NaNoWriMo 2018: The Finish

NaNoWriMo is over and I have succeeded! 🙂

It was not easy to gather enough time to write this month. As you could read in the previous blog-entries, I had a lot of appointments and enough distraction to keep me away from the computer. But perseverance is something that I have (partly due to the fact that I am incredibly stubborn) and I am quite proud that I succeeded after all.

I am quite competitive, when it comes to a race against myself, and especially when something makes it extra difficult. That may sound strange, but it’s just the way I am. I do not give up and when I encounter obstacles, I am only inclined to fight harder.

Of course, many of these ” obstacles” were completely my own choice. Birthdays, a weekend away, spending time with people you love, are things that you clearly choose. And are also things that I will always choose, even when it means that I have to work extra hard or sit behind my keyboard in the middle of the night.

Other things you can’t do much about. Appointments with the hospital, far in advance scheduled events and a health that is failing more often than anyone would like are things that you could have to deal with in a month. Even a month where you can’t use it at all.

And if things don’t go like you planned, you have the choice whether you give up or give a little bit extra. I chose the latter.

Now NaNoWriMo is over and what has it brought me? Well, I got off to a good start with the manuscript that I’m working on! It is very nice to see that the story really starts to take shape, even if it’s still a first draft.

I am also pleased that, despite the busy month, I have completed the challenge. I can be proud of myself and that’s always a good feeling! In December I only have one event on the schedule and for the rest I will take some time off.

How did NaNo go for you? Are you satisfied with what you have achieved? And did you like to participate?

Lots of Love, Patty

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NaNoWriMo 2018 week 4: Final steps!

The last week… NaNoWriMo 2018 will end this Friday!

Luckily I have more time to write this week and I got off to a good start.

Although I really enjoy NaNo every time and it definitely gives my manuscript a boost, I always seem to forget how tired you can get. Of course I write a lot in daily life, but 50.000 words just are a lot in thirty days. Especially when it’s a month where you already have a lot of appointments.

Of course, it’s partly my own fault, although some things you can’t escape. Like I said; I do not intend to set aside everything to be able to write. Not even if I have a deadline.

Besides writing, I also spent an afternoon at the Coornhert Gymnasium in Gouda. This school has the “Fantasy Experience” every year where writers are invited to give workshops and have a meet & greet with the students. Very nice of course!

In the same week, I was also present at the winter edition of Castlefest on Saturday, where I, together with my colleagues from Celtica Publishing, stood behind the stand to sell books, chat with readers and of course sign my books. Also awesome!

Furthermore I like to spend time with my family and friends and it doesn’t matter if it’s November or  any other month. Although that is all at the expense of writing time, I certainly wouldn’t want to miss it. ❤

Now I have two days left … two days to successfully complete NaNoWriMo 2018. Will I succeed in making another final sprint? I will definitely try it!

Moreover, I have a great holiday in prospect and something to work towards is always a good motivation.

For everyone who wants to make a final sprint as well: Come on! You can do it!

Lots of love, Patty

NaNoWriMo 2018 week 3: Busy and chaotic

The third week of NaNo is almost over!

I have been away for a weekend and enjoyed it very much! 🙂 But of course that means I had less time to write. When I returned home the week started well and I managed to catch up a bit. The story, the world and the characters are getting more and more shape.

But right now, it’s pretty much a disaster. I have a lot to do and therefore I am chaotic. With two book events and a birthday this week, I really want to spend the rest of the time sitting on the couch with a cup of tea and Netflix.

These days happen when you write, sometimes you are just not feeling it or you don’t want to write. And that’s okay! As long as you don’t let it drag for too long, you can easily take a day or two for yourself. After all, writing should be fun!

Even if you are a full-time writer like me, you will still have days like these. Especially because you also have to deal with fairs, promotion, events and signing sessions that are all fun to do but also require a lot of energy.

For me, the biggest problem is that, if I am busy writing, I can’t stand to be disturbed in my flow. I become very restless when I can’t write due to circumstances (appointments, events, even fun times with family and friends). It’s not like I would want to miss those things, absolutely not! I really don’t want to set everything aside for NaNoWriMo or writing in general.

But I do get very tired of myself sometimes because the story in my head just goes on and on and I can’t get it out. When I do have time to write again, it often does not work. Scenes are getting tangled and ideas are messy. I get stuck, as it were, and have to be rebooted.

But I have set a goal and I still intend to get there!

How are things going with you? Do you think that you will be able to reach 50k at the end of this month?

Lots of Love, Patty

 

 

NaNoWriMo 2018 week 2: Distractions

The second week of NaNo is already over.

I have not been able to write as much as I would have liked and that also shows in my word-count. I’m going to fall behind! But no reason to panic, I still have two weeks.

This week was filled with distractions and that is no good if you want to write. Last time I said that I prefer working at home because it is nice and quiet and that is the case most of the time. However, I have two kittycats walking around who occasionally require extra attention. I can tell you: it’s not great for your concentration.

Besides, the Book Festival is here in the neighborhood tomorrow and of course I can’t resist going there for a while. After all, you never have enough books … 😉

Of course, I also have many other things to do that have to do with my work, but where I am not writing my manuscript. Preparations for events, promotion, keeping up with the sites, things for the publishing house and projects that I can not say anything about at the moment. 😉

And then we of course have the biggest culprit when it comes to distractions; Internet and Social Media. Because oh, it’s so tempting to open Facebook or Insta if you get stuck in your story. Before you know it you’re peeping around for an hour and of course you do not write a word.

Also apps, phone calls and daily things (messages, housekeeping, social contact) can take more time than you had estimated in advance. At least in my case, but I am not the best planner hahaha!

I also have been sick and that takes up a lot of energy. Energy I would rather put in my writing.

Still, I want to win NaNo this year and I will therefore have to work extra hard. That will be difficult, because this weekend I have no time to write and next week I have two book events. Hopefully I can catch up after that.

So, ignore distraction and take next week head on! What distracts you when you’re writing?

Lots of love, Patty

NaNoWriMo 2018 week 1: We have started!

We have started! At least, I have. 🙂

The beginning of the first week of NaNo 2018 went nicely. I had the notes ready for my manuscript so I could start right away. Not everything is immediately useful in the story, but that’s not really necessary. After all, we have just started and I already know that my manuscript will count more than 50,000 words anyway.

I see NaNo more as a nice kick-start than an attempt to complete a first-draft. That I worked hard also shows in the chart. (Oh, how I like that chart!)

Especially because I never have a lot of time to write in the weekend and I was sick for a couple of days so I wasn’t able to write as much as I wanted.

Because of illness I often have to take a step back and I don’t like that one bit. Most of the time I am able to fight through it but sometimes even the smallest effort is too much.

But I think that I have lived through the worst now, so I hope the rest of the month will be better. Although I try to write as much as possible, I have no reason to cheer yet. I also have a lot of appointments this month which will affect my writing hours. That’s why I tried to work “ahead” a bit, despite my sickness. Hopefully, this will be sufficient, otherwise I will have to work extra hard in the second half of the month!

I prefer to write at home, in the living room where my pc is located. Well, I can actually write anywhere, but a good seat is still very important when you sit behind the computer for a long time. Do you have a favorite writing spot?

Moreover, it is nice and quiet during the day and I can listen to my own music. My favorite writing music is Imagine Dragons right now.

Despite everything, it’s a reasonable good start of NaNo for me. How are things going with you?

Lots of love, Patty

NaNoWriMo 2018!

November is the time for NaNoWriMo en I am participating!

What is NaNoWriMo?

It stands for National Novel Writing Month. NaNo is an annual, Internet-based creative writing project that takes place during the month of November. Participants attempt to write a 50,000 word manuscript between November 1 and November 30.
NaNoWriMo focuses on the length of a work rather than the quality, encouraging writers to finish the first draft of their manuscript.

Who are participating in NaNoWriMo?

Writers (published and unpublished) from all over the world are participating in NaNoWriMo. It doesn’t matter if you are a proffessional writer or just love to write as a hobby.
The only rules are:

• Writing starts at 12:00: a.m. on November 1 and ends 11:59:59 p.m. on November 30, local time.
• No one is allowed to start early and finish 30 days from that start point.
• Novels must reach a minimum of 50,000 words before the end of November. These words can either be a complete novel of 50,000 words or the first 50,000 words of a novel to be completed later.
• Planning and notes are permitted, but no real writing before the November 1 start date.
• Participants’ novels can be on any theme, genre of fiction, and language.

How do you “win” NaNoWriMo?

To win NaNoWriMo, participants must write an average of approximately 1,667 words per day in November to reach the goal of 50,000 words written toward a novel.
If you have a manuscript of at least 50.000 words at the end of November, you may call yourself a winner! You will get a digital certificate and badges to place on Social Media or blog.
Of course you can also participate if you don’t reach the 50.000 words. But do set a goal, 30.000 for example. It’s all about the challenge!

How to participate?

Writers wishing to participate first register on https://nanowrimo.org, where they can post profiles and information about their novels. You have to fill in your word-count every day of NaNo. The site converts that into a chart and shows you how many words you need to write per day to reach your goal. Furthermore, there are forums where you can get in touch with other writers, you can add “writer budies” to motivate each other and you get regular tips and pep talks from various writers from all over the globe.
Municipal leaders and regional forums help connect local writers, holding writing events and providing encouragement.

Why do I participate?

This is the fourth year that I participate in NaNoWriMo. Twice I won and one time I unfortunately did not. I participate because I like a challenge and I have noticed that NaNo is pretty motivating, a real kickstart for your manuscript. It can be difficult sometimes to focus on writing, but because you are motivated by other writers and the site itself, can NaNo be the nudge you need. Because you want to win, you are less inclined to lose your focus. And I confess; I love to see my chart rise to 50,000 words!

I will keep you informed of my progress. And to everyone who participates this year: Good luck!

Interviews

In the past 5 years I have done my fair amount of interviews as a writer. And I like to do them! It’s nice to tell people about your work and to show them a little bit who you are behind the books. 

Most of the interviews are through e-mail or chat, it’s easy for both parties and I like to think a bit about the answers I want to give.

Last year, I also have had an interview on the radio which was a lot of fun!

A bit scary at first, I don’t really like the sound of my own voice hahaha!

But not as scary as being interviewed on stage while you are being filmed as well.  Some people may be born for the spotlights, for me it’s quite frightening to go on stage in front of an audience.
Thanks to Bart, presenter of the show, I think that I managed pretty well and even had fun doing it. Sure was a memorable experience!

Most of the interviews I do are in Dutch, because I am a Dutch writer after all. I did, however, an interview in English for The Heroine’s Journey. 🙂

You can read that one right HERE.

Besides giving interviews, I also like to interview my fellow Dutch writers for my YouTube channel. I don’t see them as rivals because people don’t just read one book. I like to see them as colleagues and have a lot of fun learning about them and their stories. 

Giving interviews is an interesting part of being a writer, especially because I never really gave it any thought before my first novel was published. I wrote a book and it would be great if people would read it. But giving interviews and all that? It never even crossed my mind to be honest. You could say that I learned much in the past five years! 😉 There’s a lot more to the job than meets the eye.