NaNoWriMo: Halfway through the month!

I’ve been able to keep up with my goal to write on a daily basis, however, it’s proven to be challenging. It’s difficult to find the time and the stamina to work it into my already-busy schedule. Yet it does force me to work through the fear of having nothing to write about, and has progressed my word count at a clipped rate. Every night that I’ve stared at my laptop this week, I’ve wondered if the well was dry and if it was even worth writing at all.

And then a thousand words later I realized that all I needed was to get warmed up.

The only downside? I couldn’t keep writing after a 1K writing-spurt because the night had gotten away from me. Most nights, it was late and I was falling asleep at the keyboard. The ideas were there, but my eyeballs were not.

One night, my eyes kept closing as I was typing. At some point, I realized I had dozed off for a split second. My head jerked up and my eyes flew open with surprise. And all I saw was “mind bobblging. I think I can convince him taaaaa….” typed out on my screen. I still have absolutely no idea what I meant to type or where I was going with that idea. After trudging through two more paragraphs of what is most likely crap, I finally called it a night. Not much else I could do when my body refused to cooperate.

Well, not much else… other than laugh at myself. Heh.

In the meantime, I’m ahead of the game and actually contemplating trying to complete a Double-NaNo.* Of course, that’s possibly the most insanely ridiculous and stupid idea that I’ve had in a while.

I’m not quite sure what’s wrong with me. I might need help.

I’m worried actually. For myself.


* Double-NaNo is an absurd goal for a writer who becomes deranged enough to try to write 100,000 words by November 30th – instead of the usual insanity of 50,000 words.

Day Five of NaNoWriMo

FTW: I’ve been able to write on a daily basis! This truly never happens for me. I tend to write in varied bursts, so it has been a bit of a challenge these past few days. I’d like to believe that I’d be able to keep this up for thirty days, but I’m also a realist. Sometimes life gets in the way and a day may pass with nary a word conjured. As of right now, I’m coaxing out a few paragraphs here and there, whenever I have a moment and they’ve been slowly accumulating. I’m still ahead of the game, which is already a “win” for me.

I enjoyed the NaNoWriMo pep talk given by Diana Gabaldon. It’s refreshing to learn that others have a similar writing style as I do, especially someone who is so well-known and talented! I also tend to write in a non-linear fashion and often with multiple subplots happening at the same time. Frequently, I will write various scenes that are not seemingly connected. However, oddly enough my brain tends to connect these scenes subconsciously and later on somehow the random scene I wrote two days ago suddenly makes more sense while I’m writing yet another seemingly disjointed scene.

It always amazes me that it works out like that. Is it always gold? Nope. But so what? That’s the whole point of constantly writing. Things make more sense as you keep writing. And eventually a story emerges. It’s sort of like taking a block of stone and chipping away until you have a statue. (I often feel more like I’m using a mallet and banging it against my keyboard until something readable shows up!)

I’m past the 10k mark already so my goal will be to hit 25k by early next week (if not this weekend). So the insanity continues…

…but for now, sleep….zzzzzzz

November is here! NaNoWriMo Insanity Commences

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) started Saturday at midnight. The Official Month of Writing Insanity has begun! This is when I get to “story dump” for 30 days and hope that I’ll be able to sustain the “flow” long enough to come up with something usable. Interesting things come out after you kill off your inner editor. It allows you to let the words pour out from where ever stories come from free of inhibition and self criticism! Characters I never intended on creating come out of the woodwork! Plot bunnies show up and demand to be followed! I can’t wait to see what will show up this year.

I’ve decided to continue working on my series to see where it will lead, but at the same time I will be working on something new. Another character keeps demanding to be heard, so perhaps there will be time for her as well. To anyone doing NaNoWriMo this year, more kudos to you! May the coffee be hot and the writing be frequent and steady. Cheers to you! Stop by Twitter and say “Hi!” and let me know how you’re doing with your word count. Or if you would like a new NaNo buddy, you can find me under my handle: Nitrin.

Current NaNoWriMo status:

Surviving NaNoWriMo: Tips for Getting Through the Month

NaNoWriMo can be exhilarating and exciting, but it can also be quite the daunting task. It’s a challenge that requires effort and stamina. I’ve completed it several times, but I’ve also had real life take over and thwart all of my efforts. It’s totally understandable that sometimes it’s just not your year to complete it. However, if you start off thinking that way, then mostly likely by the 16th you’ll have already given up on trying.

Tip #1 for getting through NaNoWriMo is to really TRULY commit to finishing 50,000 words in 30 days. You can do it! Seriously! It’s not that hard. It just sounds hard. If you write 1,667 words daily, you can stay on track and keep up with the pace. And even if you slack for a day or two, you can easily catch up. If you have this mindset, you’re already winning.

Tip #2: Schedule your writing time. If you already commit to it, then you work the rest of your life around that half hour, hour, or whatever block of time that works for you. It’s important to make it a priority. You’re not messing around! This is your writing time.

Tip #3: Have a community of cheerleaders. Everyone needs encouragement, especially when your story is going haywire or you’ve turned your character into an amnesiac and you c5816769_origan’t seem to get out of the pit of despair (seriously). It doesn’t have to be a fellow Wrimo, but it definitely helps if they can feel your “pain” by going through the process with you. I’ve found a lot of great virtual buddies who are also working on NaNoWriMo this year. Social media often fosters an outpouring of camaraderie and support throughout November. Twitter and Facebook are both great for meeting other Wrimos who are going through the same thing.

Tip #4: Silence your inner editor. This is challenging and most people have problems with this. It’s difficult to write without editing the work that you’ve just written. Sometimes we’re so hung up on the way a sentence comes out on the page that we never finish the paragraph. It’s important to give yourself a pass for this during the month of November. Anything goes and you can always spell-check in December! Trust me. It will free you and let your ideas flow.

Tip #5: Have favorite creative space(s). It’s important to feel comfortable when you’re making stuff up! Make sure to have at least one or two favorite places that you can escape to and get some real work done. Those places can be your designated “writing only” places.

Tip #6: Caffeine and also… chocolate. This is the time to bust out the good stuff. If you enjoy coffee, make sure it’s always on hand. Same for the tea drinkers. Have a stash of your favorxTgozbBBc ite tea with you for when you’re on the go. For those of you who don’t drink either, hot chocolate can be just as effective! There’s a sugar and caffeine buzz in that too! Chocolate in general is good to have around. It’s been shown that not only does chocolate stimulate your endorphins (aka happy brain chemicals), but it also helps fire up those neurons that help you think faster and more efficiently. Perfect for writing many words and figuring out those plot twists!

Tip #7: Move. Make sure to get up often. Stretch and walk around for a bit in order to keep the blood flowing and give your eyes a break for a moment. Sometimes a few minutes of that can reinvigorate you and you’ll be ready to get your butt back in that chair and write away.

Tip #8: Rewards. Make sure to treat yourself along the way. Every time you meet a word-count challenge or even a daily goal, give yourself a reward. They can be anything from small things like a special yummy latte to perhaps a new purchase such as a new book from your favorite author. Noveling is hard, so why not make it more pleasant with a reward?

Tip #9: Update your word count. Nothing feels as good as seeing that number going up and getting closer and closer to 50,000. Shout it from the virtual rooftops by tweeting it or sharing it on Facebook. Believe me, the more you talk about it, the more likely you’ll finish it! You can also use your own word count widgets to post (here’s a link for a few simple ones) or use the ones provided by the NaNoWriMo site.

And most importantly….

Tip #10: A little self-respect, self-love and never saying “You can’t”:  Having a cheerleader can make a difference, but the real cheerleader ultimately has to be YOU. You need to believe that you can do it. No one can win NaNo for you, so you’ve got to put that pen to paper or fingers to keys and keep on writing! You can do it!