Thursday, October 13, 2011

A Writer's Introduction to NaNoWriMo

So, why start a blog now? Inkblots has only been in the world, what? Eighteen months? A full two years? It can't be too years. We're not that old. Wow, if I count back to which novel I was writing in my head at the time it is like two years. Thoughts on this Ellyn? Is it really two years?

Anywho, this blog has sprung from the attic of my mind also. This is what the phrase attic of my mind makes me think of;

The real reason for this blog is the Almighty NaNoWriMo. Which I have never done before and I guess am doing this year. Ellyn for sure is going NaNoWriMo this year. I'm doing it a tad bit. What is NaNoWriMo you ask. It's an acronym. Above all, that is what it is. It stands for National Novel Writing Month. Mostly it's where writers celebrate their craft in November by swearing off procrastination devices (like the devious blogs and deplorable Facebook we all indulge in) and vow instead to crank out 50,000 words. If not a whole novel.

To be honest, in the past I haven't been a fan of either blogging or NaNoWriMo. But know I'm doing both. Blogging was something I really loathed for awhile. I would read blogs. I loved doing that and still do. The idea of writing a blog was repulsive to me. I wrote a book filled with reasons I could never really have my own blog in which I tortured a protagonist who had a blog. Not literally, but like all writers I ruined her life for a wee bit. (It was called Complications of a Pen Name, it lives in a drawer, and they were all happy in the end. Ellyn read it. Audrie may have a copy. I cannot remember) That has dissipated over time. I still don't have a personal blog. I have a blog which I keep for an art class I teach and this blog here. Maybe one day in the future, I will have a personal blog.

You never know.

NaNoWriMo annoyed me for a long time and still does. I can put my finger right on why too. It's so legalized. You NEED 50,000 words you you are not a REAL NaNoWriMo writer. I'm sure that's not true, but it's always felt like that to me. And I can do that too. 50,000 words is accomplishable by me, but I do not want to do it if you obligate me to do it. But, when everyone started getting goosebumps about the coming month of November, I found myself with my own set too. I had never had anything to work on for the write time in November before. I was always editing. An activity I hate, so maybe that made me crabby to NaNoWriMo. We'll never truly know what editing does to the brain.

This year, I had friends doing it, a book that needed finishing, a huge schoolwork load that is bound to make it even more challenging than having a social life. So of course I wanted to do it this year. I just had to legalize it in my own way. But I didn't want to be doing NaNoWriMo all by myself and then have Inkblots meet once in November and everyone talk about it. I wanted an email chain or something. Top this with the fact I had to get down to nitty gritty with my book. I'm going to hit the climax probably before the week is even over. I can't just diddle daddy with it. I had to get down and serious.

What I usually do when this opportune times comes is write down how often I've been writing. Which days, how long, how dedicated, how distracted. A blog seemed like the perfect place to do that. Plus, everyone in Inkblots suffered writer's block over the summer in differing severity and it would have been great not to have to realize once everyone mostly got over the worst part that we were all miserable at the same time. We needed an online forum. The attic of my mind demanded a blog.

Thus here we are! Hurrah.

This blog's first and foremost use is to record hours writing. Like a log book, if you don't mind a simile. Everyday I am going to write down how long I've written, how many words, and how focused I was. Everyone is free to decide how often they want to do this. Some people may just want to write once a week and accomplish 500 words. Some people just want to write. Some might want words. I simply want a finished book.

That leads us to number two. Everyone logging hours on here should, and this is important, write down their goal for NaNoWriMo. A goal might be 50,000 words, or a finished book, or to make a conscious effort to write for a month straight. It does not matter what your goal is, it matters that you have one.

Three. Ellyn has very clearly outlined what this blog is not a place for. I'd like to make clear that this is a writing forum. Everyone on here is more than happy to gush about how much they love writing and gives loads of unnecessary advice. If you get stuck, write it on here. If you have a question, write it on here. If you are overflowing with love for what you just wrote, write it on here. (The joy, not the actual paragraph).

Fourth, I'd like to encourage everyone to add to their author's pages. I will do this once I figure out how to. Add a quick blip about yourself. Like what you're favorite book is and why. How long you've been writing. How many novels you have in a drawer. A favorite writing quote. But most importantly, add some synopsises. Everyone wants to know what you're writing hours are being spent on. It doesn't need to be huge, it doesn't need to be tiny, but it needs to be there.

Also, happy National Novel Writing Month of November everyone!



Ellyn said...

We started around the same time we took that literature class at co-op.
But I have no idea when that was. :D

Miss Sarah said...

According to my computer, the paper I wrote for The Giver, if you recall our first book in literature, is dated September 2009. Which would mean that either we just passed our two year anniversary or we are just about too.