Happy National Novel Writing Month!

Please hold me!!!

Nah… I’ve got this. Maybe.

I’ve never won NaNoWriMo. I’ve never even come close. I usually give up and try to figure something else out and then get lost in baking and cooking for Thanksgiving and never look back, only come December to feel like a complete and utter failure because I couldn’t get a measly 50,000 words written in 30 days. I mean, look at all those who DO it! Look at all those who do it on a monthly or hell, do it every 2 weeks all year long! And me, I couldn’t even do it for one month, one freakin’ month.

That was the shit I’d tell myself every year. And sure, I told myself a few times that I wasn’t going to participate at all, but then I’d give in and fail before I got started good. Like… 2 days. Maybe 3. But 2 days of doing it, of cranking out words, of getting more than the minimum daily word count of 1667 and I’d be on such a roll and I’d be so gung-ho and I’d be… Done. I would doddle through the next week or so, but no real effort. I’d tell myself next year would be better. And news flash, next year would not be better.

So, why am I doing it at all? Because I love a challenge. Because my head is screwed on a little different this time around. Because I can’t help myself. I won Camp NaNoWriMo over the summer and damned if I’m not going to give NaNoWriMo a whopping good try.

I have been really excited this year for NaNoWriMo. I’ve been working on getting my house clean so I wouldn’t have to do it over the weekend, and I’ve done the grocery shopping and some meal prep and some organization stuff to keep me on track and I’ve been so damn excited that… Wait for it… I burnt myself out two days ago. I was exhausted. Literally exhausted. I couldn’t put two words together. I was in bed and asleep before 10pm and slept nearly 9 hours. That was a lot for me considering I usually only sleep 4-6 hours, if I’m lucky. But when I woke up yesterday, I felt re-energized and ready to go. I simply hadn’t paced my excitement.

And now, today is the day. Today is the day hundreds of thousands of writers around the world attempt to hash out 50,000 words in the next 30 days. This year should be interesting for the writers in US who celebrate Thanksgiving as the last 3 days of NaNoWriMo take place over Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Rivalry Saturday.

So, as author Chris Fox states at the end of most of his YouTube videos, I have to get back to the writing.

If you read this and are participating, I am wishing you the best of luck.

If you read this and are thinking about it, but unsure, try it. Despite my previous years of not finishing, you will learn a lot about yourself as a writer. Just visit the website and sign up https://nanowrimo.org/

If you read this and aren’t quite ready for the 50,000 word novel challenge, especially at the holidays, there’s always Camp NaNoWriMo which is held in both April and July with word count goals of anywhere from 10,000 to 1,000,000. I will be participating each of those months next year.

If you’re interested, I’ve created a Facebook group for moral support, kicking ass support, or whatever other support you may need to get through NaNoWriMo. There are also dozens of word sprint groups on Facebook, local NaNoWriMo groups, forums on the NaNoWriMo site itself, so… Join in somewhere. You won’t regret it.

Sometimes Those Who Wander…

…Really Are Freakin’ Lost!

I was laying in bed this morning. It was warm and I didn’t want to get up yet so I broke my own rule and opened up Candy Crush. I usually don’t do that. I’ve been trying to revamp my mornings and help my brain function a little more clear and all, but… Best laid plans and shit.

Anyway…

Y’all know I’ve been lost for a really fucking long time. Like so fucking long. And I’m still lost, so don’t go getting all excited. I still have no idea what the hell I’m doing or where the hell I’m going. As tired as y’all are of me being lost and seemingly saying the same thing over and over and over again, believe me, I’m even more tired of feeling it. But… A lot of the mental work I’ve been doing, a lot of the searching myself, mainly asking What Do I Want To Write followed pretty closely by Do I Even Want To Write Anymore? is paying off. I’m shedding a lot of the crap that was built up over the last 48 years of my life.

There’ve been some real, hard truths that have come out in my journal lately and I’m kind of freaked out because I don’t quite know what they mean for me going forward in this business. Yesterday, loneliness grabbed me by the throat and wouldn’t let up. I’ve become the quintessential hermit writer… I journaled my hand off sitting outside in the sunshine, listening to some music that I don’t usually listen to. I jotted down some titles that came to me for possible stories. I stared at the sky and enjoyed the sun on my skin. I went through the rest of my day and night the way I always do, figuring that loneliness was going to follow me around for a while until it worked its way through. Then, I woke up this morning and some ideas began to snake their way through my mind in a way that they hadn’t in longer than I could remember. And as I stayed there, playing that stupid game, the more clear the ideas became. (Yes, I am still feeling the loneliness, that didn’t go away.)

One of things I used to try and do with my books was make some part of them part of me or maybe it’s more some part of me part of them and after some things happened, I didn’t think I fit inside my own books anymore, that none of the stories were any part of me. Everything I tried writing felt fake and forced and not only did I feel it, but you did, too. It’s a lonely place. It’s a hard and dark place to be. The messages and noises and shoulds and shouldn’ts are all around and they’re loud and drown out all whispering inside the heart and soul.

I couldn’t hear the whispers. I could only hear the noise of write this, no not that; jump on this trend because you don’t want to miss this chance; you know, just make your books funny and hot; gangsters, bullies, reverse harems, high schools and academies, mafia… They’re all the rage. Or… Why not try… Quick release; don’t do what anyone else is doing; why aren’t you doing what she or she or she is doing because it clearly works; rapid releases like, weekly or every two weeks at the most, okay maybe three but that’s it, etc…

When I started out, I didn’t pay attention to what anyone else did, but we’re supposed to be social and talking and sharing and supporting and doing and coming and going… And you can’t help but notice everyone else’s sandboxes and how full they are of writing and friends and fans. The noise was all I heard. My own voice wasn’t strong enough, wasn’t loud enough and I couldn’t hear it anymore. Except… Except when I heard the expectations that I had of myself and those of my readers, the expectations that I no longer knew how to meet.

The ideas I had this morning? They’re precious pieces of thoughts and pains and traumas and things I never thought I’d write about, but they’re me, they’re part of me and I’ve been trying so damn hard to get back to something, anything that felt like me, that felt like my voice, that felt like who I am now, that felt like who I am becoming, that felt authentic. I’m a little freaked out and a little scared, but I think I’ve found this year’s NaNoWriMo project.

We’ll see…

I’ll Get The Words In… One Day

…Or maybe in four days. Or three days. Or… Who knows. Actually, I NEED to know. I don’t, really. I just need to do it. Buckle down and do it. Write. All. The. Words.

I keep hoping someone will join me on this insane journey of 10,000 words in a weekend. It’s not insane for everyone. Some do 10,000 words in a day, most days of the week. It is insane for me, though. Unless I leave the house. Alone. Or… Well, yeah. Unless I leave the house alone.

I am beginning to come to the conclusion that I need an office outside my house. Affording one is a different matter, but something that seems to become more and more clear the longer there are other people (spouse, kids, animals, etc…) living here or working here.

But, 10,000 words in a weekend is a goal. It’s a challenge, to be sure, but a goal of mine, too. To reach it and eventually surpass it. This year has been a year like that for me. Making goals, taking small steps, learning. However, that’s a post for another day.

The way this works… 10,000 words between today (Thursday) and Sunday. Leave a comment below if you’re going to join in or catch me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc… to say Yes, I’m in!

Keep track of your word count and let me and anyone else who’s participating know how you did!

Hashtag #10KWeekendsforWriters

Any questions? Ask. Otherwise, get writing!

~lissa

I Need a Challenge… How About You?

As I get my ass back in writing mode and as NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) approaches, I thought now would be a good time to start #10KWeekendsforWriters up again.

It didn’t gain much traction the last few times I tried it and who knows if it will this time or not, but I’ve decided to go ahead and open it up for anyone who might want to, including myself. I definitely could use the challenge.

I will be using a timer for word sprints and I will be using Pacemaker.press to track my word count goals. If you don’t know what Pacemaker.press is, I urge you to look into it. It’s awesome and it has motivated me. I feel bad when I see the 0 and the did not write this day… Like really bad.

So, this is the way the challenge works…(You can read about the origins of this idea HERE). It’s Thursday thru Sunday night, ending at 11:59pm Eastern (because that’s my time zone). You add your name and info into the Linky down below. However, at the present time, the Linky widget isn’t working on my site, so please leave a comment down below until I can get the Linky fixed. You can use the hashtag #10KWeekendsforWriters on social media to connect with me and anyone else who chooses to participate. That’s it. I’ll be updating my word count, grousing about needing more coffee, etc… But my goal is 10,000 words by 11:59pm on Sunday.

Let’s write, shall we?

~lissa

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

10K Weekends For Writers: December 8-11, 2016

Are you ready to write?

I am. I have the timer set and I’m ready for the words to pour out from my fingers to the pages in Word.

I’ll be working on finishing up a holiday release called Just A Kiss…At Christmas. It will get finished this weekend. It will be published before Christmas. It might kill me, but it’s going to happen. I need between 7K and 10K words on it.

So, let’s get to it, shall we?

#10kweekendsforwriters on social media.

Grab the graphic from the sidebar if you’d like for your blog or website.

Add your website or blog to the Linky below.

Add a comment with your starting word count today and on Sunday evening with your ending word count.

Spread the word. Please. I look completely pathetic doing this pretty much alone every weekend.

Most of all… Have. Fun. Writing.

~lissa