I wasn’t going to do NaNoWriMo again this year. Right up until October 27th, I was firmly in the “Been there, Done that, Got the Winner 2010 Blog Badge” camp.

And then I had an email exchange with a Twitter pal…

…and, as you can tell from the shiny new blog badge, I decided to do NaNoWriMo again this year, after all.

So, what made me change my mind, I hear you ask?

Well, as I didn’t fancy doing many public NaNoWriMo updates and I wasn’t that interested in logging onto the NaNoWriMo site every day to update my word count, my wonderful Twitter pal suggested that we buddy up on email instead. Kind of like doing NaNoWriMo by stealth with minimal public updates on Twitter and Facebook and none here. And it really worked for me. I had a writer buddy who, while writing in a completely different genre, was going through NaNoWriMo with me and was there if I needed to talk things through (and vice versa). I loved that we had a conversation about anything we fancied – plots, character names, unlikely stuff those troublesome characters were getting up to on our watch, and any other problems we were having, like a shortage of chocolate! Of course, we also encouraged each other on bad days or cheered each other on when we had better writing days, as well as logging our word counts with each other.

All of which made NaNoWriMo 2011 a much better experience for me than my first (albeit successful) attempt in 2010. I found what worked for me. In fact, it worked so well that not only do I have 52,000 words of Stealing Chester’s LifeΒ but I also have around 25,000 words of Uncle Arno,which I wrote alongside it in that first heady fortnight of November. Working on both of those’ll keep me out of trouble over the winter!

I’m taking a couple of days off from writing to go up to Hay-on-Wye to stay with a friend for the Hay Winter Weekend. I’m seeing the film adaptation of Owen Sheers’ beautiful novel Resistance this evening, which I can’t wait to see, and then tomorrow, after a morning wandering around some of Hay’s many second-hand bookstores, I’m going to the Carol Birch event. After having just finished reading her brilliant Booker shortlisted novel,Β Jamrach’s Menagerie, I’m excited about getting the chance to hear her talk about it.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend! Come back on Monday when I’ll be reviewing Christina Courtenay’s Highland Storms.Β