Tag Archives: NaNoWriMo

Must…write…more…

At the Vancouver Pen Shop 92/365

Image by Carol Browne via Flickr

I had already decided to do National Novel Writing Month again this year, and had specifically taken the first week of November off and booked a trip to the beach in an attempt to get a jump on my word count.

(We interrupt this irregularly scheduled blogpost to explain.  NaNoWriMo challenges people to suck it up and finally write that book they’ve always said they would one day write…but you have to do it in 30 days, and it has to be at least 50,000 words.  It’s all about getting the story out of you and onto paper.  You can’t take the time to edit yourself during this time, because there isn’t enough time.  Just get it out and fix it later.  Now, back to our blog-)

Then I got laid off.  And I thought, “Great!  Now I have no excuses!  This will be my ‘job’ for the time being.”

Well, the time at the beach didn’t give me a good jump.  I had hoped to get around 20,000 words done in that week, so I could do less when I had less time.  I think I came home from the beach with about 5,000 words.  A good part of that failure was probably the mentality that I would have more time on my hands now, so didn’t have to get as much done in that week.   

In the time since, I have also not done fabulously well.  I’m at about 21,000 word right now.  Which means I need to bust out 3,000-4,000 words a day for the remainder of the month. 

Oye.

I did finally figure out the best way for me to write, though. 

  • I prefer headphones and music I don’t know very well, because if I know it too well I start singing along.  Ever try to write fiction while singing someone else’s words?  Yeah, not easy.  Also, the headphones help block out all other noise and thoughts.  Works pretty well.
  • I’ve learned to split up the words.  A thousand words in the morning.  Get up, do a few things, think on the scene, sit down a few hours later, do another thousand.  Get up, do a few things…  So far most of my scenes have been right around a thousand words, so it’s working out well.
  • I was introduced to Scrivener.  And it is…the coolest thing I never knew I was missing.  It’s evidently a Mac program, but they’ve come up with Scrivener for Windows, currently in beta.  I love it, and it’s so much easier to write in it than in Word, when when you’re writing 50,000 words, at least.  Scrivener for Windows is being released early next year, and they’re offering anyone who completes NaNoWriMo a 50% discount.  So, that’s definitely incentive.

Okay.  I’m 1500 words in today, have stopped to do a blog post, and now I’m going to go shower.  I’m planning on going for a run, then more writing.  Then dinner with the Fam, and more writing.  And hopefully I can hit my goal.

Anyone else doing NaNo?  What’s your word count?  Any words of wisdom or writing recommendations?

Under Pressure

I’ve found that I tend to do best under pressure. Deadlines don’t stress me out, they bring out the best in me. I’ve always been this way, all through school, especially college, and now, at work.

I was a history major in college, so I always had a ton of multi-page research papers to write. I would write some of it early on, but then would wait until the night before it was due to pound it out. And I always got A’s. I perform well under pressure, focusing, becoming more decisive and concise, and my mind doesn’t wander as much.

Same thing now, at work. The more I have to do, the more I get done. If I have 25 things on my plate, I’ll get 20 done. If I have 6 things on my plate, I’m lucky to get 1 done. I think, oh, I’ll get to that in a minute, because there’s plenty of time and not too much to do. But I never actually do get around to it.

I do it at home. Oh, I know I need to vacuum, and mop, I’ll get to that later. Then, I’m expecting guests, and I get it all done. And I wonder why I don’t simply Do It when I think of it.

I’ve tried imposing deadlines on myself, but they just don’t work. I know it’s not a “real” deadline, so I don’t perform as well. I need an actual solid, valid deadline, with true consequences, to fully perform. I’ve tried imposing monetary rewards and consequences on myself, but (a) I don’t have the money to reward myself properly, and (b) if I fail, I simply won’t pay myself the consequence. It’s not real.

My mind wanders too much when I’m not busy. That’s why I’ve been considering a second job. Just something to keep me active, with the added bonus of helping me pay off some bills. But the only place I’m interested in working is a bookstore. I don’t want to wait tables, I don’t want to work “regular” retail. I figure, if I’m going to be working an extra 20-30 hours a week, I at least want to do something I don’t hate. And being surrounded by books all the time, I would love that.

Also looking at possibly taking a class at the community college. Maybe Basketweaving? Kidding, of course. I’d love to take a photography class, but alas, I’m still lacking my Dream Camera. I could take something that would “further my career” in order to be reimbursed by the company. I’m thinking about some legal classes, that would fit the bill.

I’ve been planning on doing NaNoWriMo  again this year. I have a ton of vacation days I still need to take, so thought I would use some then. And I do better with things like that, brings out a little bit of my competitive spirit.

What about you? What kinds of rewards and consequences do you impose on yourself to get things done? Any suggestions on how to impose personal deadlines on myself?

Techno-Curse

I think I pissed off the Tech Gods.  Not only was my internet out for a week, but the thumb drive that held my NaNoWriMo book and most of my new business venture stuff crashed…or whatever it is thumb drives do.  So, needless to say, I’m not winning NaNoWriMo this year. 

So, my internet has been going in and out for a while now.  Then, it just died completely.  I thought maybe the cable modem went out, so I went up to the cable company and exchanged the modem.  But that wasn’t the problem.  Monday night The Pilot tried hooking up the new modem, with no luck.  He called the cable company and did the troubleshooting while I cooked dinner – thank god, because I hate doing troubleshooting, and really hate troubleshooting computer stuff.  Nothing worked though, so they set up a tech to come out and take a look.

I groaned.  I was trying so hard to avoid having a tech out.  Why?  Not because of the god-awful hours that they make you wait.  No, I could deal with that.  But I’ve been getting cable for free for a while now (not stealing, mind you – they just never came out to turn it off when I cancelled it) and I was worried the cable guy would switch it off while he was here.  But, internet is far more important than cable, and I can watch TV on the internet, so I figured I’d deal.

So, cable guy came out, found a bad splitter BEHIND the wall plate (I always thought it was a splitter issue, I just didn’t think it would be one I couldn’t see), and I have internet again.

And I still have cable. 🙂

So, now I’m catching up on everything online related.  And mourning the loss of a thumb drive.

Life gets in the way

As someone pointed out, I haven’t been blogging lately.  There’s a variety of reasons for that – in no particular order:  NaNoWriMo, computer problems (I think my wireless router is dying – do they do that?), some minor medical concerns (and tests),  some semblence of a dating life (things with The Pilot are good, thank you for asking), and (drumroll please) I’ve been working on starting a part-time business.

More info soon, I promise. 

On another note, a sad good-bye to my friend over at Angst & Fiction.  She has decided to move on to a more anonymous blog.  She will be missed, and I hope I stumble across her new blog in the future.

National Novel Writing Month

I decided to do NaNoWriMoagain this year.  So, of course, I’m starting out the month by procrastinating and writing a blog post instead of actually starting my novel.

NaNoWriMo challenges you to write 50,000 words between November 1 and November 30.  I tried doing it a couple of times, but would only get about 2000 words in before giving up.  Except for 2006, when I “won.”  It actually didn’t turn out half bad, if I do say so myself…now if I could just buckle down and edit the thing, fill it out, and submit it to a publisher. 

Winning doesn’t get you a publishing deal, or a monetary reward, simply the satisfaction of being able to say you wrote a novel in 30 days.  Oh, and it makes you actually buckle down and write, rather than saying, “I’ll get around to writing someday…” 

Anyway, I’m going to work on it again this November, see if I can’t write another novel, and maybe actually do something with it.  Interested in trying it out yourself?  Let me know, we can be writing buddies!