NaNoWriMo 2019 Week 1

Hello world! Hello writers and readers! Hello NaNo people!

Week 1…wow…all the writing…

When I turn on my iPad (that’s what I write on) or open a notebook I’m terrified nothing will come out. I’m not terrified I won’t write anything good. I’m terrified of writing NOTHING. So, naturally, like a weirdo, I do what I most fear because part of my brain has convinced itself that the writing won’t happen no matter what I do or no matter how hard I try so why even bother?

Gross thinking, right?

Anyway, this week has been a real struggle because it’s so easy for me to find excuses to not write (school, homework, chores, etc.). But at the same time I’ve actually been doing pretty well keeping up with my word count even though I didn’t write at all on Tuesday. If I treat the writing like a homework assignment I feel better about writing.

Here’s what I need to remember:

1) Writing is supposed to be fun.

2) Nanowrimo is supposed to be fun.

If you’re not having fun you’re doing it wrong. And stressing out about not having any ideas is not a good way to write.

3) There are resources I can use to get ideas. Writing sprints with topics, for example. Watching live-streams on YouTube of people writing and talking about their writing.

4) You don’t have to do this alone.

Just because writing is a solo activity doesn’t mean you need to ignore the writing community. I’m a very shy person and I don’t like participating in chats and groups but I do have writer friends who I love talking to and resources outside myself that I can use to grow and cultivate my creativity.

Things I’ve learned during week 1:

1) Start the writing day with a new blank page.

I hate having lots of word documents for one project. But if I start with a fresh blank page every day I’m less tempted to distract myself with re-reading what I wrote or doing a quick grammar check that turns into a long procrastination session.

2) Make a list.

I’m one of those writers who loves to edit as I draft. I use the excuse of, “If I re-read what I last wrote I’ll remember where I left off and what I wanted to write when I stopped.” That logic has led me to revise the first chapter of my novel 10 times and the last chapter only 3 times. Not useful.

So one thing I started doing this week was remember WITHOUT LOOKING at what I wrote the day before and made a list of things that I wanted to add to that section/scene. I can add those things later when I start the second draft.

3) Work on other things.

I know this sounds counterproductive but whenever I can’t find the “motivation” to work on my NaNo project I skim through some of my other WIPs and add a paragraph here or there. Because the urge to edit is still there. And I can treat it as a warm up to drafting.

I got 1000 words in for the plot of Book 5 and then wrote my daily word count for Havoc’s Moon.

Some people would count that extra 1000 words as part of their word count in NaNoWriMo but because I am determined to get to 50,000 words on just Havoc’s Moon, I don’t count any other writing towards my word count on NaNo.

Happy Writing all you lovely people! Keep being awesome!

Until next week!

#gowrite

Preptober 2019

I bought the t-shirt.

This will be a thing…NaNoWriMo 2019…it still feels like it’s January and I just moved back in with my mom while Mr. J went out on job things.

Since then I’ve completely cleaned the house, taking on some major home repairs in the process, and gone back to college to earn my 3rd higher ed. degree. Whew!

It’s a lot.

And I’m determined to add to that a lot-ness since both April and July Camp NaNoWriMos sucked balls for me.

So here’s what I’m going to do.

Wear said NaNoWriMo t-shirt. Wear the NaNoWriMo scarf that I got back in 2016 when I won NaNo for the first time ever. I did not win 2017 but I won 2018 (before I moved).

Watch all of Austinland’s Preptober videos.

Write 1 week’s worth of word count. I know this may seem like “cheating” but in the last week of November I will be visiting my in-laws for Thanksgiving and I will definitely have zero time to write. So I’m going to use the 7 days of October to start National Novel Writing Month early so I can balance out that planned not-writing time.

Also in Preptober, to get myself back into the writing groove, I’m going to be relaunching one of my poetry collections. What was Lupercalia, a 50ish poem manuscript will now become two mini chapbooks/digital pamphlets and what is not included in those will go into my new poetry project, currently titled Poison in the Spring, which will hopefully go out into the world in 2023.

I’ve been slowly coming to the realization that I haven’t been honest with myself or true to myself about what I want to write and how I want to write it. I had this idea for Lupercalia but I scrapped it because I thought nobody would like it. That idea keeps/kept popping up in my head and now I’m going to act on it because that is what I should have done in the first place.

So I’m going to do my best to develop a writing habit that is uncensored and honest. I don’t want to write something just because it sounds cool or just because I think I need to write a poem about subjects x, y, or z to BE a “real” poet.

I’m also letting go of a lot of poems that just don’t resonate with me anymore. Poems that I loved back in 2009 and 2010 don’t hold the same attraction they did before…to be blunt: I don’t love them anymore. So they’re going away. I used to feel like every little thing I wrote was PRECIOUS. Not anymore.

And I want to get more experimental. Go back to hybrid texts, lyric essays. Really explore the physiology of words.

With fiction it’s a little different. I want to keep things I write and don’t like because maybe they’ll fit in somewhere else with another project somewhere later down the line.

I might also try editing the two novellas I tried to write over the summer. Get back into those characters and see if they want to talk to me again.

Autumn is coming in slowly but surely; the grass is dying, the leaves are falling. It’s still hot as f**k out but there are more clouds in the sky. It’s getting darker earlier at night and staying darker later in the morning.

“The seasons burn and so returns…”

Preptober.

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Lyric by SJ Tucker.

Photo by freestocks.org on Unsplash