Category Archives: My Thoughts

Pre-July Jitters: 30k Slump

I guess I have more specific fears than “commitment.” They definitely all stem from that, though.

For example, I am so afraid of what I will do when I “run out of ideas.” Or “lose steam.” Or hit that 30k slump and all of that.

But like isn’t everybody? What else is new?

Blurry shadows of people walking towards the camera on the city sidewalk

It’s true, I have given up too many times. It’s also true that if I didn’t have a good reason, I wouldn’t have? I think stress is a good reason. Health comes first. Laziness and just not wanting to isn’t a good reason but at the same time, if I really didn’t want to write it, then I shouldn’t.

The thing is, for me, it’s not one of those cases, so it is kind of bad that I didn’t push through. But I should train myself to push through. That’s a reason I have to win. I have to show myself that I am someone who writes novels because that’s who I want to be. The only reason I am not who I want to be is because I Just don’t do it. It’s just that simple.

I mean, there’s other mental health issues and putting too much pressure on myself and not loving myself, but I can’t wait for that to “get better” before chasing my dream. I have to chase my dream so that I am who I want to be on the outside, and hopefully who I need to be on the inside just shapes up as a result of that.

I am not sure if that’s exactly how that works, but it sounds good. It seems legit.

I am going in “blind” (I say, as I have ~30 pages of handwritten notes ???) (Am I even going to have time to look at those in July). I know like four basic plot points (get together with Not the Right Guy, break up, get together with The Right Guy.) Oh, so that’s only three. And I thought of a new way to derail the story, so that’s exciting. I don’t know whether it’s cheap, but does it matter? All I am doing is getting to 50k. If the protagonist dates 9 guys before The Right Guy, then that’s only 5k per guy. I could do that. I have written 5k fanfiction before. It’s doable. It’s a thing I can do. And in theory there is other stuff happening other than guy stuff. Like girl stuff. Like in a gay way possibly but also in a friendship way. Who knows. Not me. Because I didn’t plan beyond…the crazy “planning” that I did.

Maybe I did some outlining and some creating characters and stuff but I did not outline. Because an idol of mine hates outlining, as I have mentioned in a previous post.

Specifically, what I am scared of within that 30k are normal writer things like, what should the characters do next? How do I create more problems for them? What if I run out of ideas? What if I stop loving the characters?

All fears that just do not seem like legitimate enough reasons to quit NaNo or writing in general. The mind is endless. One does not “run out of ideas.” And it’s NaNo so you can do whatever you want with your novel. You don’t have to write something perfect or good. I guess it would be nice if I didn’t like start writing a completely different novel halfway through, but honestly, if all the same characters are present, then why not? It might be a “different novel” but it’s also figuring out what you wanted to write in the first place, and narrowing your focus, and just learning about yourself, your writing, the characters, the setting, the plot, everything.

The bottom line this year for me is there is nothing to lose in winning NaNo. There is nothing to lose in putting my head down and working hard through the difficult portions of NaNo. But there is everything to gain from winning. Self confidence. Committing to myself and my writing career.  (No matter how fledgling or fetus-like it may be.)


Pre-July Jitters: Commitment

I feel like I have let go of my writing fears after watching Coach Cal’s inspiring ESPN 30 for 30 documentary, but just to make doubly sure that I am over them, I am going to write what they were here, release it into the void of Dark Google (because this blog wouldn’t be found by any other search engine) and be done with it forever. (Or at least this July.) And actually, my “fears” can be whittled down to one statement.

I am afraid of commitment.

Wow, a millennial afraid of commitment? What else is new? // heavy sarcasm

I am afraid of “commitment” because I am afraid of creating this beautiful image in my head and then failing to capture it in words on the page, or even worse, capturing this “beautiful” image but after it’s on the page, it actually turned out to be “dumb” or “lame.” Once I figured this out, I stopped outlining (also after reading this post by one of my long time idols who I recently rediscovered/remembered randomly and actually had a little bit of difficulty finding her blog again. In fact, the whole tag is probably good and important, even if it just says similar things over and over. They are important things to me, and basically what I believe and live by now.) I guess I for sure definitely stopped outlining after my writing professor said it was bad, too. Maybe that’s when I re-stopped outlining, because in that era of my life when I had that professor, I probably hadn’t remembered that blog for 2-4 years. And even if I “don’t outline” my novels now, I ended up outlining this other short(er) story I wrote for a TV I liked, and it was such an amazing idea, but it was such an amazing idea that I was afraid to write it, and ashamed to write it poorly. Which of course is pretty stupid, because I had the idea anyway, so I might as well write it, right? No one else is going to write it (unless I tell someone the idea, or unless they independently had the idea also.) But think about fanfiction. In a way, everyone is writing the same story over and over (at least the romantic fanfictions.) But a lot of people still read a lot of fanfiction because it’s good and they like it. So everyone’s writing matters. I should let myself believe that my writing matters.

Not outlining also lets me write whatever I want and it can’t be bad because anything is better than nothing, so whatever I write is automatically “good.” Because there was nothing to compare it to anyway, so it can be good enough if I say it is (and I should be nice to myself and let myself say it’s good enough.)

And the amazing thing about Camp NaNo is it doesn’t have to be hard in the way that revising is hard. Because, as I learned this year,  revising can be so hard. 2017 really was the year I learned to revise, or at least started revising “for real.” As in overhauling a story and not just making line edits. I guess I did a little revising in my past but it didn’t feel this intense with multiple revisions.

Anyway.

Image result for writing down the bones

And honestly, commitment to myself is something I have to learn in my outside-of-writing-life (haha…) as well. So, I might as well start by committing to my writing since my writing life is my life.

And what is commitment, anyway? Writing a page every day? It doesn’t even have to be related to anything. If I wanted to this NaNo, I could write one page from each of the characters perspectives and just keep alternating and no one would know any differently whether or not it was what I set out do to. And the thing about not outlining is whatever you end up doing is what you set out do because all you set out to do was write something. Amazing, right?

Basically, I have nothing to be afraid of this July. I love writing. I would write no matter what anyway. But now, all I am asking of myself is to be all in. Not be afraid of my dream. And make the dream a reality.

*Nike swish*

 


Camp NaNoWriMo July 2017

Yesterday, I watched ESPN 30 for 30 One and Not Done which is about Coach Calipari. Kentucky basketball is one of my three favorite things in the world (frappuccinos and writing) and when I saw my first commercial for this special, I put it in my calendar. I don’t remember what I was doing that day first came out, but I remembered I missed the first 10-15 minutes of this because I was driving home right when it started (because I didn’t put an hour-before reminder, it was just the default 10 minute reminder. If someone know show to change the default, let me know.) And it aired again last night.

The thing about Coach Cal is he is fearless. He is so self-confident and he did end up achieving what he wanted. It took 20 years. My dreams don’t have to take 20 years, though. I can write a novel this month. I can  write 50,000 words. They are just words. I have written 50,000 words multiple times (sure, just not in one month.) But it can be done. And I am handwriting this time, because a writing professor told me that handwriting lets your brain be more free and creative compared to typing. I already have my notebook ready, and it has a PERLES DRAGON/ET PHÉNIX AU JASMIN sticker on it. It’s a circle and it’s purple with white font and it’s pretty. I already “Started” the novel earlier which is probably for the best, because why wait, but I will write an additional 50k words in July. I basically wrote the opening scene(s) and then stopped because I was afraid.

notebook-bad-quality-sorry.jpg

But no more fear. All NaNo does it get you in the practice of writing everyday. Or having to make up for not writing every day. It’s a slightly heavy penalty, in a way, depending on how fast you write and how busy you are. Most of us don’t easily have 1-4 hours to spare regularly, but that’s NaNo. Put aside the rest of your life for my real goals: writing. 

Here is a Natalie Goldberg quote you have all seen a million times.

This is the practice school of writing. Like running, the more you do it, the better you get at it. Some days you don’t want to run and you resist every step of the three miles, but you do it anyway. You practice whether you want to or not. You don’t wait around for inspiration and a deep desire to run. It’ll never happen, especially if you are out of shape and have been avoiding it. But if you run regularly, you train your mind to cut through or ignore your resistance. You just do it. And in the middle of the run, you love it. When you come to the end, you never want to stop. And you stop, hungry for the next time.

Whenever I see this again, I am guilty. But I want to stop being guilty. I want to really write every day. My problem is I am very “all or nothing” with everything in my life, so it’s so hard for me to “only” write one page a day. Because once I write one page, I want to keep writing, which isn’t really a bad problem to have, unless I have other stuff I need to get done.

But I need to stop being afraid of committing to myself and my dream. So what if I spent one or two hours writing? That’s amazing. That’s really good. There is literally nothing wrong with that. Everything else can wait. And I can’t sleep well anyway. If I sleep well for one or two days, my body doesn’t let me sleep for two more days to make up for it. My body was literally designed to not sleep, or make bad/suboptimal decisions that basically include writing whenever I want because my other engagements can wait.

So, I have decided to do Camp NaNo because I have a novel idea and I need to write a novel. What other reasons could I possibly need?


Photo Prompt #: A different bed

Photo found on Love is Beauty


Photo Prompt #: Bridge

eartheld:

p-usillanimous:

still life

mostly nature

Source: x

Photo found on: Love is beauty


What do you need to get ready for NaNoWriMo, part 1

So, my truly inspirational post has got you pumped for NaNo (which starts Nov 1 by the way.) What specifically do you need in order to be successful?

Not anything hugely different from what you would need for normal NaNo.

So what do you need for normal NaNo?

A can do attitude.

You can do it. You can write/type/whatever. You have a brain. You like to write (hopefully. If you don’t like to write, why are you here, why are you trying to do NaNoWriMo….just why? Don’t torture yourself. Do what you love.) If all of that describes you, then you CAN do NaNoWriMo and you WILL.

Time management.

How long does it take you to type 1,667 words? 1 hour? 2 hours? 3 hours? Can you really carve out 3 hours daily during the month of April? Well, you can if you time it right. Wake up 10 or 20 minutes earlier, sleep 10 or 20 minutes later, write during your lunch, write during any downtime (no matter who you are, a student, a parent, a doctor, whatever, there’s downtime)…! Maybe take less time in the shower or bath. There are infinite ways to whittle down everything else you are doing in order to figure out how to write. Just always think about writing. That’s my advice. When can you squeeze in 10 minutes? While that might not seem ideal since sometimes it takes you 10 minutes to even get into the writing mood, and then your window is lost. What do you do?

Always be in the writing mood.

It’s NaNoWriMo. This is the most fun I have had in years. This might be the most fun you have also had in years.  Be the writer. You are already a writer, but now you have to FEEL like one. ACT like one. (Getting horrible flashbacks from all caps act looking like the ACT standardized test. Moving on.) If you are always thinking about your novel, you will always be in the writing mood. Just get EXCITED.

Get your friends to do it. too.

There is nothing better than moral support. You will get tons of moral support from the NaNo staff and from your writing group mates.  Sometimes internet friendship is not enough. If your real life friends are doing it, or even if they know you are doing it, they can support you all the way. 🙂 Writing friendships are the best friendships.

These are a few of the tips I have for doing NaNoWriMo. There will be more to come because I have done NaNo countless times and I have not always won but I have always been in the winning spirit because I love writing.

So, get in gear, get your novel ideas ready, or just get hyped because NaNoWriMo is coming.


Photo Prompt: Skyscraper Bedroom

Photo found on Love is Beauty