Thursday, November 10, 2016

A hiatus in my blog

I've just realised I never did a post last week and now the weekend is almost upon us again, so this is just to apologise and say there might be a few hiatus...es?a? (What is the plural?) in my blogging and also in my blog reading this month.

The reason for this is that I'm doing something I never imagined I'd do and that's the NaNofiWriMo. You've all heard of that, haven't you? Right, then its the National Non-fiction Writing Month (I don't know what's national about it as it seems to happen everywhere). The aim of this challenge is to write the first draft of a book in a month. Now I have never put pressure on myself like this before and in truth, I don't really believe in it, so why am I doing it?

Well, when we came back from our summer travels I had a diary full of the stories from our faring adventures, and I was intending to sit down and write a full-length travelogue. For some reason, however, I just wasn't able to write more than a couple of chapters, and I've come to the conclusion that it's the diary that's proving to be the stumbling  block.

I've never before used a diary  to write a memoir. Actually, I've never been good at keeping them, so the most I've had are a few anecdotes that I've written in notebooks and scrappy journals that have lasted a matter days. For the rest, I've used photos, talked to people who were there (or should I say 'person', because mostly, it's been Koos), studied maps and looked up historical details or weather situations on the internet. And above all, I've relied heavily on my memory, which I'm happy to say is still pretty good. I've always been able transport myself back in time to a place and situation and re-live the moment with all the feelings, scents and sights it has evoked. I'm also quite adept at recalling conversations, especially funny ones (although I should say I can also remember arguments I've had with people almost word for word, and that's not so healthy as I sometimes re-live those too. This can leave me in a filthy mood that's quite mystifying to anyone I happen to be with who hasn't been in on my mental processes).

That aside, what is all this leading to? Well, it came to me that if I was ever going to finish this travelogue, I should ditch the diary and just get on with writing it from memory. I was getting far too bogged down in details and losing the magic of the impressions I had on the journey. But, because it's a travelogue that covers just a month and not a few years, I couldn't afford to let any of the sequence of events fade or lose the vivid recollections, so I knew I needed to write it fast...which brings me back to why I'm doing the NaNofiWriMo.

I just want to get it all down and then I can edit it. I forget who it was who said somewhat cryptically 'you can't edit a blank page' but that's what has driven me to do this. And it's working! I'm averaging about 1400 words a day, so if I can maintain this pace, I'll have my first draft done by the end of the month.

As to when it will get published....that's anybody's guess at this stage. It depends on how many re-writes I have to do; at least there will be something to work on! All the same, it does mean I'll be blogging less and reading less too. I hope you'll all forgive my lack of attention to your blogs, but in the now famous words of one Arnold Schwarzeneger...'I'll be back'. I promise! I love blogging too much to miss it for long.

Have a good weekend everyone, and whatever despair you are in over the world today, just remember that lovely song of George Harrison's, All Things Must Pass.




17 comments:

  1. Wow, 1400 words a day is pretty darn good! Let us know when you have completed this rather monstrous sounding task!

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  2. Brave woman, Val - I'm cheering you on from a distance. It's not for me, but am in awe of everyone having a go at it.

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    1. Thank you, Jo. I need all the cheering I can get! I'm exhausted already, but must keep at it if I'm to give birth to this baby!

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  3. Congratulations on NaNofiWriMo and the goal you have set for yourself. You will make it! And the world will be richer for it...because then it will be in the hands of readers that much sooner. I'm with you on remembering things...especially conversations word-for-word. It was a good thing when I worked on the newspaper and covered meetings. Now...not so much so! Peace, rest & success to you, Val. You're a champ!

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    1. Bless you, Step. You are a source of great encouragement to me, always. And an inspiration too xx

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  4. I'm participating in nonfiction writing month too, albeit in the form of student report cards. :) Good luck with your endeavours, and please ignore the fact that I've not written since weeks and weeks ago... xx

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    1. Thank you, sweetheart. Report cards are more important, so there's no need to ignore, but more to understand! xx

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  5. Val, I understand your hiatus. I had to slow down my posts when school resumed. We can only do so much. Also, writing memoirs takes a lot of thought because there is so much to include as you pointed out in your post. Sights,sounds,smells etc. Take your time. Love the George Harrison selection. So poignant. Lynn

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    1. Lynn, your wisdom is also an inspiration to me. Thank you! xx

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  6. Congratulations on your 1400 words a day - you will certainly have a book draft completed this month. I hope you enjoy reliving the memories as you go along, and look forward to your finished book. Well done. Good old George Harrison - loved him!

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    1. I hope so, Patricia. It's pretty good therapy to re-live the summer. Life has thrown a few curved balls at us all lately, not least of which is today's announcement that Leonard Cohen, one of my personal sources of inspiration, has died. If it were not for him, I would not be able to play the guitar today or probably any other musical instrument. So sad, and George's song underscores that too.

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  7. Val, that is some discipline! Well done, you! I'm sure I couldn't be that tough on myself. I'm really looking forward to reading the outcome.

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  8. Would a blood transfusion from you to me help me do the same?
    www.donnalanenelson.com

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    1. Haha, Donnalene! We could always give it a try :)

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  9. Sometimes I write down things that happen on holiday for my blog diaries. This year I didn't but I found when I started writing it all came back and my memory is not very good these days. Sometimes I find its especially good to write down feelings or colours of what you see ,but maybe that's just me.

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