Saturday, October 31, 2009

Surviving Nanowrimo

In just a few short hours it will start getting dark and the first Trick or Treaters will come knocking on my door. It's always fun to see those little ones dressed up, some too shy to even say anything, others doing a full act meant to make you run away and hide under the covers.

But tonight isn't all about Halloween. It's about being nervous about and preparing for Nanowrimo, the crazy writing adventure I've been telling you about.

Here are my tips to survive this huge challenge:

* Write a LOT on Day One. You never know what might happen along the way. You may not be able to write every single day, so being a bit ahead of schedule early on will help you.

* Write in bits. You may not have the time to sit down and write those 1667 words a day in one go, and that's OK. Write a paragraph in the morning, send yourself a few sentences through email while at work (oops, did I say that out loud??), speed write during the ad breaks of your favourite show. This way, it will not feel like such a huge task every day, and.. you may write more than those 1667 words a day without even knowing it.

* Do NOT edit. At all. Ever. I know, I know, your inner critic is persistant and it will take a lot to shut him/her up, but please, don't edit. Editing is for later. December, March, whenever. Just keep writing. It does not matter if it's crap, you will also write some truly wonderful stuff to balance that. Just keep going. Your word count will thank you for it.

* Make sure you save your work. The laptop I'm using for my Nanowrimo has a tendency to just quit on me. It's extremely annoying when online, but I simply can't have that during Nanowrimo. So I've set up my writing software to save my work every 2 minutes. This way, if the laptop does die on me, I'll only have lost less than 2 minutes of typing, and not my all of writing for the day.

* Don't panic during Week Two. Week Two is known for its dark clouds and deep feelings of 'WTF was I thinking signing up for this?' It's alright. You're not alone. In Week One everyone is so geared up to go, all excited to get this thing going, and then by Week Two, when it's getting more and more difficult to get those words on your screen or in your notebook, it seems like it was the worst idea ever to try and do this. But don't give up. Don't throw away your hard work. Talk to others (the Nanowrimo site has a great forum section), go for a walk, maybe even take a day off (see, told you it would be a good idea to write LOTS on Day One?), and then come back and write. You can do it.

* Take care of yourself. To those who never write it may seem like you're just sitting in your chair and typing a bit, but those of us who do write know it takes a lot of energy. So make sure your body gets what it needs. Keep yourself hydrated. Have bite-size snacks next to you while you write. But also: go out for some fresh air every now and then. Stretch. Blink. Step away from the computer every now and again, even if it is just for a toilet break and to check and see if your loved ones are still alive and doing OK while you are in Nanowrimo-land. And make sure you put a pillow under your bum while you write, because you'll be doing a lot of sitting down and typing away this month. No need to get sore.

* Reward yourself. You are doing something that most people say they will do some day, but more than likely never will. You are writing a book, in just one month! So reward yourself every now and again. When you get those first 10K out, or got passed a difficult dialogue or scene, you deserve a treat. Chocolate, a new lipgloss, a cuddle with your puppy, anything you can think of. You deserve it!

* And most importantly: Have fun! I know, you nearly forgot, right? This is about having fun. You're doing something amazing, and you're not on your own either. Connect with people, take part in challenges posted in the Nanowrimo forums, try and work something completely random into your story, let your characters go and explore the world even if it does not fit in with what you've had in mind. Have a great time, because before you know it, it's December 1st and this is all behind us.

Have a great Nanowrimo! And please come back to check on my progress, I'll be sure to keep you posted.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Be my LAST Etsy buyer!

It's time to say enough's enough. I haven't had a sale since March, and six sales this year in total. After all these years, I have to admit that Etsy isn't working for me. That is without all the stuff going on behind the scenes(check out Etsy Bitch for more information) which made it more and more difficult to be enthusiastic about Etsy.

In short: it's time for me to quit. To give up on the Etsy dream. So.....

Be my LAST Etsy buyer, and I will throw in a few freebies! It was fun (well, not always) while it lasted, and hopefully my listing and the freebies will make someone happy.

Please go visit my Etsy shop and be my very last Etsy buyer.


Link love

As Nanowrimo is approaching, writing and thinking about writing consumes my time. I keep my notebook on me at all times (even in bed) so I can write down anything I can think of. Oh, and of course I changed my mind. Yes, the story will still be 'about Little Red Ridinghood', but I'm going to use more fairy tales, and the MC (Main Character) is not going to be 'Red' but the biiiig bad wolf. Or someone who thinks he is, anyway. And the art journal? It's his.

And then there's blogs on writing. I'm currently in love with the wonderful Alexandra Sokoloff, who explains what structure your story should have and how to get there. I'm thinking of using the index card/PostIt notes technique that she explains in this post.

Mur Laferty has been keeping a blog called I Should Be Writing for years now. She combines a regular blog with a wonderful podcast, which is beyond cool. Not only does she have an 'easy voice' to listen to, she's got a great down to earth sense of humour that I love. Great stuff for procratination, but in the end... You should be writing!