First off, I’d like to point you over to Alma Alexander’s website. Back in the Dawn of the First Age of the Interwebs, Alma and her husband Deck were part of a Usenet group called misc.writing. A few days ago, I wrote a blog post about the book they co-wrote: Letters from the Fire. They linked back to that post today… but don’t read my post again. Go read their blog! And sign up to follow it!
Now on to today’s regularly schedule rambling session…
We are roughly 2/3 through the month of November. I’m not sure where this year has gone, but I’m certain that the black hole that’s swallowing time has significantly sped its ingestion since November 1st.
Maybe it’s just because I’m insane, and I lace myself with enough responsibility and deadlines to sink the Titanic–no iceberg required.
Nah, couldn’t be that.
My to-dos this month have included a myriad of publishing and marketing tasks to help get Rising: Book One of the Adept Cycle out the door. It’s up. It’s there. It’s for sale, even! You can preorder the eBook version for your favorite eReader platform, or you can order a first edition signed copy directly from me! (The dead-tree version is finally visible on Amazon, but it’s showing as “out of stock” instead of preorder. The eBook version is showing up fine. It all comes through the same publication channels. I got nothin’.)
I also spend a whole lot of time at the ice rink each week with my two skate-addicted children. My daughter is now taking weekly group lessons, private lessons and she’s in an on-ice production in a few weeks, so we have rehearsals. My son is deep into his first hockey season, and he’s loving it!
Will someone please remind my children that they live in a desert?
What else is going on?
Oh, right… just this little thing called NaNoWriMo.
For those who don’t know, that stands for National Novel Writing Month. It’s the world’s largest collective word-vomit session. NaNoWriMo challenges authors to put at least 50,000 words on paper over the month of November. And yes, I participate.
I don’t do it for the fame or the glory. If I did, I’d be sorely disappointed. And I’m certainly not delusional enough to believe that either a single month of power-writing or a total word count of 50,000 equates to a “novel” that even an editor should read.
I participate in NaNoWriMo because it’s my yearly reset to a “No Excuses” mindset.
It’s in November… arguably a horrible month to try to fit in 50,000 words. Impending holidays, school projects, travel, family commitments… and 50,000 words? Really?
It’s also flu season… I get a head cold of massive proportion every single November. This year was no exception.
No excuses, dammit!
NaNo reminds me that in order to produce a novel, one has to write. The time is never right, and there’s never enough bandwidth in the day. And the manuscript doesn’t have to be perfect out of the gate. It just needs to get done. NaNo drives us writers to accept the fact that our first draft is probably going to ind up as a moldy lump of incongruous rhino dung… but if we don’t get it out there, it’ll never be anything at all. We need to stop making excuses and get on that shit!
I have a sequel to write. I also have two other projects I want to work on. I know I can’t really start those other two until I get Release: Book Two of the Adept Cycle to the point of a completed first draft. NaNo got me off my ass and I’ve been producing. (You can see in the picture exactly where I got sick… and that little line on day 14 LIES! Most of that writing was spread out over the course of that week, and I just didn’t update the site.)
There is something about that little bar graph that makes me get my ass up at 4:30 in the morning to pound out the word count. Honestly, I’d pay NaNo for the ability to use that app monthly. I wish they’d just pull the trigger and make it a phone app.
Or maybe I’ll write that app…
Anyway, the point is… I appreciate NaNo for its reminder that I am capable of cranking out the words. My goal is to be NaNo Complete (i.e., 50,000 words) by next Wednesday so I don’t have to deal with it over Thanksgiving weekend. I took a couple days off of work to make sure it happens.
The point here is, whatever your goal happens to be, don’t let Life get in your way. Work a little bit at it each day. Nurture your dreams and they’ll become your reality. I’m walking proof of that statement.
But I haven’t stopped dreaming. Therefore, I’ll push through this NaNo and soldier ever onward. There’s a star out there with my name on it. I’ll never reach it by making excuses.