Sunday, 22 November 2015


Day Fifteen: 746. Just can't muster any more effort. I'm in such a bad habit at the minute with staying up all night watching YouTube videos and generally not sleeping, so by now I'm way too tired to reach my goal. Never mind, though. I'll get there.

Day Sixteen: 2,939. I'm happy to be writing at a more reasonable time today. Could be better, like, but there's tomorrow for that.
   Felt really bad about the fundamental quality of all that I've written so far, especially with respect to 'show don't tell', one of the most basic basics of writing. I've actually been scared when I think of how useless it all is.
   But I'm trying to stop such thoughts. Not only have there been some passages I'm proud of, but I could well be over-exaggerating the bad bits and, plus, there's the vital component of editing yet to come. I know I'm not great at editing, but this is a good chance to get going. No-one said this has to be a masterpiece. Come on! Enjoy!

Day Seventeen: 277. Started well-ish, y'know. Found myself an hour before the footy.
   But then a sneezing fit struck. Then I had a headache. Then the screen started making my eyes bounce. So I stopped.
   The footy was good entertainment, and thankfully a drama-free testament to humanity's resilience in the face of intolerance. Feel somehow guilty that England won, though...
   Then, I got so drunk that I had a hole in my memory and absolutely no hope of carrying on writing.

Day Eighteen: 0. I felt so shit that I didn't want to get out of bed, or even live, and I answered the question 'what's the point?' with 'NO!'.

Day Nineteen: 2,430. Climbing the mountain back to 'normality'. Not bad stuff. A bit 'all over the place' in places, but then some places had good parts.

Day Twenty: 534. I was very lucky to have a replenishing social engagement. Although it left me short on writing time, I penned some stuff on the bus on the way in, and even got an early bus back with the plan of doing more later. Alas, I was too tired by the time I got home, but I'm satisfied with the dedication there :-)

Day Twenty-One: Nice to get support from Aunty S who's been keeping up with the blog during this period :-)
   A light has flickered on that's probably about as strong as a candle on the Morecambe seafront, but since I'm recording it here, there'll be a reminder in the future. I've spent a lot of time worrying about how inferior this draft is and will be, but, though I've already touched on how it'll be good editing practice, it's also going to give me impetus to move even further [whether that's in terms of word count, re-forming or whatever], to really get to the end of a novel [because fifty-thousand words is an arbitrary aim, not necessarily a natural end]. Now I'm over half way, this thought is even more exciting than when I'd started it in the first place.
   Also, I've had more people asking about NaNoWriMo itself, its 'proper' aims and customs, so I'm going to address that briefly. Basically, I'd advise you to forget about the idea of the 'proper' way, because the best way is your way. I didn't sign up on, I'm not going to get a certificate of completion [which is, however controversially, a major focus for some of the people undertaking this challenge], but I am going to complete my purpose. My purpose for NaNoWriMo was to generate material, to experiment with application, to look at the possibility of spirit. I was never going to be bothered about being under fifty-thousand words, because even one-thousand would've been something I could either use directly, put in a drawer for later and/or learn from.
   So if you do have questions, first off ask yourself. What do you want? What do you think it's all about? What will the audience [however futuristic] think?
   Peace, love and light, folks!

Monday, 16 November 2015


Day Eight: Nowt. I had a cold, alright! I felt like I'd been hit in the back of the head with a spade and, when I sat down to look at my rising novel, I couldn't remember what I was doing on this planet [not much, apparently...], let alone what the novel was about, or how to type words. So I gave up.
   Am I disappointed? Yes. Am I surprised? No. Life's what happens you while you're busy making other plans, so I've forgiven myself and am going to make the words up over the next two days.

Day Nine: 2,701 words. It took me quite a while to get to it, and I'm in bed rather than at my desk, but today's material came pretty readily. I got pissed off that I keep starting off on a track of thought and just end up fucking off somewhere else, again, but that's pretty natural. I think it's due to the largely autobiographical nature [sorry if I've said this before] of this piece - the tide of memory is powerful and washes away the mind's strivings to plot and form.
   Maybe, with enough momentum, I'll exhaust the 'contentness' of my head and be able to craft properly. Or maybe it'll become easier when I'm fully well again. Who knows?

Day Ten: 2,431. Tough. Made it hard on myself by starting late and repeatedly checking Facebook and a game on my phone. I know how stupid it is, don't get me wrong, but I'm still lounging in bed with the remnants of this cold, so... Well, no, that's not actually an excuse. I just have extremely poor will power most of the time. Sigh...
   Some decent surrealism today, though. Bit of a shame the extra word count target led to some isolated and fragmented passages of pure piss. Onwards, already! And fingers crossed I knock this Lemsip addiction on the head :)

Day Eleven: 1,536. The cold re-jigged itself to my dismay and led to a debilitating lie in. To make the most of my remaining time, I wrote some stuff on the bus on my phone on my way into Lancaster. That's good: shows determination and application. But then I did my usual distractful things. That's bad: shows I'm an idiot who's slow to learn [although I did really enjoy Cabaret].
   Will have some extra words to write tomorrow to make up for today's shortfall, but really that's a better option than either starting a new section now and being up 'til five, or tacking crap on to the end of this, knowing it'll be exhausted rubbish that I'll have to snip out of the fur later.

Day Twelve: 1,850. Strange one. Strange day. In many ways I made it the worst possible 'scene', but I was back on the beer [after nearly a week off] and my being was so 'out there' again. The Doors were helping me just float away.
   'Consequently' [though maybe it's not linked...] I've been in the flow. I had one interruption, where I checked the word count and was shocked how low it was. But, then, the next pass took me where I needed to be and all was well.
   Some touching things touched upon, and the overall 'jigsawness' of this novel is becoming, if not clearer, at least illuminated so that I may make it clearer at some point. Groovy.

Day Thirteen: 1,764. What a mess...

Day Fourteen: 1,949. Things don't seem any less messy, really, but I'm going to try to avoid the world's issues - as solipsistic as it sounds - because this is about this. But I'm going to talk about other life anyway, so HYPOCRITE!
   Had a do in Lancaster. Woke up late because of personal problems. Wrote some stuff on the way in. Thought I did well, in spite of the underage drunken chavs laughing and playing their music... Got back after a 9/10 night. Had done 440 words - a fucking gut punch, really
   Foiled a [n extremely minor] robbery at the garage across the road. Then mum called down from upstairs. I thought it was an emergency, ran to the stairs, slipped and hit my bloody, pus-filled toe [hello ladies!] on a chair leg. My hatred and self-loathing picked up dramatically.
   So, long story short, it was a real struggle to finish it tonight, largely down to my own foibles. I kept thinking I'd done rather well, but it turned out to be, like, four words more... $$£&ing "%£$!
   Glad in the end, though. 

Tuesday, 10 November 2015


That's 'National Novel Writing Month Weekly Update', by the way.

 Day One: Yeah, went 'well' in the sense of writing 1,915 words. I'm a bit disconcerted that I ran out of steam two thirds of the way through, but I'm going to try not to dwell on that...
   Also, it got a lot more disjointed and rambling that I wanted it to, but that's how these things go, I suppose. Obviously re-drafting is going to be a huge challenge since I'm just going on and on like a ball rolling down a hill, because this is quite life-based. If it was more more fictional [which I guess it'll have to become, not just due to me wanting it to, but also, these anecdotes aren't going to last forever], at least I'd be more like a train rolling along planned tracks.
   And lastly, I created a geeky Excel spreadsheet to calculate how I'm doing in terms of word count. I told myself I wouldn't do that [it's a pointless procrastinative distraction], but there you go...

Day Two: Words - 2,452 [good!]. Feel good about that. Already trying to address problems with the fictional function, and have already inserted my first invented poem into the prose.

Day Three: Words - 1,900 [okay...]. Very disjointed, again, but I think I see some 'one-liner nuggets' that, if not suitable for this after I've edited it, should be used elsewhere.
   It was odd this time since I was enjoying some wine whilst writing. I don't think it helped, because I thought I had more to say, but then seemed to run out of steam [as a Facebook friend I admire said earlier, "Not sure if I actually have free time, or just forgetting everything." I couldn't possibly comment!]. I suppose this feeling isn't too dissimilar to the first day, but the short paragraphs and sentences at the end reflect a more panicked, scrabbling nature. But what am I, some kinda critic over here?
   I mean, 1,900 isn't bad. It's 'over budget', as it were. That's good, right? Why do I feel so underwhelmed?

Day Four: Words - 2,200 [good]. Oh man, that was tough! I did that all wrong, starting with last night's second bottle, always chasing some perceived 'win'... The word count's good, but I started too late [about half ten-ish], ran out of steam early, took internet breaks [BIG no no!]... I did start to get my flow back, to be honest, but then I had to cut it off to leave a decent cliffhanger.
   So I sort of know where I'm going to tomorrow [or plan to be, at least], but I need to be more disciplined. And speaking of myself [not the rarest of events, I'll admit], writing something fictional with so much of me in it is starting to trouble me. I wrote lots of dream-like stuff today, and I can't be sure anymore if they're the whispers of my own desires or the character's.
   We'll see how that goes, then!

Day Five: Words - 1,988. Discipline arguably better. Wrote from about 2230 to 0000, which is bad, but I couldn't really help it this time. Plus, I ended a good time at the pub early to come back and get cracking, so that's something. I did have a break, but only because I needed something to perk me up [beer better than wine], plus the laptop was having an episode and I needed to let it cool down [not because of my strenuous effort, I can assure you!]. No messing about on the internet this time.
   I've had a laugh at some of the cringeworthy stuff I've written [something about 'slicked corneal panes', i.e. 'wet eyes'...], but the flow's been... not too bad [but regular checking of the word count hasn't been helpful, because it leads to a 'that'll do' mentality]. I've been a wee bit repetitious, too, but I feel that might be a reasonable thing to redraft, because there are lots of options for cutting/rewriting [if that makes sense...].
   So, cool. Now need to think where I'm going tomorrow, and obviously make more of an effort to write at 'a more sensible time', if such a thing exists.

Day Six: 2,203. I let so much get in the way today. I was particularly procrastinative and had a demanding time doing stuff for the folks. So I started too late [though it was good to see that Salford win], felt tired, had a break... It's becoming the norm. Speaking of which, I keep listening to music while I write this, which I don't usually do. Is it like an OULIPean constraint, focussing the mind? Does it stimulate creative areas/keep destructive areas busy/have no difference? Any thoughts?
   Eesh... I'm addressing concerns [mainly over vibrancy and plot] as I write, so I end up not getting 'lost' in the process. I suppose a few lines seemed interesting, but I keep starting a paragraph with the intention of it leading somewhere [trying to force it into a plot, in other words], but, like a snake in a can, it releases its energy and goes off in random directions. Is this okay? Should I be able to tame my novel more now, or should I just 'look forward' to the editing graft?
   Blimey, another essay... Got to go now 'cause I got a shift tomo- well, today. This means I'll have to write my next bit earlier. Or else!

Day Seven: 1,407. First day below target. I could try and squeeze more out, but I've got this shift to do in Lancaster. I'm actually happy with my discipline, despite starting a little late due to getting sucker-punched by this cold that's living up my nose, and will make up the deficit tomorrow.