Friday, October 19, 2007

Updates, Part 2

Well, sort of.

Not much to report, actually. I haven't lost any more weight, but I haven't gained either, so that's at least good. Will just have to find a way to break through the plateau. However, I did manage to break through a bit of the writing plateau (a.k.a. writer's block, stall, laziness, whatever you want to call it.)

It went like this:

I'd been toying with the idea of doing NaNoWriMo next month, even though I know I'll need to be doing some serious job hunting and/or working then. (The interview I had Monday seemed to go well, but I still don't know anything.) I also just finished a book (one I'd recommend - there were a few issues with it, but overall, she made me laugh on nearly every page) called TIME OFF FOR GOOD BEHAVIOR by Lani Diane Rich. In the author biography, she mentioned the book was one she wrote during NaNoWriMo. I was impressed. I also remembered the book my friend Amber wrote during Nano last year - it was outstanding. Hmm, says I, should I take the plunge?

The only plunge was one of cold, sobering reality. I need November to focus on financial survival. Period. However, I continued to argue with myself, November is still two weeks away. What about Book in a Week? (BIAW) It may not be an official start time, but it might work. Stewart had also posted a short story writing challenge to his group to help break through blocks. There were still opportunities.

I did a bit of research--all of which suggest that rapid writing, writing past the inner critic--would make for magical happenings. I also read a lot of great blogs (mainly to avoid acting on my research) and decided to give myself a two week, 20 page a day challenge.

It started today, folks. I managed 25 pages so far, and I had no idea what I was going to write when I started. I considered finishing the novella, but that wouldn't have lasted more than a day or two. It had to be big, so I went with a kernel of an idea that I'd had floating around since last year, but never followed up on because I really had no idea what to do with it.

So it's true what they say. If you can make it past the inner critic, stifle the inner editor, you CAN just write and write and write. Doesn't mean it will all be good, but it doesn't have to be. The point is to just get it down. Revise later. But, gah, that's hard for me! It was made even harder by some great posts by Bernita and Steve Malley. Their advice kept ringing in my head, slowing me down, but I repeated the mantra, "You will fix it later!" and moved on.

I wrote for 6 hours today with many, many breaks. I can't do that when I work full time, so I want to do it while I can. Let's see if I hold up for two weeks. I hope so. 20 pages/day for 14 days=280 pages. That's 70,000 words or so. More than I've ever written for one piece.

So.... anyone want to join me for a crazy exercise? You don't have to make it 20 pages a day. Just as much as you possibly can every day for two weeks. Somewhere between BIAW and NaNo.


  1. Cool, Kate! Sure, I need to finish a book I set aside for revisions. I refuse to walk away from it, I'm over halfway there. So, we'll leap together and get it done.

  2. Yay! I'm bouncing up and down in my seat. So glad you're with me, LaDonna! It will make it easier knowing I'm not alone. :)

  3. I've been able to stop making excuses for why I'm not writing. I was amazed at how much pressure that took away...almost forgiving myself for not writing.

    Good luck with your story.

  4. Sure! In order to do Nano, I have to write another 35,000 words before Nov. 1.

    Rhonda Stapleton, a friend in my numbers group, did this for two weeks: 5,000 words a day. She did it nearly every day, and made up for the day she didn't. It was stunning and inspiring, watching her.

    I hope the financials work out for you happily. The universe has a way of swooping in when needed.

  5. I'm taking the plunge, so count me in. I rarely do things like this because I get the least amount of writing done. Nonetheless, I've finished my WIP last night and have to let it simmer for at least a week anyway. Might as well get started on that VERY dark fantasy I had planned. :)

  6. Travis - I've had to forgive myself for not writing/not painting at times, and you're right, it does take the pressure off. And you know what? I've found that once the pressure is gone, I start doing it again and enjoy it.

    Spy - Woohoo! I'm excited for you to do Nano, too - I hope that works out great for you. My word count yesterday was about 5K, so maybe I'll look at it like that.

    Marcia - Yay, another one! Just don't scare yourself with that dark fantasy. ;)

    I look forward to hearing everyone's progress. Thanks for joining me - and good luck. :)

  7. I don't think I'm quite prepared to join in this time. I'm the Mad Plotter and can't start writing until all I's are crossed and all T's are dotted. Try again in a month or two, and sure, I'll play.

    While Bernita and Steve have excellent advice, I take it to be second-round material--stuff to do once the bare bones are laid. So, don't worry if you have people smiling and sighing all the time. That's an easy fix for later in the game.

  8. yes that was my plan too not to look what I was writing but my ex was mean and he read it and said it is not good, didnt go back to read it, but can write on it anymore.....:(
    So I stared with a new one:)
    Men bladdie brutes....;)

  9. Let me know when. I'll take the old daily word count out of mothballs and fire it up!

    I'll open the throttle up wide and drop a brick on the accelerator...

  10. Avery - c'mon, play with us! :) Ok, I'll respect your being a plotter, though I'm a panster myself. Of course, that might explain why I have a hard time finishing anything...

    Etain - don't let one jerk who obviously deserves to be your EX-boyfriend get you down. You're a good writer - you hang in there!

    Steve - it started yesterday, bud, so you better get crackin'. :)

    I'm having a hard time focusing today. Wrote 6 pages, couldn't seem to make myself sit here anymore, played games, read emails, finally decided to go to the beach since water is supposed to be conducive to creativity. All that did was make me tired. But it was gorgeous out, so it wasn't a waste of time.

    I've managed another page and I'll probably skip off to the store in a minute. I can see that today's 6 hours of writing will be broken up by 2-3 hour breaks instead of 5-10 minute ones like yesterday.

    Oh, well. As long as I get my word count in. I'm almost halfway there.

  11. Becky, I've been writing with a goal of 50 pages, 1oK words a week minimum. That seems to be working for me right now. I'll try to do more. Today I haven't written anything, lol, so I'm hoping to get at least 1K done. (I'm giving myself a break on weekends.)

    I'm visualizing money raining down on you. It would be great if you could sell this book for oodles of money.

  12. Thanks, Edie. That would be nice, wouldn't it? Right back at ya. :)

    Since this story is about a centaur, and I remember the Red Sage editor was looking for those when she was a guest blogger at Magical Musings, I wondered today if I should split my 70K goal between this (making it small enough for RS) and finishing my other novella.

    Though, honestly, this challenge to myself was to write a full novel, not just a short one, so I feel I should stick with that.

    I've managed 12 pages today and I'm not sure if I'll do more tonight. I'm a little disappointed that I haven't been focused enough to get to the 20 page/day goal today, but I also don't want to push myself to the point where I'll just give up either.

    In total, I'm about 8300+ out of 70,000 words right now, or 37 pages out of 280.

    This just means I'll have to work a little harder the next few days. :)

  13. You're making great progress! A centaur book sounds like great fun. Go, Becky, go!

    I only need 34,000 words to meet my goal of 90,000, but I have a feeling I might exceed that. I don't want to go over 100,000.

  14. Thanks, Edie. You've been making awesome progress. I've been so impressed by the way that blue bar has been speeding across your page. :)

    I did manage to write another 510 words before I went to bed last night. Unfortunately, I did it in a notebook and now I'll have to put that into the computer, but I think I'll wait, leave a page that only says "notebook stuff here", and continue on from there today.

    I'm afraid if I take the time to transcribe the notes, I'll not write as much today. I only missed my goal last night by 902 words, and I want to make that up today.

    Darn my disorganization - the reason I used a notebook is because I couldn't sit at the computer any longer, but I've lost the cord to my alphasmart!

    Oh, well. Onward!

  15. PS, Edie - remember, if you go over 100k, you can always revise. I plan on 70k, but it may end up only as 35 when I get to the editing part! :)

  16. You do what works for you and damn the torpedoes!


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