Derek's Blog Page

Can a libertarian curmudgeon survive in a post 9/11 America? Is it possible to create the perfect meal on a Baby Q grill? Will Elaine finally succumb to her innermost desires? Check out my novels - which I am excerpting to separate blogs as I write them. Just click on my Profile button to access their links.

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Saturday, November 11, 2006

One of the best things...

about competing in the National Novel Writing Month event (NaNoWriMo, just plain NaNo) is that you get to read what problems, challenges and issues other people face as each participant races to 'finish' the 50,000 words of fiction writing. As so many of us find out, it isn't always easy to come up with new ideas, new dialog, new subplots and new cliffhangers every single day.

And then there are the 'external' reasons for not writing. Me, I had a 'down' day on Thursday. My knees were aching, my back was killing me (I woke up this way) and I just didn't feel like writing. Fortunately, I have been pacing myself and I already had almost 17,000 words stored up - which put me 'ahead' of the pace. So I took a 'personal' day and just kicked back and lay down, propped up my feet and read a good book. It felt GREAT! Come Friday, I was fresh and eager to start back with the competition! I wrote my way to 19,287 words!

And I also 'treated' myself to a movie last night (I watched MI:3, trust me, it wasn't nearly as exciting as the first two Mission Impossible movies. But I got it as part of my monthly Netflix list and I couldn't beat the price.) that motivated me even more to sit down today and write, Write, WRITE!!!

By allowing myself some 'down' time and not getting all guilty over taking it (I ran into the whole 'guilt' issue during last year's NaNo.) I regained a sense of purpose and recharged my creativity batteries. I should top 22,000 words by tonite. That means I will have, by the 11th day, reached and exceeded my total word count from last year's NaNo debacle. I may well reach to 23,000 words! And I've set myself up to reach 25,000 words, (the half-way mark for the 'goal' of NaNo) by tomorrow - three days ahead of schedule!

What I'm trying to say here is, it's important to not just set a goal. It's also very important to know when you've pushed too far, when you've drained your emotional and creative batteries. When you reach such a point, don't just ignore the warning signs, give yourself 'personal' time to get back into emotional shape. Then, even though you may have fallen a bit behind the schedule you've set for yourself, don't play the 'blame' or 'guilt' game with yourself. Acknowledge that you needed the time and cheerfully get back to work. And with that, I'm signing off, posting this update and going right back to writing my Great American Novel - okay, my first science fiction novel. And I'm focusing on finishing this so that you and I can see it in print.

Have a great day.

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