Not much to report except that November went by in a blink! A lot of friends of mine, both established authors and up and coming writers participated in NaNoWriMo. But not me. I couldn't since I was too busy writing.
But I get it. Sometimes it's hard to get motivated, plot out a schedule, and then push everything else that's going on in your busy life aside just to sit down and write. NaNoWriMo is an great excuse to do just that, and if people complain about your lack of social presence, you can always remind them that it's that time of month again and you're busy participating in NaNoWriMo, and they'll nod understandingly, apologize for the interruption, and wish you the best as you carry on.
NaNoWriMo is also a great motivator for first time authors, for those people who are sitting on a great idea that they've been brainstorming for weeks, months, or even years. Once they feel they can put the story down on paper, once NaNoWriMo swings around, they have no excuses not to write that book.
But, again, no matter how long you've sat on an idea, it ultimately comes down to sitting down and forcing yourself to write. Write. And write some more. Like any book though, it's not going write itself. You have to lock yourself in a room and write, no matter what season it is.
My novel The Scarecrow & Lady Kingston began as a comic book pitch that got rejected over twenty times. I sat on the idea for ten years, and then a decade later I finally said to myself, it's time to tell this story and I ended up writing it as a pulp novel. It was popular enough, and unique enough (and to my surprise, good enough) that someone noticed it and offered to buy the rights to the series.
The publisher that picked me up was Winlock Press, an exciting new venture through Permuted Press. So I'm living proof that you can sneak into the back door of the publishing world by just writing good stories.
But that's the thing. You have to write.
And that's where I tend to do fairly well. I mean, I never struggled all that much with writers block. I usually have two or three novels all going at once. If one stumps me, or if I decide I need to research something more, or if something isn't working I can just jump over to another one. While I work on that sometimes the solution to fixing the previous book will present itself. Sometimes it is just about taking a break from one to help clear your mind and get a fresh perspective. Having multiple writing projects, even just writing blogs like this, can help me when I hid a roadblock.
But this means I am writing all the time.
All the time.
Of course, this means I don't participate in NaNoWriMo because I am far too busy. It's not that I don't appreciate the concept. In fact, I find that the concept is great for writers who are stuck in a rut or who just want to finally get down to brass tacks and pin down a real manuscript instead of daydreaming away the hours and days contemplating that great novel they will someday write.
NaNoWriMo is a good motivator for people to do just that. Write that dream novel. But like I said, books don't write themselves, and it doesn't necessarily have to be the month of November in which you begin writing. But at least naNoWriMo is an option.
So I have nothing against NaNoWriMo. In fact, I think it's a very good idea. It's just that, it's not for me personally, because I have no problems setting goals or motivating myself and keeping to a schedule and just keep writing. Sure, some days it's hard to stick with it. Believe me, I should know. With two kids and a day job, sometimes it's near impossible to find the time, and sometimes there just aren't enough hours in the day, but I use even those missed days as opportunities to do some serious brainstorming. Most frequently while I drive to and fro work in my car. But those days I can't write, they really grate. In fact, whenever I'm not writing I get all fidgety, my fingers start to itch, and my eye begins to twitch. I have to write on a regular basis just to stay sane. So I've never felt the need to compel myself to have to write since it seems like I am always writing non-stop anyway.
Basically, the moral of the story is every month is NaNoWriMo when you're a full time writer.
But I'm not going rag on you if you say you're participating in NaNoWriMo. To tell you the truth, I don't get those who only have negative things to say about NaNoWriMo. Sure, it's not for everybody. That's my whole point. But if it helps you in some small way, then good for you. I have nothing but positive vibes to send your way.
NaNoWriMo is a postivie thing, and it can be a very useful tool to help get from staring at a blank page to finally having all your publishing dreams come true. And you can trust me when I say there isn't any better feeling than putting out a story and then finding people appreciate it, but more than that, want more from you. It's rewarding beyond belief, and if NaNoWriMo is the tool that helps you get there, I think that's a good thing.
By day I am an educator and a cultural ambassador. By night I entertain notions of being a literary master. In reality I am just a family man and ordinary guy who works hard and loves writing just about as much as I love my family. Just about.