Monday, 13 March 2017

On showing up and getting shit done...'s been a hot minute since I last put up a post on this blog, and A LOT has happened since I last wrote anything on here. I've been meaning to come back for a while, but I just haven't had the time.

I want to start MAKING time.

Let's start by talking about what I've been up to recently. The big new thing is I finally started my English and Creative Writing degree and so far I am really enjoying it. This first year has been mainly focused on introducing us to different aspects of creative writing (poetry, fiction and drama). For the 'English' side of the degree we have been studying all sorts of texts from poetry to Jane Eyre (which I LOVE btw). Overall the course has been brilliant so far and I can't believe that I'm almost done with my first year!

When it comes to writing my novel - things have been turbulent. I brainstormed, researched and outlined the book last August-October, and began writing the first draft in November for NaNoWriMo 2017 (more on that later). I won Nano (yay me), and continued to work on the book afterwards. I am currently around halfway through the first draft and sat on 70K words. One thing is FO SHO - this book is already waaaaay too long. Don't worry, I'm aware. There are already huge chunks that I've written and I know I'm going to edit them massively - maybe even cut them entirely. BUT I don't want to go back and edit a single thing until I finish the first draft. I'm a perfectionist, and if I'm constantly looking back I will never move forward - so push forward I must!


So yeah, I did Nano last year, for the first time ever - and I won! I was really proud of that win let me tell ya because I WORKED for it. Everyday, I sat down, opened up my laptop, and wrote....and wrote....and wrote...until I hit 50K words on November 30th. Were those fifty thousand words the best word I've ever written? Not even in the slightest, but I learnt a lot from participating in NaNo, mainly these three points:

1) NaNo gave me the kick up the arse I needed to actually start drafting the book. I had spent months in the initial stages. I developed characters, their world, outlined the plot, researched my arse off...but at some point you have to start writing...and NaNo helped me to do just that.

2) I realised that I can be rather productive when a deadline is chasing me. While the stress of the daily word count hung over me each day, it motivated me to write. Want a night off? Sure...but you have to make up double the words tomorrow....and so I wrote everyday. I also felt a huge sense of accomplishment each day when inputting my word count to the NaNoWriMo website. Long story short - deadlines work for me. Daily word goals work for me.

3) Perhaps the biggest thing that I learnt from NaNo was that I AM CAPABLE. I am capable of committing to a big writing project. I am capable of writing everyday. During NaNo I had uni work too - but I still managed to write around 1500 words a day...everyday. So I have no excuses. I know I can do it when I push myself to do it.

All of this leads me onto NOW. Like I said, I'm currently just over 70K words into the first draft of  'Prince of Blades'. Since NaNo I have been working slowly on the book, but I know I'm capable of working harder on it. The problem the minute...I don't want to. It's not that I've lost interest in my story. I'm still as in love with the characters and their world as I was when I first thought of them. The long and short of it all is that I'm tired. Juggling Sophia and uni doesn't leave much time for anything else...and I'm not pushing myself to write like I usually do.

I want to be a writer. I want to write books for a living. That's what I want to do with my life. If I want writing to be my job one day then I need to start treating it like one NOW. I need to start showing up...and getting shit done. Whether I want to or not - because that's what a job is. I've shown myself I can do it...I loved writing I need to keep doing it. I still have a lot of story ahead of me in the novel, but I want to push forward now and finally finish this first draft!

Here's to showing up and getting shit done!

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