Monday, November 01, 2010
NaNoWriMo Survival Kit
Or what I like to call, when writing is fun day!
Lately, I've been focusing way too much on "OMG I MUST GET PUBLISHED" and honestly, I'm not even close to that stage yet. I can't even keep a blog updated every couple of months. So starting...yesterday (hey, I'm a work on progress), I will be updating every Sunday. If I can update once a week and my blog is actually benefiting other people, then I shall be the professional I wish to be and update on more days.
I'm doing NaNoWriMo again, but I have this feeling this time will be better than 2009. I feel motivated as I was in 2008, which is good since that is my first and only NaNo win. The project shall be the sequel to my NaNo 2008 novel (Prophecy of the Eternals), currently titled Reign of the Eternals.
It's subject to change.
Now, back to the subject of this post. NaNoWriMo. What tools do I use to make sure this year would be a successful one?
First, I have my laptop of course. Last NaNo, I used Q10 to get most of my writing done (I am very easily distracted), but this year I discovered FocusWriter which is amazing! It's Q10 but better! The timer which also tells you how much you've written in the time you set alone is worth it! I have the theme set up the way I like it, black background with red text. I also love that you can use an image for the background. Really awesome.
Second, I have music. My iTunes and Pandora Radio are godsends. I don't know where my novels would be without them. Music is my main source of inspiration. Finding the right song could lead to discovering the perfect plot twist, perfect line of dialogue, the perfect scene...
(Thank You Hans Zimmer, Craig Armstrong, E.S. Posthumus, Lisa Gerrard, Muse, 30 Seconds to Mars, Dethklok, etc. You all should have a mention in my acknowledgments.)
Third, I have my Redbull. I LOVE Redbull. I drink it and it's like I'm awake. Sometimes I feel buzzed, but for the most part I just feel not-sleepy anymore and that is awesome. All other drinks give me a weird feeling, but not Redbull! *nuzzles* I also have green tea, which I drink every morning.
Fourth, are my commitment posters. I have a calendar, telling me my days, I have my daily and weekly NaNo goals, and my NaNo schedule. I also have a print out of the email nanowrimo.org sends us participants at on the 30th of October, charting out your NaNoWriMo journey.
Needless to say, I'm very clear on what needs to be done to win NaNoWriMo. All that's necessary now is to take action and DO IT.
Fifth, I have my writing buddies from Wriye Forums and Absolute Write Water Cooler through IRC and AIM chat for encouragement and companionship in this crazy adventure.
This is my attempt at getting back into "Writing is for Fun!" mentality. And writing SHOULD be fun. It shouldn't be a means to an end (unless that end is entertainment and fulfillment). It shouldn't be just to get the agent and get published so I can quit the job I hate. That's just the bonus benefit.
I would read comments and posts about people so frustrated with the publishing process, about how long it takes and how hard it is. Impatient as I am, I also got very frustrated with it all too and understood why people self-published. But then I decided to do this with a different mentality.
My novel is for me. For my own pleasure, pride and satisfaction I will make it the best it can be. After writing, revising it, getting feedback and polishing it to a shine, I will be happy with that. Those who want to read it, such as my friends, need only to ask and they can read it. I will go and seek out agents to publish, but if it doesn't sell or get any attention, then that's okay too.
That's their loss of an opportunity. I've lost nothing. I'm still where I was before I queried. So there's no need to be upset. Nothing has changed.
If my novel never sells, then it shall be cherished on my shelf for my own amusement and my friends as I write the next one that might have better luck (which it should just by all that I've learned from the previous one alone).
From that mentality, I never lose. There is no stress. It becomes easier. I still have my inner critic nagging me at the change and I still keep switching back to the I MUST BE PRODUCTIVE/MAKE MONEY/GET PUBLISHED mentality occasionally, but it takes practice to change a way of thinking and doing something.
I'm simply progressing through my always changing journey through life. It's really exciting and fun.
So to all who are doing NaNoWriMo this month and to all those who are simply doing what they were born to do...