NaNoWriMo: Week Two

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Everything started out so well this week. I had direction. I had confidence. I was excited.  Now, not so much. About half way through this week, I finally hit a wall. Plot problems. I knew it had to happen but I just thought I’d push through. It’s caused me to write a lot of character history through scenes. Not bad but I want to flush out the story more and I don’t know where to go.

It’s hard to write 2000 words everyday. I know the NaNoWriMo goal is 1,667 but I’m was trying to get ahead. It feels nice to have a buffer zone. I’m sure everyone who is participating can relate, but today there has been a quiet voice whispering in my ear to give up. I still typed out a few words but not enough. I should focus on the positives to help motivate. I’m half way done with a little over 25,000 words and that’s an amazing feat. Just feeling a little run down at the moment and seeing the glass half empty.

Going to try to push though and keep moving forward.

 

 

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Week One of NaNoWriMo

Week one complete and I’m going to pat myself on the back, I have done well. I have ended this first week with 11,071 words. Unbelievable. I’m so proud of myself. The first day was a struggle. I don’t have an exact time because I kept repeatedly stopping for unknown lengths but I think it took me like four or five hours to write 1,667 words. That first day I was not confident I would keep up the pace but with everyday I’ve found myself writing faster and stopping less. Now, when I feel I need a break, I’ve created better exercises to keep me motivated. I’ve learned in those tough times to walk around, get some tea, or a snack. After one of those short breaks, if I haven’t reached goal for the day I always force myself back to writing.

According to the NaNoWriMo time table, I should have hit 11,667 words on day seven so I am 596 words behind. Ugh. My biggest writing hurtle, the weekends. It’s how I fell behind this week. Saturday and Sunday is the day I spend with people and get projects scratched off the chore list. I did write, I just didn’t hit the numbers I needed to reach the word count goals. To make up for it I’ve kicked my writing into high gear and have hit over 2,000 words the last two days! I hope I can keep up this pace. Fingers crossed.

It’s so positive in the beginning. Creating, writing, and feeling less self doubt. I’ve thought a lot lately about keeping this pace going after November. Well, maybe not 2,000 words a day pace but finally find paper for the half stories I’ve kept in my head. I think it’s too early to make any promises after all I’ve only just started but I’m feeling good. Now, please excuse me, I have a story to write.

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Participating in NaNoWriMo

Time to power up the laptop because November is here which means so is NaNoWriMo. You may wonder, what is NaNoWriMo or National Novel Writing Month? Well, starting every November 1st people attempt to write 50,000 words by November 30. You can always write more but not less, at least not for this challenge. Since this is a square one draft, you can make all the mistakes. Mistakes encouraged. Edit in December. Just write 50,000 words in 30 days! Why would anyone undertake this torturous task? Everyone has their own reasons. Why 50,000 words? It was decided long ago 50,000 words was a challenging but not impossible goal. Also, some famous classic novels, like The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald and Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, are about 50,000 words.

I joined the website 9 years ago but I can’t recall ever participating. Some years it seemed just more stress and exhaustion on top of my busy schedule. Other years I had all the time but none of the motivation. It’s funny how much less you do something when you have more time. I’ve been writing with my free time but I could write more. With NaNoWriMo I figure what better way to push better habits then 1,667 words a day.

Seeing that daily word count goal made me a little nervous. So, I figured, best to be prepared. During October I tried to outline a bit of the novel I plan to write since I didn’t want to stall in the middle. The outline was going well. I was world building and constructing characters but I stalled when trying to produce an antagonist. After much time spend overthinking the creation of a villain, I have decided to leave the antagonist a mystery and let this character reveal when it’s ready.

I know one of the biggest problem I struggled with is thinking the first draft has to be perfect. I have given up on some projects  in the past with this thought of book perfection the first time round. What am I thinking? Seriously! I need to allow this writing to suck.I really have a need to finish this challenge. I have a few unfinished projects in my hard drive and I really need to stop giving up on stories. Even if it’s fashioning a one demential villain or this thought of the only good ending is an epic one.

I know NaNoWriMo is not a solution. I don’t expect some novel miracle. I’m going into this project looking to overcome some of the insecurities that seem to stop me from reaching my goals. I’m just using this challenge as a way to make it past all these cliché road bumps and librate myself from my fears. In the end it is all up to me. November is just a start and day one is looking good.

Fortune Cookie Wisdom

Fortune Cookie Wisdom

Quote # 1 – Sylvia Plath

Being born a woman is an awful tragedy. Yes, my consuming desire to mingle with road crews, sailors and soldiers, bar room regulars—to be a part of a scene, anonymous, listening, recording—all is spoiled by the fact that I am a girl, a female always in danger of assault and battery. My consuming interest in men and their lives is often misconstrued as a desire to seduce them, or as an invitation to intimacy. Yet, God, I want to talk to everybody I can as deeply as I can. I want to be able to sleep in an open field, to travel west, to walk freely at night.
– Sylvia Plath

Creating Gibberish Almost Instantly

I’m still trying to figure out how people do it? How do they sit down and write stories? Because I’ve been sitting down and writing gibberish or nothing at all. Nothing is not my goal so it’s mostly gibberish.

Lately I have been trying to think about what I want to write and I can’t seem to make up my mind. Fantasy or Literary Fiction? Maybe I should skip down the Science Fiction road. Sigh. I love to fantasize about the future but am filled with anxiety from the pass. All this, I believe, may answer my next question, what is causing this writers block? I have dug deep and found it’s probably my fear of failure. (Ah, my oldest friend. How have you been?) I think that could be the thing stopping me from forming ideas, thinking. Living in my head is the worst thing I can do right now so I will try to make something live on the page. I just keep hoping if I keep writing gibberish something will spark and catch fire. Here I go again. Hope it’s not the ever present clique. Lets see what my stumbling fingers create today.

Book Review: Someday My Prince Will Come by Jerramy Fine

“Someday My Prince Will Come” is a true-life story about a girl who has the courage to purse her childhood dreams.

I wrote this review for The Celebrity Cafe probably about seven years ago. I have notice they have clean their website of my writings so, over time, I’ve been posting some of my past work here.
Jerramy Fine grew up wanting to be a princess. Born in Colorado to hippie parents that named her a boy’s name, she takes the reader through her hippie, farm town childhood. She feeds chickens and never really fits in at school for her royal ways. At the age of six she picks her husband, Princess Anne’s son, Peter Phillips. She even writes letters to Peter in care of Buckingham Palace.
Fine grows up planning her life around going to England and fitting in among royalty. While most girls grow out of Disney fairy tales (her parents never allowed her to watch) she holds on to her dreams. She travels to London for grad-school, meets Princess Anne, and Earl Spencer. She spends a holiday in India, has struggles with flat-mates, expenses of London, and dating.
Fine’s insensitivity to her parents and small town did become a little tiresome half way through the book. If people compromise I guess there would be no book. At times she sounded a little naïve in romance and men. I felt she was trying hard to keep the fairy tale princess theme going and sometimes it came off flat. But she kept the story flowing with her humorist voice and dramatic adventures.
Jerramy Fine’s memoir is a very light and funny read. I found it refreshing to read a memoir that wasn’t all doom and gloom. She is witty and entertaining. I found myself laughing out loud many times. I admire Fine for her determination and endurance setting out and staying true to her goals.

3 out of 5 stars.

Inner Struggles of a Writer

People, I think I’m in a writing slump. I wouldn’t say I am suffering from writer’s block because I am still writing. I say slump because I sit down to write and nothing satisfying happens. I expect some goals to be accomplished but story idea productivity has become stagnant and frustration has followed.

I know I’ve been too hard on myself. With extra time to write I expected more work and have been creating less. My goals are too ambitious. With the extra time I expected a story to bloom on a page the moment I started writing regularly again and take shape, after editing, into a beautiful completed piece of writing. It hasn’t happen that way. The stories seem to stall soon after I’ve started. I’ve been trying to outline some work but struggle. To make good use of my time and not feel like an unproductive moocher, recently I’ve been editing an old piece from college. I’m not crazy about it. I have voices in my head that tell me, something doesn’t sit right, this piece will define my writing style, and this is not the kind of work I want to be defined by.

Okay Brain, shhhhh.

It’s time to just write. Even if it’s an edit, I’m writing. Just finish the story. Finish any story! Nothing saying this narrative will ever be publish but I must keep working. Not every morsel of fiction is meant for publishing. I do believe writing more will awaken my sleepy imagination. Got to stop this head of mind from mucking up my creative process. I must focus on a small task I can accomplish and use that positive energy to push through these anxieties. I know it’s not easy. Making mistakes is a part of the writing process but giving up is the worst failure of all.

Writing slump, come at me, because I’m pushing through.

Just Maybe…

I dream up scenarios. I can’t help it! I like to live in my head and image a likely, positive (sometimes negative) direction with small life events. I guess I’m an optimism but this is why I see myself as a storyteller. I just need to fine a way to take these thoughts and put them down on paper where they can be a short story or pieces of fiction. That is the hard part.

I’ve written a few words here and there and nothing seems to come to completion. I write 500 words and the next day I realize I don’t know where I’m going with the piece but I write maybe another 200 and stop. The struggle is real and completely my fault. I don’t know if I should keep writing and see if an idea will present itself or if I should try to outline a story for more direction. Could work for the better except what is that story line. I guess until I figure it out I’ll keep tip tapping away. Who knows, a scenario can pop up and turn into something. The thing I hope to learn is, how to find a story? I keep trying, struggling, and failing.

I keep pushing myself to write everyday. I mean I know this is what other authors did but when did they realize a piece was something to work on and edit. Just have to keep writing and hope to have those answers in the future. Hopefully, sooner better than later.

We Work

What do you do with a blank page? It is probably the hardest thing to fill. Only be creative. Right? Words form sentences that then tell a story. Finding the story is the hardest thing. Look at all those artist out there pushing their works like it’s the easiest thing in the world. But here I am typing away. Trying to find a story to make my voice heard. My voice.
The true problem, I’m unsure what to post. These posts have become too few and far between. I think I have a topic to write about, I want to post about my anxieties, but I don’t want my job to find out since some of my anxieties come from work. Also, I don’t want to sound as if I’m complaining. In the height of a moment it never sounds amusing. Humor takes work.
But I have been writing more often lately. I leave, take a bus to the train, to find encouragement from a creative group, to write. It’s fun, relaxing, and we also do work. More than I do at home. At home it’s easy to turn on the TV or search the Internet. TV is not the only problem. I don’t feel I have a space at home. My desk is a mess, my area cramped with objects, and a hole in the ceiling from a leak that gives a draft and amplifies the noise from the apartment upstairs. Upstairs the children run with heavy feet but the screeching or crying scream of a child, the yelling discipline that only seems to make more noise, and tense situations makes it impossible to concentrate. In a moment the thought hanging on the end of a sentence is gone.
A cafe is a space of noise but it’s static. Yes, people talk, and the machines make food and drinks, but it’s not familiar. There is no WiFi so my computer is only a recording machine. WiFi hasn’t been a problem outside my home. Cafe WiFi has only seems to encouraged me to write in the past. My words come faster. The conversation may be a little too long but its just the creative energy from pears with the same struggle. We all agree to work with easy and funny conversation, overcoming our insecurity whether it’s writing in public, not having a specific topic, or struggling with a piece.
We work.