Wednesday, October 5, 2011

November is...

Oh, ugh! I promised myself I would never do this again... Every YEAR I promise, never again... But yep, it's that time of year. Time to think about NaNoWriMo!

For those of you unfamiliar with this form of torture, NaNoWriMo is short for "National Novel Writing Month." I've been partaking in it since 2003. Yes, if you count, that is 8 novels. Two years don't count, because I did not finish. So that is 6 novels. How many novels do I have in print now? Yeah, I know.

The problem with NaNo is that you write lots of crap. So then, when it is done, you have to wade through that crap and find the good stuff. You have to edit--A LOT. You need to use the left side of the brain, which I don't think I have, to tell you the truth...

In my quest to simplify life, there is one area I have been avoiding, and that is my writing. I kind of chose to ignore it, rather than deal with it. My writing life has always been so complicated and driven. It's a source of both enjoyment and stress. I love writing, but somehow it's been implanted in my head that the goal is NOT enjoyment, but publication. It must be a job, not a passion (and this advice is everywhere, so I'm sure other people struggle with this as well). You must write in this certain genre, and for God's sake, NOT in that genre or people will think you are a hack.

I used to write with reckless abandon, and not worry so much about publication at all. Sure, I wanted to get published, but it wasn't an all consuming thing. Now, it's like, "I love that story idea! Oh, but no one will want to publish that type of story..."

So November is going to be my time to just jump start myself, and get myself writing without thinking again. I might also write a series of short stories rather than a novel, and get my 50,000 words from there, but I haven't decided yet.

The weekend of simplifying my son's room went well. We have purged and sorted and containerized his whole room. I just need to conquer his books and pare them down to just the special ones. Oh, yes, and there is the top of the dresser which needs to be addressed. But so far, there hasn't been much mention of missing toys (you know, the things that "disappeared"), and he seems to be content playing with things he hadn't had a chance to in a while. It's nice that the visual clutter is all but gone in there, and hopefully we will see the benefits. I think we'll work on the downstairs next, which is hard with the herd of rabbits. But I am determined!

Eventually, we'll even get back to "school"... So far this year we've been doing some math and reading in the AM. Not that the Chief needs my to guide him through much more than that. He loves to read on his own about science and history, and we do a lot of other stuff so all the bases are covered. I do want to get back into our rhythm again and have a decent schedule.

My crocheting is going well. I'm trying to get my etsy inventory up so my shop gets noticed a bit more. Here is an outfit I just finished for a special order:

Today's goal: Do some school planning, and get going on the dining room. I don't have so very much to do in there. Maybe I'll even open the file of a story that just got rejected and see if there is anything I can do to fix it...


  1. When I think about me and writing, I picture a small woodland creature, perhaps a rabbit, tentatively sticking her nose out of her burrow, sniffing the air, inching her way out only to scurry back in and have to start the whole process over again.

    Viewing writing as "play" is the only way I've been able to give myself the courage to do it. If I think about it as a business or a potential path to financial gain (or at least break-even), that little woodland creature dives down her burrow in a jiffy.

    So for me, for now, NaNo works. Or at least it works for the month of November. Maybe if I get into a writing groove during the rest of the year, I won't feel a need for the kickstart that NaNo provides. I don't really think of NaNo as a way to write a novel that I'll eventually publish. It's like a writing vacation, a time to play and indulge and get to know characters. Of course, I think that if I thought of NaNo as a way to write a publishable novel, the spell would be broken.

    I don't get the impression this is necessarily your problem. You've been a lot more productive than I have over the past 8 years.

    When I was in high school, my dad told me that Ernest Hemingway (his literary hero and the inspiration, I think, for his mid-life crisis) wrote 1,000 words every day, regardless of whether he had an active project or not (I've never verified the accuracy of my dad's information). My writing prof in college said that I should be writing for 2 hours every day, about anything. I guess I've always just suspected that they must be right. I have faith in so little, that's something I can cling to. And if I can somehow combine the two ideas and have 2 hours of fun, playing at writing each day---wow. That would be pretty cool.

    And by the way, that baby set is stinking ADORABLE!

  2. I definitely am going about nano this time around as play. Ever since my hard drive died a couple years ago, I've been kind of discouraged (I lost EVERYTHING, other than a couple short stories and four chapters of one of my six novels) (yes, I was very VERY stupid and did not have things backed up--a problem I IMMEDIATELY remedied). I lost so many years worth of work, I can't even describe how I felt. It's hard to decide what to do, if I should move ahead with all new stuff or if I should try to re-create what I had before. It's kind of frozen me, I get so much anxiety over it. But I really am looking forward to November as a time when I can set myself free. So I would say that prior to the HD incident, things were rolling along WONDERFULLY, but after that, I think I just crashed and burned. Though getting the honorable mention for WOTF was a good pick-me-up :).

    Your dad was correct about Hemingway--1,000 words a day, every day. And two hours a day of fun is exactly how I want to look at it.

    It's funny, generally I don't think of myself as a real "cute" person (though I often want to be...), but doing these baby clothes is really fun. I guess it can be my cute outlet.