National Novel Writing Month

For those of you unfamiliar with National Novel Writing Month, or the far catchier NaNoWriMo, it is a writing event in which each participant attempts to write 50,000 words, or a novel, during the month of November.2013-Winner-Certificate Signed

I have tackled and succeed at NaNo once, in 2013, while I was jobless and motivated. Not to say that I’m not motivated to write now, but I devised an attack plan in 2013 so that I could not fail. It was marvelous.

There is nothing like a whopping success the first time you try something.

I did not have the guts to tackle NaNo last year. I was too busy with work and other things to get into the proper head space. Last year and this year I did attempt two other NaNo events, April and July Camp NaNo. The difference between the original NaNo and Camp is that “at camp”, you get to form virtual cabins with writers you know, or strangers, and you get to set your own word goal. It’s much more of a social endeavor than traditional NaNo, in my opinion.

2014-Winner-Facebook-ProfileI won Camp in April 2014 by surpassing my goal of 10,000 words by over 2,600. That month I had two projects I knew I wanted to work on in advance and I made time to write around my day job. I did absolutely no planning for any of the other NaNo Camps and I failed miserably.

Coming off a very recent fail, I decided I don’t like this streak of mine. I’m a good strategist and I can tackle anything as long as I have a plan going in. Furthermore, I just made a promise to myself to focus more on my fiction writing and schedule time for it.

I have three months until November. I have also scheduled a week of holiday time for November. I want a rough draft of my current WIP done by the end of this year and I’ve decided to immerse myself fully in that world, ironing kinks and plotting arcs until I feel ready to write it all out.

I feel like all of these elements are going to come together to make something incredible in the next four months.

So here is my challenge to myself:

Over August, September, and October, I need to work on that world and figure out how my novel is going to flesh out. I need to be comfortable making time for fiction by the time November arrives. I also need to come up with a writing course for November so I can be well ahead of schedule by the end of the month. I know what I did to win in 2013 and while I don’t want to change that perfect plan, I need to make it work around the day job.

This will be no small feat, but I might have a completed manuscript by the end of November to show for it. I sure hope I can share that positive news on December 1st!

It’s My Birthday! Reflection Time

It’s my birthday on Thursday and while I’ve written a post about it for Anxiety Ink I want to carry my annual tradition on E.V. Writes as well. I’ll try not to repeat myself between the two.

Every year on my birthday, for as long as I can recall, I’ve written a piece reflecting on the last twelve months of my life. Sometimes they’re positive pieces, sometimes not. This year I can tell I’m not as excited about moving forward as I was last year. The post I wrote in 2014 was dripping with excitement. 2015’s rings dully in comparison.

Still, I accomplished a lot this year and pushed myself out of my comfort zone once again. I’m better organized as I face my next year of life even though I think my discipline is still a bit lacking. Acknowledgement is the first step to correction.

Last year's deliciousness.

Last year’s deliciousness. Thanks DQ.

I don’t care that I’m getting older. I’m still too young to worry about grey hair and wrinkles (like those are the only frightening aspects of aging), despite what popular media would like to instill in the minds of others my age. I’m not worried about them being in my future either, although that’s easy to say from where I currently stand. It is the velocity with which time is passing that is starting to make me anxious.

I cannot believe that another birthday is here. It feels too soon. Where did April –heck, where did 2014– go?

Working full-time makes time fly by. My years in school used to drag. Now all I want to do is claw them back.

The anxiety this rapid passage of time is evoking in me is making it difficult for me to look forward happily, but it’s the nature of things. I can’t change it so I might as well meet it with a smile and a plan.

First on my plate is dealing with my lack of routine. There are a few personal and professional things conspiring to make implementing a routine necessary and unavoidable. The next parts of the plan are far more tenuous. To say I want to focus on simply writing is both vague and true. My main goal this year is not to buckle down and complete project after project. I want to write, plain and simple. I want to stop pushing writing aside. I want to get back to the joy of creation and not worry about wrapping things into a neat package before I’m prepared to do so.

I’m not focused on or worried about publishing right now. It’s difficult to make any plans about publishing blank pages. Words have to be put down first, which is a serious problem for me at the moment. Each finished WIP is a step in the right direction and I have a fair amount of editing on my plate at the moment for the short story that will be placed in an anthology this year.

One item at a time. That’s my coming year in a nutshell. I’m nervous and excited to face it head-on.