Novel-mber (NaNoWriMo)

I love reading. I will tear through a book in days, hours if it’s good enough (and easy to read. A Russian thinkpiece is obviously going to take me a while longer and a bit more effort, which is usually why I toss them aside after a few chapters). I’ve been reading adult books since I was a child, and I also flew through the young adult and kids books that were around at the time that interested me, but always preferred the grown up stuff. I remember reading The Stand (or trying to at least, I re-read it recently and there were a lot of parts I don’t remember, maybe that’s age fucking with me though) when I was about eleven or twelve, and an awkward moment for my teacher when we were told to bring in books to read from home on Fridays and I whipped that big bastard out.

I recall being told by a few different English teachers that I should be a writer when I grow up, and I should study English and Literature as a subject in college when I graduated, but it was the least appealing thing to me to dissect the works of dead greats from years ago and compare and contrast the themes therein. If I didn’t enjoy reading the books as it was, why the fuck would I lock myself in to four or more years of analyzing every fiddly bit of prose that was in them?

Now, after almost a year of reading and learning about the writing craft on my own terms, half of which has been about publishing and marketing and the modern author as much as about style and voice, I am attempting the NaNoWriMo challenge, which is to write a book of 50,000 words or more in the month of November (National Novel Writing Month). They give 50,000 words as a baseline number, but obviously how much you write is up to you. If you’re aiming for the mark, you must average about 1,670 words a day. Before, I would have balked at the prospect of writing that much every day. Now that I’ve started, I can’t turn the words off. I got around 3,000 last night before I switched off because of tiredness, and there was plenty left in the word bag. It’s the biggest project I’ve ever undertaken, and it’s promising to see that I can do at least the minimum required every day and surpass my own expectations on other days. This story is one that’s been knocking around in my head for a long time, and if I finish well by December, it won’t be the only book I write. From the imagination station in my head, there’s at least another book and a half left in the story after I finish this one, and I’d like to think that people will enjoy reading it. If I do say so myself.

So that’s what’s happening with me right now, I probably won’t put much up here for the rest of the month, or maybe I will, who can tell at this stage. Wish me luck, and I’ll be back with something tangible by Christmas, hopefully. Then you can give me money for a collection of my words!

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The Blue Ridge Project: A Novel

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About Neil

Neil Rochford is a writer from Ireland and has lived in various places around the world. He loves fiction where bad things happen, is trying to feed himself with his words and he is available for freelance writing gigs and wakes. His book, The Blue Ridge Project, is available NOW on Amazon.