NaNo Update, Day 15

Given the fact that I haven’t blogged for two days and assuming you’ve read my NaNo advice this week, you can guess how Mara’s Tale is going right now.

Some of you are probably being generous and thinking “you’ve written a little bit, every effort counts,” because you’re nice people.

Sad to say, you are wrong.  I have written nothing on Mara’s Tale since Sunday.  Yes, you read that correctly.  I have not written since Sunday.  I’ll also be blunt and point out that I’ve only blogged once in that time as well.

I’m not sure what the reason is, other than it’s likely not just one.  I’ve been busy (theater ticket on Wednesday, social event Thursday) and as usual work has been somewhat stressful.  I’ve gotten more involved in a local group that I’m part of and I’ve been playing “pen pal” via email with someone from another state.  There is also the element of setting myself a challenge; I knew going in to the project that dismantling and expanding Butterflies would be difficult.  Even though there is an argument to be made that a new novel would have been easier, I suspect that the story itself is not the problem.  I haven’t had much (any?) inspiration to write this year, Mara or otherwise.

Honestly, my heart isn’t in it, and unless something drastic changes, I will not be finishing this year.  I’m sure I won’t be the only one.

This wasn’t meant to be a pity party, just a statement of fact.  Maybe a little abrupt reality will give me some impetus to get going again.

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NaNo 2013 Advice, Part 2

My advice for this week is simple.

You actually need to write.

Needless to say, I have not been very productive recently.

Is your NaNo going better than mine?

NaNo Update, Day 8

Let’s start with the bad news: I’m about 6000 words behind on my word count.

Of course, as I mentioned yesterday, I’m working with a couple different layers of goals.  When I look at where Mara’s Tale currently stands, I’m actually quite pleased with the status.  The story starts when she’s born, and follows her growing up.  Right now I have all of the gaps filled, plus some new stuff written, through her 6th birthday.  There’s also a fun new scene that occurs a few months later, leaving one more gap to fill.  (At least I know what goes in that gap!)

I hope that your NaNo adventure is going well, and that you are accomplishing at least some of your own personal goals.  For now, I’m heading back into Mara’s world – maybe I’ll get another few hundred words written before bed. 🙂

Cutting Myself Some Slack

Today I explained to someone who perhaps I’m behind on my word count because my heart isn’t quite into NaNo this year.  The advice I got in return was that perhaps I shouldn’t spread myself too thin, and maybe not participate in NaNo.

The reality is that I’m setting a couple of different goals with regards to NaNo this year.  The first is the obvious goal: 50,000 (new) words and a completed novel.  However, I have another, smaller goal.  I want to work on Mara’s Tale, and without the driving force of NaNo, that hasn’t happened.  Each time I fill in another gap, every day that I write (even a few hundred words) is a success in my mind.  Earlier this week I wrote only about 600 words, but they were important because they completed the last section I had left of a particular part of Mara’s life.  The word count may have been short for the day; the accomplishment was not short.

I think layered goals are perfectly acceptable, don’t you?

NaNo 2013 Advice, Part 1

I’ve already made some silly mistakes as part of this year’s NaNo adventure.  In the spirit of last year’s advice (“Let me tell you the things I’m doing that aren’t helping…”), I’ve decided to go ahead and do the same this year.  It’s not so much advice as admitting my mistakes, but advice sounds so much better.

Don’t turn on the television.

This should be common sense.  When you’re trying to write a lot, the TV should be off a lot.  Notice, however, that I said should be common sense.

I started this year’s NaNo with one advantage and one disadvantage.  As I’ve already mentioned, filling in gaps is setting me up for a limited word count, but I started off this year with four days off from work.  The disadvantage is working well to make life difficult, but I totally blew my advantage by turning on the television.

It will be fine, I thought.  I’ll just put on a movie I know by heart and let it be background noise, I told myself.  Really?  I can’t even listen to music and write successfully!  Why on earth did I think this was a good idea?

The honest truth is that somehow the television and my recliner are now linked in my brain.  Turning on the TV when I sit down in the recliner is reflex.  That means I need to either fight the reflex or sit somewhere else for the rest of NaNo!

NaNo Update, Day 1

As in previous years, I am aware that you (probably) don’t want my blog to deteriorate into a daily NaNo blow-by-blow.  Thus, I will continue the tradition of years past.  I will post a weekly NaNo update and utilize the experience of NaNo to provide new material for writing about writing during the rest of the week.

(I do have a quick question for you.  Last year I also did a weekly piece of NaNo advice.  Should I do the same this year?)

So far today I have accomplished much with Mara’s Tale, but that has not necessarily translated into a high word count.  I started today with something I should have done before November, reading through and cleaning up the existing material as well as making a list of the gaps I left during previous writing.  There are also a few other good ideas that came from this effort, too, but right now they are just notes on a page (and those words don’t count, either).

I also managed to fill in one of those gaps, finishing a scene that had previously hit a wall.  That’s where today’s initial word count of 822 comes from.  I’m taking a little break right now, to do some research and to let an idea process, and I’ll be going back to writing a bit later.  There is one more gap I’d love to fill today, if possible.  If I do get that hole bridged, it will mean that the first four years of Mara’s life will be complete.  It should also mean that I’m at (or hopefully past) par for today.

Best of luck on your own November Adventure, be it NaNo or otherwise. 🙂

Here We Go!

Tomorrow is day one of NaNo!  Are you ready?

I am lucky enough to get four days off from work in a row.  I don’t have any set plans, which I think will help with the writing, but I do have several ideas if I get stuck or need inspiration.

There are a few possible distractions, like needing sleep, groceries, and clean laundry.  Fortunately it should still be possible for me to get ahead of par and get things done in the time I have.

If you’re participating in NaNo, best of luck!  Let’s get started! 🙂

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