Sunday, October 31, 2010

Illusions of Grandeur

According to my own NaNo officially begins in 7 very short hours. I'm starting to panic. I'm not in full panic mode, but I'm damn close. Why?

Well, let me tell you.

I've been working on a novel for several years and as of about 2 years ago it transformed into a new story with new characters and a new plot. I love the story but it's changed several times over the two years. The plot bunnies consumed most of my ideas and left behind little pellets of other ideas. With that being said, I've gone about the last two weeks thinking I had NaNo in the bag since I already knew what I wanted to write. The sudden realization that I do NOT know what I want to write is upon me.

No outline and no path makes for a hefty panic. My feeble attempts to create an outline today are, well, feeble. There are too many ideas still swirling and too many options for placement of those ideas and consequences as a result of the placement. I AM NOT READY!!


Maybe I AM READY and this is just one last ditch effort by my internal editor (IE) to control my writing. Aha! I've figured you out! My, my... you are a tricky one. I need a name for my IE. Perhaps there's a thread on the NaNo forums about naming your IE.


I'm not procrastinating. I still have 6 hours 37 minutes and 48 seconds.. 47... 46.. *faints*

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Ready-O for NaNo... maybe.

I've been reading the forums on the NaNoWriMo site in preparation for November first. I laughed pretty hard today reading about the possibilities of people suspended in Jell-O and the other day reading about how much tin foil it would take to make a ball of foil as large as a shed.

Today, there's a thread about the 1667 words needed per day to meet the 50K goal by month end. The thread starter timed herself to see how long it would take to reach that goal per day depending on focus, distractions, ideas, etc... The posts that followed are both hysterically funny and horrifying at the same time. Some seem to have a handle on it and claim to be able to do to in under an hour. Others, like me, are less likely to complete the word count needed in less than 3 hours each day! I will time myself later this evening.

I also read a thread about the things writers keep around them while they write. At first the objects seemed like distractions from writing, but as I've begun to collect my own objects they seem more likely to keep me in my seat and at least near my writing. If I'm blowing bubbles from my little eyeball container, then I'm still seated at my desk and probably still thinking about the next word on the page. Right? Sure.

This is the last weekend before NaNo officially begins. Here's my list of things to do before Monday:
  1. Snack Food - fruits, Twizzlers, gum, tea, coffee
  2. Candles - running low on the good smelly kind
  3. CD's - organize my CD's so I dont waste time trying to find the "mood" (hmm. alphabetically or genre)
  4. Pencils - mechanical thank you very much
  5. Rules - ensure the household knows that from 7pm - 9pm they dont exist ... unless I'm stuck, lonely or out of Twizzlers..
  6. Hat - writing hat... find it!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Setting the Scene

Getting in the mood is hard, especially when forced. I think about it all day at work when I can't do it. I get excited about doing it when I get home, but the house comes first. Once all is done and I'm alone with my thoughts... I can't do it! I try and try, over and over... I just can't get there. I just can't get to that beautiful quiet in my head that streams with endless descriptions, dialogue and plot. Write something, dammit!

My writing room is small but filled with toys that stimulate my senses. Books, candles, stereo, lip gloss, bubbles, funny pens, pictures ripped from magazines and various quotes, heart shaped boxes, humorous clocks, note cards in bright colors, a slinky, my dog's bed (sometimes graced with her presence)... all of these things clue me in that there's magic waiting to happen. I also have a striped hat that I wear when it's time to get serious and make progress.

So here I am surrounded by the things I love and things that make me feel creative., except my hat. I can't find it at the moment. Maybe that's the problem today. My creativity is escaping through my hair follicles.

Of course the feeling, the need and the urgency will return tomorrow and dare me to steal away at work to give in to the creative passion and crazy rush it brings. Dare I sneak off to my car? The bathroom? In the staff break room? I like the thought of returning to my office with a sly grin, flushed cheeks and a notebook of random breakthroughs.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Get Ready! Get Set! Procrastinate!

November is just days away so what better time than now to procrastinate. I'm seeing banners on the NaNo site promoting books written and yet to be written. Feeling inspired, I created a banner for DIFTY (my novel).

I rather like it. What do you think?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Shhhhhh.... Writing in Progress!

My house is a small three bedroom rancher. All the rooms are crammed together with little between them. The walls are thin and the doors are thinner. The television echoes from the front of the house to the back and forward again. The PS3 fights for sound domination and fills the hall with gun fire, teen yelling and angst ridden music.

All I want to hear is the "clack-a-tap-a-clack" of my fingers on the laptop.

Earphones with no music playing helps to drown out the fury of noise but the dull roar is still there. Playing music distracts my attention from the words typed to the words sung. Instrumental music? Sure, that works for a little while. Maybe I need more variations of instrumental music. Classical and Nine Inch Nails' Ghosts I-V are all I have currently. Suggestions?

Silence is all I want but the clock ticks 8:47 p.m. and the voices will carry through the house for a few hours more. Not to worry, though. I'm done now.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Dreaming of Writing (literally)

Standing outside the store with someone next to me, we were perhaps in a line of some sort, we watched a woman inside. She walked to the front window display and placed a book atop a tall ladder. Each "step" of the ladder held a book. The book on the top was mine. My published book faced the street, faced me and all the people wandering past. I remember commenting to the person next to me about my book. There were a few other scenes in which I tried to get closer to the book but never made it. I awoke confused.

This dream came two or three days ago and letting it go has proved difficult. The published book appeared to be a crime fiction novel. My preferred genre is young adult or fantasy. Crime fiction?

In another part of the dream, a scene played out in my mind or rather the mind of myself in my dream. A man dragged a woman up a very steep slope. He dragged her by her foot. She, near death or dead, did not struggle. The mud beneath them left tracks of his steps wiped away by her body. There are other details but this scared me. Horror is not a genre I enjoy. At heart, I am the biggest chicken you'll ever meet. No thrasher movies, no Halloween hay rides, no ghost stories. However, this scene has me intrigued.

I lost my keys recently in a Khol's department store, and found them an hour later hiding under a purse I'd tried out, loved but didn't buy. I took it as a sign to buy the purse. I do not regret it. Maybe this dream was to push me into the right direction. Maybe this dream was to remind me of the many options I have as a writer. Maybe this is a sign. Could the biggest chicken this side of the Atlantic write horror?

Friday, October 15, 2010

Write, Write, Write! When?!

I'm preparing for NaNoWriMo (see previous post) and trying to decide what time of day is the best for me to write. Here's how this is going:

Mornings - This would seem like the perfect time for me to write. My son is out of the house by 6:45 every morning. It's quiet and I have about 30 minutes before I need to get ready for work. However, mornings and my brain don't get along. The alarm echoes "hit snooze" instead of "get up!" I lay in bed letting the smell of coffee waft over me. Snooze...

Afternoons - My regular 40 hour work week doesn't allow for much time to write. Lunch would be the best time but where? The lunch room is crowded, noisy and frankly smells funny. My office is quiet but interruptions are frequent. Writing in my car has always felt awkward.

Evenings - This depends on which one, or does it. I planned to list my evenings and why I can't write that night but Thursday is the only evening that is truly booked. Hmmm.

Well, my 30 minutes this morning is gone.

When do you write?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

NaNoWriMo? Sure!!

I work full time. I am involved in a writing group. I am attending an exercise course after work twice a week. I am also attending school for my BBA once a week which includes a team meeting every Saturday. I just purchased a bass guitar with hopes of fulfilling a few selfish dreams and I have a teenager to attend to when he's feeling sociable.

NaNoWriMo?? Why not? It's just 50,000 words in 30 days which apparently averages out to writing at least 1667 words per day. This is my first NaNo and hopefully not my last. I've been thinking about my novel, DIFTY, for more than 10 years. It's evolved into an entirely different story from its inception. I've structured the story and weaseled out plenty of "if this, then that" ideas. I have notebooks and programs filled with information about characters, plots and subplots. The written story? I've managed to eek out about 2200 words.

It's time for this story to see more than the inside of my brain. While I'm sure the inside of my brain is fascinating, there's so much more for these characters to give to the world. I created them. I gave them life. The time has come to set them free.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Procrastination Averted!

Here it is.

It's taken me all day to get this far. I chose a user name, created the blog and updated the formatting over the course of 6 hours. Finally, I'm writing. Procrastination wins again, for a little while anyway.

I've discovered something very important about my procrastination. I will only procrastinate a specific thing until something comes along that's more daunting or necessary. I began creating this blog to put off working on DIFTY (my novel). Then I put off completing the blog to get school work together. Now that I have all of my books for class here beside me, I've put them off to write this blog. See how that works?

This is a fantastic discovery for me. This means all I have to do is find something less enjoyable that needs to be done. The less enjoyable thing will propel me towards the thing I really need to get done... writing!

Well, that's how it should work ... in theory.

How do you curb procrastination?