information to write 50,000 words. I have even created a cover for the book already! The story centres around a fourteen year old called Daniel Phillips whose father is in an accident. He gets given an old coin from his father that gives him powers. It turns out that there are others with coins and powers and that they have intervened in historical events. However, there are dark forces out to gain access to the coins. The novel will be for young adults and flips between historical events and present day. It is entitled ‘The Fifth Coin.’ I will keep everyone aware of my progress via twitter.
I’m not sure about you but I am very excited.
So the summer holidays have come to an end and I am officially back at school. Here is the usual update of where I am with writing. As per usual I set out what I wanted to do at the start of the summer and as usual I did not achieve it. That said, I am being more relaxed this year and my only goal was to do some writing. I have managed that. In fact, I would say I have done more writing so far this year than the whole of last year.
I did not manage to finish my moustache story, which is now entitled ‘A Close Shave with Destiny,’ but I did managed to write some. I was hoping for a first draft to be complete but, alas I fell short. Thanks to Google Docs and using my phone I am now over 30,000 words into it so it is clearly going to be a novella. I may well release it for money with the profit going to Movember, we will just see when it is finished.
My other task was to plan a few stories and complete my next picture book. Neither happened. However I am now strongly considering trying NANOWRIMO again. I think by using Google Docs I might manage to complete the challenge this year. No turning on my laptop and having to wait ten minutes for it to load, just grab the phone or tablet.
I also bought a big pad, some pencils and a how to draw book with the intention of drawing my own covers. I cannot draw so it is safe to say my covers will probably still be poor. Also I have not opened the pad or picked up a pencil over the summer.
All in all I am quite happy with my relaxed approach to writing this year as it has, strangely, made me more productive. So it was not a bad summer overall. Oh yeah, I wrote a bad poem about finding the first word for a section of a story as well, bonus!
Errr…erm….what just happened? The last thing I remember saying on here was how positive I was and that there was some sort of Movember story coming out. Guess what! It never got finished. Have you notice that about me? I drop down my aspirations each time I do a new post about my progress and still fail to hit my targets. Well this time I am not making any promises. Ok, I will make one, I will do some writing in 2016 and that is it!
To go back to the Movember story, I do have a plot and have written about four thousand words but then work and Christmas preparations hit. This new job does take up a lot of my time. Oh yeah, I am also having a second child next year (well my wife is) so that means even less time. Anyhow, I did complete Movember and raised over £100. Here is a little pic of me with a tash, I did promise you one…
Ok, so going forward there is not much of a plan. What about looking back at the year behind me? Not many blog posts done (I had ideas for a whole lot more but not the time to do them), little writing and a general lack of creativity. I did start a new project, a second children’s picture book (which I never finished), and did some work on my novel as well as completing Super Lizard Returns. I had a cheeky look back at my targets for 2015, as I have been so busy I completely forgot them and noticed I only had two. First was the novel, I did try to stick to the word count each month but the storyline for the novel genuinely did not work so I scrapped it. Super Lizard Returns did though and I got that up on smashwords. 50% target completion isn’t bad I suppose. That takes me back round to my targets for 2016, just do some writing. Writing is a hobby to me and family, work and general life get in the way but I have to remember it is a hobby and so I have to put it low on my list of priorities. I will try to blog a little more but cannot promise anything, I wanted to tell you about the FIFA Women’s Football World Cup, the talk I watched that was given by the Young Samurai author Chris Bradford and my thoughts on the new Star Wars film but again time got the better of me.
Throughout this post I suppose what I am saying is, I am still alive but don’t expect much from me. Have a great 2016!
I said there would be writing this half term, I was wrong, again! It was decided that a home improvement project was the most important part of the to do list to get on with and therefore, once more, my pastimes fell by the wayside. I was hoping to complete NANOWRIMO again this year but the new job and the way the holiday has gone have made me reconsider so I am sad to say that I will once again not be taking part. A lot of people have been saying that I need to stop working so hard and do a little more for myself so I am going to take inspiration from NANO and rather than commit the time to take part I will make sure I spend some time during the month writing, or rather creating images. I would really like to get my second children’s picture book out before Christmas, largely as it is for my son and I would love him to have a copy in his stocking. Will it happen, probably not, but I can dream!
In more positive news I have decide to grow the mo again and will be taking part in Movember, much to the annoyance of my long suffering wife! If you want to sponsor me then please do, you can do it by going here. I will update with some pictures to suitably scare you all! To help fundraise I have also decided to do some writing so will be producing a short story and selling it through Amazon Kindle with all profits going to Movember. So look out for that and please buy it, it will be quite serious with a silly setting.
Once again I am sorry about the lack of writing and that I will not be doing NANO but at least there is some good news! Right I am off to decide which tash will suit me best!
Yes it has surprised even me, after a stressful month I appear to have finished with large successes. At the start of November I set two challenges, to raise money for prostate and testicular cancer by growing a moustache and to write a 50,000 word novel. I planned to update regularly but as you can see by looking below this post, I only managed to do two updates here. It seems that everyone in the world knew that I was doing these challenges and thus decided to put on events that would pull me away. From friends visiting to having to work promotional evenings on to weddings, nearly every event possible happened (ok that is a little bit of an exaggeration!). By two weeks through the month the writing was teetering on the edge even if the tash was bushy and bountiful. By three weeks I was never going to complete NaNoWriMo but I had many a sponsor to my name for Movember. But you see, all those people on twitter and the NaNo site said don’t give up, just go for it. So I did. By 10pm on Saturday 3oth November I had written 50,000 words, not necessarily good words but words none the less. What is more interesting is that at the start of the month I thought I might not get the story to that many words as it was a straight adventure novel without too much plot twisting or political intrigue. Now I am looking at a draft of over 50,000 words and I am only about two-thirds through the whole novel. So the next goal is to finish it by Christmas then edit it so it is out by the end of January. But hey, NaNoWriMo was not about a finished product, a polished novel that could hit the shelves of any high street bookstore. The brilliance of it is simply that it gets you to put your writing first, some days you get home and the draw of some random TV show about dancing badgers in leotards gets in the way. But this month I said “NO, I will write,” and that is what I did. So I thank you NaNoWriMo, I thank you those who gave pep talks and I thank you copious amounts of tea because without you I would have four words written down and be moaning about the lack of time to do anything.
Oh yeah, on top of that I wanted £100 for Movember and managed to raise £170. It may have been itching all the way but I made it there too and am now free of all that excessive facial hair. Pretty good all in all. Now I have Christmas to look forward to and the stuffing of my face with chocolate, pastries and fine meats. Suppose I should do some writing and editing as well or The Journey Home won’t be out till 2020 or such like!
It is no lie that I knew this month was going to be hard with family commitments and work on top of two challenges. When I started NaNoWriMo the first week seemed to be so easy, just a hour or two a day and I was on par. But the longer it goes on the harder it gets, I have had two days where I have been so busy that I have written approximately 20 words. Other days when I think I will catch up something comes up and I just get above the 1,700 odd words designated for each day. In fact it is a miracle that I am currently only two days behind. The writing, as well, is not my best, it is a case of getting the words down then worrying about them later. I am happy to say I have managed to develop the storyline and the characters are moving along well, I’m just not sure I have written it in the best way. But hey, let’s be positive. I never thought I would hammer out over twenty-five thousand words in a couple of weeks and I have achieved that (well in just over two weeks). I really want to get this project complete, I am excited to finish and get editing them pop it up on Smashwords and Kindle.
The other challenge this month is going a lot more positively. I have managed to raise over £100 so far and am sporting a stonkingly good, if not disturbing, moustache. It is starting to itch now and I really want to shave it off but I am sure I can survive another twelve days.
The final thing to say is that I had expected to update this blog with my NaNoWriMovember exploits more often but it seems the words I really need to get down are on the story I am writing. So there we go, if you want to follow my progress writing the novel head here, and to sponsor me for Movember head over here. Right, I better run, this is a few hundred words that I should have written in the novel, well not these exact words, oh you know what I mean!