NANOWRIMO wrap up

So, yes.  I did not “win” NANOWRIMO.  Not even close.  After the midway point, our family had a string of minor illnesses that left me with little sleep and much laundry.  I had a hard time keeping up with my standard responsibilities, so writing for fun got squeezed off the to-do list most days.  I learned a lot though, and I will use those lessons for Camp NANOWRIMO in July.  Here is what I learned:

1.  I don’t write well at night.  I already knew this, but for some reason, I imagined that I would work on my novel after the kids went to bed.  Nope.  Cory simply couldn’t drag me out of bed after I snuggled in to read bedtime stories.  Sleep trumps all.  At least for now.

2.  I missed fiction.  I have been reading nonfiction almost exclusively.  I would say in 2014 I’ve read about 4 or 5 novels and zero in the last three months.  I felt a little out of my element as I dipped into novel-writing.  Before I try again in July, I will need to study up with some good fiction.

3.  Dialogue is hard.  Really hard.  I need practice and great models.  See #2.

4.  I must plan ahead.   And I don’t mean story notes!  I mean meals and chores and errands and activities.  Writing a novel is a bit like birthing a baby.  Although babies are more cuddly!  You really need to figure out how to cover the regular LIFE stuff when the baby (novel!) is being born.  Honestly, generating ideas for my novel was the easy part.  Figuring out how to write those ideas while still keeping my children fed, clothed, and educated was a much bigger challenge.

Those are the main lessons learned.  Thanks for all the supportive messages here and on Facebook!  I hated letting you down!

#NANOWRIMO

Hi, Readers.

I haven’t been writing on the blog for a couple weeks, but I’ve been writing.  Oh yes, I have!  I’m participating in National Novel Writing Month, also known as NANOWRIMO.  The goal is to write 50,000 words between November 1 and November 30.  I’m going to be completely honest with you.  I’m not going to make it to 50,000 words, and I never really thought that I would.  Okay, maybe for two minutes I thought I might actually meet the goal.  But deep down, I simply wanted to reestablish a writing routine.  In the ten years since I graduated with an MFA in creative writing, I have done very little creative writing.  I’ve written plenty of nonfiction, lots of research papers, pages and pages of student comments, but very few poems and stories.  I’ve missed it, and NANOWRIMO seemed like a good chance to jump back onto that particular horse.  Even better, I actually had a story idea that has been floating around in my imagination for awhile.

November is half over, and the big “win” isn’t likely to happen.  I’m pretty sure that I would have to hand my children over to somebody and run away to a cabin in Maine to reach 50,000 words at this point.  Strike that.  I would have to move somewhere without snow because I would need someone to deliver prepared meals to me so that I would not need to leave my computer keyboard in order to feed myself.

Nonetheless, I do not regret participating in NANOWRIMO.  In fact, I’m very excited.  I’m still writing, and I plan on signing up for Camp NANOWRIMO in July!  If you are interested in this nifty challenge, go on over to http://www.nanowrimo.org.

Warmly,

Erica G.