Monday, 9 December 2013

Write for Rights

Today is Human Rights Day, and just 4 days after losing one of the greatest human rights activists of our time (and a hero within my family) I cannot sit back and let the day pass without taking action. The loss of Nelson Mandela has made me think about how I could do much, much more to bring about positive change in the world. 

It seems like such a long time ago that Mandela was sent to prison for championing human rights, yet today there are still so many people who are imprisoned, abducted or killed for taking the brave step to speak out against injustice. But it has never been easier to stand in solidarity with these courageous people.

My fellow writers, today I implore you to put your talents to a noble cause and join me as I write for rights; it could be an individually penned letter of hope, or an online petition you sign. However big or small the action, please, act.

Thank you.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Losing the (NaNo) battle

Well, NaNoWriMo is over, and my not-so-valiant effort ended a couple of weeks ago in apparent failure. I concede that I lost the NaNo battle, but I do think it has given me the weaponry to win a novel writing war.

I won NaNo two years ago; I wrote a story that I knew, from the end of week 1, would not be any good. But I wrote 50,000 words none the less, and I felt a sense of achievement for about a day before realising that I had written an awful, awful story that I couldn't salvage. And I had known it for a long time. Still, I spent a year working on ways to re-write it as a novel, then exploring possibilities of pulling some short stories out the woodwork.

Nope. Wasn't happening. And I'd known it all along.

So this year I thought I'd give it another go. I had a story idea, an outline, character profiles, location descriptions all ready and waiting to be drawn upon. But by week 2 I realised that I wasn't writing a good story - I was writing a good sub-plot. But I learnt my lesson two years ago: this time I stopped, regrouped, and began thinking about how I could create a better story in the future.

I'm lucky enough to have an OH that understands the need to be alone too - but still supply coffee, which is an added bonus...
It's not been a waste: NaNo has inspired me, and reminded me that I have the ability to write a novel (and that I really don't have any excuses for not trying!) So even if I have technically lost, I like to think I'm still a winner in my own way!

Have you ever taken the NaNoWriMo challenge? Did you 'win' this year? I'm sure amongst you there are some enchanting fairy tale stories in the making ;)