Words in the Dark: Post 8
This is what my NaNoWriMo updates should look like
Nov. 25, 2014, NaNo update: Early this afternoon, I passed the 45,000-word mark during a break at work. But I have to be pretty much done by Friday night (Nov. 28).
Nov. 26, 2014, NaNo update: With less than 4,000 words to go, I should safely finish by Friday. The clincher now is that DRUYAN and his party, dubbed by the Scholars in Breckenbridge as the Guardians of the Light, have not yet completed their second day in Bristle Forest (which has fallen to the Darkness), and they are already in a lot of trouble. I need a few more days to get them through before the final flight to Rosenthal Castle.
My NaNo posts this year don’t look anything like that. I’ve been preoccupied with my father’s medical condition and imminent travel plans.
Even so, November is generally one of the worst times of the year to be writing marathons–I’m not the first one to say this–with only tax season in April being physically busier and more brain-consuming.
After nine years on the bucket list and several years of trying, I got my first 50,000-word NaNoWriMo badge in 2014 for DRUYAN, which was a huge deal. The novels I had been working on previously, Beyond the Precipice and Beyond the Music, were too complicated and required too much research to be written quickly and fluidly in just 30 days. In 2014, I won because I changed my tactic, and because my debut novel, Beyond the Precipice, was finally out of my head. In 2011, I didn’t win NaNo even as a Rebel because I finished the book!
Ironically, December and the summer months of July and August–vacation months–are the best writing times for me due to reduced work commitments. (No, I don’t get the summers off where I teach). We authors who depend on other jobs to pay the bills typically use up weekend and holiday time in order to write our novels, which make those books a heck of a sacrifice.
Lessons I learned with my first book
I cut my teeth on my first novel, a book ultimately written against all odds because of what was going on in my life at that time. Also, since it was a first novel, it was not a streamlined process. It just goes to show that life really is about mind over matter, and achieving a dream depends on strength of will. (Brute strength. Blood and sweat.) But you do tend to burn out at some point and become unwilling, or unable, to repeat the process. You say to yourself, “No. Not like that again.”
Thus, if I can write future novels following the methodology I used to write DRUYAN, I can continue to write books.
For various reasons, NaNoWriMo did not work out for me this year, but …
Look who will get the badge on her first attempt!
Leslie Hodgins will make her 50,000 words in her first year taking part in NaNoWriMo, and she has a business, a hubby, a baby, and a preschooler.
Seriously, anyone who can write with young kids in the home, hats off to you.
I’m living vicariously this year, sucking up the joy through a Slurpee straw.
So, Leslie … are we doing this again next year? I’ll try to do better.