Tag Archives: NaNo

Write-Ins When You’re Not Doing NaNo

27 Nov

I was so excited to be back to my monthly writers’ group. This month, the group merges with the local NaNo group and participates in a Write-In. As I’m not doing NaNo (and using grad school as an excuse one last time), I wasn’t exactly ‘on task’ at this one. I used the first half hour to write yesterday’s blog post. But once that was finished, I had to find another way to entertain myself.

A week before, I’d had a line come to me. I’m still unsure if it’s a novel or a short story, but I wrote it down either way. I decided to use a Word War to see where it took me.

I got about 2000 words into this story. The way it’s going now, it’s a short story. It could turn into something longer, but I think I’ll start here. It was really nice to write again. I missed feeling like I’m creating something out of thin air; like I’m meeting someone for the first time as I write from their mouth.

I want to get back into doing this. More on that later this week. For now, I just wanted to report on a successful one day of NaNo. I even won a Word War. I still got it.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

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Why I’m Not Doing NaNo And How I Feel About It

24 Oct

For the first time in four years, I’ve decided not to participate in National Novel Writing Month (NaNo) at all. I had a traditional ‘win’ in 2014 and in 2015 and 2016, I started participating after my school semester ended in the middle of the month and I did a time-based editing commitment. It was a bit more like camp NaNo but it still allowed me to participate and enjoy write-ins.

This semester, my class doesn’t end until early December and I’ve decided not to commit myself to any participation at all. It’s hard to step away for a year and I’m really going to miss the way NaNo makes me so excited about writing and the friends its introduced me to. I usually have the energy to write from NaNo that extends until February. But this year, I won’t.

This comes at a hard time for me because I’ve stopped feeling like a writer. I write this blog, but I’m not working on my short stories and I haven’t touched my novel in a few months. I’ve had a few acquaintances ask me lately how my novel is going and my answer is ‘school.’ I feel like I’m not a writer now, I’m a student. I don’t feel like I have time to be both.

With a graduate date of December 2018, I’ll have at least another year of feeling this way. I made a running analogy about this for my husband that I feel works well. Writing this blog is like training for a 5K. It’s short, small runs, that keep me in shape and keep me feeling good. Working on my novel is like training for a marathon. It’s completely different and a lot more commitment. Running 5Ks puts you in a good position to start training for a marathon, but it’s not in the same league. This blog keeps my muscles loose, but they’re not ready to jump into a novel.

I hope none of you are having writer doubts like I am. It makes me all sad and mopy. I’m really hoping that when I’m no longer a student, I can reach some other goals I have for myself. One is to finish a half Ironman triathlon. The other is to finish my book and start querying it. I’ll start January 2019 but that seems a long way off.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Writers Group: Getting ready for NaNo!

27 Oct

For those of you reading this who are also writers, you know that NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is just around the corner. My library does an awesome NaNo program and we utilized our writers’ group meeting this month to talk about the process.

The teen librarian at our branch location is a writer and big fan of NaNo.  She utilized the time to talk about the history of NaNo and how this crazy experiment came to be. It’s a great time to let our characters (and plots) run free and many people have found great inspiration during NaNo. Unlike the traditional 50K words goal, our library program encourages people to pursue their own goals and chase them as we choose. (I already posted about my NaNo Rebel Plan). We host write-ins twice a week and having the community creates a great guilt trip for not participating!

For those of you participating or thinking of participating in NaNo, I encourage you to find your local region on nanowrimo.org. I’m very fortunate to live in a major region (that may or may not consistently beat Chicago for words writing) and one of the MLs (Municipal Liasons) for the Detroit region was at our humble library meeting. Events are kicking off this weekend for the event kick off next Tuesday.

This will be my fourth year ‘participating’ in NaNo. I won traditionally in 2013 and have used the last two years to edit, a practice I will continue this year. If you are at all intrigued, I encourage you to check out events and others in your region (check the site!). If you happen to be a fellow Detroit-writer, check out the region events- they’re awesome and there are tons of them.

Best of luck to my fellow writers! I’ll be joining you on November 10th as soon as my final exam is over.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

NaNoWriMo- My Official (ish) Intentions

20 Oct

Is it obligatory for a writing blog to post about NaNo? No, not yet? Well, I’m sure it will be in the near future so I better get this out-of-the-way.

I had two NaNo-related things happen to me so far in October and I thought it would be best to roll out this post before November 1 approached. I’m going to participate but not in the traditional sense.

For those of you not familiar, NaNo is short for National Novel Writing Month (also called NaNoWriMo). The goal is to write a 50,000 word novel between midnight on November 1 and midnight November 30. You start with a blank page and finish with ‘The End.’ I did this in 2013 making me a ‘Winner.’ (May or may not have a shirt…) In 2014, I was a ‘rebel’ and instead of writing an average of 1,667 words per day, I edited for the time it would have taken me to write that much. Hate me if you want, but I can normally pound out 1,667 words in about a half hour, give or take. So that meant I got at least 15 hours of editing my 2013 NaNo in last year. I finished that up earlier this year and I’ve set it aside for now while a friend reads it.

This year, I have a big obstacle in my way: School. I’m in an MBA program and the class I’m taking is very demanding. Fortunately (or not), it’s on a shortened semester schedule and wraps up November 16th. So I know that I’ll be up to my eyeballs in finance until the final is finished. I don’t want to go half-in on school and I don’t want to be stressing about NaNo so I’m pretending NaNo starts on November 17th. If I can do some work earlier than that, I will, but I won’t hold myself to a schedule. My goal until then is getting an A in this class.

Starting the 17th, it’s NaNo season for me. I’ll still end on the 30th, so it’s a shortened season. All told, I should get at least 7 hours of editing in. That’s right, I’m going to edit again. I don’t like having so many projects going that I can’t keep track of them all so I want to use the time to edit again. I really enjoy the camaraderie and friendly competition that come along with NaNo and I don’t want to skip out on the encouragement and focus I find in November. So I’ll be editing at write-ins and the annual Midway Madness event that my lovely home chapter hosts. I’m really pumped to get back into the frenzy. It’s the carrot waiting for me at the end of the semester.

Before this starts, I need to do some research. My book focuses on a school in the 1920s, but I’m not able to find a lot of information about the school systems at that time. I need to go to the library and spend some time with a research librarian. Honestly, that sounds like a blast to me.

How about you, Reader? Are you doing NaNo? What are your goals, whether they be rebellious like mine or more standard. I wish you the best in this crazy endeavor.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!