When November Spawned a Monster

National Novel Writing Month (I refuse to use the acronym, it pisses me off) is off to a decent start. I have 11,315 words written as of Sunday night. That puts me ahead of the average I need to complete on time. Which is a good thing. I struggle toΒ write the same thing every day. Which is bad. I didn’t have this problem when I started the first novel — I concentrated on that exclusively to its completion. What happened to me? I found this on Pinterest the other day I thought it totally applied to the way I’m feeling this month:

I have never had the best self discipline. I do stuff because I want to and the minute I feel like I have to, it quits being fun. “Duty is an ugly mistress,” by Ralph Waldo Emerson, is one of my favorite quotes. And another is “I love deadlines. They make a nice whooshing sound as they pass by,” from Douglas Adams. These are both on one of my ubiquitous post it notes stuck to my monitor. I really do love to write so I’m trying not to let November ruin it for me. I also don’t want to bail on NNWM (I prefer initials to acronyms) but I will if it looks like it’ll spawn a monster.

53 thoughts on “When November Spawned a Monster

  1. I’m a rule/goal whore. But I’m also a positive reinforcement whore…..so I must feel a sense of fulfillment in some way in following the rules and striving for the goal, otherwise, it’s just a monster, flailing and failing.

    I have no doubt you’ll get it completed, on its own time, and the way in which feels right and good. You’ll make yourself proud!

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    1. It’s funny how different we all are with our habits! I admit watching my word count rise is a definite motivator but knowing I have to get this done before the month is out is making me crazy! Not to mention, there’s no way the book will be ‘finished’ by then. I’m going to need 80k at least… 😦 However, its a lot farther along than I would have been otherwise! Thanks, Kay for your support! xo

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      1. Absolutely true! My plan is to try and write or edit (because not editing as I go is half my problem – that’s how I like to write…) every day. I took most of the weekend off and it was a good break. Hey, that reminds me… how did the recording session go?

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  2. Hi Meg, I think the exercise has its purpose, and for some it is the right way to get past the mental barrier that keeps them from finishing a novel…and for others it’s not. Have you ever read Writing Down the Bones? It’s about writing practice, and how daily writing hones your craft no matter what you write about and whether it’s part of a cohesive story, or just exercise.

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    1. I totally get that. And I’ve made much more progress in 5 days than I would have on this project without NNWM as a kick start. For that I am glad. I haven’t read the book, but I do write every day. Short stories, nonfiction, and I have another novel in progress, just not one for my series. Thanks for the recommendation. I’ll be sure to check it out.

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      1. I listened to the anniversary edition audio book with some commentary from the author at the end of each chapter and I found that her thoughts on what she had written 20 years ago were interesting too.

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    1. That is the truth. I am not going to beat myself up about this. I’m just glad it got me writing in this world again. I have neglected the novel series for too long. I might listen to Morrisey today too. Or opera! LOL!

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  3. Try flouting the rules within the rules. Who knows it might help. But if you feel it’s stilfing your creativity, then I guess it’s better to not participate any more. It should help you write and if it’s not working it’s not working. Either way, I’m cheering for you.

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  4. My squirrels are all scurrying about trying to get those nuts for the winter. You aren’t about to throw in the towel…but don’t hesitate to use it to scream into once in awhile as the situation warrants. Pressure makes a diamond. I know you’ll produce something fab.

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  5. Why don’t you like the acronym? lol. I have a weird relationship with rules. I am essentially a rule follower- the rules that keep order and are worthwhile- however, I am a huge rebel when it comes to rules like this. I lack self discipline if I can tell myself it doesn’t really matter. SO I get it. I would never be able to do a challenge like this. That said- you’ve done great so far so maybe this is the start you need to continue at your own pace. Either way, you’re good. πŸ™‚

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    1. Hahaha! All I hear is Mork from Ork going nanoo, nanoo. And I’m totally dating myself! Lol! But yes, the whole idea of ‘having’ to write is the problem. If I just get past that… because the truth is who cares if I succeed or fail at the challenge? It’s not like I need it to publish the book. I do want to make some progress with it, though. Now that I’m writing in that world of characters again, I’m really enjoying it. Thanks so much for being a great support and a good friend, Vic!

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  6. Hmmm, first of all I like it that the squirrels are raving, are they loved up. Goodie for them. As to the rules, well, what are the rules? There are as many rules as they are writers. Some are highly disclipined and write a certain amount each day. Grand. The pulp writers used to write 10,000 words a day until a novel was done then go out on a bender. Kafka was a streak writer and could only write when inspired. Whatever works for you Meg go for it. Myself I am distracted by distraction. Plus you are off to a good start, just keep it up.

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    1. I’m not big on self discipline. At least with writing. Ok, with everything else, too…. I really enjoy it so its never a problem. However, I’ve never written with a deadline hanging over me. Silly really. It’s not a ‘real’ deadline. There are no consequences if I fail and no benefit other than having achieved what I set out to do if I succeed. I’m trying to remind myself that the whole point of this is to get the long-delayed novel kick started. And going out on a bender when it’s all done? Sounds like a plan. Me and my raving squirrels.

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      1. I’m just realizing based on another Englishman’s comment that you might not know the expression ‘having one’s ducks in a row’ – It means to be prepared and organized. thus the squirrels raving is totally opposite… and that’s the joke. Ah well… I haven’t forgotten Fate part 4, it will be ready for Saturday.

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