Mid Month Check-In: Freedom at Last!
July has been my best month yet this year. Perhaps it’s the energy around turning the big four-oh. Oh yes, about that, I’m forty now. And I’ve never felt so motivated and clear about where I’m going with my writing.
There are two major things to thank just now. The first is NaNoWriMo or more specifically #campinstawrimo hosted by Laura La Rock Writes Each day we are asked to post a photo related to the daily prompt. Todays is the midmonth check in so I thought I’d turn it into a blog.
I set some goals at the start of the month, lots of them in fact, and each day I post something on Instagram according to the challenge. The goals were extremely helpful for focussing me. Mine were:
- To write 10,000 words of my novel
- To compete in the NYC Midnight Flash Fiction Challenge on 14th and 15th .. this is what I am doing today.
- To write and submit a 7,000-word story for a short story competition.
- To edit and extend the word count to 3,000 words of an older story to submit to another competition.
So far I have done 2000 words of the novel, I have completed a first draft of the 7000-word story, am continuing to tweak the 3000-word story and today tweaking my NYC Midnight flash fiction 1000 word story. For those of you who haven’t come across NYC Midnight, they run regular writing competitions throughout the year. You get a prompt and a time limit in which to submit your work. For the flash fiction first round, its 48 hours. Want to know the prompt I got? Genre: Romantic Comedy; Object: A chihuahua; Place: A Bus Station. This is my first time writing a rom-com, and so far it’s going okay. I actually had to listen to the intro of several rom-com audio books just to get the feel of how these are written. I’m not a fan, but trying it out is fun all the same.
I’ve written a structure for the rest of the month so that, each day I know what I am meant to be doing.
The second thing I am truly grateful for is a book called ‘Writing Fast’ by Jeff Bollow. At first, I thought ‘here I go again, down the rabbit hole, reading yet another book about how to write.’ I am a self-confessed self-help book junkie, and I devour books on writing. But I discovered on reading it that the techniques suggested are extremely helpful and am getting me writing faster than ever before. What I love about this book the most is how Jeff sweet talks me into not over criticising my work, which I have been stifled by in the past. Trying to get it perfect first time. He says we have both the movie critic in us and the Oscar winner. Both battle it out. The Oscar Winner is that part of the brain that says ‘yes, oh yes, that’s amazing,’ to every idea you have and would have you following every lead that your ‘idea factory’ brain can churn out. If the movie critic is allowed to take over, she will tear your work to shreds and leave you in a quivering heap unable to write anything. How many times has this happened to me?? Lots.
So, for now, I feel free, yes free, to get on with it. Still lots to do this month and I am enjoying #campnano so much I might do it all again in August.
What else worked? The weather… we have had the very best weather in Ireland this past month on record for many decades I’m sure. Today it’s raining, but we need it so this is no bad thing. The farmers are crying out for rain. The sunshine was so uplifting, and I got to write outisde a lot.