Twixtmas, that ethereal time between Christmas and New Year, when you’re often not sure of the day of the week. For extra atmosphere, our town is bunkered under a layer of fog and the streets are still awaiting their residents’ return from holiday trips. It’s delightful.
For me it’s when I start thinking about the encroaching calendar flip, and Making Plans. New pencil case type plans. World Domination type plans. Do Something Big This Year plans.
Many writers (in every medium from blogs to novels) advocate writing every day. Apart from the fact that 300 words a day turns into a decent first draft of a novel over the course of 365 days, those writing muscles need a regular workout.
“Simplifying” is also writ large across my 2017 to-do list. With both goals in mind, this bit of wisdom from Zen Habits really struck a chord this week.
Do you write daily? How about giving it a try in 2017?
Oh, there's nothing like a blog to remind you of your goals publicly, is there?
Even the subtitle of mine reminds me that I need to finish my novel. Or start one.
Anyway, after a very long time of being too complacent about fitting it, I've decided to roughen up my edges, make a little less effort to be part of the mainstream. I've been too willing to wedge this square peg into a round hole which has always been my downfall – being too concerned about sticking out. While paradoxically wanting to be noticed. I made a decision to do something relatively drastic. In fact, the direct opposite of all the advice I dispensed to budding authors back in the day. I've decided to give up my day job because while it provides some measure of financial security, it doesn't challenge me at all and in fact drains me. This will seem like utter madness to many, particularly when others are losing their jobs.
I'm delighted that I've only had support from family and friends. Perhaps they are living vicariously but madly, curiously, happily I have confidence that this a risk worth taking. I don't have dependents or non-mortgage debt. My part of the bargain, probably inspired by the Artist's Way
is just to write. Doesn't have to be big or clever. I just have to take care of the quantity. Not going to publicly shame myself into updating totals here daily. Perhaps weekly.
I'm not deluded enough into thinking that all I'll do is potter about and write books. But already, having had a couple of conversations with people, some interesting opportunities are popping up – now that I'm eyes open, ready to see them. It's terrifying. I'm so excited that I may explode!
I banged out 150 words this morning so I could raise my eyes to meet any other budding authors at the London Nanowrimo kick off (see – no hypenation here, that's two words folks) and say "Yes, I have started my novel. What's it about? Oh, well…'
It's about internet dating for the terrified, I think. By tomorrow it may be about werewolf accountants in Chislehurst. I'm very suggestible.
It's also Nablopomo. Or Nablowrimo. Or something. Anyway, expect regular postings.Good luck to all!
I sat myself down at the kitchen table last night, covered it with index cards and then looked at them for a while – but actually managed to crank out about 700 words as well. So the novel should be done in about 2009. Better not make it too topical.
Through the snooping power of the internet, via blog comments and social networking, I am suddenly in contact with three of the other Misses Almost Write! A very cool crowd of girls. We're trying to spur each other on to keep writing – I think I'm the furthest away from the finish line at the moment but it's very nice to have some companionship along the way.
Thanks to everyone who's been sending messages of congratulations. Soon, send biscuits. Then Laduree macaroons and chocolate. Then threaten to withdraw same. That should keep me on my toes.