Monday, 5 September 2011

WIP Update: Day Eight, Writer Support 4U, & Writing A Novel

"Where does she think she's going, aiming so high?"
"She's practising for the 2012 Fisholympics."

It's day eight and I thought I'd reflect on the last seven days.

Word count: 8925
Time spent writing: 10.25 hours
Time spent on writing-related tasks: 4.75 hours
Time spent thinking about novel: unknown

I'm quite pleased with my progress, considering I only wrote for three days. The other two were spent finishing my plot notes and re-working the first few scenes in act one. On a good day I can achieve 1000 words an hour. When I'm not so sure of my scene objectives that figure drops to around 800 words.

Things I learnt during the last seven days:
  • If you want something bad enough, you will do it. You will be at your desk at 8am every morning, or whatever time is better for you, because your novel will not write itself.
  • Turn off mobiles and ban the Internet until you have finished your writing session.
  • Facebook is just as addictive as blogging.
  • Ask your friends and family not to call or disturb you during the hours you are writing.
  • It is better to give yourself broad achievable deadlines. Saying I will write scenes one to three in week one is better than saying I will write exactly 2500 words every day.
  • There is only so much preparation you can do before starting to write. In the end you just have to just get on with it.
  • If you can pick any time to take a work-break, pick the summer. It's warmer.
  • I cannot read fiction when I am so heavily involved with writing a novel. I had to stop reading my current book, Blood Red Road, because all I could think about was my own WIP. I've switched to non-fiction, and have already read two books.

Things I learnt about having a broken toe:
  • Elevating your foot whilst writing at your desk is impossible.
  • You can't hoover, dust, or go grocery shopping. This equals more writing time.
  • If you're not getting any exercise, and eating all day, you will put on weight. 

So, when was the last time you took a giant leap into the unknown and what did you learn?

Before I go, I want to tell you about a couple of things I discovered on Facebook this week.

Firstly, the fabulous Sheri Larsen set up a support group for writers on Facebook earlier this year. Here's what she said about it in a recent blog post:

We went from 1 member, Moi, on July 1st to 96 as of yesterday!! Many of the writers who joined over the summer used the space to share their current struggles or successes, and almost instantly got some sort of response from one of the other members. It's been a great way to connect and expand the skills of our writing community.

We'd love to have you. You can JOIN HERE!

Go on. You know you want to join!

Secondly, whilst reading the messages in Writer Support 4U I discovered this YouTube video. Take the time to watch it because it is a truthful but hilarious account of writing a novel.


  1. Oh, Ellie. This sounds like an incredibly fruitful week for you, if only for the things you've learned. Add on that all nearly 10k words. Holy cow!

    "Turn off mobiles and ban the Internet until you have finished your writing session.

    Facebook is just as addictive as blogging."


  2. Love your list of things you've learned. Looks like you are making fantastic progress! Well done! :)

  3. You sound like me! I'm having to re-learn this writing thing, since I took too much of a break. Oh, and it's so hard to stay away from the internet... I can just as easily press "wi-fi off" but I don't! Bad me.

  4. "If you want something bad enough, you will do it. You will be at your desk at 8am every morning, or whatever time is better for you, because your novel will not write itself."

    If only writing a novel could be like that new fandangle vacuum that sucks the dirt from the floor all on its own. Just moves around and around cleaning for you.

    Such is not the way of writing a novel. It's so true that it will not write itself. But it's certainly worth the work :-)

  5. The best writers have a schedule they follow. I'm trying it with mixed results.

  6. Hi Ellie .. well done - despite the toe and elevation .. sounds like your words are going upwards too ..

    Keep going and have an excellent week .. cheers Hilary

  7. Gerrof the internet and write, write like the wind! LOL!!

    Oh Ellie!!! You are so so so so good and truly inspirational!!

    You go girl!! I'm the one yelling,
    "KHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN" behind you to your left!!!

    p.s. I love stage 5 of this clip! The one with the red crosses on each page! How true! LOL!

    Take care

  8. Wow, you've had such a productive week - I'm impressed! And you're right: if you do want something enough, you'll do it. Even with a broken toe! :) :)

  9. Quite a bit your learned this week,
    It's surprising what one does learn each day.


  10. I've just had a busy non-wriing weekend, though I have been researching my new WIP.

    I am impressed with your progress and your advice is very apposite for me, too. :O)

  11. The Internet is an incubus making promises and seducing me to follow him.

    But, HEY, if I didn't give in occasionally I wouldn't have found you.

    Good advice. Now I must ressssistt the temptation to surf further and return to my wip.
    *resistance is futile*

  12. Ellie, thanks for sharing the lessons you learned. I'm with you on the not turning on the Internet and on how you can only prepare so much before you just need to jump in and do it.

    Keep going! :)

  13. Great stuff Ellie : you're learning invaluable things that we could all benefit from. I'm cheering you on!

  14. All good advice. I noticed I had an average word count every day, so I always shoot for that. But as long as I get something on the page.

    P.S. Blood Red Road is a great read! Enjoy.

  15. Glad you've made such great progress! Heck with shopping. Hire someone to do it for you. Glad your friend's support group is doing well. Obviously it's a big need. We have ninety-eight for the Insecure Writer's Support Group now.

  16. You have made a fabulous progress, Ellie. I am happy for you. Distractions can be a huge time suck.

  17. Ugh! Poor you! I suffered a broken toe a few months ago. It still hurts. BUT GO! You are writing up a storm...and making up some good rules as you do it.

  18. You sound more productive than I when it comes to writing.

  19. Well done! "Ban the Internet until you have finished your writing session" -- I've taken to shutting down my WiFi router during the duration; it works. Thanks for the heads-up on the FB group; I've officially requested to join. Hey, the more community the better, right?

  20. Good for you, that sounds like a great first week. My thing I learned recently is that to occasionally set yourself a super high target pushes you like nothing else... my 8k target turned out 9k in a day... and pureed my brain!!!
    Keep going lovely!

  21. You go girl! I can't seem to write so much in a straight sitting. For some reason even though I type fast I have to stop every few pages and do something else. I do pull all nighters though which speed up my time.

  22. Great Job Ellie! Thanks for sharing what has and hasn't worked for you~
    Keep that toe elevated when you can!

  23. Oh YES, you're taking 12 weeks off work to write, I remember now. How awesome!

    And OH MY GOODNESS that video is hilarious! Sucks that it finishes at Editing though. Wish it showed submission, rejection and (hopefully) acceptance of a manuscript as well :)

  24. Way to go on your WIP!

    You could let some of your characters loose in our fictional town of Renaissance at our The Rule of Three Blogfest ---a month-long extravaganza in the fictional town of Renaissance this October, with some great prizes, comment love, and of course, a lot of exposure and constructive feedback for your writing.

    What I have learned this week: I can live without the internet. The world does not come crashing down around my ears if I don't go online.

  25. I'm trying to screw up my courage to take a big writing "jump". Think I'll check out that writing support group on Facebook (which I'm a bit addicted to BTW).

  26. Hi Ellie. Sound advice. Hmm. Blogging, facebook, twitter, linked in, Google +, ah what else stops me from writing? Well they are all about writing sort of, but...


  27. I was once sent on a time management course, and what they taught me was pretty much exactly what you're doing. It's great that you're making such good progress. Well done.

    I loved the video. I laughed so much I cried - or did I just cry? Well, anyway, one thing's for sure - he's written a book :-)

    The FB group looks good - I might just go and join it. Thanks for the link.

  28. Yup, if you want something enough, you'll do it. I'm with you on the internet too. If I didn't turn mine off now and again, I'd get nothing done.
    Um, I'd better turn it off now...:)

    Well done on your productive week!


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