Searching for Equilibrium as a Woman, Writer and Mom

JoyDietMarthaBeck

 

I’ve been feeling a little off kilter lately.  Life is hectic.  I leave for work in the morning, drive an hour each way, spend 9 hours there, pick up my daughter and arrive home nearly 12 hours later.  The rest of my evening is consumed with cooking dinner, cleaning up and caring for my toddler child who goes to sleep late because my husband works second shift and needs some sleep too.

Most of you probably have your own schedule challenges.

I feel like I’m constantly behind and running from one task to another, forgetting things and not sure what I’m really supposed to be doing.  I’m pretty good at organization but I lose track of my purpose sometimes, and therefore lose my balance in life.  The good thing is that I think I know what can help me.  That hard part is fitting it into my schedule.

Several years ago I picked up the book The Joy Diet: 10 Daily Practices for a Happier Life by Martha Beck. It’s a tiny little book but it holds so much humor and wisdom.  I incorporated it into my life at that time and it truly helped me put what was most important to me center stage in my life, define goals and take towards making it a reality.  Sadly, I’ve gotten away from it.  Oh, I still do a few things she recommends on an irregular basis but I think working more consciously with these steps could be just what I need.

One of the hardest steps, though it sounds easy, is the first – to do fifteen minutes of NOTHING every day. We are so inundated with things to do that it may be more difficult than you think to find fifteen minutes all to yourself to quiet your mind. Of course, you can never really completely quiet your mind. The point is to watch your thoughts go by without getting drawn into the emotions they usually create. My boss is being a real jerk today! Mmm-hmm, that’s nice dear. Just watch your thoughts float by like a leaf floating down a stream. The point is to detach from them so you can relax.  I found doing this on paper, ala Julia Cameron’s “Morning Pages” was a great way to go for a writer.

The second step is to create or find a moment of TRUTH every day. We tend to assume that the things we are telling ourselves are true. The truth may be vastly different and yet those thoughts are creating our feelings! We dig a little deeper to find the truth so that we can be more productive. I have felt my mood elevate just by acknowledging what I am saying to myself and recognizing how I have made something seem worse than it really is.

The third step is to figure out what we DESIRE. So many times we divorce ourselves from what we really want in our lives because we think it just isn’t realistic, that we’re never going to get it. “I’ll never find someone to love so I should just stop wanting it.” But that doesn’t make the desire go away, it just submerges it so that it becomes a deep-seated source of discontent. Might as well acknowledge what we want, figure out if it’s something we really want, then start figuring out how to get it. Which brings us to our next step.

CREATIVITY. Most of the time we’re not going to get what we really want by doing the same old things we’ve always done. It’s time to get creative and come up with some ideas. Martha has a phrase for it that I really like, “force innovation.” You create lists of ways to get what you want, from reasonable to illegal. The point is to brainstorm ideas, not necessarily to do them.

Next comes RISK. It’s often going to take a risk to get what you really want. If you break it down into the smallest step you can possibly take every day, you can overcome the fear and actually take the step. Put up the profile on the dating site, send the manuscript to the editor, send your resume off to the company.

Then you can get to the TREATS. Just like training any lab animal, you’re going to have to reward yourself into taking action if you’re going to keep it up. Martha teaches you how to figure out what a treat is for you and to give yourself permission to have them. (Yes, some people need permission to treat themselves well.) Some of mine include listening to music, petting my cat and good coffee. It’s anything that sparks a smile for you. The real trick is to recognize them as treats and take full pleasure in them.

The ability to PLAY is something most of us figure we have to give up at some point. What Martha is suggesting is a change in perspective about what you do every day. Once you realize what your purpose is in life, you can see that everything else you do is simply a game you are playing to make your real purpose in life possible. It’s not such a big deal. Martha has a shortcut to figuring out what your purpose is. Think about September 11, 2001. What did you do that night? It’s probably related in some way to your life purpose. I wrote a fictional story about a woman who lost her husband in the towers, but then I’ve always known my purpose is to write. Yours may not be quite so literal.

Ever since Norman Vincent Peale, we’ve all known that LAUGHTER is a powerful form of medicine. Really, is there anything better for lifting your mood? Sometimes I trip over it and sometimes I have to go looking. I take myself over to Pinterest and look at the Geek board at least every other day. I adore funny movies and books. I recently found the Sweet Potato Queen books and I have not laughed so hard at a book in ages. It relieves stress and lowers your blood pressure. I’m learning to laugh instead of getting angry when something goes wrong. Martha suggests you should be getting at least 30 LPDs (Laughs Per Day.) I’d say it’s a fun thing to strive for.

CONNECTION is perhaps the most important of the Joy Diet steps. It requires that you use the first five steps in dealing with at least one other person every day. We all know that solitary confinement is a punishment. There’s a vast difference between being alone with yourself and being lonely. We need other people in our lives, but more than that, we need to feel connected to other people. A lot of people don’t know how to truly connect with others, or they’re afraid of the pain that doing so will inevitably bring them. Yes, being connected to other people will bring you pain. They will do things that hurt you or you might be left behind at some point. The point is that by being connected to other people, you’ll be better able to endure the pain life throws your way. Martha says that, “even as your heart breaks, you’ll find that it always breaks open.” You’ll have a network of connections to call on in your time of need.

The last step simply sounds joyful, FEASTING. I close my eyes and picture large groups of people talking and laughing, sitting around and enjoying each other’s company, with music and food and drink. But feasting doesn’t require other people. It doesn’t even require food. Feasting is about the attention you give to whatever activity you are engaging in so that it is set apart from other daily activities. One of the most important aspects of feasting is ritual. Most people think of a church service or a family saying grace before dinner, but it can also mean getting into comfy clothes, making popcorn, and getting cozy on the sofa with a blanket before starting a movie. The actions set what you are about to do apart from the rest of the day.

You can feast on sights, sounds, touch, movement or even sleep. It’s something that feeds you physically, emotionally, intellectually or spiritually. Some of my favorite feasts involve watching a movie that inspires or makes me think, listening to peepers in the warm spring air late at night or washing my hands in warm water with honey scented soap. Then you give thanks. Feel your gratitude for this feast, whomever you direct it to, God, the universe or yourself. Being grateful for the good things gives us something to hold onto when things aren’t going so well.

Of course, there’s a lot more to all of this than I’ve been able to say in just this post but I hope it gives you the idea. This book is packed with humor and information. I’ve only been able to give you a taste here. I highly recommend you get the book for yourself and give it a try. Check it out at the library if you’re not sure you want to spend the money on it. I did, and ended up buying it for myself. I’m so glad to have it on my bookshelf. I hope it enriches your life too.

The Glimmer of Hope

It’s been a long week and I’m so frazzled from the process of trying to rewrite, revise and edit the summary and first fifty pages of Biomalware before tonight’s deadline that I’m not entirely sure why I’m doing this anymore. I want chocolate… and a nap.

After I submit Biomalware to the James Jones Fellowship contest tonight, I’m going to take the weekend away from it. I have some reading and commenting to do for others and the house is in a state of disgrace that only some heavy duty cleaning and elbow grease will elevate it from.

I’ll need to get back into it fairly soon and revise then edit the next fifty pages so that if the Fellowship competition should call for them, they will be ready.

I’m seriously thinking about creating just an outline for the book and going back to reimagine each scene and write it fresh with all the details then combine the best of the two versions I have. I think I probably will. That would allow me to come at it from two different writing directions. It will also give me time to research the GMO question and take Sam through the research process more in the book.

Oh, and to cap off my wonderful mood yesterday, I got my rejection e-mail from the Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Contest. Guess I’ll be submitting that story to Yahoo! Voices this weekend. I doubt it will get much interest because they aren’t really featuring new stuff these days but at least it will be out there. I really liked it though it’s a bit unusual, a bit of magical realism, so hopefully someone else will enjoy it too.

I write because I like to write and to connect with others. I would really like to be writing novels and short stories for a living. I often refer to it as living the dream.

New York State came up with an ad campaign a few years back for their lottery tickets that said “you can’t win if you don’t play.” Now they more often go with “Hey, you never know.” Both sum up how I feel about submitting my work to contests and for publication. It’s a long shot but there’s that glimmer of hope that keeps me persevering. I know I want to write for a living and I know it’s a long shot but I know it’s certainly not going to happen if I don’t submit what I’ve written. I’d write even if no one ever read it but it’s so much more fun to share what I’ve written.

So, I have my lunch hour today and what time my 2 year old will allow me after work to continue revising and editing the excerpt from Biomalware before I submit it competition. On the one hand, I know there is so much more I could do to it, and will in the future. On the other hand, I promised myself that I was going to submit to this contest and I really feel compelled to at least put it out there. Maybe I could get an honorable mention for the ideas, if not the execution.

Hey, you never know.

Exploring and Reflecting Through Writing

OrteliusWorldMap

Last week I met with my writer’s group and they gave me some food for thought about my writing.

Because there were so few of us and we didn’t have much new to share, I read a few things I’d written in the past year and put on my Yahoo! Voices page.  One member told me that she thought, “people like your writing because you’re so honest.”  Another member mentioned that he felt I hold back in reading to the group.  He’s right, it’s much harder to read things for people face to face than what I post under the slight anonymity of a pen name.  Both comments drew me to think about the honesty in my writing.

Honest is something I certainly try to be in life.  In my writing it has to do with seeking the truth of the situation, whether it’s fiction or memoir.  I think that the more honest I am about events and my feelings, the more someone else can connect with it and use the experience.  I’ve always wanted to help people with my writing, if only to feel less alone.  I think the connection that writing and reading can bring, dispelling the illusion of our distance and loneliness, could be one of my most important contributions.  It’s all about the ripples.

I write for others, but even more so, I write for myself.  I explore ideas and situations, exorcise demons.  I particularly love end of the year writing – getting some last licks in before the year changes over.  There’s something reflective and magical about it.  It’s full of anticipation and potential energy.  We may reflect on the past year, think about where we want to go and chart a course.

I’ve definitely been thinking about the novel I want to finish.  I see it going through a lot of changes, giving it layers and depth.  I’m anticipating the day when I feel it’s ready to strike out on it’s own, to present it to people for the reading.

I’m excited about writing in the coming year.  Are you?

Writing Goals Met and Voided

Did I blink?  The Weeping Angels didn’t get me but the year sure went by in a flash and here we are at the end.  It’s funny, in looking back over my writing blog and my Yahoo! Contributor Network page, I can see that I haven’t been sitting still.  I’ve accomplished a good little bit.  (I put up 9 new pieces just this month!)  I “won” Camp NaNoWriMo and National Novel Writing Month by writing over 50,000 words a month in August and November.  But it’s largely not the things I put on my “Writing Goals” list last December.

Was I distracted?  Perhaps, but perhaps I was taking advantage of opportunities.  There are things I really wish I had done so I will have to carry them over to my list for this year.  This past year has also brought some clarity about what I want to do with my writing so there are some things I will take off the list.  Here’s what I wrote last year for goals –

  1. Read Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass and use ideas in writing and editing.
  2. Edit middle grade mystery novel.
  3. Write more and edit mainstream novel.
  4. Show both books to writer’s group for feedback.
  5. Choose agents and editors to submit to.
  6. Keep track of expenses. (Treat writing as a business.)
  7. Write an essay monthly and submit it to the Yahoo Contributor Network.
  8. Write an entry weekly for Melora Johnson’s Muse.
  9. Write an entry weekly for http://storymusing.blogspot.com.
  10. Write short stories as ideas come up.
  11. Read, read, read
  12. Consider paying for a professional copy editor to give me feedback
  13. Keep submitting.

#1 – I did read it and I think I incorporated some aspects into my writing.  It was very informative.

#2 – Nope.  Now, I don’t think I will at this point.  Children’s Lit just isn’t where I want to put my efforts at this point in my writing career.

#3 – I’ve definitely written a lot more in 2012 than in 2011 and I did write most of Biomalware.  I just need to finish it and then edit, edit, edit.

#4 – Kinda.  I did share a lot with the writer’s group but didn’t finish the novel so I didn’t show it to them.

#5 – I still have an agency in mind to submit to first..

#6 – No, I didn’t keep track of expenses.  We’ll see what tax season does to me.  I did make enough from Yahoo! that I’ll have to declare it so I’m just hoping I won’t have to start paying quarterly taxes.

#7 – Well, I can’t say I submitted something every single month, but I submitted so many in some months, that I added about 50 pieces of writing this year.  I’d call that solid work.

#8 – There were a few weeks I skipped but I did add an entry most weeks.

#9 – Ditto for #9.

#10 – Yep, I wrote several short stories this year and submitted some to contests and online.

#11 – Well, definitely not as much reading as I would have liked but I did spend more time listening to books on CD in the car this year and that has been fun.  I’m reading the latest Harry Dresden novel by Jim Butcher in hard copy right now and loving it.

#12 – Yes and no.  I have been submitting, just not a novel yet.

I think my overarching goals this year were to write regularly and to make some money off my writing.  I definitely accomplished that.  In 2013 I will finish Biomalware and start submitting it.  I’m just not sure how long that’s going to take.  Eventually, I’d like to say I WILL make a living at my writing but I’m afraid I’m still at HOPE right now.

What were your goals this year?  Did you accomplish them all or in part?  What are your goals for your writing next year?

The End of NaNoWriMo 2012

Winner-180x180

Here we are, the final day of NaNoWriMo 2012. I’ve got a cup of amaretto hot chocolate and about 1,200 words to write yet. Unless the 2 year old has other ideas, it shouldn’t be a problem to finish. I don’t have big plans to celebrate. This cup of hot chocolate and maybe a nap is about the size of it. I’m simply enjoying the sense of accomplishment of being able to say I wrote at least 50,000 words this month and didn’t lose my mind. In fact, I really enjoyed it.

There’s been a lot of emotion spilled out on the page, both mine and my character’s. It’s been an interesting month of writing. Except for a few zigs to the left and zags to the right, I’ve pretty much kept up with my daily word count for a change. Perhaps that because I chose to be a NaNo Rebel this time around.

I started out thinking I would pick a different prompt every day and write a collection of short stories, essays, blog posts, poetry, etc. – one thing complete every day. There were short stories, some of them finished, but I was surprised to find a couple that I think could actually turn into novels in the future. There were some short stories that went nowhere and some that took multiple days. No poetry but lots of blog posts and several essays.

So, it didn’t quite work out the way I planned. When does NaNoWriMo ever? Heck, when does a piece of writing ever start at point A and simply arrive at point B like you planned? It’s pretty unusual for me, but that’s part of the journey. We start out and find the horizon moves as we walk towards it.

I’d like to get one more really short story in. I’ve always enjoyed the flash fiction genre. I’ve been shooting for anywhere from 50 words to 1,500. It’s a challenge and small work of word art to make a complete story arc in that amount of words. I’ll go find a prompt and see what I can do then post this when I’ve completed my NaNoWriMo word count.

Post script – It’s done. 50,228 words and the start of some kind of space opera.  Not a complete story yet but the start of something is certainly a good thing too. Right, time to make a tomato and bacon bit sandwich. Cheers!

Give Yourself Some Writing Credit

Taken by Bohringer Friedrich

So often, we think about all that we have yet to do or that we should be doing, but I’d like to take a moment to focus on all we do get done as writers, usually with schedules that are already full of living.

 Last week a coworker sent me a link to Pen Parentis (http://www.penparentis.org) an organization set up specifically for writers who are also parents.  There are dues to pay but you receive certain benefits by being a member, like being part of a community of writers who understand your challenges as a writing parent, savings on application fees for certain contest and fellowship application fees from Pen Parentis partners, an author profile, marketing space, promotion of your literary events on the events calendar and a Pen Parentis logo that you can use on your web site or e-stationary.

 Anyway, it got me thinking that, you know, I’m doing pretty darn good at this writing thing. I am a parent of a small child, I commute an hour each way and work a full-time job. I still write, even participating in National Novel Writing Month where I wrote over 50,000 words in August during Camp NaNoWriMo and hope to do so again this month. I’ve published things on Yahoo! Voices and earned actual money from it, as well as entering various contests.

 Of course, all this writing doesn’t happen in a vacuum. My job is a tremendous help. Not only am I librarian, surrounded by books in a moderately large library, but I run an adult writing group there, sanctioned and originally requested by the library. My director is tremendously supportive of my writing endeavors too. When I had two pieces featured on Yahoo! Voices, she celebrated by giving me a ticket to a local charity fashion event.

 Then there is my family, friends and past school teachers. I’ve never been laughed at or scoffed at but rather supported in my writing. I remember each of my English teachers in high school being supportive in some way.  I remember going to a reading with some students from one of my English classes in high school. I thoroughly enjoyed it and when we left I said that I really liked one particular story and wished I could write like that. My English teacher looked at me and said, “You write better than that.” I never forgot that.

 Last, and perhaps most importantly, my husband is very supportive of my writing – verbally, actively and financially. He listens to me talk about stories that I’m writing with interest and when he knows I’m working hard on a piece he will do extra chores around the house, like emptying the dishwasher when it’s not his turn. The laptop that I’m writing on right now, plus the voice activated digital recorder and the Dragon NaturallySpeaking software that I use were all bought for me by him.

 No, all the roadblocks in my way have been of my own creating which creates a little bit of guilt. I love to write and hope to one day write for a living. Now I have to prove that is what I want by writing and submitting finished pieces. I could kick myself for not moving toward my goals faster, but as the song by Jason Mraz says, “I’m letting myself off the hook for the things I’ve done/ I let my past go past/ and now I’m having more fun.”  We need to start giving ourselves credit for all we do accomplish and enjoy writing. Who’s with me?

The Moving Target

Why is it that our plans for writing so easily go astray?  The post before last I said that I was going to finish this novelization of Biomalware by October 25th to give to my writer’s group and let them read it and give me feedback.

I haven’t done it.  No, instead I’ve been watching Doctor Who and writing a sort of fan fiction based on some experiences I’ve had recently.  It’s been a pretty strange time, as I’ve previously recounted, and it turned into a weird little story.  I’ve finished it and now I’m thinking – what’s the point?  I’m not going to sell it that way.  I’ve written an interesting little anecdotal story and now I want to invest it with mean, or maybe I just need to discover the meaning in it, what it means to me Why did my brain come up with it?  I did find two of my favorite themes in it so I hope that helps bridge it.

I think fan fictions and dreams are interesting to ourselves but a lot of times they don’t stand on their own as a story.  It takes some work to turn them into a real and complete story of their own that doesn’t require a whole lot of back story.  I shared the story with my writer’s group last night and the reaction was lukewarm.  Maybe it was just my sleep deprivation interpreting their reactions but I was looking for at least one person to really LIKE it, even if they could see room for improvement, but I didn’t hear that in their responses.  I have to wonder if that isn’t because fan fiction just requires too much knowledge of the story world for it to make sense to the average reader.  I don’t know.  I’m going to move forward with their suggestions and hope it makes it more accessible for everyone.  They gave me some good info about what didn’t work for them so I hope I can bridge that gap.

I also still want to finish that novel for my writer’s group but I just don’t see it happening before the end of the month and November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) so I may be looking at the end of the year for that.  I want to finish it but I don’t want to rush it.  Maybe the ending will be part of my word count for NaNo.

I’m planning a NaNo that combines short stories, non-fiction and maybe poetry.  I seem to keep getting pulled back to science fiction.  I started thinking I should be writing in that vein because I love it, but I also love mysteries.  Then I looked at what I’ve been writing on and realized it pretty much is science fiction.  I’m sure both will show up in my Nano.

Right now, I’m preparing for NaNoWriMo by collecting inspiration and prompts.  I’m making lists of people I’ve wanted to base a character on, things that inspire me, topics I’m interested in and the like.  I once did a 2,000 word story a day for most of a month so that’s what I’m shooting for.  Of course, I was out of work and single at the time, but why let little things like a family and work stand in the way of a good NaNo?  It might just take a little time travel to get things done.  No problem.

 

The Writing Future is Becoming Clearer

I spent a large part of my free time in August (which is minimal at best ) drafting my novel, Biomalware, for Camp NaNoWriMo.  It was a challenge, painful at times, depressing and exhilarating.  I suffered from a bit of writer’s block in the “great swampy middle” as Jim Butcher calls it, and had to rush toward the end.  I didn’t really think I’d complete the story arc but somehow it came together.  It’s exciting to be this far along with it after only a month. 

I started with a short story about a man, a widowed single dad, who takes his two year old daughter to the doctor’s because she seems to get sick most of the time after eating.  The doctor diagnoses a new form of IBS but the nurse slips him a note suggesting that something else is happening.  It turns out that a new line of genetically modified food is making her sick.  As I worked on the book, unexpected events suggested themselves.  We had a natural gas explosion that destroyed a house in town and it fit into my story perfectly.  It also turned out that making people sick was not all the food was doing.

There’s a lot to do yet though.  I’ve completed the story arc but it’s pretty skimpy in a lot of places.  Before I started, I was planning to add another 50,000 words to the novel in September to finish it but now I think I’ll focus on editing and rewriting to add material.  (I still have a little research to do in order to make sure it all makes sense.)  I hope to end up closer to 80,000 words. 

In October, I’ll hand the novel off to my writer’s group for feedback, hoping they’ll have time.  That should help me focus it a little better, and maybe expand more.  I’ll also recruit some other beta readers from family and friends to give me feedback.

November gets a little tricky.  I’ll still have a editing to do but I’d like to finish Devolution for National Novel Writing Month in November.  I started that some time ago and have released two parts of it on Yahoo! Voices.  Planning for that will also fill some of my writing time in October.

I have the first agent picked out to submit Biomalware to and I plan to submit in December.  It was kind of funny, I knew what agency I wanted to submit to and the latest Writer’s Digest had a list of twenty-five agents accepting new work.  Two of them were from this agency and one listed science fiction. 

Today I’m hoping to take out all the portions of the manuscript that I knew I didn’t want to keep but left in to reach my word count for Camp NaNoWriMo.  I’ll take them out and put them in a separate document so that I still have them to refer to, and in case I decide I do want some portion of them.

It’s turning into an exciting year for writing.  The future I envision, of writing for a living, just seems to become more clear as I work.

 

Advancing Confidently Into a Novel

Last week I attended a talk and poetry reading by Michael Czarnecki, a poet and publisher in upstate New York.  He mentioned a quote that had always affected him deeply and it made a deep impression on me as well.

“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

I’ve taken that quote and put it on a photo I took of giant hay bales in a field, ready to be taken to the barn, then made that my desktop background so that it encourages me every time I open my laptoop.  I think it’s a good principle to labor under when trying to write a novel for publication.  An early American version of “If you build it, they will come.” (Field of Dreams

I write for the joy of creating the story, but that joy is multiplied when it’s shared with other people who appreciate it.

(Incidentally, Michael’s house burned down about a month ago.  There’s an Indigogo fundraiser to help them re-build. They lived very simply, with no running water or grid electricity, so the house wasn’t insured. They really need help rebuilding. Any contribution would be very appreciated. More info via the link Raise the Roof for the Czarnecki’s.  Of course, there are writerly perks for contributing.)

Less than a week away from the end of Camp NaNoWriMo and August, writing has slowed down significantly.  I can see an end in sight, I’ve actually written the last few lines of the book already, but getting there has shifted into slow motion.  There’s going to be a whole lot of re-writing and adding to this book in September.  My writer’s group helped this past Thursday night with ideas and letting me talk through my plot.  (I can’t recommend joining a writer’s group enough.  The right one can absolutely tap you into a well of creative energy.)

I also have a plan that’s helping to keep me going.  I’ll get the first 50,000 words of Biomalware done in August with CampNaNoWriMo, then in September I’ll re-write and add to the novel.  Then a quick edit and pass it out to my writer’s group.  Put it away in October and wait for the group to give me feedback.  Edit again at the end of October, and start submitting.  Ideally, I’d like to have my first rejection by the end of the year.

Okay, that’s a fib, I’d REALLY like to have an acceptance from the first agent I submit it to but that seems so much like reaching for the stars that I’m scared to hope for it.  I’m willing to go the distance for this book.  I’ll keep submitting until I run out of agents that I want to submit to, then I’ll submit to editors and when I run out of those, I’ll self-publish.  One way or another, this book will be available for people to purchase.  I’d rather for it to be sooner rather than later.  (I’d also like a movie deal because I think it’s that type of book, just to to put that out there to the Universe.  *winkwink*)

In the meantime, I’ll write another piece, or two or three, of the book I started serializing on Yahoo!, Devolution.  I’d love to finish writing that one in November with NaNoWriMo.  I think it has a lot of potential too.

There’s always something more that I want to write and I can’t help believing that if I keep plugging away I’ll eventually reach my goal of writing for a living.  Of course, working smart can help make that path a little smoother but when I can’t do that, I’ll just stop the hell out of the weeds.

Camp NaNoWriMo, or Have I Gone INSANE?

Okay, so it’s day 10 of Camp NaNoWriMo and I feel a little like I’ve been in the desert with no water for too long.  I stayed up until 12:30 this morning because I just couldn’t stand to go to bed until I’d finished my word count for the day.

Of course, I wasn’t content to just shoot for the 50,000 words in one month.  Oh, nooo.  I set myself the goal of 2,000 words per day because I figured I could do it.  I can and I am but is it worth it?  I hope so.

I’m also doing this while working full time, commuting an hour each way to work and taking care of a 2 year old toddler.  Yup, I’m insane.

The thing is, I just want so badly to finish a novel again.  I can’t wait to hold a wrotten first draft in my hands because I know how I’m going to set about turning into gold.  The thing is, it isn’t all wrotten.  I’m pretty happy with a lot of the writing I’ve been doing so far.  It has felt almost… inspired.

I haven’t done 2,000 words every single day but I’ve managed to make it up the next day when I didn’t.  Strange things have happened that fit into my novel, like a gas explosion, for heaven’s sake!  Right across the river!

Everywhere I turn, there are things that apply to my story, people that I have pulled character traits from.

It’s a marathon, there’s no doubt about it, but it sure feels great.  I’m looking forward to the day when I can set a little more leisurely pace to get where I want to go, but I’m enjoying this ride, right now, just fine.

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