Where Dreams Meet the Business of Writing

Posts tagged ‘Writers’s Zen’

Third Times a Charm #IWSG #Nano #Nanowrimo

Today I’m writing for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group’s blog hop. The first Wednesday of each month, we write in inspiration to a question posed by the group’s administrators. If we want to. We don’t need to write in response to the question posed, but I like to use their query as the springboard for the monthly post.

This month we were asked, ‘Win or not, do you usually finish your NaNo project? Have any of them gone on to be published?’

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Third Time’s a Charm

National Novel Writing Month, also known as NaNoWriMo – or NaNo as many call it – descends every November, sending scads of writers into a writing frenzy. Today, the monthly posting day for our IWSG blog, coincides with Nano’s kickoff.

The goal sounds simple. Write 50,000 words in a month. Only a mere 1,667 words per day. You write fast and furious. Banish your inner editor to oblivion for 30 days. Then, after the New Year, take your project and begin the editing and polishing process. For your month long effort, you end up with a nice novella, or a good start on a larger novel.

Only 1,667 words a day. Piece of cake. It’s easy. Right?

It is. Until you try to put it into practice.

Unfortunately the rest of the world doesn’t stop for our writing marathon. Jobs continue. Family life continues. Children and spouses still want fed. They still want clean clothes. Pets still want attention. And then there’s the holidays beginning to edge out all available time. Thanksgiving, with its many family obligations is towards the end of the month and Christmas is breathing down our neck like a demon. We’re trying to write, knowing that we should be buying gifts, addressing cards, and any of the other holiday tasks that multiply like breeding rabbits on steroids.

F&S coverIt took me three times before I completed the goal in 2013 and hit 50,000 words. Or, to be more precise, 50,333 words. My project that year was Fat and Sassy, a story of my grandparents and their six children (one of my mother), mostly set in the early 1940’s. Taking tales of the past – mostly from my mom – and fictionalizing them into this book was very rewarding. It took another three years though before the project was completed and published.

In 2009 I tried Nano for the first time with Three Bags Full. I made it to 19,000 words. In 2012 I tried again with Prissy and Paige and made it to 24,625 words. Yikes! Better, but still not there.

Then…ta-da! In 2013 I finally made it!

I participated for the next three years, and made it each time. In 2014, A Better Life A to Z made it to 50,602. In 2015, My Wildest Dream hit my highest mark at 57,823. In 2016, Peonies & Peppermint reached the goal at 52,087. Alas, a computer crash wiped out A Better Life and My Wildest Dream. Since I had a pre-publication obligation to Amazon to upload My Wildest Dream by a certain date, I frantically wrote for several weeks to try to recreate that book. (Writing more furiously even than I did during Nano!) If I failed to upload the book, I’d lose the ability to offer prepublication deals – for a year I think. So there’s a book there, but I don’t promote it and need to either take it down, or add to it.

This year, starting today, I’m working on another project, Every Day’s a Good Day, which I’ve talked about writing for three years now. It’s time. And I need the kick in the pants that Nano gives us. And I’ll make it again – even if I have to use a dirty little trick. The book is about working in a retail environment and maintaining a positive attitude. ‘Retail’ is a word that will come up often. So, if instead of writing ‘retail’ I write ‘retail-job-that-sucks-the-living-life-out-of-mere-mortals’…I get 11 words instead of 1. That should help me stretch and reach that goal of 50,000 words in nothing flat!

 

Check out more Insecure Writer’s Support Group posts here.

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A to Z: ‘N’ is for NATURAL CYCLES

It’s April! That means it’s time for the ‘BLOGGING A to Z CHALLENGE’. Everyday this month (except Sunday) bloggers will be blogging to a theme, using different letter of the alphabet – running, of course, from A to Z.

I’m blogging about WRITER’S ZEN: Where writing and meditation meet.

Meditation and positive affirmations can directly benefit our lives in many aspects. It also can benefit our writing — in the creative aspects, our productivity, our career as an author, our feelings about writing and much more. I’m making a conscious effort to make more time in my life for meditation. I’m also practicing using some of these techniques to improve my writing. Through the A to Z blog challenge, I’m sharing some of mine with you.

Read through the affirmations for each subject. Some will probably resonate with you better than others. Maybe all of them will. Maybe none of them will. We are all on our own paths, having diverse needs at different times. Even on our own individual journey, we still require different words and messages on different days.

Pick one or two thoughts that speak to you. Sit quietly for a few moments. Repeat the affirmations to yourself. Say them aloud. Reflect on how these thoughts affect your life and your writing. Are there roadblocks in your life that is stopping the goodness from entering? Are we in any way allowing this roadblock to exist? Are we putting it there ourselves? Open your mind to allowing new possibilities to present themselves.

If a phrase feels more needed, copy it onto an index card or post-it note. Keep it with you, in the car, or on the computer. Repeat throughout the day, reinforcing the message.

Give it a try! Let me know if these help your writing, or if you have any thoughts on affirmations that would be useful to use in your daily life.

Happy Writing!

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A to Z: ‘N’ is for NATURAL CYCLES

There are seasons in my writing. I embrace the seasons as a natural cycle.

WINTER: It seems there is no growth or germination. Words lie in my brain, not making their way to my keyboard. Real life intrudes, keeping me from productive writing. Ideas lie fallow, awaiting their time.

I embrace the winters of my writing. I know it is only part of the cycle. I know growth and harvest follow in natural cycles.

SPRING: The spring sun shines on my writing, warming the cold winter ground. Ideas germinate, grow and emerge.

I embrace the springs of my writing – seeing fresh new growth and opportunities.

SUMMER: The hot summer sun threatens to parch my flourishing garden. I prevail and stand strong. I discover sources of shade and shelter. The summer rains nourish my words, keeping them flowing and producing.

I embrace the summers of my writing – triumphing, despites summer storms and heat.

FALL: I relish and delight in harvesting the bounty of my work. My attention to my writing has produced abundance in my life.

I embrace the falls of my writing. I enthusiastically reap the rewards from my creativity and efforts.

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