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National Novel Writing Month and being a full-time writer

December 3rd, 2010

I – like many of you probably – have just got to the end of the NaNoWriMo month. The idea is to write a 50,000 word first draft of a novel in the 30 days of November. This year I managed 19,879 words, but that’s a huge success considering that last year I wrote about 244 before I gave up!

Sarah Cruickshank

This year though, I had a plan, thanks to the Comprehensive Writing Course.  My tutor Simon Maginn thinks it’s the kind of book that’s going to be a compelling read, but wont get picked up by publishers because it’s rather slow and psychological for a large part, and I agree, but I’m still having an absolute ball writing it and have every intention of carrying on until I finish it.

I know I didn’t make the 50,000 words, but I’m so pleased with what I’ve written and I discovered so much about the discipline of writing whilst I’ve been doing it. I planned it in a lot of detail (almost a screenplay treatment), but I have gone off on a few tangents as I’ve written,  it has also made me organise my work/life balance much more. I’ve got myself organised to do house chores and things between 8am when my son leaves for school and 9am, when I sit down to write. I’ve just got myself in to writing straight on to the computer, instead of long hand into a notebook and then typing up, so I’ve produced much more every day. I stop working at around 3.30pm when my son gets home from school and I’ve also put my non-fiction writing work into two days, so that I don’t feel guilty about writing the novel.

I’m also getting back into updating my blog at www.alifemorelived.blogspot.com, where I write about family and lifestyle things.

Being a full time feature/fiction writer is the hardest job I’ve ever had and I’m incredibly lucky that my husband and son are happy for it to be my job, but I’m so glad I took the plunge into writing full time when I had the chance.

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