I’m seeing these letters spring up all over the internet, in the groups I belong to, and on message boards.

November is the month of NaNoWriMo. It’s a time when writers from around the world band together and offer encouragement and support whilst each of them aim for a 50,000 word count in 30 days.

Normally, you’ll read about what a buzz it is to participate in NaNo but not here, not today.

I did NaNo a couple of years ago. Yes, I was a “winner” (I reached the 50,000 words) but in doing so I exhausted myself to the extent that I couldn’t write for a long time afterwards. I’m talking in excess of six months. I suffered burn out. And to make matters worse, the manuscript I wrote during NaNo was utter trash and if I were to continue with that particular idea I would have to start again and rewrite the whole thing – every single word.

Some people thrive on deadlines, on pushing themselves to the limit but other people do themselves a lot of damage. If you fall into the latter category then the stress of forcing yourself to write over 1500 words every day could do you harm, and you should think about your decision to participate carefully.

Having said these things, I believe that every person is different and everyone should experience it themselves to know if NaNo is for them or not. It’s not for me. I will never do NaNoWriMo again but I appreciate the fact that thousands of writers get a kick out of it and look forward to November each year. To those people, I wish you the best of luck, high energy levels, and may the words flow freely.

Targeted Audience

This is NOT writing related, this is blog related.

I’ve often wondered what the fascination is about getting a high site metre reading. I know it means people are reading your posts and that’s fine but I’m not talking about normal site metre readings, I’m talking about things like Blog Explosion and other “services” like it.

Now, I might be completely wrong about this and if that’s the case then feel free to correct me but the way I see it, I don’t want a thousand people visiting this blog every day if only five of them are writers. What’s the point of that? It seems that the more blogs you visit, the more points (or whatever) you get in return. So out of those thousand visitors, how many actually read anything? I’d say very few. So, again, what’s the point?

I’m like everyone else. I want to know that people are visiting this blog and that they are reading my posts. I have submitted this blog to search engines, directories, and where ever else I can think of to get people to come here. However, the people I want to visit are writers, not just anyone who is looking to increase their own points so that they get more traffic.

What I’m saying is that I have a targeted audience and that I can’t see the point of trying to get the whole world to visit this blog when only a small percentage (of the entire world) is interested in writing.

The reason I’ve bought this up is because I notice more and more blogs are joining these “traffic increasing” schemes and it makes me want to ask…if you have joined, why? Why do you want uninterested readers visiting your website?

The Show Goes On

I’ve been sick for a couple of days now. Yesterday, left me knocked off my feet and not capable of doing anything – especially writing. I couldn’t even read, which was annoying but the old brain cells refused to function and concentrating for any length of time was out of the question.

My word count hasn’t moved since the weekend for obvious reasons. What’s the point of writing without a brain, the words would be trash. This evening, feeling slightly better, I thought I’d read through what I have for chapter 11 so far…and guess what? I actually found myself writing and I finished the chapter. πŸ˜€

I’m pleased with myself. Guess that means I am well enough to return to work tomorrow?!? In an ideal world, I wouldn’t have to go to work tomorrow or any other day. But…I don’t live in an ideal world. What a shame.

It’s Back

Word Metre is back. I don’t know what the problem was but I think they had to restore all their pages.

Anyway, I’ve decided that I like seeing the graphic…it’s more inspiring than just numbers. Yet, in my hunt for a new word metre I read numerous blogs that hate them. I can only imagine the reason for this is that the person doesn’t write enough, so the word count doesn’t climb quick enough and they find that discouraging. There’s an easy way to fix that problem…write!

Music – Old and New

I rarely listen to music whilst on the computer. I find it distracting, so can’t write. This afternoon, I’m listening to music while I surf instead. It’s really, really soft so that it doesn’t intrude on my thoughts. There’s quite a mixture of old and new music, but all the songs are sentimental and meaningful for me – none of this head-banging rubbish for me.

Here are the last ten songs I’ve listened to:

  • How Could this Happen to Me by Simple Plan
  • January by Pilot
  • Julia by Pavlov’s Dog
  • Take My Breath Away by Emma Bunton
  • Speed of Sound by Coldplay
  • The Flame by Cheap Trick
  • I Can Love You Like That by Boyz II Men
  • I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing by Aerosmith
  • When You Say Nothing At All by Ronan Keating
  • Slipping Away by Max Merritt and the Meteors

What a fabulous list! πŸ˜‰

What are you listening to?

Day 36: Two-thirds Done

This morning I made a public goal to write four pages tonight. I’m pleased to announce that I reached that goal, and in doing so I also finished chapter 10. As there are 15 chapters altogether, this means that I’m two-thirds of the way through. I’m progressing through this manuscript much faster than I ever imagined and the quality is high too. I’m really, really pleased with what I have so far.

Official word count at the end of chapter 10 is 19,824 words.

Progress Metre

The problem with images has been sorted out and now the progress metre I’ve been using has disappeared. πŸ™

I’ve checked the site where it was located and they seem to have taken down all the pages except a few text pages and the forum (which was active but is now bare). Maybe they are experiencing problems or maybe they’ve decided that the bandwidth was costing them too much (a lot of people were using the metre).

For now, I’ve taken the actual visual metre off this site. I have left the numbers – which will do the job of inspiring me on – until I find a replacement. If you know of a word metre (apart from the NaNo one which I think is too big), please let me know.

What’s the Point Anyway?

What’s the point of a scene? There’s only one answer to this question – each scene moves the story along. So if you’re writing scenes that don’t move the story along, then you’re wasting your time. Those scenes need to be deleted, no exceptions.

With my latest project, I’ve found myself asking “so what’s the point of this scene anyway” and if I don’t know the answer then I’m heading in the wrong direction. Luckily, I haven’t had many of these dead ends (only one in fact) but it’s important to remember that each and every scene must have a purpose.

Sometimes it’s difficult to delete a scene, especially one that is worded just right but leaving it in isn’t going to do yourself or your manuscript any favours. You must learn when to cut and then do it.

So, one more time, each and every scene must have a purpose and must move the story along. If it doesn’t, get rid of it.