Monday's Keister Kick... NaNoWriMo or Ant Farming

So what's motivating me this week?

Easy.  NaNoWriMo is coming.,. it's like the old man, chewing on a stalk of wheat, sitting on a porch rocking in his chair.. "Ya'll ain't from round these parts.. are ya?  Best make yo peace with Gawd or be on yer way.. there's a storm abrewin.. figures to be a big un. Like to swallow you up."

This will be my first official NaNoWriMo.. and I'm counting on it to be the thing that powers me through my current obstacle of 10,000 words.  I know that might seem like too much emphasis on some outside source for an internal block, but honestly.. when I'm left alone to my own devices, the desire to self-edit is like an itch I can't scratch. It starts out slow enough, but builds until it is literally keeping me up at night.  So I take a couple days off, clear my head.. get away from it.  Then, when I come back, I tell myself, I just need to get my bearings, make sure what I'm writing now matches up with what I wrote then.  So I read a little, change one little thing maybe.. just a phrase here, add a paragraph there.. before I know it I've totally second guessed what I wrote, and I'm back down to trying to get a general feeling for where I was headed in the first place.

Usually by this time I'm so disgusted with my written 'voice' that I trash it and start anew.  I must have started a dozen or so different stories in the past year, some a variation on a general idea that I really like.. some entirely new.  None have survived much past 10,000 words.

What I'm gearing up for, and working towards is just the emphasis on going past, getting in my words each day without looking back.

I probably sound like I'm putting all my eggs in this NoNo basket, but I really don't look at this as the 'fix'.. merely a strict routine that I haven't tried. This has to come from inside me, I know that.. but if I can just get past this self-imposed block.. once I know I can go past it, that it won't have this hold over me.

James Dashner, author of the NYTimes Best Selling series 'Maze Runner', and 13th Reality series, and 'A Mutiny in Time' wrote the following back in 2007 (This was BEFORE he had even sold Maze Runner, back when it was still a draft that was rejected by multiple publishers/agents and he'd put it in his closet!)
Write a novel from beginning to end. I mean it. I don't care if it's the worst book in history, write a beginning, a middle, and an ending, and everything in between. You won't believe the magical power that will come over you once you've accomplished this task. Is it easy? No. Will it win the National Book Award? Probably not. Do I hate when people ask rhetorical questions over and over? Yes.

If you write and finish a complete book, you will suddenly find it much easier to do the next one. It's like a marathon, I suppose, though I've never done it. (Though I did come in 12th place in my neighborhood 5k. Yah, that's right.) I imagine the first marathon is brutal and full of wanna-give-ups. But once you KNOW you can do it, the 2nd time around becomes much easier. I'm guessing.

It took me 3 years to write my first book. The second one, 9 months. My last one, 7 weeks. I'm talking first drafts, here.

Write a complete book. If it's pretty decent, rewrite and rework. If it stinks, trash it and start another one.

This is what I'm looking for.. the 'magical power that will come once I've accomplished this task.

Hey, he never defined 'Magical Power'. 


  1. Loooooove that quote by Dashner... and it's SO TRUE... Gosh, SO TRUE. My first book took me 2 years. Next book (I did for NaNo) took me 3 months. And my latest? 6-7 weeks. It's crazy how just taking that first leap can push you over the edge (in a good way!) And NaNo is a great way to force yourself into discipline. I highly recommend it!


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