I am almost two weeks into my month of Pre-Nano prep. I’ve done not a damned thing for it, either.
I used this November trick last year as a boost, a time line, a deadline, and a lot of encouragement to see what I could do. I tested myself.
I liked what came out of it.
Now over the last year I have revised a written novel, edited a few times over and done a lot a lot a lot of research of the publishing world…swaying back and forth over traditional and self-publishing. I’ve also rewritten my ending about nineteen times.
In the midst of all of the tender love and care….and at times even ignoring, walking away, refusing to look at it, and neglect that I have given to my novel, Behind The white Gate, I have also been in my first year as a full time writer.
I had the opportunity after saving everything I could (while in the midst of bouncing back) working at a tourist restaurant. The Summer ended and the tourist work scramble began, I came upon an opportunity for a grant. I tried for it, I got it based on pieces and shreds of work I had in hand currently. Really though it was my story in spoken word that seemed to win it over. Before me I had the month of November 2015 to write, and only to have to write, for NaNoWriMo. Out of that month and over the next year produced even further grant help and on top of that when I wasn’t writing my novel, rewriting, and changing the ending once again…adding many words…and then taking away just as many, I was finding my voice in poetry once again after decades of time since my last. I was also writing and submitting more and more and more. The more rejection letters I received meant the more work I was putting in. The feedback was fed off of for this writer more than any food during that year at all.
I love writing variety….anything from politics to travel to stories to essays to health & beauty or fashion or music. I read, I sought, I wrote, I submitted. Several months out of the last year my goal set monthly was to write and submit 120 pieces of writing each month. I ever once submitted ideas, outlines, or pitches. But always full pieces. More because I was (and still am) afraid that upon promises sent and signed on, I will be who fails to keep them. Promises in my life have left me too empty for trusting even myself with them. And so I write a piece I feel is fitting for a publication and send it…I am mold-able of my piece more often than not…and some have been published. Some have even paid, and even more have been rejected. But all have been exercise, discipline, and working this muscle of writing so constant which helps to develop, rather than let it wither in weakness. There is pay-off in all ways. Education is always one of them. One can only fail if they try, but laziness of not even trying is what weakness is built on. And one can not succeed at all without trying.
In the past year I have not only strengthened the pages of a novel, the pile of rejections that could prop up a table, but also I work every day in ‘class.’ Wether it be an actual attended signed up for writing class or seminar of some type to learn from others, with others. Or by constant learning and seeking of my own. Eve setting time on my schedule for ‘class.’ The internet is abound with “How To Write.” You also learn in the process what works for you, and what doesn’t. And who is just really full of bullocks. For there are plenty. But in all reality, each writer is different in methods and of that finding of your own, but learning by trying many, is what I went to seek. No time was lost. I cannot learn what doesn’t work by not seeking what does.
Diving into a world of other writers is another way I spent much of my time. From encouraging others to being encouraged. Sometimes speaking to other writers “Who Understood” was like going to a counseling session or an AA meeting…I needed to hear, be heard, and know that I was not the only one. And the realm of what a writer might be suffering from, learning from, going through, and climbing over is vast. Sometimes questions even answered. And often learning what questions we needed to ask. Sometimes I needed to hear “The work is shit. And sometimes I found why I was being rejected which I hadn’t seen before…tweak…submit…and published it might then be. Sometimes I just needed to know I didn’t suffer alone in my writing struggles. If I could have worked in an office full of writers, I would have. At least for a time. And for a time, I did. It is good to have that “water cooler talk” with others who know, too, that your head is in a cloud and that the loved one on your mind was more a character in your story rather than the person who shared your life with, from time to time. Asking an odd question out loud in a writers group helps as well…with people who don’t look at you oddly or perhaps say a prayer for you nor call the police. Ask any writer what their google browser might look like and all of the above is a typical reaction by others….but writers will respond with a look to the ground, nod, go into a quiet thought, and then give you their interpretation as if they are dream readers put on Earth just for such. I often wonder at the peoples reactions of our author of Silence of The Lambs. Stephen King himself had a solid base to start with who knew him and his own personality well….and sometimes you find that life partner who is just that good at this sort of stuff (and being a writer herself explains this most.) My own life partner is a love, a doll, a rock, the most and highest support in all the lands for me and my writing…but everything I let him read is answered with very few words of a quiet man and always “It was good.” Leaving me with a girlfriends meme in real life of WHAT DO YOU MEAN ‘IT WAS GOOD’? THAT’S IT? THREE WORDS?! BUT WHAT WAS BAD ABOUT IT? Often in scary girlfriend voice…raised…those poor neighbors. My poor guy. He is a man of few words (unless we get on one of his subjects and then more than I need) and he is a man who I don’t think it possible to reprimand me in any way, crush my soul, dampen my writing or my dream. And that is fine in my life for me, for us, for our relationship. I long thought one’s spouse or partner or friend who heard their own voice while reading was not really who should be their critic. I have been building my circle for just that and will hold onto my net of them to cast my writing into and see how it is gobbled up or spit out.
This past year was to get on solid and even some financial footing if I wished to remain full time writing…with writing…and so much time and effort and creativity and open eye time was taken away from my 2015 NaNo Novel and put to other works. However it has helped even that in some ways so there are few complaints. I might have taken much longer than expected, or planned, or wanted. But all for the best. I knew last year though that regardless of all, November 2016 would begin a new novel. And so it will be.
As one goes into publishing, another begins in writing. This one I hope to have finished much faster, stem to stern, first word to last edit, and acceptance and publish, cover and on a shelf. Even more so, into your hands.
The work expected of a writer is vast, more so these days than before and the learning of the publishing industry that still runs on very old practice has been good knowledge. My back ground in business management and sales & marketing will help greatly. I hope. I still always feel that there is far from enough time in the world. That even with an entire day and even night to write I run out of hours and minutes faster than I can keep up. That at an end of a day I sometimes wonder what I did at all, while others do sometimes seem to accomplish weeks worth within one sitting.
Writing is a lot of coffee and typing, words flowing freely. But writing is also far from that as well, sometimes it is too much coffee and not enough typing, staring off into wonder and yet not a clear thought at all. Sometimes our brains go on strike, and sometimes we are simply too tired to find focus. I find balance is a very large key in life and I also often find myself out of balance. And Oh Distraction!
Discipline is very hard when you do not answer quite to others, and this is one of my struggles, yet I push through. In this last year I work for a months time at 12-18 hours a day. This is research, notes, writing, submitting, classes, editing, etc. And then I breath for two weeks at a time, not giving it a single thought…until about my last three days when I visibly turn to other voices that nobody else seems to hear, float over to my notebook and fountain pen, my entire being saying “leave me alone, give me quiet” and the world around me slipping away until I emerge sometime later, finally seeing those around me in a fog that clears over the rest of the day until my next moment, most often straight out of dream. My mind never shuts off, and sleep often allows it to move most freely. I never remember what I write in those first dawn hours. Never am I able to write whatever my dreams might have been at all. I typically do not seek to understand or write of my dreams but I seem to ride the wave of whatever feeling it has put me on.
And now it is October, my favorite month of the year. The turning of a time that has me deepest in thoughts, like a new year, a new time of resolutions, and a new season, as well as my age…my favorite season of them all. The crisp Autumn air descends, the smell of #2 pencils and clean sheets of paper beckons, and I am renewed in my writing.
This year, for the second full attempt, I am also renewed and excitement builds for November and for NaNoWriMo.
Last year I had the entire month to myself, 1st to last. No interruption. This year will be a little around a two week time of Joe being home. When we don’t see each other for a month at a time, I spend what time I can with him, my writing will be set aside. I will do my own NaNo months worth in the before and after, the around the smack dab in the middle of the month his schedule brings him home this year. But even so, the month of NaNo encourages and refreshes me, as well as the start that a new project brings. But also in the month will be an off-the actual holiday celebration of Thanksgiving, our first in our new “Home on The Road” and I will attempt an outdoor feast for friends and loved ones. In doing so I must be sure not to allow myself to lose too much time being lost on pinterest…as is how a day can go.
I also have some closing work to do on my last NaNo Novel to finish before I can begin…because as all writers do….procrastination until the last minute.