November 17 2016

Why I Love NaNoWriMo

A little over a year ago, I heard about this thing called National Novel Writing Month, a.k.a. NaNoWriMo. It sounded like a crazy idea. Therefore, I had to try it.

Image courtesy of National Novel Writing Month
Image courtesy of National Novel Writing Month

In November 2015 I participated in my first NaNoWriMo. Holy crap. I loved it. Not just because I managed to reach the goal of 50,000 words in 23 days, but because it felt like such a major personal accomplishment. I had been afraid of trying creative writing up to that point. NaNoWriMo gave me a reason to say, “To hell with the fear, I’m going to do this!” It was like I grew up a little bit that month and dealt with something I had been afraid of for a long time.

In addition to helping me get over the fear of creative writing, I love NaNoWriMo because it provides a deadline for getting a story written. I tend to be a perfectionist, though I have been working on getting over this. The perfectionist in me desperately wanted to go back and rework almost everything I wrote. But I was able to tell her to hush, let me get the words out to the computer within the 30 days, and she’d get her chance to edit later. And I was pleased to go back and not hate what I wrote. It was pretty not bad for a first attempt at a first draft. It was crappy like any first draft, but crap that could be worked with. The perfectionist in me has been happy to bleed red ink on the pages to make the story better (yes, I went old school and printed the first draft to edit).

Finally, I love NaNoWriMo because it is a massive rush. I have been a pantser the past two years, which just means I did very little planning and am writing by the seat of my pants. So it is a ton of fun to watch the story unfold and take turns I wasn’t even expecting. The characters also start to take on a life of their own and behave in interesting ways.

Well, speaking of NaNoWriMo, I’m behind on my word count and need to get back to my story. Can’t wait to see what the characters will do next!

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October 20 2016

Socially Awkward, Even in Cyberspace

I tried writing in a journal a few times when I was younger, but it seemed like someone would always manage to read it. Each time someone else read one of my journals, it felt like an incredible violation of privacy. It also usually resulted in that person being mad at me for what I had written, which didn’t help. So I stopped writing down my thoughts and feelings and just kept them to myself. Journal with ones and zeros

Then along comes this internet thing and along with it social media and blogs. Now journals aren’t just little books with cute, easy to pick locks on them. They are 1’s and 0’s out in the open for the whole world to read.

The whole flippin’ world.

The thought of it was and still is horrifying to me. But I put on my big girl panties and dutifully signed up for social media accounts and even posted a comment now and then.

Several years have passed since joining the cyberspace society and so far I haven’t completely pissed off anyone with anything I have posted online. At least not that I know of. Yet. I got brave about a year ago and started a blog. It was a big deal for me to do this, but I wasn’t writing anything terribly personal. Just talking about stuff I made and having fun with it. Still haven’t completely pissed off anyone that I know of.

Then I recently decided to make a go of this whole being an author/writer thing, and started this blog. I also set up a Twitter account dedicated to it. It has been interesting “meeting” new people via Twitter and seeing what others are sharing. I see all of these people tweeting back and forth and I find I’m still mostly standing on the sidelines. Still the shy girl who is afraid to write anything that someone else might read. (I have already thought about just deleting this post and not publishing it because this is the most personal thing I have ever written online.)  Continue reading

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