It’s been a hectic year.
As I embark on another NaNoWriMo, I’m looking back at the last year or two. I took up writing “properly” when I was off work in 2014 with a bone spur in my shoulder. It stopped my climbing pilot ladders, which was part of my job as a Thames River pilot. Even after 8mm of bone had been removed from my shoulder and I was “fit,” I found that the job had lost its appeal, probably because I had spent six months off and had got used to it.
Fortunately, I was able to take early retirement and November 2015 saw the publication of my 2014 NaNo project, a Sci-fi thriller. It turned out that the date was bad planning on my part as the promotion work actually stopped me writing for most of the most important month for authors. I know better now!
This year I published a Steampunk tale in September to get it out of the way. Now I’m clear of all distractions and raring to start work on NaNoWriMo. I have a 1250 word short story that my editor and several others liked so much that I’ve decided to expand it. I don’t know what will happen yet, my work is very much pantster driven; it could go anywhere – or nowhere. That’s the exciting bit. I thought that writing Science Fiction would mean that I had to do very little research, after all, how can you research the future? But I was wrong. In the words of Isaac Asimov, “Nothing has to be true but everything has to sound true.” And that means all the future technology has to have a basis in fact.
And for those of you who don’t know, a pantster is someone who just writes and sees what happens, as opposed to a plotter who works it all out before they start.
I’ve also joined some great writing groups this year, and got so much inspiration from reading about the experiences of others; sitting at a keyboard can be a solitary existence so it’s good to hear that the things that bother you bother everyone else as well.
So in a year I’ve gone from someone who could barely write a holiday postcard to having two further novels in edit, and several more projects in various stages of completion. Where the inspiration has come from is anyone’s guess.
Encouraged by the kind words of the many new friends I’ve made I’ve started a website and Facebook author page, collaborated with some of the best in a short story collection and been introduced to amazing work from a bunch of talented authors I never would have found otherwise. I honestly don’t know where I ever found the time to go to work!
If you’re having a shot at NaNo this year, good luck and keep going, make sure that you celebrate your success, even if you don’t get to the magic number it could be the start of something special. I shall endeavor to keep you update of my wordcount progress as it is updated and, I hope, it will inspire you to meet yours. I imagine several of my social media posts will be informing you of when I’ve obtained the various badges you can get to encourage your writing. If you want to join me in this then feel free to comment and let me know how you’re doing. This is going to be a long adventure, one we will reach the end of together. But remember, there is always next year.