Tag Archives: NaNoWriMo

The Night Of Writing Dangerously Live Blog

20 Nov

21:32: Time to get started! I have my laptop, my story plan, a room full of fellow crazy people, what more do I need?

21:35: If my laptop screen would stop wobbling it would be very much appreciated!

21:37: It would also be appreciated if the rugby lads who are chanting in the next room would shut up…

21:51: Oooh, someone has just mentioned pizza! Never mind the fact that I’ve already eaten, suddenly I’m starving…

21:52: One of my friends has just asked us for ideas of places to go on a third date. Another friend replied “To a bull fight?”

21:53: The first friend has now asked for the title of a fake romantic film. The second replied “Cow tipping…in Venice!”

21:55: Everyone is now discussing the plot of this fake romantic film. Coming soon to a cinema near you?

21:57: In other news, I’ve written 73 words in half an hour. Perhaps writing with friends isn’t all it’s cracked up to be…

22:07: Pizza successfully chosen – now hoping that everyone else decides quickly so that we can order!

22:15: 185 words down. This is going incredibly slowly…

22:24: The mathematicians are now discussing square roots. Kill me now…

22:32: Pizza is now being ordered. Now if only I could motivate myself to write before it gets here!

22:56: “How would you describe something between soft and hard?” Someone asks. “It was like clutching a hedgehog!” Suggests someone else.

23:18: PIZZA TIME!!!

23:50: There has just been a rather epic fight over a brownie. Clearly we will do anything to distract ourselves from writing…

23:59: Our secretary has been maimed in a tragic sofa-vaulting accident. Who says writing isn’t dangerous?

00:31: Essential essay reading has taken priority over writing. Oh the trials and tribulations of student life!

01:17: Distracted again, this time by awesome word games. There is far too much hilarity and far too little writing going on in this room!

02:04: Finally started writing again, and have decided to extend the evening due to lack of progress. There’s some talk of staying until breakfast…

02:14: So far tonight, I have written 811 words. Not quite what I was hoping for, but it all adds to the word count.

02:23: Just broken 15,000 words.

03:16: Still not getting very far with this. Might be time to call it a night…

NaNoWriMo Update: The Night of Writing Dangerously

20 Nov

Much as it pains me to say it, I have to admit that I’ve failed. With only 14,000 words of my novel completed, I have realised that my chances of winning NaNoWriMo this year are slim at best. And having missed several days of NaBloPoMo, it would appear that that too is not happening for me this month. I could make excuses about work, and other commitments, and the need to prioritise sleep over writing, but they wouldn’t change anything. In fact, they would be little more than an excuse to procrastinate more.

So, instead, I am changing my goals, aiming for 25,000 rather than 50,000, and taking comfort in the fact that that will still be the longest piece I’ve ever written (certainly the longest I’ve ever written in a month). The rest will come eventually, and maybe this way I won’t completely fail my degree for the sake of NaNoWriMo. And to help me beat my pathetic word count into shape, tonight I am participating in the Night of Writing Dangerously with a group of friends from the Creative Writing Society. To make this event even more fun (and because I enjoyed it so much last time), I will be live-blogging my way through the night (which will go on until around 2AM). How many words can I write in just over four hours? Your guess is as good as mine!

An Extra Four Hours

8 Nov

This popped up in the suggestions box when I posted my last entry, and I couldn’t help but think how fitting it was. I, like many other people, can never find enough hours in my day most of the time. But this month, what with all of the challenges which I’ve taken on, I barely have time to breathe, let alone anything else. So currently, given an extra four hours per day, I would:

  • Spend more time on NaNoWriMo.
  • Spend more time on my dissertation.
  • Spend more time learning Russian verbs.
The depressing thing is, I’m not sure that an extra four hours would be enough!! And, even more depressingly, I know exactly what I would do if I was actually given those extra four hours, and it wouldn’t be anything on that list. What I would actually do would be to procrastinate, and my friend recently found a graph which illustrates this phenomenon very succinctly:
The fact that he was trawling the internet for such links when he was supposed to be working on his fourth year project is very fitting, as is the fact that I was on Facebook so see it when I should have been working on any of the things listed above. Procrastinators unite…tomorrow!

NaBloPoMo Prompt Responses

7 Nov

As you probably know, I’m participating in both NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) this November, and for NaBloPoMo there are daily prompts to help get the creative juices flowing. Thus far, I haven’t needed to use these, but today I decided that I would go back and answer the writing-related ones. Personally, I love reading writers’ blogs, and find it interesting to read about how they approach the creative process. I hope that some of you will be interested in reading about me!


What is your favourite part about writing?

When it all comes together. By this, I don’t necessarily mean finishing a piece, whether that be finishing a draft or making the final edit. I mean those moments when the ideas are flowing, the words seem to fit together perfectly, and I remember why I want to make writing my career. Invariably, I will then read something by a much more accomplished writer and be plunged into a black pit of depression, but it’s those eureka moments which make me want to persevere.


Can you listen to music and write? What song did you listen to today?

It very much depends. Sometimes I can’t bear to sit in silence, sometimes silence is exactly what I need. What I listen to depends on my mood as well (it can also depend on what I’m writing, but generally it all hinges on my mood), but generally I listen to the same song over and over. I live in student accommodation, so this practice must drive my neighbours wild, but I have to do it because only if I know the song well enough will it be able to fade into the background. I generally listen to music with lyrics though, mostly because I’m not a huge fan of classical music, so I won’t tend to have any at hand. Today I haven’t been listening to music while writing, but I have had “Mrs Robinson” by Simon and Garfunkel on repeat for most of the day, so that would probably be my writing music of choice if I were to pick something.


When you are writing, do you prefer to use a pen or a computer?

Honestly, I prefer good old-fashioned pen and paper. I have a reporter’s notebook which I carry around everywhere with me, and especially when I’m on public transport I love scribbling away in it. However, that unfortunately isn’t very practical, especially with projects like NaNoWriMo, so with those I will usually type from the outset. Shorter fiction though, and even some of my blog posts, will start their life as biro scribbles in my little notebook.

NaNoWriMo Update: Word Wars and the Durham Write-In

5 Nov

I went to my first write-in today! I’ll admit to being a little apprehensive, more about what the weight of my humongous laptop would do to my shoulder on the walk down than anything else (cannot justify buying netbook just for NaNoWriMo, cannot justify buying netbook just for NaNoWriMo), but I’m really glad that I bit the bullet and went. The write-in was held at The Bishop’s Mill, a branch of Lloyds Bar, so a lot of self-bribery with chips and pudding was going on, which only added to the excitement. I got to meet some real NaNo vets too, including too who are publishing their own novels this year, and one who wrote 500,000 words in last year’s NaNo – if that doesn’t inspire/terrify you, I don’t know what will!

But for me, the best part of the afternoon was the word wars. I discovered yesterday with the Let The Words Flow contest that the best way to motivate myself is by having a challenge (as if NaNoWriMo weren’t challenge enough), and this proved true today as well. To illustrate this, here are some figures:

  • I stayed at the write-in for around two hours, in that time I wrote 1,733 words.
  • During my time at the write-in, I participated in two word wars.
  • The first was for 15 minutes, and I wrote 536 words.
  • The second was for 30 minutes, and I wrote 983 words.
  • Overall, therefore, I wrote 1,519 words in word wars, and 214 on my own.
So if anyone fancies a word war, then feel free to get in touch! Best inspiration ever!

My (Possibly) Epic NaNoWriMo Live Blog

4 Nov

(NB: If you don’t know what the premise of this is, then scroll down the my last post or visit the challenge post on Let The Words Flow)

4th November

00:05: Midnight, yay! Time to start writing!

00:06: …or possibly to finish doing my seminar reading for tomorrow. Back in a bit!

00:14: Back to the internet to tweet about this challenge. MUST.DO.BETTER.

00:15: On the plus side, I only have ten pages to read, then I can dedicate my life to NaNo for a while.

00:42: Seminar reading done, time to start writing. I only hope that trade unions and the class system don’t start creeping into my novel!

00:44: I guess closing Facebook would be helpful…

00:51: Realise that someone has commented on this post. Squeal with delight. Writing abandoned once again.

00:57: 100 words in, I appear to have made up a word. Joy.

01:16: 600 words, I’m on a roll! Getting sleepy though…

01:34: 1000 words and fading fast. I think I’ll try to hit 1667 and then call it a night.

01:40: Start thinking about time-zones and the concept of today and tomorrow. Very interesting, but not helpful for my word count!

01:59: Just finished a major scene with 1400 words. Do I go on and try to hit 1667?

02:01: The parade of drunken students coming home from the clubs has just started passing my window. Guess that answers my question: if I’m not sleeping, then I may as well be writing!

02:03: Typing the words ‘Chapter 2’ into my Word document is genuinely the most exciting thing to have happened to me for a while!

02:09: What’s this? Kate Walsh has a new vlog up? Farewell, productivity!

02:32: Got a bit carried away with my last scene and am now at 1,938. Time to call it a night! *yawn*

11:30: Writing? Academic work? Writing? Academic work?

12:47: Ooooh, new episode of Private Practice?? MUST. WATCH.

16:03: I’m BACK!! One hour of procrastination and two of lectures down, and it’s time to tackle the word count!

16:04: Might just check out what the other LFTW bloggers are doing first though…

16:18: Holy crap, there are people in the US with higher word counts than me! *panics*

16:27: Hit 2000 words. Squeal with delight.

16:28: Realise that everyone in the computer room is now staring at me. Attempt to hide under the desk.

16:29: Note to self: Hiding under the desk is not a good way to stop people staring at you!

16:35: Think I might be overdoing the description in this particular scene. Fighting urge to delete…

16:55: The words are coming more slowly now than they were last night. Got up to 2269 though!

17:16: Time off from writing to discuss satanic parakeets with my friend on Facebook Chat. Wonder if I could get away with writing them into the novel…

17:34: Up to 2694 words now, and starting to wish that I’d set my target at 3000 so that I’d be closer to it!

17:36: Time for dinner now, will return to the word count later!

18:56: Eating pizza and watching Sabrina the Teenage Witch with my friend. Word count, what word count?

23:14: Pizza and Sabrina have turned into a night playing Articulate with friends. Unfortunately, this has had a detrimental effect on the live blogging. Have a NaNo meet-up tomorrow, so may be live blogging through that.

5th November

02:12: I know I’ve failed the challenge, but am going to try to hit 4000 before I go to bed, and will live blog while I’m doing it. Here goes…

02:27: Hit 3000 (actually nearly 3100). I really should have set my target lower…

02:28: Oooh, straw wrapper!

02:29: Playing with the straw wrapper has given me an idea for my next scene. Inspiration really does come from the strangest places!

02:46: 500 words to go, and shamelessly stealing ideas from Outnumbered. I have a feeling that this will become a running theme. (If anyone else knows of any shows with amusing children in, please let me know!)

03:04: Done! *victory dance* And, amazingly, I managed to finish a scene and a chapter at the same time as meeting my word count!

Challenge Set: 4,000 words

Final Word Count: 4,008 words

Overal NaNoWriMo Word Count: 7,755 words


My Latest Crazy Idea

3 Nov

Someday, I will stop looking at challenges on the internet and thinking “hmm, that sounds like fun, why don’t I do that?” Someday, I will realise that my degree/work/life outside of the internet are more important. Someday, in short, I will stop being an over-achieving lunatic. That day is not today. So when I saw this post via a WordPress search for NaNoWriMo, I couldn’t resist.

The blog it come from is called Let The Words Flow, and the challenge is simple. Tomorrow, a few particularly crazy NaNoWriMo writers will be attempting to reach a word count which they have set for themselves (mine is 4,000 words) and live blogging while they do it. This might be a great way to churn out the words (nothing like a bit of healthy competition after all), but it is also yet another method of procrastination which will make getting those words onto paper an even slower process than usual. Possibly this is not how it will work for everyone else, but personally I will almost certainly write 200 words, then do something inane just so that I can blog about it. One thing’s for certain though, it will be fun (or at least warped NaNo-style fun)!

(I will be setting up a post for my live blog on here at about midnight GMT and editing it gradually throughout the day. I dread to think how it may turn out…)

NaNoWriMo…er…what was that I was saying?

2 Nov

OK, so I’m a fool. After deciding yesterday that I was absolutely definitely, in no way whatsoever going to be able to do NaNoWriMo this year, I sat down last night and wrote 1,667 words (which, for those not in the know, is the daily word count necessary to complete NaNoWriMo). It was easy, it was fluid, and it took me little more than an hour. Better yet, I could think of ways to continue the story, possibly even to novel-length (which, given that most of my stories fade into the ether after about 1,000 words, was nothing short of astounding). It would have been churlish to refuse such an opportunity.

So it looks like I’m doing it. Embarking on this strange, stressful, wonderful journey of sleep deprivation, repetitive strain injury and potential madness. I keep telling myself that I’ll stop if it all gets too much, but even I know that I’m kidding myself. I’m going to carry on with NaBloPoMo as well, because I’m too stubborn to give up on a challenge once I’ve started it, but the posts here will probably be fairly light on creative writing: I’m not sure if I can cope with any more that 1,667 words a day.

I’m writing my second day’s block of words right now (or I was before I started procrastinating), on the train from Reading to Durham. Sitting in my first class seat (courtesy of the parents – clearly I should get tonsillitis more often), taking advantage of the free power supply, drinking cold (but free) coffee, and wondering how the next month will pan out. Will it kill me? Will it destroy my degree? Will I ever stop writing everything in lists of three? Only time will tell.


1 Nov

This month, I really wanted to do NaNoWriMo. A few of my friends are doing it, especially those from the Durham Creative Writing Society, I wanted to do it last year but didn’t manage it, and I would just really like to actually finish a novel. This year, I thought, was my year. Then November 1st rolled around and I had no plan, no time, and no hope. But before I could curl up in a ball and cry, I caught sight of a link on Twitter to NaBloPoMo. In case you were wondering, this stands for National Blog Posting Month, and unlike NaNoWriMo, it actually runs year-round. This is the badge for this month:NaBloPoMo 2011So it may not be as hardcore or as prestigious as NaNoWriMo, but this month I am pledging to blog daily, and (and this is very important) to try not to allow these daily posts to descend into inane ramblings. There are prompts on the site to help keep you focused, and I do love prompts, so I’m hoping that this will end well!