Tag Archives: National Novel Writing Month

Writing Fiction: The Procrastinator


Which is the name of a really crappy superhero, or what happens when I sit down to write and have time in hand.  On Monday I had the luxury of three hours in which to complete the 750 words-a-day I have set myself to complete my Quarter-of-a-Novel-for-November.  And, let me start with the good news, I did it.  But I also: made a cup of tea, made a cup of coffee, had a glass of fizzy water, went to the loo twice, looked on Facebook three times, checked the stats for my blog four times, checked the E! Online website (Justin Beiber has been with prostitutes), stared out of the window…a lot.  And there were probably other things.  Including checking my word count many times.  Oh yes, and I played two games of Solitaire.

On Tuesday I was running a training course.  I got up early and after meditating and breakfast I had three-quarters of an hour to do my 750 words, and did it.  I think the only distraction was looking at Facebook once.  What’s more, I think the quality of writing improved.  There was something about having to keep writing which enabled me to get into a flow and I had a couple of unexpected insights.

But I can tell you now, if, the next time I have a free morning, I try a pretend-urgency, it won’t work.  The brain will just adjust to idling-time and we’ll be back to the cups of tea, the Facebook, the staring out of the window.

Human nature, eh?  (Shakes head wisely.)


A Quarter Novel in a Month and a Reading

November is a month for growing moustaches and writing novels.  The challenge set at http://nanowrimo.org/ is to write a first draft in thirty days.  I’ve been stuck at the same place in my third novel for about six months: going back and editing the material, arranging it into chapters, working on the plot and characters.  It is time to move on.  So I’m going to break through by attempting to write a draft of the next quarter by the end of November.

By the way, I shall be reading an excerpt from my second novel at a fundraising event at the London Buddhist Centre on Saturday 16 November in the evening.  There will also be readings from award-winning poets Cath Drake and Vishvantara, as well as Maitreyabandhu whose poetry collection The Crumb Road was given a great review in the Saturday Guardian recently, and Simon Otokie, whose book Whatever Happened to Harold Absolom? was similarly lauded in the FT.  For full details follow this link: http://www.lbc.org.uk/festivebuddhist.htm