Chasing Inspiration

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Et Tu, Nano?

Well, it's November 30th and I went through my word count for the month and came up with a whopping 13,000 words. And that's including what I've hand written

At first blush, I'm disappointed. I knew I wasn't going to make my 50,000 word goal, but I thought I would at least break 20,000. Nope. Didn't even break 15,000.

I stopped and read through what I had written. It's pretty good stuff, if I do say so myself. I've learned through this that I can write without an outline and I can get a lot done in a short amount of time. Not only that, but what I write, when I go from the gut, can be quite good.

I also realized that this month was heavy with things that took my focus away from writing. I didn't handle that as I had hoped I could handle it, but I think I've learned that sometimes life is going to get in the way. And it's okay. The key is to pick up the pieces quickly after and to keep moving foward.

I've also learned that it's easy to get out of a habit, but that once I'm in a daily writing habit, I don't spend as much time trying to find the story again when I finally do sit down to write. I know, it's a "Duh" moment, but sometimes it takes me a little while to get the hang of things. And even though I've learned this lesson, that doesn't mean I'm going to live it. I'm rather, um, bad that way, lol.

I guess, all in all NANO was a good experience. I didn't reach my goal. But I learned things I don't think I would have learned if I had been successful with my goal. Isn't that what life is about? How you live the journey, not necessarily where you end up? No? Well, it sounds good anyway.

Monday, November 13, 2006

And So It Goes...

I had all these plans of writing this weekend. I carved out time. I made sure the house was clean (well, relatively clean). I even had a few crock pot meals going so I didn't have to spend much time cooking dinner.

Then I remembered I had an all day engagement on Saturday. I was presenting a training at church for the children's ministry volunteers. Okay, so I needed to spend some time prepping for that and would be training all day. There were two videos in the training. I could write during those and over lunch. No problem.

Except I hadn't copied enough handouts for the morning session so had to use my "writing" time to make and organize copies. I still had lunch, right? Um, not really. Just as I had pulled out my AlphaSmart, my phone rang. So-and-So couldn't make it to the afternoon session, would I hold another session? Yes, I would be holding future sessions, but not until after Christmas. Let me take your name and put you on my list of people to connect with in the new year.

My tummy started growling so I left, picked up some hideous fast food and came back. I still had 30 minutes. I could get a couple of pages written in 30 minutes. Except someone stopped in and wanted to know how the training was going and was I going to hold future sessions. Being the nice and accommodating person that I am, I chatted for a bit, let my hideous fast food become vile by getting cold and took something for the headache that was brewing behind my eyes.

The next time I checked the clock, it was time to get the space ready for my afternoon session. There went my writing time. By the time I went home, I was exhausted. Don't get me wrong, I love training! And coaching. And having intellectual dialogues in general. But I have this goal to finish a rough draft of my current book by the end of November and something always seems to get in the way of that goal. Good things, but they get in the way nonetheless.

I just did my word count and I'm at 6500 words. Okay, that's more than I was at this time last week, but I'm still in the first third of the story.

I know, I know. Quit whining, Naomi! If this goal means so much to me, I need to find a way to make it happen. I know that life is not going to stand still while I work on my Great American Novel, so maybe I need to adjust my goal. Maybe my goal is not to have the book finished but to spend 30 minutes a day working on moving this draft forward. Can I do 30 minutes a day? Most days, yes. I write this and I feel some of the tension releasing inside me. Goals sometimes have to change. Or timelines adjust. And that's okay. It doesn't mean I have to give up on the goal or dream. Which is what I usually do.

So that's my learning moment for the day. Nano, you have not beaten me!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

NaNo - Week 2

NaNo writers all over the world have started week two of the challenge. According to the website, if you are on track, one should have 14,000 to 17,500 words written by now. The theory is ramping up when the energy is high to make up for potential loss of momentum as the month progresses.

Here is my current word count - 5500.

Yup, you read it. I'm way below the halfway point if I had been following the advice of the NaNo gods.

Am I worried. No, not really. My word count is not my primary concern this month. My goal was/is to write every day. And to not go back and edit. The ultimate goal is to have a skeleton draft finished that I can then finesse into a solid and compelling novel.

Still, seeing those numbers gives me a little angst. I am a wee bit competetive, after all. I guess I need to let that go and concentrate on moving forward at my pace. It isn't a race. And it isn't about comparing my success with someone else's. It's about me doing the best I can do in this moment.

Sometimes I scare myself with my insightfulness. *grin*

I have added a couple of new links to my blog. My friend Rayna Vause has a website dedicated to her writing. She is not published, but I have hopes that she will be. She's very active in her RWA chapter and she has a wonderful writing voice. Check her out!

Publishing industry insider and research Dee Power, co-author of the book "The Making of a Bestseller: Success Stories From Authors and the Editors, Agents and Booksellers Behind Them" has a very insightful blog on the publishing industry.Check her out as well. I haven't read her book but have added it to my list at the library.

Other than that, I have decided to embark on a low carb diet, exercise more and clean my house in that way that is often reserved for the dreaded spring cleaning. Never mind that it's November and I hate exercise and have become a lazy couch potato. And have so many other commitments that it makes my head spin. Apparently, I either don't know how to say no or I'm using these things to avoid something. Gee, I wonder what I could be avoiding? Oh, perhaps this book I'm writing? And the family angst that's hanging like a cloud over us? Nah, couldn't be that.

Okay, kids. It's back to work for me. And not the writing kind. I still have that pesky day job. Well, at least it pays the bills. *grin*

Stay well and be blessed!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

NaNoWriMo - AKA My Voluntary Hell

I decided that for the current wip I was going to use NaNoWriMo as a means of jump starting the story. You know, get out of my head and get it on paper. Um, okay. Sure.

It's been a week. I have written a total of 20 pages or roughly 5000 words. The goal of NaNo is to write 50,000 words in the month of November. Which is basically a nice rough draft. One could jump up and down and say - you're a quarter of the way there, Naomi. Good for you!

And I would jump up and down, except my life has taken this lovely turn. My step-father in law is dying. My cheque book is a mess. Work is becoming busier not falling into the normal November/December lull. Things at church are gaining momentum. And then there's the husband. All this stuff is taking time. Necessary time, but time away from writing. My fear is that I'm going to get to the end of November and only have these 5000 words to show for it.

I know that's my insecurity talking and if I only dedicated 30 minutes a day I could still whip out a couple of pages. Yes, I'm learning through this that I do have it in me to be a fast writer. I'm sure most of it is dreck, but I can go back an fix it when it's on paper, I hope.

Why am I doing this again? Oh right. I have this crazy dream of one day being a published author and then making a career out of writing. And how does one become a published author? One writes a solid, compelling book and somehow manages to get that book into the hands of an agent or an editor or both. But first, you have to write that story. And then keep writing compelling stories.

That's why I'm putting myself through the hell I call NaNoWriMo. And whether I have 5000 words or 100,000 words, I have moved closer to that goal. Keep reminding me that, okay? Thanks!