Camp NaNoWriMo: Not one, but many challenges

A true writer can’t resist a writing challenge. It takes a crazy person to pile them on, one on top of another. 🙂 About a week ago I decided to commit to doing Camp NaNoWriMo, a somewhat more laid-back version of the November National Novel Writing Month, where you can choose a wider variety of things to write and can make your own word count goal. Back in November, I had participated in NaNoWriMo proper, and wrote 71,664 words towards a brand new novel during those 30 days, without missing a single day. Since that time I have engaged in the perhaps more painful and difficult task of editing it into an actual, you know, readable piece of writing with good characters, a logical plot, suspense… the kind of things that are hit or miss during a marathon month of writing. In November I created some amazing gems and a lot of stinkers. I’ve made amazing progress along the way, … Read more…

When a writer becomes a novelist

Thanks to a colleague’s suggestion, this year I took the NaNoWriMo plunge. With less than a month to fashion the concept of a novel, I signed up, drank the koolaid, and jumped off the cliff. I’ve been writing fiction since grade school, but only in November 2013 did I really start to think of myself as a novelist. And that’s not because I “won” NaNo by writing over 50,000 words, though I did (71,664 to be exact). Nor is it because I “finished” a novel in 30 days, though I did that as well (see below for the synopsis). I think of myself as a novelist now becase I realize that the art of writing a book isn’t just about putting words down, creating fun characters, and entertaining yourself. It’s actually hard work that requires a great deal of commitment and focus, and many lessons learned along the way. NaNoWriMo offers writers the opportunity to plunge forth into the alchemical … Read more…

Writers’ Angst

In this short video clip, Ira Glass talks about the craft of writing and how all writers struggle early on with the creative process. He describes how we have great taste, so when what we write doesn’t measure up to what we like, we get frustrated. The mark of a true writer is the one who fights through the disappointment and discouragement and just keeps going, until one day the writing is good enough. The most important point is that all writers go through that angst. And as I wind up my NaNoWriMo novel this week (or sometime in the not too distant future!) it’s a point well taken.