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NaNo November

So, I've decided I need a break from Stolen Dreams.

I know it probably sounds crazy since I've done pretty much nothing /but/ take breaks from Stolen Dreams. ;o) But the project is stressing me out so much, and I've been having a LOT of fun lately writing YA in first person present tense.

With NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month, for those who don't know) coming up in a few days, I've decided to throw caution, stress, and even plotting to the wind and just have fun writing. 30 days and nights of literary abandon, baby! LOL.

This goes along quite nicely with my desire to write with more of a practice makes perfect attitude. I need to practice writing with the internal editor turned OFF, and this will give me a great chance to do that, too.

I've never written a story before where I didn't have a good idea of where it was going. Some of my stories, the end has even been the /point/ of the thing. But this time, all I have are some interesting characters in an interesting situation. An idea is not a plot. An issue is not a story. But that's discovery writing for you, and it's what NaNo is all about. Chris Baty's book, after all, is called No Plot? No Problem!

So, I'm gearing up to do it. It works out to be exactly 2,000 words a day that I need to write if I don't write anything on Sundays. It's only 1,667 a day if I did write on Sundays. That makes it sound pretty tempting, doesn't it? LOL. But I've never written on Sunday before, so why start now, right? :o)

I "won" NaNo the first time I attempted it in 2007 (meaning I made it to 50,000 words) but ever since then, every time I've tried to do NaNo or any other BIAM challenge, I've flopped flat on my face. I really think this time is going to be different, but I'm feeling a bit nervous, I do have to say. Wish me luck!

Practice Makes Perfect

I heard Anita Stansfield speak again at a church fireside last week, and I went up and talked to her afterward about the things I learned from her class at UVU.

We talked briefly about the concept of practicing 10,000 hours to become a grandmaster author, and she said something else that helped me out. She said that if I were practicing the piano, I would just practice over and over until I perfected a song. But when we're writing, we expect to be able to write something great the first time. I'm trying to look at my writing that way now. I need to just practice writing without feeling so serious about writing the Great American Novel every time I sit down at the computer.

So at the top of a blank page this morning, just to remind myself of what I was supposed to be doing, I wrote: "This is called PRACTICE. Imagine you are practicing the piano. Not every run through a song has to be recorded and sold. Practice writing with the same idea. It doesn’t have to fit with the rest of the storyline. You don’t have to go back and figure out exactly who said what before what you’re writing now. You do not have to use these exact words or even these very scenes in the final draft. Really. This is p-r-a-c-t-i-c-e!!"

Yes, I do think it's helping. And, yes, I did count those 79 words toward my daily wordcount. ;o) (But I'm not going to count this blog post, so I better get back to writing.)

Contest Winner

Hi everyone! I ran a contest last week and promised the winner would receive a copy of Achieving Your Life Mission by Randal A. Wright.


Well, the results are in. :o)
I put all the entrants' names in a bowl . . .

Pulled one out . . .

And . . .

Congratulations Stephanie! I hope you enjoy your prize.

And for everyone, just another gentle reminder to figure out what your life mission is, and then go to work putting in the hours it takes to be able to fulfill that mission to the fullest.