Sunday, November 29, 2009

Article | NaNoWriMo Day 28 & 29 - It's Snowing

NaNoWriMo Day 28 & 29 

It's snowing

I woke up this morning and it was snowing.  I think this stuff is here to stay.  There is a good solid coating covering my lawn and sprinkled heavily in the trees.  It is gorgeous and beautiful and pristine and white.  

As I took my dog for a walk tonight I tried to think of a metaphor or symbolism that related the snow to NaNoWriMo.  I couldn't.  Sometimes things are just symbolism and metaphor free.  Beautiful and unique in their own rights.  

However, I still think it's a great way to end this crazy accomplishing exhilarating adventure.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Article | NaNoWriMo Day 27 - Delayed Satisfaction

What ever happened to that glorious feeling you are supposed to feel when you have hit your goal?

For some of you, you will be rounding the bend hitting 50K in the next few days. For some of you it may take considerable more effort, while others will come gliding in easily. And for others you will have already managed that 50K goal.

Once you’re there though, you may be asking “Where are the fireworks. Or the speeches in my honor? The parade.? The party? Where is the glory?”

Wait… it will happen.

When the realization of 50K and reaching the NaNoWriMo word count goal first hit me I kind of felt devoid. It was an “Is that it?” kind of feeling. I thought it should feel way more victorious. That anticlimactic feeling also had to do with the fact that my novel isn’t really done and there is still much work to do be done with it.

Approximately 5 days after reaching my goal, it hit me.

I wrote a book. Life suddenly felt better with that realization under my belt.

Granted it isn’t really finished (I only have 50 K plus words of it). Granted it needs more parts for it to be complete. Granted it needs a severe running through an editing mill.

But you know what? I wrote 50 K plus words towards a book in A MONTH. What did you do with your November?

Right now, I am finding it a huge confidence booster. It has taught me exactly what I can do with my time. I have learned to leap over those hurdles. I have put some misconception to rest/beat them with a stick till they submitted.

I am now 50K plus words closer to my goal of becoming an author than I was at the beginning of November. That is a huge step. That is a step that might have taken me years at the rate I was previously traveling.

I just want everyone to sit back and bask in that feeling. A lot of people are telling you to do it. Maybe now is not the right time for you. But at some point that victorious feeling will hit. You’ll feel a slow smile spread across your face. Whatever was wrong before in life takes a back seat to that realization. It is just you and the moment that you did something pretty freaking amazing. When it comes. Bask in it. Remember it. This is what we are made of. Moments were we feel we can accomplish anything.

This moment is for you. Share it if you must, but no one will quite get it like you do.

You may need to remember that feeling later. So try packaging it up somewhere safe, so you can take it out to look at when you need to be reminded of how incredibly spectacular your are. Don’t let anyone or anything take that victory from you. It is yours, and you deserve it. Enjoy!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Article | NaNoWriMo Day 25 - After writing reading is never the same

NaNoWriMo Day 25

After writing, reading is never the same

Maybe that’s just me. 

In order for me to write, it is just me and my book.  That is the only tale I need.  The only story that need be spinning in my mind. 

I guess you could say I have an addictive personality, or perhaps that I am easily distracted. 

What I do know is this:  If I am reading I am not writing.  When I read I really allow myself to sink into the material – or used to anyways.  When I am reading all my spare time goes towards reading, like an addiction.  I have to have it.  Which disallows me the ability to write at the same time.  I can’t be addicted to finishing reading a novel and expect that I will have the same dedication for my writing.   I can only handle one story at a time.  And it is either mine, or someone else’s. 

I don’t want to abandon my story with its rough hewn sloppy edges for a nicely polished up shinny book whose story has filigreed edges that sparkle and it’s cover is made of deep red soft velvet.  See how alluring another story sounds compared to that slop you have been slaving over.  But I know given time and attention my story has the potential to be nicely trussed up too.  However, it won’t get there if I keep abandoning it in favor of a quick fix. 

Also, now that I am writing, I read a book differently.  I consider character POV and pacing.  Did they set up that scene right?  Could they have done it differently and been more effective?  I am not reading merely for enjoyment any longer so much as I am reading to learn.  There is no better tutor for an aspiring author than books, but it also changes the way we interact with them. 

Right now I am trying to find that miraculous balance between reading and writing, but I still find it elusive and evading. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Article | NaNoWriMo Day 24 -50K - Now What? The next steps on the journey to becoming an author...

NaNoWriMo Day 24

50 K – Now What? The next steps on the journey to becoming an author…   

I joined up for NaNoWriMo because I want to be an author.  Some may say they want to become a writer.  However, for me there is a difference between the two. 

A writer writes, as does an author.  They definitely have that similarity in common.  However, in my mind anyways, a writer doesn’t necessarily get published or get paid for their efforts.  An author on the other hand is published and has been paid for their work.  A successful author has the added bonus of being able to support themselves through their writing. 

I have been a writer for quite some time.  I did Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan fiction on line in high school.  I have written character summaries for Amtgard.  I have started a myriad of unfinished work.

UNFISHED WORK…Unfinished work… unfinished work…   Hear how that echoes. Those are the words that haunt me.  How I am ever going to achieve my goal of becoming an author if I can’t even finish writing something to completion.  Never mind editing and polishing, we are talking first draft procrastination. 

Yes I have managed to hit 50 K, so yes that does technically make me a winner.  But the real win for me will be the finished first draft.  I completely understand how horrible a first draft is. I understand that it will serve more as an outline as I go in to hack and slash and tidy up plot holes and info dumps and every other crime committed in fiction. 

I am using NaNoWriMo to propel me into the future as a high velocity writer.  Or at the very least to maintain a daily writing habit.  That is the best possible plan of action to insure that I finish what I am writing, and that I continue to write other stories. 

Next very large step after that will be the editing and polishing faze.  I understand that the vast majority of this will come from me slaving away.  But I also know that there will come a time where I will need the voice of an outsider who is not family, as family is obligated to tell me how marvelous and witty I am.  Enter the critique group. 

Finding a critique group in the area was another reason why I had joined NaNoWriMo.  I didn’t, however, want to preposition a group that I did not know, especially without any credits but ambition under my belt.  NaNoWriMo, I figured, would give me the opportunity to meet like minded individuals, as well as figure out how far I could really push myself and my writing.  It would be a test run. 

I have now met so many new people with such great passion for writing that I want to include them in that endeavor as well if they are so like minded.  NaNoWriMo is about forming a community of like minded individuals that is open to every one of similar goals (sometimes very loosely related similar goals).  I want us to continue forward in the same tradition as what brought us together in the first place. 

I have planted the seeds on our local writing forum for NaNoWriMo to form a group of likeminded individuals that will continue in the NaNoWriMo spirit.  I am hoping that we keep in touch, continue writing, and when we are ready to subjugate ourselves and our stories -evolve to include critiquing.  Optimally we will also continue to get together on a regular basis to perform all of these tasks, doing it on our own allows for the potential of slackerhood.

The time is at hand to sign more unwritten contracts of commitment.  I can only hope I am not the only individual who is looking forward to this new adventure.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Article | NaNoWriMo Day 23 - Twitter Word Sprints

NaNoWriMo Day 23 

Twitter Word Sprints

Since last Thursday, I have wanted to post this or bring it up in some tactical manner, but I didn’t want to sound like I was stroking my own ego.  But seriously this is absolutely way too cool, and it makes me so incredibly happy.

#ESTSprint.  Yup that is my hashtag all out in the world all grown up and ready to be defiled. 

See @NaNoWriMo was hosting word sprints earlier last week but they were in PST time.  Which means it was three hours behind me.  Which meant that when they were hosting was way to late at night for me.  They then switched over to @NaNoWordSprints with the promise of Eastern Time Zone sprints.  I waited for more details but nothing came. (I probably didn’t wait long enough though.  And to be honest patience is not a virtue I like to practice very often.)

I jumped the gun and I decided that I would host Eastern Standard Time Zone word sprints.  I posted it on the forums here (please ignore my atrocious spelling and grammatical errors).  And hoped that others would see it and follow along.

Well you guys rocked my socks.  I keep saying it and I totally mean it (except not in a sexual manner).  My first few participants on Thursday night left me absolutely giddy bragging to Cowboy.  And every night I have hosted since, have scene new faces and returning ones.  There is something about writing in a community that is truly inspiring.  It’s like signing an unwritten contract.  You are committing yourself to doing your personal best. 

Also we post a sentence from our novels.  There is absolutely no end to the amusement to be had through speculation of a sentence. 

I don’t know how others feel about me stealing their content and posting it here so I won’t.  But go look up the Hashtag #ESTSprint and scroll through for some samples.  It really makes me curious about what others are writing.  

I just wanted to say Thank You.  Honestly, sincerely thank you.  I love the encouragement and I love reading the micro novel sample sentences. 

If anyone is interested I will be hosting two more this week, Tuesday November 24, and Wednesday November 25 from 8:00pm to 10:00pm EST.  30 minutes of writing followed by a 15 minute break, repeat cycle.  So we end up with three 30 minute sprints in two hours.  I really like that it is scheduled and that you know when it is happening.  Sorry @NaNoWordSprints but your random sprints make me want to cringe – I like to know how to plan my writing evening.  That being said don’t call me a hypocrite because if I am around for them I will most likely jump on board.

I won’t be hosting this Thursday, as I have a play to attend and it is also Thanksgiving for our American friends (sorry I am Canadian – forgot to mention that…. Oops). 

Also, tomorrow morning @mecomptane will be borrowing the hashtap #ESTSprint to host some early morning sprints starting at 10:00 am going every hour for half an hour.  

P.S. You can follow me on Twitter @PiscesMuse.  Thanks.  

Sunday, November 22, 2009

article | NaNoWriMo Day 21 & 22- Hitting 50K and Beyond

NaNoWrimo Day 21 & 22

Hitting 50K and Beyond

Last night we had an overnight write in for our NaNoWriMo group, there were 17 of us, I think, one person following from a remote location that we adopted for the night.

I crossed the 50K line and made the 10K challenge of the night.  I was very rewarding, and fun and silly.  Consider a group of us that large in a room writing together, most of us on twitter.  Why have a conversation when you can twit. 

If was a 24 hour event from noon to noon.  I made it there for 6 pm and left shortly after 5 am.  I figured if I was going to break down and go to sleep I might as well do it in my own bed. 

I worked on some crucial scenes, but still need to finish them.  I am nowhere near the end of my book.  At this point I am no longer thinking of it as a single volume book, but more like the story that will eventually have to be subdivided into publishable lengths.

So far this draft it outrageously rough.  If is filled with really horrible rambling dialogue and huge info dumps, and lacks scene description.  However, I am trying very hard to be at terms with that.  I am using this draft to get the story out, so I have something to work with.  It’s like the extended version of the outline, but not quite in shape enough to be called draft one. 

NaNoWriMo has really helped me to crack down on myself in regards to a daily writing habit, that of course I will endeavor to maintain.  It has also allowed me the grace to forgive my writing.  It truly is about practice.  It is not going to be a masterpiece the first time out the gate and will need much work still.  But I have really been able to let go and tell the story.  It has been an amazingly remarkable and rewarding experience.  

Now I am off to bed, or some such other mindless rejuvenating activity.  

Friday, November 20, 2009

Article | NaNoWriMo Day 20 - The Four Misconceptions of Writing debunked

NaNoWriMo Day 20

The Four Misconceptions of Writing debunked

I used to believe in the muse.  I used to think I could only write while I was inspired.  Waiting for that muse didn’t net me much, I tell you.  I used to edit as I went.  Feeling defeated at the lack of progress.  I wanted it to all be perfect.  To have the right recipe; the right amount of description to dialogue to information.  I would always put writing on my list of things to do, and it was always the item that got pushed to the end, for later after I had done everything else. I thought that then I would have luxurious amounts of uninterrupted writing time at the end of the day were me and my creative muse could bond till the wee hours of the morning.  Laugh.  Because throughout NaNoWriMo I have learned some staggering truths about my preconceptions of writing. 

The muse
She needs to be caught, roped in tied down and tortured till she screams.  She won’t perform any other way.  She might, but it will be at her whim and not yours, and lets face it we don’t have that kind of time or patience. Think about your story as much as possible.  Have it in your mind all the time.  When you’re driving, eating, doing the dishes, having a shower, let it percolate and be with you.  Your story is your new best friend, and just because you are done committing words to paper for the night, doesn’t mean you turn it off when you stop writing.  When you aren’t writing and staring at a screen or a blank piece of paper that is when the ideas will flow.  Let them simmer and turn over.  Always be open to them. 

Editing as you go is great in theory and may work for some people, or for some stories.  But as a beginning writer, I find it sets up an immovable wall around chapter three that I can’t seam to scale no matter what.  The only thing I allow now is to spell check.  I hate having to guess what that discombobulated lump of letters is supposed to mean.  So after I write a scene and it’s still fresh I will spell check only.  No other plucking at it.  If I have an idea of something I want to change about it, I make a note of it, but I won’t go in and start hampering yet.  Because as the story progresses I might find that there is more I need to add or change at the beginning.  I like to have a fluid story that is changeable pending on how my characters react.  I make notes to go back for editing later.  Add this to foreshadow hear, and what not.  You can even add these at the end of the scene and highlight them and use them as part of your word count if you must.  But don’t go back in and start changing things just yet.  Wait.  You may find it was perfect just as it is, or you may unintentionally end up deleting the most brilliant piece of dialogue but can’t see it just yet because you are too close to the project.  Distancing yourself from your work allows you to both respect it more and look at it with a more critical eye.  You can only achieve that distance with time, so let the perceived mistakes stay for a time being. 

Scene Balance
That perfect balance of dialogue to description and information.  It may be out their, but don’t try and achieve that in your first draft.  Get the story out.  Focus on the story and let it tell itself.  You may find you have characters that are information dumpers or that as the narrator you are info dumping all the time.  Let it happen, you can fix it later.  See above about editing.  Right now you need that information to allow your story to progress.  You can fix it so it isn’t as jarring later.  The story I am writing right now is heavy in the dialogue department. However my pre-NaNo novel attempt, I couldn’t master dialogue for the life of me (but that was also because I was riddled with a lack of muse, and an overambitious editor).  Some of you may do very well with the scene description others with the dialogue.  Whatever gets the story to the page. Clean up later, just let the story do its part now.  Remember novels are written in drafts, not first attempts. 

Time was my last hurtle and biggest to overcome. Writing was the reward at the end of the day.  Consequently I was also able to excuse myself from it.  I would justify that having accomplished everything else, and it being so late, I could push it off for another time, anyways I didn’t feel the muse. In real life we put the fun things to the side in lieu of responsibility.   Make writing a responsibility instead.  Make it a chore on the top of your to do list.  Even if you can only set aside 15 minutes at a time, take those fifteen minutes to hash out that scene you have been thinking about all day.  You will be surprised at how much you can get done in 15 minutes. 

NaNoWriMo has taught me a lot about writing.  I have really learned to harness the first draft and forgive its imperfections.  It is about getting the story out, not creating a masterpiece.  The masterpiece comes later.  Allow yourself the freedom to explore your world unharnessed in your first draft.  You may not use every scene you write, but every scene you write is information you need to progress the story.  You’ll find other ways of integrating that information later, or it just might become information only for you.  But for the first draft, let it all come pooring forth and don’t hinder yourself with perfections.  

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Article | NaNoWriMo Day 19 - Todays Post is brought to you by the letter "Where do You Write?"

NaNoWriMo Day 19

Todays Post is brought to you by the letter "Where do You Write?"  (Okay so not really a letter but if amused me.)

Mostly I write at home.  At home I have some favorite locations.  Plural, because my hubby gifted me with a MacBook last year for Christmas.

Their is my Kitchen table, which is kind of like my desk.  The tea pot has a home there, my dictionary, a notebook, and other various items.  Its also where the laptop rests while it is not in use.

Their is the couch in the living room.  We have three of them, but the power source from the kitchen only reaches to the one, so that has become my NaNo couch.  I can snuggle up on it, and my dog sleeps on the top of the couch like a cat.  (Where the couch cushion is bowed in is were Roo sleeps)  Also you'll notice the tip of the iceberg - my bookshelf.  My parents had a piano in their living room, I have a bookshelf.

Then their is the Bedroom.   Now some may say don't write were you sleep as you might be tempted into napping, but I am a huge fan of being comfortable while I write.  I work at a desk all day long, and coming home and curling up in bed to work on NaNo feels more like a vacation then work when I am comfortable.  I normally steal all the pillows to prop myself up and to get the proper height for my laptop.

Other locations included the various locations for the writes ins: the library, Chapters, Williams Coffee Pub, the Fromagerie, and this upcoming weekend an overnighter at the University.   I also do some writing at work (longhand in my notebook).

Hope everyone has found their perfect place to unleash their muse, or rather capture her and force her to reveal her secrets.

Also, I will be hosting Eastern Time Zone word sprints Monday to Thursday from 8:00 PM to 10:00 PM on Twitter for NaNoWriMo.

You can follow along @PiscesMuse

Just so everyone is aware, I have self appointed myself for this.  I saw a need to be filled so volunteered myself to do this. I am a NaNoWriMo participant, but I don't want to misrepresent what I am doing, as they did not ask me to do this.  Now that that is all clear, if you are interested and are in the Eastern Time Zone (or another time zone but can make the sprints) follow me on twitter to get started.  We'll be doing 15 minute and 30 minute sprints.  And remember, HAVE FUN!!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Article | NaNoWriMo Day 18 - After Acceptance come Malleability

NaNoWriMo Day 18

After Acceptance comes Malleability

I have to mentally prepare myself to like people. It’s not as bad as it sounds, really.

Here’s the deal:
I am not a highly impulsive person. Well maybe impulsive, but definitely shy on the spontaneous. I like things nice and planned out. I have cleaning nights, and writing nights, and favorite TV show nights, and Zumba nights, and cooking nights. I schedule my social time. See I find I have a certain frame of mind for each different activity, and in order to be properly prepared and excited about it, I like to plan in advance. Social time is much different state of mind, than hermit writing time is.

If you stop by and are like okay lets hang out and go do this, this and this, but that’s not on my schedule, there is going to be a very awkward moment between us were I am thinking of excuses (first reaction), then trying to reschedule my life (second reaction) so that I still am able to get done everything I wanted too, but at other moments. So I do spontaneous, but reluctantly, and I am rarely the one who instigates it.

Furthermore, I really dislike conflict in my life. I hate fighting. I hate having to figure out messy situations. I hate talking about tricky matters. A lot of that has to do with the family situation which I was raised in (one of these days there is going to be a therapist who will make tons of money off of me and that statement, or I will just write my way to safety, one or the other). I like to avoid conflict in my real life like the plague. It makes me feel all nauseous and I want to cry and hide. When I do have to deal with it, I try very hard to stay composed, but if it gets heated then my first line of defense is to go void. I withdraw into myself and tune out the world, go to my safe zone. I just don’t have good defenses for it; I break under pressure.

What this means as a writer is that I like to have my novel planned out. I like knowing what should happen. But when a character throws me a curve ball and I find out that they are going to betray their mentor, I then start back peddling. But once that thought occurs, it doesn’t un-occur. It’s too late. Even though I haven’t written the words yet, I know what their actions could be. If I change it and say no, you don’t do this, I will always know what they are capable of. So I have to let it happen.

But I still need that time to think and wrap my mind around it. Because that wasn’t at all what I thought was going to happen. Furthermore, there is my dislike of conflict. (I read about it, and hang on the edge of my seat, but things will work out fine in a book, they are just imaginary characters… right?) Combine the two, not very spontaneous and doesn’t like conflict, and you may wonder how I am ever going to write a book. Or even why I want to do it.

Because it’s therapy for me. It’s a (semi) controlled environment. Once I wrap my mind around the possibilities, then I can start to fly, I just need that period of time to let is simmer and brew, so I can figure out how to manage the flavor.

The apprentice betrayal now provides the motivation why Droth almost beats his apprentice Dover to death. I was mortified when Droth was going to do this, the moment I knew I shied away from the thought. Knew it was going to happen, but I didn’t know why. How could he be a monster like that? Now I can deal with that set of actions because he has motivation. He is frustrated by his sister’s precarious mental and health state, and angered that Dover would betray him. Now all I have to figure out is why Dover would betray him. What’s her secret, why would she do that?

Yesterday, I had set out to follow my own Tweated advice, to write only the fun parts, save the transitions. But sometimes the fun parts lead to messy situations that you need to pause and wrap your mind around.

Yesterday was about accepting your writing, today is about accepting your characters. About not forcing them into a mold, but being malleable. I had always heard authors and writers talk about what their characters are doing, what they insisted upon, even though that’s not what they had originally planned out. The new direction their characters were taking the story to. I was always slightly envious about this, but a little skeptical too. Now I understand. I also know it takes a good healthy amount of flexibility.

Today’s lesson is about malleability and flexibility, two things an author should never be in short supply of.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Article | NaNoWriMo Day 17 - Harbinger of Change and Acceptance

NaNoWriMo Day 17 (skipped Day 16 sorry)

Harbinger of Change and Acceptance.

The thing is I started this experience with gung ho vigor. I was so excited and pumped and somehow had NaNoWriMo up on a pedestal and it could do no wrong. The dizzying truth is that this event is what you make of it, so after the initial adrenaline rush wore off it was really up to me to keep the motivation going. However, nothing I wrote sounded like the story I wanted to tell. It was the story, but here I am writing these long winded scenes with info dumpers, and I’m missing all the description of location and scenery, and my fight scenes sound stale because they are not coming out how I see them. I have these beautifully epic scenes all staged out in my mind, but when it comes to getting them on paper, well they just don’t feel right to me, they feel kind of novicy and stale and flat. All the words in the world and I can’t seam to get them to line up properly.

And I am stuck with this never ending urge to go back and fix things. I haven’t. Well I kind of tweaked once, but that was because things were about to be completely derailed, and then I would have had all these scenes floating around in space that would not longer work, and that just wouldn’t do, because those scenes still needed to happen. Anyways, the thing is, I am jonesing to get out the red marker and tell my novel how much it really, really sucks.

Furthermore, I am around 30 000 words and I am not even finished writing the beginning yet. I have a lot of beginnings to write, for a lot of characters. And a lot of them kind of meander a little (a lot) because I am getting caught up in the day to day activity rather than writing the most important scenes. I want to be writing the highlights of the sports game, rather than watching every single play. Yet I get mired down in the little details. I am constantly reminding myself, that I can chop later. That I can pick and chose the highlights later, but until I play the whole game I won’t know what those highlight are just yet. What if that small conversation with nobody turns into a huge turning point, but I don’t know that until chapter 32, and that first little scene happened in chapter 3. See my dilemma.

So I am soldiering on. And finding out things along the way. The disease I thought a character would be dying of is no longer a disease. It’s a mental illness that gets semi cured but leaves her with the ability to predict the future, see snippets of possibility. She was just supposed to be a motivation, not a harbinger of change.

What I want you to do today is to keep soldiering on. I know they all say it. They say to keep those bad scenes. If you want to change it don’t, it may be good for you. And I freely admit that I broke that rule once. Maybe twice – last night when my hero wanted two swords I told her she would have to make do with one. However, I did brainstorm this really neat idea for a two blade interlocking sword that molds into one. But I will implement that later.

See how distracted I get. That is my writing. I am going full speed down this road to this plot point, and then oh look theirs a Tim Hortons and I want some coffee and I slow down and end up chatting with the girl behind the counter, and then I loose focus, and then I feel guilty about the coffee, but it was just what I needed at that time. Those little meandering scenes, or the things your characters come up with on the fly (or sly), don’t ignore them. They may just be what you need. But you won’t know until the end. Resist the urge to purge, keep the junk, even if it goes very solidly against your grain. Now is not about the purging, now is about the collecting. Afterwards, then you find the gems in that collection, but later, not know.

You just have to have the right kind of fortitude to survive the process. And you have to come down to that conclusion on your own terms. Until you do, it’s an uphill battle that will weigh against you the whole time. It’s about acceptance. Accepting your imperfections, and knowing that only practice makes it better. Accepting that maybe the story you envisioned isn’t the story that needs to be told. Or that maybe the scene you saw but don’t know how to get to, can’t be told until you get that coffee you feel so guilty about.

Accept what you write.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Article | NaNoWriMo Day 14 & 15 - Time Lost and Time Well Spent

NaNoWriMo Day 14 & 15

Time Lost and Time Well Spent

You ever hit a weekend (for those of us who actually have weekends off) and think:  "Wow, look at all this time.  I am going to do a million things.  Get caught up.  Be super productive."  And then it's Sunday night and its kind of like: "What the fuck.  Time were the hell did you go?  You coped out on me.  FRIG!!!"  

Yup that's me.  Sunday night and not anywhere close to where I wanted to be with my word count.  Still on par with the schedule, but I was hoping to be ahead of the game instead.  Hoping and doing are two different things though.  I gave up my weekend to a clean house and family time.  Both of which are good for the soul.  

Distractions often allow us to recharge and regroup.  What did you do with your weekend, that was non NaNoWriMo related?

I hope everyone had a great weekend.  I hope you took some time to do non NaNo pursuits.  Unwind a little, and relax.  

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Article | NaNoWriMo Day 13 - Running in the Wild or Through the Rabbit Whole and Out the Other Side

NaNoWriMo Day 13

Running in the Wild or Through the Rabbit Whole and Out the Other Side.

This was the pep talk I had been waiting for, although I didn’t know it until it arrived.  This is the pep talk that spoke to me.  It describes the experience perfectly, and yet it was also inspiring.  I had this vivid image of of the movie Far and Away with everyone rushing forth across the great unknown.  Except instead of us berating each other to get to our claims, we are rushing forth to reach the other side.  It is a wild land, and there are potential pitfalls, but in my image of it, when one person falls, there is someone to stop and pick them up and brush them off and encourage them to keep going. 

That is what NaNoWriMo is really about. It is about a group of us rushing across the great unknown, but instead of being selfish and being about the first one to reach the other side, we’ll stop and help those around us along the way.  Sure their will be the selfish few who don’t stop to help out, but those people also serve as their own unique inspiration.  They are the ones that will make you take that next step after you falter.  They are the ones that you say to yourself “If they can do it, so can I.”  And you place one word in front of the other until you make it. 

This past week I have been faltering.  Don’t we all have those moments were we question ourselves, but then find a way to resolve it, and feel stronger and better for it afterwards.  Like Alice.  Through the rabbit whole and out the other side.  We have big and small moments like that, that completely test our resolve.  But once out the other side, I believe we are stronger better people for it.  Or at least that is what I strive to be when I surpass one of those challenges. 

I have a good feeling about next week, but this week it just felt like walls crumbling around me.  Like my foundation was being shook to pieces.  Well my foundation has been re-stabilized, and I am ready to set out again on that trip across the great expanse.  I have sorted through some of my work issues.    I had been working on a quantity basis trying to hit up the quality level, but was having a very stressful time managing.  The reserves have been called in, however, which now allows me the time to do what needs to be done properly and hopefully get caught up.  With work issues sorted out, I now have my mental clarity back and I believe that I will be able to re-apply myself whole heartedly to the process of writing.  And that I will no longer question weather or not I can do.  I will apply myself to the act of succeeding. 

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Article | NaNoWriMo Day 12 - Handwritten Verses Type

NaNoWriMo Day 12

Hand Written Verses Type

Recently we received a pep talk from Linda Barry. She had actually written her pep talk by hand and it can be view here.

This raises an interesting question: Do you prefer to type or write by hand? And why?

I am a typist, for simply ease of speed. I can get more out that way. My mind works at the same pace as the keys. However is that a good thing?

I find writing slow. I think faster than I write, and can’t keep up. But there in lies the beauty. I am are really forced to think about what it is I am are writing. It might just be me but I find my sentences are less choppy when written by hand versus typing it out. When typing it is about speed and getting the idea to the page. However, when writing by hand it is more about the process. It really gives me the time to let my thoughts percolate and gather and form fully before they are committed to paper, rather than those fleeting half felt glimpses that are dashed out across a computer screen. Sure it may be great that I can type 60 words per minute or more, but are all those words well thought out words. I may write a lot slower by hand, but those words are well intended words.

For me it comes down to speed versus experience. I will probably stay true to writing the majority of my NaNoWriMo novel out on the computer. Ultimately whatever I do write by hand will have to be transposed to computer. But for those moments when a computer isn’t available, I will no longer worry about not recording my ideas. I will take the time to write them by hand. It is southing. I find there is a deep meditative state that can be reached, where you are at one with the ink and the paper the same way you can fall into a book on paper, as opposed to listening to it or reading it on a computer screen. For me writing by hand rivals that experience.

Take a chance. Travel the more scenic route. It may not be as quick, but it is definitely more of an experience.