Thursday, November 26, 2015

Against All Odds

I did it!

In this moment of celebration, I don't care that it may be the worst novel ever written, because the important thing is that it exists. I have pushed myself this month, sometimes beyond endurance, through late nights and packing and moves and no internet. I have written on my computer, my husband's computer, my phone, my whiteboard, and every scrap of paper I came across.
Now I am done. DONE. The novel that has existed in my head in bits and pieces since 2007 has a first draft. It exists. What an amazing feeling. Thank you, Lord, for leading me to Nanowrimo! It's amazing what a little competition can do, even if it's just with yourself. :)
So happy.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The Worst and the Worst and the Awful

" order to create a world and populate it and make it real, we have to believe that we’ve got something amazing on our hands.

But it’s hard to sustain that belief through the grind that is necessary to actually make the idea real.

And if it helps, remember: this is what makes you a writer. Yes, this. The sick feeling in your stomach, the weariness you feel, the utter conviction that you are the Worst and your novel is the Worst and everything is awful."

- N.K. Jemisin, author of The Fifth Season, in a Nanowrimo pep talk.

That about sums it up. 10k words to go and I have no idea what to write. I'm down to describing my setting and characters. Remind me again, why am I doing this? My story is one gigantic mess. Even my husband's computer doesn't know how many pages long this draft is. Eventually it settled on 93. As a fan of fat books, I may only be 1/2 there, especially considering what I'll probably delete. Technically, I'm on draft 8 or 9. My very first draft was so pathetic not even I could stand it. This glorious idea in my head seems to disappear when I try to get it onto paper. I never knew what a terrible fiction writer I am. Thank-you ambition and Nanowrimo.

I had no idea how much work it takes to:

1) Write 50k semi-coherent words
2) Figure out a plot
3) Describe characters and settings and rules in non-boring, non-dumptruck ways
4) Show not tell
5) Just complete the crazy thing
6) Rewrite and
7) Not just delete everything I've ever written

So this is me, facing the Chasm of Doubt, as Jemisin calls it.

Will I jump or walk away?

Monday, November 23, 2015

Netflix My Nemesis

NCIS... Twelve seasons!

Bones... Season 10

7 days left of Nanowrimo. 12k words to go. No laptop. A different country. Thanksgiving. I can do this. Suck it up, Buttercup, one more week.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Things I Will Remember

I won't remember the sleep I didn't get,  but I will remember the novel I didn't write.

So wait for me, pillow, I will see you after 300 more words.

My NaNoWriMo Hacks

1) Give up Netflix. Limit Facebook and Twitter to potty breaks.

2) Know what scene I need to write next so the waterfall of my mind can be working during the mundane moments. I started doing this in college since I studied and worked full time. Just knowing what I had to write about next let me collect ideas and be working on it before I actually sat down to write.

3) Use my whiteboard if I get stuck, and my mom's classic technique, start with what you know. By the time I write down where I'm at and what I know, I usually have some ideas for what's next.

4) Lock up my inner editor, my grammar nazi, my perfectionist, and my lazy self, and give myself permission to be terrible, as long as I keep writing. Also, I may not think about how many of these words I will delete later.

5) Pat the cat. 20 seconds lowers blood pressure.

6) Tell the parts where I'm stuck to my son. He likes it if I add him in, but it helps me think of more action, less dialogue. A 6 year old doesn't care about who said what.

7) Write on my phone if necessary. Thumb typing is better than no typing. Like this blog post. Asleep daughter is paralyzing my right arm, the cat is on my stomach, and my left arm is falling asleep. But my mind is free.

8) Look for the funny everyday. I'm not a comedic writer, but much of life is a bit ridiculous, really. Did you know that Congress passed a Paperwork Reduction Act in 1980, and amended it in 1995? I only know this because I spend a lot of my life doing paperwork.

9) Think up excuses but work anyway. I'm tired. I have kids and a job. I'm moving. Then I tell myself, "Suck it up, buttercup."

Monday, November 9, 2015

No Writing is Wasted leads to the good stuff.

and other quotes from NaNoWriMo (tweets and blog)

A professional author is an amateur who didn't quit.

When you get stuck in a story, find the vein and write from there (my paraphrase)

Nanowrimo helps you get the writing factory of your life set up (my paraphrase)

What can your character do at the end that he/she couldn't at the beginning? That's character growth.

That’s why this feels hard. It matters. And how beautiful is that? Stephanie Perkins (

(Sorry that some of these aren't properly attributed. Can't find the articles fast and have no time, it's NaNoWriMo! Have to get writing...)

Thursday, November 5, 2015

What I Was Created For

This article is one of the best pieces I've ever read.

We do things as children that we love, and then we forget. We let practical overcome beautiful and we live in disbelief that Jesus can provide for us. We swallow the lie that we have to look out for ourselves or no one will.

But the goal is intimacy with Christ, not performance, just being connected to the vine, because He is all we need.

When I was little, I loved to write. I am just getting back to that, and as the author says, I feel like I've found myself. I may print this and frame it.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Second Day

Paraphrase of a quote on Nanowrimo's twitter:

"It's not about the idea, but the execution."

I like that because it's hard to be original, but I can focus on writing well instead.

2035 words in and more coming during Naptime Power Hour. Ha ha.