Welcome to Work in Progress Wednesday! Where we discuss your work that’s in progress!
As I mentioned back on Monday, the future of the Clouds is one that’s bright, positive and all about sharing creativity… With that in mind, we’ve got a Guest Blogger who embodies all those traits and more! If you’ve been around the blogosphere at all, she probably needs no introduction, but for the rest of you let me introduce… Ritu!
Hi, my name is Ritu, of www.butismileanyway.com. I am a wife, mother, teacher, blogger, poet and wannabe author!
Thank you so much to Shaun for inviting me over to his blog today, to have a chat about what I am up to, creatively at the moment.
Work In Progress.
It’s a phrase I wasn’t familiar with until I started blogging.
And as I learned more about them, I realised that I had one of those… I had a WIP that needed more progress!
Seventeen (yes, really, seventeen!) years ago, before I got married, I felt a story bubbling inside me, and it was bursting to come out.
I wrote with full gusto and managed to get a few thousand words down, but then after marriage, life kinda took over, and my poor WIP languished in a folder on the PC, and in a printed copy in a binder, packed away.
As I began blogging, that creative outlet woke my passion for stories again, and I was writing fresh pieces on a regular basis, but that poor WIP was still sitting there, unattended, lonely, hurt that it was being given no attention.
I wished for time to give to it. I tested the existing chapters on my poor unsuspecting blog followers and was rewarded with some amazing feedback. I really needed to do this.
The hashtag #NaNoWriMo featured a lot during the weeks coming up to November, and following that, hearing of people publishing books that they had given birth to during #NaNoWriMo made me jealous. Oh to have a month that I could dedicate to just writing…
A dream that was just that.
In November, teaching, my day job, is in full flow. There isn’t a spare moment in the day, after being teacher, wife and mother.
I started to get certain blog pals of mine giving me all sorts of advice:
Just do it – I would, but when?
Write whenever you have the time – By the time I finish my necessary jobs, any extra moments left, are used being lazy.
Forget your blog for a while – What? Are you crazy? I tried that before, and lasted one day, or maybe two!
I figured I needed a set time to do this, to really get back in the saddle and ride this story to the finish line.
And that’s when it dawned on me. I couldn’t do #NaNoWrMo due to when that month was, but surely, if I could find time in the year when life for me was less crazy, I could do my own mini month long writing challenge.
August was the best time.
It was the only full month where I wouldn’t be at school. There would be no festivities, like Diwali, Christmas, Easter or Vaisakhi to worry about, just keeping the kids occupied. Hubby Dearest would be at work too, so there would be relative peace.
And so #RiNoWriMo was born! Ritu’s Novel Writing Month.
I took the first step, which was to make my intentions public, to my followers, that I had summer writing plans. Then, I told my family. If I didn’t have them on side, it would be a hard task. They needed to know how serious I was about writing.
Then I needed to decide what I actually wanted from this month of writing. #NaNoWriMo has a very specific word count that they expect participants to reach daily, as a minimum, so they can reach a respectable 50,000 words in a month.
I would love to be able to say that I managed that amount, but I also had to be realistic. Although I was free that month, I also had responsibilities, in the shape of children, who were not always going to keep themselves occupied!
So I decided that I would not expect to write on the weekends. If I managed some, it would be a bonus. On the weekdays, when I was at home with nothing else planned, I would attempt 2,500 words. On other days, such as the week I was back home visiting my parents, I would try at least 1,000 words, first thing in the morning.
And I made myself a visual storyboard.
Characters, timelines, locations and photos all helped my story to come alive again.
And it is week two so far.
As you can imagine, after starting a story seventeen years ago, there were going to be issues, with remembering what you actually wanted to do with your story. Rereading my original manuscript meant that the story was fresh in my mind.
I sketched out a plan of what I was hoping would happen in the story, added a few new characters to be introduced, and then I just went for it.
The best time for me has been first thing in the morning when I have packed the husband off to work, the children are still asleep, and my cuppa is warm. I sit at the table, or sometimes on my bed, with my furry muse, Sonu Singh, as company, and we write…
And I am pleased to say that, as I write this, nine days into August, my originally 13,000-word long manuscript is nearly 30,000 words!
My WIP is finally back to being a real Work In Progress, not a once started, then forgotten piece!
And I hope this is a little bit of inspiration for anyone else out there hoping to finish writing something they started a while back. If you feel it was worth starting, then it’s sure and heck worth finishing too! (Just don’t leave it seventeen years!)
If you want to find me anywhere… seriously, I am everywhere… here are my links!
Social Media Profiles
And by clicking the following link, you get to my author profile on Amazon, where you can find the link to my poetry book, Poetic RITUals, which I actually did manage to publish, in less than seventeen years!