NaNoWriMo Day #5



After writing a few blog posts and a couple of little poems my NaNoWriMo word count is now at 3140.

Writing today has mainly been updating lists and completing the newsletter for my main project, Independent Bookshops and Publishers, a weekly newsletter about what I’m doing and lists of bookish jobs, events, submissions, and new books.

Today’s photo prompt is taken from an old swing at the place I used to work and is also part of a photography project I’m doing.

I’ve just started a couple of poetry courses ran by the National Centre for Writing, both of which are free and both of which are lead by Aki Schilz.

First Steps in Short Form Poetry: This course looks looks at more traditional short forms, such as Haiku and Landay, then New Ways with Short Form Poetry Looks at looser forms such as Insta and micropoetry.

I had been looking at various courses for a while but a couple of shortish free courses sounded right up my street and more importantly, hopefully suited to my minuscule concentration span that’s developed over the past year.

As I progress through the courses I will be adding the work I do to a dedicated page for each course.

NaNoWriMo Day #2

Denim Jacket

Denim Jacket

Yesterday was a nice quiet start to my NaNoWriMo, and after writing my diary post and a couple of newsletter posts I achieved a word count of 1025.

I was actually quite pleased with that as they were all my own words, not lists, old documents, or other works rehashed.

I started to read the ‘Complete Creative Writing Course’ but almost fell asleep so went to bed with ‘Ten Things About Writing’ instead.

I love books like this for bedtime reading as there is enough information in one chapter to take in before falling asleep, or occasionally it will grip you totally and you will read the whole book in a few hours instead.

I’ll also be adding at least one photo of my own to the post that people could, if they want, use as a writing prompt.

Today’s was taken on one of my many walks around Darlington, I like picking little abandoned points like this and I’m going to collect them all into a photography project one day.


“A poetic form from the Pashtun women of Afghanistan and Pakistan based around an oral tradition of singing their injustices and their love.

The form is of two sentences, nine syllables in the first and thirteen in the second, sometimes they rhyme and they try to end in a ma or na sound.”

After reading the article at The Poetry Foundation about the culture and history of the oral tradition I was trepidatious that I was going to use such a strong part of their culture as a writing exercise and initially thought that I wasn’t going to write one but here is mine

Bearded or not, the men take and hold

Steal the hearts, souls and bodies, give hate in return.

Now off to write a post for my gaming newsletter and try and keep up some impetus in all the various projects I’ve got going.

I’ll also be spending an hour with one of the various resources that I have to learn more about the art of writing.

NaNoWriMo Day #1



As soon as I opened this document to start writing I got a little panic attack, my nerves tingled, and I got a shortness of breath and almost stopped.

Decided not to let that win this time and plough on. Since my personal NaNoWriMo isn’t actually about writing a novel, but about getting into the habit of writing every day and exploring what works for me to help my writing practice, I thought a diary would be a good idea.

Every day I’m going to open a WordPress post and fill it with my thoughts and what I’ve been up to in the day.

Some days will have more, but today it’s the first day of this practice whilst I’ve a long day at work so I’m not really expecting much to be in here at all.

I also have to remember to not make this a practice of web work/design but actually about writing, and that’s why I chose this site theme, clean and very few bells and whistles to get in the way of putting words out there.

My main plan is to work from a couple of books through the month, complete a short online poetry course, and just write for at least 1667 words a day and complete 50000 words for the month. As I said earlier they aren’t meant to be a novel but they do have to be coherent pieces at least.

Complete Creative Writing Course

Complete Creative Writing Course

I’ve put out two newsletters for other projects today but only one of them was my writing, a small review for a book, so quite happy with the amount of writing I’ve done so far, but will probably write another review later and work on the main book that I’ve got for the month the ‘Complete Creative Writing Course’ by Chris Sykes.

The plan is to work an hour a night on this to develop a consistent writing practise and hopefully write some small pieces of work that I can share.

Ten Things About Writing

Ten Things About Writing

I’ll also be participating in the First Steps in Short Form Poetry from the National Centre for Writing developed by Aki Schilz to give me another, possibly more structured, focus for my practise.

Last, but in no way least I bought ‘Ten Things About Writing’ by Joanne Harris to have as a sort of touchstone book, I was going to have it by the computer and read it at random, but once I opened it I started just reading all the wonderful little tips.

Inspiring and comforting at the same time.

Now off to actually read a book on writing!