Writing in November

dream timeLife is weird. Life is also busy. It is now November. I have two sick kids who are on the mend and I really just want to take a nap right now. I slept well last night, aside from strange dreams, but I feel like I need an extra thirty-minute nap or something to reach fully recharged. I think these days that is a permanent feeling. I am always a nap away from not being tired but I never actually get the nap.

November is National Novel Writing Month. Three days ago NanoWriMo kicked off and thousands of people out there are furiously writing away at what will hopefully be a 50,000 word novel by the end of the month. My friend Lori is giving it a shot. I have competed against time and life to write that 50,000-word novel in a month before too. I am considering doing it again. Only this time I think I will give myself a break. I mean I did just finish a book. Not quite a 50,000-word novel, but a book none the less.

I think I will write a book of short stories. There are hundreds of writing prompts you_fail_only_if_you_stop_writingfloating around out there so I can just pick one or two a day and write a bunch of short fictional narrations that will eventually add up to the necessary word count.  That is the tentative plan. I also have another book idea but I have so many writing irons in the fire I really don’t want to chase after another long project right now.

If anyone out there wants to hop on board the National Novel Writing Month train, I have provided links to the website. It is fun and challenging, especially if you have never done it before. I am just giving it a shot for fun. I know I can write a novel in a month if I need to so I am not as worried about if  I can. I am just writing to support my friend in her endeavors as she runs the race and to enjoy writing just for writing’s sake. Who knows, maybe I can churn out something useful by the end.

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Grief and Thanks

It has been a really rough week.  My aunt passed away this week, which makes the fourth family member I’ve lost in the past two months. I’ve not felt much like writing so my nano novel may not be finished this November.

The same day my aunt passed, someone else whom I had met not too long ago was killed in an accident.  I can’t exactly refer to her as a friend because I didn’t know her quite that well but she was a dear acquaintance with promises of friendship.  She was a kind person with a strong spirit and her presence in this world will be greatly missed.

My aunt had cancer. We knew her time was short, but when it came to an end we were all crushed even though it was expected. She was an inspiration to our family, a strong woman who raised four strong men.  Her sons continue to show that strength that she passed on to them, even now.  I know she is proud of them.

Work was a nightmare this week.  Part of that was the fact I was just trying to hold it all together until my day off and part was because someone thought a pre-Thanksgiving sale was a great idea.  Our work load was double what it normally is, including two trucks.

However, despite all that has gone on, I can’t help but be thankful for what I do have.  The time I did get to spend with those loved ones that have passed. The time I have with those still here.  The ability to hug my children. Friends that are always there no matter what.  I have so very very many things to be thankful for that if I listed them all here this post would go on forever.

Thank you all for stopping by this blog and reading. I would like to encourage you to write down some of the things you are thankful for as well. It doesn’t have to be where the entire world can see, just on a slip of paper somewhere.  If you want, you can even just post a comment here.  The important thing is taking that moment to stop and consider what you have and take a moment to cherish it.

National Novel Writing Month

So the allergies are still kicking my butt and I think they may have morphed into a sinus infection.  Lucky me.  But enough about my mucus laden woes, I took some medicine that seems to have temporary worked.  So I am going to write as much as I can until it wears off.

I wanted to post something useful today, so I am going to talk about National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo. 

NaNoWriMo takes place in November and is probably the single most helpful thing I’ve ever done to improve my writing.  It is an insane attempt to write a novel in 30 days.  I’ve done it twice and plan on making another attempt this year.  50,000 words may seem daunting, and I’m not going to lie, it’s not easy. (Or at least it isn’t for me.)  However the things you end up teaching yourself as you make that mad dash are worth it.

You learn it’s okay to be sloppy as long as you get the words down.  You don’t have time to wonder if the first few chapters give your readers an accurate view of the characters.  You just write.  And you keep writing. And when you don’t know what to write? Well, you write anyway because you only have 30 days to get those 50,000 words.  NaNoWriMo allowed me the chance to get me out of the way of my writing.

I didn’t have time for writer’s block or for prettying up phrases.  I couldn’t spend days obsessing about the first few chapters because I had an entire book to write.  Of course when I was done, it wasn’t the best book in the world.  In fact it was kind of a mess, but things always are right after they are born.  That is where the clean up comes in.  That is when you edit and rewrite. (After a rest, of course.)

There are nay-Sayers out there who smack down NaNoWriMo.  I tend not to listen to them.  If they don’t like it then they don’t have to do it.  I also don’t think they truly understand it either.  Maybe they are afraid.  Maybe they don’t think they are capable of writing those 50,000 words.  Maybe they think that they are above writing dross to find gold.  Maybe they simply just don’t like the idea.  Whatever their reasoning is, it is fine.  That’s their reasoning. It works for them.  NaNo works for me.

 

http://www.nanowrimo.org

If anyone decides to join me in writing a book this November, look me up and add me as a writing friend on your NaNo page.  I am under thecoffeefox over there. 🙂