I missed updating last week, though I’m sure you’ll forgive me. I’ve been participating in National Novel Writing Month, which hasn’t been “national” since about 2001 but the name is catchier this way.

It is now Week Two, and NaNoWriMo veterans will recognise Week Two as The Week Everything Goes to Shit. Writing becomes like pulling teeth, your whole novel is terrible, you hate it, yourself, and the world, and nothing would give you more pleasure than to toss the whole thing overboard so you can concentrate on something more important like watching 15 straight episodes of that show you need to catch up on.

For me, I had this idea, of a writer in the 1930s living next to the beach somewhere in Kent and spending her days writing mysteries and arguing with her publisher by post until she discovered an actual mystery, possibly involving a murder or smugglers. But then within the first page the setting had changed to the Scottish highlands and she lived in a haunted old farmhouse with a large grey cat. And then there was a large black dog around the moors that might be a devil or something, I hadn’t yet decided. And from there all sorts of dark and spooky folklore got involved and I’m now not at all sure what’s going to happen. Which makes me a little angry, and rather frightened, but one pushes on, one word after another.

In theory, anyway. In practice, one wastes one’s time on the NaNoWriMo forums and in writing blog posts (because one needs to keep one’s website updated, doesn’t one?). Taking a break, I suppose one might say, although as I’m about 5000 words behind at this point a break is really the last thing I ought to be taking.

Back to the grindstone, I suppose. You might like, at this point, to imagine my characters actively dragging me away from blog, Twitter and Youtube. Imagine me screaming and clawing at the floor. Just let me browse the NaNoWriMo hashtag! It counts as writing! It counts as writing!

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