It’s that time of year again.
No, for once I’m not freaking out over Halloween. This time I’m freaking out because Nanowrimo is coming. It had helped me produce two shitty first drafts, one of which has been fleshed out into an actual novel.
Around this time last year was an exceptionally hard few months. I won’t go into detail because many of them are private or not my own, but I didn’t make it past the first few paragraphs of my Nanowrimo project. Instead, I sought refuge within the pages of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander. I devoured it like a madwoman and perhaps, at the time, I was a madwoman.
Needless to say, for the first time in a few years I did not complete the Nanowrimo challenge. And it hurt. It stung like a thorn in my side. It was the voice that told me I wasn’t cut out to do this. It constantly whispered in my ear that I wasn’t all that I thought I was. I stopped writing almost altogether. Rejection letters only made the wounds deeper. My heart just wasn’t in it.
It’s about time things changed.
I’m doing the final revisions on my first novel and planning to set about the first revisions of the sequel so that I can self-publish soon. This is what I’ve always wanted, just short of the big contract deal. Screw rejection letters. Screw self-doubt. I worked hard on this book (and I adore these characters) and I can’t wait for it to see the light of day. (And don’t forget my uncontrollable desire to become self employed and leave the tyrannical cycle of entry level employment.)
So, this year I’m going to give myself a firm kick in the ass and really get to work. Since I haven’t done any revisions on book two of my series (and I know how much stories can change through revisions) I’m not going to work on the third book. Instead, I’m going to knock out my very first cozy mystery.
That said, I think crafting my own little survival kit might come in handy. I put this together with things I already had in the house because I recently got laid off from my seasonal job and I know we writers aren’t made of money. Often, we already own our own comfort foods/drinks and supplies scattered around the house.
- Coffee/Tea: I practically live off coffee. The first things I do every morning is feed my cat and make my coffee. I love flavors like pumpkin and chocolate. It gets me out of my grump funk. Later in the day, I like to indulge in a cup of tea. Hubs likes his milky chai and I like a strong and clear black tea blend. Republic of Tea has the best flavors. Red Velvet is surprisingly delicious and Blackberry Sage is there for a kick of wisdom.
- My Notes: This year I’m trying to put together a series bible for my works (since I have plans for doing more than one). I bought a cheap binder at Wal-mart in a color that reminds me of my protagonist. The cat chewed through my printer USB cord and forced me to work longhand, which is way more malleable than a printed document. I’m enjoying the process of handwriting my outlines and character bios.
- A Pinterest Board: It is easy to procrastinate when you have a pinterest board for your nano-novel, but it also helps you visualize certain things. This can lend to some really vivid description and world building. Pinterest also has a secret board feature in case you have any tripidation about putting our story inspiration out there.
- My Stuffies: Yeah, I’m girly. When we had a bit of cash to spare my hubs spoiled me with two stuffies from Squishable. They’re basically giant, round pillows made to look like animals and such. I picked out the mini hippogriff and he surprised me by adding on the normal sized
(which is huge) cerberus. They’re there when I need to release a bit of stress and there to keep me warm when we turn the heat down to save money.
- A Good Place to Write: Everyone needs a good writing zone. It comforts and consoles us, like my corner on the couch that sits in front of the electric heater. But don’t limit yourself. Soon, the surroundings will be leached of inspiration from all that plugging away. I like to switch things up and work in different places. You could take your laptop outside, if its warm, or save your work on a flashdrive or google drive work at your local library.
- Your Playlist: I like Youtube for this. If you hve an extensive music collection you can also crete an ipod playlist. While writing my 2012 Nano novel I would work my way through a lot of genres. I liked to listen to everything from Tyler the Creator to Breaking Benjamin while I wrote. It kept things flowing. This year I’m kind of feeling alternative 90’s rock, but we’ll see when I actually start writing.
I like to stay up after midnight on Halloween, with a stash of Halloween candy, and hammer away at my first thousand words. It’s a great head start when you have days that you just feel like a pile of crap or have to go to the obligatory family Thanksgiving (Gods help me, my husband’s family invited themselves to our house this year) and simply cannot write.
I wish all of you the best of luck in this year’s Nanowrimo, may you have words a plenty and your muse on a short leash.