NaNo Prep: Free Write

NaNo on Facebook gave us a prompt a few minutes ago to free write for 5 minutes. I’m supposed to be writing for thirty minutes a day, but probably won’t get that far before work, so this will likely be very short. I’ve created a new account on the NaNo website, so I can completely divorce myself from the previous appellation I was using after my breakup. It’s a very freeing thing for me, to completely remove all traces of that name from my world. The next step I need to take for that is a burning ritual, but that can be done on the next new moon. I think a new moon is a better time for such a ritual, since it signifies new beginnings to me.

I’ve been thinking about what I want to write this year for NaNoWriMo. I’m considering something in the world I started in last year, but I’ve decided that that world needs a -lot- of building before I can write in it effectively. I need to know more about it in order to expand the stories. It’s possible to make the single novel into a series, and I tried to leave the ending such that it led to a second novel, though I’m not certain I did so terribly well. Perhaps I’ll practice writing series’ of short stories this month, in preparation for a longer series of novels/novellas.

NaNoWriMo 2014 Preparations

Yes, I’m going to do it again. I’m going to be crazy enough to write 50,000 words (or more!) in 30 days. On top of that, my work schedule is more hectic. I’m full-time now, training five days a week starting very soon. Luckily, I’ll have a month to get myself in a habit of writing daily again, and probably more on my days off. Unless things change, those’ll be Tuesdays and Saturdays, which are good for me. It means I’ll have a day I can spend with Jason when he does have a day off, and a day which I can devote to long bursts of writing. Plus my schedule will now be set, which means I can get up and write before work, knowing exactly when I’ll be working. This is what I wanted, a stable schedule in order to have more regular time to write.

I still have no idea what I’m going to write, though. I haven’t even edited last year’s novel. It desperately needs it, honestly, but I’m not going to ‘cheat’ and use NaNo 2014 for that. It’s going to be all writing, something new. Maybe I’ll finally get to writing Thirty-Three Days into something real, or maybe I’ll start the second part of the novel which I started last year for NaNo. Or maybe I’ll rewrite the concept I started last October. I really, really enjoyed the concept, it just became really disjointed, and I think I can take the ideas and write them more concretely now that I’ve had some time to think on it.

Of course that brings me to the dilemma of what to do in October.

I don’t want to run the risk of basically writing all my ideas for NaNo 2014 in October, but I really need to get into a writing habit again, since it’s been a long time for me. I love writing, and I feel like I’m happier and healthier when I’m writing, but after a year almost of not writing I know I need to get back into the habit. I also need to learn how to work it into my daily/weekly schedule. I suppose I can use the month to work through a backlog of writing prompts, and that will help me get into the habit of writing both for a word-count and on a regular schedule. Both will be good for me.

I found myself wanting to read through some of last year’s novel, and I noticed something interesting. I didn’t remember a lot of it. I don’t know what that means, really, but there were a lot of details I didn’t remember whatsoever. I guess that says two things: first, that I really need to sit and read the story so I can edit it, and that a lot of that story came to me in flashes of pure inspiration, but didn’t stick with me. Is that a good thing? Maybe not. If it wasn’t memorable to me maybe it wasn’t memorable at all. Though realistically, it’s a rough draft. It’s a first draft, and by no means a finished novel. It needs a lot of work before it’s a finished novel. I haven’t even considered really publishing it somehow. I think it has the bones of a series, but that requires work I haven’t been able to put into it yet. Yet.

TDB’s Writing 101 – Unlock the Mind, Commit to a Writing Practice

I’ve found myself with the itch to write again. I was doing so well last year, leading up to and then all through November and even December as I worked on my novel. The novel has now languished for nearly a year, unedited, and thus uncompleted. Part of it was that I wanted to let it rest, like letting the twist set in a yarn I’ve spun. Then work got weird. I got a promotion to full time and to pet trainer, and there was added stress from my coworker. This has resulted in me turning to more mindless forms of distraction in my off-time, like Minecraft.

But I’ve been feeling the itch again. I want to write. I found an article on Facebook (oddly enough, my main source of information) today about writing and health. It claims that there is a link between people who write 3-4 times a week for 15-20 minutes at a time, and their health and well being. That just seems intuitive to me. And in hindsight seems almost obvious: when I am writing, it seems to me I’m healthier, when I’m not, I tend to get illnesses.

The itch to write now has nothing to do with the fact that I’ve been sick for nearly two weeks, though it is helping my resolve to reclaim the writing habit. I’ve had to alter other habits in my life recently, especially my eating habits. I’ve discovered I am diabetic, and that I’ve been living with elevated blood sugar levels for probably years now. My headaches, certainly, were coming from high blood sugar levels and not from tension, as I’d assumed they were. I had to shift my eating habits, and learn to control my weight and my blood sugar much better. Certainly I can shift my writing habits, and see if there’s something to this writing/health connection.

If nothing else, writing 3-4 times a week for 20-30 minutes a day would give my brain something to do. Maybe I could vent my work-stress into something more productive instead of (as I suspect I have done) internalizing it. It might also develop into an every-day habit and then I could almost certainly edit and then perhaps even publish my novel. I have a dream of it being a series, actually, and have the imaginings of another novel already in my head. It would be nice to actually do something with my enjoyment of writing.

I’d also like to work on a collection or two of poetry. I have a hard time writing poetry with a specific theme, honestly. I write when I am moved to do so, and the themes tend to be quite emotionally charged. I’d like to break out of that, to see if I can write poetry that doesn’t have anything to do with intense emotions, that isn’t inspired by drama, effectively. My dream is to write some nature-based poetry, which requires me spending time in nature. Perhaps seasonal themes. Maybe a spiritual collection as well. I don’t know. I need to get in that habit as well, writing poetry more regularly. Perhaps practice with specific structures and styles. Nearly all of my previous writing has been free-verse, but I feel like I want to have some experience with more structured forms.

I think I need to develop some sort of plan, a schedule of sorts for writing. Perhaps nothing too structured, but something that gives me a framework. Like with my crafting, nothing too rigid that I feel as if I’ve failed if I cannot do something exactly as I have planned, but rigid enough that it keeps me motivated. I’ve been restructuring my DayZero.com lists with that in mind, so I can just extend that into the writing realm. I’m going to continue with that, and see if I can’t push myself over the course of the next month and a half, so that come November, I’m ready to write another novel for NaNoWriMo.

April Intentions

I’ve already written once about my intentions for writing in April once, but I thought I’d revisit that topic again, since it’s a little closer to April First, and I’ve clarified a few things in my head.

I am going to be attempting participating in Camp NaNoWriMo this year. It will be my first year doing Camp NaNo, but I’m coming off the heels of a NaNoWriMo win in November so I have high hopes. One thing that may help me with it is that the word count goal is flexible for Camp NaNo – I can choose anything from 10k words upwards. I had started thinking I might set 33,333 words (because the title of my collection is ‘Thirty-Three Words’) as my goal, but I may have to drop that back because I may be working a lot more starting next month. (Yay!)

I also want to do NaPoWriMo, which is the poetry version of NaNoWriMo. I haven’t been writing much of anything lately (I’ve been doing much more knitting and spinning than writing), so it may be difficult for me to do both, but poetry is one thing I definitely love, and I don’t want to let that slide just because I’m writing short stories for a while.

Something I did last April was A-Z April which was hosted at Haiku Heights. Sadly, that blog has closed, but I think I might do it on my own. I really like themes, and at least if I’m posting one little poem a day it encourages me to sit down and write. Also, I enjoy haiku. I’ve written a fair bit of it. I even did a small series of fairy tales rewritten as haiku. I could certainly continue that, or do another themed set … or several.

All that is Gold – J. R. R. Tolkein

All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.

Camp NaNoWriMo & NaPoWriMo

As you might remember, I participated in NaNoWriMo last year, for the third time, and for the first time I won. I ended up writing over 64k words, when the goal was 50k, and I’m pretty impressed with myself in that regard. I have a completed rough draft of a novel that needs some serious editing, but it’s a completed rough draft and that’s big for me.

The people who run NaNoWriMo also do Camp NaNoWriMo in April and July. It’s a more flexible version of the original NaNoWriMo, but based on the same idea: set a goal for the month, and work your ass off to reach that goal. I wasn’t sure I would participate in this, but I think NaNoWriMo was so good for me as a writer that I’d be foolish not to do Camp as well.

I first thought I might use Camp to do my first edits on the existing novel, which I really need to do and not let it sit and be forgotten. But then I thought maybe I could do another novel that’s been rattling around in my brain for a bit.

Thirty Three Days

The asteroid some had predicted would hit the Earth is on a collision course with the planet, and all estimates said there is only a month’s time before it hits. Even if it doesn’t obliterate the planet, life will certainly change.

What would you do, if you knew you had only thirty-three days to live?

The idea for that one came from a writing prompt several years ago, and I thought it might be a nifty novel idea. Maybe a group of short stories. I’m not sure. Short stories seems a little more doable, really, now that I’m thinking about it.

Anyway.

I then was reminded that NaPoWriMo (National Poetry Writing Month) is also in April, and that led to a renewed wish to put together and publish a collection of poetry. So I’ve decided that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to write poetry. I don’t know how much poetry it’ll take to feel like I’ve really accomplished something, especially since I tend to write shorter pieces. I only wrote a total of 5800 words in 2013 (not including NaNo!), though I did write 14k+ in 2012. I’ve settled on 15k words, so I may have to write 6-10 pieces a day in order to get 15k done in one month, but that could be doable, even if they’re crap.

So, Camp NaNoWriMo and NaPoWriMo are a go! Even if I get that promotion I’ve been teased with for four months, I should still be able to manage it. And if I don’t at least I will have tried.