Monday, November 7, 2011

Nano Nano and I'm Not Really Breaking Up With You

I've been neglecting the blog for NaNoWriMo (national novel writing month).  I don't usually do NaNoWriMo because it intimidates me.  But a very non-intimidating friend is doing it, so I figured I'd go for it, too.  My goal is 2,000 words per day.  I know what you're thinking: I've written sentences on this blog that were more than 2,000 words.  It's a problem - both when I'm speaking and when I'm writing.  But that's another issue for another day.

My ongoing novel-writing saga is getting tiresome.  My routine as an unpublished fiction writer goes something like this:

*Obsessively think about novel for an entire day
*Start a round of negative self-talk that will last for approximately one week
*Sit down to write
*Read over what was written a month ago
*Start second round of negative self-talk while re-writing everything
*Sit down to write
*Get on facebook, instead
*Wallow in guilt and self-pity
*Write anywhere from 1,000 - 13,000 words in one sitting

It hasn't really been working for me. 

Oh! I left out another important part of my routine: Reading endless books and blogs about writing.  Most of these books and blogs offer similar advice (Excuses are in Italics):

*Write a little each day. Too busy having angst to fit in writing everyday. Obsessive worrying, when done properly, takes up a lot of time.
*Don't obsess with editing and re-writing, just keep chugging. Ha ha! Don't obsess - hilarious.  Also, I like to read over what I've written thousands and thousands of times - changing it each time - often making it much worse in the process - kind of like a bad make-up day when you just keep piling it on and end up looking like Hooker Barbie After Botched Plastic Surgery.
*Set up a time to write and stick to it. Have you seen my schedule? It's really full what with all the obsessing and the five kids and the obsessing!  Getting up early to do it is really hard - although I must admit morning is my most creative time of the day.
*Treat it like a job. Panic!
*Never give up. I can't wait for the day when I finally Give. This. Shit. Up.
*Don't despair - writing is a lonely and often depressing state that never gets better, and in fact, gets worse after you publish. Proof that writing is perfect for me and by the way, way to go with the pep talk!

NaNoWriMo is always in November, which is just plain stupid.  NOVEMBER.  The month of Thanksgiving and shopping and getting ready for the holidays and now, thanks to Camille, the month of Nutcracker Rehearsals.  They're killing me. Also?  I have a problem with the whole quantity versus quality aspect of NaNoWriMo.  2,000 words of crap?  No problem - and this blog proves it.  But what's the point of spewing scenes in a novel that you know will be cut just to meet the 2,000 mark?  I could never buy into it.  But for some reason - this year - I committed. Kind of.

Okay, I didn't officially commit.  There is a website where you're supposed to register.  I went there.  I had to create an account.  Part of that process was choosing a username.  I hate choosing a username.  Too much pressure. Your username will be visible to other participants and can be publicly searched so choose carefully!  Ugh.  I agonized.  Should I use something cutesy?  No - and besides,  Ms. Write and all other possible usernames where I could be all kinds of not really very witty incorporating the word write were already taken. I wasted a good 30 minutes on that.  Then I tried Red Hot Writer since I'm the world's biggest Red Hot Chili Peppers fan - but I worried it might be misconstrued as some sort of I'm So Red Hot Sexy thing, which couldn't be further from the truth.  I thought and I thought and I thought in an obsessive writer type of a way - and I wondered if any of the other wanna-be NaNoWriMo participants were sweating over their usernames, and eventually, I gave up.  It isn't like I needed to be a part of The Community, as they say.  I know enough depressed obsessive people already.

So. 2,000 words a day. 

I managed it the first week - and I'm feeling pretty good about the second - which is uncharacteristically cheerful of me.  I still edit and obsess a little...but only for a few hours and then I'm So On It.

I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.  I think I might actually have a manuscript at the end - one that needs to be cut by 30% and reduced to shreds by an editor - but the dots will be connected, at least.  That's HUGE for me.  My dots are generally everywhere.  I'm not so much of a plot-pointer so connecting the dots sometimes results in a duck-billed platypus with 3 breasts and a nasty overbite.  Not really what anybody's looking for in the publishing industry - WHICH -  is a mess and a half at the moment, thereby becoming even more attractive to me what with my fear of success and all.

You know what blows, by the way?  Last January (almost a YEAR ago), I went on our anniversary weekend with every intention of finishing this dreadful thing.  And I didn't do it! (Not entirely my fault because All Of This Happened.) And now January is coming up again - taunting and belittling me - but I think I might surprise it by being Almost Kinda Somewhat F*cking Finished!

Also?  According to Everybody? I'm supposed to be setting up a writer's website or blog.  Agents and editors want to know you have a website or blog.  But you have a blog, Sardine Mama! Yes, I know! But they want to see a PROFESSIONAL blog where I don't post pics of my kids and dogs and where I don't poke fun of Rick Perry and Sarah Palin and use the F-word (even with an asterisk) while whining with poor grammar and too many adverbs about why writing sucks so bad(ly).  In short, I need a place to talk about writing like a civilized person.  And this clearly is not the place for that.

I am hoping I can maintain a writer's blog. (I don't want a website - what would I say? Welcome to my webiste! I haven't actually finished a book yet - and I'm not allowed to post pics of my dogs - but check out what I've been reading! I'm forced to say really nice things about it so I don't sound bitter!)  It's all so nonsensical to me.

So what this is all leading up to - is that I think we need to see other people.  I'm not breaking up with you - I'd still like to hang out with you and you know, be friends, but not EXCLUSIVELY, if you catch my drift.  I'll be sure and clue you in when the new blog is up and running - You can "follow me" as long as you agree to pretend that I'm a mature and responsible writer whilst visiting.

In the meantime, you can still find me here, just not as often.  To make sure you come back, I'm promising this in the next post:  Halloween Pictures (ha! pictures of the kids!) and a synopsis of my Visit With The Cardiologist.  For a preview, watch this (*spoiler alert - I DID NOT HAVE A HEART ATTACK, but it was exciting, nonetheless.) :


  1. I broke up with you once, but I came crawling back.
    Please, oh please, put your new blog on wordpress. :)

  2. I'm not sure I can treat you like a grown up with respect and all. That's really too much pressure. But I did fake(ish) being straight for almost 17 years so I guess I can probably come up with something to say on your professional blog. It's not gonna be all about words and stuff, is it? Cuz you know how I hate that. I'm hoping you do reviews on picture books for three year olds!
    Keep on plugging away!

  3. will follow you, because will miss you here!

  4. what? WHAT? omg, publicists know diddly about diddly! Oh, you didn't actually said publicists. You said 'everybody', or rather agents and editors. Well, if agents could write, they would say differently! Anyway, you will be missed. So don't take too long pretending you are having a good time over at that civilized blog place or whatever it is...
    (can you tell I'm in a foul-ish mood today?? i need to listen to some Shadows to calm me down)

    (but seriously, humor and ad-hoc writing is as important as 'serious' writing, probably more important as it exercises a completely different set of mental muscles ... so don't put all your eggs in them agents' baskets, Sardine Mama!)