51,000 Words

Well, National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is over for another year. In the beginning, the thought of writing 50,000 words in one month was daunting, as it always is. But I stuck with it and started over several times, keeping the older drafts to keep my numbers up, and I ended up with over 51,000 words by last night. The first time I started over because I could feel my story going off into a ditch I knew I couldn’t get out of. So, I reassessed and changed that position that the story was told and began again. I was barreling along at a pretty good clip and excited about the new direction. I had gotten rid of some story plotlines that didn’t really work once I put them into motion. I brought other characters that had been minor, forward slightly because they wanted to be heard more. Then on Tuesday, I was driving home from an appointment when an idea occurred to me. An idea that meant starting over for the third time. An idea that will probably turn my book idea into a longer short story but it was so exciting it wouldn’t leave my mind. So, even though NaNoWriMo is over for another year, I’m definitely sticking with this story because I think if I work with it more it’s going to turn into something quite magical and different than anything I’ve ever written before, and that for me is the most exciting thing of all.

Day One

Happy first day of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)! Today I take the hand of my main character and let her guide me through her story. I have a basic idea of where the path will lead but have no clue where it will end up and that is part of the excitement of NaNoWriMo. Taking that first step on a journey of imagination and creation and seeing where it takes me.

Question About Organizing Ideas

Today I started taking the numerous story ideas I have in my head and bringing them into the real world. I bought a three-ring binder and some lined paper and am writing down my thoughts and relevant notes about them. The plan is to have each story be a section in the binder with a hard copy of the finished piece, lists of where I’ve submitted them, and other information. I just had a question I was curious about. How do you organize your stories? Are they all on computers or do you like having hard copies as I do? Also, if any of you have other ideas about my binder system you think might help me and would like to share them, it would be much appreciated. I feel like I have jumped two-footed into this whole writing adventure and am trying to stay as organized as I can.

Countdown to NaNoWriMo

One week until National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) starts. I’ve been planning and plotting this year’s project for about six months now. It all started when I was sick with bronchitis and had a dream of a girl in a white nightgown floating down a pathway into a deeply wooded area. That floating girl was the planetary core of my new world. Since then the dust of creativity in my brain has coalesced and blown apart numerous times until I have a fairly solid handle on characters, plotline, outline, and overall synopsis. Of course now that image of the levitating girl is only one tiny fraction of the entire story that has created itself but it’s still an essential image in my book.  If you have never heard of NaNoWriMo, the concept is as easy as it is hard. Write a 50,000 word novel or beginning of a story during November. It boils down to around 1,667 words a day. It is daunting, nervewracking, but ultimately exciting to see what you can create in a month’s time.

The Rise of Self Doubt

There is this poetry contest I was excited to enter. I had this wonderful idea for a poem and have been tweaking it for weeks now. As the deadline looms; however, I’ve found my enthusiasm waning and self-doubt rearing its ugly head. Does this happen to other writers? Have any of you decided to enter a contest or submit something to a publication only to experience these feelings? I keep telling myself that my work has just as much of a chance as anyone else. And I’ll never know unless I try and multiple other platitudes that sound as hollow as a ping-pong ball. Over the past few days, it’s been amazing how many ways I’ve found to not work on the poem. The deadline is October 1st, it’s creeping up so quickly and the apathy I’ve developed towards working on it has been astonishing. I want to put my writing out there. I want as many people as possible to see my work but I’m questioning my own work like it’s out to get me. I also know that a big part of being a writer is being able to handle rejection. Rationally I know how most of what I submit won’t be accepted. But it’s always that self-doubt isn’t it? That lingering fear of what I put forth won’t be good enough. The countdown continues and the poem remains unfinished. I’ll keep you posted on what happens.

The Post-It Woven Patchwork

Slowly…slowly… I am losing my mind

I can feel it happening, one thing at a time

Like the sands in an hourglass

Slowly slipping through.

Falling into some dark abyss.

I don’t want to bid adieu.

To all the times in days gone by

Whether good or bad.

They are still my memories

And losing them is sad.

So now I’m obsessively writing

Jotting everything down

Every thought and memory

Scraps of paper now surround

This little spot I sit in

With my paper and pen

So when memories are no more

I’ll be covered in them.

Like a post-it woven patchwork

A wondrous little covering

I’ll be wrapped up in them

And old memories I’ll be discovering.

Inner Fire

On those nights when it’s the darkest

There’s no light within your eyes.

All your hope has faded

And the tears will never dry.

That’s the time to regain focus

To close your eyes and breathe

And calm your mind and your soul

To reclaim what is underneath.

Center yourself, and you will see it.

A tiny burning spark.

Your ember of inner fire

That can still conquer the dark.

Let it draw you to it.

Like a moth to proverbial flame.

It will never hurt you.

But you won’t ever be the same.

Once the fire consumes you and

The flames extinguish your tears

The strength you feel will overcome

Those troubles you’ve had for years.

Keep those eyes closed tight and watch

All the negativity burn away

Let your entire self become the light

And wake to a brand new day.