One benefit of writing I found is that in researching characters and their motivations, you learn a lot about yourself along the way. For instance, I’m the sort of person who puts things off, and who would like things to happen with a wave of a magic wand or the swallowing of a pill.
My weight issues started when I was two year old, and that influences how I see my heroines. I waited as long as I could for a magic weight loss pill, but had to find the next best thing. I’m halfway to my goal, and making adjustments almost every step of the way.
In the same way, I want to wave a magic wand and hold my finished manuscript on my computer. In an effort to make the magic happen sooner, I’ve taken writing classes, on-line seminars, and read every book that I can get ahold of to improve my writing and my speed.
I’ve learned how to get my book e-pulished, how to use the 12 stages of intimacy to increase sexual tension. I learned how to create unforgettable characters and how to be a plot whisperer. None of which gave a clue as to whipping out a book any sooner than when it’s ready.
For a few years, I’ve been hearing about NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month. The focus and challenge is to write a novel in 30 days, November 1 through 30.
The good thing about doing this in November, for me, is that I have 3 extra days off, Veterans’ Day and Thanksgiving Day plus the Friday after. With weekends, that’s a total of 12 days for writing! And of course, I can find some time in the evenings during the week.
The bad thing is the same in November and just about every month. The first Saturday I attend a bird club meeting. The second Saturday, I sometimes go with my husband to a fountain pen collectors’ meeting. As it’s a pretty long drive south, we often head farther south afterward to visit my dad. If we don’t go south, well, we go north to Corona and buy bird seed at Magnolia Bird Farm. Veterans’ Day should be a free and clear writing day, with some breaks for cleaning and gardening. The third Saturday, Romance Writers of America meets somewhat south of here. The fourth Saturday is our monthly gathering of friends to play games at our house. Thanksgiving, of course, will be a day of traveling and not eating anything not lean or green. That Friday should be a day of writing, and the rare fifth Saturday is completely open.
Did I mention evenings? Well, Monday nights I walk dogs at the local humane society. Tuesday I attend a weight loss support group and type up a report of what happened. But Wednesday through Friday should be open. And people wonder why I have trouble returning phone calls or going to visit people. Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.
Last year for the first time, I registered for NaNoWriMo. I made a few friends and hooked up with people I knew from Facebook. At this point, I don’t even remember which book or story I had picked to work on.
Obviously, I failed at NaNo. I rarely made time to log in, completely forgot about it some days, and before I knew it, November was done. Faded away.
I think, however, this missed opportunity triggered my drive to rejoin RWA. I am so glad I did, I draw inspiration, support, and motivation from this wonderful organization. I’ve finished writing one novel, started two more, taken classes as stated above, and submitted a manuscript to a publisher. I’ve also joined Scribophile, and received excellent feedback and critiques on what I posted there. I even became the group leader for a group called Writers Who Love Romance.
I started this blog about my writing evolution and progress. I am honed, excited, and ready to push my next Regency Romance into focus. NaNo, here I come! Starting November 1st, I will write daily and post a word count for the day. I will include my total word count in this blog each week. And at the end of November, I will have at least a rough draft of that novel.
In my weight loss support group. We are told repeatedly that a key to lasting success is having oversight by some other party. As long as you are honest and track what you eat, and share that food diary with someone, you are likely to meet your goals.
NaNoWriMo may be a writer’s key to success. No other source of oversight is available unless you are in a critique group or RWA. NaNo is a way to connect with other writers as well. Hope you’ll join me there if you have the spark!
I only hope I can remember my password.