Wednesday, 21 December 2011

ROW 80 check-in 21st December Wrapping up the year!

It has been a great year in terms of my writing. I feel I have achieved so much mainly because I actually have been writing! I started my blog in June and in the six months I have been blogging and writing I have learnt so much and written....80,000+ words on various projects. Not bad for half a year!

I took part in Round 3 and 4 of ROW 80 although round 4 didn't go quite to plan. Me and my boyfriend broke up at the start of September and while we sorted things out (which took the best part of 3 months) I didn't want to say what had happened. I think I thinly veiled it as 'something in my personal life' that put me off chick-lit and most of you probably guessed what was going on. We are going our separate ways which makes me sad but at least I know where I stand.

The reason I bring this up is I am looking forward. New year, new start and all that. New goals for writing and life in general. It has been a sad few months but I now know where I stand and I hope me and him can remain friends in some form. In the meantime I will make my goals and decide what I want from 2012. It is scary to be making decisions by myself again but in a way it is liberating.

Here is to a happy, healthy 2012! Merry Christmas everyone :)

Sunday, 18 December 2011

ROW80 Check-in 18th December

Not a huge amount to report again this end. I am now finished for our Christmas holidays which is a big relief as it has been a long, busy, stressful term. So for now, I want to try and switch off my brain and sleep!

On the reading front I am now on my 65th book of the year. Will try for 70 since I am not at work but with lots of lovely times with family and friends it might not happen but I can but try. 100 next year will be a tall order...will have to keep my eyes open for some shorter books!

Newtowritinggirl asked if I am going to review any of the books I am going to try and read. I have never written a book review but I think this is something I might try. I am going to think about the frequency, maybe one a month as that is 12 in the year (aren't I good at Maths!) but will think on it more before I finalise my goals.

I did bring the print outs of some of my chick-lit book To my parents so I might cast my eyes over that I. Find time amongst the festivities!

Hope everyone is having a great week. One week till Christmas!!!

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

ROW80 Check-in 14th December

More musings this end and some as a result of helpful comments made by newtowritinggirl (thank you!). If I focus on my chick-lit what about my NaNo murder mystery? Even if I don't 'do' anything with it surely editing and revising is something I need to learn and I would feel a great sense of achievement if I knew I had gone back and made it better.

With this in mind maybe my ROW80 goal in January will be to write or revise an hour a day. Then I can go between the two and focus on what I want as my mood arises. As a plan it might be ok and I guess I can tweak this goal as needed!!

Things are crazy this end and we had our nativity play today, so proud of all my little ones but will be ready for bed early tonight!

Hope everyone is having a great week even though it is FREEZING here!

Sunday, 11 December 2011

ROW80 Check-in 11th December 2011

Should be short but sweet today.

Still pleased I have signed up for the 100 books in a year reading challenge. Two books a week will be tough but I will try my best.

I am 99% sure next year I am going to continue writing my chick-lit story that I was writing in the summer. There are 30,000 words already although I know there needs to be some heavy editing but I think this will be how I start my writing year for 2012. I feel excited by this!!!

I am also going to add in exercise goals as lets say.....things have slipped recently on the food and exercise front.

Feel like I know where I am heading so fingers crossed I get my head in gear for the start of 2012 (and also make an amazing sticker chart to motivate me like newtowritinggirl!)

Hope everyone has had a great week and two weeks today it will be Christmas!

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

ROW80 Check-in 7th December

To kick off this weeks post I am going to announce the reading challenge I am going to take part in next year.

Yes that is right. I am going attempt to read 100 books or more in 2012!!! I am currently on my 62nd book of the year so it would be a big challenge but that is the point of challenges isn't it? They are meant to be a CHALLENGE!!

Here are the rules:
Challenge Details
Timeline: 01 Jan 2012 - 31 Dec 2012
Rules: Read 100+ books in 2012 (any genre)
You don't have to select your books ahead of time, you can just add them as you go. Also if you do list them upfront you can change them, nothing is set in stone! The books you choose can crossover into other challenges you have on the go.
You can join at anytime. All books read in 2012 count towards the challenge regardless of when you sign up.
At the beginning of Jan 2012, you will find a link to specific month to add your reviews.
Audiobooks do not count, but all other formats are accepted.
Only fiction, no non-fiction.
This challenge can crossover to other challenges.
I am really excited about this challenge, maybe because I have finally made a decision about the year ahead. No writing decisions yet, still thinking.
Now, I have been pondering and musing about NaNo and everything I learned during the process and it is about time I posted my thoughts. Here are some of the main things I discovered in the month of November.
1) Writing in chunks works for me. Especially when I have a target word count in mind. I wrote for a short period most mornings even though mornings aren't necessarily my best time. I liked having some of my word count under my belt and it helped me mull over my story as I went through the day. The rest of my words were in the evening between 7 and 8pm. I liked having a writing routine.
2) Writing with others helps. In my case this was writing during sprints with other ROW80ers/NaNoers coordinated on Twitter. Knowing other people where sitting and writing made me want to write and importantly KEEP UP with them! It was so great and seeing people's half time scores made me want to keep going so I could be up there with the biggest word counts. Next NaNo I would like to write at write ins etc. as I didn't do this during this NaNo this time. I may be more ready to come out of my writing closet next year!
3) Telling people helps. I told some of my close friends and family I was taking part in NaNo and they were so supportive. It made it alot easier to slope off and write because they knew what I was doing and also it gave me an added incentive to win.
4) Plan, plan, plan. I planned my outline, my plot and my characters complete with photos of famous people who looked like them. I planned my time and my food. I went off course at times but I was glad I had a course to try to stick to.
5) I can do it. I doubted myself a lot in the build up and during NaNo. Could I make myself write when I was tired, hungry, poorly, stressed? Yes I could and I did. Could I really write everyday? Yes. I have only been blogging and writing since June this year and I worried it was too early for NaNo but it turns out, it wasn't!
6) Think ahead. I never left my desk without knowing the next thing I would write. I was going to try the technique of stopping mid paragraph or sentence but this didn't work for me. I did think of the next scene and made a note of it so I never sat staring at an empty page. This was invaluable especially in the morning when me coffee hadn't done its magic yet.
So there are my discoveries. I loved NaNo and had been looking forward to it since I started blogging and actually writing. Now I have CampNaNo in my sights!
I hope everyone is having a wonderful week!

Sunday, 4 December 2011

ROW80 Check-in 4th December

Well this check-in won't be long because I have nothing really to check-in about! It was my friend's wedding yesterday and put simply, it was an amazing day! I loved being her bridesmaid and helping her with the preparations but seeing her married to such an amazing man, well that was wonderful. So I am on a bit of a post wedding come down at the moment and it seems strange that yesterday I spent most of my day at a gorgeous country hotel and tomorrow I will be back at work as normal.Well not quite normal as I seem to have developed a really sore throat so my voice is somewhat husky and has no power, not great for a teacher but I will do what I can!

In terms of writing, no plans have been made. I am just not sure what I want or where I am heading. Lena and myself wrote a post NaNo check-in over at our Fun not fear blog on Friday and Nadja asked a simple question about whether either of us planned on publishing next year and I couldn't help but think I don't have any idea what I am planning for the future.

I wrote my murder mystery for NaNo because things in my personal life were stopping me wanting to write chick-lit, the genre I had always wanted to write and had started writing. I finished my murder mystery and it would need lots of editing but what would I do with it then? Would I self-publish? Send it to agents? Do I even want to take this story forward? If I put something to agents would I want it to be a murder mystery or hold out until I have completed a chick-lit novel as this is the genre I see myself writing in? I don't know where I stand with any of these things. I am not sure my writing is strong enough to publish at all at the moment and to be honest I have never seen myself go the indie route. Never say  never but for now I don't think it is going to happen.

So I am still battling with the where I am heading next question. I am not going to make rash decisions, I am going to take my time and see what I think is the best plan. I tell you what I am enjoying since the end of NaNo though, reading! I hadn't read much at all during November as I just didn't have the time and when I got into bed at night I wanted to sleep not read so I am just enjoying that and since finishing NaNo I have read 2 books. On my 'Books I have read' page for this year there are 61 books. I want to see if I can get to 65 books atleast by December 31st. 65 books in a year sounds good. I like a round number but 70 seems to be quite far out of reach. I suppose I could try. Maybe for now my ROW80 goal should be recreational reading each day.

One thing I know is I want to take part in some kind of reading challenge next year and I will start to hunt around for different ones in the coming weeks. Sorry my check-ins have been streams of consciousness ones rather than goal acheivement ones but that is just where I am at the moment.

Fingers crossed I will make some decisions soon and on Wednesday I plan to post my reflections on NaNo in my check-in along with any developments. Hope everyone has had a brilliant start to December and I look forward to reading some check-ins to see how people are getting on.