Posts Tagged ‘ second novel ’

NaNoWriMo Day 8: My Life as a WriMo

NaNoWriMo 2011, day 8

Today’s personal word-count goal: 19,998

Today’s actual word-count so far: 17,620

Ahead or behind? Behind! I’ve got 2,378 words to write today.

Years I’m Writing About: 1991-1993, on my Facebook Page you can contribute your own words about these years.

In 2008, I participated in NaNoWriMo for the first time, and my life has changed forever. My 2008 novel is in its 5th draft now. I can see a light at the end of the revision tunnel.

I just revisited 2009’s manuscript for the very first time this August when I went to Hawaii, from whence one of that story’s main characters hails. I did some great research, but that manuscript still has a long way to go.

In 2010 I tried something different based on my own theory that you’ve got to write about 50,000 words to get 500 good ones. I wrote 50,000 words about my city’s pigeon population, hoping to edit them down into a 500-or-so-word children’s story.

This year, because I’m about to turn 40, and because Susie Bright‘s memoir really moved me, and because of some wise words from Jane Fonda and Julia Cameron, I’m writing about my life so far, a memoir, though Jane would call it a life review and Julia, a narrative timeline, not necessarily for publication but instead for my personal and creative use.

Get a piece of the action. There are several ways to participate in NaNoWriMo. Support the do-gooders who run this free event online by making a donation to the Office of Letters and Light on my fundraising page. And visit the The Sexy Grammarian Facebook Page to contribute your own words to my daily word count.

Day 1: What is this and why do I do it?

Today’s Word Count Goal: 2950

Today’s Word Count So-Far: 1018

Total Word Count Goal: 50,000

 

NaNoWriMo is an annual, global endeavor where writers support each other to write 50,000 words in 30 days.

What I’ve done in previous years is increase the required daily page count in order to not write on weekends and be done before Thanksgiving. That means 200 pages in 17 days or about 12 pages a day.

Sound crazy? It’s my favorite kind of crazy. This will be my third year participating, and the exhilarating experience of watching a novel grow from zero to fifty-thousand words inspires me. I will get more done at home, connect more with my loved ones, and be more productive at work because I am tapping my potential this month.

I had time for just an hour of writing this morning before running off for a busy day. I’ll need another couple hours to make today’s goal, but I’m off to a good start. I’m looking for good pigeon-watching roosts around the city. If you know of one, please post!

Watch the Sexy Grammarian participate in National Novel Writing Month for the third year in a row. I’ll post word counts and worries here daily, Tweet about it, raise funds for the Office of Letters And Light, and host Meet Me/Tweet Me open loft writing sessions all month long.

Straddling Creative Forces

While I’ve been busy plotting new and exciting opportunities for writers in my community, I’ve been wrestling with a few plots of my own, and they’ve got me straddling projects, concepts, strategies, and continents.

In the new year, I tackled the daunting-yet-flattering task of sitting down with the 18 wonderful readers who agreed to read my first novel while I started working on a second one. These 18 readers furnished my writing project and me with all the love, criticism, support, and cheer leading that I aspire to offer my own clients. So there I was, with one foot in my editor’s pants and the other in my writing pants, learning a whole lot about what it’s like to receive feedback on a project that’s got your heart and soul inside it. These feedback conversations inspired a whole new level of work on novel #1, and I’m up to my ears in it at the moment.

And I’m about to jump on an airplane and whisk myself off to Spain. While I’m away, my business will attempt to run in an automated fashion, signing you up for the workshops that happen just as soon as I return. So I’ve got one foot in my business shoes and the other in my tourist clogs. I’m hoping to find inspiration for a new writing project–perhaps something that will force me to travel more. In fact, although I travel to feed my inner demons who demand inspiration, I expect to put out a good bit of writing while I’m away. That’s half a brain handling input and half a brain handling output.

And in the meantime, novel #2 awaits my attention. I have not read a word of it since completing the first draft last November, yet it haunts my dreams. I’ve planned a late summer writing retreat to wrestle with those artistic angels at Sea Ranch. Even my projects seem to be straddling some invisible line between complete and first-draft-land.

Two novels, two continents, two workshops, two writing phases, two artistic directions. That’s a lot of creativity between my legs. Feels sexy. I guess that means I should go with it.

I’m a Verified 2-time NaNoWriMo Winner!

Sending love, caffeine, a quiet place to write, and a lot of inspiration to all my fellow WriMos who are still in the race. You can do it!

I’m done! I’m done! What year is it?

I wrote word number 50,356 at about 9:15 this morning. I feel great. My post-completion to-do list looks like this:

  • Tweet so the world can congratulate me.
  • Post to blog.
  • Fix year-number typos in yesterday’s blog (yes, I was so excited and lost in my novel that I forgot what year it was!)
  • Donate to NaNoWriMo. Today is Donation Day!
  • Verify and WIN! at the NaNoWriMo site.
  • Take myself out for a cupcake.
  • Get back to work.
  • Pack for Thanksgiving vacation.

And when I return, this blog can get back to its regularly scheduled programming. A whole lot of you click on my first Sexy Grammar lesson almost every day, so I’m looking forward to posting new ones for you in the coming weeks. I’ve also spent a good amount of time this month writing in cafes, so I have an awful lot of cafe reviews to Yelp.

I’m sorry I don’t have a harrowing tale of lost data and drunken desperation to wrap up this year’s experience. Read last year’s–it’s still funny.

NaNoWriMo Day 23: Perseverance

So many elements of this year’s NaNoWriMo have been different from last year.

Last year, I had not yet discovered Facebook and Twitter. Both these social media outlets are wonderful sources of support to me this time around. It’s great to feel lots of eyes on that word count (45359 today, thank you very much).

But more importantly, I have learned challenging lessons this year.

NaNoWriMo 2010 2009 Lesson #1: You don’t have to be inspired. Sometimes the notion of mighty, godlike inspiration can turn into an excuse not to write. Writing for writing’s sake, not because I have a brilliant idea, is difficult. But doing it has greatly improved my writing practice.

NaNoWriMo 2010 2009 Lesson #2: You don’t have to be disciplined. Don’t roll your eyes at me–it’s true. I have not written every day. I have fallen out of my daily, early-morning writing ritual. I have been LAZY. But I am still going to finish this thing.

NaNoWriMo 2010 2009 Lesson #3: You don’t have to be organized. Okay, this one I learned last year. But since I had challenged myself to come up with a real plot this time around, I thought I needed a sense of organization before I began. I didn’t get it together. I started on November 1 with no idea how I was going to get my heroine from the fabulous opening scene I had imagined to the wild ending I’d cooked up. But still, I filled in the blanks.

All you really have to do is persevere, tell yourself and everyone you know that you are writing a novel, and then write it, no matter what, and you will reap the benefits, which include:

  • a community of creativity supporters
  • massive creative productivity
  • a love affair with writing for writing’s sake
  • bragging rights
  • a body of work that may be a foundation for something brilliant

Convinced? Planning to join me in November 2011 2010? I sure hope so!

NaNoWriMo Day 17: 33,333

It looks like such a Biblical blog post title, doesn’t it? That little colon stuck between the numbers. All those threes. It’s not. It’s just my word count goal for the day.

But the novel–yes, it is Biblical. There are tambourines, ravens, miracles, prophets and prophetesses, and people speaking in tongues. I’m writing historical fiction this time–not dating back to Biblical times but to a time when my life was much more Bible-oriented: the mid-’80s.

And maybe that’s my struggle. I’ve reached back in my life for inspirational fodder, and I’ve reached  back quite a bit further than I ever have before. And perhaps that’s the same thing as reaching deeper.

Whatever it is, the story has finally begun to flow. The characters have finally begun whispering their secrets to me. The daily word count goals have become reasonable. Just fifteen hundred more to go for today, and that’s nothin’ but a thing.