NaNoWriMo Daily Cookies: 30 days of support & encouragement

The writing process, writing advice, and updates on your work in progress

Re: NaNoWriMo Daily Cookies: 30 days of support & encouragement

Postby Sommer Leigh » 10 Nov 2010, 06:40

Day 10.

Writer's block is a common excuse as to why we cannot get our writing done. I say excuse but I hope no one takes offense. It's just that I am a firm believer that writer's block has gotten the mean end of the procrastination stick for a long time, blamed for everything that goes wrong in our lives. But what we call writer's block is usually something else altogether that is holding us back, and figuring out what that is is the only way to survive as a writer.

Here is a link to a great article about writer's block by Elizabeth Moon that really sums up the whole affliction in a pretty straight forward, diagnostic way.

First, the taxonomy of "can't write". I like to divide the problem up by time of onset (in the writer's career and in the particular project), duration, and symptoms. This produces three main diagnoses, only one of which is true "writer's block." I call them Novice Nerves, Stuckness, and Block. Each has a characteristic pattern, and each responds best to different treatment. - Elizabeth Moon

Help! I can't write!
or How to Identify the Dread Writer's Block and Its Relatives
http://www.elizabethmoon.com/writing-block.html

Happy writing, writers!
May the word counts be ever in your favor. http://www.sommerleigh.com
Be nice, or I get out the Tesla cannon.
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Re: NaNoWriMo Daily Cookies: 30 days of support & encouragement

Postby Mira » 10 Nov 2010, 11:13

Sommer, you are awesome.
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Re: NaNoWriMo Daily Cookies: 30 days of support & encouragement

Postby Sommer Leigh » 10 Nov 2010, 12:11

Mira wrote:Sommer, you are awesome.


So are you! Let's be awesome together.
May the word counts be ever in your favor. http://www.sommerleigh.com
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Re: NaNoWriMo Daily Cookies: 30 days of support & encouragement

Postby Ishta » 10 Nov 2010, 21:01

Sommer, these are fabulous. You are awesome for posting these - the videos and cartoons are KILLING me! THANK YOU!
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Re: NaNoWriMo Daily Cookies: 30 days of support & encouragement

Postby Sommer Leigh » 11 Nov 2010, 06:14

Day 11!!!!

Almost halfway there!

Here's a video by the awesome author Jackson Pearce about "faking it." As in, padding your word count just to get to 50,000 instead of concentrating on positive writing skills, being a better writer, and actually writing a story. This is very, very good advice for any writer, not just NaNoWriMo writers. Also, Jackson is awesome.

May the word counts be ever in your favor. http://www.sommerleigh.com
Be nice, or I get out the Tesla cannon.
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Re: NaNoWriMo Daily Cookies: 30 days of support & encouragement

Postby Nathan Bransford » 11 Nov 2010, 23:20

Loving these!!
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Re: NaNoWriMo Daily Cookies: 30 days of support & encouragement

Postby Sommer Leigh » 12 Nov 2010, 06:23

Image

Happy Day Twelve! I'm no good at math, which is why I am participating in a novel writing challenge and not, say, an epic algebra challenge, but I do believe that means after today you have 18 days left of writing. That seems like ALOT. See what I did just there? That's called a transition, right into today's cookie!

Fun with grammar! Hyperbole and a Half ( http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/) is a fantastic blogger who once made me laugh so hard while reading this blog post ( http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2010/07/dog.html) that my husband was afraid I was actually having respiratory distress. Hell, I thought I was having respiratory distress. I'm not kidding.

Today I am sharing with you her post ( http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2010/04/alot-is-better-than-you-at-everything.html ) about dealing with people who use poor grammar on the Internet, specifically when it comes to the word "alot" which is not a word at all. It is a mistake. A very common one. To deal with it, she created a mythical creature, an Alot, to deal with not freaking out when someone crushes these two words together.

Enjoy!
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Be nice, or I get out the Tesla cannon.
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Re: NaNoWriMo Daily Cookies: 30 days of support & encouragement

Postby bcomet » 12 Nov 2010, 12:47

YIKES. Sommer! 12 days into NANOWRIMO. I've hit 20,000 words and it's f.l.a.t.
or something or something

yes, I had to try a new genre, a complicated set of POVs, I was stretching out my writer bones...

my characters have made me CRY!

but now, the writing is worrying me.

HELP!
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Re: NaNoWriMo Daily Cookies: 30 days of support & encouragement

Postby Ishta » 12 Nov 2010, 13:29

bcomet: do you have an outline? Maybe start at the end of your story, then work backwards?

Those are my only ideas. (Worries for own NaNo project, which has fallen by the wayside while relatives visit from overseas #whydidIsayNovemberwasagoodtimetovisit?)

We're all pulling for you!
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Re: NaNoWriMo Daily Cookies: 30 days of support & encouragement

Postby Sommer Leigh » 12 Nov 2010, 13:47

bcomet wrote:YIKES. Sommer! 12 days into NANOWRIMO. I've hit 20,000 words and it's f.l.a.t.
or something or something

yes, I had to try a new genre, a complicated set of POVs, I was stretching out my writer bones...

my characters have made me CRY!

but now, the writing is worrying me.

HELP!


Deep breath! No panicking allowed!

It is ok if your writing is flat and kind of boring. (I mean, for the moment.) Depending on the program you use to type up your work, put a note somewhere in your draft where you noticed the writing is kind of not there so you know where to go back to. Then just keep going forward. You'll fix the yawn-worthy prose later. I think it is awesome you are trying a new genre and POVs. I am trying first person for the first time and I think that is part of what is slowing me down.

20,000 words is such a great start, especially if what you're doing is new and complicated to you. I have your same problem where I know I've got terrible writing and some of the chapters are soooo boring. I also remember how great it is to go back and edit. So that's what I am looking forward to doing. Editing after first drafting.

Remember it is ok to suck. It is also ok to be awesome. Explore both.
May the word counts be ever in your favor. http://www.sommerleigh.com
Be nice, or I get out the Tesla cannon.
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Re: NaNoWriMo Daily Cookies: 30 days of support & encouragement

Postby bcomet » 12 Nov 2010, 16:00

Sommer,

You are the BOMB at pep talks! Seriously, you serve up Super Food for the writer!

Thanks!!

-bc

P.S. I put my head in the head and body and moment of the next scene I was writing.
Maybe it was short, but it came out much more powerfully for me anyway.
(Sprinting in a new genre with new POVs really IS challenging)
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Re: NaNoWriMo Daily Cookies: 30 days of support & encouragement

Postby Sommer Leigh » 13 Nov 2010, 10:40

Day 13 -

Library Science Degree is a website for those going into Library Science, but it features articles like:

The 50 Most Hated Characters in Literary History ( http://librarysciencedegree.org/the-50-most-hated-characters-in-literary-history/ )

5 Famous Artists Who Lived in Exile ( http://librarysciencedegree.org/5-famous-writers-that-lived-in-exile/)

Top 10 Fictional Feminist Icons of All Time ( http://librarysciencedegree.org/top-10-fictional-feminist-icons-of-all-time/ )

These are all awesome articles, but the one I’m making today’s cookie is all about genres. Specifically, 10 Emerging Genres and Subgenres You’ve Probably Never Heard Of. ( http://librarysciencedegree.org/10-emerging-book-genres-you%E2%80%99ve-probably-never-heard-of/ )

Including:

* Hindi Dalit
* Cashier Memoirs
* Bitpunk
* Twitter Novels
* Picture Books for the Elderly
* Progression Literature
* Lucid Fiction
* Kinetic Poetry
* Combinatorial
* Hmong-American

Granted, I’ve never heard of most of these, but I do remember back in the late 90s and early 2000s before blogs were popular (possibly before they were even called blogs), there was a girl cashier at a video store that also had an XXX area and the blog was all about life as a cashier there. If I remember correctly, she eventually got a book deal. I have also heard (and LOVE) Kinetic Poetry.

So consider this a Double Cookie Day 13, here’s some Kinetic Poetry for writers about how you must sacrifice if you want to be a writer called “So You Want A Social Life, With Friends” by Kenneth Koch. This poem really encapsulates the NaNoWriMo individual because if you want to finish all 50,000 words, you're going to have give something up to get it. I think day 13 is a very good time to take a look at what we've given up and really decide what we want to get out of this project. 50,000 words? New writing friends? New habits? A new sense of creative self? A better handle on writing in a new POV? Whatever your end goal is, I hope you acheive it, I really do.

Good writing, writers.

May the word counts be ever in your favor. http://www.sommerleigh.com
Be nice, or I get out the Tesla cannon.
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Re: NaNoWriMo Daily Cookies: 30 days of support & encouragement

Postby Sommer Leigh » 14 Nov 2010, 09:45

Day 14.

Today’s cookie is a tiny article and comic by author Seanan McGuire – who I have never read but I hear is amazing, although I HAVE read Feed by Mira Grant, Seanan’s awesome other self and I can tell you with 100% certainty that I’d hand Feed to anyone who likes words. So I’m assuming that since Seanan and Mira are one and the same, anything that Seanan does must be equally as spellbinding.

Article here: ( http://us.penguingroup.com/static/html/blogs/writers-holiday-seanan-mcguire )
Comic here and below: ( http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2804/4190442636_65b79c2c84_o.jpg)

Have you ever wondered about the identity of that guy sitting in the International House of Pancakes at eight in the morning, hunched over his laptop and hammering away like he’s trying to save his work before the apocalypse? How about the woman on the bus with the notepad on her knee, scribbling away and glancing around like she’s doing something wrong? The odds are good that they’re writers, trying to steal more minutes from the day. – Seanan McGuire

The reason I picked this as a cookie is because it sums up the writer’s life in a really important way – we are kind of clueless about the world around us when we have a word count to make. This goes for November during NaNoWriMo or any other time we are working on a story that is important to us. You don’t even have to be a professional, published author to be constantly aware of your self-imposed deadlines. “I will finish chapter 3 before I sleep.” Even when that means you don’t sleep until after Saturday morning cartoons have already started.

There have been points in my writing adventure where I had the Jimmy John’s delivery page queued up nightly for when my husband came in wondering when I was going to feed him.

I imagine it is worse in November as we fight to get to some magical word count ending place. Remember back at the beginning of the month where I congratulated you on being well fed and washed? Yeah well, I’m guessing you’ve started skimping on the daily showers and you’ve probably been subsisting off of mini candy bars, diet soda, expensive coffee, and licorice for the last seven days. It’s ok, you don’t have to be ashamed. We’re all in this together.

Be fierce, writers.

Image
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Be nice, or I get out the Tesla cannon.
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Re: NaNoWriMo Daily Cookies: 30 days of support & encouragement

Postby Sommer Leigh » 15 Nov 2010, 06:17

Image

Day 15.

What is it about the half way point that gets writers thinking they are completely and totally in over there heads? It doesn't matter if it is NaNoWriMo or not. Whether it is halfway through the book, halfway through edits, or halfway through November, the halfway point is where we tend to sit down and go, "Am I only dreaming? What am I even doing anymore?"

Our journey is lonely. We can socialize with other writers but the weight of our dreams is ours alone to bear. It can be very easy to fall prey to our own self doubts. My favorite is, "Am I even good enough? How will I ever know?" Somehow, I doubt even publication would erase that nagging demon.

I believe the only way to keep going is to just keep going.

For me, I think writing a new story feels like falling in love. At first it is flirty and fast and everything is new and unaltered by preconceptions and darling one liners and the only voice in your head is the one jumping up and down screaming "This is really happening!" You call all your friends and gush about your new idea and over-analyze what people are saying about your intended genre. And then after you've spent some late nights with the new idea you start to get antsy. You pick fights with the plot holes and you over-analyze characters, motivations, and bad guys. And once the shine of your initial excitement has diminished and you've spent too much time with the same characters, you start to see glaring writing problems, and you're not even sure the idea was all that good to begin with. That's when you either break up with the story or you take some time and reevaluate. If you're lucky, one night after you're sure the relationship is over and you're a complete and utter failure at commitment and oh my god why did you ever think you could be a writer anyway, a flash of inspiration hits you, you realize which hole your plot fell into, and a string of dialogue comes to you that must be written down immediately. Suddenly the relationship doesn't seem so stale after all. Suddenly, you're actually quite remarkable.

I hope at the end of today you will all realize how remarkable you are after all.

(Just a heads up, there are a couple of swear words in this song, but it's totally worth it.)

May the word counts be ever in your favor. http://www.sommerleigh.com
Be nice, or I get out the Tesla cannon.
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Re: NaNoWriMo Daily Cookies: 30 days of support & encouragement

Postby Robin » 15 Nov 2010, 17:43

Sommer, You are the best!!!! THANKS!!!!!!

(((((BIG HUG)))))))
Robin
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http://www.RobynLucas.com/
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