Sunday, 8 November 2020

Update, November 2020, and NaNoWriMo

Welcome to November 2020!

Yeah, it's already begun, and NaNoWriMo is well underway, and this year I am taking part. In previous years, things have been difficult or easy, depending on the year, and some years I've won, and some I've lost. This year feels totally different. This year, I know I'm going to easily hit 50,000 words and it will be fine. That's the thing that's carried me forward through a lot of difficult times, the thought that it'll all be fine.

In addition to writing under my name, here's a little secret: I've been writing successfully under a pseudonym for about three years, and have enjoyed some success and publication beyond what I expected and had experienced with writing under my real name. Negative and small-minded detractors had set out in the past to put my writing (under my own name) down, but having embraced writing under a new name, I have been able to distance myself from negativity and embraced success and progress to the point that I could comfortably abandon writing under my real name and continue under my pen name for now. I still write under my own name however, to keep my hand in with the local writing community. So I still write under my name, but my pen-name is seemingly more successful. It's like putting on a different hat and working with a different mindset there. Damon Lord writes more historical or literary stuff, often with a dark twist, whereas Sioux D'Nîme (not my real pen-name!) is more liberated and off-the-fucking-wall, and moderately more successful.

So how's it going? This new novel I'm working on for 2020 is being written by my pen-name. It went well for a few days, but like many people, I've been distracted by current affairs for several days. I certainly have political opinions on the outcome of the US election, which is unfolding as I speak (type?). The world was left on tenterhooks for nearly a week and has taken its toll on everyone waiting for results of the election in what was, until four years ago, the most powerful country in the world. This means I've fallen slightly behind on my NaNoWriMo goals, but it's the weekend, the news is good from the USA, so it's time to catch up on the writing.

What am I writing? Well, it's science fiction, with a kick-arse confident action hero, and a beat-up old spaceship and stuff like that. a jolly good fun space opera sort of thing, the sort of thing my pen-name has already easily and successfully cracked out.

Picture of my temporary desk on my kitchen table
Today it's Sunday, so instead of working in my home office, I'm working from my kitchen this afternoon, so I've decided to give you a brief tour of my temporary writing desk I've got set up on the kitchen table.

On the right is my laptop, with my current WIP (Work In Progress) on the screen. You can't see it, of course, it's a secret what I'm writing, hahaha.

Towards the centre is the wireless charger for my mobile phone, in front of my mug of coffee (oh, how I love coffee at this time of year!), which aptly says "Go away I'm writing". It was a little gift for myself a while back, for embracing my pen-name.

In the background is my portable foldable keyboard, which I hook up to my mobile phone to use when I'm out and about, such as sitting in my favourite café to write on my phone instead of the laptop. Of course, due to the current Coronavirus lockdown rules in England, I'm not exactly going anywhere, as I'm working from home.

Then there is my glasses case sitting on top of the folded keyboard. I am a firm believer in the importance of ocular health, with years of experience working with and advising professionals in the eyesight field.

The open book is "No Plot? No Problem!" by Chris Baty, which is often seen as the 'bible' of NaNoWriMo. It's open to the page which gives you the word count target for each page. As mentioned above, I'm a little behind at the moment, but onwards and upwards! The grey and blue bookmark was originally my NaNoWriMo wristband, which broke just after midnight on the 1st of November. It emotionally knocked me, so much that I didn't begin NaNoWriMo this year for another fifteen hours, but I was able to move past it and re-purpose the broken wristband as a necessary bookmark for the place in the book I would most often return to.

Alongside it is another NaNoWriMo guidebook, "Pep Talks for Writers" by Grant Faulkner, which is full of motivational mini-essays to read when you lose energy and give you a little psychological pick-me-up.

So that's a whirlwind tour of my temporary desk! I'll perhaps do more updates during the NaNoWriMo month, to let you know how NaNoWriMo is going for me, and maybe write something on various aspects of writing too. Perhaps on what software I use for example, or maybe my choice of music for writing.

I also hope for those of you who are also doing NaNoWriMo that your words come easily and I wish you all every success!

I'd better go now, and clear my temporary desk, because the chicken in the oven is almost ready....