It’s been almost a month since I disappeared somewhere in the dark and exhilarating vortex that is National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo but now that it’s finally over, I can come up and think about something else other than vampires, kings and queens, pirates, and the red dress my female character was wearing.
Some things I took away from my second year of doing NaNo:
– It gets easier, in a way, although it’s not really easy. Knowing I did it once made me confident enough that I could do it again. The first time around I had no idea if I could do it so the stress was higher.
– Less preparation meant I didn’t really have time to get acquainted with the idea behind my story. Last year I used the beginning from an earlier story I started some years ago (rewrote it completely but kept the idea), and a bunch of sticky notes I could go back to; this year I didn’t write anything anywhere, it was all in my head.
– Taking advantage of support early on instead of waiting until I was at the end of my rope was a great idea. Skype word races with NaNo buddies gave me the push I needed.
– Changing the writing space was good. Sitting on the couch with the laptop felt much more relaxed than sitting on the office chair at my desk which is actually an old dressing table. The mirror does distract from writing (I’m making a face at myself in the mirror as I’m writing this).
Although my reading has considerably slowed down in November, I still managed to read two excellent books– Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg, and House of Small Shadows by Adam Nevill. The former is a great pep talk for people who want to write, complete with some writing exercises and shared personal experiences. The latter is an excellent horror novel. Reviews coming soon.
I listened to some good music, Two Steps from Hell with Protectors of the Earth (think epic movies) and Coldplay with Lost (which was my NaNo song this year because it has a great rhythm).
I went to a book sale and came away with three books I can’t wait to start reading – The Christmas Train in particular, as I love to read Christmas themed books this time of year.
I also got a Kindle and have mixed feelings about it. While I suspected this moment would eventually arrive, I still feel like a traitor, even though I know I shouldn’t. A story is a story, no matter if it’s on a paper page or a screen, but rationalizing about it doesn’t make me feel better. Maybe it’s a question of getting used to it.
And finally, this coming weekend is the start of Lolita read-along I’m co-hosting with Vishy. If you haven’t made up your mind to join yet, there’s still time. You can post your review any time from the 27th to the last day of the year.