Thursday, November 9, 2017

Day 9

This post almost didn't happen. Today was a "no good, horrible, extra cranky, I-want-to-move-to-Australia," kind of morning. And that pretty much sums up my feelings about my manuscript (book? screenplay? I just want to write my story).

I am no stranger to feeling like giving up, so I went to my Nanowrimo inbox and the top item was a pep talk. Perfect. Then this quote made me laugh and a glimmer of hope has been restored.

"...move faster into the future. The world is full of people who say it can’t be done. If everyone listened to them, we’d still live in caves—and there would be no such thing as books."
- Dean Koontz

There is no one actively criticizing my book-writing efforts except myself. My inner critic is far rougher on me than any real critic will probably ever be. It says, "You can't do this. It's no good. You're no good. You'll never finish. Even if you do finish you'll never get published. You can't write. Ha ha ha ha ha."

How do I respond to my inner critic? This is me pushing the delete button. Delete. Delete. Delete. Deep breath.

"Wherever you are, keep moving forward." This was the title of the second message in my Nanowrimo inbox. And also a theme in my devotions lately. And something Tea has to deal with.

When I started prepping for Nanowrimo this year, I promised God that I would show up every day. That's it. I did it. Today I showed up. And I have each of these 9 days (except not Sunday), despite only having a few hundred new words. Just looking at my word count yesterday almost made me want to give up.

But I am still here. And I'll be back tomorrow too. So there.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Day 7

I found these suggestions from "Spec Scripts 101" by Ray Morton encouraging.

That's it for today.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Day 3

I know where I want to end up but have trouble getting started. As in writing, so in life. I am afraid of rewriting the beginning so much that it loses all appeal. My ending has not changed in substance since the very first draft, but I have started my book what feels like a hundred ways. This time, as I rework it and rework it, I see it coming to life. Detail by detail, I think, "Yes, this is how the story should go."

I hope my readers feel the same.

I feel better this Nanowrimo, flexing my writing muscles, such as they are, and feeling more confident and encouraged by knowing that a novel is a lot of work. The first Nanowrimo I was trying to clilmb Everest without any gear or training. This year, I am more seasoned. I am no longer as naive about what it takes, but I have not given up. Everest, here I come!

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Day 2

"I am not able, and I do not want, completely to abandon the world-view that I acquired in childhood. So long as I remain alive and well I shall continue to feel strongly about prose style, to love the surface of the earth, and to take pleasure in solid objects and scraps of useless information. It is no use trying to suppress that side of myself."
- George Orwell, Why I Write

I must confess that I checked this book out because I confused my Georges and thought that this was the one who was a woman writing under a man's name. Turns out, that is George Eliot and this is the George who wrote 1984. In my defense, there is also a George Sand who was a woman too. So it seems that George is a popular first name for many authors, male and female. But since I checked out the book, I read the essay of interest anyway. I do not understand the politics that were riveting in his day, but I still found a gem or two for my quote collection about writing.

"All writers are vain, selfish and lazy, and at the very bottom of their motives there lies a mystery. Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some (instinct) whom one can neither resist nor understand."
- George Orwell, Why I Write

Ah yes. This describes my experience so far with noveling. But still, one of my smallest joys in life is a true-in-my-life, well-written paragraph.

P.S. I also rose at 5 am today, despite staying up until 10 am last night trying to catch up. Yesterday ended with 531. This is why I am now snoozy at 4:26 pm.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Day 1

Yes, I did get up at 5:00 am, only to discover that my husband and my daughter were also awake. So it was a party of three in our bedroom as I opened my computer and typed 49 words. Yes, 49. That is my grand total so far for today. And that also counts an hour of writing while my daughter was in preschool, so this morning was probably something like 15.

But all was not in vain. I am simultaneously writing and learning about writing: setting, character descriptions, and plot points. I love dialogue, making me wonder if I should do a screenplay instead. In the end, it came down to a book because I feel like (perhaps erroneously) they have a longer life and more earning potential. Noble hmm? But there it is. This blog is to keep me honest in the future. :)

While I was sitting at lunch (cold cereal), I received a moment of clarity and the first three plot points of my novel rearranged themselves in my mind, connecting some previously separate events. Yay. With these three scenes in mind, hopefully I will reach that special number of words -1667- tonight. The plus about the early morning writing plan is that I can fall back on the evening writing plan in case of disasters. Or morning fog.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Nanowrimo 2017 The Plan

I love a good plan. Maybe even a bad one. Having a map in front of me with stops and fun all planned is something I find exhilarating. Even if I never follow it again, I enjoy making a plan. However, I do intend to follow this one because my life is such right now that if I don't make time for Nanowrimo then I will not be victorious this month. And more than crossing the 50k mark, I want to, hope to, finish a working draft of my novel, the same novel I have been working on for three years and dreaming of since 2007, or perhaps all my life. 2017 is my year of yes. Yes I will finish. Yes I will make the adjustments necessary in my life to do this. Yes I will relax and have fun and not sweat the small stuff. Yes I will let it go if my kids want to play or my husband wants to talk or we have a spontaneous family movie night. Because I know my spontaneous family (and self!), I have decided that there is only one time when no one will need me.

5 am.

Yes, this is my plan. To pry myself out of bed, or at least prop myself up for an hour of writing in the morning. My motto will be: I have the rest of my life to sleep. 30 days of 5 am. I can do this.... zzzzz..... This will not be me. :)

The delicious quiet of an early morning. And the advantage over night time writing (my first Nanowrimo plan) is that I will not be tired. At least not once I wake up properly.

So in order to wake up at 5 am (I am thinking as I write), I will need to go to bed at 8 pm. I am a 9 hour baby. Somewhere along the way I discovered that 8 hours is not enough for me, along with the fact that it takes me awhile to unwind and fall asleep.

8 pm bedtime.

This means also getting my kids to bed at 8 pm. Which means last snack at 7 pm, and supper at 4 pm. Those are our normal times but we slid out of them this summer and have yet to get back. Plus the fact that my son, now 8 years old, wants a 9 pm bedtime.

So my evenings have less down time because I am constantly prodding children along the path to bed, but the overall rewards are great if I can do it.

Go me! And please help me, Lord. Without you, my efforts will not be crowned with success.

P.S. One thing I forgot. I am hoping and working toward 50,000 new words this Nanowrimo. As of today, I have 30,066 words.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The Cracks My Writing Falls Into

I found this phrase in my old writing files that I am sorting and deleting. It describes perfectly how my writing time slides in and fills the edges of my life. It reminds me of these pictures of Japanese pottery, although I go back and forth about which is the gold and which is the clay. My attitude and I are also a work in progress.

Photo: Wikipedia