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 🙂
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.
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…
Who can’t wait for Friday to get here?
If you are thinking it is just the beginning of the weekend, then you must not be a writer. This Friday is November 1st. The first of November marks the beginning of none other than Na No Wri Mo. That is National Novel Writing Month. It is the challenge where you are to write a novel of 50,000 in a month. That is 1654 words a day or something to that extent to meet the challenge.
No cheating now!
What will I work on? Hmmm…
At first I thought of working on the next Orgarlan book for this challenge, but I have changed my mind. I’m in the mood for writing crap. Maybe a crap storyline that I have no investment in so I can beat it up or make it as sloppy as I can make it without worry of the outcome.
I did this once before, and nothing ever came of the story line except it remains half done and in my slush pile. That was Wish Away. My genie story. Maybe someday I will open that manuscript up and give it another shot.
This time I think I want to try shutting off my internal editor and filter. If it turns out to be something worth keeping in the end, I would probably publish it under a different name since I have a feeling that it will be an adult story.
I have an idea too. Nope, I’m not going to divulge at this time. You will have to wait and see what I’m toying with. Hint: some kind of fantasy and a stand-alone.
Julie is doing better. A week ago she was getting terribly lame. So lame that she barely could stand and move about. We feared the worst for our family pooch of 13+ years.
Last Thursday we pulled ideas out of the air as of what to do for her. After giving her three doses of Benadryl in a 24 hour period, she began to show improvement. My thought was to try and lower the swelling around some of her lumps. This seemed to help.
Then on Saturday we went out and bought her some Glucosamine for her hips and joints. We got her the good stuff in the red bottle, but it is only stage two. We wanted stage three, but apparently a lot of dogs are having this problem, now that the cold has hit the New Hampshire region. Regardless she has been getting three tablets a day and her improvement is remarkable. She had been in such a state that was so grim seven days ago, her recovery now, is so incredible. Now she is running, climbing up stairs, skipping and some jumping. This stuff is truly remarkable. Thank God she appears to be doing so much better.
I have not done any more work on the next Orgarlan book from last Saturday. I also missed my Sunday post update. I posted, but it wasn’t an update announcement. The thought was there. Trust me.
I do believe I will switch from the Orgarlan novel I was working on to work on to the NaNo Novel. This plot is kind of taking over me brainstorming. Why fight it? Who knows how it will turn out?
Autumn… Sigh… Summer has fallen along with the temperatures in New Hampshire. We said, “Ugh,” after lighting the woodstove last night. Many New Hampshire residents are feeling they will surely see snow once again before Halloween.
It is kind of funny how the seasons change so fast here. Just last week the trees had green leaves in them. As of today, most of them have turned and are now carpeting our lawns.
If you are a leaf peeper, now is a great time to take a trip to NH to see some really pretty colors. That is if it manages to stop raining long enough for anyone to enjoy the trip. The colors always look so much more beautiful when the sun shines on them.
Mike took the screen house down yesterday. He almost took the snow blower out but he decided to wait another week.
Last year at this time we had a surprise snow storm that dumped over two feet of snow on us a week or two before Halloween. So when Halloween came around it didn’t feel like Halloween, it felt more like Thanksgiving.
Survived the Book Signing:
I survived the book signing last Saturday, in fact I had a grand old time. It was a small turn out but that was fine for me. It just made it easier to face the crowd. My friend Linda was a great help. She was able to keep me focused and I don’t remember her ever needing to tell me to breath. Just her being there helped me feel more confident in myself.
I am ready and willing to do an event again, with her help of course.
I was told at work that I should have put a posting about it up on our Cafeteria bulletin board. I really didn’t know I could have done that. It was the lady from human resources who had told me to do this next time. So I say – Hmm.
Have you done a Local Book Signing yet? I would love to hear about your first experience.
Mine was – I showed up early. I had read all over the internet about book signings and they all said show up early. (Don’t show up early – at least not an hour early.) Ten minutes early is alright but not an hour early like I did. One good thing though by doing the hour early thing… I was able to spend some time talking to the store owner and was able to learn a little bit more about the Kobo vs. Google eBooks for Independent Book Sellers. Our store is considering carrying and selling the Kobo eReaders.
Offer to bring copies of your books. I was glad I had brought some copies of Friends of Choice and my Short Story Collection. It gave the guest a good variety of books to choose from.
If you have a co-host for your event, interact with them while they do their thing. This seems to liven things up. I saw how my friend did this for me, I did not step up and do this for her, mostly over the fact that I was still in shock from speaking to the public. It was like I was in some far away land and when it was over I was like dah…why didn’t I help her the way she helped me. I was a bit beside myself for not doing this.
ROW80 Check in:
I missed Sunday’s check in. What’s new right?
Anyways – After the book signing I added a thousand more words on Saturday. Then I did open the file on Sunday but only added a hundred or so words and the same again on Tuesday. Today before writing this blog I added another thousand words to the manuscript. It is going slowly. I have to get my butt into gear – NaNo is right around the corner.
Mind you, I only do NaNo to help get myself motivated. I have never once finished a manuscript on time. That is not my real intentions for doing NaNo. I think I like the forums and finding the motivational blogs. It always help to find a way to get pumped to write, just like is done for ROW80 with the inspirational posts. I look forward to those posts every week from our ROW80 mentors.
Well, I hope you are all finding ways to ROW your manuscript along.
Keep on writing.