It always feels good to “win” NaNoWrimo

 

With six days to go in NaNoWriMo, I hit the 50,000 word plateau that brands me a winner and turns my NaNo progress bar purple.  The word count and purple bar shouldn’t mean much.  It doesn’t mean much.  What matters is getting the draft of a novel on paper.  It looks like I’ll need another 20k words for that but we’ll see.  Clearly, though, the end is in site and I’ve got the bones of what I think will be a great story, after a considerable amount of rubbing and polishing on my part.

I hope that your NaNo writing is going well and that you too, will be a winner.

NaNoWriMo: A Writing Opportunity

It’s that time of year again, when there’s lots of buzz about the upcoming NaNoWriMo event.  If you’re a writer, or a wannabe writer who hasn’t heard of it, National Novel Writing Month happens every November.  It an oft-misunderstood event by those who have never done it and a cherished experience by those who have.

The obvious goal of NaNoWriMo is what it takes to win – write 50,000 words in one month.  Winning, though, means getting a certificate that says you did it and as great as the feeling that comes from receiving it, the small size of this token of “winning”  should underscore the importance and value of this aspect of NaNoWriMo.  If “winning” on this level were the only goal, you could copy the first 50,000 words from a dictionary and submit it.  You would “win” but that’s hardly the point.

What is the point is skills acquisition – a specific skill.  Fiction writers need talent and imagination.  Writers need to understand grammar, and other writerly stuff.  But a person with perfect grammar and great imagination can never complete a novel without one other skill, a skill that most wannabe writers lack.  It’s the ability to put your butt in the chair to write on a regular basis.

We all mean well.  We plan, we think, we “have the story in our head.”  But we also have excuses for why it doesn’t get written.  Our “muse” isn’t cooperating.  We’re too busy.  Some even use “I’m such a procrastinator” as though this were some genetic disposition that explains it all.  The excuses don’t matter.  In the end, most well-intentioned people never complete even a first draft of a novel.

The truth is, writing regularly, and with purpose is an acquired skill, just like any other.  It must be acquired and doing it alone is difficult.  It must become a habit.  That’s where NaNoWriMo comes in.  Starting November 1st, tens of thousands of writers, like yourself, will launch themselves into an intense writing month, requiring a word production of 1667 words per day if you want to meet the 50k goal by November 31st.  Support is provided in many forms and with so many people in the same boat, doing the same thing, it is easier somehow.  NaNoWriMo lets you experience being a productive writer and, if you perservere, it will cause you to get that story that’s “in your head” down on paper.  It won’t be a polished novel at that point but it can be with some subsequent effort on your part.  Once the draft is written, the rest is much easier.  Many NaNoWriMo novels have been published and many more will be.  Maybe yours.

Sign up for NaNoWriMo.  It’s free, it’s fun.  And add me to your buddy list.  My NaNo name is larrym.

 

Cheers — Larry

 

What’s the Ultimate Writer Procrastination Tool?

I’ve found it…I’ve found it!!!  If you’re one of those writers who decides to wax the floor before they write, or if you are the sort needs to count the forks and knives before they write, I’ve got a better tool to assist you in your procrastination.  It’s guaranteed to help you avoid writing for days at a time.

What is this magical tool?  I’m glad you asked.  Home renovation, my friends.  It’s the ultimate procrastination tool.  You’ll get so caught up in it that you’ll forget the book you’re supposed to be writing.

I’m sitting in my living room, or what used to be my living room.  It contains but one piece of furniture – a sofa that is covered with a large drop cloth.  Everything else is stacked in our library and kitchen.  The living room looks as though a bomb went off in it and I feel as though I was in the room at the time.  We’re renovating.

We’ve spent the last two days ripping all the moldings off the wall, removing the flooring, and using a mean ugly tool called a sawz-all to remove part of a wall.  This was followed by a trip ‘to the dump, to the dump, to the dump dump dump’ (say it fast and you’ll get the proper cadence).  Then it was off to the big-box store, twice, to give them all our money and to make promises about giving up one of my kidneys and possibly a lung to pay for everything.

Since then we’ve been installing drywall, sanding, filling, rewiring, and rebuilding.  And, as I said, the room and adjacent hallway still looks like a bomb went off in them.  But, as they say, we’re making progress, and in another day or so we may even be able to start painting.  I think our daughter is searching for a new set of parents.  She’s not comfortable in the role of indentured servant.

I’ve given up all thoughts of writing and I think my hands are too sore to do it anyway.  So, if you’re looking for that ideal procrastination tool, renovation is just what you need.  Me, I sit, in my living room, on the sofa with the drop cloth, and I just felt the need to write.

Canada Post Strike Over – Author Happy

While I wasn’t happy with the way the Canadian government dealt with the Canada Post strike, it has come to an end.  This is significant to me as just before it happened, Amazon’s CreateSpace had shipped me a box of books…my book, Her Book of Shadows .

This is important because I have people waiting for these books, and they’ve had to be very patient as the books have been sitting in a Canada Post warehouse for several weeks.  But they’re here now and I can start sending them out.