NaNoWriMo Revelation

So, it’s Day 12 of NaNoWriMo. We’re almost half way through. Right now, I’m about 20,000 words in and I’m going to type more tonight. After I bake a cake.

And I realized something. As I churned those words out every night (well, I missed two days last week), something dawned on me with a vivid, piss yellow light.

I suck. Big time.

It is hypnotizing how awful these sentences are. I stare at those words and think ‘Wow. I created that.’ But instead of the snuggly pride that one feels when they look at their newborn baby, I felt vaguely nauseated.

Holy Hell.

It’s painful. I look at the words on my screen and I’m like ‘Sweet Baby Jesus in a Manger, could this be any worse?’ and then I go and defy my own expectations.

But that’s not the end.

I’ve been tempted to curl up in a fetal ball and drown in my salty tears, but that would accomplish nothing.

Just because I suck now doesn’t mean I’ll always suck.

And that’s the beautiful things about writing.

You can get better.

Me, I need to keep practicing. I need to keep writing. I need to exercise these lazy writer muscles, work them until they’re used to the effort.

And I need to read more. By beholding, you become changed. I don’t have the time really, but I’m going to have to squeeze the pulpy lemon that’s my day and keep squeezing until more juicy time comes out.

It’s not fun admitting that I’m awful at something I’ve defined myself by for over fifteen years now.

But one good thing about sucking so badly? It can only get better, right?

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When Your Characters Speak to You

I swear, I’m not crazy.

But my characters speak to me. This is usually a good thing, because you want to know your character’s story and they’re the best source for information. You want to know how they view themselves, how they got to where they are and where they’re trying to go.

But sometimes it can be troublesome.

For my current WIP, I decided months ago that I was going to have one narrator. I outlined, planned the necessary scenes (because I’m too old to be a pantser–I forget stuff), researched and thought I was good to go for NaNo.

Then, I kid you not, as I tried to get to sleep on October 31st/November 1, another character started speaking to me.

So now, I have two narrators. Just like that.

This new narrator is a wild card. They were going to be introduced much later on down the line, and even then, I was still debating if they needed their own POV. So, they’re not nearly as fleshed out as my original narrator.

But this narrator has an extremely strong voice. Stronger than my first narrator. I couldn’t resist listening even if I wanted to. And I didn’t.

So now, on the one hand, I’m slightly stressed. I don’t know what’s going to happen with my new narrator this early in the story. I had some back story, but it wasn’t fully fleshed out.

It’s kind of like groping around a familiar room in the dark. I have a good idea of where everything is, but I can’t see details.

On the other hand, I’m so intrigued. My stomach is fluttering and that lets me know I’ve hit on something good. Funny enough, my story has more direction now, and I’ve been able to figure some things plot wise that were bugging me.

So, it’s more work. I also have to do some research I didn’t anticipate starting for several months. Yay.

However, I think I’m up to it. When I get the kiddos down for their nap (ha ha!), I’m going to start brainstorming some scenes for this new narrator.

It’s more work, but it’s not a waste of time. And I can say this is a good development.

Thanks for listening, loves. Until next time.

Writing in the Cracks

I came across this post on Writer’s Digest today, and it really got me thinking.

I’m too static in my definition of ‘writing time’. To me, writing time is peace and quiet, preferably when the kids are asleep and everything is silent. I have nothing pressing to do, so I can just sit at my laptop and focus on the words in front of me.

This barely ever happens. Have you ever tried getting three kids to fall asleep at the same time? Over the past several weeks, I truly tried to make the time to write, and I was getting frustrated in the process.

But reading this article today got me to re evaluate a few things.

Yes, I’ll still strive to crave out my time to write each day. But instead of getting stressed when my linear concept of ‘writing time’ goes kaput, I need to be flexible.

I need to write in the cracks of time I have each day.

If I really pay attention, I have more time than I realize. Those five minutes of silence when the baby is happy chewing on his teether and his big brothers are playing quietly for once, I can bust out a few dozen words.

I do get frustrated when I’m in the middle of a real intense flow of words and and I’m getting all amped, and a shrill ‘Moooooooommmyyyyy’ cuts through the air. But beggars can’t be choosers.

And I can find even more time during the day. Those times I spend perusing Blind Gossip (for…research…purposes…*shifty eyes*) can be better spent creating some drama in the pages of my novel.

Writing a novel isn’t the easiest thing to do. But it’s not impossible, even with everything I have going on right now. I’m sure as I go along, I’ll find even more tips and time hacks to share with you guys.

Alright loves, it’s time for me to put the kiddies to bed. Until next time.

NaNoWriMo 2014

What have I done?

I signed up for NaNoWriMo 2014 (you can find me here) earlier this week. I’ve done the camp twice, in 2012 and this past summer, but I’ve never won. If I’m being honest, that’s because I never took it seriously.

But this year is different. I have a book that’s burning to get out, so I figured, ‘What the hell?’ and went on ahead and created a new account. Fresh start and all. I took the time and filled out my profile, and I went to the forums and met some cool people. And saw a bunch of ideas for books I can’t wait to read.

All’s well and good. Until I tried to change my word count goal…

Turns out that unlike Camp NaNoWriMo, you can’t set your own word count. 50,000 or bust, baby.

I panicked.

First off, November is probably the busiest month of the year for me. I have my oldest child’s birthday, Thanksgiving (of which I do all the cooking and baking), prepping for my husband’s birthday the following month and, of course, Christmas. And this year, we’ll be visiting family a week before Thanksgiving.

I’m nuts.

See, I thought that I could set a ‘doable’ goal of 15,000 to 20,000 words, which works out to approximately 500-700 words a day. But now, I’m going to be writing about 2000 words a day (I like rounding up).

I must not like what little sanity I have left.

But see, this is a challenge. This is me, putting my money where my mouth is. How badly do I want this? I’ve been talking my husband’s ear off about this book since August, and now it’s time for me to act. If I can make it through this month, with all the busyness and potential stress, I’ll know that I can do it. I’ve already come up with some ideas to help me to successfully completely NaNoWriMo, which I’ll talk about in another post.

But I can do it. Yes, I can. It won’t be easy, but I can honestly say I’m committed to doing it.

That’s all for now, loves. Oh, and please let’s observe a moment of silence for what’s left of my sanity.