Last Friday, I embarked upon an experiment. A writing experiment which I have been meaning to try for many years. It's nothing flash or creative but the simple act of writing a book by hand. My usual style is typing straight into a word document which is the skeleton template which I have adopted over the years. But this new project isn't commissioned for an editor or even known about by my agent; a secret project where I can indulge and take as long as I wish because there are no deadlines.
I grabbed a nice new notebook, a trusty fountain pen and proper ink, and away I went. The purpose is to see if hand writing has a different creative process for me in relation to drafting or editing on a laptop. I've been told over the years that I'll have cleaner 'draft one' as the process of hand writing automatically includes a level of basic editing. Whereas my fast flowing typing fest via a screen is literally word after word flowing with as much urgency as my brain can muster.
So far, in five days, I have found a different level of enjoyment. You forget how good it feels to have the paper glide beneath your writing hand. And, hand ache having held the pen for too long! The story is flowing nicely and I have been lost for periods of time without looking up - it reminds me of being a child when the teacher set a writing task.
I have no idea how many words I've written - which has taken away one of my daily measures, but am conscious of the page turning as I fill each one with scrawly writing.
My intention is to hand write every day from now until the end of the year, including my NaNoWriMo challenge, and see how much I can complete. I have my usual main project on my laptop, but its been nice having an additional secret one too.
I love October; a favourite month due to the autumnal colours, the cosy feels and special days. And, of course, NaNoWriMo prep!
Today, I entered my project details into the official NaNoWriMo.org website which makes it totally live and legit in my head. My goal is 50,000 words, anything more is a bonus! I planned this book a while ago, so I'm literally waiting to start on 1st November. As always, I'll probably do a couple of sessions throughout each day and update my word count each night.
If you haven't heard of NaNoWriMo before the aim is to write 1667 words each day for one month. It's a global challenge which brings writers of all abilities together for four weeks. Press the red font above for a link to the official website.
Personally, I find week three the most challenging. Weeks one and two are fuelled by the enthusiasm for a new writing project and week four has the end in sight. I try to get ahead regarding my word count in the first two weeks allowing myself a slower pace in week three, if needs be.
My countdown has offically begun!
Last Thursday, saw book two of my 'From Shetland' series published in both ebook and audio format*. As always, I made the most of publication day with a revisit to Haworth and the Bronte parsonage before an evening of celebration and bubbles. I always use publication day as a memory making day because you never know how many you'll achieve as an author! I'd hate to let one slip by.
I was inundated with 'congratulations' and 'best wishes' messages from fellow authors, bloggers and readers, plus a beautiful bouquet from my editor at Headline Publishing Group. Though in all honesty, the real publication thrill occurred this morning when I discovered this in 'Women's Contemporary Fiction' chart on Amazon. #ThankYouReaders
*the paperback follows on 11th November