Monthly Archives: November 2013

The Need for Speed

After taking a break from NaNoWriMo for a couple of years, I decided I would throw myself into it with reckless abandon (the only kind of abandon I know how to do) this year. And I did. I had a handful of characters, a vague idea for a plot, a lot of ideas of overall structure, and lots of imagery floating around in my head. I launched into the story on November 1 and was loving the process of writing, as well as getting to know the NaNoWriMo community in Lawrence.

And then a life crisis involving my finances and my general inability to handle my money dropped into my lap, knocking the wind out of my NaNoWriMo momentum. I had to prioritize what I was dealing with and dropped out of NaNoWriMo. I wasn’t happy, but sometimes being an adult and dealing with your fuck-ups is the more important thing to do.

But I still have an interest in writing the story I started, and I want to keep writing. (It helps that I read an excerpt from my story to a group of strangers last night at my library’s NaNoWriMo Finale Party, only to be told by four or five people, “You have a very strong writing voice. Don’t stop!”) Waiting until November 2014 to take another stab at it seems stupid–who knows what my interest level in this story will be in a year’s time? It makes more sense to keep at it now. Should I take it slower, writing maybe 350-750 or so words a day along the lines of Chuck Wendig’s idea?

I’ve been pondering it and I’ve realized that with my ADHD, easily distracted brain, I usually lose steam and interest on long-term projects. Spending a year on the first draft of a novel pretty much guarantees I won’t finish it. I think the answer is to do my own novel writing month, give myself a 30-31 day deadline, and thrash out a rough draft as quickly as possible, then take time to revise it, revise it, and revise it some more.

January seems like a good month to do this, so…I guess I better crank my laptop up to 11 and get ready to rock out with my word count out. (That doesn’t rhyme, but nobody wants to think of me writing with my cock out. Even if I’m writing without pants.)


Confessions About Reading and Writing

Confession #1: When I read fiction a friend has written, I think, “Holy crap! Did they really write this? How did they do that?”

Confession #2: When I read fiction I’ve written, even the crappy stuff, I think, “Holy crap! Did I really write this? How did I do that?”

Confession #3: While fiction writing is clearly an art and a craft, I also think it’s powerful magic.

Confession #4: When I say writing is a kind of magic, I’m not speaking figuratively.