I want to start by explaining a little about who I am and what this site is for. I’m not going to say a great deal about myself at the moment – I’m aiming to stay semi-anonymous, or at least as anonymous as it’s possible to be online. This site (I’m not keen on the word ‘blog’ and will use it only as a last resort) was set up to track the progress of my writing “career”, which like many has stumbled and stuttered away for years – I didn’t want to make a big announcement that I’m writing a book then have it come to nothing. Again. I’ll also post links to articles on writing that take my fancy, more for my own benefit than anything else. My name is Jason, and my initials are (surprise, surprise) JW. I’m 46 and live in the UK. That’s all I’m saying about myself for now, but I might reveal more as time goes on.
I’ve harboured ideas about writing a book for about 25 years or so, for much of that time it’s always been one of those things I’ll do ‘when I get time’, but lately it’s been gnawing away at me more and more so it’s a case of making time rather than finding it. I’ve made several attempts – in 1997 or so (18 years ago!) I wrote something (I’ll call it ‘UG’) that looking back was a bunch of loosely connected characters in search of a plot, then about 5 or 6 years later wrote something a bit more cohesive but not very well planned, so I got to about 50000 words but ran out of steam (‘TNK’). It was a good idea, and I’m planning to have another go once I’ve worked on the plot a bit more. I still have UG and TNK, plus various other bits and pieces, lurking on my hard drive – reading them back I’m always surprised that they’re not completely terrible (although some passages make my toes curl), which gives me a bit of encouragement for my future endeavours.
However, in the mean time, I’ve decided to enter this year’s Nanowrimo. I’ve tried before, in 2005(!) but gave up about a week in. I’m determined not to do the same this year… or at least, if I do fail, I can just delete this and pretend it never happened! I’ve got a list of ideas; some are rubbish, some are just titles searching for an idea, but some do have potential so the next three weeks or so are all about deciding which to go for, thrashing out a plot and some characters, then on the 1st of November cracking on and doing it.
My aim is to have a completed novel on the 30th of November. It might not be particularly good, but at least I will have jumped the hurdle of getting a first novel completed and got (back) into the habit of writing regularly. It did cross my mind to use the time to write TNK, but I think that one deserves a bit more time and energy so I’m saving it for later.
I need to get out of the habit of overthinking things. This post, for instance, is currently just over 500 words and it’s taken me probably half an hour so far, with constant revisions and a few minutes here and there pondering the next….. word. With the Nanowrimo novel I want to sit down each day with an idea in mind and just write 2000 words (my target for each day, that way if I fall short I can make it up easily). When I was writing TNK the first time, I wrote it in MS Word, and would be constantly looking at the word count, adding in notes and footnotes… anything apart from actually getting the damn thing written! So next month’s exercise is just as much about changing my habits and mindset as anything else.