Friday, November 24, 2006

Focusing on the future

Yesterday it was my birthday. Despite this, I did not take the day off from the Nano challenge, and I wrote another 2600 words.

As of last night, I had cruised past the 35,000 word target -- well on my way to achieving the Nanowrimog goal, and even better, FINISHING THE STORY within the time frame.

I feel truly alive when I'm writing, when the characters are speaking to me and acting of their own accord, events happen that I did not imagine, and my subconscious works overtime. This is the part that I love. I have deliberately tackled Nano very fast this year. No dithering in front of the computer, wondering what I'm going to write.

I set the Wizard for thirty minutes and write as fast as I can. Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn't. But my personal best for thirty minutes is over 1200 words.

This love of creativity has become a common theme in each of my stories.

In Kissing Toads, Jessica is a photographer but in many ways, it has become just a job. She documents her search for Mr Right with her camera, and holds an exhibition of the subsequent photos. The journey and her creativity become more important than finding a man.

In Making the Cut, Chloe realises that Luke is the love of her life just as rumours start circulating that he is leaving the country town. She makes a documentary featuring the students and parents of Bilby Creek to convince him to stay.

In I'm with the Band, Kat is on a personal journey of self-discovery which includes singing on stage with her rock idols, writing a song and recording it.

And in my lastest Nanowrimo outpouring of creativity, Diary of the Future, Nickie not only exercises her creative talents by writing diary entries in advance and watching the events unfold, she also discovers a talent for painting. And she and her boyfriend Craig (another art student) have nicknamed each other Salvadore (as in Dali) and Frida (as in Kahlo)

So, I'm an advocate of creativity in whatever form turns on the muse and brings her out to play. I encourage everyone to discover their creative talent. Write, draw, knit, scrapbook, cook -- experiment and discover your muse.

After passing yesterday's milestone, I have upped the ante on my Things to Do Before I Die list. My goal is to have a publishing contract in my hand by the time I'm 40. 364 days to achieve this goal.

So with a goal comes a plan:
NOVEMBER: Finish first draft of Diary of the Future. Win Nano!!
DEC/JAN: Edit Making the Cut
FEB: Submit Making the Cut, Finish I'm with the Band
MAR/APR: Edit I'm with the Band
MAY/JUNE: Edit Diary of the Future
AUG: Chill out and find more writing mojo at Byron Bay Writers Festival

There's no 'new' writing in the plan. (although I'm sure it will happen in the rewrites). It's time to focus on the editing and rewriting and knocking the manuscripts into shape, because there has been one element missing in the process in the past. SUBMIT. And that, will be the keyword to propel me towards the goal.

Besides, there is always the momentum of Nanowrimo next November to spin out another first draft.


Anonymous said...


Good luck with your novel. And, don't give up if you don't have that publishing contract in hand within the next 365 days - before you're 40.

Publishing is a slow business. Just keep plugging along - no matter how long it takes.

Suzanne Lieurance
The Working Writer's Coach

keed said...

i like your drive. good luck with your aspirations

Lonnie said...

Congrats from China!