NaNoWriMo 2016 – The Prep

I went and checked my NaNoWriMo stats and I have attempted this challenge since like, 2010.

Six years, y’all.

But you know, despite feeling like a nano ‘failure’, I don’t feel like I actually have failed in the final goal of being a better writer.

The first year I tried to do Nano I went into it with no prep. I had discovered the challenge a few weeks before it was going to start and got really pumped up. I came up with an idea and I just WENT for it, no planning, no prep, no characters, no plot… just a story idea that moved forward.

And I made it about 6 to 10k (I sincerely can’t remember) into the challenge and quit after about a week because November is a hell of a month for a college student to try and write a novel. Between papers and school and work? Nah bro. Didn’t happen. My story had no tension, had no real conflict and basically just curled up and died on the page because there was nothing there to hold it up.

The next couple of years I’d try again and I’d inevitably fail.

I believe I say ‘screw this’ last year, but I tried to just keep writing…and got disappointed and gave up.

That was frustrating as heck. I keep trying and I keep failing. I keep attempting this project that I’ve witnessed thousands of people complete around me and…this year it clicked.

For me, it will never be about completing a 50,000 word story in 30 days. It WILL be about the journey. It WILL be about not giving up. It WILL be about taking a deep breath and reviewing what doesn’t work from the past. And it will be about forgiving myself for not being like everyone else and accepting that I’m like myself instead.

This year I have a story I’ve been working on for a while that I’m going to work on. I’ll log my words and push myself to get beyond where I stalled out last time. This year will be about not letting those around me rush through but also about letting the mistakes happen and just getting through the book. This year will be about running the race.

My NaNoWriMo prep goes beyond the preparation of a book and about the prep of the writer.

Frustrations and Inspirations

Man, dear reader, I meant to already be done with this blog post and on to my current work in progress, but computer issues saw that I spent 30 of my precious hour this morning trying to unfreeze and close stuck programs.

But, we’ve moved past that and here we are.

This morning I want to talk about the inspirations that keep me going. I’ve talked a lot of about eliminating negative self-talk and how important it is not to give up, but maybe you don’t think about how many other people who we consider successful had setbacks.

After all, it’s not a failure unless you stop.

Dr. Suess was rejected. Isaac Asimov had short stories he never sold. Ursula K. LeGuin was told that the Hand of Darkness was ‘endlessly complicated’. I know I’ve heard Laura K. Hamilton tell audiences at Dragon*Con that her Anita Blake series was rejected over 300 times.

I remember this when I can’t get started or when my stress is triggered. I look at J.K. Rowling, who is currently doing Quite Well For Herself and remember that her book was rejected as being too long for readers. I remember what Stephen King said in his book “On Writing” about the time he threw the manuscript for Carrie in the trash and his wife went, pulled it out, straightened it and put it back on his desk.

Its a short post today Lovelies, but after my 30 minute war with getting my writing machine to play nice, I wanted to lay this down for y’all to remember.

No matter how frustrating the day has been, we’re not alone. We’re walking roads that the greats have trod before us and we can make it happen.