November 1st: the beginning

And so November begins....
A range of writers, a range of writing targets, and a huge sense of anticipation. 

Linda Dawn will be free-writing for five minutes a day through November. Linda Dawn, we would love to know where this writing takes you - poetry? memoir? fiction? reflections on your day? I imagine you at your desk today, picking up your pen and watching the words spiral across the page. Did you write this morning or will you find the space in the evening, after night has fallen across your city? 

Sara, Heather, and another member of our cafe have each committed to working on their ongoing writing projects for at least an hour a day. They're driving hard - thirty hours across the month. A whole load of writing! I'm fortunate enough to know both Sara's and Heather's writing - it's beautiful, thought-provoking stuff with powerful characters and a strong sense of place. Heather has the most accessible witch I have ever met and I almost wept with laughter at one of Sara's readings. Here at Cafe Aphra, we're with you every minute. One day I know we'll buy your books and read the parts that you'll write this November. What a privilege to know you now while the writing is happening. Let us know how it's going!

Last year, D's target for November was to take 30,000 words out of the draft of her novel. This year she has committed to writing one hundred pages on a new work: a dystopian novel set in Cardiff, Wales. And Plantagenta, after the enormous success of her film's premiere last night, has set the goal on working on her new filmscript over November. 

Meanwhile, I intend to write a draft of the first chapter of my new novel. I have piles of notes on my desk: some neatly written while perusing books on early blues music in the library, others scrawled in half-asleep hand-writing when it has seemed important to commit a sentence or two to paper before falling asleep. My goals for November are to find a little bit of order, a little bit of organizing, and a whole lot of words. I'll keep you up-to-date with how it goes. In the meantime, I need to take the cat to the vets, collect the children from school, take the laundry from the washer and walk the dog. But I'm driven to write today by the knowledge that you are all doing the same. 

Following the last blog about our alternative NaNoWriMo, I've been mailed by many other writers who are musing on their targets. In the words of one emailer, they'll seek inspiration from what we achieve here. The invitation to join and share targets is open to all, but you are also welcome to share our journeys as we travel through this month. Thank you for sharing and good luck taking the first step towards your November target!

Do not wait; the time will never be "just right". Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along.
(Napoleon Hill) 


  1. Hi Zoe--

    I think I'm the unknown member of the group. Seems my commitment to write 1 hour/day on my ongoing project got posted that way. I'll try to remedy now -- and get out my pen and notebook...


  2. Good luck to everyone doing the Cafe Aphra alternative way of spending November.

  3. Day 4 and I still haven't found my pen....

  4. Day 5 and my first day of writing! I love the quote by Napolean Hill above.... wish me luck! (Deep breath...)


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