Resolving stuff - Karen Bush

I don't remember asking Santa for a penguin ...
Yeah, a stuffed rat.
Just what I wanted ...
 Right, that's Christmas and New Year over and done with. But before you start looking forward to the orgy of chocolate otherwise known as Easter, there's just the little matter of New Year's Resolutions to grapple with.

I'm not making any - I never do these days, as I'm so bad at keeping them and then have to deal with the guilt of letting myself, or worse still, others, down. Except for one, which is not so much a resolution as a brilliant writing tool. I am notoriously lazy about writing: I'm fine if I have a tight deadline, but when it is a self-imposed one it is far too easy to find a good excuse for changing it. Things like the egg timer never works for me, as I can sit there for the full allotted time fiddling with unnecessary stuff or staring vacantly out of the window.

Then I was given the gift of Linowrimo. We named it after its inventor, Linda Strachan, author of Hamish McHaggis, and Don't Judge Me among the 50 plus books she has written, and one of my fellow Flatcappers (I may explain that term in a future blog but for now you are just going to have to wonder what a Flatcapper is)

Linowrimo is a bit like Nanowrimo only better because instead of churning out vast and impossible amounts of wordage for a limited period of time you set yourself a more manageable daily target - something you know is well within your ability to produce. For example, if I manage to get 1000 words down in a day I feel I'm doing well (I'm a slow as well as a lazy writer). So I set myself an easy target of 500 words. So no matter how busy my day gets, it is still manageable, and because it isn't a daunting target, it is easier to settle in front of the keyboard and get started on producing my quota - I'm less likely to keep putting it off and then not getting anything done at all. 

Click HERE for link
Five hundred words may not sound like very much to you more prolific types, but remember that instead of only doing Linowrimo for a month, I'm doing it every day of every month throughout the year. That means that after a year I'll have produced 182,000 words (182,500 if I count Christmas day too). That's three 60,000 word books a year. And once I get going, I usually get so involved with it that I end up writing way over my target number of words, so potentially I could be looking at four books a year ...

Oh, and congratulations to the quiz winner from last month's blog, Elizabeth Williams, who obviously knows her horsy writers ...
Runner up was Sue Price who didn't manage a full house of correct answers, but nevertheless took a creditable crack at it. 
I'll be in touch with you both shortly to ask you what you'd like as your prizes ...

The answers were:
1. Anna Sewell
2. Katherine Roberts
3. Ruby Ferguson
4. Monica Edwards
5. Shakespeare
6. Mary O'Hara
7. CS Lewis
8. AF Tschiffely
9. Alan Garner
10. Rudyard Kipling
11. JRR Tolkien
12. Patricia Leitch
13. Michael Morpurgo
14. RL Stevenson
15. Terry Pratchett
16. Paul Gallico
17. George Orwell
18. Miguel de Cervantes
19. Jean Auel
20. Enid Bagnold

1. Jerome K Jerome
2. Garth Nix
3. Robin Hobb
4. Charles Dickens
5. Kate DiCamillo
6. Terry Pratchett
7. Gerald Durrell
8. Dodie Smith
9. Susan Price
10. Emma Barnes
11. Joan Lennon
12. Mark Wallington
13. Terry Darlington
14. Richard Adams
15. Enid Blyton
16. JK Rowling
17. John Steinbeck
18. Jack London
19. Philippa Pearce
20. Shakespeare


Dennis Hamley said…
Even Linowrimo is too much for me. A more reasonable target is 300 words, in the hope that suddenly the bolt will strike from the blue and I've 8000 written without even looking up. Sadly, the bolt gets rarer. But it's a good resolution. Perhaps we could keep up a general AE daily scoresheet, pour encourager les autres.
Chris Longmuir said…
I think I'll have to try the Linwrimo approach, there's too much faffing about in my life just now. Any excuse not to get the head down and do some work.
Susan Price said…
Karen and I are both members of the secret society (okay, well not so secret now) called Flatcap, where we report in reguarly with an account of work we've got done - and encourage each other, congratulate, commiserate... But there's nothing to prevent AEs who are interested from forming their own group. Flatcap uses a round-robin email. You set your own target, Dennis, so if you think 300 words would suit you, that's what you aim for.

You join when you have something you need to get on with - and you can drop out when you feel you've accomplished that.

Seeing what other Flatcappers have achieved spurs you on, as does the knowledge that you have to report in - you want to be able to report a respectable amount of words written.

Hey Dennis - you're a member of the SAS. You could join Flatcap if you wanted.
Lynne Garner said…
I like the sound of Linwrimo and Flatcap. I've sort of stopped with my writing and really need to get back into it. I have a short story collection to complete and if I did just 500 words per day I'd almost get the first draft completed by the end of the month. The editing bit I find easier to do.
madwippitt said…
As Sue says, Dennis, you set your own target. It has to be something which is achievable so it encourages you to keep going rather than to throw your hands up in despair and then go and sink into a Pit of Despair: and by keeping it low, you are less likely to keep find excuses to put off the sitting down and getting on with it side of things. Rather, it becomes a case of "Oh it's only 200 words (or whatever) ... I can get that done in an hour, and then I'll be free to go do other stuff." And if after the 200 words are done you feel like carrying on: but if not, you can at least go do other stuff without feeling guilty, because You Have Achieved Something. And it's surprising just how quickly those few hundreds of words start to add up: I was quite gobsmacked to find my 500 a day turning out to be the equivalent of three books a year. And yes, go for it Lynne - both Linowrimo and a self-help secret society like Flatcap! :-)
This sounds like a very good idea and one I could do with right now because I'm doing a lot of faffing about! Winter always does this to me - best of intentions and then I hate winter so much that I don't get half enough work done. I could even, probably, manage 1000 a day as a target. I'm going to have a go.
madwippitt said…
Let us know how you get on Catherine, Lynne and Chris!
Dennis Hamley said…
Hey, you're right, Susan, so I am. But I'm a little bit scared of the flatcappers. I think I may have quoted my A-level history report of so many, many years ago before. 'Exhibits gusts of tremendous earnestness for this subject, interspersed with long periods of oblivion to its very existence.' I sometimes think it may still apply.
Dennis Hamley said…
I'll try when we get home!
Enid Richemont said…
I speak as an ex-Flatcapper, meaning often to re-join, and then don't.
I'm SAS too, so a seriously dangerous woman.
Ann Evans said…
Two good ideas Linwrimo and Flatcap - no idea how you'd pronounce the first word! I'm going to give Linwrimo a go with a YA that isn't making much progress at the moment. I seem to be concentrating on articles which is writing, obviously, but I need to get the books done.
Thanks for the ideas Karen.
Ann Evans said…
And I meant to say I love the photos!
madwippitt said…
Thanks Ann! And remember to let us know how you get on - if you aren't too busy writing of course! :-)

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