Week One

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Hello, welcome, congratulations, you’ve found your way to the first entry on my creative writing blog. I hope you like what you find and, if you do, stick around because there will be more to come.

The main project I’ve been working on for quite some time is the first draft of my novel. I’ve never attempted a novel before and I doubt I ever will again, not because it’s unpleasant, but because I’ve dawdled so much I’m not sure life will be long enough to complete this one, let alone thinking about more. Still, never say never, eh?

As far as this blog goes, my modus operadi will be to start off each post with some writing statistics and continue with a little talk on how things have been going.

The weekly statistics*

Work on the first draft of my novel:

Total words for the week: 5,175
Total words in draft to date: 45,005
Number of days worked on novel this week: 7
Minimum words per day this week: 514
Maximum words per day this week: 1,082

Other writing work:

Blog posts for Pam Alison Knits: 3

Related activities:

Completed a read-through of “A Writer’s Book of Days” by Judy Reeves
Took this new creative writing blog ‘live’

The chat

Well, here I am. I have been deliberating over this new blog for quite some time, in fact the idea for a blog separate from Pam Alison Knits has been gestating for about five years. It gained solidity earlier in the spring of this year with the idea that it should be a space to publish actual creative writing, but to begin with I am more comfortable to use it to record my progress and to ponder creative writing as a topic.

This is a good point at which to start recording progress on my work. I had a rocky period for creativity through from last summer to this spring and I’m only now beginning to feel all that is behind me. That’s not to say, of course, that the past four months have been easy, because they certainly haven’t, but I have at least had the consolation of a gradual return of my creative impulses.

Last Sunday I hit 40,000 words on the first draft of my novel and that felt like a momentous occasion to me. I first had the idea for the novel back in 2016 and it took the form of some notes scribbled on a piece of personal-sized Filofax paper standing in the kitchen at the office where I worked at the time. Over the following two years I worked on it a bit, fleshed out some characters, but looking back I think it was a half-hearted attempt. Changes in my work situation repeatedly sent me scurrying away from any thought of writing. Then in early 2019 I had a sudden revelation that changed the nature of the novel and of the characters I had thought of, and which proved to be the spark needed to coalesce this into a story I wanted to tell.

Getting to the 45,000 words mark I’m currently at wasn’t plain sailing, though. I worked steadily on it for a while but allowed myself to get sidetracked for six whole months and only picked it up again in March 2020. During the time I wasn’t writing I dithered over whether to continue to use Scrivener, invest in a different writing-focused application, or just use Apple Pages. This is the equivalent of a hamster nervously grooming itself – just displacement activity and ultimately a purposeless distraction. When I was ready to start writing again, it turned out I was more than happy to continue in Scrivener.

Aside from the novel, I haven’t been doing much creative writing recently and that’s fine because I’d rather be working on the novel. Sometimes I do a practice piece using prompts from “A Writer’s Book of Days”, a non-fiction book I’ve had for years and have only got around to reading cover to cover in the past couple of months. I’ve dipped in and out of it before, but setting myself the target of reading a set number of chapters a week really worked a charm. As the world opens up a bit again I intend to read through it a second time and do the exercises as I go along although, being sixty, I am doubtful if I will want to dance naked in a woodland clearing by the moonlight shouting “I am a wild woman!” Why do so many books of advice about writing seem to be written by hippies?

I am including in my writing statistics the number of posts I write on my original blog, Pam Alison Knits, because it is an important part of my writing life and I’m proud of the consistency I’ve managed to achieve in posts over the past couple of years.

I’m going to leave this here, hoping that it has been entertaining and/or informative for anyone who has found their way to it. I will be back again next Sunday to report on how this week’s writing has gone and perhaps to explore some aspects of my writing in a little more depth.


*Explanatory Notes

  • For the purpose of the statistics, my weeks run from Sunday morning to Saturday night, which is one reason why these blog posts will appear each Sunday.
  • I use Scrivener by Literature and Latte for my creative writing and take my statistics from there.
  • The working title of my novel is The Pen Emporium, it’s a fictional romance set in a small English town in contemporary times but referencing a trip to New York in the early 1970s.

 

2 thoughts on “Week One

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