So here they are: I’ve tried to keep them achievable and realistic. After all putting ‘Get Best Friends Perfect’ published isn’t really in my control (unless I decide to self publish, which is a whole separate ambition in itself) so here they are...
1.Submit Best Friends Perfect to publishers.
2.Continue to develop this website, including: blogging two weekly; adding videos of me reading extracts from Best Friends Perfect; adding a writers resources links, (this is an idea I’ve completely stolen from Jo Myles, as a way to curate interesting web resources for me to read later, but also so other writers can read them too).
3.Do some guest blogging on other authors’ sites. (I know it’s a bit vague, but I didn’t want to say “10 authors’ sites”, as I don’t actually yet know ten authors who I’d be able to approach, so I kept it vague)
4.Help plan and attend 2013 UK Meet
5.Finish first draft of The Second Book (TSB)
How I accidently did my own NanoWrimo during January
Talking about goal 5, I’ve given myself a 4,000 weekly word target since January, when I started to actually writing The Second Book. I was managing that ok, thank you very much. So based on Best Friends Perfect being 200,000 words (yes I know it’s long, I like reading long books, so evidently I end up writing long books. What is it they say ‘Behaviour breeds behaviour’) that would take me...50 weeks to complete! Then I read a link Jo Myles’ posted on her resources for writers, from Rachel Aaron, about how to increase your word count from 2,000 to 10,000 a day, and it’s literally changed my life (writing life anyway).
I really encourage all of you to read it, if you haven’t already done so, and I do not claim ownership of this technique, but I can report on how it’s worked for me since starting it.
The basic premise, as explained in Rachel’s helpful diagram is as follows:
Knowledge: Make sure you know what you’re writing. Plan what arguments your characters are going to have, plan where they’ll go, go into the detail of this, so you don’t have to work it out, while actually writing. Include as much or little detail here as you like, but all the same, do plan something for each chapter/scene etc.
Time: Work out when you’re most productive. For me this away from readily available internet. Create that productive space (I have banned email and the internet during writing sessions).
Enthusiasm: be excited about what you’re writing. If you’re struggling with a scene, is it really that great, if you think it’s boring won’t readers too? Make all the scenes you write great fun, full of conflict, or fun dialogue, or great descriptions, all of which carry the story through. If it feels like filler, it probably is, so get rid, NOW.
Since the start of January, I’ve written 43,000 words on The Second Book, averaging more than 1500 words an hour. One morning in four hrs I wrote 4,700 words! I left my desk to make tea, but apart from that I wrote solidly for four hours, no internet, no 'I'll just checkmy email,' and time just few by, while the words flew onto the screen.
This means I’ve inadvertently done my very own JanoWrimo for January! Can you see what I did there? All by using Rachel’s technique.
I have a week and a half at my New Forest Retreat (also known as my Mum’s house) to write more of The Second Book, and catch up with friends. I’ll let you know how I get on in the next blog post towards the end of February.
What techniques do you use to make the most of available writing time? Have you tried this approach and it hasn’t worked? What are your goals (writing or otherwise) for 2013? I’d love to hear from you.