Well, November has come and has almost gone. My attempt at writing 50,000 words for the National Novel Writing Month, has proved to be an unmitigated disaster!
Perhaps next year?
I could trot out a number of excuses like health, computer failure or poor discipline, but I will not. The biggest thing I learnt, apart from the need for a fanatical discipline, is to teach myself to switch off my need to continually self edit the rolling input. The furious number crunching style of entering the hundreds of words, just did not sit easy with me.
I have this wish to be swallowed up in the story line, perfecting it in the first draft.
Sad, but true?
Brief note to myself.
November has arrived and it is time to put aside all distractions and get that novel written.
50,000 words plus what ever else I can squeeze out of these two typing fingers.
Watch this space?
Where has the Freshly Pressed section of the WordPress.com homepage gone to or have I had a frontal labotomy whilst I was asleep?
My inspirational muse has apparently been hi-jacked by the guys and dolls at WordPress.com. Thanks a bunch Jack!
It has just gone 01h30 in the morning. That’s half past one in the morning in the UK to you time zone freaks!
It has been a rough day, with an early night trying, without success, to catch up on some much needed sleep.
OK, I know what you are thinking; stop being a cry baby, get over myself and go back to achieving great things.
But let me tell you anyway. I got nothing better to do at this ungodly hour and neither have you by the looks of it!
You reading this are you not?
I will endeavour to keep it short.
I got out of bed at 6.
Switched on the coffee machine – if did not work – it was no more, gone to the happy hunting grounds of all coffee makers, one day after their warranty expires.
Sat down in front of the computer to put in my two hours of writing,
Did I mention that this is done with morning coffee?
Computer failed to get going. Got up and checked the lights. No lights.
Grabbed the mobile phone and called the utility company.
Debit order from bank to pay for electricity had ‘bounced’.
Spent 21/2 hours with a call centre provided gold class service to the banks premium customers.
Have you ever dealt with a call centre? Give me a break!
And so the day continued. I won’t bore you anymore.
You are still reading?
So here I am in the small hours of the morning, trying to chill out.
I just came across some of the WordPress Freshly Squeezed offerings and their blog, explaining how they, these fine young cannibals, select which blogs make the A List.
To hell with the WP-editor-FP-scourers!
Currently, I am following what a certain politician said or did not say to officers of the law and sadly, this story has been raised from the levels of pure stupidity to that of being very annoying.
The final straw for me would be if this person, who in my opinion is suffering from poor judgement, would answer his critics by saying, “I did not use those words, per se, but …”
That would really send me around the twist!
Having grown up in a country where millions of people were disenfranchised, I developed an interest in politics from an early age. Some smart person once told me that if I ever wanted to understand something, I should read a newspaper, but not just one, but as many different publications as possible. Guess it was a way of telling me to obtain a balanced point of view?
Since the sixties, things have speeded up a bit and the media and their reporting are no exception. All sorts of attention grabbing stories are now instantly streamed to your favourite smartphone.
So, with the 57th quadrennial presidential election taking place in the USA on
Tuesday, November 6, 2012 and the UK election to the 56th parliament to be held on 7 May 2015, we are in for some interesting reporting. Let us hope that these writers report the facts?
I spent this morning reviewing the Creative Genius Program by Phil South. ( Have a look at the full version – http://writingfit.com/ )
A knock on the front door interrupted my reading. After I had dispensed with the pest, I happened to look down at one of the flower boxes. There, resting alone, was a leaf from a nearby tree.
I returned indoors, but that leaf had got me thinking and soon a poem was generated.
The First Leaf.
The first leaf fell today
I wonder what it is trying to say
It came to rest on the ground
Not a whimper of a sound.
A contradiction in the weather
Forcing it to loose its tether
That caused it to let go
And fall to earth so slow.
Does the summer morning light
Begin to hide from sight
First by a minute or two
Slow to come into our view.
Has summer really gone
Before it has sung its song
The first leaf fell today
I wonder what it is trying to say.
Now, I am not a great lover of poems, so this reaction is rather strange. Had the review of Phil’s Creative Genius Program started its thing on my crusty old brain? It sure looks like it!
Becoming a Guru?
For some time now, I have been struggling to transfer my Blog to a permanent place, out there on the ether.
I want to write, but I am spending too much time trying to learn from the experts out there.
I mean, how many experts are out there, offering Heinz’s 57 points to becoming a better this or that?
And furthermore, what defines a Guru? Can I become a Guru?
I then read all the warnings about ‘those’ misleading Gurus and then came across this.
Only I can decide.
In case you all may have missed it, I am a Writer (thanks Jeff G!) and I have been busy writing and sending out the results to one and all.
I have approached this task in various ways. By selecting recipients in different target markets, researching current topics and responding to submission requests.
Shucks, I even bared my soul to some, explaining what made me ‘tick’ as a writer.
And there it was. My first rejection, in all its glory! OK, so it said I was not the fit they were looking for, whatever that means, but hey guys & dolls, it was still a written reply. This was the only written reply out of some 20 odd submissions.
I am revelling in the sunshine of this acknowledgement! Onward & upward?
This notice will most definitely go on my notice board, along with many other ‘firsts’.
Busy reading – 365 Things I Learned the Hard Way (So You Don’t Have To) (The Digital Writer) [Kindle Edition], The Digital Writer (Author), Jonathan Wondrusch (Illustrator).
Part of the book description stated:
You can write any future you want to.
“The key to success is deciding the future you want, and then determining the cost of that future and whether or not you’re willing to pay the price. If you are, then you must to do everything possible to keep your eye on the prize until you can see the gold finally glistening in your hand.”
Being a struggling writer, I found this extremely uplifting; right up until the postman arrived and dumped the month end bills into my letter box!
I sat back in my chair, staring at the pile of misery and wondered how creative this writer was going to get this month. I looked across at the goldfish bowl, former home of the recently departed ‘Goldie’ and now residence to all the current bills.
The bowl runneth over; again!
Well, one thing was for sure. In the real world of struggling writers, I was in good company. The second revelation was that I was going to need a bigger goldfish bowl.
It was time for a brisk walk outside to clear the depression. Then a cup of tea and back to reading 365 Things.
The importance of being truthful to your readers.
What has this got to do with the boss lady? Quite a lot, as both misdemeanors could lead you down a slope of no return.
By this stage, female writers will be smiling knowingly, while guys will be hanging our heads in shame! If you are one of those rare men that are faultless, then I will seek your advice later?
But coming back to writers and being honest with your readers.
In his book “The Speed of Trust” by Stephen M.R. Covey, says that lack of integrity and trust in others slows life down and makes it more expensive. He also tells a story of how Warren Buffet did a very large business deal based on a handshake and it only took a few months to close the deal because they had a great deal of trust between them.
Now if we accept that writing is a business like any other business and that your readers are your business partners, your customers and friends, then it is essential that writers when starting out build a sound relationship with their readers. So, when building a report with your prospective readers, remember that they are going to be spending their hard-earned money buying your books, your ‘products’ and by placing their trust in you, they will enjoy what they read and in return, offer you as the author, the greatest gift of all – referrals!
What is so important about referrals? Well, unless you intend to only write one novel, or one magazine article or one post in a blog, then you are in this for the long haul. You will be building relationships, gathering followers or as Jeff Goins puts it, ‘Building a Tribe’.
Take time as writer to develop these skills. Just as poor writing skills lead to poor content, under developed plots or shoddy grammar, integrity is also in the building mix of solid foundations.
Oh, and now go back and tell your wife that you broke a dish last night when making that midnight snack!