Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Novel Updated

So a few weeks ago I announced I was going to write a novel and I was going to do it in a month because clearly I am completely nuts. I signed up for NaNoWriMo because there are other crazy people out there and us crazy people need to stick together. And just to make it fun I also fired my household staff and decided to pull one of my kids out of school and homeschool because simply writing a novel in a month is just too easy for me.


So here we are at the beginning of the last week of the month. That little icon is sitting there on my side bar taunting me. It is painfully clear that not only am I not going to make the 50,000 word mark by the end of the month, I am not even going to get close. This week is Thanksgiving and my birthday. So that's two days I can mark off as pretty much no time to write. I still haven't hired anyone to help out around the house so I am still doing all the house work and dealing with fun third world things like washing, bleaching, and triple rinsing every darn piece of fruit or veg that we eat. And there's a ginormous, freaky, horrifying spider living in my house but that is tomorrow's post. His name is Stanley, the children love him, me not so much.

Back to writing. I am giving up. Well sort of. I am not going to stop writing, I am just going to to stop worrying about making that 50,000 word mark before the end of the month. I am going to quit trying to figure out how many words I need to write each day in order to finish by the end of the month. Right now I need to write a little less than 5,000 words a day to make it by November 30th. I can totally write 5,000 words in a day IF there is no one yelling "MOM MOM MOM MOM MOM" every two seconds, IF I don't have to stop and cook dinner, IF I don't have to wash dishes and fold laundry and sweep the floor and homeschool. Basically I can write 5,000 words a day if I give up living my life. Not. Going. To. Happen.

I will let you know when I do finally make the 50,000 word mark. I am thinking it won't be until sometime after the holidays. These are Dakota's last weeks living at home EVER. It will probably be his last Thanksgiving with the family for a good number of years. I want to put my energy into spoiling him just a bit before packing him up and sending him off to boot camp. (Pardon my while I stop and cry a moment.....OK I Think I have it together again) I don't want to be worrying about writing. So I won't. I will continue updating my word counts until the end of the month when NaNoWriMo officially ends, if I can figure out a way to post word counts after that I will.

Things I have learned from NaNoWriMo (Hey Monica it's a list just for you!)
  1. I can produce writing longer than a blog post.
  2. I need to set aside a block of time each day to write, or it just won't get done.
  3. I need to get some things sorted out in my life so that I can set aside that time.
  4. I need to figure out a way to keep track of my characters, relationships, subplots ect... I hate outlining (7th grade flash backs UGH) but I need to get organized somehow. Ideas?
  5. I now get it when writers talk about discovering their characters as they go. Several times my main character has done things that I didn't see coming right up until I typed it. It surprised me and made me think "Huh! Didn't see that coming." How cool is that?
  6. Most importantly I really really like writing. I like it at least as much as reading and chocolate. Anyone who knows me knows that is a major kind of liking. If someone had told me back in junior high (or high school or college) that I would one day like writing I would have laughed myself silly.

Dear NaNoWriMo,

Look out I will be back next year and I am going to do better! I am going to finish next year. I will be writing and practicing until then. We are not done with each other.

Sincerely,
Shannon


6 comments:

TulipGirl said...

I love this post, especially what you have discovered. . . ESPECIALLY that you are able to write more than a blog post (or literature review, as is my case these days.)

And. . . I have a friend (well, my pastor in Florida who is amazing at keeping track of thoughts and integrating them into writing and preaching) that swears by Scrivener. It's a Mac app, but for a limited time, is free for Windows users as it goes through a beta period.

Connie said...

I am not a writer, but would a personal wiki-type tool help? My husband likes Tiddlywiki They advertise it as a reusable non-linear personal web notebook. I've messed around with it and enjoyed its organized 'non-outline-ness' very much!

Whether or not you are keeping up with your word count does not affect my admiration of your goal. You've got a full schedule with mom-stuff, and here you go getting all ambitious and author-ly too. I am still impressed!

Becky said...

I think you get points for writing ANYTHING with everything you have going on.

Donna said...

That's what I don't get about NaNoWriMo. Why did they start it in Novemeber, when we're all crazy with holiday prep or travelling? Why not, say, March, when everything moves a little slower?

Missy said...

This software is only available if you have a Mac, but Scrivener is GREAT writing software and can help you develop your plotlines/characters/etc. Definitely worth a look!

Monica said...

i LOVE this post. i love the list and i love your dear nanowrimo. hilarious. i want to challenge myself next year, too. but, i agree with donna - it's a crazy time of year to do it??? are they nuts???