Fear of the Dread Red Pen

I cannot seem to get off of a ridiculous urge to merge rhyming words. Anyway. . . You may or may not know about the Word of the Day game we play on the LMWS Facebook Page. Basically, I post the word, definition, and a sentence and encourage others to come up with their own sentence using the word. I know that just reading a word doesn’t mean I’ve learned it, but once I’ve put it into practice, it sticks better. Besides learning a new word, the goal of this game is to inspire play, creativity and community. Lucky for me, one member of that community was brave enough to voice a fear that is probably keeping others from joining in more often. This brave person said that while she wanted to participate more, she was afraid of getting it wrong. Yikes! Fear is not something I want to inspire. It’s okay to have it, but I want to clarify that my approach to words has nothing to do with red pens and judgment. It’s about opening up our vocabulary, to have more words available to express whatever it is that needs expression through words. We can’t learn without getting it wrong sometimes. And I get it wrong too! I may be a wordsmith and have certain related superpowers, but sometimes when I’m working on my WOD sentence, I’m really not sure if I’m doing it right. I figure this is a good opportunity to let you know more about the philosophy of the editing we do around here. First, Do No Harm I may not be a doctor...

NaNoWriMo Triage

Oh, boy. Only 8,561 words in. To keep to my schedule, I need to be at 22,500 words by midnight on Saturday. Things were going so well, what happened?! Life happened. A few too many days where other projects took priority. A few too many days of not having enough time in one go to really dig in. Because if I don’t have at least 30 minutes of uninterrupted writing time, it’s not worth it. Ideas form and then breakdown. I spend more time catching up on where I left off and getting into the groove than actually being in the groove. At first I was chill about it. Last week I figured that I’d spend a good chunk of time on Saturday meeting that week’s word count. That’s why I didn’t factor weekends in to my original goals, so I’d have some cushion. But my body had different ideas for Saturday. And Sunday. It demanded rest. Lots of sleep, lounging on the couch, and staying off the computer. Monday I still wasn’t panicking as I got an hour of writing time in. But now, I’m heading into the third day of a dry spell. It’s not dry in the way of ideas or disinterest; I’ve been thinking about my story a lot. I’ve been working on a vision board for it and spending more time with the characters. What’s dry is my word count, and the distance from 8,561 to 22,500 is looking mighty long right now. It’s time for some NaNoWriMo triage. Step One: Just the facts, please. Words needed: 13,939 Conservative estimate of words I can...

The Writing Fest Has Begun

I am happy to report that I am off to a good start on my first foray into NaNoWriMo-land. I met my daily word count goal the first two days and was relieved to find my story flowed fairly easily. I was bummed I couldn’t make it to my local kick-off party, though, and hope there will be more events I can attend over the next few weeks. Before you click away for less self-congratulatory realms, I must tell you that this was the culmination of a lot of intense preparatory work. My outline didn’t become workable until the last day of October. I had to do a lot of internal work to make space for this project, like talking to monsters and blocks and monsters who threw blocks. I wrote a love letter to my novel and asked what it would cook for me if it could give me a night off. This may all sound strange but assuming we’re all creative, artsy types around here, I trust that I am preaching to the choir. I decided that to be on the safe side, I should aim for only writing on weekdays, not counting Thanksgiving. That left me with a daily goal of 2500 words. It took me nearly two and a half hours the first day, but I did it! The second day I’d trimmed my time to two hours. My goal is to be writing 2500 words or more in one hour by the end of this month. The only reason 2500 words wasn’t a completely daunting prospect is because I write at least 750 words...