12 Books in 12 Months

writing books and blogging about it



Operation Stop Pootering And Write (day 3)

I think we could call today a write-off, although not in the sense that I actually wrote anything.  Well, actually I wrote quite a lot but none of it was creative. I did eat some mushrooms, though, so that was pretty rewarding.

I’m not going to berate myself for my lack of actual writing, though, because I did a lot of thinking about writing – and wanky though this might sound it was probably necessary.  I’ve been thinking about what I need to do to make my current project better (in brief: a lot), and about how to approach that in a sensible and constructive manner (ie not creating another whiteboard of shame situation).  And tonight I am going to go to bed at a sensible time so that I can get up early in the morning and start putting that thought into practice.

In the meantime, here’s one of those Vines I keep making instead of writing anything proper…

Open Letter to Aspiring Writers

Patrick Rothfuss with the only motivational quote you really need
Patrick Rothfuss with the only motivational quote you really need

There are few things on the Internet more tiresome than the phrase ‘aspiring writer’.

Actually that’s not true – there are literally hundreds of things more annoying than that. But I’m not blogging about those today.

Continue reading “Open Letter to Aspiring Writers”

Weekly Photo Challenge – Colour

The weekly photo challenge is ‘colour’, and as you can see I chose blue.  Initially I was going to write lots of different pages of a story I am working on longhand in different colours and make a gallery of those – but I appear to have misplaced most of my more interesting pen colours.  SEND PENS NOW.  Or, look at the blue things instead whilst I think of further ridiculous ways to procrastinate.

In other news, The Life and Times of a Working Barbarian is now live – why not go forth and vote on who you want the hero to be?

Where do you get your ideas?

Ideas never run out
© Adi Respati

As a fiction writer I tend to feel like this is a stupid question, whilst as a journalist it feels amateurish and slightly redundant to ask it.  Read their work and it’ll often become pretty apparent – Irvine Welsh didn’t come up with Trainspotting because he spent a lot of time hanging around Disneyland, for example.

Continue reading “Where do you get your ideas?”

Nice Weather For Ducks

I haven’t drawn for a few days because life has gotten in the way.  Things like catching up with friends and family, Chrismas shopping, and a whole lot of cleaning.  On which subject, here is my list of fun things I found in or under the couch today:

  • a pencil sharpener
  • a door wedge
  • a measuring tape
  • a handkerchief
  • a sock
  • a copy of The Skinny from August
  • a ticket from First Minister’s Questions
  • 6 pence
  • two party hats
  • a button badge bearing the slogan ‘ordinary man in the street’.

Hopefully you can tell from that it was less deliberate procrastination and more in desperate need of being done…

Continue reading “Nice Weather For Ducks”


So the clocks have gone back, in the UK at least, giving us all an extra hour to do something golden and great.  And what have I used those precious extra minutes for?  Finishing stories, perhaps, or planning my literary opus for this year’s fast approaching NaNoWriMo?

Of course not.  I’ve been faffing about.

A lot of people make the assumption that when you’re writing 12 books in 12 months, you don’t do the usual writerly procrastination thing.  Surely there isn’t time?  These are charitable people, who perhaps do not know me very well.  If there’s one thing I can always make time for, it’s wasting time.

Admittedly this year my procrastination has taken on a sheen of productivity, but it’s still happening.  For instance, on Friday night I had every intention of writing, but when it came down to it I knitted instead.

I was able to justify this because I embarked upon a patchwork blanket in January 2009 and it’s been Nearly Done But Not Quite for about a year.  Now that winter is on the way again it seems an entirely sensible and productive thing to finish it, because our flat is about as well insulated as something very poorly insulated – a ruined castle, say, or a cardboard box.  Except actually, this blanket is finished enough to cover more than three quarters of the bed, and we ended up buying an electric under blanket last winter, so we’ll be fine.  And suddenly my knitting doesn’t seem that productive anymore…

Meanwhile yesterday, I met up with a friend in the morning and came home ready to write a ton of stuff… and I fell asleep.  What’s that all about?  I didn’t even have any useful nightmares to incorporate into a horror story.  By the time I woke up it was time to cook tea for another friend coming round, and I didn’t even knit when she was here, I just chatted and watched TV.

Then today there’s this blog.  I ought to be finishing stories right now, or at the very least updating the Ten Tracks site or writing the November Oot for The Broughton Spurtle but instead I am drafting this post, because ‘I haven’t updated for a couple of days and on Twitter I said I would.’  As if there are scores of enraged people who saw that tweet and have now come to the end of their tether en masse – they need their fix of 12 books on this blustery Sunday afternoon or so help them they’re going to tear down this internet.

I don’t feel too horrible about the fact I’m procrastinating, because I think there’s a lot to be said for it.  A huge amount of writing lies in the part where you Think About Things; where ideas are swirling around in the back of your brain whilst you bake scones or catch up on other people’s blogs or click on every link anyone posts on Facebook or Twitter.  However, there comes a time when you have to set this thinking time aside and get something down on the page.

The trick is to stop blogging and get on with it.

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