Another challenge begins. The month of October went by in a flurry of planning for #NaNoWriMo. Some random thoughts:
I expected to be a “Planner” (one who outlines, creates characters, maps out settings, etc). I did some of that. Every day when I turn on my desktop I see a wallpaper of characters. My iPad screensaver is the setting, a map of a gentrified neighborhood. The loose outline in my Scrivener file suggests I may be more of a “Panster” (one who writes by the seat of their pants) this time around… again. Accountability has landed in my November bullet journal/calendar. My wall is plastered with “what if” post it notes. I’ll be taunted into complying.
Tomorrow I turn the page. The To Do list becomes a Must Do list, limited to only what is absolutely necessary during the next 30 days. The calendar side of things is scant. Somehow I’ll fit in 1,667 words each day (including Thanksgiving) and voila! The novel will be done. Make that, the DRAFT will be done. Or perhaps I should state the reality… the sh*tty draft will be done.
There’s a lot of talk in the NaNoWriMo forums about preparation and, much of it about survival. It’s as if we will be stranded in one of those freaky would-you-spend-30-days-here-for-a-million dollars houses posted on social media lately. Or maybe locked in a room like writer Paul Sheldon in Misery. Reminder: purchase forty-two flavors of Oreo cookies, six giant bags of dark chocolate M&Ms, a case of Doritos, and a sixty day supply of extra strong coffee.
Then there’s the “what ifs.” What if my computer dies? What if my online cloud erases my files? What if the cat won’t get off my keyboard? What if the cat hits the delete key? What if the power goes out? What if the internet goes out? (Actually that could be a good thing to keep away distractions). What if we haven’t prepared any “What Ifs” for our main character if she/he decides to stray from the plot? What if I put a back up plan in motion: save to the cloud, email a copy to myself each day, save another copy on my desktop, print out another copy (never mind – wouldn’t want anyone to discover just how sh*tty my writing is) and keep pen and paper on hand for when the power goes out.
Bottom line: My imperfect self will not judge, criticize, or punish if my “what ifs” turn into “what nots.”
Good luck to all the incredible writers joining me in this adventure. See you in December… or sooner depending on the what ifs.
So I disappeared again. This time I fell in a rabbit hole. Deep in the hole. I fell and I couldn’t climb out. This time it’s a new addiction. I blame it on my Bullet Journal and all the bullet journal junkies out there.
It all started with one A5 Leuchttrum1917 journal. The journals multiplied. Everything from the Rhodia journal to some inexpensive notebooks from Michael’s piled up on the corner of my desk.
Then came the quest for the perfect pen. One that wouldn’t bleed through the paper. One that could write in any notebook without ghosting. One that writes with the smoothness of oil on a cabbage leaf. (Metaphors are my downfall). I spent so much money on fountain pens, cartridges and ink that I could’ve bought a Namiki… well maybe a Visconti. For now I’ll settle for my TWSBI and see if big brother is listening.
I’m living in a nightmare of stickers, washi tape, stencils, pencil boxes, dual point markers, rubber stamps, ink pads, dashboards, and pen holders. Every time I get near a store, especially a craft store with aisles catering to people like me, my car stalls right there in the space closest to the door. I can’t help it. I need just one more pen, one more sticker. I need to find the one thing that makes my Bullet Journal better than anybody else’s. I need to stop stalking Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube #bulletjournals that feed my habit.
I’ve been sneaking home before anyone else gets there, hiding my stash. But I got caught. I had to confess. I promised my husband that I would have a “no spend” March. But wait – it’s still February – does it count if I shop online today but delivery happens in March?
Update: In response to one of the comments left below, I began to feel guilty (maybe more like petrified) about using this picture of a print. In order to avoid the copyright police I did the best I could to find the artist – not a difficult task and it came with a bonus. Check out Art That Makes You Laugh but be forewarned – you will laugh, be inspired and want to own one of his pieces. And just so you know, Jeff Leedy responded to my confession and says the picture can stay.
What the heck happened this year? And the blog? Where did it go? I just realized the titles for my last three posts could tell a story. Three months ago I mentioned I wanted to write. Nine days later marijuana had arrived. Two months after that I looked at the news feed on Facebook and saw it was I Love to Write Day.
So here’s the story. I felt trumped. No amount of word tweaking, plot twisting, or new endings could turn my 90,000 word memoir into the Erma Bombeck kind of masterpiece I had imagined in my head. It was just not going to happen. In an angry moment I placed Trumpette (our neurotic cat) dangerously close to the delete key.
But, a miracle happened. Marijuana had arrived. Trumpette inhaled a hefty dose and the next thing I knew she was attacking fireflies at the patio door in the middle of a sunny day. Wait. I got that wrong. We don’t have fireflies in California. I guess it was night time and they were moths. It seems I was in a kind of fog, maybe a contact high? I found myself back at the keyboard. Magic happened. While Trumpette purred off the pot, I rewrote the entire book. In one night. It was done. I sent it off to the publisher. And then I quit writing until I-Love-To-Write-Day came.
Remember that Bullet Journal I had started a few months back? I began a new list: