helen redfern

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Welcome to my online journal where I write about writing, creativity, building an online business, baking, reading and chicken & duck-keeping.

No more novel procrastination?

No more novel procrastination?

a bookish baker

I'm sipping coffee whilst staring out the window. I'm scrolling through social media, from Instagram to Twitter, to Feedly, to YouTube, to Pinterest even to the dreaded Facebook.

Not many people online. Probably all working. Or writing. Damnit.

I should be writing, too. I've just read through the rough outline of my novel. I got excited. I got more ideas. I started to think about starting to write it

But I don't pull out my notepad or the rest of my notes. Oh no. 

I just carry on scrolling.

And now...yep, I'm writing this.

What on earth is wrong with me?

Why can I not just knuckle down and re-write my blimmin' novel?

I'm in a routine with my blogging. I'm absolutely loving writing my blog posts now. So, naturally, my thoughts turn to the next goal on my list.

Writing my novel.

And I seize up. Every single time.

Does this happen to you? Is it because a novel is a much longer project? With no end in sight? After all, writing a blog is so much shorter. Once you press publish on your post, you're done. 

Of course, because I struggle to get into a novel writing routine I start getting my usual doubts. I'm not cut out for it, I'm not a proper writer.

Oh my goodness I'm irritating myself.

So, as it's a fresh new month, I've decided to stop annoying myself. And do something about it.

The 1st of November is officially the start of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). Where writers challenge themselves to write 50,000 words during one month. That's 1666 words a day.

To be honest, that sounds like a lot to me. To do this every day during the month of November when the following month is December with birthdays, anniversaries and Christmas to prepare for.

So, I'm going to aim for about 1000 words a day. Long hand. In my red notebook. That's 30,000 words I'll have at the end of this month that I don't have now. Ready for me to edit and continue with in January. 

So...can I do it? Well, there's no time like the present. I'm going to grab my red note book right now and do it.

See you in a while.

***

*seventy-five minutes later*

I've done it! I've written three and a bit pages longhand in my notebook which I've roughly calculated as 1000 words. 

One thousand words a day. For thirty days. Anyone else want to join me? You don't have to do 1000 a day. Just what you're comfortable with.

My sticking point is the first line. It paralyses me. So I'll tell you what I did today. Hang fire as this is my TOP TIP. Grab the book closest to you. Look at the first line. Write the same line but change it to suit your story*. Bam - you're off.

The book closest to me was Murder on the Orient Express. The first line written by Agatha was: "It was five o' clock on a winter's morning in Syria."

My line became: "It was three o'clock on a summer's afternoon in London." And, just like that, I found I was over that fear of starting and wrote the next sentence and the next.

*Obviously this will be changed in the edit and definitely if/when it gets published.

a bookish baker one thousand words a day during november
Two Books Highly Recommended by my (8-year-old) daughter

Two Books Highly Recommended by my (8-year-old) daughter

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