Tag: inspiration

NaNoWriMo Eve

‘Twas the night before NaNoWriMo and all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The writing desk by the window was tidied with care,
In hopes that inspiration soon would be there;
Characters were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of plotlines danced in their heads.


So, I’m attempting NaNoWriMo this year- if anyone else is doing it let me know and we can be buddies 🙂



Author: Clara Ross

Things I learnt during my first (successful) Camp NaNoWriMo

This was not my first year attempting a NaNoWriMo project, but it was my first year completing the 50 000 word count. Here are a few things I learnt on the journey-

  1. It Doesn’t Have to be Good

You may have 50 000 words at the end of the month but you will not have a novel. At best you will have a draft. Which is good news because it means that if you’re writing something and you think ‘oh God this is crap’, that’s okay. You can make it not crap in the re-write/edit. Erin Morgenstern (author of The Night Circus) has a great post on her blog about this. I think this was a huge thing that stopped me in previous years- it didn’t feel good enough to be a novel. But that’s fine. Because it’s a draft.

2. Protect Your Writing Time

Writing means sacrifice. When you have a deadline to meet you need to keep your writing time sacred in order to get the job done. I wrote on my lunch break or during down time at my temp job. I wrote in to the wee hours of the night. I sacrificed social time, sleep and the occasional meal to get things done. People who don’t write seem to forget that an author doesn’t wake up one day with a book magically on their desk. It takes time to write a book. Find that time in your day and protect it.

3. Some Days Will be Easier Than Others

Some days you’ll write over your goal and the words will flow out of you. Other days it will be like pulling teeth. Just make sure you get it done. If you’ve under written one day push for an over-write day to even it out.

4. It’s Okay to Fall Behind

I’ve definitely given up on past Nano projects because I fell behind and thought I could never catch up. I felt like a failure and rather than push through I just threw the towel in. I didn’t see that even if you’re on 10 000 words, but 5 000 words behind you’ve still written thousands more words than you probably would have that month. And that’s great. Also, for the record, a weekend trip away with friends did put me about 5 000 words behind, but I managed to pace myself over the remaining days and catch up. You can too!

5. You Will Fall Out of Love with Your Project

You know what it’s like when you first get the idea for something and it’s all you can think about? That rush of excitement and the burning need to write. This idea is amazing. This is the idea you’ve been looking for… If you’re anything like me you’ll have days where you’ve grown to hate it. The excitement isn’t there any more. The idea was good but you don’t have the skill to execute it properly. Whatever slump you’re in, write through it. You can take a few weeks off looking at it and fix problems the month after. You’ll find that spark again.

That’s all I can really think of just now, I just wanted to get it done coming off the back of my post-Nano high. It may not have been that coherent, but my brain is fried!

If any of you did Camp Nano this year I’d love to hear about it. Whether you completed it or not- I’m proud of you for getting some writing done!

The Novelist: On Writing

The Novelist lived in a part of the world that was noisier than she would have liked. She made sure the inside of her house was quieter and she lived shrouded in words. They were other people’s words of course, but she borrowed them and put them on shelves that stretched wall-to-wall and ceiling-to-ceiling. Occasionally she would dip in and out of these words and think about how much she liked them, how much she wished she had been the one to pluck those words from the air and put them on that piece of paper in that exact order. How nice it would be, she thought, to be so regularly visited by Inspiration.

The Novelist rarely invited new people round, she preferred the company of her books and selected loved ones, but in the evenings a Stranger would come knocking on her door and every evening she would answer. She hadn’t the heart to ignore the Stranger because they looked so familiar, like a family member who was slightly out of focus.

“Hello,” the Stranger would say. “My name is George Liebenstein. I am a detective, about to solve the case of a man who was murdered locked inside his own panic room. If you invite me in, perhaps you can write about it?”

“Perhaps some other time,” the Novelist would reply. “I am far too busy just now, I have a dinner to make.”

The Stranger would nod sadly and walk off in to the night, his crime still unsolved. The Novelist would go back to the kitchen and finish dinner, which she would eat with her family before settling down with them to watch a television show she didn’t much care for. She thought she could probably write a better one if only Inspiration would come.

The next evening, the Stranger would come again.

“Hello,” she said, because this time the Stranger was a she. “My name is Annabelle Cavendish. I disappeared a long time ago on Christmas Eve and I’ve been lost ever since. Wont you write about me?”

“Perhaps some other time,” the Novelist would reply. “I am far too busy just now, I have to take my cat to the vet.”

The Stranger nodded sadly and walked off in to the growing darkness, never to be seen again. The Novelist took her cat to the vet and spent the rest of the evening scrolling through Twitter but writing few Tweets of her own.

The next evening the Stranger came again and this time there were two of them.

“Hello,” they said in perfect unison. “We are a brother and sister from a future you will never live to see, but we have seen such strange and terrible things. If we tell you, won’t you write about us?”

“Perhaps some other time,” the Novelist replied. “It’s Sunday and that’s my day off from work, I am far too tired to write anything now.”

The Strangers turned away sadly and started their long walk back to a future nobody might ever hear of.

“Wait a moment!” the Novelist called and they turned. “Why is it that so many strangers with such strange stories will not leave me alone?”

“You are The Novelist, are you not?” asked the boy.


“We are your characters,” said the girl. “We hear you calling out for Inspiration and we try to answer you. But you won’t listen to us in return.”

The Novelist made them a cup of tea and sat down with a pen. Their story poured through her and she never had to call for Inspiration again.