Of NaNoWriMo and Life

So I’m doing NaNoWriMo this year. I wasn’t sure I was going to because 1. I wasn’t sure I wanted to commit to a large project this semester; and 2. I wanted to start working on a new novel idea, but that idea was far from ready to be worked on during NaNo (I didn’t even have character names yet, much less any sort of character profiles at all, or a lot of information on the world [as it’d be fantasy], plot, etc.).

But then one of my friends from school convinced me to, and I’m so glad she did, because these past few days have been awesome. I’ve been writing a lot more than I have in a long time and it feels great to just be writing again. Even if I cringe every few minutes at what I just wrote, it’s great to be making progress.

I just passed eleven thousand words, which is basically half of my total word count last year (yeah, only got a little over 22k last year, unfortunately). Which makes me really excited—only the third day, and already I’m half of where I finished last year, so I’m actually really hopeful to “win” this year and get the full 50k. Both Friday and Saturday I was able to get 5k words each day (I’m really lucky NaNo started on my day off—Friday—and I didn’t have much going on Saturday), which is definitely more than I have ever written before. I’m not sure I’ve even ever written 5k words in a single day, but I definitely haven’t done 5k two days in a row.

And better yet, I’ve just been really excited about writing again. Yeah, getting all 5k was hard, especially the last couple hundred words, but even so this has really just made me excited and happy to be writing again. I’m having a lot of fun with it, and I can’t wait to keep going.

So we’ll see, but I’m feeling really good about this year, and even if I don’t finish I hope to make a significant dent in my novel—if not actually finally finish it. I’m continuing the one I started last year, since I haven’t worked on it much since. Of course, even if I do finish it, it will need a lot of revisions, but still. I’ve had this idea lying around for over four years now, so it’ll be good just finally get it completed so I can move on to more projects. It will need much, much (much x1000) revising, but . . . still, the hardest part (for me, at least) is just writing that much on a single project.

That always seems to be my problem, really. I often start a project but never end up finishing it because I either lose interest or gain more interest in another project. Even if this novel isn’t my favorite story idea any more, at least I’ll have actually finished a novel.

Another huge problem for me is always motivation, and sticking to a large project for a long time requires a lot of it for me. It’s why I prefer short stories (I’m the exact opposite of some of my friends who can write a novel no problem, but have trouble fitting something into just a few pages–one friend of mine writes practically 50k every single month, and I have no idea how she does it). I like just writing short scenes for things, and it’s hard for me to expand a story into novel-length. But practice makes perfect, and that’s why NaNo is perfect for me. I’d never write this much, this quickly, if it weren’t for NaNo.

How’s everyone else doing so far? I hope NaNo is going well for those that are participating—whether you’re doing everything by the book, being a “rebel” (hey, they have an official forum on the NaNo forums specifically for “rebels” and technically I fall into that category since I’m continuing my novel from last year), or doing your own thing instead of NaNo but using NaNo as the backbone—the important thing is just writing.

As for a general life update, things are going pretty well, just been busy with school and stuff but trying to actually post here more often. Notable things that’ve happened since Summerish (though none of this was lost in the data loss, since I just wasn’t very active and never updated my blog =P):

  • Published a collection of Halloween stories, now available on Kindle (and free, if you purchase the paperback).
  • Re-fell in love with Firefly (about a month ago I had a Firefly/Serenity marathon [after purchasing the Collector’s Edition of Serenity], followed by a commentary/bonus features marathon, going back and watching the episode commentaries, film commentary, and various bonus features. Yeah, I kinda love this show/movie).
  • Watched the first season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer a couple weeks ago and also fell in love (I’m restraining myself from watching any more until after NaNo).
  • Had an Avengers marathon (watching it and all the films leading up to it) back in late August before classes started after completing my DVD collection of the Avenger films. Fell more in love than I already was with them. Will be writing an entry that ranks them from best to worst (in my opinion, obviously) soon (hint: Avengers is #1).
  • In general just fell in love with Joss Whedon‘s work.
  • Started work on a collaborative writing project (four intertwined novellas) with some friends from school; super excited about that.
  • Best book I’ve read since summer: The Ocean at the End of the Lane, by Neil Gaiman.
  • Started re-reading some of The Dresden Files, by Jim Butcher, which are amazing books and re-fell in love with them, too.
  • Pre-ordered the paperback of A Dance with Dragons, by George R.R. Martin, which came this past Tuesday; I’m really excited to read it come Christmas-ish over winter break.
  • Watched the second half of the final season of Breaking Bad as the episodes aired. Man, “Felina” and “Ozymandias” were such amazing episodes. That show in general is just pretty incredible.
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