Monday, November 30, 2015

Final NaNoNag

Today is the last day of National Novel Writing Month, and hopefully everyone has or will make it to the 50k finish line. If you have already, congratulations -- I am there, too, partying with you in spirit. Although I couldn't officially participate in NaNoWriMo this year I managed to knock out 56,123 words in November while working on two clients' projects, and finishing Ghost Writer, and beginning Twenty-One.

There's still plenty of work to be done. I need to finish one client's project this week; I have another new project due in three weeks. Somewhere in there I'd like to edit Ghost Writer and get it in shape, and continue with Twenty-One while keeping that one on a tight leash so it doesn't become my latest writing obsession (which it wants to. Badly.) And because I obviously don't have enough to do, I'm also working on Her Majesty's Deathmage. In December I'll probably be spending eight to twelve hours a day writing and editing. It sounds like a lot, but we don't call it the writing life because we spent all our time watching television.

This time last year I had just ended an eight-month hiatus from writing to deal with my eye issues, and I'd started my first job as a freelance writer. I remember only too well how nervous I felt; my brain was barraged by the usual what-if doubts: What if I'd picked the wrong client? What if I messed it up and ruined my chance to get another job? What if my mojo had evaporated? What if by striking out on my own I'd made a horrible mistake? I might have talked myself out of the whole deal if not for the work.

As always writing saved the day. It told me to forget about the what-ifs and get on with it. I'd done my research, and I'd chosen a reliable client with a great project. I'd outlined a terrific story. More than anything, I wanted to do this and make it work so I could get my career going again. I couldn't ignore everything -- doubt is like having a gigantic wasp nest dangling by a thread over your head; no one can honestly pretend it's not there -- but I could choose to focus on the thing over which I had the most control. The thing I loved and I was pretty good at doing, too. Which I did, and here I am.

Here we are. Now what are you going to focus on?


  1. I finished NaNo with 53k across three projects, made huge progress, watched two separate stories ( at least I thought) meld together. It was a hectic month with events to go to for Nano and gem shows and playgrounds with the little guy and a shoulder injury and bruised hand that made writing painful, and then a cold at the last few days. Soldiered on!

    I did go to an open house at the university con ed dept near me and decided to embark on their 8 course publishing program and have exchanged some enthusiastic emails with one of the profs who's very fascinated by my small press project, and current writing prof has suggested I join the saturday starting in late jan workshop. I got a lot out of it, ( like I write more than most of my classmates do!) and it was an odd fit being genre not literary but she assures me all the genre writers seem to hang out in this other class.

    Next up too: found a lovely editor for hire and we're giving my first two books a good once over, because there's typos that escaped the dragnet the first time and it does actually bother me enough to do something. So I shelve much of the nano writing for a bit, and turn my focus to editing. ( who am I kidding, I love my world and characters and i'll just keep going).

    November was to say the least, hectic.

  2. Thanks for the morning kick in the pants. The doubt monster's been working me over pretty hard lately. I need to get back to focusing on what I can control - chiefly, my work - and stop worrying about the rest.

    So glad to read that everything's going well for you. Yay! =o)

  3. Anonymous9:29 AM

    I'm hoping to get back a bit more into my writing. Having another Nano novel under my belt is encouraging and if I actually edit the thing for once that would help too.

    Glad to hear things are so much better for you.
    Ron Bruce