Sunday, October 30, 2011

End of radio silence

I've been relatively silent of late, a bit down in the dumps about the blog. The course I was due to run had to be postponed because of some last minute cancellations - apologies to those who'd signed up, but it will definitely run next year. And then the weather turned just as I was thinking I'd have time to gather some writing material in the mountains - so annoying.

I've also been working on my book manuscript (due end November and closing fast) and suffering what I hope is an entirely normal last minute crisis of confidence. Last week I spent four days editing and re-editing, and I wasn't sure the result made that much difference - so disappointing.

'Why don't you take a break,' said Jane. 'Yes,' agreed Dylan, who suggested I take him to see Real Steel instead of writing all the time. Turns out Real Steel is a movie about robots bashing each other - mmm. I'd already spent Friday night having a 'sleepover' with Dylan in my shed (it's now become 'our' shed) and suffered a bad back, chilled feet and two hours of cartoons before he eventually dropped off. So - well actually it was great fun.

And yesterday I thought, what have I been whinging about? My mother is about to have her knee replaced (yuk), I heard of a fellow blogger who is very ill and another who was trying for the umpteenth time to get an agent to look at their excellent work. November is even a relatively slack time at the office, and for me it forms a watershed as I start in a new, less stressful and more interesting, role at work.

So what the heck, be positive I thought and sign up for NaBloPoMo. After all, it's only a blog a day for thirty days - on top of a new job,  finishing my manuscript, attending a nature writing weekend, nursing my mother (Jane, ten times more than me to be fair), giving a talk about blogging to Pembrokeshire libraries (you'll hear more about this soon) and the Christmas preparation that seems to get earlier every year.

I'm planning vaguely on a theme of 'nature' and will try and limit it to between 300 and 400 words a day - but don't hold me to that precisely. What I won't do is write in advance unless absolutely necessary, because to me, that defeats the object. I want to fit it in around my life instead of carving out chunks of time. And I need to learn to write more quickly.

There are others doing the November challenge too - Zoe, at Mind and Language is writing about art that inspires her - and you should definitely take a look. So far there are nearly 400 bloggers who've signed up; there'll be many more by the closing date and even more who do it unofficially.  If you're going to take part then let me know because it's good to share encouragement - last year there were about half a dozen of us swapping comments and suggestions throughout, including one of my blogging heroes and neighbours, Michelle at Veg Plotting.  She even brought me some jam to keep me going!.

So enough of this rambling on, you'll have more to cope with in November.  And in any case, I'm off now with Dylan to the cinema... Real Steel, here we come.


  1. Well, I keep looking at the Nablopomo thing, wondering should I do it, what could I write about each day, except my worries (at the moment re health as you know) and a rather unexciting life which is the norm for me. It sounds like a stimulating challenge, something to get the old brain box really working... maybe it's past it. I'll have a think.....

  2. Ah - demotivation. Currently trawling through both my novels, re-editing, correcting, etc. There is nothing worse for making you doubt the worthiness of the material... picking over it, looking for where it fails. It is a wise writer indeed who keep a calm, dispassionate head at such times.

  3. Don't think i could manage a post a day, unless i ran away and lived in a travelodge! good luck though, i will be looking out for them. x

  4. I wonder whether to have a go at the blog challenge. I will go away and have a muse.... Good to have you back.

  5. A blog a day...will enjoy reading those. What I appreciate you saying was :

    "I want to fit it in around my life instead of carving out chunks of time. And I need to learn to write more quickly"

    Participating in the challenge for those reasons alone are inspiring.

  6. I have been writing every day for the past 50 years. I am still doing it. It began with recording the morning temperature, which I still do, but now it has spread into books of all sorts and newspaper articles and things like that. I also write short stories for newspapers and magazines. I just began a new blog entitle "A Word Place" and it is still getting started or underway. I decided to use WordPress and forget Blogger for this episode in my life.

    The name, A Word Place, sort of gives it away, but when you visit, and you are invited, see what you think.

  7. From earlier posts I did wonder how long it would take Dylan to exercise property rights in The Shed...
    I'm glad that the course will go ahead next year and look forward to a month of daily posts from you.
    It's not for me, though. I don't like challenges...unless I set them myself.
    It's like the idea of stepping out of my comfort zone...whatever for?

  8. Sorry the course has been postponed but you have some exciting things to look forward to, apart from robots. I do hope your writing goes well, both book and blog. Thanks for dropping by. In my next life, I hope to be a willowy blonde, that's as close as I can probably hope to get to being fair haired.

  9. Sorry to hear your course was cancelled. Good luck with your new challenge - I'll look forward to your daily writings. That's a challenge I could never commit to. (And I'd stress about ending a sentance with a preposition!)

  10. I will look forward to daily morning entertainment

  11. Gosh Mark, thanks for the compliment :)

    Looking forward to the course next year.

    I've been swithering over NaBloPoMo. I so nearly didn't make it to the end last year and I've been far too wordy lately. If I do it, I think I'm going to have to do the same as you and work to a word limit (and find a few more 'adverts' and Unusual Gardens!). It's a discipline I've been struggling with when writing my freelance articles, so it would be good practice.

  12. Looking forward very much to the November posts, and also to the book, Mark. Shame about the course, but I am sure you will get the opportunity to run it again. Looks like you had a great time in the Shed. Now that is the kind of thing that a cool dad does! :-)

  13. Trying hard to leave a comment here (again). I'm not sure why it won't work for me.
    This is a test.

  14. YAAAAAYYYYY I did it.
    But it's a chore. Why's it so hard to comment on here Mark?

  15. Clippymat - it might be because you're not logged into Blogger when you comment? I have a vastly different experience depending on just that.

    If not, then we need to know a bit more about the problems you're having in order to answer your question.

  16. I'm delighted you are doing this again. I know I am late, but I've enjoyed the posts so far - but then, I always do, even if I don't comment. Good luck: I've only just found my desk after a month moving house ... not me this time, but my father!