Z is for all the zzzzzzzzz I plan to get now that April is over

It’s been a crazy month, what with doing Camp NaNoWriMo and A to Z at the same time. I accidentally upped the ante by signing up for both the day before they started, so I had no time to prep or plan for either challenge, and I had only just started blogging (I think I have three blog posts before the two challenges started). It was very much a case of jumping into the deep end and sinking or swimming. I’m so glad that I figured out how to float!

Well done to all of you who made it to the end by the way. High Fives and pizzas all around. I feel like we should all hunker down around a rustic wooden table, with mugs of cider, and recount our various hairy moments of April, or simply sit in silence and ooze blogger worldliness and experience, like the blogging salty dogs we have become. You know, like that scene at the end of Lord of the Rings where Frodo, Sam, Pippin and Merry are sat apart from the rest of the village, silent and brooding, and you can see just how much they have changed compared to their fellow hobbits.

Ok, maybe a tad over-dramatic. Maybe just a knowledgeable blogger fistbump? 

I’ll definitely do both challenges again next year, but I’ll do them differently. For A to Z, I’ll plan my posts ahead of time, and probably come up with a theme. As I mentioned in the U post, constraints can actually be a great way to stimulate creativity, and not having a cohesive whole into which my posts had to fit made it hard at times to come up with subjects. Hence some of the more random posts. Not having any time to plan my posts ahead of time did also make it hard to find the time to blog hop as much as I was planning to , so I’ll be playing catch up now that the challenge is over….Starting this blog with the A to Z challenge was a great way to prove to myself that I have what it takes to keep up a blog though, and whilst I won’t blog daily any more (far too intense!) I’ll definitely continue with it on a regular basis.

For Camp NaNo, likewise, I’ll do it again, but next time I’ll plan and outline the novel before I start. I had been working on another novel earlier in the year but it wasn’t quite working. I put it aside at the end of March, just in time to start Camp (I will come back to it as there is a concept at its heart that I really want to explore). This meant that I had no outline, no character sketches, nothing to start with other than the sprawling mess I’ve carried around in my head for years now. I managed to stick to the NaNo rule of not going back to edit, although I did take a long detour through worldbuildling and outlining, and then re-outlining. Not going back to edit means the story is full of glaring plot holes craters, such as characters disappearing midway through (I don’t mean dead, I mean literally wiped off the page, because I decided they had no place in the story), and I’ll have to go back and address them. But that’s all in the spirit of NaNoWriMo: at least now I have a vaguely novel shaped thing that I can work on. It has a beginning, an end, and something that could pass for a middle. It is, in the crudest possible form, a novel (yes, alright, for now a magnificently sucky novel, riddled with lashings of adverbs).

If there’s one thing I’m taking away from this month, though, it’s the power of accountability. Knowing that I had to upload my word count every day over at camp NaNoWriMo did a lot to keep me writing on those days when I really, really didn’t feel like it. And likewise knowing that you would all know if I skipped a letter stopped me from slacking off (other than that one weekend when Game Of Thrones happened…). I’m therefore planning on coming up with ingenious methods to hold myself accountable in some way to someone other than myself, to make sure I keep up the good work. Because I am an epic slacker at heart, and I often have the attention span of a fruit fly on crystal meth.

That said, it is now nap and relax time. Looking forward to catching up with you all once life has gone back to normal!

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35 thoughts on “Z is for all the zzzzzzzzz I plan to get now that April is over

    • Oh wow, well done for not planning ahead – your posts were so intricate and had so much detail in them. Really impressive!
      For sure planning next year – that is the aim 🙂 Congrats to you too for making it to the end!

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  1. Yay, you did it! I think it is fabulous that you managed to get a blog post every day without writing a bunch of them ahead. This was my third or fourth year doing the challenge and I learned the hard way to start writing my posts in February. The first year I did it, I was exhausted by the end of the month. You mentioned needing to get together with the other bloggers and brood over a beer. The geniuses that plan the challenge have already accounted for that. I think we are supposed to all post a wrap-up post on the fifth.
    I did Camp Nanowrimo too this month. I made my word count but I didn’t even make it halfway through my very loose outline. I think the majority of what I wrote is complete garbage, although I am much clearer on where my story is going. Nano is great for making you get out of your own way. The end result is messy, but it’s on the page.
    I hope you can keep up with the new blog on a more leisurely schedule.

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    • Ohhh – whoops, I kind of already did my reflection post. Well I’ll reflect some more and pull out some more lessons out of the last month. I like the idea of writing posts out in February. I’ll definitely do that next year, and make the process more enjoyable that way…

      Well done for winning at NaNo too! That’s impressive that 50k is less than half your book, you’re either going to have a beast of a book on your hand, or a bucket load of editing to do! 😉
      Getting that messy first draft down was exactly what I needed, I now feel SO much more relaxed because I have something concrete to work on. I’m much better at editing than I am at writing – if that makes sense. Do you find that too? Some people prefer writing the first draft, to me it’s an awkward, fumbling experience that I cannot wait to get over.

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      • I am more comfortable with the chaos of a first draft than I was a few years ago. Now that I have been all the way through the process a few times, it doesn’t scare me quite so much. I am still not a huge fan of editing but I am getting better at it.
        The challenge with my current WIP is that it has several 1st POV characters, in different time periods. Making them all make sense in one book is going to be tricky. Also, I will need to do a ton more research at some point. I am excited about doing that research and terrified to do all that research.

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    • Thank you!! and well done to you on Camp! Sorry I’ve been a bit slack on the communication front – it’s been a busy month!
      So what’s next, are you now going back for editing, or resting the MS for a bit?

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  2. Seriously, you just slap this kind of excellent writing together while doing a second challenge, and you make it all the way to Z?!? “Head slap” that’s not a slacker; that’s super babe!! Congrats from fellow A to Zer

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    • Oh thank you, that’s a compliment that made my day. Next time I glare at my writing because it is closer to a turd than a manuscript I shall remember that you called my writing excellent. 🙂

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      • Justine at Eclectic Odds had a hilarious poo event happen to her on holiday. Do you follow her? I’ll get you the link if you want it. See? Totally distracted from writing already – much prefer hooking up blogging buddies 🙂

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      • I don’t know her actually but I always love meeting new bloggers, so yes please to the link!
        Hooking up blogging buddies is lots of fun, and just as worthwhile as writing blog posts…I think…. 😉
        Are you still blogging daily? I’m taking a break now and aiming probably for around 2 posts a week, thereabouts.

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      • I’ll do 2-3 posts a week, most likely. I could easily spend 245/7 reading and writing (I’m nothing if not obsessive about any new passion) so I have to “balance” myself. Plus golf and biking and gardening will begin this weekend!

        Justine is at http://eclecticoddsnsods.com and the post on her poo comic-tragedy is at http://eclecticoddsnsods.com/2014/04/21/a-crap-journey-pet-tales-humour-really-I-promise

        She’s a loving nut with some health challenges in herself and her family. I think you’ll love her like I do!

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      • Hahaha, I went over and checked out the poo story – hilarious! And as gross as you’d want from a poo story. Justine has a great blog, so thank you for the introduction 🙂

        I’m the same as you, anything I start on I’m obsessive about (although being obsessed with reading and writing can only be a good thing!) the difficulty for me is keeping the momentum going!

        Enjoy the weekend of golfing, biking and gardening, all sounds like a lovely way to spend a couple of days! Fingers crossed for good weather!

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  3. Congratz on reaching the end! This was also my fist time doint the A to Z challenge and I know that at times I cut it really close here and there. I´m not sure I could have managed NaNoWriMo at the same time without being prepared so kudos!!

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    • Oh yay for another newbie! Well done to you too for making it to the end *fistbump*. Glad you stuck it through the tough times (I’m with you, I cam close to quitting a couple of times). It’s a good feeling to look back on the month though isn’t it?

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  4. CONGRATULATIONS!
    You did it! You’ve aced two challenges! What an achievement! 🙂

    “the attention span of a fruit fly on crystal meth” – trying to visualize it… what a hilarious image LOL
    I’ve never done NaNoWriMo. I’m terrified that I’m too slow.
    And with regards to accountability, you should sign up for a weekly/monthly bloghop. There are quite a few doing the rounds in BlogLandia.
    I’m so glad we met, Celine. Keep in touch.

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    • Oh you should start with Camp NaNoWriMo then, it’s more informal, you can set your own goal. Some people set a goal of 20k words for the month, others 60k or 70k (how they do it I don’t know) but it allows you to go at your own speed basically.

      I think I’m going to sign up to ROW80, have you heard of it? For the writing accountability. I’m definitely going to do another blog hop type thing, but I’ll wait for a bit first, so I have time to plan first this time!

      Glad we met too, will definitely keep in touch, your blog’s so much fun! And you had such a great theme!

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  5. I had almost half my posts scheduled and it got quite challenging toward the end when I didn’t have anything planned or even a clue what to write. Here’s to you for preparing them all on the fly, plus participating in Camp Nano! I’m impressed. I love the idea of meeting up at the Green Dragon to celebrate the end of A to Z, but I’m going to need something a little stronger than cider after this. 😉

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    • Haha, a pint of wine for you then! 😉

      And thanks, I’m actually loving the fact that everyone seems as exhausted and glad this is over as I am. I was really struggling for the last few posts. Always nice to know there were a few of us in the trenches!

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    • Haha thanks, if only we could actually all meet up at the Green Dragon, that would be the ultimate motivation to get through the month, wouldn’t it!? I’ll have to pop by your blog and say hi! 🙂

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  6. You did A to Z AND Camp NaNo? Don’t tell me you also work outside the home (please). I quite like the pizza round the wooden table and fist bumps idea. One year we should make that happen.

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    • Haha, no, I’m not working at the moment. Well I am working, but my work revolves around writing. 😉

      *fistbump to fellow A to Zer* That’s all I have for now. Maybe next year we should do a google hangout with everyone eating pizza at the same time. Virtual pizza gathering!! Making it to the Green Dragon might be a stretch 😉

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