NaNoWriMo 2016

Another year has passed, and it is once again time to start planning for NaNoWriMo.

There is a crisp chill in the air here on the North Shore. Rather than autumn feeling like a time of waning I am invigorated by the change of season.  I want to be outside in the  swirling burnt-leaf tinged air, low sun warming my cheeks.

If you participate in NaNoWriMo, this time of year may also bring a slight tremble to your hand and gentle prodding of your brain. Then the pleading begins “Please, let me think of something to write before November 1st!”

Sedate bees float by seemingly lost in the decaying garden. The low cruising geese honk in unison as they materialize over the tree top startling the dog.  I cast about for a plot, a scenario, a tidbit of inspiration.

It is a romantic notion, the muse is. I don’t imagine an unseen entity sprinkling writing dust full of ideas over my head. To me it is work, the enjoyable welcome work of having to think and notice and feel and consider and contemplate. The blank page doesn’t frighten me…apparently finishing does.

This is my 7th year of NaNoWriMo. Another WIP to add to the growing file of unfinished work.  I think a few of them are good. Good enough to finish and put out in the world. Why I haven’t is hard to articulate.

It would be easy to blame the usual writer laments, fear of failure, fear of success, imposter syndrome,  all are valid. Yet, I don’t feel any ownership of them. Which leaves me still wondering, why haven’t I finished? Do I lack the ambition to self-publish?

I thought of not participating this year, or not starting something new. Giving myself the ultimatum “No new novels until you complete one.” But, the process of coming up with a story, imagining what’s next, developing the characters, and words flowing by the hundreds, is the part I like best. I need this part.

I will finish something. It’s getting too embarrassing not to. I was ashamed to admit to someone last week that I have spent the last seven years writing yet having nothing to show for it.

As I watched my friend Satin hand her book over to a buyer, I had my deep pang of jealousy that caught me off-guard. I wanted that. I wanted to be able to say, “Hey, I have a copy of my book in the car, I’ll just run our there and get it for you.”

I’m also tremendously proud of her.  She’s well on her way to her second novel’s finish line. And having had the honor of being an early reader, I know how hard she’s worked to make this one better than the first. Writing only improves with practice, a practice that needs to include finishing and moving on to the next work. She’s my inspiration.

I’m not sure what I’m writing this year but I know as soon as the month is over, I’ll be setting it aside to finish my previous work. No more hoping I’ll be finished by some imaginary date.  May 1st is my deadline to hand over The Illusion of Marriage to my beta readers. I’m trusting you all to hold me to it.

 

 

 

Wednesday Woo: Resistance

Resistance: the refusal to accept or comply with something. That something for us is the need to write. It’s when fear, self-doubt and lack of clarity fight with your intentions.  You set goals, you make a schedule, but you don’t actually show up to do the job…that is resistance.

Rather than try to examine all the reasons why we resist accomplishing goals let’s concentrate on overcoming and moving past resistance.

Many of you have likely heard of Steven Pressfield’s book The War of Art. It generally has good reviews though some question his peculiar analogies and suppositions. In particular his assertion of why Hitler went to war rather than become an artist is kinda screwy, but I understood what he was getting at. If you can get past those wacky ideas, it’s, a quick, easy read full of ideas that may help you fight back against your inner naysayer.

Another worthy read on his website, –Resistance is Not Us by Steven Pressfield

One of my favorite self-help books is Standing at Water’s Edge: Moving Past Fear, Blocks and Pitfalls to Discover the Power of Creative Immersion. I read this when I began writing in earnest. One of the strongest ideas I took from this book is how important support is while you pursue a creative endeavor. Anne Paris’s website.

Eric Maisel is one of the best known creativity coaches out there. I’ve read and like many of his books, though some may be more relevant others. In particular I enjoyed and found helpful, Toxic Criticism, Deep Writing, and Brainstorm.

If anybody has a particular issue of resistance you need help with, post in the comments.

Welcome to the WriNoShores Home

Hello, Sara here, *taps microphone* is this thing on?

Ahem…

As you can see I have started up a blog. For someone terrified of such things (I have had my personal blog for a year and haven’t written a thing on it yet) this is a huge undertaking for me so please bear with me as I figure this thing out.

This blog is intended for all of those who have participated in and belong to the North Shore Region of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writers Month). Specifically our After-NaNo Writing and Support Group.

I’m going to explain exactly what this blog is for, but first, a little history:

Two years ago, fellow NaNo participant Lynne held me down and tortured me casually suggested that I become the Region’s Municipal Liaison, as our former ML (and wonderful person in general, Liz) abandoned us for the West Coast moved back home with her new baby.

After freaking out applying for and getting the position, I researched other regions to see how I could make ours better than everyone else’s great.

Then, after much brainstorming, Lynne and I decided we needed a proper name and mascot for our regional group. We came up with the name WriNoShores (Writers of the North Shore) and our mascot, a handsome Rhino named George (named by fellow participant Caroline, after her cat).

Two years later and much procrastination from me I have started up a year-round writing group as requested.

It’s AWESOME (and full of great supportive people) and if you haven’t already you should come check us out.

The WriNoShores meet twice a month, every first and third Sunday at Plum Island Coffee Roasters (PICR) in Newburyport from 1-5pm.

And here is where I finally get to the point tell you what this blog is for:

Ahem… stuff?

Stuff like…

  • keeping in touch, the comments are open so feel free (just don’t be a dick, this is a supportive environment only)
  • posting writing related stuff and whatnot
  • posting stories that you’ve written* or a novel excerpt that you want to share (I only ask that it is, say, about chapter length or less and edited)
  • posting writing questions you may have
  • finding information on upcoming events
  • I will add more stuff as I think of it…

How does it work you ask?

Well.

You can view and comment to your leisure, however if you wish to post on the site you will have to request authorship which keeps out the rabble.

You can email me at sara@wrinoshores.com or the contact page in the menu and I’ll send you an invitation. You will need a wordpress account. If you don’t have one, sign up for a wordpress account, it’s free and easy.

Some other info:

Please feel free to contact me with ANY questions. I’m here to help.

I will update this post as needed and I will totally let y’all know if I do.

Um, I think that’s it… oh, right, the starry thing:

*Just a FYI: this is not a private site, so anyone can view it. Full stories posted to a public blog are considered published (you do keep all copyrights and your name will show as author). So, basically, if you are looking to submit the piece for publication somewhere, post an excerpt only.*

 

Thank you for visiting!

*drops microphone*

*runs away*