A Word on Refuelling

It’s only day three, and I’ve failed already. 
For all my recent thoughts about process and writing rhythm, I wish I could say I’m doing better than I am. I signed up for Camp NaNoWriMo, setting myself a goal of 30,000 words. The catch is that I already have to write 15,000 words for my final MA project.

My ambitions at the time were that I would do what I had to for the course, and then have 15,000 words just for me. How many words have I written, 3 days in?


I had a 6,000 word splurge in the days before I considered doing Camp NaNo, which I think contributed to a kind of complacency.

Well, wait a minute. I definitely got complacent, and then I got scared. The truth is, although Wheels is progressing, I’m not 100% sure it’s going in the direction I’d like it to. There are too many lines which make me think ‘Ouch’, and most of it hasn’t really given Denny much room to grow.

If I don’t know her, then the reader doesn’t know her…and if the reader doesn’t know her, then do they want to know her?

So many questions. But then I read this article. Barbara Spencer writes:

It is possible you’ve never heard of prospiring because it is an old word. For some reason it has gone out of fashion, which is a shame because it is quite a nice and useful verb. It hasn’t got the gnawing-on-your-conscience effect which procrastinate tends to have.

‘Curious Words: The Art of Prospiring’ 

Reading this article redefined my attitude towards my work. I have faith that I will get somewhere with this idea when I need to. Yes, of course, I also believe that the first draft ought to be the finest thing known to mankind, but I can work on that at some point in the future.

Until then, I will keep on prospiring, and eventually, I will begin to write again. When I do, I’ll have a better grasp of where the story will end up, and who I might be when I reach the end of this project.

In case you missed it, I’ve recently relaunched my e-newsletter. Once a month, I aim to send out an update on what is going on in my writing life. If you’d be interested in receiving such an update, sign up here.

As ever, you can also connect with me on Facebook, Twitter and more recently Goodreads

How do you refuel your writing practice? Let me know in the comments


3 comments on “A Word on Refuelling

  1. Cristina Van Estes says:

    When I get stuck, I usually ask my best friend to help me make sense of it and dig out of the plot hole I’m in. When I get really frustrated with it, I usually walk away for a while and come back with a fresh set of eyes. Distance gives me perspective. Thanks for the new word. 🙂


  2. I love the premise of Wheels so I really hope you stick with it and are able to formulate the narrative into something which speaks to you more. Definitely don’t give up! I find that writing every day – whether it’s complete rubbish or something totally brilliant – is a great way to move forward and the more you do it, the easier it gets.

    I’m doing CampNaNoWriMo too this month and even though my cabin are a fairly quiet bunch I’m finding it easier to stick to my writing goals watching the stats grow and being in the same boat as everybody else with my writing.

    I hope you find a way to get back to Wheels. Like I said, don’t give up! 🙂


    • Thanks, Emily.

      I’m enjoying the process, but I think it’s difficult to be shaping a project I love for the benefit of academia. I would rather just be doing the project I love, you see. Good luck with Camp NaNo!

      Take care,



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