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Archive for ‘November 2009’

About My Muse

As you've likely noticed, my Muse has set up her own blog. She doesn't update often, because she's always rather busy, but she exists, and is my best friend. She keeps me on track or gives me the final word on the subject of breaks. Shakes her head when I get off on some long winded, wild tangent and urges me on when I'm entirely in sync with the characters.

However, some of you may not believe in muses. I know Maureen Johnson hates the idea of them, and even wrote a blog about it, Death to Muses. Now, I feel I must better explain the existence of my Muse. Not to defend her, but to show you how I see her, how she exists to me. I fully understand Maureen's stance, the idea that a Muse is simply there to take credit for all the hard work the writer puts in. But I personally feel Muses are not like that, they are different to those who find they believe in them.

My Muse is Me.

A Word to the Wise

From a not so wise novice writer:


I'm learning this the hard way. If you read my last post, A Tale of Victory, then you know on November the 16th I won NaNoWriMo by hitting the 50,000 word mark. I wrote a little over 21K words that day, some of it admittedly from notes the weekend before. I was victorious, a sprinter in a marathon. And now, a confession.

A Tale of Victory

Last night I realized I was *THISCLOSE* to hitting the final NaNoWriMo marker. I had been typing away feverishly all day, seeing the end of the Work In Progress coming ever nearer. I figured I could finish it and the 50K in a few days. I thought I might get 5K, or even 7-8K, as I had hit my minimum word count goal (for NaNo being much higher at 3.5K a day) very early in the day. I was just zipping along, paying no mind to the lost weekend and relaxing into the flow of words.

And then I found the Holy Grail Of Words.

Awhile ago (trust me this story is worth it) I had an odd dream that is really a sign I may spend too much time on Twitter. @Gripemaster, or as he is more commonly known, Voldetweet, was the starring antagonist in an Indiana Jones-esque search for the Holy Grail of Words. He was a floating, 2 dimensional avatar, evil and scary and hellbent on getting the Holy Grail of words before I did. I prevailed in the end, but was describing the dream the next morning, Voldetweet revealed he had made it into a Horcrux!

The Ups and The Downs

I'm so sorry y'all for not posting sooner, but NaNoWriMo has been kicking my butt.

I used to have pretty steady days, were I'd write about 1-2K words a day, but recently I've been having problems with that. Every day feels like a battle to the death for every word, and there have only been a few days in which I've succeeded. And when I do triumph, its fantastic, I got 6.9K total words on Tuesday and hit the halfway point of NaNo that night. But it didn't come without a cost - yesterday I wrote nothing. I couldn't get my head straight, I'd pushed myself far too hard.

I'd gotten to about 5.4K around 7pm when I started getting soooooo tired, really wanted to go to bed. But then I realized I was so close to the 25K mark, and I, with the encouragement of a bunch of my writing buddies, set off for the gold. 7pm may seem like child's play to you, but with my ADHD medication and my problems sleeping, I should have listened to my body and left it be. But I didn't. I stayed up until 10pm, past when I should have been doing my nightly wind down routine, and got those words.

They Don't Know Shit!

Um, yeah actually they do. You know why? Because *you* haven't even told me who 'they' is. So don't start getting into a hissy fit just because a member of a critique group you joined told you you were doing something wrong. Its unbecoming of a future bestseller and a friend, and I think we all know that.

I'm not saying everyone takes critiques badly, but I've seen my fair share in person and online, and really? It isn't pretty. It's worse in person, because there isn't the sense of anonymity and distance as on a critique website. You know these people, they become your friends, and they are READING your STUFFS. LOOKING for PROBLEMS.

You need people to be your professional editor, your reader, and a true friend, the kind who won't tell you "No, those jeans don't make you look fat" when your muffin top is epic. (Side Note: I ask the most no-nonsense mom for the truth, and they always give it to me.) Generally the people you trust to critique your work and be honest about it are friends, or at the very least good writers themselves.

And yet, you don't always get that with critique groups. There are people more and less advanced in the craft than you, all with different personalities. Codependents, Crusaders, Naive Novices, Overly Eager Beavers, and hopefully a few Wise Sages. I'm a novice, and so I know I still have a LOT to learn about my writing process, my craft, and how to make my work publishable. I am confident enough in myself and my work to be open to criticisms, so long as they're constructive.

But what do you do when a novice who's writing is so far below par than your own insists on telling you your work has all the problems hers does?

A Flurry of Words

This is SO going to be my month.

I don't know what happened, but the moment midnight came I was typing faster than ever and got almost 2K words within an hour using Write or Die. I was at the kick-off write-in for my NaNoWriMo region, and every time I hit my goal WoD would trumpet my success. The first time everyone looked around in confusion, then started clapping, and every time after that they'd make jokes about it. It was a lot of fun, and I got a lot of words to boot.

Of course, though, I get sidetracked easily. Hence, my Muse has gotten her own blog, I'm writing this post, and I wrote one as a guest for another blog, which will be up either tonight or tomorrow. Yesterday I had a difficult conversation with a friend, one I didn't want to have, and I ended up being torn from the mood to write. In order to get out of it, I went to a NaNo social.

I plan on 10K a day with a minimum of 8K, hoping to finish my current WIP with NaNoRebel. Then I'll move into the sequel for regular NaNo. Yesterday I only managed to get 5.6K, but hey, its more than I've gotten any day in the last two weeks. October was a very difficult month for me in terms of writing, but this month I have a  renewed vigor to get the story out, and its really exhilarating. I can feel the words straining to get out and I'm so excited to be writing with such gusto again.

Speaking of which, my writing buddies will likely see this and pull out their whapping sticks and come after me for writing 2 blog posts and setting up one for my Muse and letting her write her first post.

I need to go run and hide with my laptop before they find me.