Winner-2014-Web-BannerThat was, it has to be said, a stupid idea. I knew full well that November was going to be a nightmare month at work, and yet I decided to commit to NaNoWriMo. Stupid. Work turned out to be far more stressful than I had actually foreseen, and getting across that finish line was like trying to drink sand. But I did it, hence the shiny winners image you can see looming over these very words. 50,008, in the end, with those last 8 words there purely for show-boating reasons, as I danced naked astride my own satisfaction at crossing the finish line.
So what did I get out of it? Well, I’ve got the first 50k of a first draft for a second Blood on the Motorway book (try saying that five times drunk), and an immense relief that those words don’t seem to have been a colossal waste of time. The story seems to be pretty robust, if lacking a clear ending yet, the new characters seem reasonably interesting and the amount of peril I have all my characters going through is enough to rival the entire Nightmare on Elm Street movie series. So that’s fun. I reckon there’s another 30-40k left in the first draft, and that the final book will probably be a bit longer than its predecessor will shake out at.

At the end of the month, what with all the being on the brink of total mental collapse, I decided to take December off from writing. Next year should be a pretty big year for my writing, seeing as I’m planning to launch a business and three full length books at the end of it, all while getting married and getting fit, so I thought it might not be a bad idea to ease off a bit at the end of 2014, take stock, and plan the year ahead.

I’ve not really stopped though, when you take into account the planning bit. I’m actually really excited for next year, and having made the decision to go down the ‘indie author’ route (I’m no longer calling it self-publishing because of that wrinkled up face of concern at my mental well-being that so often follows it) I’ve been planning out the various milestones I need to hit in order to achieve that. I now have a google calendar set up with all the different things we need to plan next year put on. If I can say I’ve learnt anything from my job, it’s the value of project planning. So for the next few weeks I’m going to be enjoying the whole Christmas malarkey, but I’ll also be gearing up, getting myself in the right mental frame of mind to spring into action in the new year.

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