The first 10 days.
Salutations fellow writers! Happy Sunday to you.
The number 10 is important to me. When I am feeling like I do not know what to write I freewrite for 10 minutes. If there is something I do not want to do but know I have to I make a deal with myself to go for 10 minutes and then I can stop. I feel I can do just about anything for 10 minutes. Your time frame might be longer…or shorter.
This is the third year I have done NANOWRIMO — National Novel Writing Month. I have won the two previous years. There are the in between sessions called CAMP Nanowrimo but I have a harder time sticking to those months. I have no figured out why. I probably need to free write for 10 minutes about it.
I am a NANO rebel. The first year I had just discovered short stories were my niche in the fiction world and wanted to continue momentum from my self imposed story a day challenge from October.
Last year I wrote a novel with short stories within it. There is magic there but I have to revise that work. I did some work when I took a writing retreat last year. I have sent a couple chapters to writer groups but have not gotten farther with it.
This year I am writing short stories all about the same character — Brooklyn.
On day 10 I am up to 16,391 words and I have not written today. My goal this month was to write 2000 words a day Stephen King style. As you can tell from counting by 2’s, I am behind. That is ok.
While listening to a podcast talking about making writing goals for 2020 I came to the conclusion I make my own writing rules. I know this seems silly to state but it is true. I just don’t write on my WIP for Nano. I do morning pages every morning and I also write poetry and on Medium. Next year my goal will still be 2000 a day but 1000 of those words are for other projects than my WIP. My goal is still to reach the 50,000 words by the end of this month and I will get there.
Most of my words for Nano this year are written in my bed. I wake up, make my coffee, handwrite my morning pages, and then open the computer to write about Brooklyn. There was one day I woke up at 2am and was able to get 4 hours of writing in before I went to work. Other days I am up at 4am. I am often part of the #5amwritersclub on Twitter.
Brooklyn has been on my mind for a long while and she has a lot to say. I wrote her first story Hourglasses and Dreams awhile ago but it is a complicated world she lives in. Her stories are in a folder in Google. I know enough about myself as a writer to make each story separate otherwise it will never get revised. If the file is too big I intimidate myself.
Every day I receive Sarah Selecky’s writing prompts at 5am and whatever it is becomes a story about Brooklyn for the month of November. I also am participating in Nancy Stohlman’s NANO flash this month and incorporate her prompt into the same story for a open a new file. All the stories are about Brooklyn. It is often not difficult to use both prompts in that day’s writing because they are just jumping off points for me anyway. The prompts just get the sentence started and then flow takes over.
I have used my tarot cards to help me when I am uncertain which direction to write as well. Sometimes I do a spread just for the story of several cards and sometimes I just pull one card with the question, “What should happen next?” It works for me every time. I am working on an article about how I use tarot to write — stay tuned for that piece.
I enjoy the community of Nano. Many more writers come out on websites and Twitter this month. I check in with my writing communities on Slack every day. It helps to stay motivated. I am not thrilled with the new Nano website. It seems difficult to talk to my buddies there. I am tbreit there if you would like to add me.
I am not upset that the word count is a little lower than I wanted it to be when I started on November 1st. I will keep writing every day because that is what writers do.
You can sign up for my newsletter here. I would love for us to connect. I am on Twitter at @tlbreit
You can read this article on Medium here.