NaNoWriMo: the good, the bad and the ugly.

The good (grrrreat! even):
Today I crossed the finish line on my NaNo novel. It has a tentative name "Twins of
Tessar: Gift of the Gods," a real live plot, characters, some great moments, and plus I recieved a shiny new sticker to put on this blog.

The bad:
It's not done. All the characters are at the mark, get set, Go! to the climax. but the action and emotion of said climax are yet to be written. And somehow that exhausts me. Nay, it even depresses me.

The ugly:
After finishing I visited a few writer's blogs. people I've met at conferences. People who all seem to be fabulous at keeping up with the writing and illustrating and marketing-making and blogging and selling and doing book tours and etc.

They inspire me, yeah sure, but they also make me feel sick. Like I will never keep up, I will never climb on top of this thing and ride it like a rocket into the stars. I will never be done.

and then i realize -- 
oh yeah. if i am done, i am dead.

the point is:
be gentle on myself.  love the baby steps. AND take a moment to celebrate the big ones (50,000 words in a month!) geez!



My second novel is whizzing by: 32,023 words in just 19 days.

My first novel took almost 15 years:
  • 6 months to write the first draft
  • 10 days at a writer's conference with a famous author (the excellent Bruce Coville) only to learn that I didn't know the first thing about writing a novel, and was arrogant to not read all the other books in my intended genre
  • 1 year to break draft 1 into 4 books
  • 4 years to have a baby and get a new job or three, edit the darn thing, and attend lots of other writer's conferences, only to learn that writing is not that easy, and requires persistance.
  • 6 months to send manuscript to many editors and agents, only to find that I still didn't know how to write well enough
  • 6 weeks in 1999 writing 6 short stories at a prestigious writer's workshop (Clarion West) and also with my favorite author, Ursula K. LeGuin, only to learn that "writing is hard."
  • 10 YEARS of not writing and then writing 6 MORE DRAFTS, in between renovating an old farm and raising kids and working full-time, there is a book.  Self-published for now (long story), but an actual, physical book.
I can't begin to calculate the difference, in joy, in ease, and yet writing a novel is STILL HARD.

The moral of this tale: if you are crazy enough to stick with something, it actually gets easier.


Write a 50,000 word novel in one month = insane

...but "nanowrimo" is what I aim to do. So if I am quieter here than I'd like, it's not for lack of wacky bloggerisms that clutter my brainwaves. It's that every ounce of juice I have must - be - funneled - into the blasted book. I've written 11,875 words so far. And I will not admit defeat!

Here are some interesting writer's peptalks in support of insane nanowrimoers

Follow my progress at the nanowrimo site