Continuing down the #NaNoWriMo path and why I keep on chugging along #amwriting

Well, it’s day 5 of NaNo, and I find myself in an awkward moment. I sprinted this morning, have about 45 minutes to get ready for work and I finished chapter 2, so I really don’t want to sprint again even though I could.

I’ve been behind in NaNo word counts since day one…when I didn’t write. But I’m glad to say I’m almost caught up. There have been a lot of discussions on Facebook recently about who NaNo really helps and who it doesn’t, and honestly, it’s hard for me to say. I have to weigh in on the conversation, because let’s face it, I’m a talker, but I don’t know who it helps.

There are people who say they write 100k words a day and thus finish NaNo in about 12 hours. That’s impossible for me. I do write very fast, but it’s impossible. Firstly, writing is not my full-time job. I am an author, I have multiple published works, I strive to published 2-3 novels a year, but writing is NOT, I repeat, NOT my full-time job. Nor do I want it to be.

I also kind of want to preserve my wrists so they don’t end up needing surgery in a year. Hence why I slow down a bit. That said, I do still write rather fast compared to other people. What new authors or aspiring authors don’t realize is that I have experience. I know how my brain works and what methods I can use to make writing easier for me. It wasn’t always that easy, and without NaNoWriMo and CampNaNo, I wouldn’t be a published author today.

NaNo taught me discipline. It taught me how to write daily, every day, no matter what. It taught me that some days I will write 17k words and other days I’ll be lucky to get 500, but so long as there are words in that document, I’m making progress. NaNo also taught me to write as much as I can write now because there will always be loads of editing later. Again, these are my methods. Not everyone can turn off their internal editor and keep writing until they finish the book and then go back later.

I can. And that’s how I write.

There have been years where I wasn’t sure NaNo was for me. I write fast. I can finish a novel in two weeks if I really want to and my day job isn’t all that busy (read the hahahahahaha now moment in that statement). November is a busy work month for me. So is October. It involves loads of planning at my day job, so now that I’m working full-time in a field I love and adore, NaNo is a struggle. Like this post started, I’m almost finally caught up with the daily minimum count. I’m working on a novel that’s estimated to be about 90k words. That will make me be writing through December if I only stick to the minimum word count each day.

I’m also someone who love outlining. I have a shit ton of stories in my head at any given point. The more I write, the more stories just appear. It’s like the more you exercise the better at it you get so the more you want to do it and keep it up. The more I invite inspiration into my head space, the more inspiration is comfortable in joining me. So I have a shit ton of stories in my head. I need to outline. For two reasons at the very least.

  1. It means I’ll actually remember what was supposed to happen in a story and I won’t get all my plot lines mixed up. It means that my novels will have flow and meaning and plots that are main plots and back plots. It means the story will be as complete as it can be in the first round.
  2. It helps motivate me to keep writing. There isn’t an “I’m stuck” moment because it’s already laid out for me. I have the basic structure for what it’s all going to look like. The transitions aren’t there, but the big moments are. My outlines are thin, usually 1-2 sentences per scene per chapter and then I’m done. The rest I get to make up as I go.

Once I discovered the wonders of outlining, I realize just how much I could accomplish in a short period of time.

Anyway, that’s enough ranting for now. But NaNo this year is necessary to keep me on track in writing this novel. It’s necessary to help me finish something in a time of the year that’s crazy busy for me.

So NaNo away all you fun loving awesome writers!

I keep saying it, so I should do it! #NaNoWriMo

I haven’t been around this year much at all. And there’s really no excuse except I haven’t been in the mood. I’ve wanted to be here. I certainly miss writing and miss my writing friends. But so much in life is changing right now. Last year I wrote enough to publish four novels and three short stories in one year, this year I’ve only written enough for one book and short story, which is a scary scary concept.

I use my writing money to help pay off my student loans faster, so the prospect of having no extra is daunting and sad at the same time. But that’s not the only thing. Writing is an outlet for me. It’s a stress-reliever, a place where I can go and lose myself, and since really January, I haven’t done any consistent writing. I used to get up at about 5:30 in the morning, every morning, and type away, but the typing hasn’t been happening, and starting in about June, the early morning stopped.

My motivation has just been slacking. My timing has been off. Add in to all this a new pregnancy. A new pregnancy that isn’t so new anymore. Next week, I start my third trimester. That first one knocked me off my feet in a not good way. Yes, we were trying. No, we did not think it would happen that fast. The nausea and vomiting and exhaustion was almost more than I could handle. Then I hit my second trimester. And morning sickness went away, but I had to catch up with my day job.

I’m still catching up. But it’s November, and I couldn’t resist the call to NaNoWriMo, to the one thing that got me started in actually writing and finishing novels. I had at one point debated on being an ML, and I’m glad I didn’t even contemplate the application this year. Perhaps next year. November is a busy time of the year for me. Work picks up, this year is slower because of some things, by slower I mean delayed. Most of the planning I should have already done, but I haven’t even actually started it.

But I’m writing. This morning I woke up about 6 and started typing about 6:45. I’ve done about 2400 words in that short span. I started something new, something that came to me on one of my many long drives. I have a two stories outlined already, yet I chose to write one where I have no freakin’ clue where the story is going. For some reason, I like it. I’ll probably send a good amount of time this week outlining the novel itself, but for now, it’s all in my head.

Writing is relaxation. Without it, I’m not sure I could survive as well. My spouse keeps yelling at me to write, and it hasn’t been happening. Well, today I proudly sent that text, “I’m writing” and got a very enthusiastic “Yay!” back.

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For now, I’ll leave you with this. Don’t ever give up on your dreams. Don’t ever make your dreams work for you.

WIPpet Wednesday and NaNoWriMo update! November 6, 2013

Howdy!

I have goodies for you! We have a WIPpet excerpt from Fallen from Grace (the one I have been doing), and we have a NaNoWriMo update!! Because the update is quicker, we’ll start with that (don’t ask me why I’m typing in the plural…I have no clue why).

I was off to a slow start with NaNoWriMo due to work obligations, but my boyfriend is amazingly awesome. Both on Monday and Tuesday he came with me to two write-ins (the ones I host) and sat there patiently while I typed away. I managed to get up to 19842 words total! That means I’m about one day ahead of where I want to be. My goal for NaNoWriMo is 90,000 words! That’s right, 90,000 or somewhere close to when this novel should be completed. That means I have to average 3,000 words a day. It’s insane. I know.

So I’m at just about 20k words, and I’ve completed three chapters and prologue in that. The chapter titles are awesome, though I still thing the titles for For by Grace might be a bit better. I’m definitely struggling with this piece. It’s the first time I’ve done a series with an overarching story arc that expands ALL of the novels. Meaning, I have to make sure everything is explained and so and so forth.

Anyway…onto WIPpet. If you don’t know what WIPpet is, I’ll tell you. It’s an awesome little thing that a bunch of us do, where you post an excerpt from your current WIP (Work In Progress) that somehow relates to the date. If you don’t have a current WIP, then you can start a brand new one. Once you do that amazingness, you go here and link up with everyone’s WIPpets. THEN you go and read everyone’s (or as many as you can) and comment with some good stuff. We’re all comment WHORES, so make it good. =P

Today I have for you an excerpt from Fallen from Grace, which is the sequel to For by Grace AND my current NaNoWriMo novel. Here we go… My crazy math for today is this. 1 + 1 + 1 + 3 = 6 x 0 = 0 + 6 + 2 = 8 for a total of eight paragraphs from chapter two, which is aptly titled “Fight Club”

“Get out of the room!” she called to all the kids in there except the ones fighting.

Pulling out her pepper spray, Grace started to shake it as she tried to step in between the two boys. The other kids started to file out quickly, and Grace took the only chance she could get. She lifted the tab on the top of the spray can and depressed the button. A stream of white liquid squirted out and in the general direction of the boy’s faces.

Grace held her breath, waiting for the onslaught of pepper spray to hit her as well. The boys stopped fighting and rolled away from each other. Grace grabbed one of them and dragged him out of the room by the back of his shirt. He was clutching at his face in a vain attempted to get the OC spray off of him. Grace ignored him and went into the small confined room for the other one.

She pulled him out kicking and screaming and rammed him against the opposite wall of the other one. She holstered her OC can and stared at them, still waiting for the OC mist to catch up with her and affect herself. Since both of the kids had stopped fighting, Grace let out a breath.

“What the hell was that?”

“OC,” she answered. “And your name is?”

“Danny,” the blond one answered.

Grace smirked and set her hands on her hips. Danny clung to his face, trying to wipe the spray from his eyes. It would only make it worse for him in the long run, but Grace wasn’t about to inform him of that. The punishment of touching his dick after touching his face that had been covered in OC would be enough to warrant her silence and to keep him from attempting to fight in the locker room again.

 

There you have it. And thanks to the awesome and amazing K. L. Schwengel for hosting this each and every week (even when she’s traveling).

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