Well I kept NanNoWriMo up for about half of November and I wrote a sizeable chunk of my novel in progress (which is shaping up to be a YA novel it seems), but then somehow I lost my momentum. There are lots of things that I can blame - general busyness, too much planning for work etc etc, but the truth is I found it too hard to sustain. It's not that I lost interest, but somehow I just screeched to a halt. I had other things that I wanted to write, I wanted to enter a poetry pamphlet competition and that took days of preparation. I suppose I just wasn't committed enough. I also think that if I am to try it again next year (and I might) I will try to write straight onto the computer. two thousand words is a lot to write by hand ( I generally managed just over a thousand a day) and it leaves you with a daunting pile of writing to be typed up. I haven't even begun to type up what I have written yet - every time I look at it it makes me groan.
On a more positive note I have been working with a writing coach. A writing coach is a bit like a life coach - but they just look at your writing life. They help you to look at any problems you may be having regarding writing, sending off your work etc. I have had two sessions and have found it invaluable. I had to come to the session with areas that I wanted to look at and the coach asked me a series of questions designed to make me think about what is holding me back. One of the things that I found really helpful was making a chart of how I used my time - I was then able to pencil time into my schedule for writing, editing and sending out work. The hard bit, of course, is sticking to it! The other thing that she really helped me with was thinking about pamphlet competitions. I had got rather stuck in my way of thinking about it. Because the pamphlet I had put together had been shortlisted for a major competition I am not able to enter it for any others, and for some reason I just couldn't see a way round this. My coach suggested pulling out a different thread from my collection - one that overlapped in terms of content so that I could still keep my strongest poems - she even suggested breaking up one of the poems and interspersing it throughout the pamphlet to make the theme stronger. It is funny how sometimes it takes a new pair of eyes to see the obvious in your work!