Write 50k words in 30 days

Are you doing NaNo? NaNoWriMo in November is the big annual challenge to write 50k words in just 30 days.

I’ve done it a few times before but never won but that doesn’t deter me. My feeling is that as long as I take part, I am still making progress towards my goal. If you want to be buddies on NaNo, I am Redfae (add me and when I log on, I’ll add you back).

The Project

I’ve spent most of September and October plotting Diamond in the Sky ready for NaNoWriMo. I’ve been plotting using Save the Cat. I still have some work to do to develop my B Story characters but I think I am ready enough for 1 November.

Diamond in the Sky is a spin off novel from Jewel of the Sea, following Kya’s life spiral out of control after getting dumped.

Get involved

Writing can be a rather solitary experience but together with some other members of World Indie Warriors, we shall be hosting live write-ins.

I shall be doing lives every Monday in November at 9pm on Instagram. These will be a chance to chat about how our writing projects are going and get motivated for the week ahead. Even if you aren’t doing NaNo, feel free to join in the chats and cheer everyone on.

On Monday, 21 October, I did my first ever Instagram live with Jodie Groom. I was really nervous so she offered to join me online as a test run to figure things out before November and support me.

To see the live from last Monday you will need to be a member of World Indie Warriors Closed Facebook Group. It’s easy to join. Just click the join button on Facebook.

If Monday’s aren’t for you then you’ll be hyped to hear there will be other write-ins during the week. Check out the schedule to discover other days and times to join WIW online.  Some members will be doing adhoc write-ins.

 

Click My Link Tree
To Connect On Social Media
Click My Link Tree
To Connect On Social Media

Reflecting on Goals set in January

To start the year, I set myself some goals for the year ahead.  I plan to check how I’m getting on with that periodically during the year to check I’m on track.  If you set yourself goals it is important to check on yourself to make sure you are on target and to re-focus yourself.

On Reflection

Summary:  Considering these were annual targets I think I’ve kicked off the year with a really good start at achieving them.  I’m not sure listing my goals as bullet points was the best idea, so to re-focus I shall put my goals into a table.

March 2018 goals

Blogging Goals Review

  • ACHIEVED:  I migrated both my blogs into one blog and I am using categories to split the content up from ‘writing’ topics and ‘beauty topics.
  • ACHIEVED:  I planned to post at least once a week and I have been exceeding this – posting two to three times a week.  Sometimes as often as four times.  Taking the pressure off has increased my productivity.
  • ACHIEVED:  I’ve reduced my scheduled posts on LoCal so that they only run for two weeks so if I run out of time to change them, I am not Constantly spamming people with the same things for weeks with no end.
  • ACHIEVED:  I have started including some personal posts on my blog such as my son’s World Book Day and What I’ve Been Watching.
  • ALMOST ACHIEVED:  I wanted to start vlogging.  This has involved researching how to do it and plucking up the courage.  In addition, I need the house to be quiet for recording which doesn’t happen often.  However, I have posted a video on YouTube reviewing Agent Hunter (see below) and I have a scheduled blog post about this coming soon.Wri
  • NOT ACHIEVED:  I haven’t approached any brands to see if they’d like me to represent them. However, my Instagram pics of my The Pip Box won and I got my March box free (review of the free box coming April).

Writing Goals Review

  • ACHIEVED:  I have stopped editing Drift and started querying.
  • NOT ACHIEVED:  I have not started work on finishing Glide. I have been really busy with my course at college and work.  However, I have three weeks off for Easter break and hope to re-visit this project over the coming weeks.
  • NOT ACHIEVED:  I have not started a new story idea – not that I’m not full of ideas.
  • NOT ACHIEVED:  I’ve not had time to read the programme for Felixstowe Book Festival but intend to buy tickets and go. I have decided to miss YALC this year (will explain more soon).
  • NOT ACHIEVED:  Completing a writing course is on hold until I finish my current course at college.
  • ALMOST ACHIEVED:  I have been reading more since getting my Kindle.  I have almost finished The Gender Game and will review the title and my Kindle once I have.  I am a slow reader with only a few chances to read.
  • NOT ACHIEVED:  I have not found out more about how Twitter queries work.  However, I have been networking more on Instagram and meeting lots of writers online this way.

Ally plus text

Blogging learnt the hard way

Happy Birthday to my blog

I can’t believe that today is my blogs first birthday.  I feel that I’ve learnt so much and yet, I still have so much to learn.

Here are the three lessons I have learned – the hard way:

1.  When three become one

I started with three blogs on Word Press. Three blogs!  I did it to split up the content:

Plus, I was still posting to Blogger as a back up plan… just in case I didn’t take to Word Press.

I now can see what a mistake that was. It was a lot of work to keep all of them running and current.  This year, I am planning to just post straight to ‘Alison Aldridge’.

2.  Be personal

I was trying to keep my blog professional and leave my personal life out of it. I didn’t think people would be interested in hearing about me.

But, when my life is busy, it’s hard to write about the other stuff and it would be easier just to share with my readers what I’m up to.  I can already see I’ve got an eventful year ahead so moving forward, you can expect to see a few more personal posts.

3.  Be brave

I’ve found that if I want to review something I should contact the company because sometimes they will support you with it.  Saal Digital posted on Instagram asking for bloggers and I applied.  I thought I had no chance but was happily mistaken and now I am the proud owner of a beautiful photo book of my son.

Bouncing of my previous success, I’ve bravely approached a company whose service I’d like to use and asked if I could review them on my blog.  They kindly awarded me ‘Gold Membership’.  Stay tuned to see my review of this – I will reveal soon…  (this is one for the writers).

The future

There is loads more I’ve learnt but the above are the three lessons that stand out the most.  I’ve also still a lot more to learn too.

I’d really like to get into vlogging too – I just cringe at the sound of my voice (and sight of my face – lol).  Plus, I’ve no clue about editing a video. Please comment with links if you can help me or to your vlog so I can see what you do and learn.

Goals for the year ahead – 2018

If you read my earlier post from today, you’ll know that I’ve reflected on how 2017 went.  This inspired me to set my goals for the year ahead.

Making 2018 even better

Blogging

I now absolutely love blogging.  I’m addicted.  It is has raised in my ranks of importance.  Here are my goals for 2018:

  • Categories:  Currently, I am running three blogs.  One for beauty review, one for anything related to writing and books and another that shares the posts by both.  It is very time consuming and exhausting!  I shall now be migrating them all to this blog and using categories to present content relevant to the readers interests.
  • Schedule:  
    • I was trying to post two articles a week and did pretty well but sometimes it was hard.   I need post regularly but once a week is sufficient and I can schedule posts.
    • I’ve been using loCal (free online calendar) to schedule my tweets.  I was unwell in December and never updated my tweets!  Aghh!  My poor followers had the same tweets for another month *cringe*.  Setting an end date is important.
  • Personal:  Keeping to my categories has meant that when life is busy I haven’t anything relevant to post whereas if I start sharing more about me (like being a mum or working in education), I could have more content and make my life easier.
  • Vlogging:  I did my first video blog this year and I was really impressed at how easy it was. I know I have more to learn to make my videos better but you’ve got to start somewhere.  I’ve also done some ‘unboxing’ videos on my instagram.
  • Product reviews:  I need to not be shy to contact brands that I love to see if they’ll support me reviewing their product.  I hope that in 2018 I will get the chance to review more products as I really enjoyed my experience of reviewing Saal Digital’s photo book.

Writing

My dream is still to be published and I still would love to go down the traditional route but not found an agent (or publisher) but some of that is my fault as I don’t query enough.

  • Drift/Jewel of the sea:  Stop editing and start querying!
  • Glide:  I know how this story ends and I need to finish it.  Readers who loved Drift (on Wattpad) want to read the next book in the series.  I have had so much support and encouragement and one user even sent me pictures of Scotland to help me.
  • Start a fresh new story:  I don’t want this to distract from the above goals but I’ve got lots of new story ideas and I really need to start something fresh.  I hope to make a start on this later in 2018.
  • Conventions: I love attending YALC and Felixstowe Book Festival last year and I would love to be able to go again.
  • Writer courses:  I’m very busy at the moment with a course for work but once that is out of the way I’d like to continue my studies with Write Story Books for Children and Write Romance fiction.  I’m enrolled on both these courses ready to complete when I have time.  I also would happily do another Curtis Brown Creative course online.
  • Reading:  I got a Kindle at last!  I plan to start reading more in 2018 and hope to discover some amazing reads to review on my blog (and Good Reads).
  • Twitter queries:  I need to learn when these are running so ~I

Ally plus text