Getting into gear

I am proud to announce I am getting there ;-).

Well at least I have pre-written all my blog posts from Monday onwards as I will be on holiday as well as getting married just the day before NaNoWriMo starts. What a set up :-)!

To be honest I am immensely proud I have managed that. I have set a goal and achieved it.

In the last few days I have not been working at all on the novel. My characters are outlined and I think I have to go into more detail after NaNo. I have started a scene list which hopefully will guide me along but I am not happy with it as it is. Still thinking about the form of the whole thing and probably figuring out the plot. Therefore I will use the last couple of days for working on that list and then I just keep going I guess…. I will also use the time to read some archived pep talks and what ever else I can find about NaNo. Not quite sure yet how the word count thing works. Where do I submit it and how often? Just in the end? Well, I am sure I will find out somehow :-).

Am thinking a lot about the fact that I have so many projects started but never finished. So much creativity wasted and so much energy used on unsatisfying day jobs! Really sad, don’t you think?But I know I am there now: I have started to follow through my goals and I am learning more and more about writing itself.

The most important insight I have gained lately? The first draft can be sh…! You work it over and make it into a jewel like polishing a diamond! That is the hard bit I suppose but I am determined to learn the craft and at last I feel happy :-).

What about you? Are you taking part in NaNoWriMo? Is it your first time or are you a veteran already?  Do you have any tips?

I am looking forward to read from you :-)!

Been better…

Kyla Ghost

Kyla Ghost (Photo credit: Slabby)

…. is a song from Kyla La Grange a singer I have recently discovered.

In the song it says: ” Been better when the sky was red and a face like yours didn’t make me scared…. Been better when I took the lead instead of being lead….”

I love that song just for those lines. Yes it is better to take the lead of our lives instead of being lead. Well, it depends on your personality I suppose. For me it is a bit of both. Sometimes I like to give up all responsibility and just being lead but most of the time I would rather lead myself.

In the last few weeks I have lead. I have managed so far to pre-write all my blogs for next week and for November in preparation for my holiday and NaNoWriMo. That is amazing and I am pretty proud.

Have been neglecting my story a bit though but there are still nearly two weeks left to work on that and with the blogs out of my way I feel free to concentrate on them.

There is also some anxiety: Can I manage to write so much each day? Will I give up? Have a I taken on too much?

I keep reminding myself that NaNoWriMo is not intended to for us to write a super finished novel. It is supposed to be a first draft and then you can work on it and make a fine finish of it if you want to.

Am still excited. Am excited about concentrating on writing a novel. Am excited to have a holiday and I am excited about my novel.

Wow I have never been better :-)!

 

 

 

Can’t get into it

English: Autographs of Lermontov's poems from ...

English: Autographs of Lermontov’s poems from the Kazan Writing book Русский: Автографы стихотворений Лермонтова из Казанской тетради с рисунками поэта. Институт русской литературы. Санкт-Петербург. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I don’t like Mondays” do you remember that classic Boomtown Rats song about a massacre in a school?

Well there is hopefully no massacre around here but I have this song in my mind the whole morning and just can not get into writing this morning. Or more exact into working on my NaNoWriMo Novel.

Working with the Snowflake Method I am nearly at the end part where I have to do a scene list of the whole novel. I have never done that and feel that I need some more time than todays schedule offers.

Working with it for a while it still feels like a good thing but I am more a pantster by nature and keeping such a strict work schedule is hard. But maybe that is exactly what I need to get where I want to go as organisation is a bit of a flaw of mine.

Well in day job terms I have learned that good organisation makes life so much easier so why not do it in writing as well?

Coming back to “not getting into writing”: I have already written three blog entries for today + 2 pre written ones for NaNoWriMo. So why do I feel I can not get into writing? That is actually quite a lot and now I do the fourth for today.

I also have sorted a plot problem I was pondering about for a while. I have realised that I did not really get my characters into trouble and I never knew what kind of conflict they keep carrying with themselves. Having read my books lately with these points in mind I realised that  this is one of the most important things to keep one reading (as if they do not keep telling me 😉 ).

But it is one thing to understand that on a logic level but another to put it into practise. So I consider myself as a trainee writer and just try out and try to silence that inner critic and just do it.

And maybe now I just allow myself some break to relax, read a bit and then get over with the day job!

Letting go

Since a few months I am part of the  WANA tribe (I have written about it before) and a group called “Writing to heal“. Someone there had the idea of having a writing prompt every now and then and in September I suggested to write about “letting go”.

It is autumn, the year draws to an end and we have to let go of sun and warmth and summer. But also a writers life is riddled with letting go of different things: Sometimes it is a dream, quite often it is scenes or not working story lines, sometimes it is a day job that has become too much, quite often….. You get the gist.

I think we live in a society where letting go on the one hand is quite easy as we have so many things that can be replaced quite easily. Our rubbish dumps speak volumes of that literally. On the other hand it is quite difficult as owning things and getting more is so important in this society.

I read KJ’s post on my prompt which is called “Simplicity and letting go” and it made me think a lot. Our lives are not simple any more: There are so many identities to be chosen from when we are young, so many jobs or professions we can have, so many partners we can choose, so many roles we have to combine, so many changes we have to adjust to.

Maybe both are the reasons why writers and the stories they tell have become more and more important: We can give ideas on how to life our lives and we can give ideas on when and what to let go.

The cycles of life which have been so easily recognisable by the seasons have become strange to many of us but also the seasons have changed so much due to climate change that they often can not guide us any more.

Maybe there is no sense at all anyway as Jean Paul Sartre and Albert Camus told us. Maybe we just have to hang in there and let go of that longing for sense and reason.

I don’t know really.

The only thing I know is “letting go” is as important in life both general and a writers life as “growing” and “being”. Maybe healing is only a question of balance of these three parts of life and maybe the only reason we write is to heal!

English: Panoramic photo of South East New Ter...

English: Panoramic photo of South East New Territories Landfill, combined from 3541065730, 3541068592 and 3540261227 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

I spoil myself…..

Writing

…. with this post!

“WHAT?!” I can see you think “What the heck is she writing about?!”

I am writing about the fact that I have planned my writing day today and I have reached my goals and well this post is my prize so to say. Just a post to enjoy and share what’s going on (besides all those medieval, celtic, pagan videos I am sharing on Twitter lol).

Well, I think it is important to get an award when you achieved what you wanted to achieve especially when your job is to write where you never really know what comes from it. Awards motivate you to go on when it gets tough and they can look differently. Yesterday it was reading the rest of Suzanne Colin’s “Mockingjay” which I really enjoyed. I think you can learn a lot from her Hunger Games Trilogy.

Today it is writing this post and tomorrow it might be a cup of coffee or a cookie. Who knows 🙂 (I try to stay creative with my awards (and I already had the cup of coffe today 😉 )).

What have  I learned today?

Research can confuse you more than clarify anything and it can lead you astray. (“What?! Again?!” I hear you shout now)

I was working on a character chart for my main character of my NaNoWriMo novel and needed an age. Now she is from Germany, had been abused and the question for me was: “Is the limitation period over or not?” Blimey difficult to find out even though German is my native tongue and I have studied social work so I know a little bit about German law (Nothing I want to dwell on it is sooooooooo boring).

Well I figured in her case the limitation period is just about to expire and therefore found her age. Brilliant. But that research needed ages and I was so keen on getting on with those character charts. It felt like a waste of time and it also confused me because more and more questions came up which not necessarily had anything to do with the story.

I got back on track though. My inner critic was raging but I told myself that it is necessary to get that age right. Changed the whole story a bit I have to admit but I suppose that might happen more often until its finished. That seems to be the nature of story writing which used to drive me mad and made me think I am such a failure and not able to write properly.

One part of my writing day is to read some of the blogs about writing. One of them today was the blog of the office of LETTERS AND LIGHT which was about the question if you plan or just get on with it (http://blog.lettersandlight.org/post/33164071079/pantser-planner-percolator).

Well, as you know I try my way through the planning (Snowflake Method) which is somehow against my nature. But when I just was writing along I used to lose the plot (literally 🙂 ) so I needed to try something else.

I like the idea and expression of “percolator” though. Isn’t that that Italian coffee maker you put on your hob and it heats up water and steam makes the coffee????? I have not idea why that might be a middle thing between planner and panster but in the end: “Who cares!”

 

 

 

 

Update on “me and the NaNoWriMo” ;-)

 

I can’t remember if I mentioned in this blog that at least three people told me in the last 4 weeks that I am not organised.

 

Now I believe in synchronicities and took this as a message from the universe that I have to have a look at my organisation of my writing. I realised that I am on a good way to be better organised but not there yet and whoosh another synchronicity:

 

Randy Ingermanson was writing in his newsletter about journalling your writing business which means to write down your goals and then write down which you have achieved and which need to be moved or changed. I have started this for my writing even though I am not sure yet if this shall lead me to a real business but well it helps anyway.

 

And what does this have to do with the National Novel Writing Month?

 

Well, when I decided to take part I also had to decide what I will do with my blogs: let them be paused or go on writing. Both did not seem right or possible. So I decided I take this month to write the entries for November and schedule them. This way I can fully concentrate on the NaNoWriMo but do not lose my blogs.

 

So far I am quite good. The diary really helps to stay focussed and I even achieved more goals than I have planned.

 

That is a really good feeling!

 

May your writing be creative this week and may you achieve whatever your goal is!

 

National Novel Writing Month Web Badge

National Novel Writing Month Web Badge (Photo credit: ajsundby)

 

 

 

 

What have I done?????!

 

Oh dear what have I done?

In a mood of “I really really want to write that novel now, soon ah I don’t know when and I had decided not to write any novels anyway….!” I signed up for the “National Novel Writing Month” which is all November every years since 1999. I had heard about it since autumn last year but as I had not idea about word counts or what mine might be I found the idea to write a first draft for a novel in one month pretty daunting.

This year I read about it again and suddenly felt I had nothing to lose just to have a look. And then I got hooked :-). Well, I know now that I can easily write 600 words in a day but 1666 every day for a month? Still daunting to be honest. But it also feels like a pretty cool challenge which is worth it.

The initiators of the #NaNoWriMo how it is abbreviated and used as a Twitter hashtag are a non-profit organisation called “The Office of Letters and Light”  which goal it is to help adults and kids reach their creative potential. Now if that is not a fine value :-)!

They organise many events one of which is the #NaNoWriMo. They offer and enormous amount of help with prep-talks, word count calculators, working with libraries and forums. What really took me in at last was the fact that they have a similar program for children and work with schools as well. What has started in the San Fransisco Bay Area with 21 writers just for fun has become a world-wide phenomenon with many novels written and even some published. (I just had a look ~ its actually quite a lot published 🙂 )

I like the whole idea and I like to finish at least one novel in my life even though I seem to have a change of mind quite constantly lately about the length of my preferred writing form. Well, who cares as long as I write lol.

No doubt I will wake up every morning until the 31. of November and ask myself “What have I done?!” but maybe you like to share my fate and join in as well????????