DITL – NaNo Burnout

*DITL = Day In The Life. Also known as: Random thoughts on the writing life.

Near the end of this year’s NaNoWriMo, I had a terrifying realization: I need to change my story’s ending. 

I thought about winging it. It didn’t seem too daunting because I know a lot about my characters and the detailed big picture behind the story. But, the idea of winging it went out the window pretty quickly. Just shy of the climax, I had to slam on the breaks because one of my minor characters threw a wrench into things.

He’s a villain. 

Messing with my life is part of his job.

Basically, this guy is an old war hero. By old, I mean he’s in his late 800s. He’s about to tell someone off by listing his fantastical deeds on the glorious fields of battle, which meant I needed to have dates and locations for important battles throughout the last 800 years of history. The last millennium of history is full of major battles, so I also needed to know where this character would be and why. Which meant I needed to know more about this (pain in the butt) minor character.

My writing came to a grinding halt.

While I was as taking a break for research, I decided to do a little side reading so I could glean a few tidbits of wisdom before I rewrote the climax. Climaxes are kind of important.

So, I grabbed a book. It was awesome. I read it through in two days and – what have we here? – found a list of recommended books in the appendix! One thing lead to another, and I am currently reading book #4.

And it’s good.

I also cleaned up my writing files, printed off a bunch of helpful worksheets, and worked on detailed character profiles and scene charts. 

Am I procrastinating? 

Maybe.

I know what needs happen in the new climax, but I’m not ready to write it yet. There are still a few nuances and possible plot holes I need to work out first.

Thing is, NaNoWriMo was amazing, but I ended November feeling kind of burned out.

The recent break I’ve taken has been a much needed breath of air. I feel like the creative embers are starting to glow again. I don’t need a roaring flame, but I don’t want to craft a new climax in burnout mode.

I’ll get there.

I can feel it. I’m getting restless and the concepts banging around in my head are starting to reach a fever pitch. Pretty soon, I’ll have no choice but to throw some ink down and see how everything plays out on the page.

Surviving the Holidays as a Writer

I don’t know about you, but the holidays are a crazy time for us. We have 4 family birthdays between November and December, and our closest family members live an hour away. Lots of travel. Things get hectic. How do I survive all of that without losing my mind? Or my writing?

Here’s how I stay afloat when things get a little bonkers.
1. Prioritize
This is going to look different for everyone. Continue reading

NaNoWriMo 2016 Wrap Up

Recap: I did NaNoWriMo unofficially this year. Why not go official and get the cool certificate? Because rules. You can’t have any prose written before November 1st, and I’ve got a massive outline chock full of prose. So, I can’t be all officially official. Instead, I set a goal to write 50,000 words in November for the draft of my current work in progress.

And I’m so glad I did.

November is always a crazy month for my family. We have three birthdays, two of which require travel of 1-3 hours (one way). Plus, there’s Thanksgiving, which requires hours of travel and/or significant planning. This year also included the bonus of a ridiculous election cycle that had my Facebook feed blowing up non-stop with family and friends sounding off on just about everything.

I’m exhausted just writing that.

So why would I subject myself to an intense word count goal during the craziest month of the year? Continue reading

NaNoWriMo 2016

**Just realized I never hit publish on the NaNoWriMo post I wrote at the beginning of the month! That’s what I get for blogging on the run. Better late than never, and I figured I should share this before I posted my NaNoWriMo wrap up. Spoiler alert: I did get to 50k!

November 3, 2016
Sorry I’m late! I do have a good excuse, though, since I’ve been busy cranking out 3000+ words a day. Crazy! Today, I’ve been busy driving around running errands, and it got me out of my book world enough that I finally remembered I’d forgotten to write a NaNoWriMo post. So…

Happy National Novel Writing Month!!

First, a confession: I’m not officially doing NaNoWriMo this year. I’m in the middle of writing a project that’s been in the making for years. Continue reading