Friday, November 6, 2009


Day One (Sunday) = I have the day off, so it's easier to fit in time to write.  I write furiously and quickly, thrilled to be starting.  I am clever and funny, and my characters are interesting.  Minimum number of words to stay on track: 1,667.  I write 2,766 and feel invincible.

Day Two (Monday) = Back to work, I have to fit in writing afterwards, during time I'd normally spend cleaning the kitchen and watching tv.  I am not in the mood to write, but I do it anyway, because I HAVE TO, that's the whole point.  I don't like what I've written.  Goal number of words today: 3,334 total.  I've written 3,837.  I'm proud of myself for doing something.

Day Three (Tuesday) = What the hell am I doing?  Everything I've written so far is terrible!  I realize that, even though I've spent my whole life reading books and even have a degree in Journalism, I have NO IDEA how to write a novel.  Goal:  5,001 words total.  I somehow make it to 5,274, determined to keep going.

Day Four (Wednesday) = I look desperately at books by Wally Lamb, Jennifer Crusie, Sue Grafton and Andrew Vachss.  I realize I have been plowing through using only action and dialogue, and have described nothing.  Everything I have written so far really IS wrong.  I go back and add descriptions to what I've already written.  Goal: 6,668.   I'm now up to 6935 words total, just by adding basic description that I had stupidly forgotten about before.  I'm a moron.

Day Five (Thursday) = Okay, maybe I am at least going in the right direction, even if I still feel mighty floundery.  I write a couple of small scenes where nothing much happens, and yell at my inner critic who keeps trying to convince me that it's not okay to write scenes that are not big and dramatic.  I write about my main character having a conversation with a co-worker on a break, and about her trying on new clothes, and I try to make the scenes really show who she is, and tell my stupid brain critic to shut up.  My husband says it's really good, and the best stuff I've written so far.  I feel like I am learning.  Goal: 8,335.  I've written 8,641 words.

Overall, so far NaNoWriMo is AWESOME.  :D


  1. this is so exciting! but please banish that inner critic to outer space. she can come back after november 30, if you choose to revise. right now, you're getting it down and you're doing great! yes, you are funny and awesome!

    don't you love going back and layering in detail and description? it's like you're looking at the scene in your mind's eye and seeing stuff you hadn't noticed before. enjoy!

  2. You are such a good writer, even when you're writing about not being a good writer!!

    One thing that works well for me (a tip from another, better, writer, years ago...) is this:

    Just put down what you want to say.

    Do not worry if it's a mess and all over the place so long as your idea remains intact (and is legible;).

    Ninety percent of writing is re-writing. That's a hard truth, but there it is.

    Again, the important thing is to just get it down and then go back later and tidy it up, if necessary. I get some of my best ideas when I close my eyes and just type.

    I'm no novelist, but these are little bits that help me along when I write. I hope you can find a use for them too!

    I am so excited for you.

    Good thoughts from...

  3. Kudos to you for taking this on Ellen! What you're doing would scare the pants offa me! (I guess that's why I paint and don't try to write). The most important part? You're excited and having a good time! Squash that critic like a bug and keep enjoying the process. Imagine how much easier the NEXT one is going to be!

  4. Angella ~ I'm doing my best to banish the inner critic. This is one of the things that I am liking about the whole Nano attitude, I'm supposed to just keep writing unquestioningly, and fix it later. But so far everything I have written is bare bones at first, then I go back and picture it in my mind and add all the detail. You're right, it's fun! Thank you so much for your encouragement!

    Tracey ~ That is good advice, and I'm going to remember it. Keep it basic at first to get it down, and go back later to revise. And, weirdly, I love editing and proofreading and revising, that's typically my favorite part. Although I've never done it for a whole novel.
    I really appreciate your advice and your good thoughts. Thank you!

    Deborah ~ Ha, the next one! That's so true. Thank you! :D


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