NanoWriMo, Writing journey

A Quick NaNoWriMo Update

This is a quick, very quick post; I should be focusing on increasing my word count because writing time is limited today but a quick update is needed. It is a week since I began to work with Megg and six days NaNoWriMo started and a miracle has happened — I am on target!

Day 5 words
I have words!

Some days have been harder than others. It seemed an impossible task on day three, after sleep won over my early morning writing routine and feeling ill but with the knowledge Megg was behind me words were written. How many of the those words will stay after editing? Not many but they have moved the story forward.

I predict today and tomorrow will be a struggle too with hospital visits and tests and I also fell into the trap of research this morning but with a site like the Tea of Life and writing about a tea obsessed witch who can blame me? Just don’t tell Megg

I need to stop procrastinating and write.

How is everyone else doing?

Happy writing!

Love

Kate Kenzie's Blog

Writing journey

It’s here – time to do this crazy thing called NaNoWriMo

This was me at 5 am.

Word Count Zero

But fuelled with tea and knowledge, I will be checked up on by Megg at the end of the day, I no longer have an empty screen. Nowhere near my goal of the day but any words is progress.

Good luck to all who are joining in this year’s challenge whether it is full on 50,000 words or being a rebel.

We can do this!

Kate Kenzie's Blog

NanoWriMo, Writing journey

No Excuses No More Procrastination with NaNo Coaching

Oh bloody hell! I have won NaNo Coaching with the lovely Megg Geri, the author of the inspiring How to Write A Novel in 30 Days.

When I read about Megg’s NaNo coaching I looked longingly at my bank balance in the hope it would stretch beyond paying the bills. When the opportunity arose to enter a giveaway for a place, I had to try and now, if I could I would be doing cartwheels. My stomach is full of excited butterflies, my mind is whizzing with excitement and eager to write but part of me is overwhelmingly scared of the challenge ahead.

It is time to face the fear and do it anyway as they say and with Megg behind me to give me a kick when I need it who knows how far I can fly. *

Watch this space.

Happy writing and last minute prepping for NaNoWriMo

 

*if I can get over 15,000 words I will be happy, 20,000 estastic, and anything over 25,0000 I will faint with shock.

work in progress, Writing journey

Accountability and all that Jazz Part Two

Earlier I tried to take part in challenge Viola Bleu set me to sit between 9 and 11 to work on WIP. I was determined to do it.  I was dressed – I was tempted to wear my PJs to save time but glad I didn’t, a book review for Duvet Dwellers Books was published and the dogs were fed and sorted but I could feel time slipping.

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At 8.57 I was grabbing my tea with the hope of sitting at my desk for 9am.  Viola Bleu was ready to go. I was feeling the pressure.

9.05 am I had not reached my desk. I cringed at the sight of the kitchen and begged my daughter to help tidy it.

9.15 am I was giving medication to our ferret. As an important role model in my WIP, his medical needs come before the words. This was followed by a quick conversation with my husband to say I was writing so did not want to be disturbed.

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9.20 am  I was saying goodbye to daughter and scrabbling to find money for her.

9.25am my friend texted to say she was leaving soon to come over for a much-needed natter – gulp (sorry Viola Bleu I did not switch my phone off).

9.30am I began to write. The scene was there in my head  – the dark, rustic cabin in the secluded woods with Old Al meeting Beetle – an Ellfaenian ferret for the first time.  It is instant hate and Amber is unaware of the danger she was putting him in. I could see it, feel it and even smell the smoke of the fire blazing in the hearth but I only stumbled out 394 words in the following hour. My back ached and in the back of my mind I had nagging doubts about the validity of the words I was writing, I also had to overcome the desire to edit words from yesterday.

Word count accountability after an hour

10.25am I was aware my friend would be arriving any second.

10.30am she was here with much-needed cake and the kettle was on.

I didn’t complete the challenge but my word count has gone up which can only be a good thing.

Roll on tomorrow and I will try again.

Happy writing!

All about Books, Writing journey

Book Review: Write Smart, Write Happy by Cheryl St. John

I love creating worlds, developing characters and plotting their stories but I struggle with the art of writing and getting the images in my mind written in a coherent, enjoyable way. Part of this is the crippling self-doubt which I have talked about lots on here and some of it is the fact I haven’t got a clue what I am doing. To combat this I am reading around the subject. Thank you to F+W Media and NetGalley for giving me the copy in exchange to an honest review.

Title: Write Smart, Write Happy – how to become a more productive, resilient and successful writer

Author: Cheryl St. John

Publisher: F+W Media, Writer’s Digest Books

Blurb

Vanquish Your Writing Doubts & Obstacles

Writing is a vulnerable occupation; it is both personal and intimate. The act of writing, cycles of revision, and the confusing publishing industry can shatter a writer’s confidence, leaving you feeling like an imposter, overcome with rejection. Survival–and success–requires commitment, honesty, courage, resilience, sacrifice, and miles and miles of heart.

You have everything you need as a writer–it lies within, in the form of consistency and self-confidence. With Write Smart, Write Happy, best-selling author Cheryl St. John will help you unlock your skills, guiding you to overcome every hesitation, obstacle,  form of writer’s block, and procrastination habit you have. Within these pages, you’ll learn to:

Organize your writing life by using a planner, scheduling your yearly goals, and acknowledging career plans.Sharpen your saw by recharging your creativity, developing positive motivation, and creating healthy writing habits.Affirm your beliefs by overcoming self-doubt, learning to use affirmations, and altering your thinking.Conquer remaining fears by releasing tendencies towards perfectionism and establishing strategies for habitual success.Written with a no-nonsense attitude, St. John’s “advice from the trenches” will help you take an introspective look at your own writing habits and life. Through examples and inspiration from writers who struggled with–and overcame–rejection and reservations, discover the path towards writing smarter and happier today.

My Thoughts

This is an encouraging book which helps put writing worries in perspective with advice that can be used in all aspects of life. Cheryl St. John has written over 40 books for Harlequin and Silhouette so has a wealth of information to share including organising your time and work. She is an advocate for planners and gives detailed examples of her own schedule. This is helpful but for someone as disorganised as me it was overwhelming and left me feeling daunted at the challenge ahead, despite her empathising everyone works differently. I nearly stopped reading but am glad I continued because the advice on self-doubt and the chapters beyond came into their own when I hit a writing slump. It is full of quotes to remind you about the realities of writing, positivity, affirmation, tips to help you deal with disappointment, failure, social media and pressures of being a writer. The focus is on traditional publishing so it discusses dealing with editors and deadlines. She backs up all her advice with her own experiences. One of the main messages, like many of these books, is just sit down and write.

Would I recommend?

 If you are struggling with the stress of all aspects of writing, editing and publishing or crippling self-doubt this may be the book to read. It has tips I use regularly and is aimed at writers at all stages of their career.

 

Happy reading and writing

 

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Writing journey

The insecurities of writing

I recently I read a blog  about releasing your insecurities of being a writer and it asks you to share your own. So here goes…

Am I a writer and when can I justify calling myself one?

It has been a topic of discussion recently on social media with polarising views.

I am definately not an author as I do not have a published book but in an age of self publishing I could cobble together a manuscript of gobblygook and send it out in the world but would that entitle me to the label? I don’t think so but the boundaries are no longer black and white and there are many shades of grey. Do you become an author when you have written a book or is it after so many sales or reviews? 

As for a writer, I believe that yes I am a writer. As summed up in the quote:

I am a novice in this craft but I hope to learn it well enough to become a published writer but then grey  shades appear again, I  have published this post so does this count or does it require an external source publishing your work (I refuse to count letter I had published in a magazine at 12). I could go round in circles with is topic and it still not become clearer.

If asked what I do, I would cringe  if I said   “I am a writer” as it is just a hobby and dream but one day I would  like to say it for real.

 Am I competent or good enough to write? 

Ultimately, that is for my readers to say when my novel or stories are released  into the world after my word count increases but one day I hope I can develop to be. Some books enter the world and draw many in with the authors storytelling or clever marketing while others have a small loyal following. My aim  is to write ‘The Hollow’ and if my daughter enjoys it I will be happy.

Will I ever have the courage to share my stories with others? 

Blogging and sharing work at writing group is a start but will I combat  fear of publishing The Hollow – watch this space!

Have I got the stamina to finish?

Not only finish this draft but to edit, find a publisher and do the marketing. The illusion of posting my manuscript off like Jo in Little Women and be published has been shattered with reading other peoples experiences. I want to write – nope, need to write but living with a chronic illness I know life can throw obstacles at you that are difficult to climb over. This is my biggest insecurity  as I struggle daily to balance medication, health and family life with writing. Luckily, I live in the age of technology so when I can’t write, I can type or use apps on my phone and if that fails, once I have mastered the art of Dragon and he listens to me, I can talk. If I can’t manage any of those,  I can imagine other scenes and stories for when I can.

I have many other  insecurites but they will just have to stay  contained for now.

What are yours?
 

 

 

 

 

 

Writing journey

Going on a Dragon Hunt

Following on from my last post, a cake was baked. Not strictly parkin, a Yorkshire ginger cake because of the lack of oatmeal in the house (I don’t think rice crispies would have been a good substitute)  but a ginger cake made to my Mum-in-laws recipe. It hit the spot creatively so the scene is written and my main character, Amber is happily going on a dragon hunt armed with a cake to Filey.

Filey Brigg drawn by D. Backhouse

Filey Brigg is a long, narrow, rocky peninsula in Filey on the East coast of Yorkshire. Until recently, I just saw it as part of the scenery to enjoy while drinking hot Horlicks overlooking the bay but then I discovered it was supposed to be a parkin-loving dragon turned to stone after his death. This fits perfectly with Amber’s story and gave me the opportunity to introduce Iggy, a very floppy toy fabric dragon who played a large part in her early childhood.

Iggy; A beloved friend or a judgmental fiend depending who you ask

He may or may not play a pivotal role in the book depending on where the twists take me. It always amazes me how something you read followed by a prompt of a sketch can inspire you to write scenes you would never have thought of otherwise.

 

 

 

More of the folk tale of Filey’s dragon can be read in a delightful book called East Yorkshire Folk Tales by Ingrid Barton as well as here.

July has arrived so Camp NaNoWriMo has begun so it is time to put the kettle on and get this draft done.

Happy July!