NaNoWriMo: And the winner is …

front-cover-2Today should have been NaNoWriMo Prep: Day 2. But after a long weekend, and with NaNoWriMo looming only this weekend, I had quite a lot of admin work to do.

First of all I had to tidy up my online calendar. I had to mark as done all of my usual jobs and chores for the whole of October, as I’ve not been using it properly.

And I had to ensure that the remaining jobs are still pertinent.


Then I had to find an online timer. Again with NaNo fast approaching, and as I’m still in the middle of the ghostwriting gig, I need to be more organised and disciplined with my time. Pomodoros have always worked very well for me.

I love Pomodoros, and I’ve tried quite a few. But I changed my computer at the beginning of the year and haven’t really used a Windows-based productivity timer since.

I tried a couple of new ones, but I didn’t like them. Then I rummaged through this blog to see if I still had the link to an old one I used to use. I did, and now Visual Timers is back on my desktop.

I have Brain Focus on the phone, but there isn’t a Windows version of that, although there is an online version.

I also use Toggl, but that’s a bit big for simple Pomodoros, although it’s great for allocating time to projects or clients, and I believe there’s a team function on it too.

I had a bit of a fiddle with Visual Timers, changing the pictures, the durations and the colours, and then deleting the timers I didn’t want.

The Life of Richard Cadbury

I thought I had seen the last of this book now until publication, but I had to do a quick spot-check of the index and then check for widows and orphans. The book has now been signed off, and will hopefully still be on schedule.

The Beast Within

With all of this, plus my usual household chores, taking me to almost dinner time, it’s lucky that I’d already decided which project I’m going with for this year’s NaNo.

The winner is The Beast Within, which is the second Marcie Craig story.

When I started to flesh out my Day 1 prep work, I realised that most of it is already done for this book. So with time pressing, I’ll go through and copy it all out into a dedicated NaNoWriMo 2020 notebook (it’s a purple one). Copying it out will remind me of the plot and the characters.

I decided on The Beast Within because (a) it’s another Marcie Craig story, which is long overdue, and (b) it’s 75,000 – 80,000 words long. So the first 50,000 words will be a massive chunk.

As the other story is shorter – 40,000 words if I go with the pocket novel plan – I should be able to manage that in a different month further down the line. Perhaps December or January, depending on how other projects work out.

So another quick job I did this morning was to go into my NaNoWriMo dashboard and add my new project, complete with book cover image.


I had a really good weekend. We had a long weekend, actually, but on Saturday the poet went match fishing (he came second in his section). So while he was out, I moved the old laptop into the dining room and started to bash out some more chapters for the ghostwriting gig.

I’ve just completed Chapter 14. With a target of 2,000 words per chapter, I should be on 28,000 words, and I’m at 28,451 words. (I thought it was 28,458, but I seem to have edited 7 words out.)

This morning, I also had feedback back from the first instalment, which I sent a week ago last Friday. There were 5 suggestions and 2 “this is great”s.

Of the 5 suggestions, one was an apparent historical inaccuracy. But it was not in fact an inaccuracy. The rest were a couple of typos and a suggested name change for a character.

So far so good. I’m happy with that.

Jobs to do today

Jobs still to do today, then, include:

  • Reminding myself of the next bit of NaNo prep and putting it into the purple notebook.
  • I have the very minor revisions to do for the ghostwriting gig, and get the first part sent back to them.
  • I have the December issue of the Hong Kong magazine I edit to do.
  • And I have today’s ghostwriting stint.

And it’s already 1pm …

Word meter as at 9am today

Ghostwriting Gig #1

28451 / 63000 words. 45% done!
(Word meters from Language is a Virus.)

2 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo: And the winner is …

  1. Love the new looking header. Congrats to Ian on second place. As usual you seem the master of time management and use quite a few aids I’ve never heard of.
    I do sometimes wonder if it would be simpler to set an alarm clock for every hour or whatever is required. It would that be spoiling the fun of playing with these?😁
    Good luck with Beast Within and Nano. Xx

    1. Thank you! xx

      The beauty with a pomodoro app is that you set it once and just use it when you need to. If you used an alarm clock, or similar, you’d be setting it to run for 25 minutes, then a 5 minute break, then 25 minutes, then another 5 minute break (times 2), then a lunch break, then for 25 minutes, etc, etc. All you do with the pomodoro is hit start once and it all runs automatically. 🙂 I used to do it in the old outlook. It worked really well. And then Microsoft removed the old outlook. (Not the online webmail thing, but something you downloaded, like Word or PowerPoint.)

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