It’s Almost Time!

In approximately T- 45 minutes Mountain Time, NaNoWriMo will begin for me.  I have my notebook beside me, to get the first few words started before I head to bed.   But I have to be honest, I’m not really feeling it right now.

The last couple days the excitement, the anticipation have waned.  I have begun to have my doubts.  I started to ponder why does this happen every time.  And it hit me! 

November 1st is also my late Grandmother’s birthday!  She would have been 93.  November is also the month she passed away, on Thanksgiving. 

Of course!  I don’t know how I didn’t make the connection earlier.  The closer it gets to her birthday, the less excited I am about NaNo.  It’s not a happy month for me.  I miss her terribly, even more so around this time of year.  

I know she wouldn’t want me to not do something I enjoy, something I love.  And I love writing, when I get going with it.  She wouldn’t want me to give up on my dreams just because I miss her.  Just because November just happens to coincide with her birthday and passing.

So, I am going to try and dedicate this month to her memory.  To honor her strong will and perseverance.  I will dedicate NaNo to her and I will do my best to write 50,000 words.

Five Days Until NaNoWriMo!

We’re five days away from insanity.  I say this because I must be insane to think I can write 50,000 words in 30 days of anything.  If I do succeed, it will be total shit.  But that I hear is a good thing, it means I have gotten some form of my story written down.  It doesn’t have to be good, it just has to be written.  Right?  RIGHT!

My fingers are getting itchy to start.  I’ve been here before.  Anxiously waiting for 12:01 AM of November 1st so that I can write the first few shitty words of my NaNo story.  The first couple of days, up to perhaps the first five go okay.  Not necessarily hitting the word goals, but still writing.  And then….it usually all goes to shit.  That’s about when the Muse grows quiet, the characters stop talking or fighting or both, and then there’s nothing. 

Like right now, like the last week or two…they (the characters) keep talking, characters from my first NaNo are begging to be worked into this story.  A character I had started to develop for a collaborative exercise who was loosely based off an idea I had for a future story idea is telling me she belongs in THIS story.  It could all work.  It really could.  The old voices can be part of this new idea, it can give them life.  I know I could weave the two ideas together so that my original idea from so long ago could actually be born into existence.   Nyx (that’s what she’s currently calling herself) could totally be brought into this story too. 

To keep from forgetting things, I’ve been writing them down in my notebook.  Only thing is it goes from the intent of being some notes to like 4 pages of writing.  These pages are just rough drafts, they are missing details and more information.  But I am finding it so hard to restrain myself from starting.  I am afraid that once the clock strikes and it’s November that it will all die out again.  How do I keep the momentum going?  How do I keep the ideas from fizzling out, the voices from growing silent? 

Oh NaNoWriMo, how you excite and scare me at the same time.  For once I hope the fear doesn’t win out.

How Do I Win NaNo Next Month?

The last several days have been spent thinking about potential stories, plots, searching through the Adoptables Forums on the website, thinking about my old ideas.  All the while new things keep popping in my head, to which I am trying to jot down these ideas whenever possible.  Or I think about how I might be able to some how fuse old ideas and attempts together to make something workable.

Lately I can’t stop thinking about writing.   This seems to be typical for October for me.  NaNo looms for November, I dream of writing a winning story.  October my brain gets consumed with thoughts of writing, characters, how do I develop my world and plot into something readable, so on and so on.  This October it’s the same, but it feels different, too.

I’ve been attempting NaNo every year since 2005, this year will be no different.  No, wait, I take that back.  I want this year to be different.  I want to win, damn it!!  I think my best attempt was logged at 5000 words total.  Every year I try and every year I fail.  Once November 1st hits, it’s like every “OH SHINY!” in the Universe comes out of the woodwork to distract me.  And that just sucks, because I let myself fall into it’s trap.  Then I wander off the path and the next thing I know is it’s now December and have nothing to show for the whole month.

So, what can I do differently?  What can I do to win this year?  Besides, not give up.  Besides, not letting myself be distracted.  One thing I have been thinking about is perhaps trying to get to the library for a few hours a couple of times during November.  A place where I can be alone with my thoughts and write.  But it won’t be without distraction or temptations thanks to my weakness and obsession with books.  It would be great for any immediate book research I might need, but bad too.  I have to purchase a Library Card since I don’t live in city limits.  No income means no money for a card.  But that’s a whole different story.

But seriously…what can I do to win?  How do I write 50,000 words when I don’t even know if my idea(s) can go that far?  These are like legit questions.  I want to grow up and be a “real write” like J.K. Rowling and Tolkien and George R. R. Martin, like Marion Zimmer Bradley and James Patterson.  I don’t mean in the sense of being published though that would be fantastic, but in the sense of getting my stories written and finished.

NaNoWriMo Is Coming!

 

 

 

2013-Participant-Square-Button

In about 21 days or so, NaNoWriMo will begin.  If you are not familiar with NaNo, it’s a 30 day marathon to write 50,000 words, to pen your novel.  For many it’s a crazy time of year.

I have tried and failed at NaNo since 2005.  The first year I did it, I had no idea what it was, what to expect, how to go about it.  Then next year, I was determined.  I had a better understanding of it, but then shit fell apart.  My Grandma got sick, was in the hospital, came home and died a week later on Thanksgiving Day.  The next several years I have just been trying to reconnect with my Muse, to find my Voice, to write.  It just hasn’t been going too successfully.

Much of that though is of my own doing.  I was going through some old emails between myself and a long-lost friend.  And some of his words really hit me in a new way.  My words…OMG…my words opened my eyes to how I’ve looked at myself for the last 6 years.  Hell how I’ve looked at myself almost my whole life.

I’ve always seen myself as not good enough, unworthy.  Since I started trying to write a novel, I’ve seen myself as a failure.  That my writing isn’t good enough.  BUT….the thing is…my old friend told me I was good, that I had it in me.  My Beloved has told me I’m good.  I once got the nerve to submit a sample of my WIP to a stranger for critique and they even told me I was good, that I just needed to work on more showing and not telling so much.

So if I have all these people telling me I’m good, why can’t I believe it myself?  I don’t know.  I chalk it up to years of conditioning.

What’s going to be different about this year?  I don’t know that either.  Will I be making more of an effort to reach word count goals?  YES!  Will I end up stopping somewhere along the way because the voices won’t speak to me?  I don’t know, but I hope not.  Will there be self-doubt and negative gremlins whispering at me that I suck?  Most definitely.  Will I listen to them?  I hope not.

I honestly want this year to be different!  I really want to win this one!!!

Now, I’m a panster not a plotter so that tends to make things a bit harder.  I prefer to write long hand.  Yep the old-fashioned way with pen and paper!  I do have Liquid Story Binder that I bought about 3 years ago and I like it well enough.  But I just downloaded the latest trial of Scrivner.  I’m excited to try it.  It’s good through December 7th.  And if I win….I can buy it for 50% off!  So another reason to try and win!

So come join the madness of NaNoWriMo if you dare!  It’s going to be a crazy ride!

Writing, Or Lack Of

Okay, so…I’m supposed to be doing the 2 PAD challenge.  I started it a few days ahead of time, just to give myself some leeway for those days I might not get to write.  Which in reality is a poor ass excuse because I typically write at night anyway.  I just manage find distractions to make procrastinating easier. 

Anyway, I’ve been dragging my feet on writing for the challenge.  I don’t believe I’ve fallen behind yet.  If I have it’s only by a couple of pages or so.  I’d have to go count them.  I’m writing by hand in a notebook.  I love going old school to write!  I think part of what’s worrying me, hindering me is that I keep dwelling on what if I run out of stuff to write for it.

Here’s the gist of it:  I’m writing out childhood/teenage/young adult years memories and traumas from a MC point of view.  The MC has ended up in a mental hospital (how or why she’s there has yet to be fleshed out completely).  No, I’ve never been institutionalized.  My character is there for the sake of story purposes only.  Though if you ask my ex, he would say I need to be commited….just saying. 

I want to weave a story around her as she tries to remember her life and what happened to her.  But she’s kept drugged and even through the haze of medications she is kept on, she is realizing this place and her reason(s) for being there aren’t what they seem.  Now I know this has the potential for many directions.  The other characters are somewhat sketchy in my head at this point. 

I haven’t had the worst life in the world by any means.  But the shit I’ve been through has helped to form me into the person I am today.  Some of it I still need to heal from emotionally.  Emotional and psychological scars are some of the hardest to heal from.  Writing memories out seems to have a healing affect.

Regardless of my consistency at this point, I am writing a lot more than I have in a very long time.  It really feels good to put pen to paper and see words flow out.

On Writing

It has been a long time since I have been able to write.  Almost 8 years since my Muse abandoned me.  But let’s start at the beginning, shall we?

I first wanted to be a writer when I was about 12 years old.  I had been watching the “Little House” series on TV and then I started to read the books.  I fell in love with Laura and her life, hard as it was.  I wanted to know all I could about her.  I wanted to be her or like her.  I wanted to write my stories in marbled composition notebooks.  I wanted to be a writer!

My first story that I was going to work on was going to be “Letters to My Sister”.  See, around that age/time I found out I had an older half sister.  So my idea was to write letters daily in a notebook to her.  I didn’t get very far with it.  As a kid what do you say, write, ask a person you don’t know and may never meet?  I don’t know what I was going to write about after that, I don’t remember.  I think I toyed with writing stories here and there, but nothing I ever got far with.

Fast forward a few years, now I’m an angst-y lovelorn teenager.  I know…I will write poetry!   And I did.  I wrote a few.  I don’t know how many, I don’t remember if they were good.  They are all lost.

Then I started growing up, ya know.  Work, some college, marriage, kids.  Writing got pushed to the back of my mind.

Time warp now to 2005. I discover NaNoWriMo.  I have an idea!  I have characters coming to life in my head.  They speak to me faster than I can keep up and write.  I start writing and researching.  I get a laptop for Christmas.  I keep writing in my binder, then enter it onto my computer editing as I do.  I didn’t have the discipline for NaNo, but I tried.

2006, I kept at trying to write.  Doing more research.  November rolls around and I’m ready to try NaNo again.  But things don’t go as planned or hoped for.  My Gram’s got sick, then she went into the hospital.  We get the worst diagnosis possible.  After a week they sent her home, telling me I had at best three months with her.

NaNo was on hold once again.  Less than a week after coming home, on Thanksgiving day at promptly 12/Noon, my Gram’s passed from this life.  I was devastated!  My world grew lonely, my rock, my biggest believer in me was gone.  The words stopped coming, my Muse grew silent.

I’ve barely been able to write since.  I’ve attempted NaNo every year since.  I’ve tried other Wrimos in between too.  Nothing!

In 2007, I made a friend.  He was an aspiring writer too.  He came up with an idea that to get our creative juices flowing we could a collaborative exercise.  We’d take turns writing a story together.  It started out great.  But then, he grew distant.  He was taking longer and longer to write his part.  We had to change and start over at one point, because what I started writing was hedging too closely to a story idea he was working on for his own novel.  He kept making excuses and just stopped all together.  It makes me sad, and I miss it.

I didn’t have support or a cheering section.  I got a lot of “oh how nice” or “why don’t you write this or that, no one wants to read about elves and dragons”  (really?  REALLY?).  I felt like a little child being condescended.

Present day….I have a small support system that encourage me to keep trying.  I am still struggling with the words.  I’m still searching for my Muse, longing to hear her voice again.  I don’t want to give up.  I won’t give up.  Somewhere in me is a story waiting to be told.  It may not be the fantasy novel I started out with, but I know there is something deep down that is needing to be written.

In 4 days, a new challenge starts.  Write 2 pages a day until the end of the year.  By that time, you should have a completed first draft manuscript.  Three months from now is the next NaNoWriMo.  I am going to try the 2 page challenge.  No pressure, no guilt.  Just writing.  I will try to prepare for NaNo.  Jot down ideas, characters, etc.  I will try yet again this year.

In the mean time, I am writing down memories of my childhood from a character’s POV.  I’ll see where that takes me.

Welcome!

Welcome to “The Forgotten Muse”.   I’m going to give this Word Press a try.  Please bear with me as I learn to navigate everything here.  Hopefully I will have it all up and running shortly.

This is a blog where I will talk about many things from my life to my art or the process of getting it going.  Photography possibly, I tend to take a lot of sunset photos or nature related ones.  And of course my quest to rediscover my writing muse and the struggles that go along with all that.

Hopefully you will enjoy what you read, provided I actually manage to learn WP 😀

 

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