Saturday, 24 November 2012
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I feel bad. No really, I feel really bad. I feel bad about abandoning my story at this point. I feel bad because I made a commitment, and had high hopes on myself for finishing. In fact, when I started I honestly did not have doubts that I couldn't finish- after all, I was on my holidays and I already had an idea that I know would be great.

So why did I stop?

To put things simply, other things came up, and I shifted my attention away from my writing and spent less time worrying about plots or how many words I've written that day or how far along the story I am. I stopped thinking about the 30th of November and what it would feel like when I fail to complete the 50,000 words.

Sure, it sucks. But I also know that all this other stuff that have surfaced takes precedence. Until then, I simply can't focus on this story that I am so excited about anyway.

Now, I'm starting to doubt if I will ever finish writing this. Perhaps I don't have the discipline to be a writer after all. Perhaps I'm just making excuses. I don't know- but I do still hope that I will be able to finish it at some point next year!
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Thursday, 15 November 2012
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Today I realised that despite all the progress in my writing, the possibility of me completing it thins as each day passes. Tomorrow it will be the 15th, the half way mark, which means that I should supposedly have completed 25,000 words. Alas, I am far from that goal. Perhaps I really do need to speed up.

But in terms of the story’s progress I must say that I am happy with it so far. I’m very slowly introducing this character that I really like, and it is slowly becoming more and more exciting. Maybe this would be able to spur me to write at a feverish pace in order to catch up and make that November 30th deadline.

But I’m finding it harder and harder to balance my other work- with job applications and visa considerations I really need to spend more time on those, so writing can sometimes be neglected, which is not the ideal. But I would prefer to be employed and financially independent, so there’s that. 
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Wednesday, 14 November 2012
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I'm writing more now, which is great- I still hope to be able to finish this by the end of the month. Having said that, I have come to realise just how crippling a few days' break can be- you start finding other things to do and then you ignore your current project. I think since I took the few days' break I've been quite neglectful of this story, and that's not good.

But one of my other current pursuits is reading, and one particularly interesting one is '5 Ways to Carry a Goat' by Ben Groundwater. It's a travel memoir, of a blogger who decided to live at the places his readers lived in while having them show him around. He hopes to travel the world. Reading it really brought two things to mind. The first, is that perhaps I could find a job like that, where I can write and travel. After all, travelling the world has always been my dream, so maybe I could also do the same thing and find a way to get paid? Then I can call it a 'job'.

The second, was that I really should write about my trip to Nairobi. There were so many interesting things I encountered and I thought I should really jot them down, even if I don't publish them here. Maybe this could be my December pet project?
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Monday, 12 November 2012
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Sadly, today was another day where I was not productive writing-wise. I'm starting to worry about whether I will actually complete this novel by the end of the month. Although I've reached that quite remarkable 10,000 word mark, there's 40,000 more to go, and since I've slowed down a little I'm a little worried that I won't finish in time.

But if that's the case, then I can follow John Grisham's technique of writing a few pages every day and then maybe, just maybe, I'll finish it in not too long. But I know that I really want to finish it by the deadline because:

1) It would be a remarkable achievement to say that I've written 50,000 words in 30 days

2) I might not continue writing after the challenge is over and it might take me ages to complete this novel.

But let's hope it does not come to that.
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Sunday, 11 November 2012
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These two days were still as unproductive for my novel as before- I didn't actually manage to get any writing done seeing as I was actually busy. But while checking up on some news I came across an article on John Grisham.

Now, you know that I absolutely love reading about writers, simply because nothing much is ever written about them (ironic, I know) and also because I actually am rather interested in the routines that they have.

In this article on John Grisham, approximately one paragraph is dedicated to his writing routine:
Every morning at seven John Grisham sits down at the computer in his farmhouse in rural Virginia with a strong cup of coffee. It’s the same computer he’s used to bash out 25 bestsellers, and the same brand of organic coffee he’s drunk for the past 20 years. 

“I’ll have two cups and then switch to decaf,” he says in his deep southern drawl. “My office is dark, warm and cosy with no phones and no internet because I’m terrified my stuff will be hacked into. I’ll get five or six pages done before lunch, then at around 12.30pm I’ll drive into town for lunch. If you get into a rhythm of doing that every day, with a few days off here and there, those pages pile up and you can get one book done a year.”

Honestly, it did make me feel better that he doesn't write for a whole day, and that he takes breaks!
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Friday, 9 November 2012
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Day 8 was, sadly- nonexistent. As you might be able to tell, I did not actually pre-write this blog post. The reason for this is that I've actually taken a break from writing, at least for the next few days. Believe me, I wouldn't do this if I could, but at the moment there are other things that I need to sort out first, other things in my life that take priority- in short, I actually have work to do now.

But fear not, I shall endeavour to still write this journal while I'm not writing, since it is after all a journal of my experience during this month.

At times, I do feel as if I'm giving up on this challenge, but I know that this is not everything- at the end of the day, I actually am not throwing the towel, I just simply am experiencing a temporary increase in responsibilities and I do not want to overload myself.

But hopefully I'll get my groove on in the next few days!
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Thursday, 8 November 2012
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I took a break from writing today- was just too distracted. I’m finding that although I do enjoy writing this story, at times it does take a back seat, especially when I’m just fresh off finishing uni and just want to enjoy my holidays. In some ways I sometimes see this as a 30-day restriction.

I’m sensing that I might be at a crossroads, in my first week only- either I continue on as it is, you know, to fully immerse myself in the life of a writer, or I become less focused on the goal but just on the writing itself- and aim to simply write as much as possible by the end of the month. Of course, this is not ideal since then it would be fine to not complete it by the end of the month.

Maybe today is just one of those days where you simply got up and did not feel like working. As it is 11pm, I really do not want to write at this hour. Maybe tomorrow. Or the day after.  
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Wednesday, 7 November 2012
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Today’s entry will be a little different- it won’t be as much about the writing.

I think most of you would know that I’m a very solitary writer- I rarely share my writing with anyone. In fact, I barely even talk about my ideas. That’s why until now, I haven’t given away spoilers on what my story is about. Today, I was catching up with a friend who really did insist that when I’m done, I should publish this story, even if it’s just for friends.

Honestly, that made me jump a little- I just never like sharing my stories, with people I know anyway. I’m not sure how you would react to my imagination- I’m sure some would like it, and some wouldn’t. But in general I just feel very weird having my friends read my work. It’s just like how I would feel weird if I were an A-list actor and were to hold special screenings of my movies with my friends. It’s just weird seeing yourself that way, and it’s weird seeing your friends see you that way. But it did get me thinking- maybe I could give it a go. As of now, I definitely have no plans on publishing it, to anyone, but who knows? I might give it a go.

As for my writing, I worked at a slower pace today (probably because I actually went out with people), but still got a good portion of it done. Now, 23 days to go!

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Tuesday, 6 November 2012
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I passed the 10,000-word mark! I can’t believe it. I spent the majority of the day writing, with the aim of reaching this specific period of the story. Maybe this is one of the reasons why I haven’t felt as motivated- this specific part I’ve reached is the start of the excitement of the story, so I got really pumped when I did get to that part. The start was just introduction to the wider plot, so I must say it wasn’t very… juicy.

But it is getting very interesting! The story has reached a point where I am slowly going to be able to introduce a character that I am very excited about. This character is someone that I have envisioned from the very start and just couldn’t wait to bring into the story. In many ways I do see this character as the main character, but due to the circumstances of the story had to wait till certain details were introduced.

Sounds juicy, doesn’t it? I’m terribly excited at what’s coming next! 
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Monday, 5 November 2012
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Today was not a good day to write- I was out the entire day and when I came home I had felt utterly exhausted. All I wanted to do was to just lie down and watch a nice movie (a romantic comedy or something that doesn’t make my heart jump and doesn’t require my brain to think) and then go to bed. But, alas, I had to open the story and continue writing it. But I have to keep reminding myself that I love writing and that’s why I’m doing this- all writers, no matter how famous, face deadlines.

But it’s very interesting how my life interferes with my writing- my social life affects the time that I can write and the time I have to write, while my emotions affect my motivation. Like today- I just did not feel like doing any writing. But I have to admit, the moment I began, I started escaping into a different world and forgetting about my lack of motivation. Hurrah for me!

But the biggest insight I’ve gained, however, is that perhaps I need to rethink my strategy of completing this story in time- I realised that I keep looking at the word count and counting how much I’ve done for the day and how much more till I can stop. Perhaps I should change my focus and instead turn to milestones instead- writing till I reach a certain point in my story where I know I’m getting somewhere.

What do you think?
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