I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! We had planned on heading to visit family in Idaho, but the snowstorms changed our minds. We just didn’t want to spend 2 days fighting bad roads for a three day trip. So, we stayed home and had prime rib, potato salad, green bean casserole, buttermilk biscuits, and cheesecake. This is what happens when I let hubby plan the menu (I still had to make everything, but he at least made the cheesecakes – ok, they were box cheesecakes, but he helped for the first time in almost 10 years of marriage and I can’t complain about THAT).
Since the Little Man missed out on a birthday party with relatives, we took him to Minot to the indoor waterpark and treated him to his favorite: pizza. He was pruned and pepperonied to his little heart’s content. I’m sure he would have stayed in the pools for two solid days if we’d let him.
I was able to hit the 50,000 word finish line during NaNoWriMo2015 early because I knew I wouldn’t be able to write a single word the week of Thanksgiving. It felt good to finally finish this year. I won’t say it’s good. In fact, it’s damn awful. It’ll need a LOT of work before I’ll even hand it over to my beloved editor. I don’t want to abuse and torture her…much. The sad part is, at 50k words, I’m only half way through my manuscript.
But I did learn a few things, and that’s the whole point of NaNoWriMo, isn’t it?
- Keep a schedule. I’m really trying to treat writing like a job. I get up at the same time every day, shower, dress, get the Little Man ready for school and drop him off. Then, I come home, feed myself and turn off all distractions to knuckle down and write. I write in blocks of 25 minutes with a 5 minute break in between. I don’t turn off the cell phone in the off chance the school has to contact me because Little Man needs to be picked up (again). The hard part is making myself stick to my schedule. It’s so tempting to take a nap, binge watch Supernatural, or slack off. You can’t become a professional writer without dedicating yourself to writing.
- Just write. I have a problem when I’m writing, that I want it to be perfect the first time. Yes, I am a perfectionist. Or striving to be. I find myself continually going back over what I just wrote and reworking it. I keep telling myself to stop it and just get the crap in my head down first and then fix it during the editing. With NaNoWriMo, I didn’t have the time to do that and it was sort of freeing to just type garbage to be fixed later. I know I left a lot out of the story, but I put notes in to go back in and fill in the blanks. I’m going to try to adopt that writing strategy from now on. Maybe it’ll make me a more prolific writer. And I’ll actually get something FINISHED before I take that eternal dirt nap.
- Support. Having the support of those close to me really makes a huge difference. Early in my marriage, Hubby considered my writing a total waste of time. He would actually call it stupid and tried to forbid me to write. Now, before you go hating on him, know that I’ve educated him in the ways of a writer. He didn’t understand that writing to me was like riding horses for him: it’s like breathing. You just have to do it. These days, he asks me how the writing is going. He’s given up on asking me what the story is about because I won’t tell him. Yeah, that’s kind of weird, but there’s a reason. One of the main characters is based on the man I was hopelessly infatuated with before I met the Hubby. And, in a weird twist of fate, the two of them are now best friends. Yes, I introduced them to each other. No, I’m not head over heels in love with the first one any more. In fact, most days, he annoys the ever loving piss out of me. You’ll probably see it come out in the story…if and when I ever get it finished.
- Have fun. If it starts to feel like work, it’s probably crap. My dad used to tell me, “Do what you love and love what you do.” It took me years to find my way to that. I’ve always been a little (read: a lot) stubborn. These days, if the words are fighting me, I step back and find something to distract me, knowing that I’ll come back. I don’t mean walking away until the muse calls. I mean, I take a short break to eat a cupcake, tickle Little Man, or something fun for an hour or a day. And the next morning, I climb back in the saddle and try again. So far, it’s been working. And Little Man enjoys the tickle breaks.
Well, I’ve droned on long enough. You probably have other things to do, and I know I’ve got 1000 words to write on the MSS today. I hope you have a safe, wondrous and beautiful day. Until next week…