Sunday, 1 September 2013

Autumn, NaNo and Inventories

Morning folks, hoping you’re happy and healthy. Today’s the 1st day of September – which means a day of goal setting and planning regards the month ahead. Last week I began draft four of my current WIP so my main goal is to rewrite a couple of scenes, add in other scenes and proofread in full before the 30th. It will be a challenge as my school holiday finishes tomorrow so, it is back to the routine of day job and juggling.

I visited the National Novel Writing Month web site as a means of prep for this year’s challenge. The challenge is to write 50,000 words of a novel in 30 days. Last year, I managed to complete the task thanks to the encouragement from my writing buddy, Helen Phifer. This year, I’m going for it again. Though I’m more prepared than last year when I literally had a main character’s name, nothing else, just a name! This year I have started to mull over an idea and it has grown into a situation – fingers crossed over the next eight weeks it continues to develop ready for 1st November. Why don’t you join us?

Due to the day job August is always a time of reflection, renewal and preparation ready for the autumn season - this year has been no different. I’ve spent my holiday, apart from writing, decorating the house, tidying and clearing out junk possessions and generally planning for the coming months. A consequence has been the wealth of ideas for short stories that have occurred whilst busying myself. I certainly don’t write as many short stories as I could or should, so plan to use my new list of ideas as motivation. An important factor of self-reflection is an inventory of my written work – I do this every season as a means of keeping a check on my productivity and a chase up on unpublished work. I’d advice any writer to pencil an inventory into their diary. I tend to tally each new piece of work so I know the quantities of novel chapters, short stores and poems written during the period. The second stage is to chase any work that I know I’ve sent out but hasn’t been published or rejected – in another words, has fallen silent. Make sure you’ve waited a little while but anything that has gone silent after six months I now chase. I used to allow time to take its course but having learnt the hard way I now chase. I always but a value on a piece of work and so to have a piece disappear without a word has cost me in time, effort and opportunity. Please don’t be afraid to ask ‘are you still considering my work?’, ‘is the magazine issue being published?’ – you’ll be surprised at the developments that occur behind the scenes that organizers haven’t past onto the writers, who are patiently waiting news. Ask, get an answer and then make a decision - are you happy to wait longer or want to withdraw your work. It is your choice, so don’t let others decide for you. If you withdraw your work, please revamp it to fit another project and send it out to earn its crust.

I hope you have a fabulous week and remember you can follow me on Twitter (@odwyer_author) or Facebook (odwyer author) I always do Twitter ‘Follow Friday’ so next week it could be you. Enjoy!  

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