Fiction Friday, NANOWRIMO 2013, NANOWRIMO 2014, National Novel Writing Month, Writing

NANOWRIMO 2014: Priorities, Goals, and Motivation

Okay, so in case it has skipped anyone’s notice, we have arrived at the end of November.

This means that the month of NaNoWriMo is nearing its finish.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed this either, but I missed last week’s Fiction Friday, my usual post here and I did it for a reason.

Not for the reason I wrote about in my previous NaNoWriMo edition of Fiction Friday:

Rebellion.

Not for the cool, wild, hip concept of being a rebel.

🙂

But more like avoidance…avoidance of returning to the place I was at last year at this time.

The reason why I avoided writing any sort of update last week was I knew then and I certainly know now that I will not be reaching fifty thousand words on any novel, not this time.

I did it on my first try, but I guess I’ve learned that, in writing as in life, my priorities can sure shift, only one year on.

In author/writer Alana Saltz’s latest blog post,

What NaNoWriMo Has Taught Me About the Writing Process,

she writes about her own experiences, over the past handful of years with this writing challenge.

It is a helpful thing to me, to read about someone as successful as her, and how the same ups and downs (although not wanted or welcomed) can happen to anyone.

Alana says the two things that made the difference for her, the year she completed the challenge, were focus and a lack of distraction. these two go hand-in-hand, in a big way.

Last year I had distractions, sure, but I was highly focused on getting the novel I had been storing in my head for years down in actual words.

I don’t know where to go with it next and I do know I love the writing I am doing now. this means I didn’t want to give up all the focus I use for blogging multiple times a week, for this huge novel, that has not moved out of the first draft stage since I wrote it one year ago.

Will it have a sequel or will I keep writing?

What do I want it to be and to mean?

I definitely have my share of distractions at this point.

I have discovered that I love blogging, that I find it highly therapeutic in my life right now. I can’t say I feel that way about my novel-in-progress at this time.

In this day of technology and with the advent of ebooks, I hear authors saying all the time that it does no good to have one book, but what counts is to write one and then another and another, until you can build momentum.

As for the points made by Alana, this is my take on it:

1.
Motivation

I am motivated, but apparently not to grab the reins of the story I started last November, and run full-speed ahead.

I am motivated and I set goals all the time with my blogs, every week and month. I keep a fairly steady schedule of posts, present and future. I live by certain deadlines all the time with a blog and now a second one, especially when I am guest posting and hosting guest posters. It is imperative. People, not only me, expect this.

2.
Community

I do not have this, quite as much, with NaNoWriMo. There are no local NaNo groups, at least none I have discovered readily.

As for a community, I have found this in the blogosphere and I like it.

3.
Distractions

I am distracted constantly, my mind constantly wound up. I feel a sense of focus and calm when I am blogging that I couldn’t give up nearly enough to return to the novel that I started while still a part of the life I used to live and am not living in the same way anymore.

4.
Determination

I am determined to make something of blogging and more recently, with travel blogging. This is where I am right now and, although I may regret putting more and more time between myself and the novel I started, right now I must live in the present and future and not allow myself to return to a past I can’t afford to reexamine at this time.

The problem, for me, is that I don’t know if I have more than one novel in me, if I even have this one and the ability to finish it to any real end.

In an extremely uplifting video I came across earlier today, as I was thinking on how I was going to end off my lack of a completed NaNo goal for the month, what I wanted to say here, author Alina Popescu made some valid points:

NaNoWriMo14 – The Deadline Menace – Video on YouTube

I am a writer, like she discusses, whether I write novels, short stories, memoir, reviews and interviews, or travel articles.

I AM A WRITER.

I have discovered I like writing, in a way I did not understand one year ago, and I will follow this path, wherever it may take me.

All I know, at this point one year on, is that I have things inside me to say: about love and relationships, about heartbreak and moving on, about the movies and music that are my inspirations, and the people and places that move me and teach me so much.

Now that I have discovered this world of blogging, and most recently travel blogging, I needed to put all my focus on these things because they are getting me through.

I guess I didn’t really think anyone who might happen to read this would really care that I could not pull off fifty thousand words in a month, two years in a row.

Really, I am the only one I owe any explanation to, whether in my own head or heart. This post just helps me lay all that out, for the record, because maybe next year I will return to this post and start again with Till Death…

I am not giving up on that dream of publishing a story of fiction, but perhaps I am not meant to be mainly a writer of fiction at all.

Living in the present of November 2014 I am a blogger and I like that title and the feeling that gives me.

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