Tag Archives: NaNoWriMo

NaNo Not

October flew right by. It left in quite a whirl. Really, the wind yesterday threatened to catch up my umbrella and whisk me off to a magical land. I’m a tiny bit sad that it didn’t. I always wanted to melt a wicked witch or talk with a magical lion.

Thankfully, the wind also blew away the rain so that by evening we could go raid houses for candy, err… Trick-or-Treat.  So we set out the Jack-o-lanterns…

Ha! Go home pumpkin. You're drunk.

Ha! Go home pumpkin. You’re drunk.

and took my undead minions candy raiding.

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Mr. Smarty-Pants opted to play Call of Duty rather than acquire candy, although he went out with a friend earlier in the evening and pretended he was Justin Bieber, so I suppose he got his dose of Trick-or-Treating.

So now that all the ghoulish fun is over, it’s November, which means half of my friends are participating in NaNoWriMo. I attempted that last year. I got maybe twenty thousand words written before I lost interest. There’s something about giving me an arbitrary deadline that makes my Muse fall asleep or drift off to other activities. This year, I have my doctoral qualifying exams scheduled for the second week in December. Needless to say, studying for nail-biting, brain-draining exams will occupy a fair amount of my time this month.

Even if I were not otherwise occupied, I’m more a slow and steady tortoise than a speedy hare racing for a finish line. I keep plugging away when I can at my current projects, which so far has worked well for me.

Good luck to all of those participating in NaNoWriMo. I shall NaNo Not.

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Call Me “Okay Flakey”

For the first two weeks of November I crept along, adding a few hundred words a day to that musty story  dragged out of my files. Then, much like all of my attempts to stick with workouts at a gym, I abandoned my efforts with little more than a moment of regret.

I hereby admit to being flakey when it comes to gym workouts and insane writing goals.

You know what? I’m totally okay with that.

Why?

Well, I’ve maintained roughly the same measurements, sans pregnancy and associated recovery afterward, for fifteen years. When that changes, maybe I’ll find motivation to walk no where on a treadmill in addition to walking all over campus. I must be doing something right.

I think, for me, the same goes with writing. Make it an assignment rather than a fun, creative process that flows from my imagination and the well dries up faster than a rain puddle in August. I’m well aware some folks might view that as an excuse. I would concur, if I had not already completed two short stories and three novels, the last of which just needs final revisions.

So, I’m perfectly content with my 4,000 words. I’ve a bit more direction with the story now, but my Muse popped in for a visit yesterday and dropped another story in my lap. One does not argue with the Muse.

For all those who did stick with it and wrote those 50k words, kudos! I sincerely admire your dedication and congratulate you on a job well done!

Procrastinator’s Election

Yesterday with all the hubbub of elections I didn’t write one single bit. To be honest, I could have. I often have stuff going in the background while I write, and the election report could have been that stuff.

So, if perchance you procrastinated and missed your chance to vote, or maybe you just feel like you need another shot at having your voice heard, let’s see what our favorite procrastination excuses are:

Novel Misconceptions

So, against all sane reason, I signed up to do NaNoWriMo. In all honesty, I highly doubt I’ll reach the 50,000 word count goal, but that’s okay. I signed up to join many of my writer friends, share in the angst that accompanies the grueling process of writing a first draft, and to end my streak of procrastination.

First of all, let me point out what National Novel Writing Month ISN’T meant to accomplish:

  1. A finished, polished novel ready for submission.  If you can write and edit at least 50k words in a month you probably won’t sleep, or eat, or do any of the things which keep a person healthy and sane.
  2. Improve your writing skills. Depending on your skill level in the craft, re-writes and edits may take a few months or a few years. Workshops, books, and practice are all part of that process.
  3. Get you published. It has been said that the last thing you should trot out in your query letter is that the piece in question is a product of NaNoWriMo. Never mind that you may have spent five years making it the best work ever, editors have seen too many unpolished manuscripts to view that as a bonus.

The point of all the hub-bub of NaNoWriMo is to help aspiring writers get past that daunting first step: writing the novel. Whether digital or an actual blank page, that expanse of white can be a monumental hurdle to leap. When thousands of other people are attempting the same task and you realize it isn’t particularly easy for any of them, you discover you aren’t alone. The important thing is to persevere.

There are ten gazillion reasons to put off writing that story rattling in your head, but you only need one good reason to set pen to paper or fingers to keys: determination to tell your story.

Let the writing commence!

I might be crazy

November is just around the corner. For those who aren’t aware, November is National Novel Writing Month, aka, NaNoWriMo.  A number of my friends are participating. I never have, but I feel like I need a bit of a kick to get started on a new project.

I’ve finished two novels, they are off in submission land, and I haven’t really done much since I declared them finished.

It could be the pseudoephedrine/acetaminophen/ibuprofen cocktail swimming in my bloodstream or the giddy relief of my head not hurting, but I’m contemplating attempting NaNoWriMo.

If so, I have a whole day to figure out what I plan to work on. I think I might be crazy, but then I’m a writer. Crazy is part of the job description.