My NaNoWriFail

Well guys, I was all pumped for NaNoWriMo this year, but sadly I’m going to have to cut my word count goal from 2000 to 500. My shoulders have been annoying little buggers lately. They don’t want me to lift anything, exercise, sleep in any position, let a kid lean against me, or – worst of all – write. I got pinched nerves or something in my shoulders near the end of my 5-year stint waitressing at Denny’s (I was a kick-a waitress too! Our Denny’s is on the route to Burning Man, and it was so much fun – although exhausting – serving the burners! I miss it sometimes).

Obviously I can’t give up writing, or any of those other activities, so I need to pace myself. Less online time (boo) to let my shoulders heal, and a saner daily word goal so I don’t get overwhelmed and beat myself up.

There’s a great alternative for authors who want to set some serious writing goals without the hard-to-meet objective of 50,000 words in a month. The writer’s group I belong to, ANWA, puts on writing challenges 4 times a year through the Yahoo group ANWAWrite. Anyone can join, you don’t have to be LDS or a woman. One of the challenges is called BIAM (Book In A Month) and coincides with NaNo. Many participants do both in November. The group’s moderators send out regular emails with inspirational quotes, and cheer everyone on when they turn in their daily word counts. What I love most about the challenges is that you pick your own word count goal. The first time I did BIAM, I learned so much about managing my time and getting my 500 words in without editing while I was writing.

The good news is that I have almost 3000 new words on Cobalt! I’m excited with the direction the story is taking, and pretty soon there’s going to be some real monster & pirate action. (That is, if you don’t consider jumping out of a moving airship into a forest full of mutant creatures and moving, bloodthirsty trees real action, which recently happened. That was a fun scene to write!)

Well, I must wrap this post up. My hungry stomach calleth me to the fridge for some leftover Marriage Proposal Chicken Soup. (I call it that because my daughter Lia took some to her first day at work yesterday and her co-worker, seeing and smelling the home-cooked deliciousness, proposed to her on the spot. Why don’t I ever get marriage proposals for my cooking??)

Oh, and speaking about good recipes, I just remembered this one. It’s freaking amazing, super easy to make, and probably adding inches to my waist since we have a mug of it every night before bed! (Click to see it full-size.)

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Today I’m Rambling on About NaNoWriMo…and My Bra

Do any of you guys have a draft post saved for your blogging ideas? I have to write down everything that comes to mind on what to blog about, because I’m afraid of someday running out of ideas. I was going through that list just now when I saw the following: “Need a GPS tracker for my bra.” Well…I don’t even remember writing that. I guess I was planning on blogging about it, but that’s pretty weird. I bet I came up with the idea during the week I was chugging Nyquil…

I taunt you with my ability to get lost
in the most random places.

Even if it is true. I’m always losing my bras! I would throw large amounts of money at any store that stocked bras with not only great support but little trackers sewn into the cups, and a remote locator for your keychain. Except I also need a tracker for my keychain.

I promise I’m not on Nyquil right now!

What does that even have to do with writing? This kind of crazy rambling makes me worry about something else I have in that little draft list of mine: acting like a writer.

(Yeah, I get to strike two topics out of my list!)

My biggest challenge is treating this as a profession and not a hobby. Yesterday I was filling out paperwork for an optometrist appointment and they asked for my hobbies. (My new eye doctor wants to know my hobbies? Cool!) I put down writing and reading. Then I thought, wait a second. My hobbies are sewing, freaking out over steampunk stuff, and making jewelry (speaking of, I made an awesome bracelet yesterday, I think I’ll post a pic of it soon).

Writing is not a hobby. I want people to throw money at me for my books someday! That’s called a profession. I can go weeks without working on my hobbies and not feel guilty about it. If I go longer than a few days without writing new words or at least doing something with my WIP, I feel like I’m cheating myself out of something awesome. We writers fall into the small category of lucky people who get paid for doing something we love (or we have the goal of eventually getting paid).

So I don’t always approach writing like it’s a job. I don’t act like a writer. I realized this just in time for NaNoWriMo. I’ve never participated in the past, because I tell myself I don’t have the discipline to write 2000 words a day.

Bull-honky. When I’m really on a roll, I can crank out 2000 words in under an hour. Usually 500 words takes me about an hour, but even then, that means I can do 2000 words if I get strict with my writing schedule and eliminate distractions. (Goodbye, Facebook! *cry*)

I guess I’m saying I’ll commit to doing NaNoWriMo this year. Eep! But it’s exciting, because I’ve been wanting to get the first draft of Cobalt done so I can outline a dark and spooky YA fantasy that’s been bouncing around in my brain the last couple of weeks.

With NaNo, I’m committing to not only making a huge dent in my WIP, but learning more about treating this as a job, acting like a writer and not a dabbler. I have a feeling that not only will the next month be exhausting and crazy-making, but I’ll come out of it with some new tools and talents, and a lot more discipline.

What about you guys? Who’s doing NaNo this year too? Who’s done it before? Any tips or advice?

And…has anyone seen my black bra? It’s been missing for days.