It has been a month of drive, uncertainty and pressure but above all it was good. The novel “The Forbidden” has been drafted. Indeed I agree with Chris Baty that a deadline can generate a product even if it is in its rough form. Yes, the novel is in its rough form and certainly not for anyone’s eyes. There definitely will be re-writing and re-writing but I believe the challenging part has been achieved. I have been planning to write this novel since 2007 and never got round to it. There always seemed to be more important things to do.
Last year I registered for NaNoWriMo but did not write a word. This year I decided to spread the news to help motivate me. It was a good move because I did not want to back out a second time. Although I am undergoing a postgraduate program, I did not envisage to still be on the program this year. I started the program in 2008. The past years I zeroed down to the program to finish it but it has been one challenge or another. So this year I resolved that although the postgraduate program is important, writing is also important. I decided to treat the program as a 9 to 5 work. So no school work was done at nights. Planning in that manner gave me an opportunity to write the novel at nights.
I realized I could have actually written the novel back in 2007 if I had been deliberate and scheduled a time daily for it. Perhaps it was because there was no urgency in it. Registering and committing to NaNoWriMo has indeed been helpful and also visiting the forums on NaNoWriMo site provided the motivation to achieve 50,000 words.
I have learnt some lessons which I will share in the next post. So watch this blog!
This is the third week of National Novel Writing Month and I am making progress. So far I have written 35000 words. It is thrilling to know I could get to 35000 words because when I wrote 20000 words, I lost interest in the storyline. I found myself plotting a new storyline. The new storyline was completely different and in a different genre. It would in no way fit into the present story. So I ‘sat myself down’ and we had a good talk.
I convinced myself to continue with the first story since I had written 20000 words. To get the story moving, I plunged in a tragedy which gave me over 4000 words and then my main character changed location and I got additional 10000 words.
Consequently, the new storyline was shelved for another writing month.
My target is to get to 45000 words by weekend. I will keep you posted.
So did anyone join the writing challenge? Leave a comment and share how you are faring.
I did register for the writing challenge and I am pushing to ensure I cross the finish line of 50,000 words. I don’t think I am doing badly currently. I have written 15,000 words. If I continue at this pace, I certainly should win!
I am pushing to write as much as I can the first two weeks because the last two weeks will be quite busy for me. School work will take another dimension then.
I try to put in about three hours each night except for the first night. I wrote about 600 words the first night but I gathered momentum subsequently. Sincerely, there are some nights I am tired and all I want to do is sleep. However, when I remember I have announced to some friends I am writing a novel, I want to push on. Also when I read on NanoWriMo site that my word statistics is added to the total for my home region, I want to keep writing.
When it is writing time, I switch off my phone and sign out of my mails! I try to cut down on distractions so that I can achieve more.
Now I have to go back to writing. I will brief you on my progress again next week.
Wish me luck!
Are you writing? Please leave a comment and let’s know how it is going.
Novel writing is the desire of many but only a few get round to ever writing the first draft. Of course this is due to both internal and external reasons.
Internal reasons may vary amongst individuals but the major reason is fear. A number of us allow the fear of failure to cripple us before we even attempt to achieve a goal. Here are a few quotes to help conquer your fears and challenge you to step out.
“Failure seldom stops you. What stops you is the fear of failure.”
– Jack Lemmon
“Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor.”
– Truman Capote
“Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.”
– Sir Winston Churchill
You may have told a few people you want to write and you have been ridiculed. You were probably told writing is for those who are highly talented and so you don’t fit into that category. You may also have been told that publishing is difficult and a wannabe will never be able to get the attentions of any of the traditional publishing houses. In addition, you may have been told you need a bachelor’s degree in creative writing before you can ever write.
I was listening to Elizabeth Gilbert talk on nurturing creativity on Ted.com; I could not help but ask myself if it is important to have a specific time for writing daily. She said she gets up at the same time everyday to write. Furthermore, Jurgen Wolff in his “ten top tips for new writers” also advised writers to schedule a specific time to write. He stated that if writing is not scheduled, it will not happen. I decided to check a few writers’ writing routines.
John Grisham is at his desk by 5:30pm five times a week
Alaa Al Aswany writes from 6:30am to 10:30am six days a week.
Anthony Trollope who wrote 49 novels in 35 years wrote everyday from 5am to 8am.
Franz Kafka wrote in the nights from 11pm until 1 or 2am.
Have you ever asked yourself this question? Perhaps the thoughts of you being a writer have crossed your mind a number of times. You may dismiss them because the critic in you can’t imagine you can write. As you discuss with friends, or you read on writing you ask, “how do I know I can write”
Perhaps, I should define who a writer is:
A writer is simply a person who pens or types his thoughts and ideas on a paper or word document to inform, motivate, entertain and persuade his readers
So you know you can write if:
How did writing start in the first place? Did it start with the Greeks who are known to have been knowledgeable centuries ago? Perhaps it may have! Or was it the Romans that initiated writing? Or the Egyptians? What caused the Greeks or Romans or the Egyptians to begin to communicate through writing? Whoever wrote down the first alphabets or words must have had a strong desire burning within to communicate. Now one may not be able to tell if the person written to understood but I imagine the person written to may have also had a strong desire to understand.
Imagine I was one of the first readers. I got a message from the leader of my clan written on limestone. OH No! How can I forget? The messenger turned his back to me, ‘A message from His Eminence.’ I looked at his back. Indeed it was not plain. There were marks on it. I slowly moved my fingers over the marks. I could not make a thing out of them. Then I asked the messenger, “Please tell me, what am I expected to do with these? What did he tell you to tell me?” Looks like his Eminence has learnt a new thing and he wants to experiment with me? I thought.