Monday, 19 October 2015

Small victories...

It's been a little while since I last posted - the Engineer and I went away last weekend to see some old uni friends, and then I've just felt pretty bogged down with work and one thing and another. But I'm back now, feeling refreshed and ready to go!

And I have some good news! I did read all your comments on my IWSG post, and firstly, I just want to say a huge thank you to everyone who stopped by and commented. You all inspired me to stop moaning/procrastinating and actually get on with what I'm here to do - write. So on Thursday night I finally started working on the sequel to Synthetica - I'd made a detailed synopsis some time ago, but I hadn't actually got around to writing a word of the actual manuscript. 

And oh my, was I in for a shock.

I think I've actually completely blanked out how difficult it is to write those first few pages of a manuscript. Seriously, it felt like I was pulling teeth. I just wanted to cry and scream and break something. You want to know how many words I managed to write? 281. I'm truly not exaggerating when I say how awful those 281 words were. They were appalling. If you read it, you wouldn't think I was capable of even speaking English, let alone writing it.

But you know what? It didn't stop me. On Saturday, I got up, had breakfast, wandered around for a bit and then sat and wrote most of the day. On Sunday, I repeated Saturday's routine (with an impromptu trip food shop thrown in).

This weekend I managed to clock up a total of 5127 words. When I look back over what I've written I think I can pretty much break it down into chunks like this: around 3000 of those words will ultimately be cut because they make zero sense, 1000 words will be chopped and changed into some kind of coherent order, 800 words can be kept outright (because they're basically essential words such as 'said', 'he', 'Anais' and 'and') and hiding amongst all the crap, there might be 200 words/phrases if I'm lucky that I'll keep because they're actually telling the story I want to be told.

Does it make me feel disheartened when I realise that most of my weekend's effort won't survive the final cut (however far away that may be)? Not at all. If anything, I'm happy that I actually have something to work with now - instead of staring at a blank page, I can remodel, cut and paste or rewrite my novel altogether, until what's on the page finally reflects the book that's in my head. After all, it's only through trial and error that we can really see what it is we truly want out of our writing.

So that's my news. Book 2 is coming on slowly but surely and right now, I'm super happy about that. Also, I've discovered that I've now lost a stone since the summer, so I went on a small shopping trip after work tonight and I was delighted to find that I can now just about shoehorn myself into a size smaller than I was :). A small thing, but nonetheless an achievement for me :).

Happy Monday, folks!

How's your writing going? Do you find first drafts strangely torturous to write too?

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

IWSG October: New beginnings

Welcome back to the Insecure Writer's Support Group! Every month, writers get together to celebrate/commiserate/console/chat about all of the worries, pleasures and general day to day happenings of being a writer. Whether you're old or young, new to the writing game or a writing veteran, we're all here to help, no matter how big or small your problem seems to be! If you'd like to join up or read more about this fantastic group, check out the official Insecure Writer's Support Group website.

I'm going to keep this post short, to the point (ha!) and positive. First of all, thank you to all of you who commented on my post about autumn earlier this week - seeing how excited you all are about this coming season made me feel a lot more positive about life and writing in general, so thank you so much for all your kind words :).

I guess it's not so much that I'm worried about my writing today (I say today because last week/at the weekend I was totally paranoid about it all...but so far today, so good...), it's just that once again I have to find the energy to begin my second novel. The outline is there and whenever I look at it, I get super excited - it's just 'finding the time' to write. Essentially, I'm just procrastinating. I know I should just get down to it, but every time I think I'll do some writing I come up with an excuse - my favourite one at the minute is the fact that I don't have a laptop so to write, I have to use my desktop which is located oh-so-far-away upstairs...which is actually a very good thing, because it's nowhere near the TV/other distractions!!

So this month, I'm just going to have to get on with it. I'm going to complain and dig my heels in and drag my feet, but eventually I'm going to have to get stern with myself and just do it. I even thought today about waiting a month until NaNoWriMo starts, but again, that's just another form of procrastination!

Thanks for stopping by! Hope you're all having a lovely week :).

Are you procrastinating about starting your latest project? How do you keep yourself on track? What are your writing woes this month?

Monday, 5 October 2015

Autumn Days...

It's that time of year again; there's a crispness in the air, the nights are turning darker (and colder), and the leaves are beginning to fall. Yup, that's right - it's the arrival of my favourite season: autumn.

I adore autumn. I love the colours, I love the chill bite in the air, and obviously, I love Halloween. I love waking up in the morning and beginning to feel that stillness in the air that only the arrival of autumn and winter can bring. I love seeing the mist shrouding the fields as a hazy sun begins to rise. Even at 24, I still find this time of year magical. It reminds me of being a small child and going hunting for conkers in the churchyard, deliberately stepping on crunchy leaves in my path (I still do that now too if I'm honest...) and watching my breath fog the air as I walked home at sunset.

There is no real reason for this post, other than to reassure you all that I am still here, and to share my love of autumn with you. I think at the moment, I need to remind myself of all the small things that I know and love - once again I'm having doubts about my writing, and my daytime job isn't going so well. It's at times like these that I simply need to stop, breathe, look around at all the beauty that autumn brings, and then return to my writing/day job with a smile on my face (or failing that, at least the sense that everything will be ok). Sometimes I do tend to get so wrapped up in my own head, I forget about everything else that's out there. But autumn can be so simply breathtaking (when it's not raining that is), I just need to enjoy the here and now.

Have a lovely Monday, everyone!

What's your favourite season? Do you have any childhood memories of autumn?