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Posts Tagged ‘National Novel Writing Month’

Deep breath in. Smell the coffee. Relax those tense muscles. Transform from the businesswoman you’ve been all day to an author. Preferably in the next fifteen seconds. Right. (Sarcasm intended.)

Perhaps the greatest struggle of authoring is that simple switch: from the ordinary and not so ordinary of real life to the fabulous fiction of your other self. And it isn’t always so easy to open up the laptop, turn on the music, and hit the writing-ground running. This blog very often serves as the transition, this corner at Starbucks as the muse I never had, and the well-worn iTunes albums as the horn that pulled the Pevensies into Narnia.

Tomorrow marks the start of Camp NaNoWriMo. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t long to jump into their luscious descriptions of mountains and lakes. I like the camps in April and July far more than their better-known father: National Novel Writing Month. At camp, there is grace and friendship and inspiration aplenty. 50,000 words, phsaw. 10,000 becomes the very doable minimum. And writers are thrown into cabins to bond across the country. Not to mention the writing prompts already filling up my Facebook wall. The very idea of the camp sends my writing self scrambling to pack a virtual bag and head for the hallowed hills of authordom. The camp’s tagline:

“An idyllic writers retreat, smack-dab in the middle of your crazy life.”

Oh, me and my crazy life long to join the retreat! But free-writing just isn’t in the time frame. Editing The Lure of Lemons consumes me. Day and night, my mind is pulled deeper and deeper into the world and the stories. For now, that is exactly where my focus needs to be.

Yet real life still tugs at me–making me feel like I’m stumbling around my day on sleeping pills. The morning was spent getting some kind of test (there have been so many lately, I’ve quite honestly lost track of what one I had today) at the hospital, followed by breakfast with my mom, accounting and meetings, and more business. But now I’m here. At my beloved Starbucks, warmed by sales in the state of Washington, by bright and encouraging family, and a cherished letter from an even more cherished friend reflecting on the awesomeness of our friendship. Life may be trying to use me like the rope in tug-of-war, but I’m loving the journey.

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Hello friends! Despite the fireside and good music, I stare blankly at my computer screen. Since I am feeling completely uninspired, allow me to present you with the first of a series of posts on a topic entitled ‘101 Ways to Avoid Writing a Novel’:

1) Look up NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month—coming November) and contemplate how you really shouldn’t start writing the new novel until November 1. (Note: I doubt that causing delay was the intention of this inspirational program.)

2) Check Facebook in the hopes of finding some inspiration or—to really appease your conscience—to market your written or unwritten novel.

3) Check your email.

4) Write out a Christmas list even though it is still October.

5) Calculate how many pages a day you would have to write to complete the NaNOWriMo challenge.

6) Re-read something you’ve written, gag at how bad it is, and check Facebook again.

7) Blog about time wasting strategies.

8) Watch old episodes of Columbo.

Now, as none of these time-wasting strategies have made me anymore creative, I’ve decided to revert to some old-fashioned, kid-like attempts to dredge up the passion to get started. Namely, I am going to initiate a dialogue between my characters until I forget that they’re imaginary. So, best of luck other writers out there—dodging papers and articles and novels and anything remotely resembling the craft we usually love. May we lose ourselves in the depths of creativity again soon.

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