Another step on the road to publication...

Sunday, November 30, 2008


Third time lucky. At my third attempt, I have achieved 50ks in 30 days. I would have struggled to make it without the ever present support of the lovely RWANano girls - thank you ladies. I'm so thrilled that a) I did it and b) I learned how to do it. It opens up all sorts of possibilities for my writing. No more, trying to find time to write, saying 'I'll do it when I have time'. There's time where you need it, thanks to word sprints, challenges, writerly friends and the kitchen timer. Here's to all of us.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The end is in sight

Was a bit concerned when a migraine knocked me off my feet for two days. Effort yesterday in the last throes of the migraine and a number of flat out sprints today see me at 45000 words, well, 45001 to be exact! Woohoo! A day ahead of the standard schedule. Hoping to finish before the weekend.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Back on deck

Not that I've been off deck, well, only long enough to get over the worst of a severe migraine. Wretched things. Have worse timing than my family has for crises.

Anyway, the story is wandering all over the place, but I'm getting to like my characters and I can sort them out and get them in line later. For now, I'm delighted to have reached 40903 words and am not finished for the day. 50k is looking very achievable!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Rock on nanowrimo

So... day 15, and I've just hit 27000 words. I can hardly believe it. I have never written this much, this fast in any challenge. I have found word sprinting is the go. For the uninitiated, set the time for, say, 30 minutes and just write. Type like a demon, scribble like a maniac, and do not stop until the timer bell rings. I'm averaging around 1000 words in each half hour sprint. The word count climbs quickly at that rate.

The story is stuttering and stumbling at times, but flowing like milk and honey at others. A LOT of editing coming up on this one, but at least it will there to edit.

Next goal is to hit 30000 words by tomorrow night - day 16.

Monday, November 10, 2008

NaNoWriMo Progress

Things are going well. I struggled a bit during the week last week. Disappointing as, according No Plot No Problem, week 1 was supposed to be productive with many words flowing. The advice was to get ahead in that week as week 2 tends to slow down.

Felt quite down by Friday and suspecting I was not going to make the 50k AGAIN! Then decided that I was not going to give in that easily.

I followed the example of the rocking RWANano girls - not topless table dancing (not yet anyway) - word sprinting. A weekend of 30 minute sprints and I went from 7790 words to 15200 in two days.

Sprinting is a great tool. The time pressure forces you to focus and firmly puts the internal editor in her box. No time for her input. Great stuff.

Current word cound 17127 - ahead of schedule by several hundred words.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

NaNoWriMo - Days 1/2

What am I doing blogging when I should be nano-ing? Good question. I have absolutely no excuse today. Yesterday was different - DH seeking assistance with outdoor project that has waited weeks and is suddenly urgent. (Translation - I have weekend day free from motor racing commitments and know I'm in trouble if this is not finished by Christmas as promised.) And he's right! LOL

On the writing front. My Nano book is different from anything I've ever written before. The germ of an idea popped into my head while watching something completely unrelated on TV. It's a time shift between present day Melbourne and WWII London. I'm excited about the idea and I'm hoping I can make it work.

First, of course, I have to write it. Only 49,000 words to go!

Monday, October 6, 2008

I am definitely certifiable!

I must be. I'm going to put myself through it again - writing 50,000 words in 30 days. I'm joining the international NaNoWriMo for the second year. I did not do well last year, I think only reaching about 5000 words. I have learned a lot since then - June's experience was invaluable. I've bought and am reading Chris Baty's 'No Plot, No Problem' - very useful. I have an idea, a title and a concept. It's a start.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Goal achieved!

Okay. That feels good. I set myself the goal to submit to Chicken Soup for the Soul - My Resolution and I did it! Only a small step, and a short piece, but I did what I set out to do. Next, enter the High Five contest of RWAustralia. Close date, 21 September. Oh. It's September now. Get on with it!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

So, what now?

Full of post conference energy, I'm making a commitment to my fiction writing career. I've stepped down from all responsbilities for RWA and am now aiming to build my freelance portfolio and submit my fiction to all sorts of places. I have two contests I want to enter, one each in September and October. Then it's a focus on NaNoWriMo and the From Start to Publish challenge with my RWANano buddies. Good stuff!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

BIAW - Come and Gone

So, another BIAW. Seemed like a good idea. Was a good idea. Just had that 'life getting in the way' thing happen, in a big way. BUT, that said, managed 3078 or a targeted 5000 words. Certainly a better percentage than the 50ks effort.

Everything's focusing on conferences right now. A big Oz/NZ contingent attended the RWAmerica bash in San Francisco. It's under a week until NZ's 08 conference, just out of Auckland, to be followed by the Australian conference, in Melbourne this year. All of these, writers conferences. Early next year, the first Australian Romance READERS conference will take place, also in Melbourne. Nice to have one some distance from the others. Time to recover!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

At sixes and sevens

Made myself smile with that post heading. Haven't heard that saying in years.

I haven't been writing very much. Haven't had any paid work for about a month. I have lost my organisation and application. You know - if you want something done, ask a busy person. Haven't been a busy person.

I did manage about a page today, in writing an application for an online magazine. I've also updated my blogs. It feels good to be back to it. I've promised myself to get organised this week. We'll see.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A lull... then new challenges

So, while it was a good idea at the time, it's taken me two weeks to catch up with life after 50k in 30 days. So, what next?

Our group has established a 'page a day' challenge to keep us ticking over - this to be ongoing.

RWA is to run a BIAW commencing 28 July - should be ready for another intense 'go' by then.

The 50K group is proposing a year long challenge. Bit of a scary prospect, but the idea is to draft, edit and submit a manuscript in that time. We'll kick of with NaNoWriMo in November. So, September/October is for planning/plotting. This will be a real challenge. Can't wait!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Still here

Well, I survived June and stayed with the challenge right through. Managed another 750 words, handwritten in pencil while travelling. So, while not 50k, June 2008 saw me write more in one month than I ever have done. So I am well pleased.

From this challenge I learned that I can just sit down at will and write for concentrated periods of time. More, I can put the internal editor into pause mode while I do it. I won't say I'm satisfied with what I've written in June - but I've written it. I've also learned how fab it is to have a supportive group of friends behind you and around you and holding you up. I predict great things for this group.

DH was on annual leave last week - when we came home there was always something to do (NOW being the male time frame for everything - except for stuff HE needs to do which is 'at some stage' - LOL) and the weekend was a crazy social whirl.

My new goal - write for three periods of 30 minutes every day. That should see me write 500-750 words a day most days. Here goes.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

50k day 29

So, the penultimate day. Had a reasonably productive day - more done today than in the last four. Still far from my target. I have one more day - although will be travelling some of it.

Will add any further words when I get back, but the counter shows the current state of the nation. The most I have ever written in one month. I'm happy.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

50k day 28

Well that didn't quite work. The trouble with a favourite coffee shop is the distinct possibility of running into someone you know.

Not much to report - an additional 1400ish words is all, taking me to 14,325. Would love to make 20,000 so am going for a big rush at it tomorrow while DH stands in the cold watching cars go round and round and waving flags at them.

Tomorrow might be my June 30 as we are going away on Monday. I hope to add a few more words Monday - especially if I don't make the 20k tomorrow. Whatever I do, it'll be a whole lot more than I've ever done in one month before.

Thanks my fellow challengers - you're all stars.

Friday, June 27, 2008

50k day 27

Just popping in to give myself a kick in the rear.

Have only written a few minutes here and there these last few days. Am prepared to be surprised by the word count - either way.

Off to the gym, errands, shopping for going away for a few days and more. Will take the notebook and pop into my favourite writing coffee shop for a while. Word count update later today.

Sunday DH motor racing all day - me, WRITING!!!!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

50k days 22-24

Oh, very slow patch. Life keeps getting in the way. Having one of those times where everything conspires to fill your days all at the same time. Sigh... have written maybe 800 words in three days. Should get a couple of things out of the way today then head down for a dash to the finish, with very little hope of 50k.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

50k days 20,21

Bit slow still. Got a lot of stuff out of the way over the past few days, so hoping for a dash to the finish. What a time of year for the social life to go nuts! It's winter, people, slow down, stay home... Let me write!

Friday, June 20, 2008

50k days 16-19

Slow, slow, slow. Well, the writing. The rest of life - CRAZY. Have driven and walked all over Adelaide this week for various reasons, barely stopping long enough to jot down notes in the ever-present notebook. So three days has resulted in 1700 words. So 50,000 is looking a long way off and increasingly unlikely. However, as one of our number has proven, 40,000 words can be written over two days and I have 11 days left to write another 36,293 - cinch!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

50k days 13/14, and now 15, of 30 - UPDATE

Did it! Cracked 10,000 words. I know a number of my co-challengers have written way more words. But for me - a personal best. Happy dancing round the office.

50k days 13/14 of 30

Bitsy days. Just over 1000 words for two days. Way behind my scheduled output. Think I need a desert island to make this happen. Still, oddly, not feeling down about it. I'm doubting I'll make 50K - but you never know - that's ok though. I've made so much progress with two brand new stories, I don't mind either way.

Am constantly inspired by me 50K co-challengers and the mutual support is fantastic. Thanks galz - you rock!

Goal for the day - to hit minimum 10K for check in tonight.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

50k days 10/11/12

Like writing in molasses. Slow, slow progress. However, both stories moving forward. A host of other duties have kept me occupied yesterday and today (Thursday), but have almost completed existing paid work and have just heard that some due next week is to be postponed for a fortnight. Not good for the bank balance but excellent for the writing.

Tomorrow, as a famous heroine once said, is another day.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

50k days 8/9

Very unproductive period... writing wise anyway. Home organisation, acquisition of stuff we needed, all good. Writing, not so much.

Sunday was a busy social day. Ballet followed by afternoon tea and a cabaret show in the evening. Still 279 words in notebooks between venues. Cracked 6000+ words with these.

Monday - nothing, zip, nada. Rearranging furniture, washing, garden, hardware store, more furniture... Long weekend you see, DH home and itching to 'do stuff'.

Hoping for better forward movement for day 10.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

50k days 6/7

Gosh. The first week has gone. Only 23 days left!

Interesting couple of days. Work and life have intruded heavily. To be expected I suppose but frustrating all the same.

Friday managed a sad little 148 words, but, better than zero.

Saturday was out most of the day, complete with notebook and pencil. While waiting for a lunch order and in between phone calls jotted down another 399 words. Of course, that puts me way behind the average needed to make 50k BUT I have plenty of time to plan some intensive writing time over the next 22 days and 16 hours... not that I'm counting.

Friday, June 6, 2008

50k day 5

Today was a very messy day. People coming and going, phone calls, work issues. However, in the middle of that, with 3 short sprints, I managed 893 words. Could it be that I can fit writing into my busy life? It seems I can - even in small bites...

Thursday, June 5, 2008

50K days 3 and 4/30

Doesn't time fly? Slowed down a little the last two days but now have two stories making forward progress. One, a kidnapped sister with connections to the sex slave trade, the other a female PI with claustrophobia.

849 words for day 3, 882 for day 4 - most of the latter happening in that coffee shop. It must have good writing vibes - downside, it also makes awesome pancakes...

Monday, June 2, 2008

50k 2/30

So, day 2. Have had less time available today and, therefore wrote fewer words. But not that many fewer.

Went to the local shopping centre and tucked myself in a corner of a coffee shop with alphie for an hour and clocked up over 700 words. It was a new environment, surprisingly free of abstractions. Added more later in the day.

Cumulative total: 2716 words

Sunday, June 1, 2008

50ks 1/30

Boy am I tired. DH took off for motor racing early this morning, waking me in the process. It seemed like a good idea at the time to get up and get going.

Decided to write on my Alphasmart (Alphie for short) as this provides no internet/email disctractions.

The result 1564 words for the day. Slight under what I hoped for but the last 300 odd were sweated in blood. Still, I'm not unhappy with that. It's the most I've written in one day for a very long time.

Only to begin again...

So, this is it - the big one.

Have been 'simmering' the planned story in the back of my mind all week. Sat down to start this morning and spotted some notes I had made about another possible story. Began playing with that a little and out came the words - don't know how many yet, the day's not over. So maybe I'm not writing 'Let Me Out', the original plan, maybe I'm writing 'My Sister Sue', the intruding story. Maybe I'm writing both. We'll see.

So it ends...

Not with bang but a whimper... One thing and another (excuses, excuses) I managed to add only another 243 words. BUT I now have 4047 words I did not have two weeks ago.

Friday, May 23, 2008

And it's Friday again

Not such a useful couple of days. Tidying up a few loose ends with paid work, interrruptions with offspring and tradesmen, general restlessness, very odd. Have only managed and extra 474 words since Sunday but going for a dash to this Sunday. Wish me luck.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

BIAW - days 6/7

So, finished the BIAW. That is, I stuck with it right through the week. I'm delighted.
I didn't achieve my target of 10000 words, about one third of it in fact, but I have a lot more words than I had a week ago.

I'm going to continue next week to try for that target before a week of serious planning for 50Ks in 30 days.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

BIAW days 4 and 5 - interesting

First, this is the longest I've ever lasted in a BIAW. A major achievement. Second, I've written something every day so far - thrilled with that. I'm way behind my target, but that's ok.

What's interesting is that, knowing I really want time to write those words, everything else is much more organised. I'm right up to date with paid work - first time for weeks, nothing to be caught up over the weekend. Even got some housecleaning done Friday night. Can't remember last time I did that.

DH away all day motor racing. I'm to the RWAustralia Romance Roadshow for a little while this morning, shopping with the d-i-l, more housecleaning, today's words.

Paint me a deep shade of satisfied with things at the moment. Word count below.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

BIAW - Day 3

Not such a productive day today. Too many other things intruding. You know, life and all that. I really think my family could time their various issues better! However, another 570 words I didn't have yesterday. Have my poor heroine in dire straits right now - or is she?

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

BIAW - Day 2

Things went a little better today. 844 words on another scene. Seem to be writing bits and pieces. Not sure I like that but the word count is going up - check the counter in day 1 post.

Monday, May 12, 2008

BIAW - Day 1

Well, I've done my planning and made my notes and, after a loonnnng day at the computer, am about to spend some more time at the computer, working on my WIP. Wish me luck.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Thoughts on writing challenges...

So, been thinking a lot about BIAW (next week) and the 50ks in 30 days (and NaNoWriMo come November). I start these time and again in a burst of enthusiasm which lasts, at best, around 5 days. Then it all becomes a chore. I've decided it's because I don't plan enough, even for BIAW. So I sit down to write, write like a demon until the current thought/idea runs out of steam and then... what? Usually, panic. 'I can't do this.' 'I'm fooling myself - I'm no writer.' 'How can I hope to be a full-time writer if I can't write flat out for a week.' And then, no more words.

Sooooo, am in the midst of planning for BIAW next week - aka picking ONE WIP to attack, reviewing 'the story so far' and making notes.

Am also carrying around a little exercise book with the opening line of my 50ks book - a new WIP, making notes, jotting ideas for scenes, moments and more.

We'll see it helps soon.

For anyone needing a little inspiration, I happened on this while blog surfing this morning over coffee. Have you seen that ad where one of the girls says, 'I want to come back as a towel'? Me too - pick me!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

The beginning...

Will be a BIAW challenge, commencing 12 May. For once, coinciding positively with my other commitments.

BIAW? Short bursts where writers, and wannabe writers fit 'real life' around writing, instead of the other way round - the usual pattern. Cook meals ahead, delegate or ignore baking, cleaning, laundry chores, and write, write, write. Sack the internal editor for the period. The aim is to get the words down. Sounds easy huh? Amazing how many things can get in the way.

Friday, April 4, 2008

What it's about

This blog is to chart my progress, for myself, through any number of writing challenges. The first major one will be to 'write a 50,000 word novel in a month' in June of this year. It's a southern hemisphere response to the, now internationally known NaNoWriMo which takes place in November each year, northern hemisphere autumn/winter.

Will probably take part in a couple of BIAW or similar challenges to warm up.