What? That's what. No seriously. It's NaNoWriMo time! Almost. But I'm gearing up :) I know what it means this year. I am so stocking up. Donuts, apples, pepsi, pears, pepsi, premade dinners, donuts, apples, pepsi, bread, mayonaaise, speed dial deliveries... WHAT DO YOU MEAN NO ONE WILL DELIVER OUT HERE? DON'T THEY KNOW IT'S NANOWRIMO?
Breathe, breathe, deep breath, in, out. Okay. I'm okay. Really. I am. Seriously. You can quit laughing now :\/\ Fine. I'll admit it. I'm crazy as a loon, but that's only because I'm the mother of five. It would send anyone into the loony atmosphere...
I am so jazzed about NaNoWriMo I can hardly stand it. I have spent way too much time playing on the computer today because of it. But you know what? During NaNoWriMo I managed to:
1) blog nearly every day
2) WRITE every day, even if it was 300 words
3) network every day
4) learn something new, nearly every day
5) took care of 1 yr old with Down Syndrome (this means more dr type appts) and dealt with
my own issue that I had no meds for (thyroidism with no meds=disaster. Trust me.)
6) was in strange city and friendless for most part (no last minute sitter for me! so no write-ins to help with word count)
7) son and I in a play for husbands college, OLLU, and had to pick him up
8) husband worked/went to school for 14 hours day (no help there)
9) Feed family of six on $100 wk/or less (things were rough!)
10) Write a good story in a brand new genre I'd never writeen in. Granted it needed more words. I've spent about 4 months editing it. I'm putting it through another edit as first edit destroyed my voice and world building (it was a fantasy).
All in all NANOWRIMO was very good for me. I highly recommend it. It helps get a MS off the ground. A few rules to remember though.
1) Turn off your inner editor. I know. sucks. Make notes. Word commenter system worked wonders for me (one of the things I learned last year:)
2) Breathe. This may seem obvious, but think of the stress you get under pressure. This is the worst kind of pressure-the pressure to create. An intimate act that you are doing that you hope will eventually be printed by strangers and loved the world over. Or at least by enough people to keep you in ink and pepsi. (Uh, no Pepsi doesn't pay me for product placement. I live on the rez. Some stereotypes hold true.)
3) Find a rythym. A pattern. Whatever your pattern is. It helps me to twitter/blog and get my brain going. It gives my kids a chance to remember all that, oh yeah mom, I forgot to tell you stuff, and I'm hungry whines, and get it all out of the way. Then, when writing is underway, I can say with total assurance, I took care of this or that. That was my pattern. It helped. YOu may need to stay off the internet and use it as a reward. You know yourself. If you don't, you have a month to figure it out.
4) Quit freaking out about the word goal. It's not really that high. You may need to push yourself out of that comfort zone you've been in, but just do it. (Nike's not paying me either. Maybe I should apply?)
5) Make your daily word count based on weekdays. That does two things. One, you have two days off if you succeed and you can look forward to that. It allows for birthday parties, school functions, what ever you need those two days for. Two, it gives you those days to make up something you missed because you got a flat tire on the way to a write-in or your kids' teacher calls and wanted to know why they thought Duct tape was an awesome disciplinary tool.
6) Prep meals and TREATS ahead of time as much as possible. Freeze cookie dough, muffins, whatever it is that you and your family like. They will feel less like you've abandoned them. I wasn't prepared last year, so the first week sucked, but I'm a quick learner. I spent one day prepping as many meals as I could for the next week. That included grocery shopping, and portioning out things in preperation. Last year was real challenge because I had no oven or microwave-stove top only. A gas stove top. I'd never used a gas stove top before.
7) If you are having problems with the plot, or a chapter, write what you want to happen. I did this and before I knew it, I was writing again to the story. Granted, I had to edit out things later, but it kept my word count going and my stress level stopping. (Can you keep something stopping??? LOL)
8) Let no bad happen. If you can help it. I don't mean in your story. If you are writing horror. Write things as bad as you like. I mean, don't over stress the little things. Further, farther? OMG which is it? My story will suck now cuz I can't remember. Worst, worse? Everyone will think I'm an idiot. Okay, get the picture? QUIT IT. When this is over, I will steal a few wonderful language sites from edittorrent's grammar site and post them here so that you can fix it-LATER.
9) Keep networking. Keep talking to those people who have been your support all this time. It will relieve stress, give you companionship, and keep it all in good fun, which leads to my last rule.
10) Have fun. We're writers. Writing is fun. Yes it's hard work. Yes, it can tear us apart emotionally when things aren't loved by everybody and their dog PB. But over the top, it's fun. Why else would we do it? Half the time we are fighting sterotyping (that's not a REAL job & You're not Published? then you're not a REAL writer) and our families to buy the time we need. Not to mention jobs, illness, life's foibles. Why not have fun?
You can follow me on twitter by looking up Leona Bushman. I'm futzing with my twitter handle until I find the right one. Right now it's @writemyart Come follow me on my crazy journey with my fellow writers :)