“It is finished.” She types melodramatically.

2013-Winner-Facebook-Cover

Despite the best efforts of my own self sabotage (meaning, I wanted to watch Christmas movies every day this month), or my keyboard on my laptop glitching out everytime I got to really pecking away on a chapter and I had to reboot, or just life in general – I HAVE FINISHED the NaNoWriMo contest!! (phew, wiping my brown, doing a happy dance!)

For all you people out there that others call “procrastinators,” or perhaps you call yourself that – it’s OK! Sometimes our best quality is needing a little pressure such as a 30 day deadline to write 50,000 words. Cause, seriously, no planner I know can do this. Just kidding, of course.

What I learned in the last 2 weeks:

  1. I did better if I focused on writing chapters instead of word count.
  2. Walks with my dog helped when I ever so dramatically yelled aloud, “I WILL NEVER FINISH THIS!! What else can I possible write?! Oh, this is the project that never ends!” As I fling my self on my keyboard and cry. Then, a step out the door with happy dog on my side, I’m like, “Oh! I could write about this, or this.” Yes, a little fresh air and oxygen does the mind good, but mostly I think it’s the love of my dog.
  3. Embarrassed to say I prayed more this month than I have in a long time – not really, but, um, yeah really.
  4. It dawned on me if I tell people I’m writing a book, they’ll want to read it – EGAD!
  5. I completely ignore things like um, dishes, cooking dinner, makeup when I’m in the zone. Thank goodness I have a loving husband that encouraged me not to worry about those things. Love that guy.
  6. I can do big things if I turn every piece of technology off and make myself sit still.
  7. I can’t believe what a motivation it is to be able to enter the exclusive “Winner’s Page” on the NaNoWriMo site – only when you paste in at least 50,000 words do you get to go there! TOTALLY WORTH IT!

And, the big thing I learned: I’m way more dramatic than I realized. But, it’s good for a book!

So glad I’m done. I loved, loved, loved this journey. Many more to come. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Here’s to your last Pumpkin Spice Latte and onto Peppermint Mochas!

2013-Winner-Facebook-Profile

NaNoWriMo – Week two, not throwing in the towel!

How was this week of writing for the cool NaNoWriMo contest? Let me tell you what I’ve learned about myself this week:

  • I LOVE BREAKS! No, I mean, I live for them. I will do just about as hard a work as I can produce as long as I know when the break is – otherwise, no way, man. It’s not happening. I will melt down into child tantrum fashion internally panicking if I can’t see the light at the end of my working tunnel. Mature, huh. The only reason I’m comfortable sharing this embarrassing fact is because I see mature adults do just as embarrassing things every day. So, I’m not alone – right?
  • I am my best writing self when I’m irritated with someone or upset. And, this week, a lot of people were irritating me, so I should be…thankful? Huh?
  • The more I write about what I know (which is like the Cardinal rule of writing, right?), the more intense my story is because apparently I’m full of only dramatically intense emotions and experiences, thus meaning the more drained I am at the end of each chapter. I literally will hold my breath, and at the final sentence, sit back and breathe. And, say, “Whoo!” shaking my head as the adrenaline pumps through me. And, unlike my real experiences, I can’t very well try to talk to someone about how what I’m writing is something I may need counseling on, cause they would just be like, “Don’t write that, then.” You know, the old if your leg hurts when you move it that way, stop doing that.

I had a little vision of myself as a professional writer. Clothes mismatched, and the kind of clothes you could work out or sleep in, your choice. Of course, who are we kidding, who has time to workout when you’re writing? Hair in a forever pony tail sprouting out in the back and sides cause I keep adjusting it when I’m trying to figure out what to write. An endless cup of coffee by my side, so definitely a caffeine addict. Oh, and gotta have chocolate. So you know, the usual culprits, sugar and caffeine. Taking time to get up and move around only when my back hurts or my legs fall asleep because of how I’m sitting…or to walk the dog. Thank God for the dog, or I’d never go outside when I’m in the middle of writing.

And, the ever present, don’t talk to me right now I’m trying to write attitude.

This vision was the mirror.

This very much contradicted what I’ve always THOUGHT I’d look like as a writer. Something like Nancy Drew come to life with a touch of Meg Ryan from Sleepless in Seattle. You know, professional, yet stylish, hair just so but in a smart way. With a cool laptop at a cool desk in front of a cool window over looking the ocean.  Romantic, dreamy…Yeah, not so much.

Sigh…well, it ain’t pretty, but it’s honest. And, we can’t be pretty all the time, right?

Words so far: 13, 355

NaNoWriMo Week One – oh, man

Hmmm, remember last week when I wrote this:

I’ll be posting daily updates in case any one is interested in what this experience is like.  Day 1 for me started off with me being sick – ugh. And, had to work. So, how can someone who works full time figure out how to write 1667 words a day?? I’ll find out.

Well, I’ll tell you how it went (as I shift uncomfortably in my chair): it was, um, nonexistent. For some reason, I always to use spell check on that word, always adding another “is” – my friend at work caught then on a spreadsheet I made. I died laughing. Caught.

Anyways, I’m trying to distract you with a funny story. Much like I did to myself all week. Up until today I wrote ZERO words. Ugh. This was much harder than I anticipated. I am clearly the Queen of Excuses. Kind of like when I had a test in college, that was the only time you’d find me cleaning like my life depended on it. My best friend knew, though, and she’d smirk and say to be funny: you must have a test tomorrow. Bingo.

I pulled the old procrastinate mode out this week. And, I don’t know why. Once I sat down today I got so excited about what I was writing I wanted to know how it would turn out! Like reading, I wanted to keep pecking away until I saw what happened. Because I haven’t figured out how my book ends.

What I learned this week:

Writing buddies ROCK: I had GREAT conversations with my writing buddy (yes, I’m so lucky to have a writing BUDDY!) about, you guessed it, not writing.

I learned that I will procrastinate even in things I enjoy. WHAT?! What does that even mean??? Yes, I had to work, yada yada, but come on – my job is in corporate America in a cube, while it can be emotionally stressful to be in a box, it’s not hard. I should have enough reserve left to devote to something I truly love. Yet, I didn’t.

I seemed to run from myself. It’s the darndest thing. I would describe this as the same thing I do in working out. I love love love to swim, do Body Pump, jog, do yoga. Yeeeeetttt, I’ll run from it as if it was hurting me, not helping me!! Even though I feel incredible afterwards. WHAT?! What does that even mean???

So, now I’m back at it: facing my story. It’s something like making myself look at my image in the mirror. Really taking note of how I actually am, not how I wish I was  – and accepting myself. Writing brings out who you really are – like yourself or not. It’ll call on you to be dedicated and disciplined. UGH! Not my strengths. But, if I want to be sure of who I am, I have to do what I can do. And, stop running from myself.

Please tell me I’m not the only one who does this! Now, I need to get back at it instead of distracting myself with my blog. Oops.

Word count so far: 5,516 (44,484 words to go)

Day 1 of write a novel in 30 days? What?! NaNoWriMo Challenge is ON!

It’s official.

This is the coolest writing challenge I’ve ever seen.

And, I’ve picked up my pen, ahem, keyboard and accepted the challenge.

Click here to read about it! National Novel Writing Month Site (NaNoWriMo)

Day 1 of this 30 day challenge began yesterday, November 1st. Writers are to write 50,000 words in the month of November. Which creates a novel – what?! Seriously?!

Why had I never heard of this? So, on 10/31 I signed up. And, enlisted a good friend to do so, too. You know us crazies like to have buddies on the ride with us.

If you are a writer and want inspiration, fine tuning of your skills – check it out!

I’ll be posting daily updates in case any one is interested in what this experience is like.  Day 1 for me started off with me being sick – ugh. And, had to work. So, how can someone who works full time figure out how to write 1667 words a day?? I’ll find out.

Luckily, yesterday evening, my internet stopped working. I say luckily, because I was watching Hulu and probably would’ve done so the rest of the night. So, what else could I do but get started?

I kind of had a storyline in mind, but did I have the guts to write it? It’s intense and real. After watching some of the inspirational videos at NaNoWriMo and reading the Pep Talk email from James Patterson – I agreed, I needed to write with abandon and freedom. I mean, no one has to read it unless I want them to, and it’s not like I think I’ll be published. And, Nancy Drew’s already been done. Darn.

So, with a cup of coffee in hand, dog happily fed and walked, window cracked open for some fresh air – I hunkered down in my bedroom, lamps for my lighting, soft music in the other room – and started hitting the keyboard. I barely looked up once through the first 600 words! Wow, I thought, heyyyyy, that’s not too hard. Am I fooling myself? Am I in the honey moon stage? Who knows. All I know is once I had an outline and got started – BAM!

Of course, I cheekily Facebooked my writing buddy and bragged of my great start! Not fair to her, it was her birthday yesterday so she had been going in 20 directions. I didn’t have the same kind of fun distractions since I was sick and just laying down anyways. Left with my thoughts – might as well write stuff down.

At the end of Day 1, I am proud and to report I completed 2,102 words. WOW! I knew I had a lot to say, but didn’t know I had so much to say.

This is the great WordPress post that sparked my interest – give it a read! It’s not too late to join the fun. Thank you, Ben Huberman at the Daily Post of WordPress!

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/10/31/nanowrimo-roundtable-1/

Interested in joining? It’s not too late. Here’s a breakdown of the word count to aim for tailored to your lifestyle:

http://voices.yahoo.com/nanowrimo-math-5-word-count-strategies-hit-50000-2065125.html?cat=35

That’s all for now – got to save my words for NaNoWriMo!

2013-Participant-Square-Button