Monday, November 30, 2009



I am so proud of myself!  Writing 50,000 words in one month is a huge and difficult goal, and I did it!  Not only that, but I have rediscovered my love of writing, and I am positively JOYFUL.

My novel isn't finished at 50,000 words and I can't wait to finish it.  I have stumbled through this, having no idea at all how to write a novel.  I've figured a few things out along the way, I think.  I will be thrilled to finish my first draft, which will be a pretty big mess, and then go to work on the second draft, which will be awesome. 

I hit 50,000 words on Sunday night, and called my husband over to the computer to watch the NaNo site verify my win and give me a winner's certificate.  Then we celebrated with champagne and Chinese take-out.


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Tomorrow my husband and I will go eat turkey and stuffing at his father's house, with his stepmother and his sisters and their families.  I only have to make a couple of pumpkin pies for us to take, so I'm getting off relatively easy.

NaNoWriMo is going great!  As of today I am exactly on schedule, as far as how many words I need to have written, and I broke 40,000.  The thing is, I won't be at the end of my novel when I get to 50,000 (which hopefully I will do by next Monday).

I am starting to really fall in love with my characters.  I am way behind on listening to podcasts as I normally do on my long daily commute, all I want to to is listen to Lily Allen and Adele and daydream about what's going to happen next in my novel.  Yesterday I was working on a fairly emotional scene, and I got so caught up in it I had trouble eating.

I still feel like the actual writing itself is not very good.  That's during the times where I am not completely convinced it's the best thing anybody has ever written.  It's been a dramatic month, at least, in my head.  :)

I am thankful for NaNoWriMo, and I'm thankful for my husband being so supportive and picking up all the slack with household chores that I haven't had time to do, and reading what I write every day, and telling me I'm awesome.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

NaNoWriMo week 2

Ack!  I'm behind, I'm behind!

This week has been challenging.  I hit some kind of terrible invisible wall of nothingness, up against which my brain would not function.  Words?  What are words?

Arg.  I've been trying not to get too obsessed with my word count, but it's hard.  And did I mention?  I'm behind!

I put up a little word counter thingie over on the right hand side, so you can see exactly how bad or how good I am doing.  It updates each time I update my word count.  If -- WHEN -- I do make it to 50,000 words by midnight on November 30, the little "participant" will turn into "winner".

I have to stop writing this and go write that!


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

Monday, November 2, 2009

Someday is NOW

I've been thinking about what is really important for me to get done during the remainder of my ever shortening lifetime.  Okay, sure, that sounds pretty dark and pessimistic, but it's true.  So I'm paring down my list of "someday"s to the ones that really matter to me. 

One of the main things I had always planned to do was write a novel.  I love to write.  I wrote my first short story in the third grade, and it was actually quite long for a third-grader, it was around 10 pages written out, had several different chapters and lots of illustrations drawn in the margins.  All through elementary school and high school I wrote short stories and essays and I loved it, and I got lots of praise from my teachers.  By contrast, I never ever ever EVER got anything remotely resembling praise from any of my math teachers.  Or my gym teachers.  Or my science teachers, or geography, or history...

In college I majored in English, until one semester when I got fed up with being forced to take classes about reading Chaucer, or Beowulf, or Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.  I love reading and I read all the time, but I could only take so much of that.  I'd already taken all the English department's writing classes, so I switched to a Journalism major when I realized that it would let me spend more time actually studying writing.

But after I graduated and didn't have any deadlines pushing me, I pretty much stopped writing.  I've enjoyed the little bits of writing I've done here and there (such as this blog) but I have always wanted to write a novel.  Thinking about writing an entire novel is pretty intimidating, at least to me, and I kept putting it off.  So, I have decided to do...


Yay.  If you've never heard of it, you can go here for more info:  Basically it's NAtional NOvel WRIting Month, and part of its purpose is to kick dumbasses like me into gear and make us actually write something. 

From their site:  National Novel Writing Month is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing November 1. The goal is to write a 175-page (50,000-word) novel by midnight, November 30.  Valuing enthusiasm and perseverance over painstaking craft, NaNoWriMo is a novel-writing program for everyone who has thought fleetingly about writing a novel but has been scared away by the time and effort involved.  Because of the limited writing window, the ONLY thing that matters in NaNoWriMo is output. It's all about quantity, not quality. The kamikaze approach forces you to lower your expectations, take risks, and write on the fly.

I am SO excited.  To finish 50,000 words in 30 days works out to be 1,667 words per day.  On my first day I wrote 2,766.  I'm ahead, woo hoo!  To be fair, that first day was a Sunday, so I had the day off.  Plus there was an extra hour because of the time change.  But honestly, I have always been so intimidated at the very thought of writing a whole novel, just getting started was thrilling.  I have already worked out characters and an outline, so I have a specific direction to go.

I just hope I can keep it up, working full time (not to even mention my two hour a day commute, ugh) is going to mean I have a relatively narrow window of time each day to write, and I am going to have to do it every day or I'll get hopelessly behind.

Here I go, wish me luck!!