My Words, My World

First drafts – A few pages in the large wilderness of the world of writing

Archive for the tag “Thank you”

2014: a brief writing year in review

Well, here we are at the end (well, here in Switzerland anyway) of the penultimate day of the year and a chance to look back over the last twelve months, from a writer’s perspective, or a writing perspective: delete as applicable.

Firstly this blog.  My 2014 review informs me that this little piece of internet interaction was viewed in 65 countries. I find that pretty damn amazing that I’ve had views from Saudi Arabia and South Africa, China and Chile. Thank you to all of you who have checked in and had a look around; I really appreciate it.

The ever-busy and always approachable Morgen Bailey gets my first mention, simply because it was she who gave me encouragement from the start and has continued to entertain my pieces (flash fiction and note plural…naughty, naughty!) whenever I send them.  Thank you Morgen!  She built my blog by the way, ultra-professional and exceedingly patient (Panic?  Me?) from start to finish.

2014 started with nudgings and words in my ear from my dear friend, Alex Dorici, who persuaded me to grow some balls and put myself forward for the annual 3-day poetry festival here in Lugano, Poestate.  There I stood in front of a hundred people, biting my lip as I was introduced and mumbling my opening lines until my confidence grew and my 10 minute reading was met with applause and a return request for 2015.  Thanks Alex!  Sorry, both websites are in Italian but hey; I do live in Italian-speaking Switzerland.

A short, 20 hour teaching course followed Poestate and then I put everything aside for a month or so and just chilled baby, chilled.  This cooling off didn’t last long as in August I was contacted by Accenti magazine, a Canadian publication on all things Italian, and they duly published an article I’d written on two wine-growing regions of Piemonte; Gavi and Casale Monferrato.

Upon the author’s copy landing in my postbox, I then received news that I’d won 1st placing in the monthly Writer’s Forum short story competition, which was published in the October issue.  Having my story critiqued by Sue Moorcroft was almost satisfying as seeing my name in print.

Now the rest of the winter lies ahead and I intend to put some of those long, cold, dark days to use.  I do have plans for 2015 but I’m reluctant to lay them down here in case they go pear-shaped.  Life is like that.  My NaNoWriMo was a NaNoNoGo – it happens.

Thank you to each and every one of you who has visited and contributed over the last year, I appreciate each and every one.

Happy New Year to you all.



Thank you NaNoWriMo

Well, the 30th November has come and gone.  How did I do?  Was it a success?

Let’s be frank.  I didn’t get 50’000 words down during the month; far from it, in fact I finished with under 20’000.  This was due, in part, to two factors.  One of which no-one could have foreseen and necessitated 3 weekends out of 4 away from home.  The other simply being that work commitments HAVE to come before my writing for pleasure as I’ve never earned a buck from my writing and I’m not in the position to do so now.  Bills must be paid and there were times during the month when I came home late and the last thing I wanted to do was sit in front of another computer.  I did force myself a few times, and it shows in what I wrote (I’m sure I’ll be murdering a fair few of THOSE darlings…).  Instead, the times when I felt at ease the words flowed, humour was easier to come by and the characters gelled and developed.

I returned from visiting my folks in England at the end of October and sat down (as I’ve previously mentioned on here) on 1st November with little idea what to do or where to go with it once I had it. I always thought it an exageration when I read that writers, or rather successful ones, don’t know what their characters are going to get up to when they sit at the keyboard.  “What a load of old tosh!” I said to myself.  However, now I’m a changed man.  It’s not tosh at all.  I started the beginning of the exercise with no plot whatsoever – none!  It developed and it is still developing and I love it.  It’s the first time this has happened to me and it’s a fantastic feeling.

So; what about my novel?  It’s there, it’s at early stages.  My characters are still sussing each other out.  I’m discovering traits in a couple of them that weren’t there at the start.  A couple of big-hitters are still yet to show their faces but they will, in time. I’ve been learning how to tell their story, I hope by the end I make at least a reasonable job of doing so.  I hope so.

Finally, I want to say a BIG THANK YOU to the NaNoWriMo team for uniting writers from all over the world for one cause; to write.  No more, no less.  In my 19’000 words you helped me become more of a writer than I was at the end of October.  There’s the possibility I may never earn a buck from my writing, but I do know I’ll enjoy it all the more for the experience during the last month. You see NaNoWriMo has given me the discipline to write, when I can.  One evening I turned out 2’000 words in one sitting.  I’ve never done that before and boy, what a feeling.

So, was it a success?  Personally, yes.

Thank you.

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