2016 Predictions

This year has been rife with changes for me; not least that I have stuck at doing several new things and actually succeeded at them.

For next year, there are a number of things I would like to predict will happen, in my life and in others’.

The first prediction is that I will get my son into swimming lessons (at last). He loves the water, always has, and is a wee terror if he doesn’t get the energy release from swimming of a weekend. It makes things interesting when we occasionally have family to visit, as he gets Very Excited when people are in the house (besides his parents, of course; we may as well be furniture).

The second prediction is that we will *not* go on our first family holiday. We’re kind of sort of trying to arrange one, but when my other half goes ‘I should just do this’ historically it hasn’t taken place.

The third prediction is that I will not publish a novel next year. It’s always something to aim for, but realistically I’m not there yet. NaNoWriMo this year helped, but I have a long way to go to 1,000,000 words. Especially with my sparse writing style.

The fourth prediction is that my job will give me at least as much stress as this year, if not considerably more. The promise of a payrise can’t compare to the hassle it’s going to bring as I am pushed into talking to *shudder* people. It’s mostly customers who garner that reaction in me; suppliers are easier to talk to for some reason.

The fifth prediction is that another change will come about in writing and publishing. I don’t know what it is, but the market is ripe for a change to loosen Amazon’s grip on the ebook market, and I fully expect to see it next year. Not that I have anything against Amazon; I just generally like to see people competing for my custom.

What are your predictions? Do you foresee a revolution in the way people read? A family Incident? The overturning of laws like VAT on ebooks? Let me know…

We’ll come back to this at the end of 2016 to see how realistic these predictions were, and hopefully it’ll turn out that some of them were true and others false (especially the stressy work one).



Post-NaNo Catchup

Hello there.

I’m writing this in a lull at work during November, and will doubtless post it having written over five or six different days.

I wanted to get down that I feel like I’ve been promoted. Not the you’ve-got-a-payrise kind, more that people are actually talking to me as though I’m in a position of authority. I’m used to being the one to sign things – I’ve worked in finance for years – but now people are calling me. On my work phone. It’s actually a heady feeling. And this week (on the 5th) I went for my first business lunch (as opposed to grabbing lunch on the way to a meeting).

I think it has something to do with acting like I’m in charge of something – perhaps there is something to my boss’ “Take Ownership” spiel after all.

Two weeks later (18th) and I still feel in charge, but of my life rather than work. Or at least my writing. I’ve been off ill for half a day (yes, that *is* a thing) and yesterday decided to actually plot my novel. An hour later, I have a scene list.

I’ve been fairly terrible about writing the last week or so – hitting 50k was a bit of a bad thing for me, I think. I will be submitting my 50k for validation on Friday (20th), but it’s taken away my drive to just pour the words out. I suppose that means I just need to find another motivator.

I have also discovered 4thewords.com, which is a game-type writing interface which sends you ‘questing’ and ‘battling monsters’ to hit word counts within time limits. It’s looking good so far, but they’re currently doing site maintenance, which is slightly annoying when I’m in the mood to write. Nonetheless, it’s promising as I’ve already written around 3k on there.


Yesterday, I was happy. For a good few hours, everything was lovely. No drama to follow, merely the realisation that this, just spending time puttering about the house with my family, was happiness. It was wonderful.

Of course, that can’t last, but I’m still utterly content, though there was the obligatory frustration with my work computer taking its sweet time loading up this morning. It looks to be a good week.

That was all I wanted to say for now. Just getting my happiness logged for later in the month when I’m having a meltdown and everything looks grim…

NaNoWriMo and Other Things

I have officially won my first ever NaNoWriMo! Yay!

I also discovered yesterday, quite by accident, that there was a site which had exactly what I need to motivate myself beyond 50k: 4thewords.com. They were sponsoring NaNo and I clicked through… and discovered the exact right thing for me.

I got 2k out on this new thing yesterday – battling monsters with word counts in a set time frame, and points for hitting 444 words per day, and streaks to maintain… it’s brilliant!

That, unfortunately, was the only writing I got done yesterday. My gnat-like attention span has decided I’ve finished Steel Fist for now, but I know (logically, as opposed to practically) that I still have a fair bit to write. My plan, such as it is, involves taking a weekend day and writing the scenes on my list until I hit 200k, then leaving the whole thing alone for seven or eight months.

In that gap, I can be writing other things using this overview-to-scene planning method, such as The Mob Accountant, Quirky Vampire Girl (working title), or even one of the numerous romances stored in my head.

I have a feeling new year’s resolutions for 2016 will include ‘write one whole effing story’.

NaNoWriMo Day 18 – Whoops

So, I – er – completely forgot to update my word count yesterday. There goes that last badge. *sigh*

In other news, I’ve been organising the scenes already written in Scrivener. I like it, but it’s kind of annoying in that I can’t see a word count except in one particular mode.

Last night, my other half gave me a nice long overview of his novel, should he ever get around to writing it. It was rather difficult not to picture how I would write it; I get the sense I wouldn’t be forgiven that one.

Then again, there’s that old saying: good writers borrow ideas from other people; great writers steal them outright… We shall see. It wouldn’t be the first time someone told me an idea and I ran with it (in probably a totally different direction).

I’m also not proud that I was rather critical – there were a few points I felt wouldn’t stand up to scrutiny (and one complete cop-out), but that’s not a reason for him not to write it that way. The only way to get this kind of thing right is to get it wrong a few times. Just like science, I suppose.

Anyway, I may or may not get any additional writing done today, but I know for a fact that next year’s NaNo will be done differently. And my procrastiscarf is coming along nicely 🙂

NaNoWriMo Day 17 – Inspiration!

What if, right, what if I just write the continuation of the story? I have a whole other plot for the youngest child of the main characters – in a different place with different characters. I could write that for the rest of NaNo!

This one, however, will be properly plotted. 50k or bust by 2015-11-30! That’s 12 days (tonight will be plotting) to write it. Assuming I can do 5k per day as early in Steel Fist, I won’t have a problem!

…second-guessing myself here. Why don’t I just plot Steel Fist and write the scenes which haven’t already been done? That way I am both a plotter and a pantser this year…

NaNoWriMo Day 17

Today, I’m back at work, feeling much better than yesterday.

I’ve got a few hundred words done, but tonight will be the real push to get some more written. That said, I may not have that much time – as my other half pointed out last night, I’m not a night owl at all. Staying up ’til midnight doesn’t agree with me; I’m more of an early bird getting up at 6.

The plan, now that I have hit the word count, is to go through and add more description to things. In addition, there are a few other bits I’d like to do: more on the ‘villains’ (really just rivals), and the ‘newssheet’ articles which will separate the chapters.

I’ve been thinking more on my other stuff too – going through an older one in my head yesterday (other half forbade me from exhausting myself by writing), I got some new ideas about where that story goes. I’ve also just about reconciled myself to the idea that I won’t make a living writing. I may well one day be able to make some money, but there’s no way I’ll make enough to stop having another job. *sob* There goes my dream of working from home.

Then there’s the undeniable lack of enthusiasm I’m having for writing this story – psychologically, I’ve won so I can stop. I need to work out what will motivate me to continue – especially given I only had a vague ending target, not a properly plotted story to write scene by scene. Next time, I’ll be a plotter rather than a pantser I think.

NaNoWriMo Day 16 – Update

I went home ill at lunchtime, and didn’t sneak in some cheeky writing. No, I went to bed and promptly to sleep. Currently struggling to stay awake long enough to eat dinner. I doubt I’ll be getting any more writing done today.

These colds seem to be hitting me a lot harder than they used to; I distinctly remember being able to dose up on painkillers and decongestants and basically forget I had any symptoms until they wore off. I dosed up this morning and still snuffled and sneezed my way through the day, replete with pounding headache. Either I’ve built up a tolerance or I’m getting less capable of handling the common cold. Either is a fairly worrying prospect.

As for the writing, my other half had the nerve to suggest that I would attempt to do some when I came home. I couldn’t concentrate on work, much less creative writing! What I didn’t truly realise until I began doing it in earnest is that writing takes a whole lot more effort than posting invoices and configuring software options. Writing is harder than my job by a fair margin.

Fingers crossed that tomorrow I’ll be able to stay up, go to work, and do some more wording in the evening; the prospect of not doing any is quite depressing, even though I’ve technically won NaNoWriMo. All I can say is that I’ve got into the habit now; the valve is open and I don’t want it to close.

The procrastiscarf has also been sorely neglected of late; I got about five rows done last night and that was the whole weekend. Further updates when I resume normal function…


NaNoWriMo Day 16

Yesterday, I kind of sat on my laurels a bit. 188 words, and some half-arsed configuration in Scrivener (I spent most of my time in there sorting out the structure for Ice & Earth). Today, I plan to get a bit more done, even if it leaves me shattered.

As it happens, I already feel like death warmed over – this is a rotten cold. I don’t remember colds being this bad when I was a teenager; they seem to be getting worse as I get older. As it is, I’m deaf in one ear (though nowhere near as bad as my best friend with a burst eardrum) and have a sporadic headache. Neither of which is conducive to getting my work done, much less writing a novel.

Then again, that’s a pretty good prompt. What happens when someone in the story gets a cold?

Arcane man-flu. Nice one. Now I have to go and write that.

NaNoWriMo Day 15

So mostly what I did today was start plotting my next novel. There is hope, however: I still plan to knock out a scene or two tonight in between watching TV.

I got Scrivener today; I’ve used it before in Ubuntu, but this is the first time in windows. I love the ability to organise things however I like, but it does somewhat facilitate my habit of taking a story and making it into a multi book epic…