NaNo is about Flexibility

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…and avoiding Guilt Monkeys.  Guilt monkeys are part of this year’s theme poster, and will come for you if you don’t maintain writing enough to stay on task each day.  The other day, even though I was ahead in general, I hadn’t had the chance to write all day and came home to a Guilt Monkey message on my NaNo account, kindly sent by one of my wrimos.

Today I was determined not to earn another visit from these nagging primates.  Though I wanted to have a higher word count by now, I am still pleased to be nearly three thousand words ahead.

With a write in tomorrow night, I’m confident I can get up to 20,000 by the end of tomorrow.  Tonight’s success (1700 words in less than an hour–more than I’ve done before) is due to one of my characters shipping off an important item to a nearby city to which my protagonist has never been and must now travel to retrieve it.  It is the very item which transported her through time, so recollecting it is crucial.

However, I didn’t know this would happen.  A little surprise, gifted to me by Humphrey Cade, the Baron of Dunsford (in my story at least) to keep the guilt monkeys at bay.  Tonight’s success is dedicated to him.

The lesson?  Place a bit of trust in your characters.  Sometimes they know just what you need to get inspired.

Perfect Daylight Savings Timing

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I couldn’t be more glad that tonight the clock is set back an hour (really though, around two am.)  As of later tonight, I will actually be a few words behind on NaNo.  However, with little to do tomorrow, I plan on pulling the same stunt I pulled the first night: Stay up until three and write several thousand words.  With the time change, that could mean an extra 2,000 words.

Planning this (and making sure I have proper caffeinated beverages to support it) got me thinking.  Am I a night owl because I am creative in the later hours (or wee hours of the morning depending on perspective), or, am I more creative at those times because I’m a night owl?

I know this is similar to asking “which came first, the chicken, or the egg?” and if that’s the case, the answer’s simple.  They evolved together.  Chickens and eggs work pretty well together, so why try to fight my natural urge to write late at night?  The lesson here is–when it comes to writing, or any creative pursuit, you have to follow where the moment leads you.  And if that moment leads you to productivity at what most would consider awful hours, what’s the harm, so long as you can sleep in the next day?

Originally, my goal this week was to hit 25,000 words.  But toward the end of the week, I had to make ML preparations and take care of some of the business side of NaNo.  This week I learned that balance with NaNo really is key–I cannot forgo the necessary tasks to write, else later I will not have the time or urge to write.  In the end, the word count is okay, but it doesn’t do much for keeping the every-day (or every night as it is) writing habit going.

Signing out for now–happy writing!

NaNo Underway & A New Publication

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This is my first year participating as a Municipal Liaison for NaNo.  I couldn’t be more excited.  Since October 1, my region has grown by over 500 members.  We’ve raised over $300 for the Office of Letters and Light and since Monday, Nov. 1, we’ve written over 800,000 words.

Not to brag, but I’m most proud of my region.  Wrimos in the Connecticut Shoreline are off to a strong start and producing some great plots for their novels.

Of course, I’m working on one of my own as well.  Titled “The Granite Rose,” my novel explores time travel, murder and historical fiction.  The test will be whether or not I can write a story that will support all three.  December may come along and I may decide to scrap some of it, or even start over.

Want to check out the CT Shore region?  We’d be glad to have you stop by and remember…it’s never too late to join.  If you’ve ever considered writing a novel, but weren’t sure how you’d ever find the time, NaNo might be just the thing.

In other news, I’m looking forward to December 1 because that’s when the first issue of Fictitious Magazine.  Submissions for this issue are open until November 19, 2010.  The editor is wonderful to work with.

Please stay tuned on ReadMReed.  The site is still under construction, but the forum will be up soon.  The forum will be home to writing tips, information, groups, etc…so be sure to check it out!  If you want to keep abreast of updates here at RMR, use the “subscribe” option on the right side of the page.

29 Days Until November

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This year I am honored to serve as a municipal liaison for NaNo.  I’m really looking forward to making November as great and productive for my region as I can.  Very, very early this morning I put up some posts in the forum and sent an email out to my fellow Wrimos.

This weekend I’m posting the calendar.  So many events planned…but of course, I’d rather have a lot this way if people cannot make it to everything…they’ll still get an experience out of the write-ins, meet-ups and get-togethers.

Are you participating in NaNo this year?  If so, drop me a line–or add me as a NaNo buddy.  Having NaNo buddies is a great way to engage in some friendly word count competition.

The end of an experiment & news

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I spent most of this summer trying my hardest to avoid technology.  My most successful stint was from mid June through the end of July, during which time I watched zero hours of television.  What did I accomplish during this time?  I’d like to say I wrote more, but much of my writing was devoted to some poetry.  I suppose I was feeling particularly poetic this past summer, but I wrote some of, what I think, are my best poems, and even sold a few (though that’s never the driving force to write of course).  I’ve also thought a lot about ideas for novels that I want to pursue.  I began to learn how to play piano, and started working toward opening an Etsy store, though it is not open just yet.  The rest of the summer was spent enjoying experiences.  I went to plays, visited museums, and tried to spend as much time outside as possible, soaking it all in.

The result?  I’m one-hundred-percent ready for the challenges ahead.  Not only is NaNoWriMo 2010 fast approaching, but I just signed up for my second course with the Long Ridge Writer’s Group, called “Shape, Write & Sell Your Novel.”  So as it turns out, I will be working, simultaneously, on two novels!  I also have a few short stories to edit and the more work to do on my first two NaNo novels (Above the Birds and Out of the Sea).  Having taken the summer to reassess my goals, I’m looking forward to a productive autumn.  Part of that includes posting regularly here.

Additional plans for this site include putting up writing tips, some of which I’ve blogged in the past, but many of them will be new as well.  I’ve made some changes already to this site in the hopes of improved readability.  Where I can, I’ve linked listed published works to locations where they can be read online.

An Experiment

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As of today, I will be conducting a month-long (or longer) experiment on reducing dependencies on technology.  If you feel compelled to reach me, you may contact me using the methods on this site, but for a faster reply, you may write me at:

Marion Reed

PO Box 708

Madison, CT 06443-0708

I will post again when I decide to end this experiment…if ever. 🙂

Signing off for now,

Marion

When Writing Takes a Back Seat

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Are there times when writing must be put on hold?  Yes, I think certain circumstances call for that.  For example, for the last three months I’ve been searching for a new job, probably for about two to three hours a night, almost every night.  The fact is, in this market, there are jobs out there, just not many.

But I might argue that job hunting involves writing as well.  I’ve lost count of exactly how many cover letters I’ve written.  Sure, by now, I have a stock of them that I can just edit to suit a position or company, but the fact remains that those letters were written and revised many times over.

To conclude, I think that even when writing must take a number, so to speak, it squeezes itself in somehow.  So if you’re a writer, and recently (or at any time) feel as though you’ve not devoted the sort of time you really want to writing, don’t beat yourself up about it.

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