Sunday, 8 January 2012

Going with the flow

I started this year off by taking part in Sally's Quilford's challenge to write 100K words in 100 days. It felt a bit daunting but it’s on average 1,000 words a day which makes it sounds more do-able. It's also a challenge not a competition and there's great support both from Sally and others who've also signed up so we can share ups and downs, stops and starts.

One week in and, despite being a bit behind my 1,000 words a day target (thanks to the tax mans deadlines and me being rather disorganised in the accounts department), I'm enjoying it and determined to stick with it. I am much more productive when I think someone else has set targets and deadlines, so it's a great incentive. And I am also already surprising myself (in a good way!).

My big project my main Work In Progress if you like (gosh that sounds like proper writing) that I want to finish is about the trip I took with my son last year. It was the first time Id been backpacking at the grand old age of 41, the first time wed done three countries in one holiday, the first time wed been quite so adventurous. Not as adventurous as many other people's expeditions I know and it is in no way a travel guide. Not unless you want to know where to find the Jeremy Clarkson lookalikey handing out leaflets in Prague. Or get as excited as I did at getting a blanket with your meal at restaurants in Budapest. Or where to find the computer shop in Vienna that puts unwanted parts outside at the end of the day for anyone passing to take for free (much to sons delight).  It is more Duff Guide than Rough Guide. 

But I am really enjoying writing it, recalling where we went, what we did, who we met. We crammed a lot into a short time, had plenty of fun, lots of laughs and one or two hairy moments like taking the wrong train and ending up at the border totally clueless of what border we were actually at.

I find writing it Im also reflecting on the relationship with my son, after 14 years of single parenthood we have a close, wonderfully warm relationship. But inevitably as he grows up and I get older, it changes it's not becoming any less good, just different. It wont be very long until he takes off on holidays with his mates rather than his mum, so it was a pretty special trip for many reasons.

The other point that persuaded me I could do the 100k 100 days challenge is that you dont have to stick to just one project or piece or even type of writing. So as Im also working on non-fiction articles and reviews Im really pleased I can add these to my word count too.

A lot of writing I'm focused on is non-fiction which is what I am most comfortable with and used to. I enjoy writing fiction but have less confidence and experience of it, though do have books full of ideas, stories started, outlines of plots and characters, odd paragraphs pulled together.

Then yesterday, looking at Sallys always interesting daily prompts I surprised myself when, inspired by one of them, I put pen to paper (literally - and another surprise as I always use a computer or my beloved iPad!) and started writing a short story. It flowed quite spontaneously and I was as pleased with myself as I was surprised. Is it any good? I dont know and as Im going for just getting words onto paper at the moment, quantity over quality, Im not even worrying about that. Yet.

Like so many things, once you start on something like this challenge I think its fascinating just to go with it and see where it takes you. For me, Im already going places I hadnt planned at all!

So, thank you Sally and heres to the next 92,000!

1 comment:

  1. Yesterday I wrote a poem for a friend's 90th birthday, today a short story - which I posted on my blog
    I love it when inspiration stikes and you just have to write it down.
    Keep going with the flow - I'll buy your Duff Guide! x