November 29, 2010

What I Learned From NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, will end tomorrow at midnight. While many are having celebratory posts about winning with the awesome word count of 50,000, I am not celebrating in that way. I am celebrating the fact that, with the exception of two days, I wrote every day. It may have only been 200 words, but I sat down and wrote. That's huge for me, and that's worth celebrating.

As of today, I have written 30,012 words. That's about 1000 words a day, which is what Mary Connealy aims for daily. I'm in great company, aren't I? But more than that, I have learned a few things during this NaNoWriMo month.

  1. November is the worst month for literary abandon. Seriously, whoever decided that NaNoWriMo should be during the month of Thanksgiving was crazy. Between baking, family time, and napping, it really dipped into my writing time.
  2. I write best in the mornings. While this is a good thing to find out, it's also a bad thing. It's good to know that I am clear headed in the mornings and the word count grows exponentially, but it's bad in that I have to get up at 4:30 a.m. in order to write for an hour and get a quiet time with the Lord. (I work full time and have to be at work at 7:15 a.m.) Now that in itself is not too bad, but the problem comes when I get home and am like a zombie, trying to put food on the table and do laundry while wearing some heavy duty Cranky Pants. Trying to be creative is almost impossible.
  3. I need a detailed outline in order to write fast. I had worked on my plot for my NaNo story and had the major Acts and the basic goals and conflicts ready. But I floundered when it came to fleshing it out on a day to day basis. I had to spend time to think of upcoming scenes in order for my fingers to fly over the keyboard and get them on the screen. 
  4. I have a very loud internal editor. Very loud. I could be writing away, happy to be getting the words down, when all of a sudden a loud, snarky voice told me it was all drivel. I had plot holes. I had missing characters. I had no setting description. I had -ly adverbs. Blah, blah, blah... I tried using ear muffs...not helpful.
  5. I am too old to stay up late and write. I used to stay up late, well past midnight, lost in another world between the pages of a great book. But no more. I conk out before 11 p.m. every night. Actually, 10:30 p.m. is doing good these days. No, if I'm going to write, it's gotta be before 10 p.m. (and my writing is not as good as my morning writing.)
  6. NaNo is a great tool to get you back in a writing routine. There's nothing like accountability to keep you on track, and there's nothing like doing something for 30 days to get you in a good routine. 
So there is my NaNo Adventure for 2010. I'm glad I tried it, and I am proud of myself for getting as far as I did. It's another step on my writing journey, and an interesting one at that!

What goals have you set for yourself that you have met recently? Or have failed, but are happy with anyway?


November 23, 2010

Another Top Ten List For Writers

My post at The Writer's Alley is a Top Ten List of ways to increase your word count during the holidays. Check it out and add to the list. I'd love to get some new ideas.


November 22, 2010

Writing Woes & NaNo Foes

My 2 sisters, being silly carving the turkey a few years ago!
I really shouldn't have used such a downer title, because there are good things going on in my writing life. But...I am woefully behind on my NaNo goal. We are talking 10,000 words behind. It will be near to impossible for me to accomplish the 50,000 word goal by December 1, but I'm okay with that.

For me, NaNo was about jumping in and getting back into the habit of writing every day. To find a good schedule for me as a full time working mother. I've missed two days all month and have written about 25,000 words so far. That's not too shabby.

I like my WIP, but am seeing that I have skimped on the story. I've been writing fast and leaving out good details, good character development, and good setting description. And I totally left out a minor character that was going to introduce some good conflict later on. Yikes! Yeah, I can go back and fix it all, but I sure wish it wasn't going to be so difficult to do so.

All in all, I am okay with everything. I'm doing Thanksgiving at my house for the first time this week. We are talking just my family. My oldest son and his wife, plus her mother, are coming. Also my second son who lives part time in a neighboring town. I get to do the cooking. I get to be....SHERRINDA IN CHARGE!  Squeee...I'm excited.

But that means more work for me and less writing time. But again, that's okay. I tend to be a rule follower and really want to win NaNo, but I'm ignoring the Pharisaical-rule loving-tendency and am just going with the flow. I'm writing every day and that is AWESOME!

Will any of you be writing during the holidays? If so, how are you going to manage it?

Happy Thanksgiving! May you have as much fun with your family as I have with mine! (Pay no attention to my goofy sisters from a couple of Thanksgivings ago in the picture above. They are such fun, even after all these years!)

November 12, 2010

Winners & NaNo-ing

So it's Friday and this week has been difficult to get good word count in. I think the time change has factored in, in that I am so tired at night and then get up really early. I haven't caught up in my sleep, I suppose. I've had things to do several nights this week, which has also contributed to my lack of word count, but you know, sometimes life is just more important than words on a page.

Below I've listed the winner of Second Chance Brides by Vicki McDough, but really, there are two winners this week. I feel like I am a winner for having written EVERY day for the past two weeks. That is huge for me and a habit I've been wanting...needing...to develop for quite some time. That's the real reason I joined NaNo--to get into a good habit of daily writing. Thirty days to make a good habit, right? Well NaNo, you are  my inspiration this month. Thanks for giving me success in The Daily Write.

**************************

Winner of Vicki McDonough's Second Chance Bride is:

Pegg

Congratulations!

November 08, 2010

Second Chance Brides Review & Giveaway

Second Chance Brides by Vicki McDonough is a lovely sweet romance that picks up where The Anonymous Bride left off. Shannon O'Neal and Leah Bennett are stranded in Lookout, Texas after they came as mail order brides for the same man...the Marshall. The Marshall has chosen and married Rachel, a woman from his past, leaving Shannon and Leah without a husband and no where to go.

Ordered by the Marshall to pay for the ladies room and board, the Corbett brothers organize Saturday socials to provide opportunity for the ladies to meet and marry nice gentlemen. Sometimes plans go according to plan, and then, sometimes they don't.

Vicki McDonough writes a delightful tale of love's journey and the importance of trusting God. She weaves in conflict and romantic tension beautifully, and takes you to a satisfying end.

If you would like a chance to get your hands of this book, please leave your name and email address to be entered for the drawing. Winner will be announced Friday, November 12.
***Void where prohibited. Only U.S. citizens may enter. (sorry)

November 05, 2010

NaNo Update

I was hoping to have a book review to share with you, along with a giveaway, but alas...it was not to be. Not with NaNo upon me. I have been reading a chapter every night, so maybe Monday I will have it for you. (Second Chance Brides by Vicki McDonough)

Now for my NaNo Update: I've been getting up early, like 4-4:30 a.m. early, and it is really hard. I am so sleepy by 8 p.m. that it is difficult to function. I've been writing every day, but haven't always met my daily count. I took a comp day Wednesday and wrote about 2500 words. Not a whole lot really, considering I had the whole day, but I did some ground work that took up time. I began using yWriter to help me organize my WIP and am really liking it and it's features. It took me awhile to figure it out, but once I did, I got excited. I think it's going to keep me accountable.

I haven't reached my word count in order to stay current, but I am hoping this weekend will prove beneficial. No Halloween or Fall Fest to keep me away from the laptop.

As for my current word count, look to the right at my NaNo Word Counter to see how far I've come. I'd post it here, but I'm about to write some more and it wouldn't be accurate by the time you read this.

Have a great weekend and Happy Writing!

November 01, 2010

And It Begins...

Today is the start of NaNoWriMo, the National Novel Writing Month. The month of writing 50,000 words. The month of insanity. By the time you read this, I will have already begun my NaNo Journey. My plan is to get up at 4:00 a.m. every morning to accomplish the necessary 1667 words per day. We shall see if I can keep that schedule in place.

You see, I am aging, and I find that I really need a good nights sleep to function in the "nice" zone. Too little sleep and the cranky pants come out. So...here's to going to bed early and keeping a smile on my face.

Don't be expecting any great blog posts, because it will most likely be updates on my progress. My ups and downs. My plot surprises and writer's  block (gasp...surely not!). My success, for sure! Check out my Word Count Widget in the side bar to check my progress.

Wish me luck! (and alot of stamina and energy!)

***Update: I wrote 1766 words this morning!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I feel good, da-na-na-na-na-na-na...like I knew that I would, da-na-na-na-na-na-na!!! So good! Now, to keep that good feel all day when I konk out this afternoon. Oh wait...I've got tons of candy to keep me on a sugar high. Just kidding.  ;)

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