Thursday, October 29, 2009


Dithering is something writers should avoid but here am I doing exactly that. And I blame you lot in blogland. Everyone has been going on about NaNoWriMo and I was adamant that I wasn't going to do it. I've regular features to write, want to get some new stories out, have just completed a book proposal, am waiting to do a bit of rewriting on another book. Do I need NaNo?
When I work with new writers I tell them to never say no to writing opportunities. When I started off I didn't say no to anything. When my husband's boss asked if I would write some silly verse to go in his advertisements I said yes, and did it. When the freebie newspaper I worked part-time for asked if I could write a property column I said yes. Fortunately I also had a job at a Building Society so would just nip into the boss's office when he went for a liquid lunch and sift through his papers to come up with ideas and facts and figures.
At the start of this year Jane Wenham-Jones and I decided that perhaps, just maybe, sometimes, we could say no. So have we? Should we? Should writers say no to projects that don't excite them or to gigs they don't want to speak at? Well, I can't tell you that because so far I've not said no which is why there is a funny inflatable cushion in the porch waiting for me to write a report about it. (It's in the porch because it smells, nay, stinks, of fish glue.) I should have said no to that one!
The thing is, the harder you work the luckier you get (words attributed to Henry Ford) and finally work actually comes to you. Would you turn it down? No, I didn't think so. But NaNo isn't work, is it? But it could turn into something wonderful so perhaps...
Anyway, whatever I decide, good luck to all of you brave enough to tackle it. Just remember to enjoy the experience. And maybe I'll join you... or maybe not.


  1. Speaking from experience in that I have a gold medal in dithering, I decided that the dithering had to stop and I may never get the chance to NaNo again so I'm doing it this year to see if I can do it!

    I just need to remind myself not to dither about editing and back tracking and worrying about grammar and spelling, faffing - that's another good word 'faffing' I'm expert at that too!

    I'm going to have to make sure I don't turn NaNo into a huge exercise in procrastination, though. I musn't let it stop me from doing writing I can send out to hopefully sell. That's the danger I feel.

    Happy dithering and faffing! (And hopefully NaNo-ing!)

    Julie xx

  2. Love that quote from Henry Ford.

    Good luck with NaNo if you decide to sign up.

  3. Glynis Scrivens30 October, 2009 21:32

    It's possible that dithering is just another word for thinking things through. Committing a whole month to one project which could very well not produce anything saleable is a huge decision.And when you are trying to sell your house.....
    love Henry Ford's quote too.

  4. Glynis Scrivens30 October, 2009 21:34

    Have just discovered another word for dithering. The weird swirly letters that came up to verify my comment were "inepti"
    Not a bad word

  5. The older you get the more you dither - from personal experience. But then, I have always had a head start over everyone else. There should be a tablet for it.