NaNoWriMo, Days 3-6

It’s been a few days since I’ve updated—mostly because not a lot of writing has been happening. The brainstorming I’d planned on… wasn’t really a thing until yesterday.

But I was determined to do at least something yesterday. So I set an alarm for 30 minutes and started outlining. I decided I’d list each chapter and write underneath that hearing what needed to happen during it. I write better with a road map, so my goal was to, hopefully, force myself to make one.

And it worked. What was once a skeleton of an idea is now starting to grow some muscle. I still have more outlining to do, but now I at least have a direction.

It’s turning out to be darker than I first intended, and also pretty “heady” in the sci-fi department. But, they also say write what you’d want to read… and this would definitely have me turning the pages. I hope, one day, it will with readers, too.

The goal today: Write for one hour. Let’s do this.

NaNoWriMo, Day 2

Alright, two days in a row writing. So far, I’m on a roll. (An itty-bitty-baby roll, but still a roll.)

Yesterday, I wrote for 30 minutes. Today, an hour. I’m up to 34,412 words. (I started around 31,000. I didn’t think to actually write down my starting number.)

I’ve hit a bit of a roadblock, though. I am now officially on Part Three of my manuscript.

And this is where I stopped knowing exactly what I wanted to happen. The directions on my map have faded away into the ether. I’m left with nothing but blank parchment.

And that’s partly exciting, but mostly… frustrating.

What do I write next? How am I going to reach my goal and actually finish this story that has been floating around in my head since college (and that I’ve actually been working on for a year) if I don’t know what comes next?

Which means that, tomorrow, I will likely not be writing, but will instead be brainstorming.

I’m thinking a cup of tea, a comfy chair, and a favorite journal are in my future.

NaNoWriMo, Day 1

My family and I have a tradition of wishing each other a happy first of the month. I’m not entirely sure when or why it started, but I’ve always liked the sentiment of it: Happy First. We made it through one month. We have a brand new start ahead of us.

So, in that spirit: Happy Nov. 1, everyone!

What that also means for writers: Day one of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).

If you’re not familiar with it, NaNo is when writers challenge themselves to write 50,000 words in one month (about the length of a short novel).

It’s definitely quite a feat, and not something I’ve ever technically accomplished. (Several years ago, I did manage to finish a novel, but it was short the 50k mark. What can I say…. The story was just finished.)

This year, though, I’m doing something a little bit different. The novel I started for NaNo last year is still unfinished. I’ve worked on it throughout the year, made some decent headway, hit a roadblock—lather, rinse, repeat.

So my goal for NaNo is not to hit that 50k. It’s just to finish this particular manuscript.

I’m hoping NaNo will give me a kick-in-the-pants and that blogging about my progress each day will keep me motivated and honest.

Because lately, I haven’t had much time to write. I’ve been focusing on other goals…. Namely, losing weight.

I feel like I kind of need to explain why this blog about writing has had fewer updates about me… you know… writing. All year, I’ve been exercising and adjusting my eating habits. And for the most part, I could still squeeze in time to write. But I kind of hit a point where I needed to kick my routine into high gear if I still wanted to see the scale decreasing.

So that has been priority one. I’m hoping with NaNo, though, I’ll be able to re-find that balance and make progress with both of my main goals: Writing and being healthy.

And, in case anyone is curious, I started the year at 162 pounds. (Not great for someone who isn’t even 5-foot.) My most recent lowest weight was 136.6. (Though trick-or-treat kinda got in the way…. Darn you, delicious Halloween candy!!!)

To sum up: NaNo = Finish last year’s project. Blog = Hold me accountable. Weight = Keep going down!

Wish me luck. With all those goals and only so many hours in a day (and a full-time job), I kind of feel like I’m going to need it.

My Mini-Vacation To-Do List

You know how much I love checklists….

Alright, I’ve had my fun at the Comic Expo. I’ve taken some time to reorganize Word-Maleerie. Now, it’s time to get serious.

I’m taking a few days off from the library and using them to finish a few long-procrastinated projects. Many of them are related to writing; some are not. I won’t bore you with my household organizing or my to-read list (though now that I’ve added reviews to the blog, you may be seeing the fruits of that—if I get it conquered).

But I will share what I’m planning to accomplish as a writer. Here it goes:

  • Revise my query letters. (Shout-out to my library’s Write-Away Club who all gave me some great advice a couple meetings ago when I brought in what I’d been sending to agents and publishers.)
  • Finish “Part Two” of my current writing project.
  • Write a script for a video introducing myself which I plan to have on the homepage of Word-Maleerie. (Bonus points if I get it filmed and edited.)

Three items on the writing to-do list. Not many, but each task has quite a bit of work that goes into it.

I’m hoping that posting my goals on my blog will keep me accountable. I’ll write again in a week with an update on my progress—which will hopefully be straight-up success! (Fingers crossed!)

Wish me luck, all! *Cracks knuckles, pops neck* Let’s get down to business!

A Time for Change

Okay, I’m going to be very, very real today. And that’s not an easy thing to do. Any nerdy gal wants to be Wonder Woman. But here are the facts: I’m not. And while I’ve managed to make lots of progress with writing now that Summer Reading has ended, it has only happened with a healthy helping of stress.

And if I’m feeling stressed, won’t that show through in my writing?

I’m not sure it has here on the blog–yet. And I’m thankful for that. But if writing isn’t fun for the writer… then it’s not going to be fun for the reader, either.

I don’t think I’ve crossed that line, but looking back over the last month of writing in a frenzy, I really think I need to re-evaluate.

Here are the facts: I have a full-time job. I’m also a wife. I’m also a friend, and a daughter, and a sister. All of those important elements of my life take time. And while being a writer is definitely one of the ways I define myself… it’s not the only way.

I know it sounds like I’m going to stop blogging–I’m not. I promise.

I just want to do it in a way that makes more sense–that isn’t just me spewing out material because I have a deadline and a schedule. I want it to be natural. I want the stories or poems or observations that I write to come for a real need and desire to say something.

I’ve said that before and adjusted Word-Maleerie accordingly.

And now, I think it’s time to do it again.

When I first created this blog, I had a few goals:

(1) Provide a sort of portfolio for prospective publishers and literary agents.

(2) Show publishers and agents who I am beyond a name at the end of a query.

(3) Write more! (Because it’s really easy to not write when a goal–namely being published–seems faraway and even impossible.)

This blog has helped me do all of that in many ways… but I have to be honest, too, and say that writing material for the blog sometimes means I don’t have time to work on my manuscripts.

And isn’t that kind of counterproductuve?

Again–I’m not giving up. I’m just changing. (And I’ll finish any stories that I have a good start on–namely Plugged In.) But when there are only so many hours in the day, and you also want to have time for loved ones and, you know, the occasional hobby… well, I need to adapt.

Because that’s what we do, isn’t it? It’s either adapt or stagnate, and I won’t let myself do the latter.

(After all, let’s be real: All those “still doing Summer Reading” posts got a bit boring, right?)

I have some time off coming up, so I plan on revamping the website. Bear with me during that time, as I won’t be adding new material. But when I’m done… I hope Word-Maleerie will be a lot more fun for everyone (me included).

Thanks, as always, for all of your support. I truly appreciate everyone who takes the time to check out my blog as I work towards my ultimate goal of publication. Lots of love, everyone.

There Is No End

I’ve actually made some progress on the to-do list I posted last week. I’ve gotten one query letter sent off, and I’ve carved out some time to work on the NaNoWriMo story. It’s actually getting close… I think… to the end.

Wowzers.

It’s a crazy feeling–working on something for so long and then the end being in sight.

But it’s not really the end. Because next comes editing. Revising. Rewriting.

What am I saying? There is no end to writing! It just goes and goes and goes…..

*insert crazed laughter*

Ahem… but, yes, progress. So… yay!

When In Doubt… Make a List

Alright, it’s time to get serious again. I’ve been working, but not really accomplishing. Things have gotten done, but not done enough to actually cross them off my to-do list.

So here it is. What I need to do in order to catch up:

(1) Send four query letters. (May, June, July, and August)

(2) Finish NaNoWriMo project.

It’s a short list… but each item is going to take a lot of time, effort, and creativity.

I’ve got this.

Summer Reading Memories

I don’t have too much to report on the writing front (yet), as I’m still tying up some post-Summer Reading loose ends. But, in the meantime, I thought it would be fun to share some more pictures from Summer Reading.

Good times. Good times.

An Ending and a Restart

It’s almost the end of Summer Reading.

Boy, did it go fast!

Tomorrow is a special carnival, and then after that, a few loose ends to tie up and then… back to normal.

It’s been a rush, like Summer Reading always is. I love seeing patrons’ faces light up during programs. Or their excitement when they learn they won a prize. Or just the anticipation of all the adventure that awaits in a stack of books brought up to the desk.

Of course, libraries always have all of that. But Summer Reading… it’s a particularly special time.

I’m going to miss it. But it comes around again next year. (And in the meantime… maybe I’ll start planning a really cool Halloween-themed program series.)

But the end of Summer Reading also means the restart of writing.

So here I come. I hope my keyboard is prepared for all the stories I have pent up inside of me.

A bit of progress may have still been made during the summer, but now…. *cracks knuckles*

Now, it’s time to catch up on stories and projects. On query letters. On blog posts that are more than 500 words!

Bring it on.