October – It’s exciting, isn’t it?

Okay, so it’s grey and, in the UK at least, incessantly wet but there are still great things happening – prepping for NaNoWriMo, for instance. For the uninitiated, although it began as a national initiative, NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is now an international community that provides friendship and support for writers around the world. The pinnacle of its year is November when writers can join in the challenge to write a novel in a month – or at least 50,000 words of it. October is the big planning phase. Think of it as the writer’s equivalent to the build up to Christmas – not the bit when you have to do all the hard work but the nice bit, before the frenzy sets in.

Last year I took the NaNoWriMo pledge and actually managed the first 60,000 words of my debut novel, The Netta Project. But last year I wasn’t quite ready to announce to the world my intention to be a proper writer, so I did it in secret. One year later, I am definitely ready to stand up and be counted, unapologetically, as a writer and poet. So, I’ve made my pledge public both here and on the official NaNoWriMo site. I’m aiming for at least the first 50,000 words of my sequel novel, The Edie Project.

Are you taking the challenge too? If so, good luck and if you’d like a NaNoWriMo buddy, look me up. https://nanowrimo.org/

The other fantastically fab thing this month is the launch of the Birmingham Writers’ Group’s second anthology, City of Hope (pictured). I’m hugely excited about it – not just because I’ve contributed a short story but also because it’s a great anthology and what’s more, we have a book launch on Wednesday 30th October at Bacchus Bar in Birmingham. It starts at 7.00 pm if you’re in the area. Even if you can’t make it, you can buy the book from Amazon.


See, I told you October was exciting, didn’t I?

NaNoWriMo – Is it for me?

So far in 2014, my most productive month was April when I took part in my first ever NaPoWriMo . It was pretty hard going for me to knock out thirty new poems in as many days on top of my day job but it was worth it. I follow one or two prodigious writers/poets who leave me constantly amazed by the quantity and quality of work they manage to put out there on a daily basis. What can I say, I am very jealous.

As to my NaPoWriMo effort,  I was particularly pleased with some of the poems and I’ve since gone back and polished them up a bit. There were also some real stinkers in there that no amount of Mr Sheen was ever going to improve so I doubt I’ll revisit them in a hurry. As the saying goes – no matter how hard you try, you can’t polish a turd.

Overall though it was a really good exercise and one which I’ll repeat next year. But before that I have another difficult decision to make which is NaNoWriMo – should I or shouldn’t I? For the uninitiated among you that is National Novel Writing Month which begins in November.

Now if NaPoWriMo was a marathon, NaNoWriMo would be the equivalent of an Iron Man event for me . For NaPoWriMo , I might be able to slap a few lines of pretentious crap together and call it a Haiku but for NaNoWriMo that’s 50,000 words of pretentious crap in one month! Now that is hard, although thankfully quantity of words is apparently what’s important here rather than the need for producing anything half decent- the theory being, I suppose, that you’ve got another eleven months before the next one and plenty of time to polish that particular pile of poo. It’s still hard going though and I know if I sign up for it, I will absolutely want to meet the target do or die. I can’t help it, I hate failure-  I’m just made that way.

What to do, what to do. I have just over a month to decide. Advice from the outside world gratefully received…