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Write your book!

It's November and it's Nanowrimo again and I feel I should have signed up but there aren't enough hours in the day just now. So I'm resting on my laurels:


Is it really three years ago that I managed to complete the challenge of writing 50,000 words in a month? I wrote my 50,000 the year before I seem to remember but didn't manage to get my completed word length onto the counter before the deadline - honestly! I can't remember what my excuse was in 2011 and 12 but I do know one thing: - focusing on writing to the exclusion of everything else does work. A big part of the secret is the support you get from all the other people going through the same thing - it's definitely a collective experience. There were hundreds ... no thousands of us just in Kent.  But it's happening all over the world and in some places groups of writers are getting together for 24 hour write-ins and weekends away. Lasdt year we spent a weekend at West Dean which was wonderful. I suppose it works like Weight Watchers. If you've got to meet up with a crowd and explain why you haven't achieved what you set out to do, it galvanises you into action. Nanowrimo certainly played a vital part in the long hard struggle of writing Molluscs and Me. Some years I wrote other stuff and sometimes I just produced pages and pages of the stream of consciousness that comes from a relaxed brain. But that in itself was very cathartic and eventually what I was writing started to make sense and form itself into a book.

So am I Nano-ing this year? Well strictly speaking I'm not, but I have got something I want to write and it needs doing now.  So I shall be on the margins, picking up the vibes from friends who are more involved and using that as a way of getting it done.

Nanowrimo forever!

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What sort of week have you had?

When I get my copy of Mslexia I always read the guest week of tweets which give a brief insight into someone else’s life. I decided to have a go at writing one myself but got stuck:

Monday - cleaned out and fed snails, posted orders, dull and cool

Tuesday - cleaned out and fed snails, collected large order, slightly warmer and sunnier

Wednesday - cleaned out and fed snails, posted orders, dull and drizzly

You get the picture?


Not very riveting for the reader really.

But on Monday evening I met Whitstable Women Writers for the first time and enjoyed their company a great deal. We did a writing exercise on similes. It’s played like consequences. Each person takes a sheet of A4 and at the bottom writes the beginning of a sentence, e.g. The sky was as bright as …; His face looked like…

The sheets of paper are passed round the group and each person in turn writes as many responses as they can think of, at the top of the sheet and then folds it over and passes it on. You couldn’t easily put that into a tweet!

I spent most of Tuesday morning writing an article for Smallholder magazine. There’ll be a double page spread with 4 pictures in the August edition which comes out on 3rd July.

Wednesday evening was a meeting with Nanowrimo friends. It is so good to get together with other people struggling with the writing and publishing process and talk things over. I came out feeling refreshed.

On Thursday I posted out an order and then got an email from the customer asking if he could cancel it and get a refund because he’d ordered by mistake! Looking at the time when he placed the order – early hours of the morning - I’d guess he was probably drunk… or maybe it was a practical joke played by a ‘friend’. Told him to send them back as soon as they arrived and impressed on him the urgency. If the poor creatures survive I might give him a refund.

Friday brought in another request for me to tell someone everything I know for nothing in return. I get several of these every week.

Spent a couple of hours on Saturday weeding the outdoor snail pen which is quite a pleasant activity on a fine day. But it was irritatingly windy and it hasn’t rained enough to keep the soil malleable so it was hard work getting a fork into the ground.

Today is another day. Hope there aren’t any more orders from the USA. I have to spend time refunding their money and explaining – yet again - that the USDA won’t allow live snails to be imported. There’s a note to that effect on every page of the online shop but people keep on ordering anyway. Perhaps they’re hoping the computer won’t notice their address.

Lots of hungry mouths to feed as usual!