Sunday, November 3, 2013

Nanowrimo: Update One and a Little Writing History

So yes,  I signed up to try this writing-a-book-in-a-month thing. This crazy "let's go and write 50,000 words RIGHT NOW" thing. I still don't know why, but I just needed to try it and see what happens. I just NEEDED to.

Hopefully I won't bore you with an exhausting account of the experience but I thought I'd at least do little updates every week, just in case you did happen to wonder.

But first, I thought I'd give you my writing background history. Because I KNOW you want to know all THOSE details! :)

The first time I remember loving writing was in 3rd grade when the teacher gave us a creative writing journal and a prompt... nearly every day I think. I loved it. No inhibitions then at all!

Then I started a journal when I was 12 and wrote in it very frequently for years and years. That journal (now 15 or so volumes big) is chuck full of angst and drama. So much fun!

Then I went to college and writing got serious and not fun. I should have taken some fun writing classes. Really. So that sort of slowed things down.

Then I had kids and quit writing pretty much anything. Except I did end up editing lots of newsletters... for church, for school, for the family. That was fun too.

And then about 7 to 10 years ago (when my youngest was still little, but I was starting to think... okay, now what?) I took a few online writing classes. And loved them. They got the ideas flowing, the thoughts racing, the excitement peaked. And I read a bunch of writing books and those pumped me up too.

I wrote some things, including a picture book, poems, travel articles, and the start of a book. But then I just put them away.

It was about that time I started this blog. And I started stalking the authors and listening to them and going to the LTUE conference and reading so much more then I was reading before. It was then I decided... I can NEVER do this. There is NO way. Never in a million years.

I deemed myself a reader only and not a writer.

I saw Nanowrimo happening year after year and it looked like a blast, though I knew I didn't heave time for it. And besides. I was not a writer. So there was that.

But then, this year, my daughter had to pick her Winterim experience at school (where they have a concentrated study thing for three weeks after Christmas before going back to normal classes) and she was choosing between a movie making one, and a writing one where they would do their own version of Nanowrimo. I told her if she picked the writing one, I'd do it with her. She picked the movie one.

But that made me think, hey! So maybe I could just go ahead do the REAL Nano this year! I mean, why not? (I watched We Bought a Zoo, and I can say this all the time now!) WHY NOT? November is going to always be crazy, it will NEVER get less crazy, there will NEVER be a dead November, so it's pointless to wait for that little thing to happen.

So.. WHY  NOT?

I thought about doing it all secretly, but realized, what's the fun in that? So instead, I wrote a post and asked you all about it and told you my fears, and then some of you said, I'll do it too! And some of you said, tell your brain to shut up! And some of you said, you know, this really is fun.

So I signed up.

Then for a week, I thought and planned and listed. And realized (not that I didn't already know this) that I don't know how to make a plot happen. But who cares. And I begged for buddies and added a few people and I clicked around and found the forums and the facebook page.

And then I couldn't sleep for thinking about the freaking story!

And then I waited and waited and finally midnight on Thursday (Halloween) came.

Nanwrimo Day One

So I joined the excitement and wrote for about a half hour at the dong of midnight. But actually, I was re-writing because I got out those old chapters, and according to the "rules" you must start over if this is your plan. So I did. Sort of.

Nanwrimo Day One... continued

The first day, Friday, I was busy until the afternoon, and then stuff happened that made me crazy so I waited really, until 10:00 pm to truly write. And I was sick of re-writing so I started in on the new stuff. By midnight (with lots and lots of interruptions between those two hours of course) I had well over 1000 words. It was a stupid chapter I wrote though. I'm anxious to get to the good stuff. Is this what  it's like for the real authors?

The stuff I re-wrote was about 4000 words long. So I counted myself at about 5000 words by the end of day one. Not bad. And it looks much better than it really was.

Nanowrimo Day Two

On this day I had to drop a kid off at an hour long rehearsal so I brought my lap top and hunkered down in the car for that hour and just wrote while I waited. Ah, it as perfect I tell you! No distractions, very comfortable (you'd think the car wouldn't be but it was) beautiful weather. And I actually truly wrote for that hour, another chapter down, 1500 more words! That hour flew by.

I managed to find a few more moments later on the day, but nothing to get too excited about. I'm finding that if anything is going on around me, I tend to have an issue writing. I can read with all sorts of noise, but writing? Not so much.

Today is day three, and here's hoping I can find more snippets of time to write. Without distractions. Ha.


  1. Good Luck! I hope you enjoy nannowrimo.

    1. Hillary: Thanks. I hope I enjoy it too! :)

  2. I hope you signed up for the e-mails too. They can be encouraging and are from authors who seem to know what you're facing at any given time. NaNoWriMo is great to make you keep writing (without editing) and let your mind just flow. You can edit later. You may be surprised at what comes out of it. I've published two books that were first drafted during National Novel Writing Month.
    Good luck.

    1. Ann: I have been getting those and yes they are awesome. That's so cool that your books were Nano books!

  3. I've always been that person who says that I don't have time for writing. But you're right -- life isn't going to slow down, ESPECIALLY at this time of year. We've already had the holiday stuff last month here in Canada, but with a baby on the way and Christmas coming up and my personal life completely changing, I can't keep putting things off. I actually printed off my last two stories I've started and I look forward to revisiting them after I finish this story this month (and after getting my footing with baby!).

    I also think that it's important to be able to write anywhere ... like at the kitchen table or in the car. When an idea strikes, have a pen and paper on you so you can just start writing before you lose it.

    I wish you luck with your NaNoWriMo-ing! YOU CAN DO IT! :)

    1. Kristilyn: Yep, exactly. And... YOU can do it too!

  4. Congrats on 5,000 words on the first day!! That's amazing. And thanks for sharing your writing history. It sounds like you are a reader AND a writer. :)

    1. Jessica: I don't know... I just don't know...

  5. You are doing awesome! I am doing NaNoWriMo too this year, and it coming together much better than I thought. I didn't write 5000 words on the first day, but I am writing at least 1,6667 words per day. I am excited to see how everyone does.

    1. Pamela: I seem to be getting around 1800 a day, which is right on track I suppose. It's sure been interesting so far anyway.

  6. Woohoo! Good for you! My wordcount so far is (drumroll please) 75.
    Amazing right?

  7. That's so great. Don't worry about rewriting. That's what december is for. If you want to do a write-athon let me know! Have fun. It's overwhelming but fun.

    1. Rachel: Thanks, you have fun too. But I know you are!

  8. Yay! Great job so far, and you are doing much better than me finding some moments in the day to write!

    1. Ang: Yeah, so far so good, but I know those really bad days are coming!

  9. Great job on kicking off! Your journey sounds very familiar to mine. In fact, I just pulled out an old folder with some of that writing from the elementary years. That was fun to revisit!



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