The Need To Succeed

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Energy and persistence conquer all things – Benjamin Franklin

I may have lost my way for a while but I now feel back to my old self. My ambitious, hard-working and motivated self that wants to succeed. I have so many projects and exciting opportunities happening right now that I haven’t even had the time to blink and really think about how far I have come in the past month.

Persistence is something that comes naturally to me. Sure, I can give into the temptation of being lazy for a day and say that I will do something tomorrow but in the back of my mind, it all keeps on turning. Like an old grandfather clock, my mind never stops. The hand always goes round and round and even when I don’t think I’m thinking about everything I have to and want to do, it’s still there, encouraging me to keep going. I have this ongoing need to succeed.

I want to update this blog as much as I used to but there are not enough hours in the day to achieve everything I want to and I have to learn to prioritize. In the last few weeks I have managed to land myself a paid part-time freelance writing job, volunteer at a hostel as a mentor in Creative Writing, sign up to be a volunteer at The Manchester Literature Festival and start my own online magazine Zest For Life. It’s in the very early stages but please follow the Zest For Life Blog here.

Adding to that I have a novel that is still stuck on 4,000 words because I haven’t had the time to focus on it. I am still writing short stories and poetry for collections that I will put together one day in the future. I still contribute articles for two online magazines and I also have this blog. If that wasn’t enough, I’m also signing up for a night class once a week, the class is being taught by a successful author who will be teaching the different ways to publish your writing.

I know I have a lot of things going on in my life right now but I like to be busy. The days were so long when I had nothing to do and no motivation to start anything new. Now, I feel my old self again. I am ready to take on anything life throws at me. I still think about the future but I am really in love with my life right now.

There’s a burning passion inside of me for words. I want to write. I want to be a successful writer. One day I want to be a successful author. I want an amazing career. I want to complete all of the projects that I have set for myself. I want to take every opportunity that comes my way. I want to succeed and I’ve decided to start enjoying every second of my life.

Camp NaNoWriMo 2015

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So, I have decided to do Camp NaNoWriMo. After the success of winning NaNoWriMo in November last year, completing 50,000 words in thirty days for my first full length novel 1:58, I decided that it was time to do it again. Camp NaNoWriMo is the same as NaNoWriMo but there is more freedom, I can choose my own word count goal. However, I’m still sticking to 50,000 words. I can do it. I know I can.

I feel like I have lost a lot of motivation in the writing side of my life and the less I write, the more confidence I lose and I knew that it was time to transfer the novel that I have been planning for months in my head, down on paper. I have started to outline and plan a novel called The Last Letter. I have it planned up to chapter twelve and I am going to spend the last few days of June planning the rest to start the Camp NaNoWriMo on July the 1st.

I have planned many novels and many of them have never been written but this one, it just feels different. I can’t really explain why but this is the story that I really want to tell. Completing the challenge last year boosted my confidence enormously because I had never completed a longer piece of writing from start to finish. I had written poetry and short stories but never succeeded in writing an entire novel. Now I can say I have. And I am going to do it again.

I have so much time on my hands right now and I feel like I am wasting it. Day in and day out, I do nothing productive and it is only getting worse. I don’t want to be the writer that doesn’t write. I don’t want to be the woman who says she wants to be an author but never even tries to make the dream a reality. I want to write this novel.

The Last Letter is my chance to prove that I can write novels. It is easy for some writers to just write a 100,000 word novel from start to finish, start revising it, complete it and then send it to publishing houses. But what about the rest of us? The struggling writers that don’t always have the discipline to complete what we start? The writers that listen to the voice in their heads that says they are not good enough and believe it. The writers that know they can do it but have to convince themselves that they won’t fail.

I can manage 1,600 words a day. I have done it before. There are a few days in the month of July that I will be busy but I will have to work around my plans and make sure I get my daily word count. I know I can do this. I have done this before.

July has one extra day than November. I have thirty one days and 50,000 words to write and this time I am going to revise the novel and redraft it and get it ready to be published. No more messing around with ideas and wondering if I am good enough to be published. I need to start believing in myself. I can be an author, no, I will be an author and doing NaNoWriMo is just a stepping stone on my journey to achieving this dream.

‘Norwegian Wood’ Book Review

When I first looked at this book, I assumed that the book was going to be dark and depressive by looking at the front cover. I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I didn’t expect the romance, the humor and the different turns of events that occured in the plot. The story focuses on loss and sexuality, first loves and letting go.

The story follows the protagonist Toru Watanabe, who looks back on his days as a college student living in Tokyo. Through Toru’s reminiscences we see the development of his relationships. The two very different women in his life are Naoko and Midori. I noticed that the relationships he had with them were very unusual.

Also, I noticed that Murakami isn’t afraid to express the emotions and feelings through these characters that other authors wouldn’t necessarily approach. His language and use of narration is simply outstanding. I was thoroughly engaged in this story all the way through and I couldn’t wait to turn over the page and see what happened next.

I have to say this is one of my favourite reads of the year so far! It’s challenging to read at times but the narrator always had you in the palm of their hand. I also researched this author and found out that there is a Japanese film adaptation of this book but lacks the same empathy and structure. If you want to read a brilliantly written novel with lots of surprises then this is the book for you. I fully enjoyed reading this book and would definitely read it again!

I give it 5 stars!

What Kind Of Writer Do I Want To Be?

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I asked myself this question recently, what kind of writer do I want to be? I guess all new writers ask the same question, I mean there’s so may paths of genres to chose from and how will I know which one I’m better at? The only way to find out I have discovered is to experiment with different types of writing, so that’s what I’ve been trying to do… Writing different things.

I started writing a short piece of prose in different genres, from fantasy to thriller to romance to crime and I think my strongest genre is ‘romance.’ So I’ve decided to write a book, romance being the main genre and I feel confident about this idea! I hope I don’t leave it unfinished like I do with most pieces of my writing in the past. I need to stick to it and write as often as I can! That’s my issue, I always leave work unfinished!!! Annoying!! I would also like to attempt a children’s book eventually but one idea at a time. It makes sense really that I want to write romance, most of the books I’ve always read religiously have been in the romance/saga style.

My favourite author of all time is Nicholas Sparks and I’m not ashamed to admit it, I love the way that you can connect to his characters and his books never fail to make me laugh or cry. What can I say, his books are my guilty pleasure! My all time favourite has to be The Notebook but The Last Song and The Lucky one have to be a close second and third! I think this might be the genre for me, I’m going to explore this more and read plenty of other books in this genre.

I asked myself the question, what kind of writer do I want to be? I may have just found my answer. I’m going to start writing my book, I have already done my character profiles and the plot has been segmented into sections of events and I know the details of what is going to happen to each character. I also have a title ‘Always’, however this may change during the process of writing this book. With that conclusion, I better start writing 🙂