So I failed Nanowrimo.

Not just failed it, but epically failed it. You all knew that it was coming from my last blog post, when I wrote that I had struggled in trying to find both time and ideas for it. I suppose when I look back at it, I was a little bit hasty in signing up. I didn’t really give enough thought as to what I was going to do for it and while I know that the whole thing is about quantity over quality I still thought it would be ideal to know what it was all going to be about. Even if you wrote a load of crap you want it to be coherent crap, with some story going on.

For all this, I was glad that I did manage to get some words down, even if it was thousands of words off the target. You think that for every person who either completed their novel or did a couple of thousand but then stopped there are loads more who signed up for Nanowrimo and didn’t write a single word. The fact you tried to have a go is an achievement in itself, even if you didn’t get to the end. Certainly trying it out made me think more about writing, if not always for my near empty shell of a novel, then for my blog and twitter. I found myself writing down more stuff in my notebooks, even if it was just a sentence, or general random nonsense. At one point I may look back at some of them and see what I can use. Maybe for next year’s Nanowrimo – or maybe not.

Will I do it next year? I might do. If I did, I would definitely be more prepared for it than I was this time. I wouldn’t want to come across as taking it too seriously as it is meant to be a fun thing, but I would still want to have a good stab at it. Obviously I wouldn’t take time off work in order to write it, that would be stupid.

If you are reading this and did manage to complete your novel, then congratulations! If like me you didn’t, never mind, you still did alright.

(Sorry if this post looks like it should be on my Tumblr page).

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How to fail at NaNoWriMo

So in my last post, I mentioned how I had signed up for NaNoWrimo and was challenging myself to write a 50,000 word novel in a month. I thought it would be a good idea to write a post telling you my progress on it, seeing as there isn’t really anything else I can think of to blog on here at the minute.

So far it is well into the second week of the challenge, and it’s got to be said, I am finding it a lot harder than I thought it would be. Not that I never thought that writing a novel in thirty days would be an easy task, I just thought that once I got into it the ideas and the words would just come out. Suffice to say the amount of words and ideas that has come out from writing for it hasn’t been a waterfall as much as it has been a drip leaking slowly from a tap.  At my last count, I had just under 1000 words, which is pretty much under what you would be expected to have at this point in the challenge. A bad thing? Some might say that, but it is more words than I had at the start of the month, thus I am sort of pleased that I have managed to do anything at all. Plus, I can’t be the only person in this position.

My progress on my novel (or lack of it, in some ways), can be attributed to a number of reasons – lack of time, lack of ideas and that good old friend of ours, procrastination. I am in full-time employment, and depending on what kind of mood I’m in I don’t always feel like getting stuck into story writing when I get home. I’d rather watch TV, browse the web, listen to music, post nonsense on Twitter or indulge in my Tumblr obsessions. Sometimes, even just sleep.  I intend to catch up on it at the weekends, but then I end up doing something else during the day, so I put it off until later on, and not get far with it.  I don’t intend to procrastinate, it just happens, which is still kind of worrying.  I know that at the end of the day, this is just a bit of fun but you know…

One way that I thought I could beat the writers’ block was by starting a blog on Tumblr in which I have attempted to write posts as the main character of the story. By doing this, I have been able to bring up some character traits, come up with other characters, locations and identified one or two bits that could be useful to the actual storyline.  These have probably contributed most to my word count, as I haven’t been able to put together any proper chapters yet, as much has I have tried to.  I suppose if the novel-writing turns into a total fail then there is still a blog that can come out of it, albeit a fictional one.

If there is one thing that I have learned from the whole nanowrimo experience so far, is that it is probably not a good idea to make an iTunes playlist for it – or not to have certain songs on that playlist at least. I created one prior to starting the challenge as I thought it would (a) motivate me a bit and (b) provide a sort of soundtrack to the whole experience. Word of warning: putting a song like Pumped Up Kicks on a playlist you designed to help you write something is asking for trouble. In fact, just avoid putting anything from Foster The People on it –  their songs will stick in your head and have you mentally singing along. Or out loud, which would be incredibly embarrassing. Seriously, save listening to them when you’re not coming up with your next amazing plot twist.

 

The awkward moment when you read your last post…

..and you feel like apologising for it.

Seriously, I want to say sorry for the post I wrote last week. It isn’t usually my thing to write posts like that on here (I usually reserve my bouts of inadequacy and self loathing for Tumblr), but I was having one of those moments and it showed.

I had thought about deleting the post, but  I then decided that it would be better keeping it as a reminder of why I use this blog in the first place.  For that I have to thank the people who commented on it. Reading back what they said pretty much highlighted to me just how I came across in it.  In all the time I have blogged, here and elsewhere I have never really cared if I had people reading this or not. In a lot of cases, I have blogged hoping that nobody would ever read my rants and ramblings. Yet in my last post it sounded like it did matter to me how many readers I got.  If this was someone else’s post I was reading I would have regarded them as an idiot. Indeed, I regard myself as an idiot for writing such things in it.

What the comments on that post really did do for me was remind me why I blog and why many others do it. We use it as a place to sound off, to express our views,  try out ideas and share things that interest us. We don’t set a time to do it, or a target (however things like post a week/day are good for encouraging you to write more), we do it when we feel like it. If someone happens to stumble upon it, read it and like it, then that’s good, but it isn’t why we write blogs. If it was, then blogging would feel more like a job than the hobby it is.  Ultimately we blog and write in general, for ourselves, and we do it because we enjoy it.  And if it sounds like a pile of crap, so what? It is ours and we can write what we bloody well like in it.

I very nearly lost sight of this.

Too Many Blogs.

I officially have too many blogs.

Yesterday I ended up signing up for an account with Typepad.  I did it in order to transfer some stuff from an account I had with Vox (a social networking site that was a bit like a more mature version of MySpace). The latter website is shutting down for good on the 30th September, and they were sending me emails offering me the chance to switch the stuff I posted over to it, or lose them forever.

At first, I wasn’t going to do it.  I hadn’t logged into my vox account for a very long time, so I wasn’t really bothered if my ramblings ended up in cyberspace heaven. After about the tenth email from them though, I thought I might as well look at them one last time before they go – if I could remember my log in details.  When I finally got on to it, and looked at all the things that I’d posted, I realised that I couldn’t just let go of them.  Sure, they weren’t the greatest things that ever graced the blogosphere, but they were my things.  Seeing them again made me realise how much I loved the vox website itself .  They brought back good memories – and switching them over to Typepad was free.

Thing is, now I have another blog to add to this, my Tumblr, my Posterous (which I don’t use much) and my MySpace blog (which I don’t really use at all now). I had a Blogger one too, but I don’t count that as I let go of it a very long time ago. So long, I can’t even remember its address.

I’d like to use the typepad for something other than as a shrine to the blogger that I was three years ago, although at this point in time, I’m not sure what.  I’ve aimed to make each of the blogs I regularly update be for different things – this being my main blog and the Tumblr and posterous ones for the things I like and what interest me (photos, music, videos and stuff), as well as the occasional little quote or rambling.  However recently, I’ve noticed that some things that I’ve put on one blog would be better post on the other one. I really don’t want to neglect any of them, unless I get fed up of one of them to the point of deleting it.

Suggestions for what to do with this latest blog are of course welcome. In the meantime, if you want an insight of the blogger I used to be (and perhaps still am),  go to my typepad site.

This is a diversion…

I wrote a bit of a ranty blog earlier. Thing is I put it on my Tumblr blog when really I could have put it on this one. I suppose there’s no harm in me re-publishing  it onto  here, but I can’t really be arsed to do it.  So I shall give you the link to said Tumblr blog post instead.

Click  here to read the post that would have gone up here. The post also includes a link to an article that inspired me to write said blog post.  If you feel like commenting, you can do it here or on Tumblr (if you have an account). Either way, I’ll know what you’re referring to.