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Day 10 Goal: 16,666 / 50,000
Actual Word Count: 36,127

The actual word count wouldn’t be so bad if you didn’t consider that between the course of Day 9 and Day 10 I only wrote 315 words. Which is just a few words shy of being a fifth of the daily quota that some Wrimos go by, as all of the different participants write at their own pace. Last year when I was participating, I wrote three projects in one month and just barely made it to my goal of 150k. And I wanted to do it the same way this month, three different projects – but trying to aim for 200k or 250k. Being that I participate in crazy things such as the 50k Weekend challenge or attempt to write 50k in 24 hours or less starting at exactly midnight, I know I could make it.

But then I ask myself: Is it really even worth it? There is always a price to pay. Last year, I wasn’t able to be productive regarding schoolwork because I was too focused on NaNo. Too focused on my goal, when my priority should have been getting assignments done ahead of time and passing all of my classes with decent grades, instead of trying to figure out how to execute the perfect sequence of events in the next couple of scenes of my novel. Yes, I was still able to do well enough last year Fall semester to pass everything, even if just barely – but I could have done much better if I didn’t put all my attention into writing challenges right away, instead of homework.

Normally NaNoWriMo doesn’t interfere with my student life this much, but it’s happening again. I would have had the option to opt out of the third paper for my Western films class if I wrote the one that was due on the second day of the month, and that way I would not have had to worry about writing one this month to submit in December. I would have been able to write up the script for my comics class group project much sooner. It’s due NEXT WEEK and I still haven’t written a whole lot but I do have something to go off of and I’ve written two pages already. Not good enough. Also, I had a paper (and a revision of a paper I turned in back in September) due this week and I skipped class because I didn’t have it and I was working on them last minute but I could not finish the revision and I’m only just starting on it now. I’m going to get ten points off for turning it in on Monday but I need the weekend to work on it, as well as some other things I also need to get done for other classes. I have an exam on Monday that I have two review sheets for, but I doubt they’re going to be any help at all. I have a journal sort of like thing and a presentation to finish for a class, that I’d rather finish sooner than later since I’ve already been putting that off for months.

It’s not the week two slump that’s plaguing me this time around, it’s just that I knew that November was going to be too busy of a month for me and I wasn’t going to write until the 25th and 5,000 words would have been written for each day. I should have gone with that plan. But then all of sudden, I don’t know why, but I decided to start off when we usually do – on the first night. But now we are eleven days into the challenge, and I suddenly realize that it was a mistake to do so and I should have gone with my original plan. I guess it was because I let my past victories go straight to my head, thinking that failure isn’t an option and that I have to win at all costs. Yeah, as though that wasn’t selfish enough of me to torture myself like that.

Now I understand what one of my friends meant when she said she couldn’t finish NaNo the past two years due to being overwhelmed by college stress. While the challenge is a fun way to spend your November, it is more important to focus on your schoolwork and/or other priorities. Especially if you feel like you are already working yourself to death and participating in NaNoWriMo at the same time, it can be tough. It’s tough for me right now – three papers due, (one that I did not write and now regret not writing because I had the choice of not doing the third if I did the second, and one that’s going to be LATE. again.), an exam, a project, and a bunch of other things to worry about – that’s a lot to work with, and I knew that before going into this mess but everyone else I knew, whether in my own region or in other regions, people I’ve gotten acquainted with and/or befriended, was probably going to start right away and I didn’t want to miss out on a “tradition”, for lack of a better word. But there are people who do start late. Remember that. And don’t make the same mistake I made. If you know you’ll have too much to do regarding school or work or whatever – wait until after everything has calmed down (or after Thanksgiving) and then start.

To anyone else that is participating this year and also feels overwhelmed by this sort of stress, I recommend you sit back, relax, take a break from writing for a little while, catch up on work or responsibilities or whatever it is you do, and then come back to it later in the month and still pull through. That’s what I’ll be doing, starting today. I’m not sure when I’ll write again. But I really do need to focus. At least, for now.

To everyone else participating: Happy writing, everyone!

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Hello, my name is Dmitry and I’m a writer. Some people also call me Mitya. But on several writing communities, I am known as DimiTheDominator, or just Dimi.

For a long time, I have been writing. Lots of people have told me, “you are a writer at heart”, “writing is in your blood”, and “you are your dad’s son.” That last one is relevant because my father himself is a relatively well-known writer, but some people who I’ve come to know in the past couple of months have never even heard of him until I mentioned, which is always nice to bring in new fans – err…well…umm. Anyway, enough about that.

I can’t even tell you when I first began writing. I think it was when I was about ten years old. Maybe. It was definitely after the CD of Carmen Sandiego’s Great Chase Through Time/Where In Time Is Carmen Sandiego? was released. I recall a point in the game where the setting was Japan, and one Murasaki Shikibu (Lady Murasaki) was missing a page that she wrote for The Tale of Genji, and according to Wikipedia, since I can’t check any other source to provide me with semi-reliable information (good thing this isn’t a topic for an essay, but if it was, oh my god I’d have so much fun writing it), The Tale of Genji is apparently the earliest known novel in human history. Two years later, I remembered about this book and I wanted to buy it to read it. That was both the best and the worst ever decision, literature-wise, that I had ever made. Why the best? Because I loved to read to get my writing skills improved. Why the worst? Because I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. That book alone has over one thousand pages.  I think the exact amount was, oh, I’d say…1347? I don’t know, that’s just a guesstimate. I still have the book. It’s hiding in plain sight at my house. To this day, I am still reading it. I’m on page 546, or something like that. I can’t believe I haven’t finished it. That’s even worse than only being halfway through with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Even though you can’t really compare the two. But anyway…

I used to write because I was trying to impress my father, who I always considered to be the better, or rather, the only good writer in the family. Although I was merely basing his talent off of his success. To me, my last name is a label. A label that’s pretty much what I thought would be unfair advantage and a one-way ticket to success in the business of writing and publishing. You know, not exactly equal opportunity. I never once wrote with the thought, “damn, my work should be published somewhere because I think it’s good.” I started out with poems. Little ones. Haiku. And then I moved on to bigger and better things – blog posts, short stories, and hell, even novels.

Ah, novels. That’s right. I’ve known about National Novel Writing Month for quite a few years now. My first attempt, albeit unofficial, was in 2006. I don’t remember ever registering an account name there, and if I did, it’s long gone by now because I don’t think I ever really accessed it at all, so I had to make a new alias for myself on the site regardless of whether I joined or not. Anyway, the 2006 attempt is still undetermined whether it hit 50k words or not. I literally do not know if I won the challenge or failed at it miserably. Either way, in 2007 I forgot about the challenge completely. In 2008…I found out about it the month after it was already over. December. And in 2009, I made my “comeback” in September. I didn’t know who I was writing for. I got 70,048 words on my first and still to this day only complete novel, The Hunt for Lane, and I’m very happy about it. On Facebook, a lot of people were asking me,

“So when is that thing getting published? No idea what it’s about, but I’d love to read it.”

“Where can I buy that book? Of course I’d need some money to afford it first.”

“When you get this published, I want a complimentary copy. Autographed, of course.”

And variations of the statement with the words “book/novel” and “published” written all over them.

This got me thinking… just who the hell am I even writing for to begin with?

My father was impressed with a small piece of my novel when I was translating ten pages of it into Russian, so that made my intention of “I’m writing to measure up to my father and his skill and talent” be…well, fulfilled, for lack of a better word. So I can’t be writing for him anymore.

For NaNoWriMo 2009 and 2010, I didn’t feel like I was writing for fun, even. I felt like I was writing for a region. That my word count mattered more for its statistics than myself. And it did. It kind of felt horrible. Very horrible.

Around this time, February of last year, I wrote the last chapter – or rather, the epilogue, to my ’09 NaNo. Since NaNo ’10 ended, I haven’t written a damn thing except that horrible piece of garbage that was 21,000 words long in January that only like…12% of it was actual “novel”, if you could even CALL it that. The rest was just dumb rambling about nothing significant. I didn’t have fun writing it. And I failed JanNoWriMo. But that’s okay.

 

It is now February 2011, and I am not writing, although I do wish to write… but I simply cannot. I don’t know what’s wrong with me.

I am not writing for publication (at least not yet). I am not writing for a target audience. I am not writing for anyone who demands it. I am writing for me. And sometimes it’s fun. Sometimes it’s not.

NaNoWriMo 2010

I spent most of November 2010 writing a novelization of a comic I was doing at a different online community. It was going well, and I was keeping up with the legendary sushimustwrite for quite a while, until…well, lets just say something came up and I had writer’s block. Anyway, I met more people throughout this time period, attempted (and failed) the 50kweekend challenge, invaded the NaNoLanta chatroom…I had fun, but I still feel like I wasn’t writing for me. I just wanted to not continue with it anymore, even though I’d already ‘won’ NaNo by the 6th day, it seemed pointless to continue. And… it was, and it wasn’t all at the same time. I don’t know how to explain it. If any of the NanoLanta people (or even pseudo-NaNoLanta people such as myself and a few others) are reading this right now, I miss the times when chat wasn’t so empty. I go in there every now and then to see if anyone is still in there, and it’s basically a dead zone. I loved getting to know you all, even if we still don’t really all know each other at all. I just… I don’t know. I miss you, I miss the chatroom, I miss NaNoWriMo and… it’s just not the same.

I can’t even seem to write for fun now, because it’s not. I tried opening my NaNo ’10 file and get an ending accomplished. What did I do instead?  I started reading it from the beginning. The file had 237. I got to page 30 and…I was crying. It was mostly the scenes though that were real tear-jerkers. I was impressed with myself. I’ve never been impressed with myself. I also read my NaNo ’09, and I didn’t really like it that much. But this… this was just beautiful. I couldn’t believe it. I think I said to myself, “Okay, who the hell wrote this? I want to meet th–OH MY GOD IT WAS ME. I DON’T WRITE THIS WELL. I NEVER  WROTE THIS WELL, AND YET…”

I miss NaNoWriMo. I miss knowing that others are writing with me, no matter where in the world. I miss updates like the last bit of the above paragraph. I miss word wars and word sprints. I miss outlining and researching things for plot related things. I miss being able to write three thousand words per day no questions asked. I miss the fast paced and catchy writing soundtrack. I miss it all.

That’s all for now.

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I’m just going to make this simple.

  • JanNoWriMo: 50k. Currently in Progress.
  • February: Edit JaNNo novel? Possibly do FAWM? The first is looking more plausible then the second.
  • March: EdMo. The Hunt for Lane. (09NANO.) Yeah, again. I think it might need a new title, too. And maybe less things that didn’t make sense.
  • April: Script Frenzy. Again. Attempt #2. We don’t talk about 2010. But I hope I can actually GET SOMETHING DONE.
  • May: Either do MayNoWriMo, or take a break from writing and continue editing The Hunt for Lane, if my edits for it are not finished by the end of March. Or just don’t do anything, and finally plan out that family-of-mystics-fantasy-series that’s been in my head since July 2010. Oh yeah, isn’t there also NEPMo? National Epic Poetry Month? Yeah, I might try that..again.
  • June: If I take a break in May, I’ll do something. Probably continue editing THFL even more. Or just write a poem each day. I don’t know. I’ll think of something.
  • July: Probably do JulNo again, and have it be the same idea involving portraits in museums coming to life (or rather, someone looking at a painting and then the painting is actually “real” and they walk into it, and be one of the people (or things) in the painting. It’s,….very weird. I don’t even know.
  • August: Probably give yet *another* look at THFL, and then start to hate the damn thing as much as I already do. I don’t hate it because it’s not good. I hate it right now because it just…. has a lot of things that need to be explained, and hell, by this point, I might even consider spending the month writing the damn thing entirely. We’ll see what happens when we get there.
  • September: Attempt to do that 3 Day Novel Contest thing. If my family of mystics novel doesn’t make the cut, then I’ll end up doing something else. I’ll probably end up trying to do 50k because I’m nuts. (PEOPLE ALWAYS TEMPT ME WITH THESE THINGS) As far as the rest of the month goes, I… have no idea yet. Someone give me something else to do.
  • October: Figure out a project for NaNoWriMo. Have an outline so writing is made easier. And maybe improvise a little bit.
  • November: NaNoWriMo Attempt (and hopefully, Win) #4. Yeah. 2006 was #1, unofficially. Still can’t find that novel though – but I bet it won. Anyway, 07 and 08 didn’t happen, and then in 2009 I signed up in September, getting ready for attempt #2. That was a success. #3 was 2010. Yeah. Oh yeah. Somebody who reads this, give me a goal to meet for NaNoWriMo 2011. Odds are I’ll go over it.
  • December: Either go back to editing THFL (or at this point, TNIRH (the novel I really hate)), or edit something else. Maybe send in a few query letters.

    Finally, here’s some realistic non-writing goals:

  • Get a job. Whether it’s an internship at someplace where I would temporarily have to relocate to, or a desk assistance job at my campus, or something. Even McDonald’s is looking good right about now.
  • Get grades I feel I earned.
  • Go to NaNoWriMo’s Night of Writing Dangerously (I doubt it’ll happen this year, though. Unless I can book a flight to Atlanta  and meet another Wrimo friend in person (if they’re still in GA at that point, that is) that would be willing to take me as their guest. 😉 But again, I don’t think that’s going to happen, either.
  • Read 100 Books This Year. Anybody who happens to be reading this at this point, leave me recommendations in the comments below.
  • Send in a query letter to a literary agent. This was a goal last year, but that didn’t happen. So I’m going to try harder this year.

 

 

Do your worst, 2011. I dare you.

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