C. G. McGinn


Ramblings about Books and Writing

NanoWrimo 2014

So I haven't written here in a while. November was insane and a huge part of it had to do with the annual National Novel Writing Month that I felt compelled to enter. I'm a sadist.

I've been averaging 2000 words a day and thought that it would be a breeze. How wrong I was. It's difficult to write when you're under the gun. And with NaNoWriMo, it's like chasing a speeding train and every time you stop to catch your breath, ie, get caught up at work late, get home late, and then sit down to try and write, you've created a much larger gap in your word count and have to write that much more to fill it.

Anyway, it's over. I am both exhausted and thrilled to have seen it to the end. It made the frustrations of the months seem worth it.

What did I write about?

Funny you should ask. I set out writing Book 2 in the Dream series. Book 1 is being revised and going through re-writes. I put that on hold to attack Book 2. I now have a halfway revised Book 1, and a really really really rough rough draft of Book 2.

When I*m ready to pick up Book 2 again, in a non-NanoWrimo setting, I'll be able to further develop the stuff that worked and refine it into a more concise story.

NaNoWriMo is a great exercise for writers and people who have toyed with the idea of becoming writers. What established authors say all the time is if you want to be a writer, you have to write, and read, A LOT. And it's true. No denying it. And what they mean when they say write a lot, is, you need to get into the habit of writing. You need to write beyond when you feel like it. You have to write even if the scene you're working on sucks hard and isn't going where you expected. You need to write even when you'd rather play on the computer, surf the web, or watch The Blacklist, which is the best show on television and you're un-American to think otherwise.

Writing everyday flexes that invisible, magical muscle that puts you in the writing mindset, and trains you to be able to write even when you're not inspired or in-the-mood. It also makes it easier to accept that not every session is going to be epic or riveting. Some sessions may be downright boring. But that's what editing and revisions are for: to fix or throw out what doesn't work. Even if you're writing is below par, you can feel good that you're doing it, that you didn't put it off, even for James Spader.

So start writing damnit! And mark the 1st of November 2015 as the day you commit to writing your ass off for an entire month.