Monday Motivations; Eliminating Waste

Happy NaNoWriMo everyone, especially those who are choosing to participate this year. Regular readers of this blog may be aware that after a lot of internal debate, pained agonizing over my busy schedule, and possibly against my better judgement, I have decided to go ahead and at least attempt NaNo.

With as much on my plate this month, with a manuscript due in two weeks, my partner going out of town for the holiday, leaving me with child care and housekeeping to take care of, and some other additions to my schedule, it honestly seems ludicrous, even to me, that I would even consider adding yet another time consuming, energy sapping, creative obligation to my list. That said, for the first time in four years, I’m under no illusion that “winning” NaNo is likely. But if I’m to have a prayer of crossing that 50,000 mark, time management is going to be critical.

I often think about time like currency. It can be spent wisely or wastefully. Too often, when I find myself scrambling to meet a deadline, or when I am feeling completely overwhelmed by my To Do list, it’s because I frittered away my balance of time in a decidedly unproductive fashion.

We all have our favorite time wasting activities. For me, it’s usually video games, although lately it’s been true crime TV and nonagram puzzles (I just discovered them and to say I’m obsessed is…). Sometimes I try to tell myself I am capable of multi tasking. That I can write and watch that basketball game, or that it’s okay to reward myself for a paragraph by scrolling Twitter. Sometimes it’s true, but mostly it’s just a comforting lie.

This month, I can’t afford to deceive myself. While self care and moments of leisure will be important to avoid burn out and over work, eliminating those moments when I know better than to open the AITA sub Reddit or mindlessly click through my newsfeed or do just one more puzzle, because all it is is a time sink that feeds my worst impulses.

So, that’s my motivation this week. Identifying and eliminating wastes of my already stretched thin and precious time.

It’s gonna take discipline I’m not sure I have, but I’ll never know unless I try, right? And, anyway, even if I don’t “win” NaNo, every word I do write is one more I didn’t have before this month, and that matters. In that regard, I’ve already accomplished the goal.

Until next time, my friends!

Kerry Share

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Scribd subscribers, click here to find my romance novellas!


The Great Pants Experiment

Hello friends and welcome to another crazy idea from your friendly local writer. I’m your friendly (and struggling) local writer.

Happy Last Blog Post Before NaNoWriMo everyone! I hope everyone’s preparations are going well (at least for those of you who are participating) and I am looking forward to cheering everyone on. 

A few weeks ago I mentioned the unlikelihood that I would be able to participate in NaNo this year. I have a freelance project that comes due right at the middle of the month that will consume most of my free time, and, as always, winter is my busiest time of year at my day job meaning I’ll likely be fried even without adding 1666 words a day to my task board. It sucks, because I really do enjoy the community and camaraderie that comes in November. I’ve participated every year since 2017 and managed the 50k each time, due in large part because I didn’t want to let anyone who I had told I was participating down (shame is my greatest motivator). Though a complete ass kicking, there’s something fun about it. And there’s definitely something to be said for the knowledge that maybe I can do this after all that comes at the end. So it’s kind of a bummer to me that I just don’t have time this year. 

So, last week I was sitting here thinking about what I would talk about this week, on the near-enough-to-count eve of NaNoWriMo when I’m not actually participating. 

And then dark me asked: are you sure you don’t have time? 

Of course, I replied, I barely have enough time to get my paid writing done. 

Nuh uh, said dark me, but I ignored her. 

Until I couldn’t anymore. 

Even if I did have time, I haven’t prepared anything, I told dark me firmly. And there’s definitely not enough time to outline something that would get me all the way through November. 

So don’t outline, dark me said. 

Readers, I nearly gasped out loud. Pants a novel? Moi? Perish the thought! I am a die-hard plotter. I love outlining. I’ve never pantsed anything in my life!

So? Said dark me, just teasing me at this point. Now is the perfect time to experiment. 

Or it’s the worst time, I reminded myself. I’m setting myself up for failure. 

Would that really be the worst thing? Asked dark me.

Yes, chimed in the anxiety brain and then I kicked it down the stairs and locked it in the basement, because no one needs that kind of negativity. 

Well, I thought, dusting off my hands, I do have that one character in the Nexus that I’ve yet to come up with a plot line for. 

And even if you don’t get 50,000 words, if you get just one idea for that character this month from pantsing, then isn’t that a win? Dark me wondered.

And that, my friends, is how the The Great Pants Experiment was born. 

I tend to play a little loosely with the NaNo rules. As a high fantasy writer, I have to be. There isn’t a snowball’s chance of squeezing an entire fantasy story into just 50,000 words. So NaNoWriMo for me is more like NaPaOANoWriMo – National Part of a Novel Writing Month. 

Just last year, in fact, I utilized NaNo to draft one leg of my most ambitious project to date, the Nexus. The Nexus, as I’ve mentioned a few times, is a massive, multi-POV mess of a novel that has no chance at all of landing an agent or traditional publishing contract, and yet I love so much I can’t not write it. The novel features five different story paths, some intersecting, some all alone on an island, told from ten different POV characters. Or, at least, that’s the plan, anyway. To date, I’ve only ever drafted the one leg, though I’ve got pretty firm ideas (if not outright outlines) for the others.

Except one. From the beginning I’ve always had a general sense the plot will have kind of a gothic horror feel to it. I know the POV character and how she winds up in her situation, but beyond that… I draw a blank. 

That said, its connection to a world I know well and a brief cameo by other characters I plan to use in other story paths… I don’t know. I think dark me might be right, this might actually be a good time to try my hand at pantsing something.

I also think it’s possibly one of the worst ideas I’ve ever had. 

I mean, what’s the worst that could happen? I wasn’t even planning on doing NaNo this year until… like three days ago, so if I fail to reach 50,000 words what have I really lost? But if I get 35,000, 20,000, or even just a measly 5k, that’s already more than I started with, right? As long as I make sure my freelance writing gets done (due date of the 12th, leaving over half the month to play catch up if need be), then it’s okay, right? 


Find out next week if I decide to go for it or not. Until then, my friends, may your November be wordy and your struggles be few.

Kerry Share

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Scribd subscribers, click here to find my romance novellas!


Ramping Up

Hello friends and welcome to a self-motivational edition of Just Another Struggling Writer. I’m just another struggling writer.

Well, friends, loathe as I am to admit it, the post-NaNoWriMo slump got me but good this year. The normal burnout, plus all the bad wrong going on in the real world, plus an unusually long and intense depressive episode has meant my writing has been limping along forlornly in the background.

Which is not to say I’ve done nothing (19 pages!), which is already an improvement over years past where December and January are complete black holes of productivity. But as the days drag on and I am still often struggling to get more than 200 words a day done, I find myself looking for something, anything, to motivate it me to do more. I am still amazed at how easy I found this last NaNo to be, yet as soon as the clock struck December 1st, all those good vibrations just… flew out the window. Am I really a person that needs that communal struggle to propel me forth?

I mean, don’t get me wrong, I am not looking to work at that sort of breakneck speed more than once a year. But something closer to 1000 words a day would keep me on track to get this mammoth of a book done by July.

Something got me thinking. Last year (or was it the year before last? 2020 time flowed at a completely different rate, didn’t it) in the run up to NaNoWriMo, Mur Lafferty on her excellent podcast I Should Be Writing talked about how, if one is anxious about their capability of writing 1666 words a day in November, they can ease themselves into it by starting in October with a much lower daily word count and slowly build up to that magic number.

As far as ideas go for the motivation-starved writer (read: me), it’s as good as any, right?

My word count yesterday was 260. So, I thought, what if today I do 280? Maybe tomorrow I could do 300. Then Saturday 325. And so on. Just a little bit extra than I did yesterday, every day, until I’m routinely hitting the mark of 1000. I could knock out 50 or 100 words on my lunch break. I could dictate 100 more on my commute home. I could do 75 while the kids are in the shower. Here and there, nothing too overwhelming, until I build my – uh – tolerance back up.

Like flexing a muscle, right? Every day, a bit at time.

I’m projecting the first draft of this novel to be around 300k words, so at my current rate of writing I will be approximately… dead by the time its ready to query.

Better get to it, shouldn’t I?

Take care friends! Until next week, may your writing be plenty and your struggles be few.

Kerry Share

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NaNoWriMo 2020 Post-Mortem

Wow okay so it’s been a minute. I had intended on doing a pre-NaNo check in post before I dove headfirst into hell month but I frankly just ran out of time. Then I thought maybe I’ll do a mid-month check in and, well, didn’t have time for that either. In the past I had managed to get a lot of my writing done during the day at my day job, but this year that just wasn’t possible and so my evenings were spent making word counts.

That being said…

I actually think this year was the easiest NaNo ever came to me. Maybe it was because I was tackling something totally fresh, or that I was going into the project with a freer perspective than I had in the past, or because I just knew what to expect and what I was capable of. Even with all that, it was kind of remarkable to me how little stress I felt throughout the month. I never fell behind, and at some points got far enough ahead that I was able to take mental health breaks as needed.

Or maybe it’s just because this is what I’m supposed to be working on right now. Wouldn’t that be nice? To feel connected to the work beyond a sense of obligation? Or maybe it just feels that way right now because it’s new.

I don’t know, but for the first time since I started doing NaNo I almost had fun with it. It was still a lot of work that meant I had 0 time for leisure on my writing days, but I was enjoying the process of discovery. And for that reason alone, regardless of my completion status, I can call it a win.

So, just for fun, here’s some of my NaNoWriMo stats:

  • Words: 50,0076
  • (Handwritten) Pages: 57 and change
  • Pens killed: 14
  • Non-writing days: 8
  • Story paths completed: 1
  • Highest single day word count: 4740

I’m excited to get back to being a regular every day writer rather than an ALL OUT BLITZING writer with no time for chores, reading, leisure time, or anything else really. I took a few days off and then dove into outlining the next story path, which I’m very excited and even more nervous about since I’m genre blending with horror, an area I have no expertise in at all.

I was going to try and get a book read, too, so I can get back to my regular blog schedule but it wasn’t in the cards this week.

That all being said, I’m gonna spend some time brain storming some future blog posts and ideas for the blog going into 2021. New beginnings are my favorite after all.

Until then, may your writing be plenty and your struggles be few.

Kerry Share

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Dancing With Disappointment

Hello and welcome to another fussy, self-indulgent edition of Just Another Struggling Writer. I’m just another struggling writer.

This week has been an ass-kicking for me at my day job, and so I find it to be something of a miracle that I’ve had any mental energy to do blog-stuff at all. That said, I’m gonna do a bit of whining in this post, so… consider yourself warned.

We writers are no strangers to disappointment. Your dream agent responds to your query with a form rejection. You spend months on submission with no offers. Your self-pubbed title doesn’t return the numbers you had hoped. Being a writer of the handful-of-unfinished-ideas and-exactly-one-completed-first-draft-of-a-trunk-novel-and-that’s-about-it persuasion, my disappointments are a bit smaller in scope, but I feel them keenly all the same.

The thing getting me down of late has been the realization that I probably won’t be able to compete in NaNoWriMo this year.

I’m a planner, not just in writing but in every facet of my life. Every Monday morning, as soon as I get to my desk, I fill out the week’s events in my planner. I write in my schedule, I make a list of tasks, both work related and home related, I fill out a handy habit-tracker chart. Throughout the week I tick off the boxes of completed chores, and add new ones. I adjust my schedule as needed. I make little notes about my successes and failures. Even on my commute home, I’m organizing in my head what the first, second, and third things I need to do when I get there. I largely dislike surprises because a lot of my mental health is wrapped up in being prepared.

So believe me when I say, when it comes to NaNo, I can’t just wing it.

September is the month I typically spend brainstorming a NaNo project. My ideas usually need years of percolating before their ready to be developed, so when I choose one to blitz-write in November, it’s already somewhat matured.

This year, however, the fruit of my muse is woefully unripe, leaving me with three less than optimal choices.

  1. Take another, exhausting crack at Border Towns. Spend September and October mentally working through the necessary revisions so I can dedicate my THIRD NOVEMBER IN A ROW to this WIP.
  2. Un-repurpose the Pillar-verse, the setting I’ve been writing my Short But Sweet vignettes in, despite the fact that I know it’s a mess, I know it’s a trunk novel, and I’m having more fun with it in its current format.
  3. Allow my “opus,” the novel I labored over for 10 years without ever getting beyond the 10k word mark, to resurface. I’ve matured a lot as a writer since I last took a crack at it and it could be fun. But I’ve already spent a decade of my life on it only for it to flop back into the depths of my brain.
  4. Or. Just… forgo NaNo entirely. Spend this year percolating and brainstorming and be ready with a fresh project.

None of these choices feel great, honestly. And that’s disappointing to me. I enjoy NaNoWriMo. I mean, I hate it, but I enjoy it (much like writing in general). It succeeded two years running in actually getting me to put words on the page when I would otherwise procrastinate. I also like the feeling in the community in November. The rush, the exhaustion, the elation, the motivation. It would be a bummer to miss out on that because of poor timing with the tide of my creativity.

But, I also have to accept that it might be the right thing to do. It’s a disappointment, sure, but as far as disappointments go, it’s one I can live with.

This week’s Short But Sweet prompt:

Damnation, such obsessed faith and flawed education!

Or maybe… I’m just performing some Olympic level procrastinating and this is all my way of rationalizing it. So says the anxiety brain. In any case, thanks for joining my pity party. I’ll be back on Sunday with my answer to this week’s Short But Sweet prompt, and again on Tuesday with a Your Mileage May Vary review of N. K. Jemison’s Fifth Season (I’m at 63%, I think I can make it!). Until then, may your writing be plenty and your struggles be few.

Kerry Share

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November-Eve Check In

Wow, October flew by fast. Back in September I thought I knew how my fall was going to look. I had a schedule for my NaNo prep, a series of blog posts I wanted to write, a brand new black page notebook (with neon gel pens!) I was saving for my new project.

And then… Well, things changed. I had done a few aborted drafts of my outline of my New NaNo Idea and was starting to spin my wheels. As I mentioned, I’ve always known this was a trunk novel, and yet the perfectionist part of my writer-brain couldn’t let go of the fact that it was a little absurd, all over the place, and probably didn’t have a future. Yes, I wanted to write it, but I wanted it to be good, and it just got to a point where no matter how many times I fiddled with the premise, outline, characters, etc, I just wasn’t getting anywhere.

So I took a few weeks off to get some distance. I had done enough prep work in September that I was sure I wouldn’t fall behind, so it seemed like the smart thing to do. In the middle of the month I took a weekend trip out of town for a wedding and managed to do a lot of reading (well, for me anyway).

As reading is wont to do for the wrung-out writer, it got me thinking. Both books I read were good, but neither were really what I wanted. That’s when I realized that the book I wanted to read was the one I was already writing: my temporarily shelved WIP Border Towns.

Border Towns got sidelined for the second time this year when my mental health took a nosedive in July, but there was something else stopping me from picking it back up when the fog cleared. I knew exactly what it was: my inciting incident felt… well, terrible. Even when I opened up the draft and did my first read through in three months it was still really bad.

Since my new Idea wasn’t coming together, I put all my creative energy into fixing it. It took a lot out of me, honestly. I spent nearly a week trying to figure out why it was so broken. I came up with a number of solutions that I was sure would solve the problem, but nothing ever felt right. Eventually, I just… powered through it. I wrote three new versions and then cobbled them all together into something… maybe okay.

It’s not always going to click. There’s not always going to be a magic solution your muse hands you when conditions are right. Sometimes, reaching the point where you’re okay with what you’ve written is a helluva fight. It was a tough lesson to learn, I’ll say that much. But now that I’m past it, I’m excited for this WIP again. This frustrating, wonderful story that I want to read.

How does this all relate to NaNoWriMo? Well, because in reconnecting with Border Towns I’ve had to accept the fact that I won’t be starting the New Idea tomorrow. In fact, because of the process I’ve adapted for this current draft of editing as I go, I’ve accepted the fact that I probably won’t be winning  NaNo like I did last year. I intend to give it the ole college try, of course, but just the last few days has taught me that it’s gonna be tough to get the words down and go back and edit behind me.

I’m kinda bummed, I’m not gonna lie. I really had my heart set on repeating last year’s thrilling (to me anyway) victory. But, I really do think Border Towns, unlike the New Idea, has a chance to be published one day. I’ve already lost so much time, and I know there’s more missed chances in the future. I have to take advantage of every scrap of motivation I can spare, and if that means giving up on this year’s community crunch, then so be it.

As I mentioned, I’m still going to try. I hope to post some updates throughout the month, but with as much as I already have to do, blogging definitely won’t be a priority.

To those of you Nano-ing tomorrow, you have my most ardent respect and support. To those who aren’t, you’re badasses too.

No matter what our path is to a finished novel is, let’s get it done, shall we?

For those curious, the books I read while out of town were Empire of Sand and City of Brass. I enjoyed and have thoughts on them both, but I don’t really know how to write reviews so I’ve been holding off on discussing them. How do people talk about books, anyway? How do you share criticism without being a dick about it? I don’t know, but if you like Middle Eastern inspired fantasy, check them both out.

And, while I’m here, if anyone has any recs for political fantasies, more in the vein of Kushiel’s Dart but not quite as dense, send them my way, cause that’s what I want to read.

That’s all from me this week. I’m sorry I’m so bad at this whole blogging thing! Until next time, may your writing be plenty and your struggles few.

Kerry Share

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New Year, New Name, New Goals

Happy New Year everyone, and, for me, personally, it is not a moment too soon. To get personal for just a moment, 2018 — again, for me — sucked ass. And that’s all the looking backwards I will do.

Suffice it to say, spoons were in short supply this holiday season and so I made the judgment call to lay writing (including Twitter and this blog) aside for a few weeks to recharge and reprioritize.

I’m a sucker for new beginnings. I even have a phoenix tattooed on my back. I thrive at the New Year, but, like many (even most) people I tend to drop off after the initial fervor. So, this year, I’m going to take the lessons I learned from NaNo and apply them to all my goals for 2019.

Most pertinent of which: accountability. The idea of admitting that I hadn’t successfully completed NaNoWriMo was a huge motivation for me in the waning days of November, if I’m being honest. I wanted to give up so badly, watching my daily word count creep higher and higher, well past the point I thought I was capable of achieving, but the idea of letting down my writing friends, and certain family members who had been egging me on… that, to me, was unforgivable.

It’s funny how the human mind works, isn’t it? I set a personal goal that didn’t cost me anything (other than sanity), certainly didn’t cost anyone else anything. It was a commitment of time and effort, sure, but in turn I wasn’t sacrificing anything unreasonable. But I didn’t want anyone to think that I couldn’t do it. I’m still not sure if it was personal pride or anxiety. In any case, it worked.

Honestly, I know I’m just another struggling writer in a sea of struggling writers. But if one person cares enough to check in on me (and there have been more than a few since I’ve started this journey) then I know my own mind well enough to believe that’s enough to push me forward.

So, without further ado, here’s my list of GOALS for 2019. Help me slay ’em, yall.

  1. Finish Bordertowns, my novel.
  2. Revise.
  3. Revise again.
  4. Repeat as necessary.
  5. Start querying process.
  6. Blog once a week.
  7. Buy domain for said blog.
  8. Make more of an effort to establish relationships via social media.
  9. Read 25 new books.
  10. Say the words “I’m a writer” out loud to another human being.

Bonus: attend the SFWA Nebula Conference, finances permitting.

One last note: I wrote a few weeks ago about my struggle with deciding on a professional name. I realized after posting that I was probably overthinking it. So, I decided that when I came back from my little hiatus I would just bite the bullet and make the change.

So, sort of contrary to what I said just up there, I’m no longer Just Another Struggling Writer.

I’m Kerry Share.

Next week I plan to start playing with the format of this blog while I continue working to find my formula. Thanks to everyone who has followed me thus far and who sticks with me going forward. It really, truly means a lot.


How Do You Brainstorm?

Let’s get it out of the way: I DEFEATED NANOWRIMO 2018. I say defeated instead of won, because it really did feel like a battle at the end. Those last two days I had to put out 7000 words if I wanted to win. I got half on Thursday, and I felt good about it. Then Friday came and I remembered that… those 3500 on Thursday were hand written and would need to be transcribed.

So, after getting home from the day job, I had about five hours to transcribe and get 3500 additional words. I was sweating it, but I put on my favorite jammies, got in bed, and pounded the keyboard.

In the end, I hit 50,020 words at 11:20 PM Central Standard Time. It was an ass kicking, but I did it.

I celebrated by spending two glorious days not thinking about my manuscript. I finished the book I was reading, I played some video games with my partner, I DID THE DISHES.

I can’t tell you how relieved I am to be done with November. Though I only made it to what I’m guessing is about the 40% mark of the total novel, I still gave myself a really good push. I now know I can make the commitment to write every day, even if it is only 500-600 words. I’m fine with that. I’m better than fine with it.

Anyway, if I’m sick of talking about NaNo, y’all must be equally sick of reading about it, so! Back to your regularly scheduled blog posts!

One of my most annoying writing habits is the very particular way I brainstorm. My partner gets ideas in the shower (or after a minor head injury, like in the cartoons, but that’s a story for another day). Some people get them in the car. Others from really carefully poring over the work they’ve already done.

Me? When I’m feeling stuck for any reason, I’ve found that, for me, the best way to really visualize a scene is to get in bed and pretend to go to sleep.

I’ve been a night owl my whole life and have suffered insomnia when trying to fit into “normal”  sleeping schedule. In my early twenties I discovered the best way to put myself to sleep when I was struggling was to write scenes in my head, down to the very smallest details. It certainly helped get me to sleep faster, but I think I inadvertently formed a Pavlovian response for my creative process.

I’m certainly not the only one who frantically taps out notes on their phone or on a bedside notebook before sleep takes me and the ideas are lost. I know I’m hardly alone in that my creative synapses get firing right before I fall asleep, but sometimes I’m left feeling that they only get firing when my head is on the pillow.

The circumstances necessary to find my creative sweet spot are annoyingly specific, too. I can’t just be laying down. I can’t just have my eyes closed in a quiet space. I have to be laying down, in my bed, with no light and no noise, with my eyes closed, and I have to be telling myself that the reason I am doing this is because I am going to sleep now and I need to do the thing that makes me to go to sleep.

Problem with all that being… I often fall asleep. That and it’s hard to carve out time for a creative juice refilling nap. That’s true for pretty much every adult.

But still, it’s my process and I’m at least thankful I know how to tap into that creative well if I feel my conscious brain is running out of steam.

So, that’s me and that’s my weirdest writing habit. What’s yours?

What I’m Reading This Week: Nothing! I finished Outlander as a reward to myself for surviving NaNo. I thought about maybe continuing the series, but what I really need to be doing, I realized, is starting to do some reading that is closer to my own genre. I have some fantasy series on my kindle from the Unlimited library, but I’ve been a little hesitant to crack into them as I’ve had been fairly dissatisfied with some of my previous Unlimited forays.

So, I’m writing new adult fantasy with a little romance. Who’s got recs for me?


NaNoWriMo Update – Week 4

This week I’ve spent a lot of time grappling with the possibility of failure.

Which is, of course, moronic because I broke 40,000 words on Monday and that’s more words than I’ve written toward any manuscript, and 40,000 more words than I had when I started, so it’s impossible, really, to call what I’ve done a failure.

It’s easy to tell ourselves that, it’s quite another to accept it.

I really wanted, and still want, to get that WINNER badge on my user icon on the NaNoWriMo website. It’s still possible, if I really blitz these last few days but yesterday I hit a brick wall.

I’ve heard some people say they don’t believe in writer’s block, and maybe what I experienced wasn’t writer’s block, but it was definitely my worst nightmare: a corner. I had failed to answer a fundamental question that drives the entire novel, thinking that by the time I needed it, a solution would have presented itself. It didn’t. I brainstormed all day long about how to escape the panic room I’d locked myself in. I started three different drafts of the same scene. None of them presented the answer I wanted, and all of them gave me a profound sense of hopelessness.

I honestly wanted to quit. A small part of me is still saying that I should scrap these 40,000 words and use the partial first draft as a cautionary tale. And, perhaps, I will do that, but only once it’s completed. Which means clobbering my way through this trouble spot come hell or high water.

But before I reached that hard-won conclusion I thought a lot about stopping here and now for my own mental health. As I entered the second day of stressing out about it, I came to a point where every time I thought about the stupid scene I would come close to tears. I felt like a failure for allowing myself to get so cornered, for not planning ahead better, for letting this one question stop me from reaching my goal less than 9000 words short of the finish line.

I honestly craved the serenity of knowing that I did my best and it’s okay not to have won first time out. But it never came.

And then, scrolling through Twitter whilst trying to avoid the problem, I saw those immortal words, “Nevertheless, she persisted.”

It was exactly what I needed to hear.

I hate this scene. I hate the words in it. I hate every single sentence. Revision is going to be a vicious blood bath and I’m going to enjoy it so much. And the only reason I’m going to get that opportunity is because I didn’t give in to despair. I finished the scene a little while ago and then came straight here to talk about the possibility of failure.

It’s still okay to fall short of 50,000 words. I still believe that NaNoWriMo is meant to be what you want it to be, and that as long as you have more than you started with then it is worth it to try.

But I wanted to quit for all the wrong reasons, and it’s important to recognize that too.

Yikes, I’ve gotta get back to it. 4000 words today if I want to make up for yesterday.

Until next week, when I hope to triumphantly inform you that I got out of my own way and steamrolled my way to victory.

This Week I’m Reading: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon.

I’m about halfway through and enjoying it well enough. I found myself wishing it had more fantasy elements aside from just the time travel, but that’s hardly a mark against it, and only speaks to my own personal tastes. On Friday night I decided I would read a chapter or two before bed, hit Claire and Jamie’s marriage and then suddenly it was 6:30 in the morning. The romance is delicious and swept me away in a way I haven’t been by a book in a long time. I haven’t yet decided whether or not to pursue the rest of the series right away. I suppose that will depend on how it ends.

No spoilers!


NaNoWriMo Update – Week 3

Oh man, guys, the mid-month blues hit me hard this week.

I thought I was flying. I wasn’t pushing myself overmuch, I had realistic goals, I was riding the high of hitting 20k, and then….


The burnout got me.

I wasn’t stuck — that’s what my trusty outline was for. I wasn’t too busy. I wasn’t even sick, like I was last week. I was just tired. I still tried to write every day, and I guess technically I did, if you count that one day where I only did about 150 words. But I was at a point where opening my laptop and staring at my document just made me feel like…


It wasn’t til late Monday night, as I lay in bed watching that helluva football game and guilting myself for not working, that I decided I was going to stop trying to force the words into Scrivener.

As I talked about in an earlier post, I’m a huge fan of writing longhand. I haven’t exclusively done it for NaNo simply because of the time factor, but I do have a notebook that I write in while I’m at my day job or at my daughter’s gymnastics practice. At home, however, I was taking advantage of technology to keep up the pace.

And maybe it’s that pace that wore me out so much.

So, I retrieved my pretty flower notebook and sparkly pink gel pen from my work bag, got back in bed, and started writing that way.

I only worked for about 30 minutes but I got more done than I thought I would.

So I decided that, while the burnout lasts, I’m going to stick with writing longhand. In my pretty flower notebook, I can write about 500 words per page. Over the course of a normal work day I can usually write about two pages. If I can double that with some evening writing, I’m ahead of the game.

Yesterday was my first attempt at this and I set a five page goal for myself. I clocked in at 4.5 and 2221 words. My sparkly pink gel pen is dead, may she rest in peace, my hand is sore as hell, but I already feel revitalized. Today, I was so caught up in my pages that I almost forgot to even write this post for you all.

It’s just so funny to me how the smallest changes, be it the scene you’re working on, or the medium you’re working with, or the environment of your workspace, can inspire you even when you thought you had nothing left to give.

Writers are such strange beasts and I’m really jazzed to be one of them.

This week I’m reading: I’ve been really bad about reading new things lately. I felt so guilty about it that I even started actively resisting it. Which was stupid. This week I decided that I need to stop making excuses and follow advice that I love but have yet to heed: writers have to read. So from now on I’m going to carve out more time for myself to read new things, not just my old favorites (I read Pride and Prejudice once every nine months or so). To that end, at the end of every regular post, I’m going to talk a little bit about what I’m reading that week. I’m still a slow reader so it might not be different every week, and I’m woefully behind on books so my list might be quaint, but… well it’s my blog and I’ll read what I want to.

So, after a creatively frustrating day this week, I wanted something new and fresh to input into my brain, and after browsing the Kindle store I settled on Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. I’ve never even watched the Starz series (though I had at least heard of it from under my rock), much less read the novels, but I’d heard great things. I know I’m years behind on this series, but I’ve been burned lately with some (forgive me Indies!) pretty bad Kindle Library books and wanted something tested. I’m not terribly far into it yet, not even enough to give an opinion, but it was a relief to be able to get through a chapter without cringing.

No spoilers, but what does everyone else think of Outlander?

Until next week!