You can read David’s story, Feeler, and my story, Crunch, in the current and final issue of Ballista.
Sometimes lessons can be painful.
I’m not sure exactly what I was thinking when I decided to engage in NaNoWriMo under the ballsy criteria I set myself in late October. I suspect that the growing dissatisfaction with how things had gone this year, and my realisation that my current approach has not proven effective on any level, culminated in the desire to do something huge. I didn’t really think about logistics. Project management is for techies not for creatives.
What I should have done is calculate my average word speed ( a maximum of 2k per normal working day rising to 3k at the weekend if I have nothing else on) and the average time to edit a thirty minute piece of audio (around four hours). I should then have divided that by the number of days and factored in the already scheduled Other Things I had to do in November. Roll in all the other tasks such as marketing the podcast etc. and it…well:
It was never going to work.
In many ways this is a really hard blog to write because I don’t like admitting failure and without wanting to sound melodramatic this has taken a great deal of reflection. I’m at about 25,000 words of Eleutheria and I really like the story concept and some of what I’ve written and I’m pretty sure its got legs – if done properly. However, the podcasting is extremely time consuming, I have done little to push it and so very few people have listened. In the last week I’ve found myself increasingly padding the story in order to hit word count and more often not enjoying the process. This is not why I write.
In short I am ending the experiment early.
I am very sorry to anyone who has listened to the podcast and is waiting for subsequent parts. If you contact me via the blog I will be happy to share the complete story with you at some point next year, when I finish it. In terms of the charity, I will make up the rest of the target amount as a means of reminding myself in the future about not thinking things through properly and assuaging my guilt.
I usually wait until year end to reflect but, in truth, I have become increasingly dissatisfied with where I’ve got to and think most of the blame for that rests squarely with yours truly. I’m going to be a bit quiet for a week or so while I work through some of this stuff and come up with a more systematic plan to get where I want to be. If you really want some Neil written prose, please do check out Ballista and my story Crunch. In the meantime, I hope you will bear with me.
Have fun and see you in a couple of weeks.
Suffice to say things are not going well.
Word count is around the 25k mark (some way behind) and as for podcasts…well the first chapter is up and the second should go up soon. But I’m not exactly setting the world on fire.
However, I am learning stuff. Just not what I expected. Oh yeah, and you can donate here – it’s in a good cause.
Time for an update.
It’s now been a little over two weeks since my rash and foolish promise that I would podcast my NaNoWriMo exercise as I went. I confess that I was unsure it was wise at the time and let my general dissatisfaction with progress in general this year goad me into doing it. Furthermore, I admit wholeheartedly that in retrospect this seems like a Bad Idea. This has no doubt been evident to the few people still reading this blog by my reluctance to post the first chapter (now a week and a day overdue).
But a promise is a promise.
I am making the first chapter of Eleutheria available as a podcast and you can subscribe here:
A few things:
- I am still experimenting with set up and so the quality is patchy in places.
- For some reason the hosting company seem to think it’s a video podcast, I will fix this as and when, you should still be able to listen.
- I can’t work out how to make it available as an MP3. As soon as I work it out I will make the files: a) available here and b) in that more accessible format.
- It sounds first drafty because it is.
- Feedback is welcome, insults – as ever – not so much.
- I hope to get better.
Lastly, although this podcast is free, this project is ostensibly for charity. If you enjoy the podcasts; or feel embarrassed for me; or simply feel it’s a good cause I’d really appreciate it if you would consider donating to my chosen charity, MIND.
A donation page can be found here: http://www.justgiving.com/neilbeynon
Just to let you know I haven’t forgotten about podcasting and indeed have chapter 1 sat, recorded, on my laptop.
I have two main issues:
1. The quality of the recording (audio wise) isn’t as high as I’d hoped.
2. Hosting the damned thing somewhere where it can cope with a modest number of downloads.
I anticipate this being resolved soon. Bear with me.
In other news: the charity donation page will be for MIND and will run for the entire life of the podcast while I’m out.
Wordcount wise I’m up around 12,000 and way behind. To be back on track I need to do about 13k in 3 days: however, it is the weekend and I do have the next several chapters outlined. All I need now is to get on with it.
Which is where I am going now.
I’m pleased to point out that Ballista issue 7 is now available to pre-order and contains my short story Crunch.
This is Ballista’s final issue and, while I am naturally biased, it would be nice to send them off in style so please buy one. Hell, buy lots.
You can order them here: http://www.flapjackpress.co.uk/page2.htm
Hey. I just finished the audio edit of chapter 1 for my NaNoWriMo podcast but it’s late and I haven’t had a chance to listen through the whole thing.
And so with further embarrassment I am going to delay the podcast until later today/tomorrow, being Monday.
Those of you swinging by now, expecting the podcast, I’m afraid I have to admit that I am still editing it.
I don’t mean textual editing – I finished that on time – but actually editing the audio file. This is taking a smidge longer than anticipated. I’ll post it, somewhere, as soon as I can.
Apologies. *shuffles away embarrassed*
I am typing this on a train so apologies if the odd typo slips in.
Things have been quiet as the abject terror of what I’d foolishly said I would do settled in. Also, I actually did Stuff this week. In between I’ve been planning, tearing up plans and then planning again.
It’s been fun.
Sometime around Wednesday (shockingly late, I know) a novel poked the first signs of it’s existence into the world. By last night I had clawed back enough word count to still be in this thing (NaNoWriMo). I was right at the brink though, I need to watch this or I could fall too far behind.
I can confirm/remind you that the first podcast will go up Sunday.
In news that will come as no surprise to anyone who has been in my vicinity when I actually write, I have already deviated from the outline. That’s OK. The outline is to help if I get stuck, not a stick to beat myself with – never really been my thing, y’know.
Anyway, I still need to get into five figures by Sunday night and so I’ll leave you for now.
I haven’t had the most auspicious start: three days in and I still haven’t written a word.
On the positive side I have a premise, an outline (chapter level), character descriptions (principles), a backstory and a title (Eleurethia). I will break words either later on or in the morning.
Now I have a title and a rough idea what the story looks like I will knock out a blurb sometime tomorrow for posting Thursday. I’d love to get it live sooner but I am at a concert tomorrow night and will need any spare time pre-work to get my wordcount going.
Remember the first part (in whatever state) goes live Sunday.