Good evening! Whew! I did it! I completed 56,092 words in 30-Day Novel Writing Challenge! I am an official #NaNoWinner2016. Something very amazing happened in this 4th year of taking the NaNoWriMo writing journey – I ran out of month before I ran out of story. Ahh…I also must share another amazing experience – I was able to capture NaNoWriMo’s “Tears” badge at the early stage of my story. Ohh, these characters kept pulling on my heartstrings – I am so proud of the courage they showed throughout each scene. I love being a “Pantser” because it truly allows me to ‘get out of the way’ and give my characters full control. usually, arriving at the end of NaNoWriMo is 2-fold emotional for me – In one sense, the glory of crossing the finish line. In another sense, the sadness of departing from characters I’ve come to know and love during the 30-day challenge. However, since I still have more of my story to express, I don’t have to say “Goodbye!” just yet. I am going to spend just a little more time with them to tighten up some of my scenes that I allowed to dangle – Umm…because, “Let – me – tell – ya!”, I created some very stubborn characters this year. Lol. But, I love them dearly and my job is to let them “finish the show!” – which means, although NaNoWriMo 2016 has come to a close…I am not ready to end this journey and neither are my characters…so the show will continue…I am sure they will give me a new ending. I hope each of you amazing writers had just as much FUN as I did participating in NaNoWriMo 2016. A huge “Congratulations!” to all of you amazing writers who participated and crossed the finish line to join the rank of #NaNoWinner2016 – Also…to every writer who was brave enough to attempt this writing journey…please keep trying every year because the world needs to read your story!
© Daily Writer Girl 12/01/2016
Filed under NANOWRIMO, novel
Good evening! Play or Work! How do you feel when you approach your space to write? As many of you already know, I am a professed perfectionist…I’ve been committed to identifying the strengths in being a perfectionist to intentionally guide my writing behavior. My first attempt at NaNoWriMo was not easy – I was really ready to surrender to defeat – fortunately, I had strong support – my loving daughter kept encouraging me with Mr. Walt Disney’s” words – “Keep Moving Forward!” – each time she witnessed me staring at my laptop screen from the middle of the 30-day challenge clear to the very end. Then, after feeling that I had exhausted all my creativity at 30,000 words and only 7 Days left on the calendar – my wise son used reverse psychology on me with the same words I would shower on him as a youth — here’s how that dialogue exchange unfolded – Me: “I have nothing more to add to this story, I have failed at my first attempt to complete this writing challenge!” Son, “Mom, how do you know you can’t win this writing challenge — UNLESS you keep writing! You won’t know until you try to finish! Just keep writing and watch what happens!” Wow! How did I get such smart and savvy children! Their belief in my ability pushed me to dig deep inside my soul and utilize every ounce of my creative ability. I sacrificed sleep to complete 8,000 words in one day – which motivated to challenge myself to produce a higher daily word count – 2 days later, I sacrificed sleep again to produce 10,000 words. One day before the deadline — as I was compiling my files to form my completed story – I discovered an isolated folder I had not included in my word calculation that belonged in my story – a bonus – this put me slightly over the finish line goal of 50,000 words – earning myself a 1st time NaNoWriMo WINNER certificate for 2013. Although it was fun, it felt like a job – I didn’t want a skill I highly valued to feel like work. I decided to examine each of my writing episodes that I experienced during that 30-day period…my goal was to isolate moments my experience felt like play and those that felt like work. I discovered that my joyful writing moments happened when I trusted my ability to create more words – this led me to promise myself each following year to trust my writing ability! It worked! Trust is the key! — Trust allowed me to have a joyful writing experience. Trust took away self-doubt and exhaustion that is associated with work – trust replaced my feelings with calm and confidence that is associated with play. I find much more joy in my 30-day writing challenge when it feels like play. I look forward to entering my play zone in just 11 Days – 3 hours – and 10 minutes.
© Daily Writer Girl 10/20/2016
Good evening! Quality v. Quantity – how important is this issue? Very! Let’s start with a process of elimination – Fact: we already know that 50,000 words meet the QUANTITY test – actually, even if you don’t WIN (Yet, I have faith that you WILL!) If you get just slightly close to this GOAL – give yourself permission to claim individual success in QUANTITY during this writing challenge! At the end of November – when you receive your WINNER certificate – give yourself an A+ for QUANTITY! However, QUALITY — Aye! This is a challenge of its own! Webster defines QUALITY as, “high-grade; superiority; excellence” – How does this apply to words? One could simply write, “I am writing a 50,000 word-count novel in a 30-day writing exercise challenge.” – then choose to repeat this sentence numerous times until reaching a decided writing GOAL! — Enter ETHICS! Yes, I feel that this challenge is also a TEST in ETHICS! We are challenged – Not just to produce 50,000 words in 30 days – but to masterfully design these words in a manner that results in a creative novel. If one should intentionally dump 50,000 incompatible words into NaNoWriMo’s word-count validator at the end of this novel challenge – then one would only be cheating themselves out of an amazing writing experience – and would also seriously fail the QUALITY test – Yes, one may gain a WINNER’s Certificate – but Fail the ethics Test as a result of poor QUALITY – Only you will know – because no one will see these words – except you – unless you decide to shop your manuscript. Please, don’t allow QUALITY to scare you! Adding QUALITY to your plan can only result in a positive NaNoWriMo outcome! I feel strongly that each of us will produce a QUALITY – 50,000 word-count novel that we will be proud to present. An excellent benefit to passing the QUALITY test is that it decreases the amount of editing we will need to complete before presenting our manuscript – if we should choose traditional publishing. Only 13 Days – 3 Hours – and 56 minutes before we begin ‘Word 1’ of our 50,000 word-count novel challenge….happy planning!
© Daily Writer Girl 10/18/2016
Good evening! A valuable lesson I learned years ago, in an Economics class, is the definition of “opportunity costs” – this is my summary that I apply to many aspects of my life – “What would I be willing to give up NOW – that will allow me to have something, I deem more valuable, in the FUTURE?” This Economics lesson has proven to be very valuable to me in many aspects of my life. Usually, when we think about economics, our thought process may go directly to money – yet, opportunity costs are not always measured in minted bills — it could also be measured in intangible assets – such as time, sweat-equity, or, really, anything you choose. I want to apply this principle to the writing challenge in November. I learned, after investing multiple years in NaNoWriMo, that October is the time to be cognizant of my ‘opportunity costs’ – this early decision has helped me prepare my brain to endure the 30-day novel-writing challenge. Making this decision BEFORE the challenge starts on November 1st, has also allowed me to set healthy boundaries that are easy to enforce as I am in the trenches of writing my novel throughout November. I begin by asking myself 3 essential questions:
- What is my END-GOAL for this novel-writing challenge?
- How much TIME and ENERGY do I possess to invest in this writing challenge?
- Am I committed to WINNING this writing challenge – or is this just a method to ‘pass time’?
My answers to these 3 questions are the foundation to support the actions I intend to exercise within these boundaries that I set. — “What will I give up in November — to reap the great reward of a 50,000 word count novel that I will be able to treasure for many years?” – Decision Time! Be right back! —-
Done! My boundaries are written! I am In It to WIN It! How about you? What are you willing to give up for an entire 30 days to meet your novel-writing GOAL? Will you set boundaries NOW – to be ready to enforce them on Day 1 of NaNoWriMo? Will you be proud of your achievement when NaNoWriMo’s word-count validator reveals your 2016 results? Are you in this challenge to WIN – with many fabulous writers around the globe? Act quickly!…because time is escaping – only 14 Days – 3 hours – and 48 minutes remaining before the writing madness begins!
© Daily Writer Girl 10/17/2016
Good evening! What motivates you? What, exactly, is motivation? Webster defines motivation as,”a force or influence that causes someone to do something.” — Hmmm…I like Webster’s definition because I am ‘influenced‘ every year to take a writing challenge. Why does this challenge motivate me? The reasons are many – but, the most important one is – the creative brain preparation that is required before the journey begins on November 1st at 12:01 am. You see, I have promised myself to obey the NaNoWriMo novel-writing rule. – RULE: “Novel must be an ‘original’ idea to BEGIN writing ON November 1st.” – While this is a difficult rule to obey, as a writer, because it requires training your brain to suppress any ideas throughout the year, until preparation time arrives – It is the driving force that keeps me motivated throughout the year – especially during the days leading up to November 1st . Add this fact to my excitement – I am a ‘Pantser’! — Yep….I like to let my characters run the show! When my fingers turn the page on my calendar to reveal October – something electrifying happens in my brain – it feels as if the novel-writing stimuli awaken from a ten-month hibernation screaming, “Novel Alert! Wake up and start creating your story!” Each touch of my soft calendar pages – reveal hints of how my story might unfold – like flowers peeking out of the ground in the wake of Spring. The words dancing around in my psyche – feel like a ray of sunshine soaking my body – I welcome this ‘word therapy’! NaNoWriMo has become one of my favorite writing exercises of the year. Let the countdown begin! — Only 18 days, 3 hours, and 40 minutes before I type my first word – that will lead to my 50,000 word count novel. Happy novel preparation to all of you fabulous writers around the globe!
© Daily Writer Girl 10/13/2016
Good Afternoon! Do not fear the blank page! My approach to the blank page is – “We are not enemies – we are friends!” Every inch of white space I see before me — be it a napkin – an unlined index card – a ‘sticky post-it’ note – a sketchbook – an empty ‘new document’ page on my word processor – a blank envelope — I view all of this blank space as an open INVITATION to allow my creative thoughts to be FREE. Since I do not claim to have any drawing skills – I allow my ‘paintbrush’ to be my pen – or pencil (green bar) – or my fingers attached to a keyboard. When FEAR approaches – I defy it! “Hello fear, I was expecting you! You have to jump on board with me because I refuse to allow you to stop me from letting my creativity flow onto this BLANK PAGE!” – In essence, I CLAIM my blank space – I take full responsibility for taking that naked white space and pouring my carefully crafted words in a dancing rhythm onto the page. No! The blank page does not scare me – I embrace it fully! I am allowing my motto for NANOWRIMO 2015 to be “Ah – another blank page – I’ll make my mark there!”
Good Morning! Now is the time! Countdown to NANOWRIMO….15 DAYS — 347.50 hours — to start the writing madness! Oh how I love getting my mind prepared to discover the potential and surprise of the characters to be featured in this month-long challenge!