Musings

Post-NaNoWriMo Struggle

Good morning, everyone! I hope you are all managing OK out there.

NaNoWriMo is over and I’ve been struggling. I had developed a daily habit, but now it’s fallen to the wayside. I’ve been struggling to know what to write, because like I said in my earlier post, I’m getting to more historical events in my story, and having to do more research.

But, I’m determined to not abandon this project. I have a completed outline. That in itself is an amazing achievement! I’ve struggled with outlines on other stories before.

What has helped me is diving into the research, and trying to make it fun. For instance, did you know that there was a group of Lincoln supporters that did street performances in 1860, and ended up fighting in the American Civil War? They were called the “Wide Awakes”, and they had a parade and a big show on October 5, 1860. I never knew about them before, and I found the news and content about them so intriguing, it’s helped guide my story forward.

One helpful thing I read about post-NaNo slump was, keep setting goals and striving toward deadlines. Don’t just write without a goal in mind – maybe, write 2k words a day until January 1? Write 3 pages every day? Finish the draft by February? Whatever it is, put it on your calendar, hang it on your office wall, and get to it!

I like this advice, and it’s helping me. I’m still currently researching the events of and leading up to the Wide Awakes’ October 5 parade, but when I feel I’ve researched well enough, I’m going to be diving back into writing.

How is your novel going, whether you started it for NaNoWriMo or not? Or have you been working on poetry or some other writing? Maybe you’re going through a slump, too? Please share in the comments! I always like to talk with other writers.

Until next time,

Chaitanya

Musings

Down in the Bog

A Little Break

I have to confess, I’ve been feeling quite bogged down. National Novel Writing Month is almost over, and I still only have about 15k words of my novel done. The election drags on. Friends who don’t believe in the virus insist that my 2 weeks of hellish experience were “just the flu”. Everyone argues in my community, and I feel surrounded and yet simultaneously alone.

Yet, the writing must go on.

(Featured art is “Swamp House” by Robert Ryminiecki).

I have taken 2-3 days’ break, once I hit the 7-day mark. Now it’s too late to achieve that 14-day badge. But, my hope is that even if I don’t hit 50,000 words, I’ll keep writing. (According to the stats page on my NaNo 2020, I’ll hit 50,000 words by December 31 if I keep going as I am! haha, end of year sounds OK to me).

I lost hope of catching up this past weekend. Originally my plan was to write 6,000 words between Saturday and Sunday. There was a festival at a house, which I only attended due to Covid immunity. Arguments broke out and utterly soured my mood, so even though I’m recovered from Covid, I just couldn’t sit down and write.

In order to protect myself from all the toxicity, it seems I must be a turtle and go into my shell.

Keep Going!

I am getting to the part of my story that is difficult: History! Beforehand I was introducing my characters, setting etc.

But I have given up far too many times on my other novels, when I felt discouraged. Then, I felt sad for giving up, and this sadness would stop me from writing. So now I’m determined to not let that happen. I’m going to continue writing, starting today. I’m going to try to write as many pages as possible on my NaNo 2020 each day, so that, maybe, just maybe, I can magically reach that 50k words goal by the end of November.

If you are working on a NaNo 2020, I wish you luck! And how is yours going now?

Until next time,

Chaitanya

National Novel Writing Month

The Writing Must Go On!

Always prepare for the unexpected

Well, well…here I am. I didn’t expect that my National Novel Writing Month project would be T-boned by Covid-19…but such it is. I started feeling symptoms on October 27th but I thought it was just a cold/regular flu, because on Thursday the 29th I felt totally better! I even went back to work…fortunately I work alone at my office currently, but I hope I didn’t infect any visitors to my workplace.

On October 31st, morning, I felt an extremely high feverish feeling but couldn’t find my thermometer. I felt like I would throw up! It was time to get tested.

Testing results took 5 days to come back, because this IS Florida…my fiance and I have been in bed and resting for days now. We are SO SO fortunate to have loving friends and family, and they even sent us supplements!

My fiancé had a mild case at first, congestion only, fever for one day. Then he started getting a cough, which got worse. For me, I felt bad ever since the 31st and experienced fever off and on, severe sore throat pain, extreme fatigue, congestion, a dry cough, etc. My legs felt weak when I walked down stairs. I had brain fog. I could barely stand up in the shower. And I’m only in my 30s!

9 days in and we’re finally feeling a bit better. Yesterday we walked to the mailbox with masks and distanced. The day before, our adventure was taking out the trash. We even got some Mario Party in! Every day we take Vitamin C, D3, K2, Zinc, and many other natural medicines such as wheatgrass, colloidal silver, manuka honey, and more. It’s been a journey!

Are you writing at home?

Regaining Momentum

Now I’m back, and I’m going to try to regain the momentum I had with planning and writing my novel for NaNoWriMo 2020. I’ve got 3,712 words so far – about 6 pages. I’m behind by another 6 pages, since my goal was to write 3 pages/day, and I did 0 writing on Tuesday or Wednesday. (My 3,712 words, 6 pages was a head-start I got in October; those subbed in for November 1-2 when I was super sick this past Sunday and Monday and also didn’t write).

Here’s for writing 6 pages in one day – no, 9! If I want to catch up to my goal to write 3 pages/day and reach 50,000 words by the end of November!

For my fellow NaNo writers, I wish you luck! And inspiration! May you quiet your Inner Editor and get time to write. Don’t forget to rest, eat, and drink lots of water! I know that’s what I’ll be doing most of the time, what with Covid still in my system.

What tools help keep your writing brain rolling?

Tell me about your NaNo projects, WriMos! Are they going well? Started slowly? Still looking for Pinterest inspiration (or “Pinspiration”)? Please share in the comments! Also, if you care to answer either of the question under the pictures in my post, please do!

Until next time,

Chaitanya

Musings · National Novel Writing Month

NaNo 2020 is around the corner! Are you ready??

It’s almost time to start drafting our National Novel Writing Month novels in November 2020!

How do you feel?

I feel:

  • Excited
  • Nervous
  • Under-prepared

The NaNoWriMo website talks about types of writers: those who plan and outline (“Plotters”), those who don’t (“Planners”), and those who are somewhere in-between (“Plansters”?).

I am usually a plotter type, who does outlines and extensive notes, including character profiles, before starting any story. This helps me keep track of story events, character motivations, world lore, etc.

This time around though, I’m tired of notes! I’ve already started writing my story, 0 outline, just some notes. I’m reading a lot of Civil War-era America, of course, since that is where my story is set. But I’m excitedly writing along, not knowing exactly what will happen next, except for a few rough ideas.

Since it’s new to me to write with no planning, it’s kindof scary! But I am also very excited. And that excitement is what I’m hanging onto; and I am even excited about my excitement! Because for quite a long time now, I’ve been trying and failing to work on my fantasy novel, so the idea of working on something different is great! Also, I had been doing lots of notes for that novel, so the idea of being able to just dive in without all that is really fun!

Of course, as I go along and encounter questions about history, I am researching.

Pretty soon though, I will be speeding it up! Come November 1, my plan is to write 3 pages a day. This is what will get me to that 50,000 word count by the end of November.

Wish me luck! And I wish some for you, too.

Until next time,

Chaitanya

How Writers Write · Writing Mentors

Writing Routine Inspiration

As NaNoWriMo 2020 creeps around the corner, a lot of us may be thinking of writing routines. Do we have one? Do we want one? I think we can all agree, we need one. Especially if we are going to get a rough draft novel done in a month! I don’t know about you, but I find the thought somewhat daunting. Especially since, I have not had a writing routine in a while now.

Today, the NaNo Twitter shared this great article with 12 routines of famous writers. I want to share some excerpts. The link to the full article is here.

Leaving Time' by Jodi Picoult - The Boston Globe
Jodi Picoult

Here are some of my favorite quotes:

I don’t believe in writer’s block. Think about it — when you were blocked in college and had to write a paper, didn’t it always manage to fix itself the night before the paper was due? Writer’s block is having too much time on your hands. If you have a limited amount of time to write, you just sit down and do it. You might not write well every day, but you can always edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page.

– Jodi Picoult

I really like this quote, because it encourages me to not procrastinate, and get writing! Also, it gives me some hopeful mood; I like the idea that, I can always edit a bad page. Hopefully that will help me chug along in my NaNo 2020 draft come November, knowing that I can always fix bad bits later.

Ernest Hemingway - Wikipedia
Ernest Hemingway

Another favorite was:

You write until you come to a place where you still have your juice and know what will happen next and you stop and try to live through until the next day when you hit it again. You have started at six in the morning, say, and may go on until noon or be through before that.

When you stop you are as empty, and at the same time never empty but filling, as when you have made love to someone you love. Nothing can hurt you, nothing can happen, nothing means anything until the next day when you do it again. It is the wait until the next day that is hard to get through.

– Ernest Hemingway

The reason I like this one is because, it inspires and invigorates me. I like the extra detail that you stop writing when there is still juice in you, and when you know what the next scene will be. That way it is easy to write the next day. That particularly hit me because, sometimes I write and I don’t know what the next scene will be, and struggle the next day. So, I’m going to adopt this method of stopping ahead so I can know the next scene the next day.

Let me know what quotes resonated with you, and if you’re going to be doing a novel for National Novel Writing Month (November) 2020!

Until next time,

Chaitanya

National Novel Writing Month · Writing News

National Novel Writing Month 2020 is almost here!

Hello everyone, it’s been a while! I am so exciting that NaNoWriMo 2020 is just around the corner! It is easy to get caught in the controversial and turbulent grip of 2020, with all its chaos – but don’t let yourself be caught! Life is easier and better when we forget the craziness of 2020 for a while, I think, and just let ourselves…be. Or, as it may be for us – let ourselves write!

National Novel Writing Month is November of every year, and it’s tradition to write a rough draft of a novel, and to try to get to 50,000 words by the end of the month. NaNoWriMo is an official 501 (c)(3) nonprofit, and they believe in the power of creativity!

Every month, writers gather on forums and on their profiles all over the world, encouraging each other in their projects, forming groups according to region or genre, and just generally having an all-around good time.

There are fun little details to the whole process, such as badges for word count and other achievements, and a certificate of completion upon achieving 50,000 words.

What is the point of trying to write so many words so quickly, you ask? What if I don’t want to share my work, or like working slowly? There is something for everyone in NaNo! You can make buddies and form a group, or work alone. There is no requirement to share your work-in-progress, or book when it’s done.

As far as the point of it all – I personally like feeling like part of a club, it helps me to feel less lonesome in my writing. While I may not reach that 50,000, it feels good to working actively towards something, and setting a faster pace and being encouraged by others helps me to keep chugging along in my writing. Sometimes when I’m all alone with no one to bounce ideas or update on my progress, writing can feel really lonely, and it’s one of the reasons I’ve been so inactive and discouraged in my writing recently.

So – I’ve decided to participate in NaNoWriMo 2020, and I hope you will too! I’ll be working on getting out a completed rough draft of a historical YA novel, set during the American Civil War. Since my fantasy novel revision was bogging me down inside and out, I’m putting it aside for a while.

I’ve been working on chapter one of my new book already, and it’s felt so joyful and refreshing to work on something new! I’m excited!

Hope to see you on NaNo (nanowrimo.org) soon,
Chaitanya

P.S. I did NaNo before, and it was fun! I was able to complete a 50,000 words novel rough draft. I can’t say I’ve since picked it up to complete it, but it feels good knowing I could! I hope that banging out a rough draft quicker, with NaNo’s help again, will help me to revise my new book, and my old ones, with gusto!

Just For Fun · My Writing

NaNoWriMo Fun

As almost every writer knows, November is National Novel Writing Month, and many are closing in on that coveted 50,000 words as the end of November creeps around the corner…

How is your NaNo going? Are you almost done with that novel? Or have you fallen behind and are despairing? Do you feel that your novel is just too stupid and quickly-written to be any good?

I did NaNo a few years ago, and while I haven’t edited that novel or made it into a bestseller yet, I do find myself drifting back to its characters and some key ideas sometimes. I hope to use the material someday, even if it transforms, or even if I just take ONE character from that novel and use them in another.

In case you’re feeling like your NaNo might be too stupid to reveal to other human eyes, here’s an excerpt from my old NaNo. It’s a very crappy book, about a teenage baseball player who has to rescue his kidnapped sister from the dark faeries. He enlists the help of the traitor prince of the dark faeries, turned good, and fights an evil sorceress:

They were in the forest again. From the bag that Hephzibah had handed him, Dean dug out two sandwiches, a water bottle, and a belt. He handed one sandwich to Kenrick, tucked the water bottle in his back pocket, and slid the belt on. He didn’t need it, but he liked the buckle – it was shaped like a dragon’s head. Next to Kenrick in that black ninja-like outfit, Dean felt he needed something to up his own personal coolness factor.

Silently they treaded through the forest. There were no bushes, no swampy vines hanging around, just trees covered in green moss. They all seemed to be the same type of tree, as far as Dean could tell – skinny, tall as a palm tree, maybe even taller, with little to no branches. It was not a scary forest, with black bark or many shadows or branches that hung down like the arms of ghosts wanting to catch you and snagging on your clothes. But somehow, the forest still made Dean uneasy. It was so quiet.

            So, to make himself feel more comfortable, Dean talked. He had never been a chatterbox, really; he more preferred to occupy himself with his PS 2, friends, baseball, and occasionally a game of Magic (which he was now wishing he remembered more of, since Kenrick seemed to be some sort of elf or something, and the enemies were some sort of evil faeries). He liked Lord of the Rings well enough, and art, and all those nerdy, creative sort of things, but not enough that he felt they were helpful to him now. He wouldn’t know what to do the next time a weird creature (camouflaged as a boulder, to boot) came along, unless Kenrick stuck around.

“Hey, can I call you Ken?”

“No.”

“Rick?”

“Certainly not.”

“Well…why?”

The other boy turned around to face Dean. He looked a bit miffed. “First of all, I don’t care to identify with your aboveground culture, and second of all, my name’s not that difficult. It doesn’t sound stupid. You’re lucky I’m not named after my grandfather – he was Rxeatl Tora Hgurn Fairez Withel the Second.”

NOTE: Featured Image by Moonfreak

Until next time,

Chaitanya