Event · writingtips

What I learnt from failing


Sadly, I didn’t achieve this year but I believe you can learn a lot from failure and become stronger. I knew from the start I would struggle with this challenge because a vital ingredient to succeed is having the time. Here are the main causes of what stole my time (and victory):




Paying the bills

The dream is that one day, I will make a living as a writer and can invest time into it like my full time job.  For now, I need to work to pay the bills.  This keeps me away from my writing from around 8:20am to 6:00pm, Monday to Thursday.  Sometimes, I return from work exhausted and don’t have the energy to write.

CIPD Course

My company have paid for me to do a course for my professional development which I am really enjoying.  It runs the full school year and some evenings it doesn’t finish until 8:00pm meaning I don’t get home until almost 9:00pm – I’m pretty much not in the mood to write then and just want my bed.

Birthdays galore

Due to a number of family birthdays, November is a busy month.  Most of the family don’t want presents or cards but they do like a little get together and this costs time.  Most of my weekends have been taken up squeezing them into my already busy schedule.

In addition, it is my birthday and my son’s.  For my son, I had to plan his 4th birthday party and host it.  My son has a number of best friends that are also November birthdays and he is at the age where if he is going to a party, I must accompany him.

#NoahTurns4 Pop Star party with his besties 🎈

A post shared by Alison Aldridge (@redfae) on

Being a mum

This is the most rewarding job in the world but it does take me away from my writing.  This job starts the moment I wake up and continues until the little man is fast asleep (and this is not always immediate).

Friday is my day off to do fun stuff with my son and I am committed to this being our ‘Mummy and Noah’ day so unless I wear him out in the morning so he naps in the afternoon, I am busy all day.  We also go swimming on a Saturday morning and this is usually followed by lunch out and doing returns or food shopping.

Social time

Most of my social time is combined with ‘Mummy and Noah’ day as I make play dates  with other mums.  I also have a best friend I see most Friday nights for my mental wellbeing –  I need that ‘me’ time to unwind.




OMG!  I had not factored in the impact that this would have on November (nobody plans to be ill) but my little boy decided to turn our house into germ fest.  We had sickness, diarrhoea and colds galore – he brought every bug home from nursery.

Then, my little boy was prescribed meds for his reoccurring chest infection and had a severe allergic reaction!  Aghhh!


Living in germ fest took it’s toll on us and we desperately needed a break so we booked a last minute holiday to Centre Parcs.  It was just what we needed and I switched off for a few days.   I didn’t write anything – I didn’t even tweet!  This closed off my last week of November by which point I knew there was no redemption.

Noah was so excited to drive a car #OffRoadExplorers #centreparcselveden

A post shared by Alison Aldridge (@redfae) on

Other writing commitments

I’ve had a few request for product reviews or to do featured articles for other peoples blog.  This is a new venture and I didn’t want to let these people down.  Please check out my review for Saal Digital on their photobook.

I’ve also been editing Drift to submit into a publishing competition.  I’ve still got a few pages to go but this is a really important project to me.

Trying to keep my blog going by checking there is regular content. I missed a personal deadline for my beauty blog but I think I did pretty well at making sure most of my article were written on time.

I need time

Looking back at how busy I was in November, I wonder how I managed to find anytime to write!  I’m proud of my 16,502 words and impressed that I managed to write 3,350words in one day.  I discovered that I have the most time to write on Sundays.

The challenge  kept me focussed on trying to find time to write and this resulted in November being a more successful month that it would have been if I hadn’t taken the challenge.   NaNoWriMo is a brilliant exercise in developing persistence.

I’ll try again next time and I’ll I plan to set myself some personal monthly word count challenges to keep myself focussed.

NaNo 0312


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