Writer’s Weekend Edition – NaNoWriMo Week 1 – Embracing the Crazy

diving-cloudsLast Wednesday, I dove into the NaNoWriMo fray a day late and 1,667 words behind. I set up my author page on the NaNoWriMo site and opened a Scrivener doc for my project. Today, I’m five days in and 6,829 words behind; but I’m okay with that.

You want to know why?

First, because I went into this knowing full well that I may not have a 50,000-word “win” in me this year. Accepting that reality from the get go took some of the pressure off.

Second, because just saying, “Yes!” to the NaNo challenge seems to have flipped some kind of creative switch in my brain. It’s like part of my mind has been asleep for a while, but is now waking up and ready to rumble. I didn’t plan on doing NaNoWriMo this year, so I didn’t do any prep in October; but now that I’ve thrown myself into the middle of things, my brain seems more than happy to churn out ideas.

Finally, because I’ve discovered a new and super helpful resource as a result of my flailing attempts to get my story organized quickly and effectively. I’ve actually been following K.M. Weiland  for a while and even own her book, Structuring Your Novel; but I hadn’t yet plugged into her excellent podcast, Helping Writers Become Authors.

If you’re trying to get your NaNo novel together late, or if you’d just like some smart, actionable, step-by-step advice on how to get your head around your story, I just listened to and LOVED these three podcasts from Weiland:

Over the weekend, I’ll also be listening to:

I was thrilled when I listened to the 2nd and 3rd episodes in this NaNoWriMo series because they provided me with some specifics and structure that I could apply to what my gut was telling me to do: Ask questions about your story.

I also loved that Weiland makes outlining sounds FUN … and that her podcast site includes full transcripts of her podcasts so that you have a written version to refer to. Brilliant!

··• )o( •··

I’m not saying that I’m going to completely derail my NaNoWriMo writing efforts like I did back in 2012 when I blamed Larry Brooks for my #NaNoFail. Though I have long realized I am a dyed-in-the-wool plotter (vs. a panster), I’m not going to let that truth give me an easy excuse to give up. Not this time. This time, I’m going to work on my outlining and story structure WHILE I am simultaneously writing whatever my little heart desires – random scenes, character sketches, backstories, etc.

I may not come out of this with a novel draft or even with 50,000 mostly random words, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t put some words down. The experts say that with writing, you learn by doing. So – I’m going to do some writing. Right Now!

PS – If you’re also crazy enough to play along with NaNoWriMo this year, please look me up and, if you’re so inclined, add me as a buddy and drop me a line. 🙂 

Jamie Lee Wallace Hi. I’m Jamie. I am a content writer and branding consultant, columnist, sometime feature writer, prolific blogger, and aspiring fiction writer. I’m a mom, a student of equestrian arts, and a nature lover. I believe in small kindnesses, daily chocolate, and happy endings. Introduce yourself on FacebookTwitter, Instagram, or Pinterest. I don’t bite … usually.

Photo Credit: MY2200 Flickr via Compfight cc

This post originally appeared on the Live to Write – Write to Live blog.

21 thoughts on “Writer’s Weekend Edition – NaNoWriMo Week 1 – Embracing the Crazy

  1. Thanks for this. I wanted to NaNoWriMo this year, at least to write a potential blog post a day, since I’ve been lost in my ability to create lately, but here it is, November 5! Your refreshingly honest post might just get me going 🙂

    • The nice thing about podcasts is that you can listen while you’re doing something else.
      Hope you enjoy them!

      • That’s what I love about podcasts the most. But sadly I’m full into studying sociology, and although I like it a lot, I don’t have time to do much else, no NaNo is no option for me. I also have limited internet access and listening to podcasts is simply too much volume.

        Have a happy NaNoWriMo!

  2. Ha! You are so gutsy jumping in a day late and 1600 words behind – even thinking of it makes me stressed. But like you say, any opportunity to write is a good one, and now that you are juiced up with inspiration, it sounds perfect. Good luck!

  3. I said already that I’m going to do NaNo behind the scene this year (for personal motivation) and decided to jump in on day 3. I have written 3,700 words so far and stayed awake till 5:00 a.m. yesterday. Now is 1:47 past midnight and I just came in from a late family visit and considering to do some writing still but I’m hungry so let’s see…

      • I’ve said before that I don’t believe in forced-creativity. For years I only write when I feel inspired. But writing this novel I’ve learned and found out that I cannot always wait for the muse to visit but instead drag myself in front of the computer and write even if I don’t have a single desire to write anything or otherwise nothing will happen. After a while, the thoughts will come pouring in and it will become more and more easier to put words on paper.

  4. Even thinking about a challenge like you mention is a ‘no go’ for me. I write every day. I write because I write. If I am able in any day to write 1000 words that are (structured, sensible and worthwhile) I am happy. Being prepared to jot down ‘anything, random thoughts, feelings, what I see what I smell etc – at any time is my reason for notebook and pencil ‘everywhere’ even in…..? unmentionable places. I once had five notebooks with pencils in five different rooms in the house.. Good Luck with your challenge and your goals. All the best to everyone . I can see the value of what you are doing but the pressure would take away my joy. Cheers!

    • I’m trying to enjoy the process without getting sucked under by the pressure. It’s a tough balance – staying motivated without making myself crazy – but I’m trying. Mostly, I’m not going to beat myself up. 🙂

  5. First time participating, horribly unprepared, but determined to enjoy the thrill and fun of it all, (eyes wide with fear and a great deal of coffee)…thank you for this post, I always enjoy your writing and this one in particular is both inspiring and comforting.

    • Happy to be able to offer both inspiration and comfort. Sounds like a good balance. 😉

      Good luck and welcome to the crazy!

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