2017 · magic · melanie kristy · Uncategorized · writing

Did I Fail NaNoWriMo? / What Happens Next?

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November is over. There is no more National Novel Writing Month. We are on to holidays and shopping and drinking hot chocolate and driving around looking for Christmas lights (at least, I am), and moving on from our awesome or disastrous attempts at writing 50,000 words of a novel in November.

So tell me. How did you do?

 

I wrote 3,000 words in the first week and then stopped because life got in the way.

I’m here to tell you, though, that just because you didn’t “win” NaNoWriMo, doesn’t mean you failed. That art of writing is not a win/ lose situation. There’s no competition for great art. So maybe you didn’t get enough words. Maybe you gave up half way through. Maybe you couldn’t get past the first 3,000 words. It doesn’t matter, it’s all great.

Just because you didn’t win doesn’t mean you didn’t accomplish something, and that’s what is more important. If you’re a writer or want to be a writer or used to be a writer and you participated in NaNoWriMo even for half a day this year, you accomplished something great. You accomplished something that most people will not do in this life time. You imagined a plot, you thought up characters, you dug into the dusty areas of your mind and committed to writing something. So be proud of yourself for that.

What happens next?

Well… you keep writing. You revisit what progress you’ve made so far. You give yourself more goals, and maybe think about figuring out what kinds of goals are realistic to you, and you keep on going.

For years and years I’ve passively thought about finishing a novel. It’s been a very long time since I’ve written something to completion. All those goals were so passive, that I never even visited my novels or started fresh. I wanted to make certain seasons “the one where I write a book”. And then I’d put that idea back on the shelf and move along with my life.

First off, it’s okay to not write a novel. It’s okay to not publish anything. It’s okay to only ever write for yourself or your friend or your lover.

But if that’s not enough for you, I suggest you do something different.

Here’s what I’m going to do: I’m going to spend December thinking about the novel I started. I’m going to figure out where I really want to go with it – I realized that PLOT is my main issue with this current work, mainly that it doesn’t have one – and I’m going to figure out how to get there. And then I’m going to make 2018 the year I write and complete a novel. I’m telling you all now. I’m not going to table this idea. I am going to make it happen. I’m going to be responsible for birthing an entire YA novel.

And that’s what happens next. For me, at least.

Tell me what’s next for you. Tell me how you did. And we can figure out where to go from here.

xo
Melanie
Uncategorized · writing

I’m Always Going to Attempt National Novel Writing Month

National Novel Writing Month, also lovingly referred to as NaNoWriMo (for those who can’t pronounce it think: nano – rye – mo) has been part of my life since I discovered it during my Sophomore year of college in 2004. I immediately took to the challenge to create my own characters and write a non fan fiction novel. Inspired by Vanessa Carlton’s White Houses I wrote and completed that novel, “won” NaNoWriMo, uploaded it to Livejournal (no, I’m not linking you to that terribly written novel, nice try!) as I went and happily set it aside.

I have signed up almost every year since then. I have attempted to write a 50,000 word novel in most Novembers. Some years I have “won” (to win: you complete the challenge of writing the 50,000 words), others I gave up in days or weeks. There were some years I worked on rewrites and didn’t have anything original. Other years I was determined and faltered.

November is a busy month. The holidays are just beginning, autumn is in full swing and Thanksgiving comes up really fast. It’s also my birthday month. I’ve come to love November as a month of busyness, cool weather and writing, and so each year when I get the reminders about NaNoWriMo I dive in. Or at least I try to. I write blog posts about it, I try and seek out new writing friends and I stare in front of my computer for more time than I normally do.

This year is no different.

I’m well behind my word goal of 2000 words per day (In fact I’m at about 2600 for three days). I’m finding myself busy, because I don’t want to say no to certain things just because of words. I’m always finding myself busy, though, so that isn’t very new or different. I’m documenting my journey through my Instagram stories so be sure to add me on there. My writing has been more of an exploration than scenes. I still haven’t figured out what the plot is and I’m learning that’s my overall issue with writing anything. I can come up with characters and lives and overarching feelings and emotional changes, but I can’t figure out what actually happens to get my characters there.

It’s okay, though. I’ll figure it out. I’m determined.

I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was in second grade. This was also the first time I was exposed to computers. It was 1991. We wrote in MS DOS on computers with green screens and even greener words. We wrote our own versions of children’s books we loved. I asked for a computer for Christmas when I was seven years old.

My relationship with writing has been a complicated one. It was lush and flourishing when I was younger, and I find that the older I am the more I feel like I’ve forgotten how to write. Years of writing classes and workshop combined with reading amazing novels has made me feel incapable. It’s all a mind game, though. And this is what’s driving me this year. Facing the mind game. Facing myself. Pushing through.

So I’m here, committed. I also want to write about this process. I want to get back into documenting and I’d like to help myself discover what it is that I have to say.

Are you participating in NaNoWriMo this year? Tell me about your experience so far.

x.
M.

Uncategorized

Write, October.

Oh my goodness. It’s already October. How can that be? I have some big personal changes coming up this month and I’ve already decided to participate in NaNoWriMo next month. So where does that leave me in October? Ill have a little more time on my hands, and I haven’t been writing in forever. So I’m thinking about making it a point to write at least 750 words every day for this month. I’ll keep track at 750 Words and it can be anything. Journalling, talking to myself, writing up blog entries or fiction. Poetry. Limericks. Who cares! Words and thoughts typed up by yours truly. Hopefully you’ll be able to catch a glimpse of it here and there.

Now who wants to write with me?

xo
Melanie