This November it's NaNoWriMo time again and I'm attempting to write a better novel than last year's. The ultimate goal is that, one day, I'll be able to write a proper novel which other people might enjoy.

I've always wanted to write a book and have certainly put in plenty of time and energy over the years. Too many false starts can damage your confidence and leave you believing that this is a goal that will never be reached though. It might never be reached, of course, but the point of NaNoWriMo is just to get those words down and leave the revisions until December. It is essentially an exercise gym for writers.

This year something odd is happening. The characters and plot are starting to seep into my dreams. This is probably happeneing because I'm writing up until the moment I go to sleep and the unconscious mind is leaving its door just enough ajar to let visitors in.

Today, the weather is quite extreme (for England) and doing its best to pursuade me that the real world is somewhere else. I'm starting to feel like a badly written character and might well spend a good part of the morning seeing surreal sights such as fleets of forklift trucks driving through the rain or people with large guns chatting about Christmas presents.

It's at times like this that I'm even more grateful to have a daughter who can cut through all the pretentious problems by telling me, as she did last night as I was about to put her into bed, "daddy, you're the rock I'm going to sleep on."


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