Monday, November 23, 2009

NaNoWriMo: Down the Drain....

Last week ended my dreams of a NaNo win. Disheartening, but stuff happens.

The problem with being a writer, a mother and a wife is that the priorities are constantly changing. It is something I accept and unfortunately writing often falls into third place. It doesn't depress me, I'm realistic. When I married and had children, I was joining into something else, into a unit which takes precedence over my individual wants and needs. Writing is a personal thing for me, it is something I do for myself. No one else in the family understands what it means although they try to support me where they can. But not at the expense of the family.

I know it sounds bad, I find writers very protective of their writing and believe it should take priority over other things. I think that works for some people. It never has for me. My own personality contributes to this. I can't write in chaos thus my house has to be clean. I have children in too many activities and I insist in participating in them. If I'm going to commit myself to such, then I have to be prepared to put my writing aside.

And yet, I still see plenty of opportunities I had to write. I still need to be more productive with my time. I get distracted. There were plenty of moments where I could have pounded out a few hundred words. But I just didn't want to. With two birthdays to celebrate, three soccer practices, a baseball practice, laying sod in the yard, Cotillion, soccer games, baseball games, a baseball party and a birthday party to organize all in one week, I found it hard to concentrate.

But that wasn't the kicker. Losing power for 24 hours was what finally did me in. Tuesday night I had plans. I'd spent all day running errands and preparing for the week. My husband had a meeting that night so I knew I'd get two solid hours of writing time. Things were smooth. Until the lights flared in my house then went out completely. A transformer blew on the poll outside my house leaving me and two other houses without power. The electric company was out all night getting it fixed. The surge screwed up the main switch to my house so I had to get that repaired before the power would come back on. It put me so far behind and I couldn't write (no, I don't hand write, I'm too slow). So I give. I'm going to keep writing this week and see how much I can get, but Thanksgiving is this week and I'm hosting so I'm going to have to work on that.

Anyway, I wish the best to the other NaNos and hope they all get their 50K in. Its quite the accomplishment and I'm cheering you all on.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Tough Going

Ugh...I didn't think it would be this hard.

My word counts aren't what I'd like them to be. It isn't my WIP's fault, I'm in a meaty part of the story where the words should flow easily. It isn't a lack of time. I've had plenty of time to get writing done. I have made the mistake of saving some of it for evening and have been too tired to pick it back up.

Mostly its focus. My daughter has been sick and spent the first four days of the week at home. She finally went to school today. She isn't a bad kid, but she was restless. And knowing she was in the house interfered with my plan as it were. I'm not sure why, but just having another presence in the house was distracting.

In truth, I'm a little slow out of the gate anyway. My big word weeks are usually the last two of the month. But still, I had a plan and I'm unhappy that my plan is going the way I want.

But we adapt and I haven't given up. Just wish something would kick me and get me going.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Happy November!!

Today begins the madness that is National Novel Writing Month. Writers everywhere are feverishly pounding out words as fast as they can in an attempt to write 50,000 words before the end of the month. It averages to about 1667 words per day. I've set a goal of 1800 words a day. My plan is to do three sessions a day at 600 words per session. As I've said previously, my life is too hectic to sit and write in one sitting. Plus, I get antsy.

Every NaNo participant has their own game plan. They all have their own motivations they call upon to help them through. I've done this a couple of times although I've only won once. And each time is different. There are a couple of things I've found which help me succeed.

For me, I cannot start a new project. I have to be knee deep in a project in order to get the acceleration it is going to take to get the writing done. Too often, those first 5000 words are slow and difficult. I've started a book from the beginning for NaNo before and I ended up stopping midway through the month. The MS I've chosen to work on was at the 40K mark on October 31st, I'm hoping this month will get me to the end.

I think that's another thing which works for me. I don't want a mere 50K words, I want the end of the book. If I finish this book at the end of November, I have the holidays to clean it up and have it ready to submit. It's a great movitator.

I also plan rewards. If I get my 1800 words done, I have the freedom to do whatever else I want. Usually that is mindnumbing video games. I'm lucky that most of my shows are on hiatus for the first couple of weeks of the month so I'm not so tempted watch t.v.

Reading is a big part of my NaNo regimen. I need to find time to read. I'm not sure why. Perhaps reading reminds me of the final product. It reminds me why I have joined the madness.

Mostly I strive to make this month about the joy of writing. I'm trying to make writing an integrated part of my life rather than a seperate situation. I want to give it the same importance I give everything else.

Those of you who do NaNo or any other time of challenge-based writing project, what do you hope to gain from the exercise?