Any writing achievements have been thin on the ground for me this year, so I was pleased to see my letter commending River, the new BBC crime drama, published in next week’s edition of the TV Times. This is about the sixth letter I’ve had printed in this particular magazine, and whilst it’s only a nominal fee and I’ve had to hold off the retirement plans to the South of France for a little longer, I reckon once I’ve cracked the Letter of the Week — always seems to elude me somehow — my plans will be back on track. Of course, at this rate of pay the budget won’t run to a grand villa; instead it’ll more likely find me sleeping on the beach, underneath an old newspaper and rifling through rubbish bins for my dinner.
By the end of this week, we’ll be in November and the start of the most industrious month in many a writer’s calendar: NaNoWriMo. I’ve signed up for the challenge, for the first time, this year, intrigued as to whether I’ll be able to stay the course — especially given the amount of commitments I have lined up for November that will distract me entirely, if I let them. Still, I’m determined to give it my best shot. I’m not working on material for a novel, but instead intend to follow in the footsteps of that prolific and inspiring short story writer and creative writing tutor, Della Galton. She uses this opportunity to write as many short stories as possible to edit and submit later (although she did manage to edit some during this period, too — told you she was a whizz) to the appropriate publication. If last year’s performance is anything to go by, she’ll end up another £3,000 richer as a result. To be honest, with my current income I’d be punching the air if I earned just 1% of that — I’d attempt a backflip, but only end up in A&E. Let’s hope Ms Galton’s diligence and good fortune rubs off on some of us lesser mortals. Good luck to all those taking up the gauntlet!