It is official November 2014 was the most productive, informative and pleasurable month in my writing career. And, just 6 days into December... I'm missing him already.
My November started in Sneem, Ireland where I was completing a research trip so I can finish off my current project. We'd had four fabulous days chatting with the locals so I was truly sad to leave.
The 1st November also triggers my 'crazy gene' in relation to NaNoWriMo forcing me begin my opening chapters at the airport, whilst waiting to fly home.
By the 15th I was well on track to complete Nano ahead of the usual schedule so was pretty happy with myself. Then delight of all delights, I was invited to attend Alison May's writing day in Birmingham. I can honestly say, I had a huge light-bulb moment in relation to the psychology of writing. You'd think I'd have figured it out before having got my name plastered on a BSc Psychology (with honours) - but I hadn't. Anyway, the moment was this... when I'm talking or thinking about my work I always use the same phrase 'I'm writing a book' - that term will be repeated for nine months/a year. The thing is my brain gets sick of the same 'task' so begins to dwindle... which in turn effects how I think about the project. When the reality is 'I'm planning a book', 'I'm drafting a book', 'I'm doing major edits on my book....' you get the pictures I'm sure. I need to recognising the actual process which will help reassure my brain that we are moving through the stages and the finishing line is in sight. Sounds simple... but until that day I hadn't realised what I had kept doing. Now my little brain is happy and skippy knowing that one huge task 'I'm writing a book' has been cut into sizeable chunks. Based on this epiphany moment I even did homework for Ms May, seriously on a Sunday morning! As a visual learner... I have printed and laminated (you've got to love my teacher gene) a series of cards that clearly state which stage I'm in... woo hoo the correct card now hangs beside my desk as I work... just in case my brain forgets where we are and goes all dwindly again.
I also purchased a second hand wooden chair as my back ache was becoming unbearable... I don't think it's a coincidence that the selling household lived directly opposite a large old-fashioned pub. So hush... 'cause if you tell the Blue Boar I'll deny all knowledge... anyway, they can't have it back I've now painted it in Annie Sloane's Louis Blue!
So much and I'm only at 19th! This was a first for me 'The RNA Winter Party'. I had the cheek to ask the big boss of the day job if I could leave 25 minutes early. I took a gamble and it paid off with a resounding yes and a very generous signature. I promise: I shall repay you in day job loyalty terms for granting me the time. I could actually attend the party and be with my writing buddies.
We had a fabulous night, I was introduced to so many more wonderful writer bods and was able to catch up and hug many of my already known lovelies. As always at an RNA do - my gushy girl fan moment was with Jo Thomas... such a warm, lovely lady (if you haven't read The Oyster catcher yet, you must)... and bless my buddy Bella Osborne for her quick-thinking-fancy-pants-phone-snapping moment, I have it captured for ever. I voted Talli Roland as the nicest, most supportive, uber glamorous, well-dressed women gracing our Earth... thank you to whoever it was that gave her a helping hand on the path to publication inspiring her to follow suit and always, always support other writers... there's a lesson for us all.
I already know that I shall try to attend every London party because I had a wail of a time. From the pre-drinks in Waterstone Piccadilly through to the very slow late night train from Euston - I didn't stop laughing... which one hilarious moment with Bella Osborne, captured by the official camera gal at the party, had better have been deleted!!!
22nd November dawned: my NaNo was complete. I have managed to write 50,004 words in just 22 days - seriously, I was in shock. As I'd said to everyone that was following my progress the book is just flowing out of me... an usual experience but it did. My brain having been booked and psyched up for a 30 day stint told me I couldn't stop there, so we didn't... by 30th November I had managed 60,019 words! On validation NaNo's electronic system confirmed and awarded 60,105 words - I'm not going to quibble.
Every day in November was driven by my writing, it's no coincidence that I loved every minute of the month. This writing game is a funny pursuit but with months like that I'll just keep plodding x