Gearing up for NaNoWriMo?

I’m not entirely sure I’m ready to start writing my next NaNoWriMo novel tomorrow… or tonight after midnight. For the past week I’ve been working on the NaNoWriMo project I’ve been working on for the past two years. There are currently just over 95,000 words and I’m still writing scenes to get it completed.

I thought I just had an ending to write, but I was mistaken. So now I’m trying to create those scenes while re-reading what I have written so that I’m not totally off the mark. It’s not easy.

And for the very first time ever I’m starting to understand how I can edit something. Perhaps by writing this over a span of two years, letting it sit virtually untouched for eleven months at a time, it’s allowed me to gain some perspective. So now I’m eager to edit, to rework those scenes that felt too rushed, too choppy. Add in a few transitions that will make for better flow.

And… make this bloody thing a bit more consistent.

By not having any direction or goal when I first started out, by having just a short prologue and a few opening sentences, it was hard to try and come up with a timeline. During last year’s writing challenge month I managed to get that a bit more together, but I really think I need to be more granular.

For this particular story, this is a good thing. But what it means for NaNoWriMo I’m not sure. It will likely take me the entire month to finish writing those scenes and starting on those edits. And as I will be cutting words, in addition to adding some, I don’t know how I can calculate my word count.

And as I have this new-found dedication to this older project, even if I don’t ever decide to publish it, I’m not sure the time is right to be starting a new project. As much as I think I’ll have a lot of fun writing about this new character I “met” when I started writing earlier this month, I think I need to say goodbye to the characters in this long-suffering project of mine first.

I’ve also committed to writing at least four short stories during this month and in my more active real life I’m taking a month worth of classes (with homework) on coastal navigation. And with the rest of my weekends booked with sailing charters – practice makes perfect, right? – I’m not sure if I’m a bit too ambitious with regard to NaNo.

Oh and there’s a full-time job to factor in, as well as a full-time book blog.

So I’m starting to think that this third NaNoWriMo of mine will be a bust. Unless of course you count possibly completing a WIP. That’s something, right?

But I think the new novel will have to wait until January and the short stories until December.

And I think in the new year, if I decide that I want writing to be more a part of my life, I’ll have to take a bigger step back from the book blog. But that, as ever, is to be determined. As much as I enjoy writing – and I do when I actually get the chance to do it – it’s very possible that I’m not very good at it.

In writing, positivity doesn’t count for everything.

Anyway… as I just realized (as I sit here staring longingly at a bowl of mini Twix) that it’s Halloween, I’ll end by saying Happy Halloween! And for those who are about to embark upon their writing month – whether it’s their first, third, or fifth – Happy Writing!

NaNoWriMo rapidly approaches

… and I’m excited, nervous, hopeful, fearful.

It seems the only time I actually spend working on my WIP is during the month of November during NaNoWriMo. Last year I managed to keep plugging away at it into the month of December. But I haven’t done much more than glance at it, make a few small tweaks to some obvious grammatical errors, send it to someone to read/edit and then promptly ignore it for the past six months.

And now NaNoWriMo is rolling around again and I find myself anxious to get back to it but also feeling guilty for ignoring it for so long.

Every time I pick up the story I’m in a different place in life and the story changes because of it. In November 2011 I was clearly feeling a bit more optimistic and while it was never meant to be a light read, the story was a bit lighter, there was more humor, more sarcasm, more flirtatiousness. Last year I was clearly in a dark mood and so my story took a turn for the dark side. I put my MC in situations that weren’t easy for her and were definitely not easy for me to write.

I’d almost completed it last year, but for an ending. I couldn’t decide on whether to opt for tragic or to shoot for something somewhere between tragic and bittersweet. So I’m very curious as to what this NaNoWriMo will mean for the story’s end.

Instead of trying to make word count like I did last year, I’ve decided to try and finish the story, clean it up a bit, fix the continuity issues that I know abound and then decide whether to place it firmly at the bottom of the trunk or see if there’s actually someone interested in reading it.

I also have a few short stories I’d like to complete, so if by some stroke of good fortune I am able to finish my WIP before the month is over, I’d like to use NaNoWriMo to make that happen.

I think this is going to be the deciding year for whether I choose to pursue writing as more than just something I do in my spare time, when I’m not working or blogging about books.

At this point I’m still on the fence, as pursuing a writing career means I will have to cut down on blogging significantly. Blogging and all that it entails takes a good six to eight hours of my time each day. It is my second job. An unpaid one. But it’s become an important part of my life that I’m not entirely sure I’m ready to say goodbye to.

But it’s been a long time since I completed a novel. And while I may get a little crazy not writing to meet those daily sprints, I think completing my characters’ story is important, even if no one ever gets to meet Shay and Finn.

I will likely be journaling about my NaNoWriMo experiences here. There may be tears of frustration and anguish that I’ll need to voice. I apologize in advance.