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Listen to yourself.

Hello friends,

I’m a little late on putting out my weekly post. I’ve been busy all month, and I decided to be lazy over the weekend. It felt great, and I feel refreshed.

I have lots of words to make up for NaNoWriMo, but I still feel like I’m going to complete the 50,000-word goal by the end of the month. I know some people that insist that writers must write every day but as I’ve said before, I disagree with that.

While I was taking my break, I thought about my story and what would happen. I jotted down a few notes in the margins. In those ways, I was still working on my novel. Not adding to my word count didn’t put me behind because I know where I’m going and I feel like I want to go there now.

I think it works for some people to chip away at their stories slowly every day. Some of us, though, work internally on our stories for a while before it’s all ready to spill out. We may end up writing as much or more than we would if we forced the words out slowly. It’s like everything else, we need to listen to our bodies and spirits. We know what’s best for us and drowning out other voices is an important thing to learn in the creative process.

Okay, I’ve got words to catch up on. Cheers!

Allie

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Listen to yourself

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What is success anyway?

Hello friends,

Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month – where writers try to write 50,000 words in one month) is upon us again. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to participate this year. I’ve done it a few times now–along with Camp Nano (which happens in April)–and I’ve lost sometimes, and I’ve won sometimes.

But what is winning? And what is losing?

I always thought I lost Nanowrimo if I didn’t make it to 50,000 words in one month but when I was debating whether or not I wanted to participate this time, I realized that even if I didn’t “win” I’d end up trying hard and I’d end up writing more than I would otherwise.

In the writing world, there’s a whole pile of people deciding what makes others successful.

So I’ve decided I really need to get every voice out of my head other than my own and those of writers who support one another no matter what. No matter the publishing path, level, genre, or background.

I’m participating in Nanowrimo. I’m already a winner.

I’m a winner because I want to write and share my stories and I’m taking the steps I need to do that.

What could ever be losing about that?

If you’re a writer or an aspiring writer and you start putting words on a page, congratulations to you! No matter who you are or what your end goals are, you’re brave and you’re a winner. With each attempt you’re getting closer to where you want to be. There are plenty of people who want to write a book and never even get started. It might take you a while but you’ll get there if you keep working.

Success!

rocky

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Trust Yourself

Trust Yourself

It’s only been a few months since I started writing my first adult novel. When I wrote the words “Chapter One” on the blank page, I have to admit, I seriously doubted I could reach the adult-length word count. I had only ever written middle-grades, and the thought of doubling my longest novel scared the living shit out of me.

I had so much doubt about whether I could do it or not but I didn’t let it stop me. And unlike before, I also didn’t try to write in any of the ways that I hear suggested by other authors. I stayed true to my creative process. Fast forward a few months and I’m nearing my target word count with no fear of not getting there.

The best part…I’ve had fun writing again. I haven’t struggled (much). Writing in a way that’s right for me (flying by the seat of my pants) and setting my doubts to the side has proven┬áto be a winning combo.

So, lessons learned.

1) Don’t listen to anyone on HOW to write. Trust your intuition.

2) Believe that you can do it. (And if you don’t believe, just pretend you believe and get started)

I did, and now I’m a #NanoWinner2017 with less than 20,000 words to go to reach my word count goal.

NaNo-2017-Winner-Facebook-Cover

rocky

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Nanowrimo Failure?

Nanowrimo Failure?

Back in April, I participated in Camp NaNoWriMo, and I feverishly wrote every day and finished a┬ánovel in record time. So when Nanowrimo came along, I thought, “Sure, I can do this!”

Boy, was I wrong!

I stalled out at 10,000 words. I tried to make myself write every day, but it just got harder. The more I tried to force it, the harder it got. And worst of all–I wasn’t enjoying myself like I did during Camp NaNoWriMo.

So what was the difference? Well, I think the only difference was that during Camp NaNoWriMo I had a story beating at the back of my head–begging to be written. During NaNoWriMo, I had a story idea that I didn’t let wait long enough for it to start begging me. I was trying too hard to be like other writers–to take the advice to “write every day.” That just doesn’t work for me. You’d think I’d know by now that I’m not the same as everyone else so why would I think that all the writing advice I read should apply to me. Sure, I have more in common with these people than most other people on the planet, but I’m still me. And I’m going to learn to trust my own advice because I know what actually works for me.

I’m not really a Nanowrimo failure. I tried and what’s ever wrong with that? I learned a little more about me and my writing style. I got to cheer on friends who sailed through Nanowrimo like Rocky Balboa running up those glorious steps. (Yeah, I know Rocky didn’t win at the end of the movie, but he won that training montage!).

rocky

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