The First Week of NaNoWriMo

Today is the fourth day of NaNoWriMo 2016, and damn. What a week!

For starters, Neil Gaiman retweeted me. It wasn’t related to my work or my writing, but I just about had a heart attack in our kitchen. It happened a few nights before the start of NaNoWriMo, and if that isn’t a good omen then I don’t know what is (he is one of my favorite modern authors, after all). I can now say that my name is forever immortalized on his official Twitter.

The first day was to the book: I woke up, immediately wrote 1,700 words, and felt wholly uninspired. I had been gearing myself up for working on Chrysanthemum Frowns for the past few weeks, but when I sat down to actually start the piece, I was mortified when I was relieved to finish the first checkpoint. I should be busting ass writing, pushing forward and pushing myself, a nonstop tornado of creative energy totally overcome by the story with inspiration — but once I hit the daily word count, I threw in the towel and wiped my brow. It didn’t feel right, and was entirely unenjoyable.

Despite my frustrating lack of motivation, I did notice something. A story within the story, it seemed. I had somehow managed to pull the other project I have been working on on and off for a long while into CF. A high fantasy, and far different from what I prepared for.

That’s when it hit me. I wasn’t working on the right thing!

Day Two of NaNoWriMo began, and I started over. I’m glad that it hit me sooner than later, because any more than a 10,000 word catch up and I may have been doomed (or at least inconvenienced; 20,000 would have been more damning). But like some immaculate conception, I suddenly felt a totally new spurt of motivation to shove CF on the back burner and pour myself into something different.

The new project doesn’t have a title yet, but has been brewing in my mind for a while. Until this week, I haven’t done more than take notes and research linguistics, write small blurbs or ideas of scenes. Suddenly, I’m holding a pretty fair draft of the Prologue, a few of the first chapters, and a ton of ideas about where to take it. The main character is still figuring herself out, but isn’t that the point of just writing?

I’m almost at 5k  as we speak, and that’s only from two small sessions on both Wednesday and Thursday. I plan on at least doubling that before the beginning of the next week — most of today, Saturday, and Sunday will be spent writing (and not just as a distracting from the election on Tuesday).

 

Inspiration and Reading List

I haven’t had a whole ton of free time, especially since I decided to start the project over, but I’ve curated a few books and miscellaneous things that have either inspired me this week or ones that I plan on reading throughout the month:

· Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride

I got to meet and chat with Lish when I was working at GGC 16. I covered a panel that she and a handful of other female authors held on censorship in publishing and writing scandalous subjects. I picked up one of her books to read and am totally loving it thus far.

· Just about anything by Sarah J Maas.

Sarah J Maas should be a household name, in my totally bias opinion. She was the first YA author that I read post-college. I had been stuck in a rut of only reading highly literary or scholarly work, as college tries to beat “lesser” literature out of our systems, but I finally realized how utterly barbaric and conceded that sort of idealism is. A friend recommended Sarah’s newer series A Court of Thorns and Roses, and I fell in love with it. I’ve read every piece she’s published since. Her books made me remember why I wanted to become a writer, and that the point of writing/reading is to truly enjoy yourself (definition of joy is dependent on the individual, some people actually find pleasure in reading difficult work, and the pain that accompanies that).

· Animal Crossing: New Leaf

Hey, didn’t I say video games would make their way into these posts? Nintendo dropped a big update to ACNL this week, and I’m obsessed! I’m sure I’ve talked about it before, but ACNL has been a sort of self-help resource for me. The game is as simplistic as it gets: govern a small village of animals. You plant flowers, go shopping, catch fish and insects… For most of college, I left my DS plugged in to my workstation, so if I needed to step away and distract myself for a couple minutes I could just jump into the game. In little more than 5 minutes, I’d do what I needed to do before I could set it down and get back to the books. Right now, I’m revisiting that concept and leaving my DS close to my writing set-up.

 

 

The next post is scheduled to go up on Tuesday. By then, I’ll have made some pretty big leaps in the project (and thus a little more to talk about). Until then, au revoir!

 

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Indigo is a writer living out of Seattle. She plays a lot of video games.

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