Thursday, 31 October 2013

It's almost here!

The countdown to NaNoWriMo has begun!

In just one and a half hours (if you're running on Beijing time that is), NaNoWriMo 2013 will begin! Although on the one hand, I'm completely psyched to get going on my novel, at the same time, I'm terrified! All I can think about is - have I put enough work into planning my novel? What if everyone hates my characters? What if I hate my characters? What if my world isn't believable...? Wait...stop, stop, STOP!

I'm actually having to try and mentally shut my brain down before it goes into overdrive - NaNoWriMo isn't about having the perfect plot or story arc, or's about writing. So that's what I'm going to try and do - from tomorrow, I'm going to stop worrying so much about the nitty gritty of my story and just simply...write! Who cares if the background to my world isn't complete yet? Who cares if I don't know every little thing about my characters yet? NaNoWriMo will give me the chance to discover all these things - and once I've written my 50,000 words, that's when I can go back through it all properly and edit it. But for now, I'm just going to have fun letting my creative side out!

I'm off to bed now so I can get a decent night's sleep before the craziness of November kicks in tomorrow. Good luck to everyone who's participating this year - I know you'll do great! And if you fancy having someone to cheer you on/cry on, feel free to add me on the NaNoWriMo website - my username is REPattinson1 :).

Good luck!


Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Three days to go...

...are you ready yet?!

I know, I know I keep going on about NaNoWriMo (you can check out it's awesomeness for yourself here), but I really am psyched to properly try and win this year! For the past few weeks I've been waiting impatiently for 1st November to roll around, so I can properly get stuck into writing my novel - but now I can't believe that it's only three days away!! Ahhh!! WHERE DID THE TIME GO?! For the next few days I'll be frantically putting together the last of my notes on my world-building/characters/plot etc (I know you're not really supposed to do this, but trust me, if I just jump straight in, I know I'll hit a wall in about two days time, and that'll be that). 

I've also taken the plunge and re-joined the Insecure Writer's Support Group (you can check out that awesomeness here!) - when I joined last year, I, er, may have got taken off the list because I didn't post for more than two months in a row - but this time I am determined to keep up with it! I already know what a couple of my upcoming posts will be about (and no doubt my first one for November will include NaNoWriMo...) and I've also made a note in my diary every first Wednesday of the month to make double-y sure I don't forget again! I may also put a reminder on my phone, just in case...

I hope everyone else's plans for NaNoWriMo are coming together - I'd love to hear about your plans for this year, so feel free to post a comment or two!

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Writing ups and downs...

This week has kind of been up and down, in terms of my writing. On the plus side, I'm all fired up and ready to go with my new novel idea for NaNoWriMo - I'm planning on spending the weekend fine-tuning the plot/setting/characters, so hopefully by November 1st, I'll have some clue of what I want to write about!

On the downside though, I had a very unpleasant surprise this week - I thought I'd open up my other WIP, just to see how far I'd got with it, with the vague idea that I may add to it again, if inspiration for my NaNoWriMo novel failed to strike. However, when I opened up the folder on my computer, I couldn't find my 20,000+ manuscript well as that, all my spreadsheets with my plot outlines, and several other Word docs with notes/scribbles in, had gone too...after searching around my laptop frantically, I decided to check the USB stick where I know I also saved the file (in fact, I'd transferred the file from the USB to my laptop). Unfortunately, there was nothing there either - I don't know how I did it, but somehow when I transferred the file from my USB to my laptop, these documents got lost along the way.

I'm so annoyed with myself for not checking my USB before I put everything on my laptop and it's disappointing that all that work has gone - but not all hope has been lost yet. I've asked my lovely Other Half back in England to check my old laptop just in case there's a chance they are still saved on I'm crossing all my fingers for luck! I guess if they have been lost/deleted by accident, then maybe it's the universe's way of telling me it wasn't very good - and luckily, I still have a majority of my notes on this laptop, so if worst comes to worse, I'll just have to start again ;) - slightly irritating, but hey, that's life!

In other news, I told myself last night that I'd get up early today and get a good morning's writing done...however, due to the fact that I stayed up til after 12.30am writing, that kinda didn't happen...BUT I'm up, showered (not quite wide awake yet - but that's nothing several cups of tea won't fix...) and ready to rock 'n roll!

To be honest, I don't really mind that I've lost a few hours this morning, as I'm happy with the notes I scribbled down last night, and best of all, instead of waking up and thinking 'I suck at this, what's the point of writing, no one's ever going to read it anyway', I'm still absolutely determined not to listen to that little devil on my shoulder - instead, I'm going to keep going until I have a reasonable plot/outline/setting, ready for NaNoWriMo. I may not be the best writer in the world (yet :p), but I'm still going to try!

How are all your plans going for NaNoWriMo? Are you writing up plans, or are you just going to wing it? Let me know - I'd love to hear from you!

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Gearing up for NaNoWriMo '13...

So it's almost that time of year again when we writers go into hibernation (not that I'm constantly in hibernation anyway...ahem..) for the month of November, locking ourselves away into some dark and dusty room, only to dash back out into the light when the food/chocolate/tea supplies start to get low....yup, NaNoWriMo is here. In just 9 days time, the frenzy of writing, word counts and tears begins again....

I'm really looking forward to NaNoWriMo this year - mainly because I am DETERMINED that I will actually achieve my 50,000 word count (last year I managed a pitiful 1,000...) - I'm hoping that being in a new city, and the fact that I only really work for four hours a day, will mean that I will finally be able to knuckle down and get some proper writing done.

I've already updated my NaNoWriMo profile on the official website (which you can check out here), said hello to my fellow NaNoWriMo'ers that are in Beijing on the forums, and for the rest of the night, I'm going to get a head start on my novel by writing out my synopsis/plan (is that cheating? I hope not....). So things are already looking up from last year!

I can't wait to get involved properly - I'm so looking forward to hearing about how other people's work in getting on, and sharing mine in return.

Let the writing commence! ( approximately 219 hours and 30 minutes, if you're on Beijing time...)

Sunday, 20 October 2013

General musings and a bit of an update....

Sorry for the un-inventive title, but my brain is a bit frazzled!!

Anyway, this blog post really is just a general catch-up, so feel free not to read any further if you don't want to ;).

So, I'm still in China - woo! Trust me, this is quite a big achievement for me - only two weeks ago I was *this* close to booking my plane ticket home. I missed the Other half, I missed my family, I missed my friends and, dear God, how I've missed the food back in England!! I am doing my very best to try and fit into the culture here and I'm determined to see this through to end, but I'm not gonna lie - I think this is going to be very tough for me, especially in December when it's my birthday and Christmas. But I have cheered up over the past few days - mainly because the Other Half came to visit me in Beijing! He was in China on business, so I saw him for a few days before he flew down South, and we had a lovely weekend together before he flew back home to England this morning. After he left, I found this amazing bookshop/cafe in the centre of town - I literally spent the whole day in there, and I'm not joking when I say I think that's where I'll be spending a majority of my Sundays from now on!!

But getting out of the flat this weekend really made me realise that I don't want to sit around moping and counting down the hours/minutes til I can go home. I have 13 weeks left of teaching time - I may have mentioned before that I only actually teach for an hour and a half a day, which means I have A LOT of free time on my hands (to be honest, I think this is part of the problem - I don't know about you, but when I have free time and nothing to do, my mind starts to wander, and then I start to worry about, well, everything....). So I have decided to do something constructive with my time. Once again, I am going to attempt to finish a first draft of my novel.

I know I've said this before. I know I'll probably fail again. But luckily for me, NaNoWriMo is coming up too, and I am hoping that that, combined with the fact that I now know an awesome place where I can get out of my flat/head for a bit and do some serious writing (see the aforemetioned book shop), means that I will be able tog et some serious writing done, and do something constructive, during my time here. I'm going to find a timeline to put on this blog RIGHT NOW, to motivate me!!

So how about you? What are your writing goals for the rest of the year? And does anyone know that if you've been kicked out of IWSG once, if you can join again...? I want to be properly serious about joining this time! Any info would be greatly appreciated!