Posted in Blogging

NaNoWriMo 2016 – Juggling Work, School, and Writing

 

It’s November. The month of cooking turkeys and baking pies and crazy holiday shopping. Then there is NaNoWriMo. That crazy writing challenge where a person sits down to write 1,667 words a day to complete a 50,000-word novel in 30 days.

Do you NaNo?

I have taken part in NaNoWriMo since 2010. NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. Thousands upon thousands or maybe millions upon millions of writers sit down to write a novel in hopes of winning the writing challenge. The final prize being a manuscript that can be edited and maybe a few sponsor prizes as well along with blog badges and a printable certificate saying you won NaNoWriMo. That’s it.

Isn’t it enough?

Just being able to finish a novel in 30 days is a top prize. Once you give it a try, you might have more appreciation for your favorite author who pumps out story after story. Writing a novel is not as easy as one might think.

I completed NaNo last year but never published the book. That story will need a major reconstruction before I even think about editing it. Since then I have started four stories and haven’t finished a one. They seem to fall apart in the middle.

This year I’m trying to write by using scenes and sequels. A process that may help me plot the story. Right now I can’t decide how my lovers meet. Well, I do know how they become acquainted with each other. The date line will stay. The problem I have is how to get the two of them together by the end of the story. They can’t just say let’s date and get married.

In the meantime, I will continue to use the writing sprints that is featured by NaNoWriMo on Twitter and YouTube. I like the videos the best. I can stream them to my television by using my Roku and watch episode after episode while focusing on writing.

My writing group is also participating in word wars with other writing groups. I hope to increase my word count in the coming week. If only I can write 5k words a day. I’m way behind. Between work and school, there isn’t much time left to write. Is sleep really overrated?

Wish me luck  🙂

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Posted in Blogging, Holidays

Absurbity of the Season

Hmm… interesting, my last post was at Halloween. Thanksgiving is only two days away, where’d the time go?

I know what happened. NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) happened. By the way, how did you do with your word count this month? I got mine. Did you get yours?

Now that we’re done with that absurd writing challenge, what’s coming up next? Christmas? This is the craziest time of the year. It all starts with NaNo, then turkey in the oven, followed by hordes of Black Friday Shoppers heading out to the stores right after eating their Family Holiday meal. They should remain home to sleep off that bird but no, they run right out and join the crowd so they can fight over that $100 flat screen TV. See this is just the beginning of the craziest time of the year.

We fought with our word processors for nearly 30 days straight, forcing word after word on that blank white screen. They said write a 50k word story in 30 days or less but don’t worry if it is a mess. You will have the rest of the year to try to fix the thing. That is if it is fixable.

I wrote as though I was in brainstorming sessions. Now I have to drag and drop the chapters into different orders in hopes that I can get the timeline correct. Still that isn’t as silly as standing in line for a Black Friday ticket at the local Walmart. It’s the only time of the year when they are crazy enough to break every fire code rule.

Have you ever taken part in that absurd holiday tradition of shopping right after eating turkey? I did one year. The crowds didn’t bother me too much. What did bother me was how hard it was to find the items listed in the Black Friday flyer. Everything was scattered about the store. I thought they were kidding when they were handing out maps. What was I thinking?

Besides NaNo and Black Friday, I find the rest of the season pretty tame. I’m the one who puts up the tree. I’m the one who decorates it. I’m the one who tries to keep the spirit of Christmas alive. Oh wait, I feel a bah – humbug moment coming on. It will pass. I’ll inhale the scent of green pine needles, apples and cinnamon and most of all, chocolate fudge.

Oh, Fudge, the straw that broke the diabetic diet. I have to make several batches each year. This is hard to do without having a sample or two. Then there are the cookies and pastries. Don’t forget the eggnog too.

So, are you ready for the absurdity of this jolly time of year? No wonder people become stressed and angry; look at how crazy we become trying to take part in those traditional activities each year.

[/media-credit] What makes the first American Thanksgiving noteworthy is, for the first time, turkeys were actually consumed after they were sacrificed to “God” (the Christian version of the Babylonian turkey god). duckglow.wordpress.com
Posted in Making the Words Flow

Your a Writer so Act Like One

Image courtesy of Creative Commons Bing Images

Everyone has an excuse not to write. I think we are afraid of ourselves, of what we might write. It’s not so much about the writing being bad, it’s more. When you write, it is like peeling an onion. Somewhere in our writings there are bits and pieces of us layered within. A small memory, making our writing be like that pensive Dumbledore had in his chamber.

Yes, we fear constructive criticism, but our worst critic is ourselves. If no one tells you what is wrong with a story, then you can’t fix it. You only need let go of your ego. Yes, that little chip on your shoulder that says you are greater than all. We all have a small piece of that chip that needs to be brushed off once in a while. Don’t get me wrong, it’s good to believe in yourself, but it’s not good to not be able to look at yourself.

I love watching myself grow as a writer. Yes, some of my early works suck. They’re not written in stone, though. I can go back at any given time and rewrite them. I won’t until I feel I have gained enough skill to take another shot at them. I’ve learned to forgive myself for anything poorly written.

A beginning artist draws stick figures as a child. The more they draw, the more their figures take shape until they have that piece of artwork that draws the attention of all at the local art show. Writing is the same. It is a skill that isn’t a given. The more you do it, the better you get.

Don’t be afraid to let the words flow. Stop your excuses. Find a time slot in your day and write, something, anything, and write as fast as you can. The more you do this, the easier it gets to write. You’d be amazed at what you can write in just ten minutes. With practice, even your typing skills improve, making your word count increase.

So Write – Write Often…