Personal note: 11 July – Triple-Nelson

Back in February, I announced to a social site I no longer use that I had just gone Double-Nelson on this blog.

The announcement met mostly with indifference: the one person who responded was not a cricket fan and so was baffled by my cryptic reference. For those of you who are not devotees of the greatest game, Nelson is a score of 111 runs (after Lord Horatio of that name: one eye, one arm, one…). Double-Nelson is therefore, obviously, 222.

And this post is Triple-Nelson, or 333 runs, or, to be more precise, this blog’s 333rd post (not counting that handful of posts that have been deleted).

It also means that in the five months from mid-February to now, I have posted 111 blog articles. Prolific little bugger, aren’t I? At least no-one’s yet gotten round to calling me boring.

It seems that cranking out posts with the speed and alacrity that I’ve been doing has had its positive effects, as I’ve seen the average number of daily visits to this site increase fivefold since this time last year. The baseline having been fairly low to begin with, I’m still not batting as high as I could, but a start is a start, and I thank you all who come and read here, especially the regulars – Jim, I seriously appreciate the sheer number of posts that you ‘Like’.

It’s only fair to warn you that I may have to cut back on posting in the near future. A lot of my time over the last few months has been taken up with two time-consuming projects, the second of which is more or less done. Paradoxically, this is not going to mean more time for blogging but probably less: I want to get on with another novel, something I’ve had in mind for a good while. It’s not likely to be so simple as diverting the time given to the private projects to the movel. I strongly suspect it’s going to demand a lot more of my mind than a compiling exercise required.


On a different note, I had a very pleasant day out yesterday, meeting an internet friend that I only occasionally see IRL. There were supposed to be three of us, but our mutual friend is currently unwell – best wishes, Wendy – so we switched to Carlisle and had a great time talking non-stop.

My friend is an aspirant writer, with the ability to be a success, but she’s much younger and had a lot to ask about aspects of writing, especially when it comes to fiction. She doesn’t think she has the imagination for it, though I have every confidence in her. I was the same at her age, and not as developed a writer then as she already is.

The point is that she asked if I’d ever done any sort of writing tips/experiences on this blog, which I haven’t. I find the process of writing to be absolutely fascinating: how ideas start, how they develop, what you do with them, etc. I’m well aware that these things could be much less fascinating to others than they are to me, but then I’m a very intuitive writer. Books are an organic process: I begin with something that interests me, a character, a setting, a twist that I’ve never seen before, and once I have enough to begin with, I start writing. And I let the characters reveal themselves to me, whilst their actions and reactions develop what happens to them. I don’t formally plot ahead, though I used to.

So, at Emily’s request, I’m going to do some occasional posts about writing and the processes that occur when trying to pull out of yourself something that hasn’t existed before.

I mean, who else has written a story about Time-Travel and Cricket?

Hopefully, this will be of interest. And I’d love to hear back from writers out there about their practices, in response.

Something more soon.

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