Tuesday, November 19, 2013

NaNoWriMo Gives Good Goals

NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) holds a special place in my heart.  It helped me write until the story was done.  NaNo helped turn me from a writer into an author.

This is day 19 of NaNo.  At 29,500 I am a little behind, but nothing that I can't get caught up on tonight with a little help from a plot bunny and a glass of wine.  I would go into the connection with writing and alcohol, but I think that is a musing for another time. (Bottles of wine are welcome gifts.)

I have read many blogs over the past couple of weeks.  If you are looking for some top quality NaNoWriMo reading I highly recommend Chuck Wendig's Terrible Minds Blog.  Much hilarity and awesome advice.

I just had to add my voice to the NaNoWriMo buzz.

I have heard many people saying that NaNo doesn't work. That it's not conducive to "REAL" writing.  If you ask me...real writing happens in a lot of different ways.

What works for me? I need deadlines.  I need progress bars.  I need someone on my ass asking "Why the hell are you on Facebook?"

Here's the bottom line.  There is NO writing style or technique that makes everyone explode words onto the page.  There is no "right" way to do this whole author thing. 

Something NaNoWriMo does, and does well, is it makes you set a concrete goal.  There is no wiggle room in that 50k goal.  You have to copy/paste your words into a verification tool to make sure your 50k is the same as everyone else's 50k. 

When you tell yourself you want to "get some work done", or "make the document cleaner", or "get my WIP ready to submit", what does that mean?  Well it means you will probably never be done, that's what.  Or at least that's what it meant to me.

When I realized that there was a specific goal of actual words that I had to meet...wow...did that change things. 

Once I set this 50k goal, and met it, I set another goal.  Then another one. 

The big goal I set for myself at the beginning of this year was, I wanted to submit two manuscripts to publishers before the end of 2013.  I have done that, and now have my first book published and the second one in process.  That never would have happened if I hadn't done that first NaNoWriMo novel. 

I am a seat of my pants writer.  There is nothing more inspiring to me than a blank page.  I love looking at all that white and watching it fill up with words that I try and catch with my fingers.  NaNoWriMo works for me.

Does it work for you?  Only one way to find out.  Set the goal.  Work towards it.  Even if you fail, you now know one technique that does not work for you.  Then it's just time to set the next goal.

My next goal is to finish up this manuscript 1667 words at a time.  If you want to watch me stumble and get back up again you can add me as a buddy on NaNoWriMo.org.  Or you  can check out the word count widget at the bottom of my website home page at RoxyRocksMe.com.

I am off to write.  I have goals to meet.


Friday, November 1, 2013

National Novel Writing Month! Time for Coffee, Ordering In, and Frantic Word Slinging.

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo for short) is one of those strange phenomena that illustrates a simple plan creating an extraordinary outcome.

I have seen many blogs and people talking about why NaNoWriMo is ridiculous.

"You should be doing this every month!  Taking only one month out of the year to write is a recipe for failure."

"I need to write slower so I can edit while I write.  NaNo novels are junk."

 "It's too much stress."

"When will these NaNo people get the hell out of my Starbucks?"

All of you can bite me.  I love NaNoWriMo.  And I have invaded "your" Starbucks way before November.

I haven't been quiet about the fact that my first published book, A Love Worth Biting For , was a NaNo novel.  Was it my first ever novel written?  Oh hell no.  My computers are the graveyard to a few doozies. But this was the first time that I sat down and felt the magic of my own words.

NaNoWriMo also helped me do something that I had been struggling to do.  It helped me finish.

You will see me squealing around the Internet about NaNoWriMo.  Why?  Because it gave me a plan, it gave me some tools, and it gave me a community.

The biggest thing I got from NaNoWriMo, was the realization that there were many other people out there at that exact moment, pounding away on the keyboard.  Writing can be a solitary event.  You don't have to talk to anyone, and there are days that the isolation is GRAND.

Getting home from a stressful day job or dealing with someone who you can't stand...yeah...destroying those people in a literary blaze of pain and torture can be a great deal of fun that is best without a witness...er...I mean, audience.

But then there are those times that you've written yourself into a corner.  There are those time that you can't figure out if what you wrote works with the rest of the story.  And there are those times where you just need someone else to tell you, they hit a wall too.  During November, I can take to Twitter and find the #NaNoWriMo or #NaNo hashtags.  I can find people on the NaNo forums, or check in on my writing buddies on the NaNoWriMo website.

The best part?  I get to be encouraging and competitive and drink coffee, and my family puts up with me ignoring them during Thanksgiving.

I am a writer.  So it's time I stop babbling on my blog and do what I love to do.  I am going to watch the words magically appear and create a story from nothing.  The best part?  You can join me.

I have a few bets in play to keep me motivated.  And if I want to win that Starbucks gift card so that I can continue to annoy the piss out of the local business men while I write about public fornication, I better get my butt in gear.

Time for words.  Time for coffee.  Time for NaNoWriMo!