Monday, November 30, 2009

Random Writing Rambles

Today is the last day of nanowrimo. That is cause for cheers among the writers participating and their families and friends. The writers will no longer judge their daily output on that of everyone else in the world (OK, just the contest participants). The friends won't have to hear us whine about not getting in the daily word-count, or being behind, or being ahead but having some busy days coming up where we're terrified of falling behind. (Maybe, I'm just overly prone to stressing about life and everyone else is writing away with reckless abandon and cheer?)

Anyway. Twelve more hours. I have a doctors appointment today where I get to talk about my medicine not working any more. My fault, I think. I forgot to take it one morning and ate a bite of little boy's waffle before I remembered. (He's big on sharing, but only with mommy.) I took it as soon as I started to swell up, but it hasn't worked since.

During Thanksgiving I couldn't eat. I was sad.

I did anyway. I had smaller servings than what I feed my three year old and still felt too swollen and icky to even try the pie afterward, but I had a some yummy yummy turkey with gravy. That's my favorite part of Thanksgiving. Turkey gravy. Mmmm.

But (onward, toward the point) after the doctors appointment is writing night! Tonight I will abandon my husband and children and will spend a few hours at Starbucks drinking hot milk (it makes me feel full without too much swelling or nausea) and writing. Then I will be done with nano -- where I will lose -- I'm at 32,516. So really? Really.

But my sister will win with her story "Blood Circle."

Isn't that the greatest title.

I can accept that and cheer for her and the rest of the winners. Go nano writers!

Then, in December, my sister negate the hard work of the words by stressing about an ending. Fifty thousand words alone (is it possible for fifty thousand words to be alone?) isn't enough. There needs to be a wrap-up. A sense of completion. An ending. That's the hard part for nanoers. Remembering to celebrate the accomplishments when there is still more to do. Always more.

Stop and celebrate, people. One day off. A big meal. A restaurant you love. Something. Enjoy the win.

I, on the other hand, (on the not winning side) redid the wonderful nano spreadsheet I found somewhere (if I could remember where, I'd link you to the creator's site. Unfortunately I can't and a google search did not help) so there's a copy of it, if you want to try. My target words are 100,000 and my target finish date is January 31st.

Taaa daaaa!

I am no longer behind. I can celebrate that small fact with all you winners.

And at the much more modest goal of only 1099 words/day I should be able to keep the pace through the next few months -- unless my stomach problems get bad enough for hospitalization. So far that doesn't look like a real worry, so I think I have a real hope of finishing novel number two in a reasonable period of time. (Go Penny! -- No, she's not named after the Dr. Horrible character. I was looking for last minute names, something you might think of staring at a red-headed baby in the hospital when you need a name and have been ignoring the inevitability of the situation. Not short for Penelope or anything. Her name is Penny. Penny Ann Monahan.)

While I didn't finish during nanowrimo, and I didn't (won't) win, I still have to thank them for this. Otherwise I might have spent the next year reading and rereading, editing and reediting, novel number one. Just like I spent this last year.

Writing one full novel is a big deal. Anyone who has done it should feel proud. I will feel proud for you, if you can't. (Novel writing cheer! -- Is there too much cheering in this post? Nah, can't be.) But if I (we) want to make this my career, I need to be able to do it again. And again. And again. Nanowrimo is helping me do that.

Last year I perverted one of the nano rules (the rule to start a new project) because I had never finished a story before and that was more important to me than getting fifty thousand on another beginning. I won (only counting the words written during the month. I made a new file with the second half of the novel to be sure, so I still feel OK counting it as a win. Not like I tossed out all the rules or anything.) This year I celebrate my loss, and my new beginning, because new beginnings are important too.

Celebrate all your accomplishments -- and remember, forging on is an accomplishment. Keep going, but remember to enjoy it. And enjoy your turkey leftovers. With turkey gravy. That's my second favorite part of Thanksgiving. Hubby will make Baked Dinner tonight (turkey leftovers, stove top stuffing, cream of mushroom soup, green beans all layered in a casserole dish and baked -- sooo yummy). I will celebrate with that if my doctor's appointment goes well. Steamed milk at Starbucks if it doesn't. I might even have them add pumpkin spice to it. It is a celebration, after all.

Have a happy Monday!

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