I’m engaging my ‘smug mode’ this morning. I challenged myself to do NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) this month, and succeeded! My novel is now… well… written. Unfortunately it’s a long way off me letting anyone actually READ it because I need to reread it, edit it, revise it myself first. But, it exists!
I didn’t think it possible five weeks ago. I realised it would involve me writing about 2,000 words a day, every day, for the whole month. I write my stuff longhand, with pen and paper, then transfer it by two-finger typing to the computer. I didn’t think I could physically do 2,000 words a day like that. In fact, it was proving very tough, so mid month I did a few experiments. I tried speaking the words into my Sony tablet, using ‘Evernote’. Doh! I couldn’t make it capitalise. Then it would miss a few words, so I would say them again, and it would do them twice. Finally I gave up when I said ‘illuminated reindeer’ and it converted it to ‘nominated philanderer’. (And what was I doing with an ‘illuminated reindeer’ anyway in my novel? Ah! You’ll have to read it and find out…)
We went away for a mini-break, so I was forced away from my laptop, and ‘Word’. ‘Evernote’ and the Sony tablet came up trumps this time. I typed my novel into a series of notes in ‘Evernote’. Using the predictive text was fast and accurate for me, and I achieved previously unheard of speeds of typing (for me, anyway). The only problem I had was when I selected the wrong word from the predictive offering on the top bar, but that didn’t happen very often.
I learned a lot, and enjoyed the process. I’ve only written short stories before, and it was quite nice having a whole gang of intricate characters at my beck and call. I rather miss them, now. I might have to start another novel…
After twenty plus years of using a computer to generate all my graphics and illustrations, I’ve re-discovered my hand. Where has it been all these years?
These last few months I’ve been working on my ‘Black Hole in the Beetroot’ children’s adventure series, and I’m loving losing myself in the ink and wash illustrations.
As well as re-discovering my hand, I’ve finally discovered time-management. I’ve been labouring under a misapprehension these last four decades. It’s a misapprehension that has been a scandalous thief of my time and energy. It was the assumption that each of my days look like this:
when actually they look like this:
Every morning I would completely waste my sparkling, creative time doing mundane tasks, usually washing up and cleaning the kitchen from the night before. By the time I had finished my washing up, washing, food prep, shopping, and more, I was well into my ‘Can do mundane tasks’ section.
Now I’ve shifted things around a bit and it’s made all the difference. I make it a rule to get straight on with drawing and writing as soon as I’ve got up and finished my ‘morning pages’ (another story).
I’ve discovered I can do mundane tasks even right into my ‘Useless’ bit of the day, so washing up, and even the week’s big shop, have been relegated to the evening.
I can’t believe how this simple adjustment has changed my life? Why didn’t I do it years ago?
This blog is going to career off in yet another direction. First it was recipes, then it was cancer, now it’s going to be MY BOOK!
Yesterday I completed and uploaded my first self-published book to Amazon Kindle.
It’s a ripping science fiction yarn for 6-11 year old readers, fully illustrated.
I don’t know what I’m going to do with myself from now on. It’s been great getting up really early and immersing myself in an illustration. I got in a routine of doing one a day, preparing it in the morning and colouring in at night in front of the TV.
I’d better make a start on ‘Beetroot II, the sequel’…