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Happy #NaNoWriMo Day! Let’s Start Writing! | #NaNo2018 #amwriting

Thursday, November 1, 2018

It’s here! November 1! NaNo month blew into Clarksville, Tennessee, with pouring rain and strong winds; and every time I look out a window today, I’ve been humming Stacey Kent’s “‘Tis Autumn,” as there’s just something about the gray rainy chill that makes me happy this time of year. (Give me a few months of this, though, and it’ll be a different story!)

I read a great post this morning by Chuck Wendig on “…How You NaNoWriMo…” This portion struck me as particularly motivational:

You have a choice —

You can leave the page as is, open, unscathed, unmarked, a snowy expanse after a fresh winter storm.

Or you can ruin it.

You can start putting crass LANGUAGE MARKS across it: clumsy, dirty scrawl denoting the gabble-gibber of humantongue. You can write words into sentences into paragraphs. You can stomp your muddy boots all over the damn thing. You can shit it all up. What once was an innocent tract of unbroken order is now a landfill of chaos.

So, that’s your choice.

Keep it perfect and pure.

Or ruin it. . . .

Today, you’re going to ruin one page. You’re going to fill it with words. Some will be amazing words. Some will be brutally inefficient. You will string them together and when read aloud, they will make music just as often as they make the sound of a tuba kicked down a set of steps. And you’re not going to care, because that is what it takes: the willingness to do a thing poorly, the eagerness to ruin an uninterrupted space, the sheer bloody-minded delight of carving your ideas down into rock even though the only desire of the rock is to be left the hell alone.

Chuck Wendig, “Here Is How You NaNoWriMo, You Ruinous Monster, You.” From

As I’ve already mentioned in a previous post, something that’s very important for completing a writing marathon is setting and sticking to a schedule.

Scheduling My NaNo Success
In order to start “ruining” pages with “language marks,” I sat down last week with my calendar and blocked off writing time on all of the days of the month on which I know I’ll have time to write. I even built in extra blocks of time on the weekends, just in case.

But there’s another block of time that I’ve appended to the writing block each time, as well:

Because I have a tendency to spend so much time on the computer, ether working (I work from home, though I do have a separate work-provided laptop) or for entertainment (watching YouTube subscriptions, reading newsletters/websites/blogs, playing games, engaging in social media, etc.), it’s difficult to make the mental transition from “regular” computer time to “writing” time—even if I’m planning to write longhand and not on the computer.

What Does “Preparing to Write” Entail?

I don’t yet have a set idea for what I’m going to do during that 30-minute block of time. I know I’m going to make sure that my writing space is set up with everything I need—in addition to my writing tools and story information, I’ll need something to drink and maybe a snack; a comfortable, clean writing space; music ready to go; and so on. There is one thing, however, that I know I want to try to do, at least tonight, being the first night—I want to spend at least 10 minutes meditating on why I deserve to write this month. Why I need to write this month. Why writing is joyful. Why writing is healthy. Why writing frees me to be who I really am.

I might journal this, or I might just do this as a mental exercise. But because of the lingering anxiety I have from my bad experiences at the end of my previous publishing experience, there are a lot of mental blocks that have kept me from writing for the last five or six years. Therefore, putting myself in a positive frame of mind and preparing myself to find enjoyment and contentment in the act of writing, rather than stress and anxiety is going to be vital for my success.

What does your schedule for finding writing time for the next 30 days look like? Do you have time to build even just a few “Prepare to Write” minutes into that schedule?

  1. Thursday, November 1, 2018 3:02 pm

    I love how you put Day Job up at the top. When I was younger and I would read a book I liked, I’d often write to the author. Sometimes, I’d get a form letter back but sometimes the author would actually correspond with me. One of the best pieces of advice I ever got was from Patricia C. Wrede who said you sit down every day at the same time and you write one page. At the end of a year, you have a book. I got into the habit of doing that and every morning I sit down with my coffee and my breakfast and my laptop and write. These days I’m mostly editing but that’s writing too! But it was that advice received back in 1984 that really formed in me a habit of writing. I might not always like my writing but I learned if I get the words on the paper, get the characters down, get a rough draft done, then later I can go back and fix anything I don’t like. It’s worked for me and it has become on my favorite times of the day.


    • Thursday, November 1, 2018 6:37 pm

      Well, I do have bills to pay and a diva princess puppy to feed, so that day job is a pretty immutable force on my schedule. I wish “day job” meant “writing time,” but, alas . . . Hey, at least I get to be at home in sweats and slippers while I’m working that day job! Remote employment is awesome.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. taylorsl83 permalink
    Thursday, November 1, 2018 7:05 pm

    I love the prepare to write idea! Awesome! So far today I’ve managed a grand total of 16 words…thankfully that is more so due to a flubbed up day than me (though I didn’t NEED to do my toenails after my bath this morning just because I did my fingernails last night lol). So, back to writing away I go!


  3. taylorsl83 permalink
    Tuesday, November 6, 2018 2:08 pm

    How’s the NaNo journey going, Kaye?


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