training to write a book

2019, books, goals, writing

Hello!

For four of the seven months of this year so far, I’ve set myself ‘writing challengers’ of writing a certain amount of words in so many days. It started at 20k, then 25k, 30k, 35k and in August I’m aiming to write 40,000 words.

All of this is my way of training myself to write an increasing amount of words per day to work up to the 50,000 words in 30 days that is NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month – an online community aiming to write a novel in a month!).

My history with creative writing started all the way back in October 2008 when I was on a family holiday and I found a loose tile at the bottom of the swimming pool and I was inspired to write my own story inspired by the characters in BBC’s Merlin (what a throwback) so my journey with fanfiction began.

From there, I was writing every single night sat in front of the TV with my family – whether it be a notebook, my laptop or my iPad I was always writing from 2008 all the way through to 2015 really when I left for uni. In 2011 I gave my first attempt at NaNoWriMo but only made it to the 15/16k mark – in 2012 I won NaNoWriMo and wrote the first draft of my novel that one day I’ve vowed to publish and I’ve told my best friend Katy she can play the lead female character when it gets made into a film too so I’ve got to keep that promise.

Then I went to uni. And I spent evenings with friends rather than alone watching TV and writing fanfiction and developing my own novel – at various points over my degree I tried to get back into it but I just didn’t have the time or the motivation to properly invest myself in writing again.

And then came the year after I graduated where I couldn’t get a job to start my career and I’m back in my childhood bedroom but I’m 22 and my long term boyfriend is with me.

Either way, I had much more time to dedicate to writing! I tried NaNoWriMo again in 2018 but it really is a challenge, however it gave me the drive to rediscover what I loved about creative writing and get back into it – thus the monthly challenges training for WriMo begin!

The challenges have been a mixed bag so far – the first one went really well, the other one was a complete failure, the third one started well but I fell behind a little a caught up in the early days of the following month. The most recent challenge I didn’t really start writing until about a week in and somehow I pulled it back and finished a whopping 35,000 words in July ready to jump straight into 40,000 words in August!

What I’ve found in the last three months works really well is using fanfiction and writing prompts just to get myself writing anything – having 30 prompts to write short little excerpts with characters I’m already familiar with and haven’t had to design has really got me in the right mindset and excited about delving into my own characters again in November where I’m hoping to finish draft 2 of my original winning novel seven years down the line!

In June I used Carrie Hope Fletcher’s May, Myself and I words as prompts, in July I used Hannah Witton’s Dear June and for August my darling, hilarious boyfriend has written 31 prompts for me to follow. I’m genuinely surprised that they were so thoughtful – I’ve got a good boy that will endorse my little writing challenges and I don’t know about you, but I think I have the best boyfriend (he’s my favourite team mate).

That’s a little summary of how I’ve been training for NaNoWriMo this year – creative writing has been my biggest outlet since I was 12 years old. In my worst moments, I take my feelings and vent them out in fiction and it just make everything feel much less isolating – especially back in the days where I shared my fanfiction and I got so much positive feedback from pieces that were written from the heart and that’s always been how I write. For my blog, for my creative writing – I want everything I write to sound genuine and conversational and I think I’ve done that fairly successfully.

There’s still three months until NaNoWriMo begins but I’m already excited!

Thank you so much for reading,

Sophie xx

YouTube | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

we’re all (super) heroes

2017, lifestyle, photography, student

“Hello,

This one’s a little off the cuff, because I find those are the posts I love most and my friend Becca (gorgeous blog, I thoroughly recommend getting lost in it) always writes amazing posts when she’s inspired and something really drives her to write so I’m going with that.

Hear me out – I’m rolling with it (I will also acknowledge the lack of blog posts, but not today).

I love superhero movies – I’m not talking I like watching Marvel films, I mean I’m so invested in superhero films and I find it very difficult to critique superhero movies because I’m just so invested in them. I don’t know if that quite conveys what I mean, but my heart is in all of those movies and shows.

On Wednesday night, my boyfriend and I completely caught up on DC’s ‘The Flash’ and I can’t put into words how this show has buried itself in my heart and soul. We started watching the show about a year ago but got a bit lost and busy in the middle of season 3, so we recently started rewatching it and catching up on what we missed. And this week we watched Season 4, Episode 5, ‘Girls Night Out’ and I felt something.

One, the episode was really funny but, predominantly, two – catching up meant something; I feel equally content and lost.

Content because we caught up and it’s nice to not have to avoid spoilers anymore and lost because rather than watching a couple of episodes a night I now only get to watch one new episode a week.

When I say my heart is in all of these superhero films I just don’t know how else to explain it but they really are everything and they way I can express that is by writing – by writing and losing myself in these brand new stories.

The more I write of this the more pathetic it sounds.

I think part of it is because I spend so long in my head anyway – I love writing and crafting stories and that has always been my escapism and I can mentally put myself in these films and I’m gone (I’m trying not to sound like a total lunatic here).

I could talk all day (and probably have) about how I hate the stigma around FanFiction for being all 12 year olds writing about their favourite band members having sex with them and books like ’50 Shades of Grey’ becoming the phenomenon that they are, but writing FanFiction gives me a way to put myself into these situations.

And I know it’s probably not the healthiest coping mechanism, to take myself away in the words I write but Flash has been my escape for the last few weeks while my brain has been everywhere with uni. I’ve been lower in these last two months than I’ve ever been before and watching Flash has been my way out – I’m living my life through Barry Allen.

[ Side note – I’m nervous about watching Justice League because I love Ezra Miller but I /love/ Grant Gustin and I don’t want movie Flash to be better than TV Flash but also I don’t want movie Flash to be disappointing. ]

I think what makes this all more poignant is that I’m now taking part in NaNoWriMo (a month long challenge to write 50,000 words in 30 days) as a way to get my passion for writing back. I used to sit every single night in the living room with my family watching TV and writing – whether it be FanFiction just because I wanted to write it or original fiction, I would write and write and write.

And I don’t. Since coming to uni I just haven’t. In part that’s because I’ve been spending more time with my friends and housemates and I don’t have the evening time I used to have but I miss writing and I want to get that back. I’m not trying to write a novel, or even 50,000 words for that matter, I only started on Day 12 – I’m just trying to write again. And that includes my blog to be honest.

Real life hasn’t been working so well in my brain right now, but having this outlet where I can write myself as a superhero – someone who isn’t held back by assignments or my sad brain (or a lack of superpowers) and I can be someone who’s the only one who can stop the bad guy.

But to be honest, that applies to real life too.

Sophie xx”

 

I wrote this whole post in one night. For some reason, making the feature picture and actually posting it meant that it was over a week later. I don’t know how to explain my brain right now but I feel like that was relevant.

Thank you for reading