So we’ve reached the end of November so much quicker than the other months this year, I swear!
Last week I reached my 50,000 word goal. I’ve spent the past few days mostly not writing but brainstorming and figuring out where to go now. The story’s not finished, but the scenes have been thought up. I’m just one step closer.
While I’ve completed NaNoWriMo
one time previous in 2004 when I was in college and just barely working, I’ve learned something this year that’s really big for me. I do have the time to write a novel, even if I’m working 40+ hours weekly. And I can find the energy to do so.
I’ve learned that waking up an hour before I need to (on mornings where I don’t open) is incredibly beneficial. I can get over a thousand words on the page. I can make myself breakfast. Once I’m finished writing I’m actually hungry. After my work day I feel like I’m semi accomplished. I can relax. But I don’t have to. While I’d like to continue to do this, but maybe work out in the mornings, this is a work in progress. I can’t beat the urge to keep sleeping so easily. But I won’t give up.
As far as my November goals, go…
I did not work out as much as I planned, nor did I reach my weight loss goal.
I managed to cook two new recipes, instead of four
I really skimped on blogging this month. All of my writing energy went toward my novel, so my deepest apologies!
I can’t even remember any other goals for right now. So I probably didn’t accomplish them. Oops!
If you’re stuck on your word count and unsure how you’re ever going to make it to 50,000 words within the next week, I have one possible solution for you: Word Wars.
Word Wars is done with a group of people (though technically you can do it on your own, too) and a clock. You pick a set amount of minutes (I did a lot of 7 and 22 minute intervals) and write for that long. At the end, someone calls (or says) TIME and you all stop writing. You announce your word count for that time period and, if you’d like, share the last sentence you wrote. It’s fun and intriguing. And while I was playing through Facebook chat with a few girls I met through my Francesca Lia Block classes I kept on winning!
This helps because you are not writing on your own.
It’s affective because you are trying to beat someone or something and the time is on!
The short ones help warm you up and you can get everything out quickly.
The longer Word Wars force you to stretch yourself. You might feel stuck but that’s okay. Your mind will help you make up something to keep on going. (At least, if you don’t get too distracted, that is).
On Monday word wars helped me to write over 3500 words.
So what are you waiting for? Find a few NaNoWriMo pals, met some people in a chat room, coerce your room mate into writing nonsense for random timed intervals. And just get out there and write. You’ve got a week left.
Are you in the middle of a marathoning NaNoWriMo writing session? Or just enjoying watching your Facebook friends struggle to meet some sort of almost impossible word goal for the month while you decide to purposefully not write anything in November, not even Tweet? Or maybe you’re just tired of reading about me talking about writing so often (if that’s the case, you’re reading the wrong blog, sweetheart). No matter what your situation is I have some links to share that might get you through your writing slump and back into the marathon.
Why Sara Zarr is inspired by failure
The creative process, and the creative life, is mostly full of moments between the idea and the being done, the spark and the blazing fire, the shimmering magic and the finished piece. We’re always living in the gap between our vision of what could be and what might be, and what is.
Don’t Avoid Painful Writing
We must reveal that part of ourselves that we’d rather hide. But this is the part of you we’re all longing to see.
Learn From The Greats: 7 Writing Habits of Amazing Writers
6. James Joyce. In the pantheon of great writers of the last century, Joyce looms large. And while more prolific writers set themselves a word or page limit, Joyce prided himself in taking his time with each sentence. A famous story has a friend asking Joyce in the street if he’d had a good day writing. Yes, Joyce replied happily. How much had he written? Three sentences, Joyce told him.
How to Flourish in Your Writing
Always have great kindness for yourself. Look over your shoulder: there is no one there. No one cares if you write. It has to come from you, from your effort. There is no hierarchy in writing; you elbow your way into the lineage by your human effort. It is democratic and should be in the declaration of independence—the right to liberty, justice, the pursuit of happiness, and writing. Only human beings write. Clouds don’t, ants don’t.
It’s November again, and in case you aren’t sure what that means, it means the beginning of National Novel Writing Month. It means this is when thousands of writers lock themselves in their offices and bedrooms after their work days and write a novel with the goal of reaching 50,000 words written in the month of November alone. Once again I am attempting this goal, working with a novel in process to make it into a novel that’s finished (at least, the first draft anyway).
This marks my 6th attempt at the 50,000 word goal, one that I only reached as a Sophomore in college in 2004. This year I do plan to win. What do you get when you win, you ask? Well, the satisfaction of knowing you completed it, and a certificate you can print out. And maybe, if you want, you can buy yourself a NaNoWriMo t-shirt that declares you a winner.
Lots of writers have different opinions about NaNo, varying from supporting it to disapproving. Here’s the one thing they everyone must remember if they’re setting out to write a novel in a month: you’re writing a first draft. And it’s going to suck. Sure some parts might be good, but mostly it’s going to be a lot of crap to wade through and stuff you need to edit. That’s how writing works. And you need to forget about editing for November. Just write. Get the gunk out, find some gems, challenge yourself and just write. That’s what’s important this month.
Are you participating in NaNoWriMo this month? If you want to friend me on the NaNo site, you can click here.
(The fact that it’s November also means that it’s almost my birthday! On the 12th I’ll be another year older. Does anyone have any birthday rituals? Every year for me is different.)
Oh, NaNoWriMo, you’ve failed me. Or rather, I have failed. I guess failing isn’t the right term. It’s not an encouraging term for a writer. I’m not going to receive a big fat F agree the Google Document entitled “Nano”.
I was doing so well. I could write 3000 words in one day. I did, in fact. A few days. Without even trying. And I would marvel at how awesome I was and how I loved this story because I had been thinking about it for so long. I had started writing it months and months ago (I confess), but the story I started this month was all new material.
Somewhere after week two I got lost. There was no action in my story. Only dialogue. Oh, how I love dialogue. But I was getting nowhere. I wrote makeout scenes instead (maybe I should have turned to erotica). I skipped around when I was lost. I worked so damn hard. All during the beginning of last week I was caught between writing pep-talk blog posts and typing in another dialogue scene when really I just wanted my characters to keep on making out. And fighting, of course.
Then on Wednesday I was sick enough to call in to work, I spent the entire day in bed and had forgotten about the work I had thought about doing earlier in the week. Thursday was work and Kate Nash and I spent all of Friday watching Harry Potter and eating delicious food. By the time Saturday rolled around and I had finished working nine hours that day, I knew there was no way I would finish 50,000 words this month. I was only at around 17,000. I don’t have the time to catch up.
And so, I’ve failed.
But all is well. I don’t plan on abandoning this story at all and I’ll keep chugging along. To be honest, when I write I tend to write in huge chunks anyway. Two to three thousand words in a day isn’t all that unrealistic for me. What the challenge of NaNoWriMo is, for me, is keeping up with that word goal every day.
Unfortunately I have a habit of planning things and starting them but never finishing. I’m working on resolving that. One way is definitely by continuing to work on this story. I like the idea of it enough not to let it go.
Sometimes I make insane decisions. One summer I decided I wasn’t going to eat pizza for three whole months. It was torturous at times because I love pizza so much, but I stuck it out and in the end I… went back to eating a lot of pizza way too often. Surprise, surprise. So yesterday after noting in my earlier post that I was not going to participate in NaNoWrimo, after taking my lunch break and updating the ATM I decided that I am going to participate. It doesn’t matter that Sarii is here for the rest of the week, that all except for tonight I have plans after work. It matters that I can make this happen, and without trying I’ll have gotten nowhere.
So in about two hours I wrote 1500 words. I didn’t know where I was going at first, but I decided to work on a novel I started over the summer. I am not cheating, however! Everything I write is new content. I’m just using the characters, plot and world that I created. All of the scenes are new or rewritten. All of the work will be done during this long Autumn month.
What is NaNoWrimo
, you might ask? Why it stands for National Novel Writing Month! Which is November! It’s when you take the challange to write 50,000 words in one month. You may write your entire novel, or maybe you’ll just make a tiny dent. Either way, it brings writers all over the world together in one month of words. It is, as the website proclaims, “Thirty days and nights of literary abandon!” Sounds like my idea of fun. No, seriously.
I haven’t officially signed up for the site, I’ve been having trouble registerring and also just viewing the site at certain times, but for now that’s okay.
If you sign up for NaNoWrimo, you will get emails of encouragement from various participants and some published authors. One year I recall receiving an email from Neil Gaiman, how exciting! So expect updates from me regarding writing and reasons why you should (or maybe why you shouldn’t) participate.
If you aren’t a novelist, you can always participate in NaBloPoMo
, or National Blog Posting Month, where you challenge yourself to post for thirty days straight. Every month is NaBloPoMo though, so keep that in mind
Are you participating in NaNoWrimo this year? Link me to your user profile! (As soon as I can make one, I’ll do the same!)