Friday, November 16, 2018

Poof - a week gone!

I had no idea until right now that I had not come here to the old blog in a whole week!

Well, it's been a chilly week here and we even had snow flurries. Brrrrr! Too soon, too soon! It's all gone now. We're back at normal temps for the next few days and mostly dry weather after a VERY wet fall.

I'm still staying caught up with NaNoWriMo. My goal today was 26,667 words and I am at 26,870. I'm pleased. I'm staying right on pace and I think what I'm working on has enough fuel to get me through the end of the month and 50,000 words! Is any of it publishable? Oh, absolutely not. Is it fun? Eh, I'm not sure I would say that. It's about the accomplishment. That will be the fun part - finishing and then getting back into reading instead of writing.

This picture has nothing to do with this post.
In other news, I'm already thinking about the holidays. Thanksgiving is next week and Christmas is right around the corner. I cleared out a spot for the Christmas tree today. Exciting! It should be in place the day after Thanksgiving.

The big change this year is no outdoor decorations. No inflatables, no twinkle lights everywhere. It's just been too much to manage and we're always inside. Why am I decorating for the people driving around outside?

O.K. Maybe I'll put up a little display outside but I am not going the full Griswold this year!

I guess that's it from the home office. It should be a fairly quiet weekend so I should have no problem getting my writing done and maybe, just maybe, I'll get a little rest also. Fingers crossed.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Full steam ahead (maybe)

In preparation for NaNoWriMo this year, I read a few books on writing during the month of October.

One I read was by Chris Baty, the founder of NaNoWriMo. In his book, "No Plot, No Problem! Revised and Expanded Edition: A Low-stress, High-velocity Guide to Writing a Novel in Thirty Days," he suggests creating a Magna Carta for your upcoming novel and to do so you make two lists, one filled with things you like in a novel (focus on these, of course) and one filled with things you don't like in a novel (avoid these).

I liked the idea and I did it and I was quite determined to not do anything in my avoid list.

Until today.

It was probably doing wonders for my quality (well, maybe) but it was killing my productivity to sit here at the laptop and actively think about what I didn't want to write about while I was trying to write.

It's quantity over quality to keep hitting the writing goals.


I have to clear my brain out of the way as much as possible and I know I will still avoid certain topics I don't like writing about because writing about things I don't like will take the enjoyment out of writing. It's hard enough to do this. I can't imagine doing it and not enjoying it at the same time. But, if I make a glancing blow against topics on my avoid list, I'm letting it slide and not letting it put the brakes on the writing process.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

NaNoWriMo: The road to 10,000 words

Today will be the day I hit 10,000 words. To stay on track to finish at 50,000 on November 30th, 10,000 is where I need to end today according to the daily word goal chart. I was at 8,696 words yesterday afternoon when I wrote out a couple of bullet points for ideas for today's writing and stopped. I was on a pretty good roll at the time and had at least an hour that I could have kept writing but I knew it was best to close the laptop and not overdo it.

Today is the day, 10,000 badge!

Also, I would like to experience the full month of NaNoWriMo. My goal is to get word 50,000 down on November 29th but November 30th would be fine also.

So far, it's been fun. I haven't felt any rush since I am referring to the daily chart to set my goals. This is not something I did previously. In years past, I would not stop in the middle of an idea. I would try to get it all out and on the page and that was exhausting.

So, what's next? I would like to get to a write-in or two during this month. And, I would like to write at a coffee shop or the library some solo. I just haven't had opportunity to get out a whole lot but this machine (my Asus Transformer) goes in my backpack and heads out with me whenever there is the possibility for some writing time so I am always ready to take advantage of any writing opportunities that pop up.

Are you doing NaNoWriMo this year? Add me as a writing buddy: https://nanowrimo.org/participants/upinthisbrain

Friday, November 2, 2018

NaNoWriMo: Day 2

Here I am, midday on day 2, and sitting comfortably at 3,614 words.


Since I started this, I moved quickly from OneNote to yWriter 6. I'm sure I'm not using all of the functionality in yWriter but it gives me the ability to easily track characters and locations and it has a nice place for project notes so everything I want is covered and it easy to navigate back and forth. I have it saving to OneDrive so I can bring this up on any Windows machine I happen to be using.

I'm also trying to slow things down and pace myself better than in years past. I get my writing done and then I pull out my Nintendo 2DS XL and solve some crosswords or play some Galaga.

I'm trying to do this different this year because I really burnt out in my 2016 failed attempt and I think it's because I blew quickly through the paltry idea I had - a story about a guy that services soft-serve ice cream machines. Really. I know. How horrible.

So, this year, I'm stopping my writing for the day when I have something left to say. I'm following this advice I found that is attributed to Ernest Hemingway:
The most important thing I’ve learned about writing is never write too much at a time… Never pump yourself dry. Leave a little for the next day. The main thing is to know when to stop. Don’t wait till you’ve written yourself out. When you’re still going good and you come to an interesting place and you know what’s going to happen next, that’s the time to stop. Then leave it alone and don’t think about it; let your subconscious mind do the work.
I'm just hoping I end up with a little left at the end of each day. It's easy to make this declaration on day two. I know it won't be as easy on day 10.

Finally, I found this website that let me generate a simple list showing my daily word goal based on writing 1667 words a day. If I write this many words minimum each day, I'll hit 50,010 on November 30th. I keep this list as a note in yWriter so I know when I can slow down and start preparing to leave off for the next day.

Pretty nifty, eh?

Required words per day: 1,667
Day: 1 | Word Goal: 1,667
Day: 2 | Word Goal: 3,333
Day: 3 | Word Goal: 5,000
Day: 4 | Word Goal: 6,667
Day: 5 | Word Goal: 8,333
Day: 6 | Word Goal: 10,000
Day: 7 | Word Goal: 11,667
Day: 8 | Word Goal: 13,333
Day: 9 | Word Goal: 15,000
Day: 10 | Word Goal: 16,667
Day: 11 | Word Goal: 18,333
Day: 12 | Word Goal: 20,000
Day: 13 | Word Goal: 21,667
Day: 14 | Word Goal: 23,333
Day: 15 | Word Goal: 25,000
Day: 16 | Word Goal: 26,667
Day: 17 | Word Goal: 28,333
Day: 18 | Word Goal: 30,000
Day: 19 | Word Goal: 31,667
Day: 20 | Word Goal: 33,333
Day: 21 | Word Goal: 35,000
Day: 22 | Word Goal: 36,667
Day: 23 | Word Goal: 38,333
Day: 24 | Word Goal: 40,000
Day: 25 | Word Goal: 41,667
Day: 26 | Word Goal: 43,333
Day: 27 | Word Goal: 45,000
Day: 28 | Word Goal: 46,667
Day: 29 | Word Goal: 48,333
Day: 30 | Word Goal: 50,000

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

NaNoWriMo Eve

It's NaNoWriMo Eve!

It's also some sort of free candy holiday today but that's not what's truly important.

In order to prepare my mind for NaNoWriMo, I've done my best to think about NaNoWriMo as little as possible for about the last thirty-six hours and it's been tough. I keep getting ideas in my head and I don't want to listen to those ideas and fixate on them. I want to go into this with a clear mind aside from my five written up ideas.

I'll be choosing my idea when I sit down tomorrow at the keyboard. I was going to outline and make more detailed notes but I decided that I just want to let whatever and whoever pops into my head guide me through the month. I know that might sound nuts especially because, if you know me in real life, you know I am hyper, super organized. Definitely a planner. And that's exactly why I want to do this with no plan whatsoever. I need a planning break.


That's not to say that I won't plan ahead a bit as I go along but I'm going to try to keep the strictly structured me out of the way in November as much as possible.

I'm also not going to be up at midnight tonight writing. I'm thinking the first words will hit the screen sometime after 6AM tomorrow morning. I still have a job and responsibilities and being up at midnight on a weekday just wouldn't be a smart thing to do.

So, before I go, I do plan to check in here with status updates from time to time so check in here or on the Twitter every once in a while and, if you are also doing the NaNo thing this time, good luck and add me as a writing buddy. My user id is upinthisbrain.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Shifting gears

Two and just under one-half days left until NaNoWriMo begins and I am slowly switching gears, moving from the high speed of the last few months to a slower pace moving forward, a pace which I hope will help give me the energy I need to get some writing done in November.


After seeing AlienCG's recommendation, I am also going to go with OneNote this year for NaNoWriMo. The only difficulty I see with it is that there is no built-in word count but I can easily save in a Word doc at the end of each day and get my counts there. I used Google Docs in years passed but I really like the idea of writing outside of a browser window. I'm thinking it will be a bit less tempting to open another tab and get lost in YouTube or Twitter.

Speaking of Twitter, I'm thinking I'm going to have to spend as little time as possible on it next month. It is a huge time suck and there is not going to be any time to waste. Even though I don't have as much on the calendar in November as I have since August until last weekend, it is a very busy month for me and it's going to take some real changes in how I spend my time to have the time to write in addition to getting everything else done.

Of course, this is all my thinking on the outside of November looking in. The reality will hit November 1st and onward. Maybe I waste plenty of time now and I just need to recover some of that wasted time to make my way to 50K words.

Right now I am just looking forward and wondering how it will all turn out.

A solid idea and a bit of prep might help but right now all I have is five files, each with a sentence fragment describing an idea at the top. No character names. No settings. No decisions made. That's how I did it the one year I "won" and that might end up being how I do it again.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Having nothing to say

A couple of days ago, I decided to go ahead and knock out episode 397 of the podcast which will drop to a device near you on November 2nd.

I tried three times to record a monologue for the episode and each one derailed in a brain fart.

I had nothing to say or, maybe more accurately, I had things to say but nothing to share. There was nothing that I was saying that felt interesting or entertaining or even necessary. I was about to give up when I had a different idea and that idea, with absolutely no words from me, ended up being episode 397.

Maybe the topic I was trying to talk about was too vague. Maybe I just hadn't had enough coffee yet.

It certainly makes me continue to question personal podcasting as a creative outlet. I'm happy with defined topics like we discuss on the Garbagecast Conversations. I enjoy talking about music on In Your Earholes.

But when it comes to an impromptu talk about myself, I think I'm about talked out!